Whether you watch K-drama, K-pop or think of the famous BTS, you might have always wondered why Korean men don’t have a beard? Don’t they grow a beard at all? Or is it their preference not to maintain one? If Korean men can grow a beard, then is it part of Korean culture to not grow a beard? In this article, we will answer all your questions.
Can Koreans Even Grow Facial Hair?
Yes, Koreans can grow facial hair like other men across the globe. However, body hair and its growth vary significantly among humans. It can be due to evolutionary processes and migratory attributes.
With evolution, people started living across different parts of the world and started adapting to the place where they lived. For example, those who moved to colder regions developed more body hair to deal with the cold climate. Those who lived in the hotter or moderate climate areas grew less body hair, like Koreans and East Asians.
What Does Genetics Tell About Koreans for Beard Growth?
Asian men grow lighter beards compared to European and American men. As per a study, East Asian people, including Koreans, grow sparser facial hair because of a variant of the EDAR gene. Common variations of this gene are associated with hair thickness and straightness in East Asians.
Genetics suggests that not every Korean man can grow a full beard like any other American or European man. Some can’t grow a beard, while others have full-grown beards. It depends mainly on genes, health, lifestyle, and hormones. Beard growth is also affected by ethnicity and heredity.
Testosterone hormone (the male sex hormone) is responsible for facial and beard hair growth. For men aged 19 to 38 years, testosterone levels should be between 264-916 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL).
As per a study, the level of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) production decides the beard growth rate. DHT is a byproduct of testosterone that is activated in hair follicles by body chemicals. Therefore, low levels of testosterone negatively affect the growth of the beard.
Consequently, it can be a reason for the absence of beard or facial growth in some Korean men. Also, Korean men have low sensitivity of hair follicles to testosterone, so they have slow beard growth. It is also a fact that Korean men are genetically predetermined to grow fewer beards, so they mostly have a scant beard, even if their testosterone levels are normal.
Moreover, as per studies, different ethnic groups exhibit different facial hair growth patterns. For instance, men from Mediterranean countries grow thicker beards than other regions. Also, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean men have less facial hair growth than Caucasian men.
Also, as per a study, the diameter of hair varies from 17 to 180 mm among men all across the globe. Thick hair makes the beard dense-looking.
Why Koreans Don't Have Beard?
Now you know that Korean men can grow a beard, so why don’t Koreans have a beard? Only a proportion of the Korean population, less than 30% of Korean men, keep beards. Here are some possible reasons behind it:
1. Historical Reasons
The aversion of Korean men to beards has its roots in Korean history. According to the pictures of ancient Korean emperors, the Koreans grew beards. However, it has changed through the centuries.
During the Joseon Era, around the 14th century, it was considered offensive to harm the body and its parts, including hair. So, Korean men had beards in the deep Joseon era.
As soon as colonisation began, Koreans started adapting to the westernised culture and looks. Because of the administrative and sanitary changes, people adopted the military-style and soon, clean shaving became the new standard.
Today, having a clean shave is associated with being hygienic, successful, intelligent, and young in Korea. However, the elderly population used to keep beards, and even today, older people prefer moustaches and beards.
2. Genetics and Ageing
Genes play a significant role in determining the beard growth pattern. Korean men have hair follicles with low sensitivity towards testosterone. It leads to slow growth of the body and facial hair.
Beard growth is also proportional to aging. Korean men tend to age slower than European men. So, their beards take more time to reach full growth as compared to their European counterparts.
3. Cultural Reasons
Young Koreans consider beards untidy, dirty, eccentric, and unclean, whereas a clean shave signifies sharpness, class, and sophistication. At the same time, a beard and moustache among older men are considered a symbol of wisdom. Therefore, it is disrespectful for young men to have a beard in front of a beardless older man in Korean culture.
Moreover, it makes the beard an element of rebellion. Some other reasons are:
- Judgement: Men with a beard in Korea are perceived as either going through some emotional trauma. Or others think they have ‘lost their way’ and are on drugs or alcohol.
- Women’s Preference: Beard is considered a sign of masculinity. But in Korea, women consider men with beards as unhygienic and someone who is not capable of taking care of themselves. They think of it as a negative personality trait.
- Job Culture: Many workplaces and jobs make it compulsory for men to shave every day to look more sophisticated. Even a little stubble is considered messy and is not allowed.
4. Beauty Standards
Korea is known for its high beauty standards and skincare products. Appearance is of utmost importance to Korean people. They want smooth, poreless, blemish-free, and even-toned skin. It’s unnatural but applies to men and women alike.
As per a survey report conducted among South Korean men, around 56% of them shave or take care of their beards once a day. Many Koreans go through skin procedures like lasers to stop or slow down facial hair growth.
Also, most Koreans consider body hair barbaric and go through laser treatments to remove body hair and meet the Korean beauty standard.
5. Role of Media
Korean media played a crucial role in strengthening the idea of beardless men as a standard of beauty. As a result, a clean shave is popularised in Korea by the male media fashions, k-pop, and k-dramas.
Media show clean-shaven men as ideal boyfriends with stability and success. Conversely, those who hit rock bottom are shown with rough beards.
Also, they popularise this notion among youth that when a man gets up and decides to be on track again, the first thing they do is clean up, shave, and suit up. These messages strongly impact people’s minds and make beardless men beauty icons.
6. Current Scenario in Korea
Korean culture is continuously evolving and changing. Maybe in the future, Koreans will go back to their Joseon roots and accept the bearded look.
Also, nowadays, some K-dramas are promoting actors with a beard. Unfortunately, though, locals call them dirty-sexy. So the popular belief of having a beard is not changed, and a beard is still labelled as dirty.
But, some people prefer a beard. To make their bread denser, beard products like BeardMax 5% Minoxidil Beard Growth Serum are a helpful science-based solution to make their bread denser. Minoxidil 5% solution promotes thicker beard and moustache growth within 100 days without any side effects.
Men who wish to grow a beard should use a beard growth kit. It has Tostero capsules with a blend of ancient herbs like Shilajit, Muesli, Ashwagandha, and Goksura. It also has a bottle of Minoxidil solution. The duo contains ingredients that boost testosterone levels and stimulate beard follicles to get fuller growth, also filling in patches in your beard with regular use.
Now we know why don’t Koreans have a beard. It is because they shave and keep it clean; Koreans prefer to be hairless. Although low testosterone levels lead to sparse beard, history of Korean civilisation or high beauty standards, the idea of a beardless man has slowly been imbibed in Korean culture.
In western culture, having facial hair and beard is considered a sign of masculinity. However, in Korea, it is deemed unclean, untidy, and lazy not to care for the appearance. The notion of beauty is different worldwide, but as per the famous saying, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.
- Statista, Frequency of shaving or beard grooming among male consumers in South Korea in 2021 - https://www.statista.com/statistics/1113453/south-korea-shaving-or-beard-grooming-frequency-men/
- C R Edwards, A M Dawson, 1982 November; Relationship between plasma testosterone and dihydrotestosterone concentrations and male facial hair growth -https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7126460/
- R. Burghardt, F. Siebenhaar, May 2016; The male beard hair and facial skin – challenges for shaving - https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ics.12328
Why do Koreans have no beards? ›
The aversion of Korean men to beards has its roots in Korean history. According to the pictures of ancient Korean emperors, the Koreans grew beards. However, it has changed through the centuries. During the Joseon Era, around the 14th century, it was considered offensive to harm the body and its parts, including hair.Can a Korean man grow a beard? ›
In the famous Three Kingdoms period, the Goguryeo people raised a Kaizel mustache. However, the people of Silla, the mother of modern Korea, did not have a mustache or beard at all. During Chosun, Korean usually grow mustache and a little beard. In modern times, Koreans rarely grow beards.Why do Asians not grow beards? ›
Why don't men from Eastern Asia have as much facial hair as people of European or Middle Eastern extraction? The EDAR gene mutation, which is common in many East Asian populations.Why do Asians have less facial hair? ›
Why don't most East Asian men have much or any facial hair? Genetics mostly, while most groups by default have body and facial hair, the oriental form that evolved around the Huang He of China actually reduced it's body and facial hair, essentially it became more hairless.Do Koreans shave everyday? ›
Frequency of shaving or beard grooming among men South Korea 2022. According to a survey conducted among South Korean men in 2022, around 51.8 percent of respondents stated that they were shaving or taking care of their beard once a day. On average, South Korean men shaved around 5 times per months.Why do Japanese not grow beards? ›
Conventionally, having a beard is often associated with negative images such as blowsy, filthiness, and so on. So, Japanese men are likely to shave their beards when they go out or are in public to look hygienic and neat.What nationality grows the best beard? ›
People from Mediterranean countries tend to be able to grow thick beards compared to people from other regions. According to a 2016 study , Chinese men generally have less facial hair growth than Caucasian men.
Since ancient times, Koreans have only used natural, harsh-free ingredients for their skincare routines: green tea, “snail slime”, bamboo extracts, propolis, and honey are just some examples of the elements they used and have passed through generations.How tall do Korean men grow? ›
According to the results of the eighth Size Korea body index survey, adult Korean men had an average height of 172.5 cm, and adult Korean women had an average height of 159.6 cm — around 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 3 inches, respectively.Can Asians have blue eyes? ›
There are plenty of blue-eyed Asians. This probably happens when the traditional blue-eyed allele comes into a family from a (possibly very distant) European ancestor. Blue eyes then resurface in a child generations later if they inherit the allele from both parents.
Do Korean guys have body hair? ›
Korean men can grow beards, but while some like the hairless look, most have sparse facial hair, which ends up looking unkempt. Most Asian men have lighter beards than European and American men. This has been attributed to lower levels of testosterone in them. Idols are clean-shaven and look very young.What races can grow beards? ›
Caucasians and African Americans can usually grow thicker beards, while Asian men have a harder time developing a full beard.Why do Asians look younger? ›
Traditionally, Asians have been thought to age more gracefully than Caucasians. The resistance to aging in the Asian patient was credited to the thicker dermis of Asian skin that contains greater collagen and the darker pigment that protects against photoaging.Do Asians need deodorant? ›
The A allele is very common in East Asians, and as expected, most people in this population don't need to use deodorant. And so they don't use it—it's estimated that only 7% of North East Asians regularly use deodorant.What nationality has less body hair? ›
Oriental peoples have the least amount of noticeable hair; Southern European and Mediterranean groups, the most. Black people have more hair than Orientals but less than Northern Europeans and Scandinavians. There are also sexual differences. Men tend to be hairier than women, and have the ability to grow a beard.Why doesn t Korea have deodorant? ›
As it turns out, a percentage of the population lack the gene that prevents stinky pits. According to researchers from the University of Bristol, that special gene is called ABCC11.How often do Korean wash their hair? ›
In Korea, people like to wash their hair every day because of environmental pollution (fine dust, gas emissions, etc). Whereas people in America generally tend to wash hair every 2-3 days due to the common perception that it's much healthier for your hair.Do Koreans have pubic hair? ›
Do Koreans have public hair? The report cited one Korean clinic estimating that 10 per cent of Korean women have pubic atrichosis, which means they lack pubic hair but are otherwise healthy. Many women suffer from psychological stress as pubic hair is seen as a sign of sexual health and fertility.What countries ban beards? ›
Tajikistan. Beards are discouraged by the government for most men in Tajikistan in a stated effort to battle radicalism. Only clean-shaven men can apply for a passport.Can Chinese guys grow beards? ›
Not a lot of Asian guys have facial hair and/or beards. A fairly obvious statement, but based on the findings of the survey: Only 28% have a mustache, goatee, beard, or some other form of facial hair. Only 8% have a beard.
Can a Chinese man have a beard? ›
Yes, you most likely can. Even though the common Eastern Asian genetics tend to come with weaker beard growth than that of Caucasian average genetics, there are still some tricks that even Asian guys can utilize to grow full beards naturally.What races don't grow facial hair? ›
Your originality can affect the growth pattern of your facial hair . A study on The male beard hair and facial skin – challenges for shaving reveal that Chinese, Mexican, and Native American men tend to have less facial hair than Caucasian men .
Typically, full beard growth is possible starting at around age 18, but for many men, that time may not arrive until they're 30. So, if you're not getting the beard growth you want, it may be because it's not your time.What age do beards grow best? ›
Age, however, does affect beard growth in some cases. The “prime” time for facial hair growth is between the ages of 25 and 35, generally speaking.What is the secret of Korean glass skin? ›
This fermented rice water helps in eliminating damages caused due to UV rays. This water also helps in the formation of collagen that directly helps your skin look like glass.To make this fermented rice water, you have to boil the rice and have to store the water after straining it.Does Korean drink a lot? ›
A large majority of Korean people have regarded drinking as a necessary element of social life. Whether it's during a time of joy, happiness, or stress, Koreans often drink until they are drunk. According to official Korean statistics in 2013, Koreans consume more alcohol than rice, the staple food.What is the Korean skin secret? ›
When it comes to skincare, Cho says Korean women use “natural skin brighteners such as rice extracts, vitamin C, and licorice, as well as exfoliators. For stubborn brown spots, they will visit the dermatologist to lighten the brown spots using lasers.”What age do Korean men stop growing? ›
The ultimate size and shape that a child attains as an adult size are reached during 17 to 18 years of age.Who are taller Japanese or Korean? ›
nationalities in East Asia with their males' average height measuring three centimetres more than that of their Japanese counterparts. In case of the females, the average height of Koreans is 2.5 centimetres more than the Japanese, the Korean Times added.What is the average height in USA? ›
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average age-adjusted height for American men 20 years and older is is 69.1 inches (175.4 cm), or 5 feet 9 inches tall, and the average height of an American female over 20 years of age is 63.5 inches (161.5 cm), or 5' 3.5" tall.
What is the rarest eye color? ›
How many eye colors are there, and why your shade is unique to you. At some point, you've probably wondered what the rarest eye color is. The answer is green, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). Only about 2 percent of the world's population sport this shade.What race has the most blue eyes? ›
Scientists believe that it is possible to trace all blue-eyed people back to a common ancestor, who likely had a genetic mutation that reduced the amount of melanin in the iris. Most people with blue eyes are of European descent.What ethnicity is green eyes? ›
The highest concentration of people with green eyes is found in Ireland, Scotland, and northern Europe. In fact, in Ireland and Scotland, more than three-fourths of the population has blue or green eyes – 86 percent! Many factors go into having green eyes.Why is Korean hair so thick? ›
The reason Asian hair tends to be thicker is that it has around 10 layers of cuticles. Cuticles are the small areas around the inner protein structure of your hair–they are there to protect those proteins.What body is considered fat in Korea? ›
In Korea, a person with a body mass index (BMI) ≥25 kg/m2 is considered obese, and a person with a BMI ≥30 kg/m2 is classified as severely obese. Central obesity is defined as a waist circumference ≥90 cm for Korean men and ≥85 cm for Korean women.How do Koreans remove body hair? ›
The most accessible and popular method of hair removal. This treatment uses hot wax to trap the hair in the treatment area and using strips, the hair is pulled out. This treatment pulls the whole hair out from the root completely so no dark spots are formed under the skin the way it is with shaving.
Many black men expect their beard to be thick and full within weeks of their last shave and the truth is, that's an unrealistic expectation to have. The reality is that facial hair growth takes time and patience. To grow a healthy beard requires dedication and consistency in your beard care routine.What religion allows you to grow a beard? ›
Some religions (such as some sects of Islam, and Sikhism) have considered a full beard to be essential and mandate it as part of their observance.What religion makes you keep a beard? ›
Many religions, including Sikhism, Islam, and sects of Judaism, encourage or require their men to keep beards. Jesus Christ is often depicted with a beard.Why are Asians skin so good? ›
Asians have thicker skin because we have a thicker dermis due to larger and more numerous collagen-producing cells (known as fibroblasts) in this second layer of our skin. All those extra fibroblasts produce extra collagen which helps to preserve our skin's elasticity.
Why do Asians get red when they drink? ›
More than one in three people with East Asian heritage (Chinese, Japanese and Korean) experience facial flushing when drinking beer, wine or spirits. In Asian populations, it is due to an inherited deficiency in one of the enzymes involved in the breakdown of alcohol: aldehyde dehydrogenase.Why do Asians have straight hair? ›
Most people of East Asian descent have thick, straight hair. This corresponds with a SNP (rs3827760) in the EDAR gene which is involved in hair follicle development. The ancestral allele of this SNP is the A-allele. The G-allele is the newly derived allele that leads to the thick, straight hair.Why do East Asians not have body Odour? ›
Most of the world's population has the gene that codes for the wet-type earwax and average body odor; however, East Asians are more likely to inherit the allele associated with the dry-type earwax and a reduction in body odor.Which nationality has the healthiest hair? ›
Japan, Spain and Sweden are widely known for having people with healthy hair, but there are also other countries like India, France and Russia that are also known for helping people keep their hair natural and not messing with any artificial coloring.What nationality has the nicest hair? ›
Caucasian, Asian and Indian hair samples were put to the test for the World's Best Hair study. Their results put an end to any splitting of hairs over the issue: in terms of health, the Indian hair is the best, topping other ethnic groups on all four counts.What race has less hair? ›
When it comes to the race that tends to lose the most hair, that goes to Caucasians. Additionally, West Asian (specifically Indian) people are likely to experience similar hair loss levels to Caucasians.In which country beard is not allowed? ›
Tajikistan. Beards are discouraged by the government for most men in Tajikistan in a stated effort to battle radicalism. Only clean-shaven men can apply for a passport. Beards are often forcibly shaved off by police officers.Why BTS don't have beards? ›
Being clean-shaven is partly a cultural thing and a personal preference for this South Korean group. Be it with beard or without it, the ARMY continue to love these superstars.Is beard common in USA? ›
Share of male consumers who have a beard in the United States as of June 2017.
|Characteristic||Share of respondents|
Sikhs. The Sikh religion forbids cutting or shaving any bodily hair.
What religion is against shaving your beard? ›
Many religions, including Sikhism, Islam, and sects of Judaism, require that men and women do not cut their hair or that men do not shave their beards.Do Chinese girls shave their legs? ›
And so we come to China, where many expats are surprised to discover that Chinese women, even those of the younger generation, simply don't shave or wax any of their body hair. While this is obviously a personal choice that varies from woman to woman, there are some common threads that keep popping up.Do male kpop idols wax? ›
In an episode of AYO's “Comment Defenders” series, professional estheticians Sukjeong and Jin from House Waxing explained that most male idols choose to have their legs waxed.How do BTS remove facial hair? ›
How do BTS remove facial hair? Suga revealed he actually had laser hair removal done so his facial hair no longer grows.Do Asians have body hair? ›
The body hair of Asians differs from that of other races in a number of ways. Asians have shorter, straighter, thinner, and less body hair than Caucasians and black individuals. Since a case reported by Itin et al. in 1994, research studies of knotted body hair have rarely been reported.Can bald people have a beard? ›
Those with male pattern baldness are certainly predisposed to growing thick and impressive beards, while there is also ample opportunity to boost the natural levels of testosterone and DHT in your body and stimulate the growth of facial hair follicles.