Facial hair is one of those things men debate with themselves as they get older, while women have little desire to ponder the subject except out of fear. Some men prefer a moustache that requires little maintenance and a napkin. Others prefer the full beard because shaving is, quite frankly, a daily hassle. Teens struggle with the whole idea of facial hair because it can come with the pubescent reality of acne as their body produces hormones at an unprecedented rate.
Biologically the answer is no, but a common adage is that “perception is reality.” And it is true that it can appear that your beard is growing faster but there is zero scientific evidence that supports the perception. The phenomenon of faster beard growth through shaving is largely reported by young males under the age of 25 who have yet to completely clear puberty. By then, almost all men have decided on how they feel about facial hair.
The perception often lies in the type of razor the man chooses to use. A simple rule of shaving is that the lower you cut into your beard, the longer it will take to grow back. Your body is not going to grow hair at a rate of one inch per week one month and then accelerate to 2 inches per month just because you decide to shave more. So what is the science behind beard growth?
This will not be a biology lesson but will mention a scientific term or two that you can use to make it sound like you know what you are talking about. Which you will. No bad information coming from here.
There are four biological phases your body goes through when it comes to hair (of any kind) growing. The first and most active phase is called the Anagen phase. This phase is, to no one’s surprise, is most active in your teenage years as a result of an increase in your testosterone levels. Depending on how fast those testosterone levels rise, you will experience either rapid facial hair growth or little.
As for the type of razor you use, it is a matter of fact that using a safety razor will give you a far closer shave than an electric razor. This means that if you use an electric razor it will appear that your beard is growing back faster simply because you are not cutting as close as you could with a safety razor – especially the cartridge razors with multiple blades. But even if you use a safety razor and do not put the optimum amount of pressure on it when you shave you can end up making it appear your beard is growing in faster.
There are other factors, such as your nutritional diet. If you eat foods high in a B vitamin called Biotin, there is sufficient scientific evidence that supports Biotin increasing hair growth. Eggs, whole wheat products, and milk are three common foods most likely to be eaten as part of a man’s normal diet. For men who take a daily vitamin supplement, check on the amount of Biotin present in each tablet.
From puberty to adulthood men will likely see inconsistent peaks and valleys of hair growth. By age 25 things will settle down and instead of worrying about the amount of hair you have you will spend more time wondering what to do with it. Whether it is good news or bad, you will likely have facial hair to deal with for the rest of your adult life. What is even more likely than its presence is the fact it will be your significant other who decides how much you can grow – and where.