There are three different types of hair in humans:

  • Terminal hair
  • Lanugo hair
  • Vellus hair

The beard hair is one of the terminal hairs, i.e. those hairs that are more pigmented, longer and thicker than the rest of the body hair.

Structure of terminal hair

All terminal hairs have the same structure and consist of three layers:

  • The Hair pulp lies in the middle of the Hair shaft and represents about a third of the diameter of the hair. Here are mainly Fats and Degradation products from cells.
  • This is followed by the outwardly Hair bark to who the Main component of the hair shaft form. The bark is made up of a multitude of fibers keratin (a structural protein). This gives the terminal hair its high elasticity and tear resistance.
  • The one on the outside Cuticle. This serves to protect the hair cortex by completely covering it with cells stacked on top of each other like roof tiles.

Beard growth

Beard hairs are not present from birth, but only develop during puberty under the Influence of hormones. Because their growth is due to the male sex hormone testosterone stimulated, only men have a beard.
Only in a few cases does women develop a beard, which is often called a "Lady's beard" referred to, especially in the phase of menopauseso after the last one Menstrual period the woman has taken place and her hormonal balance changes.
Even in men, however, there is a wide range of variation in terms of the location and degree of beard hair. Beard hairs in the area of ​​the cheeks, mouth, chin and upper neck are characteristic.

Usually, men aged 14 to 19 have a beard that begins to grow. For most of them, the first beard hairs are visible above the upper lip, where it is initially still soft and only becomes the typical, firm beard hair over time. However, it often takes a few years from this point until a full beard forms. How strong the beard growth is, on the one hand how large and evenly it spreads over the face and on the other hand how fast the hair grows varies greatly from person to person and depends on both genetic predisposition and the testosterone level in the blood.

Removal of beard hair

A common misconception is that whiskers would grow faster once you shaved them. This impression is probably due to the fact that the stubble that is left after the shave is quite hard and wide. While for some men it is enough to shave once a week to prevent a visible beard, others may even have to remove their beard hair several times a day to avoid having visible hair on their face. Most of the whiskers are removed with the help of a Razor knife, plane or shavette. You can read more about this topic under Removal of the ingrown whiskers.

How much of the existing beard is taken away and how much remains is subject to this personal ideal of beauty. Some prefer to have the whiskers removed completely in order to have a bare face. Others leave some selected parts of the hair or even the entire beard. Still others only trim their whiskers along their length.
Which forms of beard hair are preferred depends primarily on the current fashion and religious affiliation. While older men nowadays tend to up Mustaches or Full beards many younger men tend to prefer it Goatees or Three-day beards. A few decades ago, wearing was special Sideburn beards, Whiskers or Gag beards in fashion.

History / religion

Both Ancient Egyptians was wearing one among the pharaohs Ceremonial beard common, which was a symbol of power. This beard was, however, artificial, the natural hair was removed.
Even with the Ancient Greeks for a long time it was rather a Signs of power or wisdom If you had a beard, it was only shaved in special cases, for example as a punishment or as an expression of grief. Later, however, people switched to shaving off beards, at least up to a certain point, as this proved to be advantageous in combat.

Believe based on certain passages in the Old Testament orthodox jews that men are the Do not trim whiskers should, which is why they often wear long beards and sidelocks.
With some fundamentalist groups of Islam Based on the traditions of certain prophets, there is a view that Mustaches shortened be and the The length of the beard below the chin is a fist's length should be.
In Christianity, on the other hand, there is no clear, generally recognized rule on beard dress.