Testosterone is a male-dominant hormone in charge of developing male characteristics. While both facial hair growth and testosterone levels may be at their peak after puberty, they can slow down as men age.
This can be frustrating and often lead to a trial and error of product testing to pin down one that properly supports growth. Testosterone boosters are one of the product options men have been leaning towards in recent years, but does it improve beard growth, and most importantly, is it safe?
Below we expand on just that and find out whether testosterone boosters for beard growth are actually a good idea.
The Biology Behind Beard Growth
Androgen hormones, which include testosterone and DHT, are the primary hormones that influence beard growth. The body has 2 types of hair: vellus (peach fuzz) and terminal hair (hair we can see, such as the eyebrows).
When healthy amounts of testosterone and DHT attach themselves to the androgen receptors on the hair follicles, converting peach fuzz to dark, coarse terminal hair, which is the basis of a beard. The growth continues thereafter with the help of DHT. Generally, 5% to 10% of testosterone is converted into DHT.
DHT stimulates hair growth on the face, chest, and genital area. DHT has a slightly more potent disposition, leading to accelerated benefits, especially dealing with muscle and body hair growth. Evidence shows that DHT positively impacts linear beard growth.
So, peak testosterone levels can positively impact beard growth. Beard growth is also largely influenced by skin quality—bad skin hygiene and clogged hair follicles can prevent proper beard growth. In essence, beard growth depends on a mixture of factors.
Do Testosterone Boosters Help: Yes and No!
Testosterone boosters can help improve beard growth by elevating testosterone levels which in turn increases the amount of DHT present in the bloodstream. As we mentioned earlier, DHT supports the pace of beard growth, so in hindsight, booster use is beneficial.
However, this comes with a few exceptions. Testosterone deficiency or low testosterone levels must be present for testosterone boosters to be safely used for beard growth. If individuals without testosterone deficiency use boosters for beard growth, it can have the opposite effect.
According to studies, high DHT levels can cause facial hair loss, male pattern baldness, depression, and prostate enlargement, among other adversities. High DHT levels also shrink hair follicles, causing a stunt in hair growth. If hair does grow in these cases, it grows out thinner, more brittle, and falls out faster.
Testing Your Testosterone Levels
You should check your testosterone levels if nothing else works for your beard growth. Other symptoms of low testosterone include agitation, insomnia, low sex drive, and low energy. The most common way to test your testosterone levels is by testing your blood.
By measuring the amount of free testosterone and total testosterone in your blood, you ensure that you know what’s the situation with your hormones. If you want to check your levels at home, you can do so with an at-home testosterone test. The at-home testosterone test is a simple test that shows the testosterone levels in your blood.
You can take your blood sample and give it back to the clinical team. Your results will usually be available within 2 to 5 days. Alternatively, you can look out for symptoms of low testosterone, such as loss of armpit or pubic hair, decreased libido, shrinking testicles, hot flushes, and more.
Searching For Other Causes
Even though testosterone plays a role in the growth of a beard, low testosterone levels are not the only cause. Other causes include:
Your genes often determine the thickness and growth rate of your beard. If your father has a thick beard, then you will be able to have one as well. This is due to the hormone called DHT. The strength of its effect on your hair follicles depends on your genetics. Even though DHT stimulates beard growth, it can sometimes inhibit hair growth.
This autoimmune disease attacks your hair follicles, which causes the hair on your head and face to fall out in patches. There is no cure for this condition, but you can opt for various treatment options, such as corticosteroid creams, steroid injections, or cortisone tablets.
Men often notice their beards come in when they are around 30 years old. Your beard may continue to grow and thicken as you age.
Unhealthy eating habits
Not having a balanced diet prevents proper beard growth. This is due to the absence of vital vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium and vitamin D3. Not drinking enough water can also lead to stunted beard growth. Other unhealthy habits that affect beard growth include smoking and drinking excessively.
Other Things You Can Do To Improve Beard Growth
While testosterone boosters can help improve beard growth in some cases, they prove ineffective or even harmful in others. In cases of the latter, other solutions need to be found. Below we list some methods that can help improve beard growth:
Keep your beard hydrated
Apply beard oil or balm often to stimulate the healthy growth of facial hair. This also helps with the texture of hair.
Eat foods that boost beard growth
Including lots of healthy proteins, such as legumes, beans, and meat, can boost the healthy growth of your beard. You should include 30% monosaturated fats, such as avocados and dairy, and 50% carbs, such as whole grains. Snacking on carrots and walnuts also helps.
Take care of your skin
Have a good beard-washing routine with specific products for your beards. This will help stimulate growth and keep the hair follicles healthy. If you work out regularly, a skincare routine is important to reduce the irritation of your skin by sweat.
High stress levels slow testosterone production, leading to slower beard growth. You can healthily deal with your stress with yoga, breathing exercises, or simply taking a bath. Avoid drinking too much coffee in the morning, and keep hydrated with water.
Cut down on sugar
Eating too much sugar can cause your testosterone levels to drop drastically. Reduce your intake of cool drinks, chocolates, and sports drinks. Excess sugar also affects your skin, which leads to stunted beard growth.
Testosterone plays a significant role in beard growth, and using testosterone boosters is a good idea for those with low testosterone levels. However, we don’t suggest using boosters if the deficiency is absent, as this could cause adverse effects. For those who don’t have low testosterone levels, we recommend lifestyle changes and external, practical solutions.
No. Beards never stop growing; however, each strand of hair has a maximum length. When they reach this length, they fall out and start the growth process again. Additionally, there are many aspects that alter the length and growth rate of your beard.
You should wash your beard 2 to 3 times a week, especially if you sweat a lot. Don’t wash your beard too often, as you may strip it of your natural oils, leaving your skin dry as well.
No. A patchy beard is usually not the result of low testosterone, as it is actually the sensitivity of your hair follicles to DHT, which is a hormone produced by testosterone, that determines patchiness.
Yes. While a full beard is possible at age 18, it is also possible for some men to only have thicker beards when they are 30 years old.
No, they are not. Every face is unique, so hair growth patterns differ from one person to another. The growth patterns even differ from one part of the face to another.