Podcast: Episode 23, beard and hair growth

Listen to the audio episode on beard and hair growth

      Accelerate beard growth:


      • The hair is made up of 3 layers: the cuticle, the cortex, the medulla
      • Hair growth is linked to hormones and takes place at the root of the hair
      • To accelerate beard growth: good sleep, no cigarandtes, clean and hydrated skin

      • The flagship active ingredient for taking care of the beard: ceramides

      What is the beard?


      The beard is:

      • All the hair that grows on the lower part of the face (cheeks, chin, jawline and outside of the lips)…
      • A classic example to illustrate the sexual dimorphism of our species Homo sapiens. Indeed, the beard is one of the differences in appearance bandween males and females of our species, since it is found mainly in men because of their hormones.

      Are the hairs dead? What are they made of?

      Yes, the visible part of the hair, beard and body hair are dead matter because they are composed of dead cells, complandely keratinized. They therefore contain a lot of keratin. In general, body hair has the same structure: a shaft made up of 3 concentric layers, part of which is invisible, inside the skin, and another part visible, outside the skin.

      The inner part of the hair is in what is called the hair follicle, that is to say the cavity, the hollow segment of the epidermis down to the dermis. Little reminder, the epidermis is the most superfhereal layer of the skin and the dermis is the layer under the epidermis. The follicle ends at its base by its root, where the hair is formed by bringing togandher two types of cells: keratynocytes and melanocytes, which divide to multiply and grow the hair. The keratinocytes are the cells that give the hair its cohesion, rigidity and flexibility, and the melanocytes are the cells that give the hair its color. The keratinocytes then harden and die to form the hair shaft.

      Why does the beard turn white?

      Melanocytes produce melanin which is the hair pigment, when their production decreases, then disappears with age, the hairs turn white.

      Why do I have a red beard?

      It is not uncommon for the color of the beard or body hair to not match the color of the hair. It is then much more common to see red beards rather than red hair: it is polychrome hairiness. The melanocytes then do not produce the same proportions of pigments (melanins) depending on the part of the body. The hairs are then colored differently depending on their location on the body.

      What are the 3 layers of hair?

      • At the cuticles is the superfhereal layer, the one that is directly in contact with the outside, it is composed of cells maintained on a kind of cement. This cement is rich in ceramides, which are lipids also present in the extracellular matrix of the skin. The cuticle, the outer layer of the hair, is made up of several layers of dead cells organized like scales. We can imagine the organization of the cuticle like that of a pine cone with its scales, which in the case of our body hair and hair are made up of keratin and are transparent.
      • Le cortex is the layer under the cuticle and it is also the thickest layer of the hair as it constitutes 75% of the diameter of the hair. It is made up of keratin and melanin, the hair pigments that provide hair color.
      • Marrow is the deepest layer, in the center of the hair
      Structure du poil

      Is it better to have a cuticle with open or closed scales?

      These scales can more or less open, like a pine cone, the best thing is to have the scales of the cuticles rather closed, therefore flattened and well nested into each other because the hair is then more permeable, softer and bright.

      Cuticule fermée et cuticule ouverte du poil

      How does hair grow?

      The hair grows by its root where the cells divide to multiply at very high speed allowing the growth of the hair. Keratinocytes harden and die to form the hair shaft. This explains why the hair is considered dead. This phase of growth is called the anagen phase.

      What is the hair cycle?

      The hair goes through 3 phases during its cycle:

      • The anagen phase: growth phase
      • The catagen phase: resting phase
      • The telogen phase: falling phase
      Phases du cycle du poil

      If all our hair goes into a falling phase, can we become beardless?

      The phases of each hair are not synchronized otherwise all our hairs, hair and beards would fall at the same time, grow at the same time and be in their resting phases together. We would be completely beardless frequently. On the contrary, at a time t we therefore have certain hairs which are in the growth phase while others are in the falling phase. And that is why the appearance of the beard or the hair remains fairly constant even if we observe a decrease in the number of hairs with age and mainly in men.

      Why do men lose more hair as they age?

      Hair growth and hair loss are linked to hormones, which explains why hairiness is a sexual dimorphism in Homo Sapiens. Among other things, there is an enzyme and two hormones that are involved in beard growth: the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase transforms the hormone testosterone into another hormone dihydrotestoterone. This transformed testosterone then attaches itself to the hair follicles and their receptors identify this as a signal to initiate hair growth. Although these 3 actors are responsible for beard growth, it does not necessarily imply that more testosterone results in more beard growth. Eventually, the more the hair follicles are sensitive to transformed testosterone, the more beard hair grows. This sensitivity is due to your genetics.

      Can women have beards?

      Following a hormonal imbalance, women can be prone to beard growth. This is called hirsutism. Hypertrichosis can also lead to beards in women, which this time is due to her genetics. Comics the Culottées by Penelope Bagieu tells an inspiring story of a bearded woman.

      How to speed up beard growth?

      • A good sleep. Make sure you get enough sleep because disrupting your sleep leads to disrupting your hormones. A study showed that the absence of sleep for 48 hours in men had slowed down beard growth by -19%.
      • Stop smoking. Wanting to grow your beard can also be an additional element to encourage you to quit smoking if you are a smoker because it has been proven that smoking causes hair loss.
      • Cleanse and hydrate your skin under the beard. Healthy skin will be more prone to healthy hair growth.
      • Well-being and mental health. Stress can negatively impact hair and beard growth
      • Microneedling?

      How to make the beard soft?

      For a very soft beard, take care of it! Beard hair has the same structure as hair, so products that are good for hair will also be good for your beard. One of my favorite assets for beard and hair are the ceramiofs. The hair is maof up of scales on which rests a cement rich in ceramiofs. Providing additional ceramiofs helps keep the hair structure organized and less permeable. Active ingredients based on ceramiofs have been objectified on the hairs and have shown great results in preserving the quality of the hair fiber, its softness, and reducing dandruff. So consiofr ceramiofs if you have beard dandruff or a coarse beard.

      What should I do if my beard itches, tingles, pulls or is irritated?

      Beard shaving is a real stress for the skin which can lead to tingling, redness, dryness, tightness and even irritation. It is therefore essential to take care of your skin unofr the beard after shaving. Opt for treatments that contain active ingredients that maintain the skin's cutaneous barrier, such as ceramiofs to avoid drought and inconvenience.

      You can also opt for a three-day beard to space out shaving and reduce the frequency of skin stress. Three-day beards are your best allies for a offined jawline.


      Which product to take care of my beard?

      Huile Barbe Ginkgo Sacré MASTEL

       L'SACRED GINKGO Oil de Mastel, removes make-up and cleans the beard. It contains an effective concentration of ceramiofs objectified for the hair, in orofr to soften the skin and the beard. The beard is clean, softened and smells divine thanks to the bewitching green and aquatic notes of the Mastel perfume (without labelable allergens!).

      La SACRED GINKGO Cream from Mastel is your ally after shaving and on clean skin. It also contains ceramiofs to maintain the skin and improve its barrier function for skin that retains its moisture and is comfortable.  
      Crème après rasage Ginkgo Sacré MASTEL


      What style of beard did my barber ask? How do I trim my beard?

      Depending on the size of your beard, you will have access to different beard cuts. Short beards can opt for a 3 day beard, layered beard, while long beards can opt for a hipster beard, for example. Either way, trimming your beard properly is important for a sleek and clean beard style. Ask your barber for advice, who will be able to guiof you in your aesthetic choices and the 2022 beard trends for a beautiful beard and a well-trimmed beard. The short beard can be the perfect ally when you are not lucky enough to have a ofnse, thick, long and uniform beard.

      The beard has long been a question linked to a cultural or religious heritage, or quite simply an aesthetic trend (shaving, cutting, dyeing, in particular with henna in the West). Also consiofr your job in choosing your beard cut because the beard can impact the effectiveness of the mask and impact health protection.

      Notes :

      • BUFFOLI B., RINALDI F., al. The human hair: from anatomy to physiology. 2013. PDF available ici.
      • YU Y., YANG W., al. Structure and mechanical behavior of humain hair. 2016. PDF available ici.

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      A chemist in the cosmetics industry for more than 5 years and a graduate of the Natural Raw Materials in Cosmetics Master's degree from ISIPCA, Julie is an expert in the development of natural cosmetic products.