General Question

thankgodforbeef's avatar

Why can't women grow beards?

Asked by thankgodforbeef (373 points ) April 15th, 2008

Does god want my face to be cold?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

24 Answers

iwamoto's avatar

i guess you could, if you take enough hormones, im growing a small beard, and yeah, it keeps my face all nice and warm

eambos's avatar

They don’t produce enught testosterone to grow facial hair. Women do have a little testosterone though.

gailcalled's avatar

If you visit nursing homes, you will see women with facial hair, sometimes enough to shave, but the hairs never get to beard length. It is caused, I believe, by the diminution of estrogen and the domination of testosterone, which gives the peach fuzz a little boost.

caly420's avatar

they can…i was at a music festival last summer and saw a woman with a full length chin beard.

apparently if you start shaving (even if its just peach fuzz) the hair will start to get thicker and longer;...so the bearded woman told me

Randy's avatar

Because that would be gross?

gailcalled's avatar

Wrong about the shaving…that is a myth…I have lots of friends who now give the faint mustache a swipe w. a razor from time to time, or wax, or bleach. It grows in just the same. One of my friends just remarried and jokes that when they kiss, they each get razor burn.

People who are androgonous or hermaphrodites have beards sometimes.

@Randy, I hope that you plan not to grow old

trogdor_87's avatar

I guess you have not seen the bearded lady at your local freak show.

shockvalue's avatar

@caly420: That’s actually a myth. Interestingly it was started by women.

Here’s an excerpt from cracked.com : (yes, I know. I’m sorry)

“Why was the myth perpetuated? Most likely out of the embarrassment most mothers of pubescent boys feel. … It [probably] took you a few years to start looking and sounding like Powers Boothe. Consequently you had a fuzzy neck beard, and your parents didn’t want to be seen in public with you until you shaved it.
So instead of telling you straight up that you were a repulsive pock-marked abomination and having to hear you whine in your broken girly voice, they simply lied and told you shearing hair makes it stronger and thicker, knowing you would do it—and keep doing it—in a futile attempt look like Grizzly Adams.”

buster's avatar

i know a chick that has to shave her neck and her chin or she might end up in zz top

caly420's avatar

@shockvalue hah thats too funny and now that i think about it kind of makes sense…she just must have had higher testosterone than most women, but chose to keep the beard rather than shave? wierd.

skwerl88's avatar

Actually, concerning the testosterone levels…
Women’s testosterone varies. Greatly varies.
In fact, during some periods of their cycle, they have more testosterone than men.
if i can remember correctly, I believe that for every 300 units of testosterone than men have, women have between 5 and 310, depending.

eambos's avatar

But they also have much greater levels of estrogen that makes up for this testosterone. A spike in estrogen occurs at the same point in their cycle that this spike in testosterone occurs.

skwerl88's avatar

very true. i just meant to say its not testosterone alone that governs it.

Comedian's avatar

Because the amount of testosterone is so low. Although if you woman really wants to grow a beard, then you can just inject youself with steroids.

MindErrantry's avatar

There are also certain conditions which can increase testosterone in women to high enough levels that facial hair can at least become a problem. A bad case of polycystic ovarian syndrome will really boost your testosterone levels and, among other effects, can cause excess hair growth, often in irregular places, but I don’t know if it will actually produce a beard. Would have to be really bad, I suppose…

Comedian's avatar

not like full on beard. But just like many hairs in places

punkrockworld's avatar

Honey you should be glad you don’t have a beard. Although I have seen women with one and I really think it looks bad. Get that shit waxed or something.
Never ever start shaving! Or you’ll end up with a beard

gailcalled's avatar

@punk. See me ^^. “Wrong about the shaving…that is a myth…I have lots of friends who now give the faint mustache a swipe w. a razor from time to time, or wax, or bleach. It grows in just the same. One of my friends just remarried and jokes that when they kiss, they each get razor burn.”

mozartpena's avatar

that would be gross :()

gailcalled's avatar

They are happy, recently-wed, over 70 and having a wonderful time. Would you like a similar old age…only way to avoid it is “to live fast, die young and leave a beautiful corpse:” said by Nick Romano in the unsung 1949 novel “Knock on Any Door” by African-American writer, Willard Motley.

MarcIsMyHero's avatar

lately i’ve been noticing more and more young women in daylight with more than average peach fuzz and wondering if somethings in the water… i like being the one with the ‘stache in the relationship.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@gailcalled My wife has a friend that works at the local hospital and she can grow a very good beard and mustache. She is a dear woman, not much older than we are (40’s) and I always wondered why she didn’t shave it off. I found out later that she is not concerned with how people perceive her looks, and she is perfectly happy the way she is. It doesn’t bother her in the least. Now that my friends, is someone very comfortable in their own skin.

gailcalled's avatar

@evelyn’s: I am sure it is an endocrinology issue. Testosterone vs. estrogen.

greenknight's avatar

Unfortunately, I am a woman who can grow a coarse full-length beard, but I choose to shave – sometimes three times each day. I am not a hermaphrodite because my reproductive organs are fully feminine. Also, my appearance is very curvy soft and feminine in all other ways. I have high levels of androgens and estrogens. The unusual mixture means that most side effects of either somehow get cancelled out, but the beard is the part that I cannot seem to get a handle on. Numerous treatments of laser hair removal did not do a damned thing. I am now 42 and have finally resigned myself to a life of shaving. Hey, in Ancient Greece and other ancient cultures, bearded women were also considered wyrd/wise women and were frequently sought out by respected leaders for strategic advice.

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