Ask any bearded man out there and they’ll likely tell you the same thing; That on more than one occasion, their beard has sparked interest or curiosity from those around them. After all, beards are interesting things, and there are lots of common questions about them that have less-than-common answers.
So, whether you rock a beard, goatee, mustache, or even just a soul patch, today we want to answer some of the most common questions about beards and facial hair with answers that you likely DON’T expect. This way we can make things interesting and spark some of your own curiosity about your own facial hair!
Not all things are as they seem, and even some simple questions may have answers you don’t expect! So, without further adieu, let’s get into some of these common questions about beards, beard products, and beard lifestyle that have answers you may not expect!
How Long Do Beards Grow?
Now this is an interesting questions because it has two potential answers. The first is how long a beard grows in total length if it were allowed to grow continuously before it just stops, and the second answer has to do with how long throughout our lifetimes we can grow a beard.
Well, believe it or not, beards really don’t stop growing in length. Generally what happens is your hair follicle will release the strand of hair or the beard hair will fall out before the length of the beard reaches any limit. Theoretically, this means that if your hair follicle were to never release a strand of hair, your beard may be able to grow infinitely long depending on the timeframe you allow it to.
Genetics plays a large role in a man’s ability to grow a beard, and how the follicle behaves when you do, so the answer is up in the air. But consider that the Guinness book of world records has stated that Hans Langseth grew the longest natural beard measuring in at 17 feet and 6 inches long.
When it comes to how long we as human males are able to grow a beard, that is another difficult questions to answer. Most men reach their peak beard fullness and growth rate between the ages of 30 and 35. However we don’t really stop growing a beard until we lack the nutrients and direction for the cells to do so, usually near our deaths.
This means that you can theoretically grow a beard from the earliest ages of puberty to the oldest living male age recorded to date (which is Jiroemon Kimura, 116 years).
Does Beard Oil Work?
The short answer to whether or not beard oils works is yes…but not for growth. The largest misconception surrounding beard oil is that beard oil helps you grow a beard faster, thicker, or fuller. In fact, alot of companies that manufacture beard oil out there claim that their beard oil is “growth oil” but this is misleading if not a downright lie.
The only substance/additive that has been clinically shown to help increase and stimulate the amount of hair growth in humans is Minoxidil. This is the same active ingredient in many hair growth products.
However, to the best of my knowledge, no beard oil that we have yet come across contains minoxidil. In this sense, beard oil is NOT intended for growing a beard as much as it is intended for maintaining the health and feeling of your beard. Beard oil contains many natural oils that replace the sebum created by glands in your skin. These glands are responsible for hydrating your skin and hair to keep them healthy and from getting dry, which causes cracks, redness, acne, irritation, and more.
Beard oil is supposed to help you manage and control the amount of moisture in your beard and skin to allow your beard to feel soft, look shiny, and be more flexible without the possibility of damage. In this sense, beard oil works wonders! However, it takes the proper knowledge and expectations of what beard oil really does to keep away the disappointment that comes with expecting increased beard growth from oils alone.
Do Beards Make You Attractive?
Again, the quick answer to this question is yes!…and no. Obviously everyone out there is different and will find certain things more attractive than other things, that’s just human nature. But generally it’s safe to say that a man who sports a well-groomed beard (that’s a big caveat) will increase his attractiveness, perceived status, and image of masculinity.
And believe it or not, the length of your beard can actually make you appear more attractive to the opposite sex for different things. For example, men with shorter “stubble” beards were considered more optimal for flings or one-night-stands. But, men with larger and longer beards were considered more attractive as potential life partners and father figures.
Just keep these things in mind when determining what you want out of your beard and how you want to be perceived!
Do Beards Make You Warmer?
Do beards really make you feel warmer or hotter? Yes!….and no.
You see, beards are temperature regulators. This means that a beard will help keep your overall temperature more even within a range as opposed to having wild swings in one direction or the other. Put simply, a beard keeps you warmer in the cold, and cooler in the heat, but how?
You may think that having a beard is like putting on a layer of clothing, which kind of makes sense. After all, the purpose of a layer of clothing is to trap warm air closer to your body. That’s why all those puffy winter jackets are a thing! In that sense, a beard works well because it helps you trap air closer to your face without the wind chill blowing that air away and cooling off your skin.
However, the other thing that clothing can do is trap moisture, which is particularly important in warm climates. As moisture evaporates, it cools down whatever the moisture was on, that’s why humans sweat after all. But in especially warm climates, it can be dangerous for the sun to be directly on your skin, as this would cause you to sweat to quickly, and lose more moisture than is safe to lose. This is why many desert nomads wear full robes even in the blazing sun. They provide shade, and trap moisture to elongate the cooling effect of evaporation.
Beards do the same thing in the heat, they can actually make you feel cooler for longer by trapping that moisture and slowing its rate of evaporation. This is why beards are temperature regulators and don’t only increase your overall temperature.
Why Is My Beard Red?
If your beard hair is a different color than the hair on your head, chances are your beard has more red in it. Why is this?
Essentially, there is a gene called MC1R. When this gene is mutated, it disrupts the balance in the melanin that your hair follicle and proteins manage. Melanin, by the way, is the coloring in your hair.
Even a very distant relative can affect the color of their descendants beards many generations afterwards. There are essentially two different pigments that are responsible for the color of your hair, eumelanin controls the black coloration, and pheomelanin controls the red coloration. People with the mutation of the MC1R gene produce pheomelanin in unbalanced quantities to eumelanin and can cause that reddish tint or tinge to their beard hair.
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