The answer to whether it is possible to enhance beard growth appears
to be a definite "maybe." I've gathered some info for you; some of it
essentially says there's not much you can do, and other sources
indicate that there are at least two pharmaceutical solutions that
might work for you. Please keep in mind that Google Answers is not an
authoritative source of medical advice, and the material below is for
informational purposes only.
Here are some questions and answers about beard growth:
"What can I do to make my beard grow thicker?
Basically, there is nothing that you can do to increase your beard
development. Genetics and hormones are the major determinants of an
individual's beard development. Unless you suffer from a hormonal
imbalance, generally there is no medical treatment available to
increase beard growth. If you have any doubts or concerns, you should
consult a physician and possibly even an endocrinologist and
Adolescent and young adult males can reasonably expect that the
development of their facial hair will increase over time. Genetics and
hormones, however, remain the controlling factors. The timetable
varies widely among individuals. Some may develop fully-mature beard
growth in the teen years, while others may not do so until their late
twenties. Still others may never develop appreciable beard growth.
Will shaving make my beard grow back thicker?
In an article titled 'On beards, no beards, and other hairy problems'
in the April 1972 issue of Science Digest, Dr. Herbert Mescon, then
professor and chairman of the department of dermatology at Boston
University was quoted as saying: 'There are a number of myths about
shaving. It is not true that shaving makes whiskers darker or coarser
or grow faster.'
In the October 1963 issue of Science Digest, an article titled 'What
happens when you shave' included the following:
Does shaving make your hair grow faster?
Shaving has no permanent effect on the rate of hair growth, says Dr.
Howard T. Behrman. Writing in the Journal of the American Medical
Association, Dr. Behrman notes that although there is an immediate
increase in the rate of hair growth after shaving, this increase is
followed by a decrease within the next few hours. The net effect of a
shave on the rate of growth, therefore, is zero.
Dr. Behrman also says cutting or shaving the hair does not make it
darker or coarser. However, a hair shaft is darker and coarser at the
root than at the tip, and cutting it near the root makes the hair
appear darker and coarser."
All About Beards FAQ
MY HAIRLESS FACE IS HOLDING ME BACK WHAT CAN I DO, WHAT CAN I
I have a problem. I am a twenty-one-year-old male with the face of a
fifteen-year-old. What I mean is that I am unable to grow facial hair.
I was late starting puberty and it has left me underdeveloped. My baby
face is affecting people's trust in me, especially at my job. I am
constantly referred to as the kid and I feel that I am never really
taken seriously. I am wondering if there are any types of drugs that
can possibly aid in my facial hair growth problem and, if there are,
what are the side effects? Please help me. I am sick of being a man
trapped behind a child's face. Thank you in advance.
-Smooth in Seattle
Dear Smooth in Seattle,
Don't trash the shaving cream just yet - it's possible that you'll be
able to sign off, 'Scruffy in Seattle,' in the not-too-distant future.
In the meantime, maybe there are some things you can do to lessen your
First, a little physiology: some adolescents experience delayed
puberty; that is, they reach the end of the age range in which puberty
typically begins (about ages 7 - 13 for girls and 9 - 15 for boys)
without having any of the physical changes that typically come at this
time. In most cases, these teens take a little longer to mature (what
people often call "late bloomers") and will catch up later. Most of
delayed puberty is just a case of each body having its own sense of
timing. However, medical issues can delay puberty, including:
chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, cystic fibrosis, asthma
malnourishment or eating disorders
thyroid or pituitary gland or disorders
chromosomal disorders, such as Klinefelter's Syndrome or Turner
The development and amount of facial hair is partly determined by
genetics, endocrinology, and ethnicity - some folks have heavy beards,
others have sparse ones; there are guys who start shaving in middle
school, while others are razor-free into their thirties. Time may
thicken the fuzz Mother Nature put on your peach, but there's little
you can do to speed the process.
If you experienced some physical changes during puberty (e.g., a
growth spurt, development of body and pubic hair, genital enlargement,
deepening voice, etc.), it's unlikely that your lack of facial hair is
caused by an underlying medical condition. If you explain your
concerns to your health care provider, s/he will be able to rule out
health problems that could be responsible."
Go Ask Alice
There is some evidence that minoxidil (which is sold under the trade
names Rogaine, Regaine, and Apogaine), applied to the face, might
"Although the product has not yet been approved for facial use,
patients who have accidentally dripped it on to their faces have found
that it did indeed result in increased facial hair growth."
Anonymous Answers to Life's Embarrassing Questions
"The 'Rogaine Revolution' in the late 80's started with balding men -
tens of thousands of them, scattered all over the country - hearing
about how the blood-pressure medication LONITEN (generic name,
minoxidil) had been found by physicians to be linked with thicker
beard growth and increased body hair when taken by patients
A non-prescription version of Minoxidil is now available in the United
The prescription drug finasteride (sold under the trade name Propecia)
might also be helpful:
"Q. Will taking finasteride have any effect on the hair on other parts
of my body?
A. Theoretically, it can. Hair on the top of the scalp is genetically
encoded so that it is negatively affected by dihydrotestosterone
(DHT). Ironically, mustache and beard growth are promoted by DHT.
Elsewhere on the body (chest, underarms, pubis, etc.), the hair is
affected by testosterone. Taking finasteride can elevate the levels of
testosterone in the body by 10 to 20%. There have been rare reports of
increased body hair (reflex. hyperandrogenicity)."
I have one more suggestion, but I have not found anything on the
Internet to back it up. My younger brother had a patchy,
scraggly-looking beard when he was in his early twenties, until he
began to use oil of bayberry to groom his beard. He diluted it with a
bit of sesame oil, then massaged it into his face every night before
going to bed, and again in the morning. Something about the bayberry
oil must have worked wonders, because in about six months his beard
became remarkably thick and dense. As I said, I can't prove this, but
it certainly seemed to work for my brother.
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I hope this helps. If anything I've said is unclear, please request
clarification; I'll gladly offer further assistance before you rate my