The question I see a lot on the internet goes something like this: “Does testosterone increase facial hair growth?”
The answer is; yes, yes, and most certainly yes. Testosterone and its even more potent metabolite, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), are the two main male hormones that trigger and stimulate facial hair follicles to actually grow thick terminal hair, aka. beard.
Here’s how facial hair growth really takes place…
How Testosterone and DHT Stimulate Beard Growth
Some men are naturally gifted at growing very thick beards, while other men struggle to add even few hairs to their chin.
This is often explained by “genetics”, without further discussing the reasons.
Well here are the reasons:
- You are genetically prone to producing higher amounts of testosterone and DHT, and your body (receptor sites) is more responsive towards these hormones and can utilize them well. This is when you will be “genetically” able to grow a thick beard.
- You are genetically prone to producing low amounts of testosterone and DHT, and your body has hard time utilizing the hormones in the receptor sites. This makes you “genetically” unable to grow a beard.
You see, beard growth is actually triggered by testosterone and DHT. Take this study for example, which says:
“T and DHT may have independent roles in the control of male facial hair growth, i.e. T for hair follicle priming and DHT for promotion of linear growth.”
Ever wondered why women to male transgender people can grow beard? Simple, they are put on testosterone injections and gels. Which lifts their blood levels to the same as a non-transgender male with normal to high testosterone levels would have.
So if you’re wondering if testosterone pills or testosterone injections would grow you a beard, the answer is yes. It should help since it’s the hormone that triggers (along with its metabolite, DHT) facial hair growth in the first place.
Can you Increase Testosterone Levels Naturally?
You most certainly can, and should.
The side-effect of exogenous testosterone injections or gels or pills, is that it shuts down your own natural production, and makes you dependent of the use of synthetic testosterone (this is why shrinking testicles are a side-effect of steroids).
When you naturally optimize your testosterone levels, you will be optimizing the levels of the brain hormones (GnRH and LH) that trigger your body to produce testosterone naturally in the testicles…
…This way your body will not shut down its own production (obviously), and the higher hormone levels produced by your own body will still increase your facial hair growth rate.
- Sleep 7-10 hours per night, most of testosterone is produced during REM-sleep, and studies show how men sleeping for 4-hours have 50% less T than men sleeping for 8-hours. Research is clear on this, more sleep = more testosterone.
- Eat enough food. Low-calorie diets have a nasty-side effect of slowing down the reproductive system, and with this your testosterone production will also suffer. Consider eating close to maintenance calories or slight surplus.
- Resistance training has been proven in many studies to stimulate testosterone production, as well as increase the activity of androgen receptors in uptaking the hormones (none of those sissy workouts, use heavy weight and big movements).
- Consume about 20% of your calories from protein (high protein diets lower T), 30% from saturated and monounsaturated fats (those increase T, but polyunsaturated kind lowers it), and the remaining 50% from carbs (preferably fruit and potatoes).
- Aside from having a diet rich in vitamins and minerals, also consider supplementing with a high-quality multivitamin to maximize your body’s natural production of testosterone.
- Consider few herbs and amino acids that are proven to increase testosterone levels by peer-reviewed studies (ashwagandha, phosphatidylserine, forskolin, mucuna pruriens, carnitine) and forget the one’s proven ineffective (tribulus, maca, etc).
Testosterone and its metabolite; DHT are the main hormones behind facial hair growth…
…And naturally or synthetically increasing the blood levels will guarantee better and faster and thicker beard growth.