There has been a lot of debate concerning which season the beard grows the fastest. I decided to do some research to put this matter to rest with scientific backing. Here is what I learned.
So, when do the beards grow faster, summer or winter? Based on this study, the growth of a beard is faster in the summer as compared to winter. During summer people are most active hence the production of beard growth hormones increases. Additionally, due to summer sun the levels of vitamin D are high. Vitamin D has been associated with increasing the sensitivity of beard genes (androgen receptors). High testosterone levels with increased androgen receptors sensitivity and blood circulation equal faster beard growth in summer.
Related: How to stimulate beard growth
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Reasons Why Beards Grow Faster in Summer
Fast and foremost, I should clear the air by explaining what controls the growth of the beard.
The growth of the beard is controlled by two main factors – genes and androgens (testosterone and DHT). DHT is a result of an enzyme known as 5-alpha reductase enzyme. This enzyme converts testosterone into DHT (source).
Here is how it works: Testosterone primes facial hair follicles while DHT promotes the linear growth of the beard (source). This means that if your levels of these hormones are low, you will not be able to grow a beard or your beard may grow patchy. Secondly, genes are the next main factor that affects beard growth.
For your facial hair follicles to be activated to produce your beard, the two hormones have to bind into the follicles. The binding sites are known as androgen receptors. If your androgen receptors are not sensitive enough to the two androgens gin you might not be able to grow a beard or your beard may grow in patchy.
Below are reasons why some men experience increased beard growth in the summer as compared to other months.
Increased Testosterone in the Body
Now that we have already established that testosterone plays a very important role in the growth of your beard, what has summer got to do with this hormone?
During summer, most people are much more active. As a result, most men engage in a lot of exercises either voluntary or involuntary. Exercise has been proven through research to help boost the levels of testosterone in the body.
Most men have the same levels of testosterone in the body but it tends to decrease as we age. Incase your beard growth was held by low levels of this androgen boosting it will result into increased beard growth.
Increased Natural Vitamin D Intake
Vitamin D is one of the vitamins that also plays a role in the growth of the beard behind the scenes. While you can buy vitamin D supplements from the store as an over-the-counter prescription, you can also get natural vitamin D from the sun exposure.
So, how does vitamin D affect beard growth? you may ask. Well, vitamin D has also been proven to help boost the levels of the beard growth hormone testosterone through research.
As we stated earlier, increased levels of testosterone with enough concentration of the enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT will result in increased beard growth. This is good news in case the levels of the androgens were holding you back.
Increased Sensitivity of the Androgen Receptors During Summer
What are androgen receptors you may ask? Well, if you have read this far, in the beginning, you must have come across two facts that state that, beard growth is affected by two factors genes and androgens.
Well, the androgen receptors are the binding sites of the androgens to stimulate beard growth. You see, having lots of androgens in the body with androgen receptors that are not sensitive to these androgens will not help you grow a beard. Your androgen receptors need to be sensitive enough to the androgens for you to grow a beard.
So, what has summer got to do with androgen receptors? Well, increased natural sun exposure comes with increased vitamin D concentration in the body. Given that vitamin D is fat-soluble, in excess, it is not excreted from the body but stored in the body.
Vitamin D has been proven through research to help increase the sensitivity of the androgen receptors. Researchers hypothesize that since vitamin D has its own receptors that are normally in close proximity to the androgen receptors, its deficiency is the reason for decreased sensitivity of androgen receptors to androgens.
Therefore, boosting vitamin D can potentially boost the sensitivity of the androgen receptors. Hence, lead to increased beard growth during summer. As we stated earlier, during summer people are more likely to involve in activities and exercise as compared to winter.
Just like vitamin D, some exercises have been proven to help boost the sensitivity of the androgen receptors. Therefore, with increased vitamin D uptake and increased rates of exercise, you can see why your androgen receptors will be highly sensitive to the androgens hence promoting the growth of your beard in summer than in winter.
Other techniques to use to boost the levels of the sensitivity of your androgen receptors are intermittent fasting and taking L-carnitine supplements.
Improved Blood Circulation
Having enough androgens and sensitive androgen receptors will do you no good if the androgens cannot reach the sites where your androgen receptors are located. This is where the importance of improved blood circulation comes into place.
Increased rate of exercise both indoors and outdoor increases the rate of blood circulation in the body. This means that the androgens are able to reach androgen receptors and all the nutrients needed for beard growth reach facial hair follicles.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does sunlight help beard growth? Sunlight can potentially affect beard growth though not with a noticeable margin. Sunlight promotes the absorption of vitamin D which has been proven to help increase the sensitivity of androgen receptors that facilitate beard growth.
Does weather affect beard growth? Beards have been proven to grow faster in summer as compared to winter, So yes weather does affect beard growth.
As we have already established the growth of facial hair is faster during the winter months and it is at its peak in July. This can be attributed to high levels of testosterone in the body due to increased levels of both vitamin D and exercise. Additionally, increased vitamin D intake and increased exercise helps in boosting the levels of androgen receptor sensitivity. Blood circulation is also more during the summer as compared to winter hence ensuring that your active facial hair follicles are receiving enough nutrients.