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The Link Between Testosterone and Beard Growth

by Andrea Polk |

Lots of men struggle with growing beards and become frustrated with patchy growth that never moves past heavy stubble.  In most cases, the lack of growth is linked to testosterone levels. 

Specifically, testosterone contains a steroid called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT.  DHT can have an adverse effect on head hair because it builds up in the hair follicles over time and leads to baldness.  But it doesn’t have this effect on beard hair.  This is why you may see a bald man with a full, bushy beard.

Testosterone is considered one of the androgens, a group of hormones often associated with men (though women have some androgen hormones at considerably lower levels).  These hormones play a huge role in the development of facial and body hair, and they start working as early as puberty.

The stages of growth

When androgens spark hair growth, it happens in three stages: the anagen, catagen, and telogen phases.  All of the growth happens in the anagen phase, then slows down during the catagen phase, and falls out or dies during the telogen phase.

In order to grow a full, healthy beard, your testosterone levels need to be high during the anagen phase.  The more DHT that is produced at this time, the more your beard will grow.

Increasing testosterone

It’s impossible to time your testosterone production with the anagen phase of your beard growth.  But you can make lifestyle adjustments to increase your testosterone levels in general.  These adjustments include consuming a balanced diet that includes lean proteins, vitamins, minerals, and adequate calories, as well as resistance training, interval sprinting, and at least 7 hours of sleep per night.  You should also moisturize your facial hair with beard oil to encourage healthy growth.

The better you treat your body, the more likely you are to increase your testosterone levels.


Beard growth and testosterone are directly correlated, and once you understand this, you can make changes to grow a better beard.