Facial hair patterns and ethnicity go a long way back to when the world was much less connected than it is now.
You may have picked up how the men in a specific race have (or don’t have) facial hair. So what’s the correlation between facial hair patterns and ethnicity?
Ethnicity defines the collection of genes in a population that determines their physical traits. This collection of genes is often so dominant in a certain culture that men of that culture end up having a specific facial pattern.
If you’d like to know how the genes can affect facial hair patterns and have a look at different ethnicities, stay with us.
What Controls Facial Hair Growth?
Many factors go into growing beards and facial hair patterns in general. Some of these factors are within your grasp.
For example, giving your beard some extra care, using oils, and controlling your diet are all things you could do to enhance beard growth.
However, there are two factors that nobody can control; genes and ethnicity. It’s important to understand the difference between these two.
The genes factor affects your facial hair growth by looking at the history of your parents. The more members in your ancestry with coarser beard genes, the higher your chances are of getting a full beard.
Ethnicity is also a gene-related factor but on a different scale. It doesn’t depend on the close parents, it goes back to your great grandparents hundreds of years ago. That’s why every race has some distinctive features that are often only found in that race.
For example, it’s more common to find blue and green eye colors among Europeans than it is among Middle Easterns.
On the other hand, with the advancement of travel technology, races have mixed up more than ever. This reduced the “ethnic” appearance of individuals to some extent, but there are still some distinctive features for various ethnicities.
For example, Europeans tend to have more colors in their facial hair than other races. Eastern Asian men are less likely to grow beards than men of other ethnicities. Middle Easterns have various facial hair patterns and colors because of how much they mixed with other races…and so on.
Our focus today is on facial hair patterns and ethnicity. We’ll demonstrate some facial hair patterns that are obvious enough to give you a good guess about the ethnicity of someone.
Facial Hair Pattern of Different Ethnicities
Here’s how mustaches and beards can look different among various ethnicities.
1. Turkish Ethnicity
The Turkish Ottoman Empire was founded back in 1299. Those 700+ years of civilization managed to give the Turkmen some unique features.
Turkish men are known for their extremely thick mustaches and beards. The growth of facial hair is largely genetic, so the men of Turkey don’t need to care too much for their beards for them to grow.
However, their beards don’t grow as fast as their mustaches do. It’s a lot more common to see a Turkish man with a thick mustache than with a thick beard.
That being said, the most common pattern you’d see among Turkish men is a thick mustache with a stubble or a light beard. If they let their beards grow, it has a better chance to become bigger and fuller than most other races.
Long full beards are more common among senior citizens than younger men. Because of politics and pop culture, most Turkish men now keep their mustaches but shave their beards.
2. Native American Ethnicity
Native Americans aren’t known to have thick beards or mustaches. In fact, their genes and ethnicity make them have little to no body hair as well.
The general facial pattern of native Americans is the extended eyebrow ridge, light eyebrows, light mustaches, stubble, or no beard at all.
Exceptions do happen. Every once in a while there’s a Native American with increased facial and body hair. However, they tend to shave often or pluck their beards to prevent them from growing up again.
It’s highly unlikely that you’ll encounter a Native American with a beard in their homes. However, Native Americans who married and traveled abroad might let their beards grow if they had the genes for it.
Let us know if you find a Native American with a large beard!
3. African Ethnicity
Africa is a big continent with a mixture of countries that have different races. To keep the description active, we’ll exclude South Africa and the Arabian countries since they lean more towards Caucasians than Africans.
Keep in mind that our description also includes the African American and Jamaican facial hair patterns.
African men generally prefer a clean shave of their facial hair. They often don’t like mustaches or beards altogether.
However, with pop culture idols like Chadwick Boseman, Drake, and Will Smith, the beard growing idea is becoming more acceptable.
Genes-wise, African men don’t have the strongest hair growth genes. However, it’s a lot more common to find an African man with a beard than a Native American, for example.
That being said, when Africans grow beards, they don’t prefer the full beard facial patterns. In most cases, their genes won’t allow it anyway. Stubbles, short beards, and goatees are a lot more common among African men.
4. Turkic Ethnicity
The following description is applicable for Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Pakistan as well. All of these countries are in close proximity to each other and they share a fair amount of genes.
Turkic men have an iconic facial hair pattern. They don’t have the strongest mustache genes and they often shave them if they grow too much.
Their beards aren’t often very long. However, they have so many hair follicles on their face that their beards usually extend from ear to ear. If the Turkic man doesn’t shave his mustache, the facial pattern is often a beard from ear to ear with only the lips showing up.
It’s more common for older citizens to let their gray beards grow to relatively large lengths. The youth, on the other hand, prefer the shorter beard with a shaven mustache.
5. Caucasian Ethnicity
In the more common tongue, Caucasians are essentially the white people who originated in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.
Caucasians have the most body hair of all races. That applies to their facial hair as well, making them the race with the most prominent facial hair patterns.
It’s hard to trace why do Caucasians have the most body hair. Perhaps their constant traveling made them mix with most other genes and they acquired the strongest genes among them. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why.
With the abundance of Caucasian numbers and their strong facial hair genes, it’s difficult to include them all within a singular facial hair pattern description.
Many Caucasians prefer the clean-cut. No mustache or beard. A little bit of stubble could be fine but it often stays there because the person is too lazy to shave it off.
Some Caucasians make the best use of their strong genes and let their beards grow for as long as needed. They end up with beards so remarkably long and thick that they sometimes decorate them with beard beads.
However, the most common facial hair pattern for Caucasians is the middle ground. They let their beards grow for a couple of centimeters then maintain that length with trimming and shaving. Their main aim is to have a full, trimmed beard, rather than a long one.
6. East Asian Ethnicity
Asia is a large continent that contains many countries with different genes. In this section, we only mean the east Asian countries like China, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Japan….etc.
East Asians have the least amount of facial hair among other people, especially the Chinese. You’ve probably seen how little to no facial hair they have. They often have a clean-cut shave with no beard, mustache, or even loose hair follicles.
The Eastern Asians’ facial hair genes aren’t as strong as the rest of the world. Around puberty, they often have a very light mustache that sometimes doesn’t even connect under the nose.
It’s still possible for East Asians to grow some facial hair and even larger beards. It’s mostly some flukes that happen on rare occasions.
That being said, we can’t really say that East Asians have a facial hair pattern, simply because they often have no facial hair at all.
7. Hispanic / Latino Ethnicity
If you’ve watched your fair share of movies, you may have built up a subconscious ability to recognize Hispanic men from their facial hair patterns.
Hispanic men can grow full beards on occasion. Their genes don’t tilt significantly towards having or not having a beard. There doesn’t seem to be a consistency in their beard length.
However, they have an iconic mustache hair pattern that often grows downward toward the angles of the mouth and often hides them. The mustache often connects with the beard at this point and many Hispanic men prefer to grow a goatee because of that.
When Hispanic men do decide to grow a full beard, it’s usually more coarse around the chin and lips area and gets lighter as you get closer to the ears.
There’s no preference for growing or shaving beards among Hispanic men.
8. Native Hawaiian / Pacific Ethnicity
This section includes Hawaiian men, Samoan men, Chamorro men, and other ethnicities like Tongans and Fijians. For convenience, we’ll just refer to them all as Native Hawaiians.
Native Hawaiians don’t often walk around with full beards or strong facial hair patterns. Whether it’s on TV or in real life, they usually have a clean shave with a light mustache.
Their genes aren’t very capable of making thick and long beards. Exceptions do happen of course, but the typical Hawaiian man will either have no beard, or a slim little beard going all over his chin.
Hawaiians may not be the strongest beard-growing ethnicity on our list but they have more chances of getting facial hair than Eastern Asians.
Differences In Hair Types Among Ethnicities
The facial hair pattern isn’t the only variable between different men. The type of the hair follicle can vary as well.
The biology of the hair follicle remains the same in any human being, but the thickness, length, and follicle hair size will vary between races. This is mainly because of the amount of lipids and melanin in the skin.
The lipid content of the skin layer plays a major role in determining the smoothness or roughness of hair.
Too much lipid content contributes to the growth of stronger and rougher hair follicles. The resulting hair patch is often wavy, disorganized, and hard to comb.
This is mostly noticed in African American people. Whether we’re talking about facial hair or scalp hair, African Americans tend to have a rougher hair consistency in general.
Because of the rough and stern nature of their hair follicles, African American facial hair and beards are often short and scratchy. That’s why curly hair is more common among Africans than other races.
Melanin is a pigment in our bodies that controls the color of our skins and hairs. The more melanin in the body, the darker the skin and hair will be.
Melanin production in the skin is also related to the amount of sun exposure. The more sun you are exposed to, the more melanin your body will produce.
This is why Caucasians spend some time in the sun to get a tan. Tan is essentially forcing your body to produce some extra melanin.
Europeans and Americans have more chances of getting longer, smoother, and lighter facial and body hair.
On the other hand, people in hot countries like Africa and India have darker skin, facial, and body hairs. There’s a very low chance of finding a man from Nigeria, for example, with a white beard.
We said “low chance” because there’s still a chance that can affect pretty much any race. Have you ever heard of Albinism? It’s when the body fails to produce melanin and usually results in bright facial and body hair.
Strange Ethnic Hair Traditions in Ancient Times
Here are some rather interesting strange hair facts in old times:
Have you ever wondered why most ancient Egyptians in movies were bald? Turns out that it’s based on a historical fact.
Any hair on the bodies of Egyptian men was viewed as barbaric or animal tendencies. Only the low-class men kept their body hair.
The Greeks were the opposite of the Egyptians. Facial hair (especially long beards) was considered a sign of masculinity and wisdom.
This is why most of the Greek statues and figures had long beards.
Ancient German Tribes
When Germany was just a collection of tribes, having facial hair was a sign of cowardice. There were many fights among tribes back then, having a beard meant that you never managed to defeat an enemy.
That’s right, individuals weren’t allowed to shave their facial hairs until they have achieved victory or avenged defeat.
Mesopotamia (currently modern Iraq) considered the beard as the ultimate sign of class and power.
Men would try to grow their beards as long as they can and style them as much as possible to demonstrate themselves as masculine.
In 1698 Peter the Great, former emperor of all the Russias, declared war against men who kept their beards! He didn’t want anything to do with the western world so he was dedicated to completely getting rid of beards in his country.
Peasants and servants were the only exceptions. He even ordered the police to forcefully shave the beards of those who refused!
This beardless crusade didn’t prove too practical and wasted too much time and money. Because of that, Peter placed an annual “beard tax” that stayed in place until 1772. That’s around 47 years after his death!
It’s quite difficult to tie facial hair patterns and ethnicity in our modern world. People have traveled and married from so many different cultures and races nowadays.
Being able to link a facial hair pattern with a specific ethnicity is getting less and less prominent.
Still, you can hardly go wrong in assuming that men from Thailand, for example, could have full beards. It’s also less common to find a Caucasian who struggles to grow some facial hair.
In the end, we can say that the ethnicity of facial hair patterns is a thing. In our current times, however, we’re losing a little bit of it every day.
Speaking of different facial hair, if you want to know why some beards look thin in light, check out this article.