Monday, September 28, 2009

Girl You Are Wearing That Beard!

I am a proud member of the beard club.

I fancy growing out a beard no matter what the season is there is usually some form of facial hair on me. In some cases, women will tell me how much they enjoy my beard. Now, I'm not trying to use this as some forum about how great my beard is (trust me there is room for improvement, especially in the mustache area).

What if the gender roles were switched around, what if Hillary Clinton grew out a devilish goatee, what would you do if your mom challenged you to a beard growing contest. I really did not see any of this as being at all possible but women do have the ability to grow beards.

It is said that before and after menopause, women have a sudden increase in facial hair growth. The reasons behind this is because of a decreasing amount of estrogen and there is an increase of androgen which creates the growth of a nice, bushy beard like that of an old Civil War General (a bit of an overstatement).

The science of it all is quite intriguing. Estrogen usually produces the growth of what is called sex hormone binding globulin. This prevents the male hormones from greatly effecting women. When the estrogen levels drop as a woman goes through menopause, the male hormone androgen goes into action and trigger more hair growth.

The other situation is not necessarily a fun one. Porphyria cutanea tarda is a metabolic disorder of hemoglobin bio-synthesis.While it is rare, it can be an explanation why Grandma is sporting a brand new handlebar mustache. This can be caused by heavy alcohol consumption, excess of iron intake, and "estrogen administration."

So these are the few reasons of why some women might grow beards, though it is rarely uncommon mainly because women would never allow something like that to happen. Well, some women at least.

1 comment:

  1. Andrew, amusing post. But I still wonder why women lost their facial hair as they evolved while men did not. I assume there must be some biological advantage for women in not having beards.