One of the most popular beard styles is rocking a full-grown beard or a stubble with a bald head. Of course, you can achieve a bald head by shaving, but hey, some men just grow bald especially with age.
I was wondering whether just the same way the scalp loses hair can beard too go bald. I did some research to find out and would like to share the results with you.
So, can beards go bald? The simple answer is no beards cannot go bald unless you suffer from alopecia barbae, a condition where your immune system attacks your hair follicles. Androgenic alopecia is balding caused by dihydrotestosterone, a hormone that promotes beard growth. That why most though not all bald men mostly have a beard.
Mostly, the highest number of men who go bald happen to have a beard. Is this a coincidence? This is not to say that you have to have a beard for you to go bald.
What is balding?
Balding is also known as hair loss or alopecia and refers to the loss of hair, either in the head or other parts of the body. There are several forms of balding such as:
Alopecia areata which describes sudden hair loss, which begins with circular bald patches which overlap with time.
This form of baldness is caused by stress, stress makes your hair fall. However, the good news is this form of baldness is reversible.
This form of baldness takes place during the anagen growth phase of the hair.
Why can’t men go bald in the beard yet they bald in the head
Male pattern baldness is medically known as androgenic alopecia, due to the fact that it usually a result of hormones.
Generally, baldness in the heard is a result of two factors, genetically induced and testosterone levels.
Both beard and hair on the scalp undergo three phases of growth, namely, anagen this is known as the growth phase since it is at this stage that hair is actively growing.
The second phase is catagen at this phase, the growth of hair stops. Lastly, the telogen at this phase hair has already grown and is beginning to fall.
baldness in men is caused by dihydrotestosterone (DHT), synthesized from testosterone.
Now, here is where it gets a bit confusing, DHT promotes beard growth, the more DHT a man has the more beard they will grow.
On the other hand, DHT makes the hair follicles in the scalp shrink throughout the three phases of growth. As a result, hair stops growing in the scalp due to the shrinking hair follicles.
Here is how the whole process takes place: in the hair follicles both in the head and facial hair, there are receptors known as androgen receptors.
These receptors are the ones that bind with DHT and either affect hair growth or hair loss. On binding, the androgen receptors are activated leading to shrinkage of hair follicles.
The potency of DHT is higher as compared to testosterone, DHT can bind to the androgen receptors twice as fast as testosterone.
Our genes control the number of androgen receptors present in our bodies. AR gene is responsible for making androgen receptors. Study shows that the frequency of the AR gene is directly proportional to the degree of baldness.
The same study revealed that men who are prone to balding have a high amount of this gene in their bodies as compared to men who are not prone to balding.
How does having more AR genes affect beard growth?
Well as mentioned above testosterone is responsible for influencing beard growth.
Based on research, and for reasons which are not yet clear, the androgen receptors located in the facial hair react differently with DHT.
Instead of causing hair loss, they cause facial hair growth. This reason explains why as men age they grow a fuller and thicker beard as the opposite happens in their scalps.
Are there benefits of going bald while you grow a beard?
Studies suggest that women find bald men with a beard more attractive as compared with their beardless counterparts.
According to the same study, baldness is interpreted to mean that a man is socially mature and bears some form of dominance.
Beard is also associated with masculinity and wisdom. As a man ages they grow more beard, and with age comes more experience to life and therefore you become considered wise. Testosterone levels and the sensibility of the androgen receptors affect beard growth and development.
Therefore, instinctively men who have beards are considered strong and hence their offspring are considered to be strong. Evolutionary survival instincts why women are attracted to men with beards.
So in case, you are going bald, and you are afraid that you will not appear attractive to your girlfriend. Relax and let your testosterone do the work and help you grow a beard.
You might find that women find you more attractive than before, and even make men who might have laughed and joked at your balding head feel threatened.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the chances that when you grow a beard you will go bald? The more likely a man can grow a beard the more likely he will go bald.
Is there a correlation between beard and hair loss? Yes, based on the above discussion and studies carried out independently, the androgen receptors receptive to DHT in the scalp lead to hair loss and surprisingly promote beard growth.
Does growing bead increase hair loss? Growing a beard will not necessarily increase hair loss? Hair loss caused by DHT only takes place if your androgenic receptors in the scalp are sensitive to DHT.