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Does Facial Hair Grow Faster Than Head Hair?

A person's head with a magnifying glass hovering over it

The debate about whether facial hair grows faster than head hair is one that has intrigued many people for ages. While some believe that facial hair grows faster than head hair, others argue that it is merely a myth. In this article, we will take a closer look at the science behind hair growth and explore the different factors that affect the growth of both facial hair and head hair to determine if there is any truth to this popular claim.

Understanding the Growth of Hair

Before we can delve into the question at hand, it is essential to have a basic understanding of how hair grows. Hair growth is a complex process that is regulated by a variety of factors, including genetics, hormones, and lifestyle choices. The average person has between 100,000 to 150,000 hair follicles on their scalp, where each hair strand grows from a follicle that is implanted in the dermis or the second layer of the skin.

However, it is not just the scalp where hair growth occurs. Hair can grow on any part of the body that has hair follicles. The density and thickness of hair on different parts of the body can vary significantly, with hair on the head being the thickest and most abundant.

The Hair Growth Cycle

The hair growth cycle consists of three distinct phases: the anagen, catagen, and telogen phases. The anagen phase is the active phase of hair growth, where the hair strand grows from the follicle. This phase can last anywhere from two to six years, depending on various factors like age, genetics, and overall health. During this phase, the hair follicle is nourished by blood vessels, which provide the nutrients and oxygen necessary for hair growth.

The catagen phase is the transitional phase, where the hair follicle shrinks, and the hair strand begins to detach from the follicle. This phase lasts for about two weeks and signals the end of the active growth phase. During this phase, the hair follicle detaches from the blood supply, and the hair strand stops growing.

Finally, the telogen phase is the resting phase, where the hair strand falls out, and the cycle starts again. This phase lasts for about three months, and during this time, the hair follicle remains dormant until the next anagen phase begins. It is during this phase that new hair strands begin to grow, and the cycle starts anew.

Factors Affecting Hair Growth

Several factors can affect hair growth, including genetics, age, hormonal imbalances, medication, stress, and nutritional deficiencies. Genetics play a significant role in determining hair growth patterns, with some individuals having a predisposition to hair loss or slower hair growth. Age is another factor that can affect hair growth, with hair growth rates slowing down as we age.

Hormonal imbalances, such as those caused by conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), can also affect hair growth. Medications like chemotherapy drugs, which target rapidly dividing cells in the body, can also affect hair growth, causing hair loss or thinning. Stress is another factor that can affect hair growth, with chronic stress leading to hair loss or slower hair growth rates.

Nutritional deficiencies, particularly deficiencies in vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc, and biotin, can also affect hair growth. These nutrients play a crucial role in maintaining healthy hair follicles and promoting hair growth.

In conclusion, understanding the factors that affect hair growth is essential for maintaining healthy hair. By taking care of our bodies and addressing any underlying health conditions, we can promote healthy hair growth and maintain a full head of luscious locks.

Comparing Facial Hair and Head Hair

When it comes to comparing facial hair and head hair, the answer is not as straightforward as some might think. While both types of hairs are made up of the same protein, called keratin, they grow differently and at different rates.

Growth Rate Differences

On average, facial hair does tend to grow faster than head hair. Testosterone, a hormone primarily found in males, stimulates the hair follicles in the face and neck region, leading to faster hair growth. Facial hair can grow up to four times faster than head hair, with the average growth rate being around 0.3 to 0.4mm per day. In contrast, the average growth rate of head hair is around 0.3mm per day.

Hair Texture and Thickness

The texture and thickness of facial hair and head hair are also different. Facial hair is coarser and thicker than head hair, which is generally more fine and silky. This difference in texture can make it seem like facial hair is growing faster or at a different rate than head hair.

Hormonal Influences on Hair Growth

As we mentioned earlier, hormones play a significant role in hair growth. Androgens, a group of male hormones that includes testosterone, are responsible for the growth of facial hair. In contrast, the growth of head hair is more controlled by the female hormone, estrogen. However, it is important to note that women also produce androgens, albeit in lower levels than men, which is why some women can develop facial hair.

Factors Affecting Facial Hair Growth

Several factors can affect facial hair growth, including genetics, ethnicity, age, and lifestyle choices.

Genetics and Ethnicity

Genetics play a significant role in determining facial hair growth patterns. Some people are genetically predisposed to grow thicker and fuller facial hair, while others may struggle to grow hair in certain areas. Ethnicity also plays a role, with people of Asian descent typically having less facial hair than people of Middle Eastern or European descent.

Age and Facial Hair Growth

The age at which facial hair begins to grow can vary widely, with some men starting to grow facial hair as early as 14 or 15 years old, while others may not see significant growth until their mid-twenties. As men age, their facial hair growth may slow down or become patchy due to hormonal changes in the body.

Nutrition and Lifestyle Choices

Nutrition and lifestyle choices can also have an impact on facial hair growth. A healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals can promote healthy hair growth, while smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can hinder it. Stress can also affect hair growth, so managing stress levels is essential.

Factors Affecting Head Hair Growth

Head hair growth is also influenced by several factors, including scalp health, hair care practices, and medical conditions.

Scalp Health and Hair Growth

A healthy scalp is crucial for optimal hair growth. Scalp conditions like dandruff and psoriasis can hinder hair growth, as can poor circulation to the scalp. Proper hair care practices like regular washing, conditioning, and massaging can help maintain a healthy scalp and promote hair growth.

Hair Care Practices

Hairstyling practices like heat styling and chemical treatments can damage hair follicles, leading to breakage and slower hair growth. It is important to use gentle hair care practices and avoid over-styling to promote healthy hair growth.

Medical Conditions and Hair Loss

Medical conditions like alopecia and thyroid disorders can cause hair loss and slow down hair growth. If you are experiencing hair loss or any other scalp-related issues, it is essential to seek medical attention to determine the underlying cause and receive proper treatment.


So, does facial hair grow faster than head hair? The answer, as we have seen, is not a simple one. While facial hair does tend to grow faster than head hair, the growth rate can vary widely depending on various factors like genetics, ethnicity, and lifestyle choices. As for head hair, several factors can affect growth, including scalp health, hair care practices, and medical conditions. Ultimately, whether you have facial hair or head hair, taking care of your hair and scalp is essential for maintaining healthy hair growth.


Caffeinated Beard Enthusiast, Family Man & Dog Lover. Hailing from the picturesque landscapes of Salt Lake City, Utah, Todd Harris is a devoted husband, loving father, and proud dog owner with a passion for all things coffee and facial hair. His dynamic personality and unmistakable love for life are evident in each of his engaging blog posts.