No-Shave November and Movember are in full swing so we wanted to talk about four common myths surrounding growing beards.
We get this question a lot, "What can I do to make my beard grow faster/fuller/less patchy?" and we also hear, "Will Beard Sauce help my beard grow?" There are a lot of answers out there about how to grow a better beard and unfortunately, a lot of it is fake news.
So let's address 4 common myths related to growing a beard. Plus, we will bust a bonus myth at the end!
Myth #1: Shaving stimulates faster hair growth
Facial hair grows in cyclical phases; there is a phase where faster growth occurs, then slower growth, followed by a medium growth phase. And these phases vary per hair follicle! The misconception occurs because trimming your beard and stache evens the hairs and works to synchronize the phases of the individual hairs. The result is hair that appears thicker. Have you ever noticed that? When you get a beard trim at the barber and your beard ends up looking thicker and fuller than before? Plus, when you trim your facial hair, you are revealing thicker ends of the hairs.
Fact: Shaving will not cause hair follicles to start producing more hair.
Myth #2: The thickness of your beard depends exclusively on your testosterone levels.
Testosterone gets converted into dihydrotestosterone in hair follicles and that is what stimulates hair growth. The catch is that some hair follicles are more sensitive to dihydrotestosterone and produce more hair than others. Also, genetic factors play a role in how receptive the hair follicles are to the hormone. And of course, some men just have more hair follicles than others so they produce a thicker beard. Taking a testosterone booster will not guarantee a thicker, faster-growing beard.
Fact: The ability to grow facial hair is inherited more than anything else.
Myth #3: My beard is patchy. All hope is lost!
In the previous paragraph, we talked about hair follicle receptivity to the dihydrotestosterone hormone. Hair follicles that are less receptive can often be grouped in areas of the face. This is what creates a patchy beard. The facial hair will grow in these patches, too; you just have to be more patient. To speed things along, we recommend to start exercising and eating healthy to promote androgens in the body. You can also take Hair, Skin, Nails vitamins to boost growth. This won't create more follicles but will speed up the growth of the ones you do have. We know people that had very patchy beards in their 20s that have full, thick beards now that they are older.
Fact: All hope is NOT lost! Exercise, healthy eating, vitamins, and a little patience will pay off.
Myth #4: The only way to get rid of beardruff is to shave it all off
Beard dandruff, or beardruff, usually occurs for two reasons. The first is similar to scalp dandruff - it's a fungal infection. You should wash your beard and use a beard oil with tea tree oil. Of course, we recommend our Original blend of Beard Sauce for this. Tea tree oil has antifungal properties and is useful for treating dandruff as well as athlete's foot and nail fungus. Sometimes, the beardruff is just dead skin cells building up underneath that gorgeous man mane. We recommend daily exfoliating and combing to help release the dead skin cells.
Fact: DO NOT shave that beard! Beard Sauce will help get rid of beardruff.
Bonus Myth: Bearded men have poop on their faces!
I get tagged on Facebook by someone every time one of these articles surfaces. "Scientists discover bearded men have fecal matter trapped in their beards!" You can't believe every click-bait article title you read. First, the point of the study was to determine if it was safe to put dogs in an MRI Scanner. Second, the study only swabbed 18 guys. Thirdly, they swabbed the beard and their saliva. The men showed "high microbial counts." The sample-set was a little skewed because they did not test the same number of dogs. In the study, more dogs had "high microbial counts" than men; just not 100% of the dogs did. The researchers say that humans, in general, carry high levels of bacteria with them and that "there is no reason to believe that women may harbor less bacteriological load than bearded men." And yes, that is a direct link to the actual study and not some clickbaity article designed to misinform.
Fact: All humans carry loads of bacteria, not just bearded men.
So, there you go! 4 common beard-growing myths debunked! Which of these myths have you heard someone share as truth? Now you have a little science to back up your rebuttal! And, as a bonus, you have a defense against the 'poop in the beard' article that your aunt keeps sharing with you on Facebook.