Why Do Beards Get Thicker with Age? Just an illusion? (2023)

From the onset of puberty, growing a beard is something that every man can achieve. Growing a beard feels like a beard will not get thicker or denser for a long time. The good news is that after puberty, prolonged exposure to testosterone helps increase the thickness of the individual hairs, the density of growth, and therefore the overall thickness of the beard.

How to remove nicotine stains from ...

How to remove nicotine stains from moustache and beard

Beards get thicker with age because a person has been exposed to testosterone for longer, and the hairs can be fully affected by this hormone. Also, older men know how to look after their beards better and optimise their lifestyle to grow a thick beard.

Sometimes it is not an underlying physiological reason for the extra thick hair but rather that the grower has optimised their beard over many years. This optimisation means that they understand the styles that look best on their beards and have supported any weaker growth areas with the surrounding hair.

As you grow older and spend more time looking after your beard, you tune in to what works, and this can give the impression of a thicker and denser beard when it is just much better cared for.

To understand why beards get thicker with age, we need to understand the beard growth process from when your body starts producing testosterone.

Article Contents

(Video) Why Some Men Can't Grow Beards

The beard growing process from teen +

When boys enter puberty, the testicles begin producing the hormone testosterone. It is this hormone that is responsible for growing a beard.

In teenage boys going through puberty, facial hair grows and becomes thicker due to the effect of testosterone and DHT on the hair follicles.

Before that, the was hair present, but it was faint and thin. This secondary hormonal effect is seen quite late in puberty, so many boys think they will never grow a beard!

Hair follicles on the face are sensitive to testosterone and what it becomes in the body –dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is made from testosterone by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase.

Without DHT, there is no beard.

However, genetic factors at play determine the levels of testosterone in the body and how sensitive the hair follicle is to DHT and testosterone.

As your body creates and metabolises testosterone, your beard will continue to get thicker.

As we age, prolonged exposure to testosterone starts to play a visible role in other parts of your body. Just like it transforms the light hairs on your face into a thick beard, it also changes the nearly invisible hair that grows in places like our ears into thick strands.

Why do beards get thicker?

From puberty and throughout a lifetime, beards tend to get thicker and denser.

I produced a YouTube video where I talk about my experience growing a beard and how it increases with age. You can check out this YouTube video below:

Prolonged exposure to testosterone

There is an important link between testosterone, DHT, and the androgen receptors at the base of your beard hairs to grow a beard.

It is not necessarily the concentration of testosterone in the body which determines the thickness of a beard but rather the sensitivity of individual hairs to DHT – the metabolite of testosterone.

(Video) 6 Surprising Tips To Grow THICKER Facial Hair | How To Grow Dense Facial Hair FASTER

As more and more DHT builds up in the body, it has a greater effect on the surrounding beard hairs and can cause them to grow thicker and darker over a long timescale.

As men get older, their testosterone levels may decline by about 1 -2 percent per year after age 30.

Although this slight reduction of testosterone doesn’t seem like much on the surface, what this means is that after ten years of a 1-2 % drop every twelve months, a man could find that hisproduction of testosteroneis down 20 percent.

Because there is a drop in testosterone after 30, there must be other things in play which we will look at below.

Full support from surrounding hairs

As the beard grows longer, weak areas are quickly covered up by the surrounding areas that can grow hair faster and thicker.

On average, the growth rate for human hair is about 1.25 centimetres or 0.5 inches per month, or about15 centimetres or 6 inches per year. The rate is about 0.35 millimetres daily – think of it like this, and you probably won’t get annoyed!

The actual “length” of your beard will also depend on if your hair is straight, wavy or curly, as the length will be as long as your beard falls from your face.

The average person can expect to grow anywhere between 12 and 36 inches before their hair stops growing and falls out.

Older men have had the time to grow enough hair to cover up gaps and patches. The extra time they have had to grow their beard could give the impression that their beard is thicker and fuller because you cannot see the patchiness underneath.

Looking after themselves better

Overall, older men typically have a much greater understanding of what makes them feel good and how they can best remain healthy. Being healthy is the bedrock on which a good thick beard is grown.

Environmental factors affecting testosterone levels

According to science and a paper published in 2021, there are plenty of environmental factors that affect testosterone levels this includes:

  • weight loss – fat cells synthesise an enzyme that converts testosterone into estradiol.
  • Vitamin D levels of greater than 400 to 1000 IU raised testosterone levels.
  • Zinc deficiency lowers testosterone levels, but supplementation does not affect serum testosterone.
  • Magnesium raises the free testosterone levels.
  • Ageing reduces testosterone release.
  • Sleep increases the nocturnal amount of testosterone levels.
  • Resistance training increases testosterone levels; however, in older men, that increase can be avoided by drinking protein.
  • Interestingly, liquorice can decrease the amount of testosterone.
  • Man-made or natural antiandrogens, including spearmint tea, can reduce testosterone levels.

Many more studies show you how external factors can influence your testosterone levels, and older gentlemen have typically been able to work out what works for them and their health via a process of trial and error.

Here are all of the reasons why older men have thicker beards.

Why do older men have thicker beards?

It is common to look at older men and see much thicker beards than yours. Is it because there is underlying testosterone or physiological reason? Or is it because they have worked out the tricks for making their beard app here thicker.


They know the tricks!

One of my arguments for why older men have thicker beards is that they have worked out all the tricks for making a thin beard look thick.

Look at my YouTube video where I share all of the tricks for thickening it up.

Knowing what to do with each beard problem comes with practice and trial and error.

Older men have had a much longer time understanding what works for their beards and, importantly, what doesn’t.

Common tricks include:

  • dying the beard – by changing the darkness of the beard, you can make it look thicker and fuller even with thin hair.
  • Trimming back to the point of maximum density – if you trim your beard back so that you can no longer see-through, it gives the impression of a much thicker beard. Sacrificing some length for thickness will help you have a much thicker looking beard.
  • They are choosing the correct style – older gentlemen who have had the option of choosing a style that works well for their particular growth pattern. One of the biggest mistakes early beard growers make is growing a beard that doesn’t match their strongest growth potential.

Style matches growth

An older beard grower will have understood exactly what works well for their beard style.

If you want to know more about what beard styles may work for your beard, check out my comprehensive review of beard styles. Click here to be taken to article.

This article contains a full list of foundational beard styles that you can change to make your unique style.

There are so many different beard styles available to you that I am certain there is one that you can choose to highlight the areas of your growth that are thick and full and minimises the impact of patches or areas where your beard doesn’t connect.

Older gentlemen have had the time and patience to understand exactly how their beard grows.

Optimised lifestyle

Like we talked about above, older gentlemen typically have worked out what makes them feel healthy and fit.

The same interventions to your life that make you feel fit and healthy will also benefit your beard greatly.

Having a healthy lifestyle which includes:

(Video) What I Wish I Knew Before Growing a Beard

  • healthy diet,
  • plenty of exercises,
  • plenty of sleep,
  • plenty of hydration

It will always make your beard look better.

Confirmation bias

One of the most overlooked aspects of why we think older men have a better-looking beard is due to a bias called confirmation bias.

Confirmation bias is when you conclude that older men have thicker beards, and then you see that evidence for that everywhere.

You may have experience confirmation bias once you buy a new car and then realise that your new car’s model is everywhere. In reality, it has always been there, but you are now tuned in to this new observation and notice these cars everywhere.

The same goes for beards.

Check out the YouTube video below that gives you a quick summary of confirmation bias and how it may affect the way you view older men with beards.

Better beards survive longer

Lastly, older men may look like they have better beards because of the simple fact that the people who could not grow a thick and full beard decided not to grow one and shave it off.

It makes sense to me that the best beards last longest.

Suppose you have two gentlemen, one with an awesome beard and one with an okay beard. The awesome beard is much more likely to get praise and external acknowledgement which means that it will survive much longer than a beard that does not have the same external validation.

The older gentlemen who have good-looking beards have been selected by society to keep their beards.

If you did not take this aspect into account, you might conclude that older men have thicker and better beards in general.

In reality, the people who do not have a thick and full beard have decided at a younger age to stay cleanly shaven because that is what society deems to be better for them.


This article has been through all the evidence and reasons behind why beards get thicker with age.

Even though there may be some individual physiological reasons for older men to have thicker beards sometimes, it may come down to their experience and ability to make a thin beard look thicker.

(Video) Why Some Men Can't Grow Beards

Older people have had a much longer time playing around with their beard and finding out what works for their beard growth and strengths.

Also, we cannot exclude the fact that some of this observation may be down to selection and confirmation bias. Beards that look better in the eyes of society will last much longer due to external validation towards the grower.


Why do beards get thicker with age? ›

Many men wonder if their beard will become thicker with age. The answer is yes, but not always. Genetics plays a role in the growth patterns of your hair, including facial hair. Other factors like diet, health conditions and disease may affect whether or not your beard becomes thicker as well.

At what age is beard thickest? ›

Genetics also affect where facial hair grows and when your beard reaches its full potential. “From ages 18 to 30, most beards continue to develop in thickness and coarseness,” he says.

Do beards fill in with age? ›

At what age does a beard grow fully? While your beard may begin to grow as soon as you hit puberty, you shouldn't expect it to grow fully until much later than that. Most men will have a full beard by their early 20s, but some may need to wait until they hit 30 to reach full beard growth.

What causes extra thick beard hairs? ›

That's because of the follicles from which it grows. Hair follicles on the face are larger and flatter than those on the scalp, which produces hair that's thick and wiry.

Does thicker beard mean more testosterone? ›

The results showed that beard length (directly measured and self-reported) was not related to testosterone levels or dominance; thus, no evidence was found to support the hypothesis that beards are honest (or dishonest) signals of the beard owners' testosterone levels and dominance.

What does a thick beard indicate? ›

Different men believe that a thicker and fuller beard symbolizes power. In other societies, great leaders are often identified by their beards. Facial hair is also associated with wealth and high status in society. Other studies indicate that men with beards often exhibit dominance over other groups of people.

Which race grows the thickest beards? ›

Caucasians and African Americans can usually grow thicker beards, while Asian men have a harder time developing a full beard.

What is the last age of beard growth? ›

Men often experience increased facial hair coverage until around age 30. If you're in your early 20s or teens, it's likely that your beard will continue to get thicker as you age.

Are thick beards more attractive? ›

A new study shows that facial hair says a lot about a man and that attractiveness peaks at the "heavy stubble" phase. Researchers photographed 10 men at four stages of beard growth: clean shaven, 5-day "light" stubble, 10-day "heavy" stubble (shown), and fully bearded.

What age does the average man get a beard? ›

It is typically a secondary sex characteristic of human males. Men typically start developing facial hair in the later stages of puberty or adolescence, around fifteen years of age, and most do not finish developing a full adult beard until around eighteen or later.

Will my beard get thicker after 30? ›

Will my beard get thicker after 30? While your beard may begin to grow as soon as you hit puberty, you shouldn't expect it to grow fully until much later than that. Most men will have a full beard by their early 20s, but some may need to wait until they hit 30 to reach full beard growth.

Do beards make you age slower? ›

Slows Ageing

By growing a beard, you can keep your skin looking younger and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Growing a beard can also prevent your skin from drying out. The skin produces natural oils that keep it soft and younger-looking, but it's all too easy to miss out on these benefits if you're clean shaven.

Do you get beard genes from mom or dad? ›

It's a fairly common misconception that a man's beard is inherited directly from his father. The truth is that beards are just like most other genetically derived features: they can come from either side of the family.

Why do two hairs grow out of the same pore? ›

Pili multigemini is a rare disorder where more than one hair exists in a single hair follicle. Papillar tips that divide into several tips will produce several hair shafts, so that characteristically do not fuse again. This disorder is relatively frequent on the beard of adult men and on the scalp of children.

Should I pluck thick beard hair? ›

Plucking or tweezing is not the preferred method of hair removal as recommended by dermatologists,” Dr. Lertzman said. “There are other techniques – both at-home and in a dermatologist's office – that are safe and effective when it comes to removing unwanted hair from the face.”

What are signs of good testosterone levels? ›

Increased muscle mass, high sex drive, and more strength. These are just some of the stereotypes associated with the primary male sex hormone testosterone and for most of it, they're not wrong.

What foods give you testosterone? ›

Low testosterone can often be helped with lifestyle changes, and medications if needed. Certain foods, like fish, leafy greens, eggs, or even cocoa products, may help increase testosterone to a healthy level.
  • Fatty fish. ...
  • Dark, leafy greens. ...
  • Cocoa products. ...
  • Avocados. ...
  • Eggs. ...
  • Berries, cherries, and pomegranates. ...
  • Shellfish.

How do you know if your testosterone level is high? ›

What are the signs of high testosterone in males? High testosterone levels can cause various symptoms including, body hair growth, mood disturbances, and acne. They can result from some medical conditions and the use of medications or anabolic steroids.

What do beards say about a man? ›

Beards are often said to increase the perception of aggressiveness in men. That is to say, men with beards are considered more aggressive, dominant, and generally given a more “manly” persona.

What is a Pogonophile? ›

Noun. pogonophile (plural pogonophiles) (uncommon) One who loves or studies beards.

What races do not grow facial hair? ›


Your originality can affect the growth pattern of your facial hair [1]. A study on The male beard hair and facial skin – challenges for shaving reveal that Chinese, Mexican, and Native American men tend to have less facial hair than Caucasian men [2].

What race is the least hairy? ›

Oriental peoples have the least amount of noticeable hair; Southern European and Mediterranean groups, the most. Black people have more hair than Orientals but less than Northern Europeans and Scandinavians. There are also sexual differences. Men tend to be hairier than women, and have the ability to grow a beard.

What religion allows you to grow a beard? ›

Some religions (such as some sects of Islam, and Sikhism) have considered a full beard to be essential and mandate it as part of their observance.

Should you brush your beard up or down? ›

Comb the beard up and out, starting from the bottom — Go from the neck to the chin, then the cheeks, to separate the hairs to make your beard look as full as possible. Slowly comb out snags — If you pull too hard, you can hurt yourself and rip out your hairs; always go slow and easy (like the Whitesnake song).

Why can't some men grow beards? ›

The most common reason some men can't grow a beard is genetic factors. Some men who have trouble growing beards have turned to beard implants. Although beard implants are now available, they're expensive and are a surgical procedure. So careful evaluation of the risks and benefits should be considered.

Who is a Neckbeard? ›

A pejorative term that entered the Oxford Online dictionary in 2014, neckbeard describes a physically unkempt man, so named because of his facial hair. Unlike the stylishly cultivated scruff worn by men at the vanguard of fashion, the neckbeard also has hair in places other than the face: notably his neck.

Do girls like beards or no beards? ›

In general they found women rated beards higher for attractiveness compared with clean-shaven faces, particularly when judging potential for long-term rather than short-term relationships. In general, the results showed a mixed link between attractiveness and beardiness.

What is the least attractive facial hair? ›

But they found men with light stubble to be the least attractive. There's a science to stubble growth, however. According to the study, women also found men with light stubble to be the least attractive. For the amount of heavy stubble women found most attractive, men grew their facial hair out for 10 days.

What kind of beard do ladies like? ›

According to one study, women favor heavy stubble. Particularly the growth that equates to about ten days of not shaving. Based on this research, women rated heavy stubble as being most desirable and most indicative of maturity, dominance, and aggression.

What is beard made of? ›

In human beard hair, there is an unprecedented accumulation of up to 24 individual keratins.

Can Asians grow beards? ›

Can an Asian grow a beard? Sure they can. The result may not be as fast and impressive as expected because Asian beards are a bit more challenging to grow than, say, Caucasian. However, you can still end up with a pretty decent Asian guy beard.

Why can't I grow a beard at 40? ›

Answer: Poor beard growth

Some men are just not genetically programmed to develop beard hair. It is difficult to see your beard area in the photograph submitted but perhaps you should just accept that this is your situation.

What age does facial hair peak? ›

Age, however, does affect beard growth in some cases. The “prime” time for facial hair growth is between the ages of 25 and 35, generally speaking.

What is a 5 o'clock shadow? ›

five o'clock shadow (plural five o'clock shadows) A beard growth visible late in the day on the face of a man with facial hair growth that was clean-shaven in the morning.

Why does my beard grow faster as I get older? ›

As we age, our bodies lose estrogen; testosterone, unopposed, causes us to grow more hair where men have it, on our faces (and to grow less on our heads).

What are the cons of growing a beard? ›

Here are some of the issues you might face if you have a beard.
  • Acne. Acne is one of the most common skin conditions, affecting around 50 million people in the United States. ...
  • Dandruff. Dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis) doesn't just affect your head hair. ...
  • Ingrown Hairs. ...
  • Skin Irritation. ...
  • Staph Infections. ...
  • Lice.
Aug 17, 2021

What are the benefits having a beard? ›

“Beards can protect your face against the elements, such as keeping your face warm from the wind and cold weather,” says Dr. Mona Mofid, a board-certified dermatologist affiliated with Sharp Grossmont Hospital. “Depending on the thickness, it can also shield your face from the sun's harmful UV rays.”

How a man can look 10 years younger? ›

Sleep and eat well.

Getting plenty of sleep prevents puffy eyes, dark circles, and sallow skin . Eating a balanced, whole-food diet will help you manage your weight and give you the energy you need to keep up with the younger guys (or leave them in the dust). And certain foods can give you a more youthful appearance.

Is beard growth genetic or testosterone? ›

The rate at which your beard will grow in, as well as its fullness, is largely determined by genetics. Testosterone and DHT also play important roles. Keeping yourself healthy through diet and exercise may help your beard be healthier, too.

What is the genetic reason for beards? ›

In a paper in Integrative Organismal Biology, Dr. Carrier and his team describe a study they conducted suggesting that beards may have evolved in humans to protect vulnerable bones during physical competition for mates.

Which parent do you get your hair traits from? ›

Both of your parents give you two pieces of genetic information, called alleles, that determine what your hair type will be. The two alleles from your biological father combine with two alleles from your biological mother, giving you four in all.

Should you pull out pili multigemini? ›

Plucking them out with tweezers is an inexpensive option, but because these hairs take up more space, some people may find them more painful to tweeze than ordinary hairs. There's no evidence that removing pili multigemini by plucking will cause the same kind of hair to regrow in that area.

How many hairs come out of each pore? ›

These groups of hairs are called “follicular units.” This might come as a surprise to those who assume that each hair follicle opening contains just a single hair. In fact, less than 20 % contain a single hair. Most follicular units contain 2 or 3 hairs; a small proportion contain 4-5 hairs.

What is an abnormally thick hair strand? ›

Coarse hair refers to a hair type that is thicker and wider in diameter than average. This hair type occurs in different ethnicities. A person can have coarse hair that is straight, wavy, curly, or coiled. Coarse hair is prone to dryness, brittleness, and breakage.

Does a thick beard mean high testosterone? ›

The results showed that beard length (directly measured and self-reported) was not related to testosterone levels or dominance; thus, no evidence was found to support the hypothesis that beards are honest (or dishonest) signals of the beard owners' testosterone levels and dominance.

Does lifting weights make your beard thicker? ›

Amping up your circulation helps stimulate hair growth, too. Resistance training, paired with a solid diet, also increases testosterone production. Increased testosterone levels are directly correlated with stronger facial hair growth, so that makes this a no-brainer!

Can beard get thicker after 25? ›

Most men will experience their biggest beard growth from around age 25 to 35, although it varies for each person. Testosterone, a hormone, propels beard growth more than any other factor.

Why is my beard filling in? ›

A: The 4 most common causes of patchy beards are age, genetics, alopecia areata (balding), and hormonal imbalances. Age and genetics are two of the most common that most people have little control over, however there are solutions you can try to promote patchy beard growth and grow a fuller beard.

Does facial hair get thicker with time? ›

No — shaving hair doesn't change its thickness, color or rate of growth. Shaving facial or body hair gives the hair a blunt tip. The tip might feel coarse or "stubbly" for a time as it grows out.

What affects beard thickness? ›

The rate at which your beard will grow in, as well as its fullness, is largely determined by genetics. Testosterone and DHT also play important roles. Keeping yourself healthy through diet and exercise may help your beard be healthier, too. Getting enough sleep and maintaining good hygiene may also help.

What races don't grow facial hair? ›


Your originality can affect the growth pattern of your facial hair [1]. A study on The male beard hair and facial skin – challenges for shaving reveal that Chinese, Mexican, and Native American men tend to have less facial hair than Caucasian men [2].

What age is too late to grow a beard? ›

What age is too late to grow a beard? “From ages 18 to 30, most beards continue to develop in thickness and coarseness,” he says. “So if you're 18 and wondering why you don't have a full beard yet, it just may not be time.”

Does a patchy beard mean low testosterone? ›

Contrary to popular belief, patchy beards are not usually the result of low testosterone levels. Rather, it mostly comes down to how sensitive your hair follicles are to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a male sex hormone produced by testosterone.

What is a soul patch? ›

A soul patch is defined as a tuft of hair that grows under the bottom lip. It's one of five distinct areas on a man's face where facial hair grows—the other four being the mustache, chin (goatee), cheeks, and neck—and may also be known as a flavor saver, flava sava, jazz dot, cookie duster, or mouche.

Does Trimming beard help it fill in? ›

The simple answer to this question is a very straightforward “no.” Shaving every day is not going to help your beard grow.

What ethnicity grows the best beard? ›


People from Mediterranean countries tend to be able to grow thick beards compared to people from other regions. According to a 2016 study , Chinese men generally have less facial hair growth than Caucasian men.

What race grows the most facial hair? ›

Unsurprisingly, Caucasians have the most facial hair. You may have expected that, considering that they have the most body hair overall. Black people also have a considerable amount of facial hair. These two races top the list of ethnicities that have the most facial hair.

Why is pubic hair so coarse? ›

Marc Glashofer, a dermatologist and fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, claims that the texture of pubic hair tends to be thicker and more coarse than hair on the rest of our body because of its origins as a buffer. “It prevents friction during intercourse that can cause skin abrasion and rashes,” he says.

What stimulates beard growth? ›

Testosterone and Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) are both culprits for regulating and stimulating facial hair growth. In most cases, higher Testosterone and DHT result in faster, thicker, and better beard growth. Having low levels of Testosterone can negatively affect your beard growth.


1. beard thickness is a real issue
(Black Men's Beard)
2. Men's Facial Hair Styles That Women LOVE & HATE | Girls React
(Courtney Ryan)
3. How to Grow a THICKER Beard - 15 EVIDENCE-BACKED Tips
(Mission Beard)
4. 10 nosleep horror stories to keep you up at night
(Uncanny Horror)
(Justin Schmidt)
6. How to Deal With a Patchy Beard
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Van Hayes

Last Updated: 07/18/2023

Views: 6073

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (46 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Van Hayes

Birthday: 1994-06-07

Address: 2004 Kling Rapid, New Destiny, MT 64658-2367

Phone: +512425013758

Job: National Farming Director

Hobby: Reading, Polo, Genealogy, amateur radio, Scouting, Stand-up comedy, Cryptography

Introduction: My name is Van Hayes, I am a thankful, friendly, smiling, calm, powerful, fine, enthusiastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.