Lumbersexuals be forewarned — if you love running your fingers through your man’s crumb-catcher, you are essentially rubbing pubes. According to the Huffington Post and New York-based dermatologist Bobby Buka, technically speaking, beard hair is similar to pubic hair.
There is no question that beards have a dedicated following. Facial hair competitions and fan sites abound, encouraging men to grow out their beards, the bushier the better. Many people are pro-beard as well, describing facial hair as "manly, sexy, and a little badass." But now, the once illustrious beard's dirty little secret is out. And it doesn’t matter how hot you are, how many a ripped paperback copies of Infinite Jest you own, or how many old fashioneds you drink — we know that when you thoughtfully rub that chin tuft, you are really just scratching your face pubes.
When interviewed by Huffington Post, Dr. Bobby Buka, who serves as section chief at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, revealed that the nature of the hair in beards and the pubic region is surprisingly similar. Dr Buka pointed to the fact that the face, armpit, and groin all have a high concentration of sebaceous glands, "So the hair characteristics in those areas are very similar, in terms of thickness of shaft and quality of hair."
"What are sebaceous glands and why are they located in all my favorite areas?" you are probably asking. Well, these glands are usually attached to hair follicles and produce a fatty, lubricating substance called sebum.
Turns out, there are more sebaceous glands on your face than even your scalp, says Dr. Buka. These glands will enlarge with the onset of puberty, thanks to hormone changes. The higher concentration and larger the glands in one area means more sebum produced, which also carries pheromones. Most likely the scientific reason why some people find beards sexy!
Beard hair and groin hair are both thicker than other body hair. It is believed that this developed through evolution so as to release higher levels of pheromones and attract potential mates (or Tinder dates). The sebum and pheromones lends both types of hair a distinct smell. Dr. Buka elaborates, "Your signature smell comes more from beard hair than from scalp hair. The base of a hair follicle is much bigger on your face, which is why it looks thicker on your face than your scalp hair. But it’s considered the same type of process, slightly different growth rates but same morphology otherwise."
Etymologically speaking, Huffington Post state that "any hair that grows in a place it didn't before puberty is pubic." Neþir berd was the Middle English (late 14th century) word for "pubic hair." Pube and Puberty both stem from the Latin term "pubertis" defined as "adult, full-grown, manly." Though when asked by HuffPo, Dr. Buka denied referring to beard hair as pubic hair personally.
It doesn’t matter if you’re Santa Claus, Abe Lincoln, Ryan Gosling, or the local hipster barista with horn-rimmed glasses and a flare for foam art — that fuzz you love up top, is no different than the fuzz below. While a proliferation of these curly shiny facial follicles continue to flourish from Brooklyn to the Pacific Northwest, at least the truth is out!