on not having beard genes

A while ago, I received a terrific essay from a site visitor. It was titled Ode to Not Having The Whisker Gene. The piece conveys a sense of some of the anxiety and disappointment experienced by so many. Yet the author has the right attitude. The best that anyone can do is to accept themselves, make the most of what they’ve got, and be happy with that. The author gave permission to share his essay on this site. This is what he wrote:

Ode to Not Having The Whisker Gene

At age 14 I noticed some fuzz on my lip. I was ecstatic!! I immediately told my dad who promptly bought me my own razor and shave cream!

I shaved each day for nearly a month, then at the urging from dad I stopped for a few days to await the results. I was devastated. I was disappointed. I was hairless.

Dad said, “Just wait, give it time.”

I put away the razor.

At age 15 I noticed more hair on “other” parts of my body and tried the shaving thing again… nothing! I was so despondent… some of my junior high pals were showing signs of wispy mustaches and shadows on the chin. “What about me?” I asked.

I put away the razor.

For my 18th birthday I was determined to have some whiskers. I shaved every day for a month prior to my birthday, then stopped a week before that fateful morning…. there was something there! an ever so light dusting of the faintest of dark hairs filling the space between my lips and nose. Rapture! I was so excited! It was working! I was growing my much sought after mustache! I was now a man!

Much to my dismay, it didn’t get much darker or heavier as the days progressed. …sigh…

I then looked at my dad and older brothers and realized they didn’t have much brush growing on their faces either. Was it a family curse? What was up?!?

After high school, I enlisted in the Air Force. I had to shave EVERY day, whether I needed it or not! Well, at least I felt like the other guys, of course my shaving took all of 10 minutes while some of the Neanderthals in my flight took half-an-hour or more to scrape the pelts off their faces.

When I got a point in my military career where I didn’t have to shave everyday… guess what!?!?! I had a mustache! A real, honest-to-goodness, respectable, noticeable-from-a-distance, mustache. I didn’t even realize it until I went home and my sister said, “Hey, nice mustache!”

Alas, I have never been able to grow much more than that. At 30 I finally accepted the fact that I would never grow a beard or even a goatee, oh well… I’m still a man and I feel good about it.

Now at 47, I have no problem with my masculinity and don’t fret about trying to prove my manliness by growing a beard. In fact, I shaved my mustache and got incredible compliments! I was told I look younger and more handsome (they said!).

Still, it would be nice to watch the transformation of my face, from smooth to hirsute, but I don’t lose any sleep over it.

41 thoughts on “on not having beard genes”

  1. I disagree. If people simply settled for what they already had, they wouldn’t strive to achieve what they want.

  2. How does one “strive” to grow a beard. That’s like “striving” to grow taller. It’s not something a person can “will” into being. Believe it or not, there are a lot of “bad beards” out there. Thankfully, most men realize the difference between a good beard and a bad one. Unfortunately, some never admit it.

  3. Richard is right, especially about the bad beards out there. I see innumerable examples on TV, these days; the guys who look like they didn’t shave for a few days. Steve calls it a “stubble beard.” While I acknowledge that may be the best these guys can hope for, it still causes me to feel like asking, “hey, guy, when are you going to finish growing that?”

  4. iam 19 years old.but still i haven’t got mustach and beard on my face.my sister,my friends,my family members make fun of me saying that i look like an school boy.i had a habit of using creams to my face.iam afraid that my facial look may affect my future.is there any solution to it?

  5. Hi, Ranjit,

    At nineteen, just be patient. That’s still young and you may develop more facial hair as you get older. Don’t let the teasing bother you. It’s not something to be ashamed of. Just be happy as you are and maybe in the future you’ll be able to grow more of a beard and mustache.

  6. My father grew a mustache, and i think he may have been able to grow a beard – i say ‘think’ because i only met him for 2 weeks when i was 16, boohoo. My brother and i are not very hairy at all, both blonde. However, i have some growth on my face – no sideburns, just chin and top lip. I am giving it a few weeks – growth so far ain’t too bad but the problem is that being blonde/light brown makes half my attempt at ‘beardism’ seem unoticeable and the other half is coming out red?!? anyway, it seems to be coming along, i don’t think it will suit me but i want to just try to conquer it. (just in case you are wondering – it takes me about a week for the old 5’o’clock shadow… hoohaa – i am gonna keep going 🙂

  7. u say 19 is still young, and that i might grow facial hair as i grow older
    but i see most of my friends of 17&18 growing hairs.the other thing is
    that my religion demands having it.is there any medicine that can activate my hormones or genes that are required for growing hair on my face.

  8. Ranjit,

    For medical treatment options, you’ll need to consult with a medical doctor. Otherwise, just be patient and see what develops as you get older.

  9. i first grew a beard when i was 25 – had it for a little over a month. it was ok, but it was thin in some areas, and very thin in the middle of moustache…i shaved it. after that, i often would go for a week between shaves, but made no real attempt at a beard again.

    i grew a goatee on a whim when i got divorced at age 37, and it was a LOT thicker. it seemed pretty full in a little over a week. big difference.

  10. iam trying to be patient,and wait what happens next.i just want to know is this problem of not having mustach and beard common in the modern day life.why does this problem really occur.in our country
    (india) all most all have very good beard and mustach.my father(40) and my elder brother(20) have nice and thick beard.iam the only one not having beard in my family.i said u earlier that i had a habit of using creams to my face when my age was in between 17 and 18.did this take an effect.

  11. I’m 24 years old & still not having beard & mustache. Please tell me what should i do? I’ve counsult with doctor & took 6 months course of Sustanan.

  12. The author of “The Beard Gene” said he had very little until he went into the Air Force. That sounds like my story.

    In High School, I had sideburns and a light mustache. Verry little stubble on my chin. After graduation, at the age of 19, I enlisted in the Air Force. The “TI” told me I needed to shave (second time in one day). So, I started carrying my razor with me and would “dry shave” a couple times a day after the morning shave.

    I have been told that frequent shaving does not stimulate growth but after I started dry shaving my beard took off and I now have a thick full beard and mustache.

    I plan to go to Alaska in 2009 to the International Beard and Mustache Growers Association. They have a lot of awsome full beards there.

  13. Hi ,
    I am indian.25 yrs of old.Still now I didn’t had mustache and beard properly mustache looks very thin take 2-3 mnths to grow and beard are to be same only at the chin level.
    giv me suggestion to grow the mustahe and beard because all my frns and family makin fun out of which make me very inferior.so plz give a suggestion or treatment

  14. Hi,
    We can’t give medical advice here. If you are sufficiently concerned about your lack of beard development, consult a medical doctor. Good luck to you.

  15. I’m almost 18 years old and i can grow a descent beard, and i’m loving it!


    to all you people saying you dont grow much facial hair. There’s nothing anybody can do for you. And for those in which its traditional or religious, tell your family to lay off. I know some people who would kill to not have to shave often ( it breaks my heart …), and then there’s the ones that have had a beard since sixteen. Its genetic and there’s nothing you can do, at least until they find a way to genetically engineer us while we are alive.

    regardless, thats what the author of the article is trying to say; just be happy with what you got, because if not, you’ll end up hating yourself/ be really uinhappy, which is bad karma……

  16. Don’t panic guys – and accept what you have. I was a late developer and didn’t really start shaving till I was in my 20s. Since then I have mostly worn a full beard. Now in my fifties I am starting to sprout hair on parts of my body that were smooth before – so this is an ongoing process.

  17. i am 28 years old.i have mustach and beard ,but it is improper and looks like 14 years old boy on my face.even i shave it ,it comes like that.my friends,others make fun of me saying that i look like an school boy.iam afraid that my facial look may affect my future.i am requesting you that please suggest me what to do and is there any solution to it?

  18. For those impatient for a beard, wait, it’ll happen. If it dont, just tell everyone you shave every morning! and then thank yer Gods you dont have to!
    I was a slow grower of facial fluff, but feckme, at the age of 42 I wish I never grew the stuff….I have a beard now, cos I’m too feckin lazy to shave it off.

  19. Yes, many will never be able to grow beards but more importantly, most people will not get a full lush beard until the age of 25-30. This is the age when man is at his prime. Wonder why you can’t grow a beard at age 18? You’re not a fully grown man yet.

    I suggest start lifting weights. Lifting weights and exercising will increase testoserone and theirfore increase characteristics of a man (smell, bodily hair, and physique)

  20. I’m 25 and only now am I able to grow a substantial amount of hair on my face that it could be considered a beard. I stressed for a long time about growing a beard because I’m an outdoorsman and really just want one. I found through the years that slowly but surely, it is becoming thicker and filling in spots that it ad not before. Even now , there are spots hat could use more, but I’m sure that in the coming years it will fill it, just as it did from the time I was 18 until now. While most people on this site will deny that there are is any beard growing help out there, I did research and have found two things that (I have noticed at least) do indeed help, and would recommend.
    1.) Biotin – It’s a pill that can be purchased at any health/wellness store and is used for healthy hair and nail growth. It doesn’t help with overall thickness, but does make hair and nails grow faster.
    2.) eucalyptus oil – it stimulates hair growth. drop a bunch in your hand and mix with a basic face cream/moisturizer and rub all over your face.

  21. Josh, thanks for sharing your information. This site, however, cannot support using any kind of substance to promote beard development. For those who wish to pursue that path, we urge them to consult with a medical doctor.

  22. Absolutely and my apologies… I just wanted to share some things that have worked for me.

  23. I don’t know anything about biotin, but, one must be careful with ANY “health” products not prescribed by a doctor.

    In my case it was a “health” food supliment to speed up my metabolism. I decided to read the instructions after I started feeling funny. It warned: Do not take if you take blood pressure med’s. In short: I almost killed myself.

  24. Endocrinologist are the people who deals with harmonical imbalance i suggest to most of the guys who are struggling for good sexy beard for the face charm i suggest you guys to see professional endocrinologist everything is possoble in this world as i waited for almost 28 years so it was alright till now but i need it to cover my wrinkles in future so i am looking for endocrinologist good luck guys dont be down and just feel the right time coming to you greets parry bal.

  25. i am 25.m still not having beard however have moustache.what should i do for that???so that i get good beard.

  26. When I was just out of school, I tried desparately to grow a moustache. My first attempts were pathetic, and I used to darken the fine fluff on my upper lip with a pencil.
    It was very discouraging.
    But when I was around 18, I went camping with a couple of friends and we had a bet on growing a beard, I succeeded and kept mine.
    Shaved it off when I did my national service in the army, but grew it again when I left. And I have had a full beard ever since.
    I am now 72, still with a fine beard.
    Don’t give up, for most men, it will eventually grow.

  27. hi, i am 26. i heaving very light moustache and beard. what should i do for this.

  28. Speaking as a 17 year old awaiting more then a wispy mustache, this is one of the saddest stories I’ve ever read.

  29. For me it was very gradual. At 24, I was mister stubble, but my ‘stache was separate from the rest. My first real attempt at 26 was a bit patchy. At 32 it was getting there, not too bad.. At 35, finally it was full. It’s not super thick but all the bald spots are gone and the growth is even. Three years later, loving it. I wish you could waive a magic wand at 16 or 18 and poof it goes from peach fuzz to full and thick. For many of us, that isn’t the case. I thought it would never grow in nice, I just had to wait until my 30s for it to be good. Just hang in there and hopefully at some point you will have a nice beard.

  30. People ,i think many of you are fascinated with this site and probably are looking at the photos and feel inspiration, i know it. There are a lot of types ,colors and shapes but this is in the genes of everyone.
    Patience,please, the beard eventually will grow., I got full beard at 33-35 years old aproximately,

  31. My age is 24,i had moustache but i didn’t get the beard.i don’t no wt to do. I shaved so many times.but still the result is nill.can any one help me with this.

  32. 24, have a really patchy stubble like beard… looks like that of a teenager really. I don’t shave that often, a few times a week… unless I’m going to work. But when I do shave though, I just do it really fast, and never really shave the areas where I don’t have any facial hair. I’m beginning to wonder if this has something to do with it.

  33. I dont get you guys….why do you think people shave? because beard and moustache is often UGLY makes you look older…having no moustache and no beard is a BLESSING…you dont have to spend so much time shaving and you save alot of money also…im 25 I just got a few hairs on my chin and I got no moustache just very very little you cant see it at all u have to look very closely the hairs are barely dark and very thin I couldnt be happier…I dont want it to grow thicker I dont want to waste my time shaving everyday its like brushing your teeth and we all know how boring it is to brush your teeth…anyway since changing my diet my moustache is growing better..

  34. I’m only 15 and I have a decent notice-able stubble and moustache growing. I have to shave every 2 days because beards are not allowed at school.

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