Impossible to Grow a Movember Beard? You Could Have Alopecia Barbae

Alopecia Barbae and facial har

Movember is upon us and with that a lot of unshaven beards and mustaches. November is the month that represents the fight against diseases that primarily affect men, prostate cancer in particular. To show solidarity with this cause, thousands of men drop their buzzer and let beards grow freely for the month. But this is easier said than done for some. Not all men can easily grow facial hair, and though it can have genetic reasons, there could also be an underlying medical reason.

Genetic Reasons Why Facial Hair Will Not Grow

The main reason why some men cannot grow a full-length beard is that they are less sensitive to the male hormone testosterone. Testosterone synthesizes into another hormone called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. DHT decides how much facial hair you grow. If you are more sensitive to these hormones you will grow more facial hair and vice versa. If this is the case, there is nothing you can do about it. However, there is also a possibility that you are suffering from a medical condition called Alopecia Barbae.

Movember Could Help Reveal Whether You Suffer From Alopecia

You will not know whether you are capable of growing a full beard until you try. So Movember could be the perfect opportunity to find out whether you may suffer from a particular type of hair loss. Alopecia barbae only affects facial hair, not the hair on the head.

The most common type of hair loss, androgenetic alopecia, affects most men and women as we age. For men, it is most common that it begins with a receding frontal hairline. In women, the hair normally thins out gradually and begins on the crown of the head. There is also a form of hair loss called alopecia areata, which is considered an autoimmune disease. If you suffer from this, your immune system attacks your hair follicles and they stop producing hair.

Alopecia barbae is more specific embodiment of the general condition, alopecia areata. Both are caused by an autoimmune disease, but alopecia barbae is the diagnosis when the facial hair is affected. It usually starts with a small bald patch in your beard, but can quickly become several bald patches. Many men ignore it at first, not paying much attention to a small bald spot. But identifying it early on can make it easier to find a solution.

What to do About it

Unfortunately there is no good cure for this type of hair loss as it is the body’s own immune system attacking the follicles. Some have seen results with steroid injections or tacrolimus cream.

When it comes to natural treatments, there is little science to back up their efficacy. Pure aloe vera and a combination of essential oils of thyme, lavender, rosemary and cedar wood applied on the effected spots, are said to have produced positive results in some men. Aloe vera is a well known anti-oxidant, that can help remove toxic elements from the skin.

Alopecia Barbae
Alopecia barbae only affects facial hair, not the hair on the head. So, movember could help reveal whether you suffer from it.

You can also check for other symptoms, like hair loss on the scalp, fatigue, changes in your weight, or trouble sleeping. This could mean you have a thyroid disorder, which is treatable.

Make sure you get a nutritious diet and all the essential vitamins you need to grow healthy hair. You can get these essential nutrients for healthy hair growth by adding a natural vitamin supplement. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is very important for all your hair growth. On top of a balanced diet, make sure you exercise, get enough sleep and drink enough water. And remember, you can still support Movember and the fight against prostate cancer, even if you do not grow a beard!

Movember and Hair Growth – This Could be Why Your Beard is Not Growing

Movember is the month when men stop shaving to show their support for the fight against prostate cancer – but growing a beard can be hard. Not everyone is genetically able to grow facial hair. Many are the men who claim that this leads to beard envy, something that makes the dark month of November even tougher to deal with than it already is.

What is Movember?

The Movember movement was launched by two buddies in Australia in 2003. Their purpose was to bring the mustache back into fashion. A year later, they decided to take it to the next level and register a foundation to raise money to fight prostate cancer. 480 people donated to the cause. Today, in 2017, 20 countries are participating in Movember. It is ranked as number 49 out of the top 500 non-governmental organizations around the world.

Why Growing a Beard is Harder For Some

Those who cannot grow facial hair easily may feel left out among all their hairy friends during Movember. Growing a beard is supposedly a sign of being masculine and strong, and society has us believe that men “should” be able to do it. But do not despair! You can be just as manly without a beard, and there are many ways you can show your support for cancer patients that does not require facial hair.

The most common reason why some men have a hard time growing a beard is genetic. It is the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is synthesized from testosterone, that is responsible for growing facial hair. Those who are sensitive to testosterone will grow more facial hair, while those who are less sensitive to testosterone will have less facial hair. On the other hand – if you belong to the first group who has an easier time growing a beard, you’re ironically much more likely to go bald on the head. That is because DHT is the hormone that is responsible for shrinking the hair follicles on our head, something that slowly kills the hair production.

It is well known in beard circles that Asian men have a particularly hard time growing a beard. According to a small survey by the website Beardbrand, 56% of the Asian men that participated in the survey had tried to grow a beard but were not able. 

Back in the 1960’s, scientists tried to remedy the problem by applying testosterone in a cream directly to the scalp of balding men. The study was supposed to go on for ten months, but most subjects dropped out of the study before the end. No results could be confirmed.

How to grow a beard
If you are sensitive to testosterone, you will grow more facial hair. But if you are less sensitive to testosterone, less facial hair.

How to Get That Beard Going the Natural Way

If you want to grow a beard but it seems impossible, there are natural ways to put your facial hair on the right track. There are many medications that claim to increase hair and beard growth.

Look at your general lifestyle and review whether you get enough exercise, sleep, water and nutrients. All of these factors will affect how your hair grows and what kind of beard you could possibly get.

There could also be a medical reason behind your issue. If your levels of testosterone are abnormally low, a doctor can prescribe hormones. Another reason for your loss of facial hair could be a medical condition called alopecia barbae, which starts with a small bald batch in your beard.

One final piece of advice comes from the captain of Beard Team USA, Phil Olsen, who travels the world to take part in international beard and mustache competitions. He has a foot long beard and emphasizes the importance of eating a lot of proteins. He also thinks beer plays a part.
“All I can say is I’ve been to many beard competitions, both in the U.S. and Europe, and there’s a very high correlation between beard growing and beer drinking,” he says in a recent interview.