asian business man with a full beard

Be in the beard business for a while, and you notice a worrying trend; a lack of Asian men with full beards. I mean truly, that’s a rare sight to see.

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Why is it that seems so many men from China, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, and the surrounding Asian countries seem to have weaker growth of facial hair than the average Caucasian men?

Can Asians grow beards or not?

Yes, you most likely can.

Even though the common Eastern Asian genetics tend to come with weaker beard growth than that of Caucasian average genetics, there are still some tricks that even Asian guys can utilize to grow full beards naturally.

In this article, we will be covering three of the most underground Asian beard secrets, proven by science.

Why Can’t Asian Men Grow Beard that Well?

asian man with patchy mustache and facial hair on chinBeard and mustache growth is largely dependent on your testosterone and DHT levels.

However, it’s not the end-all-be-all explanation of why some men have beards and others do not.

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Many Asian males voice their concerns in online forums and Reddit about how they feel less masculine for not being able to grow beards.

This tends to be especially true among those who move to European countries or the US, where large portion of the male population has some facial hair.

So if facial hair growth depends largely on testosterone & DHT, and Asian men commonly have a harder time growing full beards, does it mean that they’re less manly or have less testosterone in their bodies?

Nope.

According to global research, the difference between the total testosterone levels and free testosterone levels between Asian and Caucasian men is not that big that it would explain the lack of facial hair in Asian men. In fact, some studies have found higher levels of testosterone in Asian males1.

What is different then?

  • Asian men tend to have significantly lower levels of 5 alpha-reductase enzyme2, which converts testosterone into a much more androgenic form, more commonly known for its effect in stimulating the growth of body and facial hair; DHT.
  • Asian males seem to have more copies of the human androgen receptors in their bodies (and face for that matter)3, and more copies mean less sensitivity in them. So what is an androgen receptor you ask? Well, imagine the hormone being a key, the androgen receptor would be the lock that opens the door.

Bottom line being that Asian men have less 5-a enzyme which causes lower levels of the powerful beard boosting hormone; DHT. While also having less sensitive androgen receptors in the face, making it harder for the beard growing hormones to actually have any effect in the beard follicle cells.

How Asian Men Can Stimulate Beard Growth

asian man with a full beardIf you’re Asian and just read the above paragraph, you must of think there’s nothing that can be done, right?

Wrong. There’s A LOT that can be done to trick your genetics and force new beard growth to occur, despite lower DHT, and despite having less-sensitive androgen receptors.

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In fact, I’m going to give you three extremely effective methods to turn your chin, upper lip, and cheeks from the velvety smooth hairless skin, into what can be a full-beard within the next 12-months.

This is not a joke nor a marketing trick, and I’m not talking about expensive beard transplants either.

What I’m about to show you has mounting piles of anecdotal before and after results, with scientific evidence to back them up as well.

3 Ways Asian Men Can Grow More Beard

1. Minoxidil (Rogaine or Kirkland 5%)

minoxidil package and structure illustration

Minoxidil is nothing short of a miracle drug for men with weak facial hair growth.

It was originally invented as an ulcer medication, after which the researchers quickly saw that it had some blood flow-improving effects.

After this, it was further studied and re-branded as a drug to help lower blood pressure.

Sadly, it had one mighty powerful side-effect: Significant increase in the growth of body and facial hair.

After some of the researchers noticed the powerful hair growth stimulating effects of minoxidil, they formulated it into a topical liquid to be used on scalp-hair of balding men which was branded as “Rogaine“.

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After hundreds of studies, minoxidil is commonly accepted as being one of the most reliable and effective methods to stimulate new hair growth and prevent hair loss.

And then the inevitable thing happened. Men started wondering; “Could I buy minoxidil and apply some to my face to grow a beard?”.

Fast forward some years and there are thousands of men who have used minoxidil on their beards and credit their magical beard gains to the daily use of the drug.

asian man three panel before and after results after minoxidil use
Here is just one of the many Asian guys who tested out minoxidil. The results are so insane that many guys questioned if it was even the same person! A quick look at the nose and ear structure, however, can easily tell you that it is, in fact, the same guy, just some months apart.

Sometime after Minoxidil got so popular in “underground beard circles” researchers from Thailand decided to test it in a clinical environment4.

Results? 

graphs from minoxidil beard study

NOTE: If you’re looking to use minoxidil to grow your beard, I suggest you familiarize yourself with our minoxidil beard FAQ to learn about the best routine and products to use.

2. Use a Beard Roller

Minoxidil has by far been the most impressive beard growth accelerator we have learned about in the last ten or so years, but micro-needling is definitely a close second.

So what you need is a device called the Derma Roller or Beard Roller, it’s a small handle with a wheel that contains hundreds of tiny needles.

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Different rollers have different needle sizes, but for beard and hair growth stimulating purposes a range of 0,25-0,75mm is commonly used.

I personally use and recommend this 0,75mm roller with titanium needles, it has proved quite effective over the earlier 0,25mm one I had.

But how exactly does micro-needling help Asian men to grow their beards faster, better, and stronger?

Well, to explain it quickly; a Derma Roller will puncture tiny micro-tears into the skin surface. These are harmless and don’t cause any pain, but it’s enough to trick the body into sending fresh nutrient and hormone-rich blood into the location that you just rolled.

On top of this, micro-needling will activate certain stem-cell growth factors and ramp up the natural collagen production of the skin.

All of these factors eventually combine into one powerful effect; ability to grow a thicker beard.

There’s a scientific study about this, albeit it was done on scalp-hair, not facial hair (results should still be similar on the face).

The results were nothing short of impressive:

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microneedling hair growth study results

So let’s say you’re an Asian guy with weak beard growth, and you are looking to start Derma Rolling alongside with minoxidil to boost facial hair gains…

What would the routine look like?

  • First get 5% minoxidil, either Rogaine or Kirkland.
  • Then get yourself a Derma Roller, I recommend 0,25mm needles to start with.
  • Apply the minoxidil on your beard area 2x per day at the recommended 1-2ml dose.
  • One or two days of the week, roll through your face with a Derma Roller.
  • Make sure to keep 24-hours off time from minoxidil after Micro-needling.

Following that routine for some months (I think the average from weak growth to full beard is around 9 months) will result in staggering results.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re white, black, Hispanic, or Asian, your rate of beard growth will skyrocket following that routine, and new hairs will appear on your cheeks on a daily basis.

3. Mucuna Pruriens

mucuna pruriensMucuna Pruriens (velvet bean) is a herb commonly used in the Indian herbal medicine; Ayurveda.

Its main use is to increase testosterone levels, prevent infertility, and boost sexual potency in men.

And the active ingredient is L-Dopa, a compound that acts as a precursor to the neurochemical dopamine.

So far, studies have found mucuna to:

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  • increase sperm volume and quality in infertile men
  • reduce oxidative damage and the stress hormone cortisol
  • boost dopamine production and libido

That’s all good stuff, but how can it boost the beard growth rate of Asian men?

Well, remember in the beginning the part about Asian males having more androgen receptor copies, causing significantly lower sensitivity of the receptors towards hormones?

Mucuna Pruriens has been found twice to activate androgen receptors. The active ingredient; L-Dopa, seems to act as a co-activator protein to the receptor sites5,6.

For a good quality mucuna supplement, I’d recommend this one.

Try These Asian Guy Beard Styles

1. The Short Boxed Beard

Asian man smiling with a boxed beard
The short boxed beard is a great look for almost full (but patchy on the cheeks) beard for Asian guys.

2. The Van Dyke

Steven Yeun in magazine cover with thin facial hair
Fans of the Walking Dead will recognize the Asian Van Dyke style beard of Steven Yeun (Glenn). Without minoxidil and mucuna supplementation, this will sadly be the only style many Asian guys can pull off.

3. Balbo

Asian male with grey shirt and thin balbo style beard
“The Balbo” is a longer version of the goatee. It works quite well for many Asian guys since their growth in the cheek area tends to be more sparse than in the chin and mustache area.

Conclusion

So why can’t Asian men grow beards that well?

  • They tend to have lower DHT levels
  • Combined with less sensitive androgen receptors of the face

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References
1.
Ewing J, Rouse B. Hirsutism, race and testosterone levels: comparison of East Asians and Euroamericans. Hum Biol. 1978;50(2):209-215.
2.
Wu A, Whittemore A, Kolonel L, et al. Serum androgens and sex hormone-binding globulins in relation to lifestyle factors in older African-American, white, and Asian men in the United States and Canada. 1995;4(7):735-741.
3.
Bennett C, Price D, Kim S, et al. Racial variation in CAG repeat lengths within the androgen receptor gene. J Clin Oncol. 2002;20(17):3599-3604.
4.
Ingprasert S, Tanglertsampan C, Tangphianphan N, Reanmanee C. Efficacy and safety of minoxidil 3% lotion for beard enhancement: A randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled study. J Dermatol. 2016;43(8):968-969.
5.
Margiotti K, Wafa L, Cheng H, Novelli G, Nelson C, Rennie P. Androgen-regulated genes differentially modulated by the androgen receptor coactivator L-dopa decarboxylase. 2007;6:38.
6.
Wafa L, Palmer J, Fazli L, et al. Comprehensive expression analysis of L-dopa decarboxylase. Hum Pathol. 2007;38(1):161-170.
Ali is a published author and a beard grooming expert from Finland. To this date, his articles have been read more than 15-million times on various sites, and he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and grow thicker. His work has been featured and cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.

8 COMMENTS

  1. brother
    I do not know how to increase the 5-alpha reductase
    Or in the midsection of the body facial chest
    I want to increase my hair by DHT binding by increasing 5 alpha-reductase
    Please let me know, Brother.
    Eating?
    Applying?
    What is needed?

  2. You should specify East Asians because half of all the South Asian guys I knew growing up could grow a full-on beard in middle school

  3. I don’t grow beards and I’ve used some products but nothing has changed. But when I heard about these two solutions I tried them and wow I’m rocking my beards. I recommend mucuna pruriens and minoxidil to grow your beards.

  4. LOL. I actually wondered what an ingredient used for preventing infertility and boosting sexual potency in men can actually work as beard growth medicine but now I think I know better. Totally cool.

  5. Velvet bean is sure a herb commonly used in the Indian herbal medicine; and from the contents and benefits I believe it would definitely work well to give one a good beard growth. I have beards though but I have seen how people use it and it’s been effective.

  6. Mucuna Prurient has been trending around my area and I see a lot of people grabbing it like it’s a big deal. I hope it would really work out because I want to get it too. I really would be glad to come back to share a testimonial or something.

  7. I think the lesson learned here is that you can fool Mother Nature. There are ways to get around genetics. An Asian man might not be able to grow a big bushy beard, but he has other options. Personally, I like some of these beard styles and I’m going to see if I might be able to rock one.

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