It’s something that often crosses a bearded person’s mind – is beard hair the same as pubic hair? Sure, there are some similarities in terms of the texture and shape of the hair. It is wiry, a bit unruly, and it can get quite bushy if left unkept. But, if I was to take pubic hair and put it on my face would I end up with a beard? Would it look the same? Is it exactly the same sort of body hair? Well, in this article we are going to go over the similarities and differences between beard hair and pubic hair.
Beard hair is technically pubic hair since it appears after puberty. It also has very similar follicle composition to that found under the armpits and around the groin. This makes the hair very similar in terms of thickness and shape (curliness) in both areas.
I don’t want this article to focus solely on the technicalities of whether or not beards are the same as pubic hair. And by pubic hair we mean the hair that grows around your groin after going through puberty. However, to satisfy the people who want the technical answer, here it is.
If we were to get technical
Technically puberty is the time during which a person turns from childlike characteristics on their body to adult characteristics such as a beard, pubic hair, and changes in body shape. So, any hair that is on the body after the person goes through puberty that wasn’t there beforehand is technically pubic hair.
If we are going to only use the technical definition then yes, beard hair is pubic hair which makes it the same as the hair that grows around our genitals after puberty – that is also pubic hair.
Although, our exploration doesn’t stop at the technical definition. There are many other factors to consider if you want to classify beard hair as pubic hair.
The ways in which beard hairs are like pubic hair
When we think about beard hairs being like pubic hair we mean in terms of the way they look, feel, smell, and the other superficial properties.
Sexual maturation and pheromones
Pubic hair has evolved as a visual signalling of going through puberty and sexual maturation. There is also a theory that says that the hair acts as a sponge for human pheromones which could help attract a partner. There is no reason why beards are not providing the same signalling as pubic hair. What I mean by that is that they also are signalling to the outside world that you have been through puberty and they can also trap pheromones on your face. A scientist told the Huffington Post that there are glands on your face which release sebum (the natural oil produced by the skin) which carries pheromones. Sebum is much richer in pheromones than other excretions from your body and so your signature smell comes from your beard hair rather than your scalp hair.
The shape of the hair
The shape of the hair follicles on your beard and in your pubic region are very similar in shape. The shape of the hair follicle is one of the determinants in the shape of the hair that emerges. Straight hair, often found in Caucasian individuals, emerges from a hair follicle that is perpendicular to the surface of the skin.
Curly hair emerges from hair follicles that sit more parallel to the surface of the skin. If you want to know more about the types of beard hair and their textures check out my other article – why is beard hair so wiry [let’s look at the science] – click here.
The angle of the hair follicle relative to the surface of the skin also dictates the cross-sectional shape of the hair. Beard hair and pubic hair are more oval in shape than head hair. This is easy to see with a microscope and some samples of body hair.
In the above microscope image taken from a scientific paper you can see that the cross-section images of hair from the cheeks of two subjects vary wildly. Beard hair and pubic hair are very similar in terms of their shape but that is not the only physical attributes that they share.
The structure of the hair
As well as the shape of the hair, the internal structure of the hair is the same. All hair on your body has exactly the same make up. It consists of:
- the cuticle – this is the outermost part of a human hair. It is formed from dead skin cells which are overlapping in layers (some people talk about this in terms of roof tiles) this overlapping structure strengthen and protect the middle of the hair. See you want to keep this as safe as possible as it protects from environmental factors such as use the light and weathering.
- the cortex – this part of the hair is located in the middle of the hair and is the thickest layer. It also contains where the majority of the hair’s pigment is contained which is what causes the hair to have a certain colour. The pigment find in the cortex is called melanin. This is the same as the melanin that is found in your skin
- and the medulla – this is an almost invisible layer which is very soft and fragile and found at the centre of the hair. We are still not quite sure what the role of the medulla is. But may play a role in the production of grey hair. If you want to know if Gray beards are sexy check out my other article – click here.
These three layers are exactly the same in beard hair as pubic hair.
The feel and texture
Lastly, it would be wrong of me not to include the fact that pubic hair and beards feel the same. This is the result of all of the above similarities. Beard hair and pubic hair can be wiry, curly, look unkept, and bushy.
There is a big difference however between pubic hair and beard hair in the way that you can sculpt and manage your beard hair.
The things that are different between beard hair and pubic hair
There are a couple of important differences between beard hair and pubic hair. The first is that the terminal length is much longer in beard hair.
The terminal length
If you were to let both your pubic hair and your beard hair grow without cutting for many years your pubic hair, in the groin region of your body, will stop at a certain length. On the other side, your beard hair would continue to grow.
Pubic hair grows anywhere between half an inch and 1.5 inches. However there is an illustrated book published in 1983 which says that one person’s pubic hair dangled down to their knees and reached 28 inches long. But, we would have to say, that that is quite an anomaly in our experience.
The world’s longest beard belonged to Hans N. Langseth (Norway, b. 1846) and it measured 5.33 m (17 ft 6 in) at the time of his burial at Kensett, Iowa in 1927 after 15 years of residence in the United States. This is much longer than any pubic hair will grow.
Different areas of the body have different terminal lengths to which the hairs will grow. There is no defined terminal length for different parts of the body but rather once it reaches the end of its growth phase it will fall out. The average growth phase is between two and six years hello this is heavily influenced by your genetics, ethnicity, and type of hair that you have. The average person can expect to grow anywhere between 12 and 36 inches of beard hair before the hair stops growing and falls out. Pubic hair’s terminal length is much shorter than beard hair.
Another reason why beard hair is not like pubic hair is the amount of time it spends in the sun and other environmental conditions.
Unless you are a pretty dedicated nudist, your beard hair will spend much more time in the sun and out in the world that your pubic hair. This can do many things to your beard hair such as dry it out, cause damage to the protective cuticle layers, cause more dryness and breakages, and for your beard hair to look dull and lifeless.
Your pubic hair, in contrast, would end up looking better than your beard hair over the same amount of time because it is generally tucked away under layers of clothing.
Having hair that looks like use is not a desirable outcome of the majority of men. There are a few key things that you can do to make your beard look tamer and more manicured and less pubelike!
How to stop your beard looking like pubes
If you find that your beard is looking a little bit too much like your pubes, there are a few things that you can do to stop this unfortunate comparison. It all comes down to making your beard hair look as intentional as possible and less like it has been stuffed in underwear for the last couple of days.
Straighten the hair
One of the first things that you can do is use a beard straightener or hot hairdryer to straighten the beard hair more than it would naturally. Straightening the hair will also train your beard to grow down and less curly, so I recommend that you check out my YouTube channel and this video: how to train your beard to grow down, so that you can make your beard less curly and less pubelike.
Straightening the hair is something that you can do which is relatively inexpensive and easy and will definitely make your beard different to your pubic hair.
Line up the beard
Trimming your beard is one of the best ways to keep it in shape and sets it apart from a wiry bushy pubic region. There are a few options for trimming and lining up your beard but go check out my other article: best beard trimmer for detailing – the insider top five! – Click here.
Check out my YouTube video where I talk through all of the tips and tricks that I have learned about trimming up my beard:
There are some important areas of your beard that you need to trim up regularly those include:
- the neckline – make sure that this is not too high or too low but rather that your beard line is at the point where your head attaches to your neck.
- Sideburns – this is completely up to you I have a baldhead so I use a gradient to go from close shave to my beard but choose the best option for you.
- Sides and cheeks – look down the line of your beard and clean up any hairs that escape the bulk of your hair. Getting rid of those flyway hairs will be one of the first things that stops your beard looking pubic.
- moustache – cleaning up your top lip line will also stop it from looking incredibly pubic. This is completely up to you I have now grown a much longer must – to support the length of my beard length but choose one that suits your beard – if in doubt ask a professional.
Trim up these lines regularly and your beard will look less pubic – I guarantee it!
Use products to keep it conditioned
Using products to keep your beard looking less cubelike is one of the best things you can do. You can even touch up the product application throughout the day if it becomes dry. You have a choice of using:
- beard oil – beard oil is a fantastic product that every beard owner should have. It helps with styling, conditioning, and moisturising and nourishing your beard. It also contains essential oils which in the formulation could also have some other medicinal benefits – although this isn’t always scientifically proven.
- Beard balm – beard balm is fantastic as it does a range of things. It not only conditions and moisturise your beard, like beard oil, but it also has a wax in it which can provide some level of hold. This is fantastic for holding in those flyway hairs which will make your beard look more pubic like.
- Beard conditioner – because your beard is out and about it can quickly become dry. This will add to the dull nature and also make the beard harder to manage. Using a dedicated beard conditioner will mean that your beard will be easier to manage and look less like pubes.
Throughout your beard journey you should try a load of different products there are others to choose from for example beard butter. Never be afraid of trying a new product a lot of them are incredibly inexpensive and maybe the thing that your beard is crying out for.
Lastly, you can regularly comb your beard hair to make it look less like pubes. You should invest in a natural hair brush or a good wooden comb and brush regularly. This will help tuck in those escaped hairs and help line up the edges of your beard better.
If you want recommendations for the comb is that I use check out my recommended tools page – click here.
Here are some other frequently asked questions about beards and pubic hair.
Frequently asked questions
Why do my pubes grow faster than my beard?
Hair on the body grows at different rates depending on where it is situated. It could be that your cubes are growing faster than your beard because that is determined by your genetics. Also, it may be that your beard is suffering more hair fall. If you think your beard is slowing down in its growth check out my other article – facial hair growing slower than usual? – Click here. And this article is summarised in a YouTube video on my YouTube channel, below:
The rates of each person’s hair growth on different parts of their body are different and it is very hard to change the rates of hair growth without any medical interventions.
Can you use pubic hair for beard transplant?
Beard transplants have gained more and more traction over the years and there are more men opting for this type of cosmetic surgery. In a beard transplant they typically remove hairs from a discrete part of the head and transfer it into your face. The issue with using this approach is that the hair follicle also gets transplanted with the hair which means that you are likely going to end up with head hair type of hair on your face. If there are any issues with the head hair pubic hair may actually be used for transplantation. It is not common but it is possible.
A beard transplant could cost you around US$8000 in the USA and the UK but there are some other countries such as Turkey and Poland where you can find at a fraction of that price. The most important thing is that you choose your hospital annual surgeon wisely because it is quite an invasive procedure that you wouldn’t want to get wrong.
So, there is everything you need to know about pubic hair and its comparison to beards. Strictly speaking pubic hair is the same as beard hair but there are some important differences in terms of its terminal length. You can make your beard less cubelike by following the suggestions above such as using products, trimming up the lines of the beard, combing regularly, and straightening your hair.
Happy beard growing!