Greetings my fellow Distinguished Beards-men! I've sat in on several lectures about today's topic while on my journey and I felt it was necessary to share. For those new to this blog, the crux of what we discuss here regards beard care, growth, and everything in between that impacts our beards. As mentioned before the primary causes of beard growth all harken back to genetics and hormones. Today, let's discuss the primary hormones responsible for beard growth and other purposes they serve in the body. SO, without further ado; LETS DIG IN!

Testosterone please report to the stage!

Testosterone

Normally when we think about testosterone we think: a young Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator, an A-type personality, a male that chews nuts and bolts, bench-presses car engines, or a very deep voice. I'm here to tell you that’s the farthest from the truth. By definition, testosterone is a hormone found in humans, higher levels in males, responsible for several of the changes our bodies experience during puberty. Females also produce testosterone however in smaller amounts.

Fun Fact: Testosterone actually plays more vital roles in our bodies than we imagine. Testosterone facilitates:

  • Development of male genitals 
  • Facial hair growth
  • Sized Muscles
  • Bone structure/strength
  • Sperm Production
  • Sex Drive

And just scratching the surface. Conversely testosterone is also a key component to men diagnosed with prostate cancer! But remember, even the ladies in our lives produce testosterone so we are not exclusive guys! 

Back to us men; there are cases where too much testosterone may be produced in our bodies. It's awkward; one would think a lot of testosterone is a good thing, biologically it isn't. Studies have shown too much of this hormone can be detrimental. Too much testosterone may result in:

  • Liver disease
  • Headaches 
  • Heart muscle damage
  • Insomnia 
  • Stunted growth in young adults 

So it's safe to say this hormone is pretty powerful. Likewise, having low amounts of testosterone in our systems as males is also detrimental. Low testosterone may result in 

  • Hot flashes
  • Loss of body hair
  • Low libido
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Increased breast size 

Obviously, there is more to testosterone that one can imagine. As a hormone, testosterone impacts our overall chemistry, not just beard growth. As a rule, it's best to have your levels verified. Personally I have physicals every six months to verify my body is functionally ok. Some people may elect to have yearly physicals. That is perfectly fine also. What's not ok is neglecting to get checked out! Remember our health is our wealth!   

Dihydrotestosterone

Next there's Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Cousin to Testosterone, DHT is a hormone that stimulates development of male properties (facial hair, deeper voice,). DHT is an androgen and is produced in the body through a conversion of its cousin testosterone, also an androgen. Approximately 10% of testosterone produced each day is converted into DHT by different organs in the body (both men and women). 

Too much DHT in the body yields variable results between men and women. It is improbable that too much DHT will reflect recognizable changes in men, however women are a different story. Too much DHT in women may be a sign of hirsutism, amenorrhea or increased acne. There are also case studies that have shown abnormal changes to the genitalia of women when DHT levels are too high.

Too little DHT in the body also yields variable results. Unlike the scenario where too much results in changes largely among women, this scenario impacts men most. Too little DHT in a woman yields fewer effects if any. Studies have shown that extreme low levels in DHT in a woman's body may delay puberty slightly in addition to minimal amounts of pubic hair. Men, this is not the case. 

When DHT levels are low in men, there can be dramatic effects. If too little DHT is present when a male is a fetus, they may not be "masculinized" and their genitalia can appear similar to what is seen in girls at the same age. During puberty, the male may undergo small changes however development of normal body hair and genital will be stunted.

Androgen Receptors 

First there was testosterone, next DHT. Both hormones are androgens. However, DHT produces more potency as an androgen hormone than testosterone alone. There are androgen receptors in the body (both females and males). Androgen receptors are responsible for binding both testosterone and DHT. Testosterone interacts directly with androgen receptors, DHT interacts with androgen receptors causing a potent receptor activation once converted from testosterone. Without androgen receptors, reaction between testosterone and DHT will not commence.

Beard growth is directly proportional to genetics and hormone balance. Hormones in our bodies stimulate so many changes in males and females. These changes define characteristics of sexuality, and when a hormonal imbalance occurs, that is a sign that the body is changing (eight good or bad). 

Intentionally, I wanted to pan away from primarily focusing on beard growth in males. Of all our blogs; we believe, once an understanding of hormones and their reactions for each sex is met, inevitably, supplemental blogs make better sense. For this reason, as distinguished beards-men always note; self-care is everything! To grow a healthy beard, have a strong back, strong heart, and strong bones we must always consider what our genetics/hormones are coded for in our bodies and do everything possible to preserve ourselves as we age! As always, good luck on your journey.... and....

This is one Distinguished Beards-man signing off!


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