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Way to test sensitivity of hair follicles to testosterone? (22, beard n...
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Way to test sensitivity of hair follicles to testosterone? (22, beard not appearing)

We all know that some men can't grow a beard. If what I read is correct, this is because they have hair follicles on their face, but the hair follicles are not accepting the testosterone in their bloodstream. Either the hair follicles lack receptors for the testosterone or the receptors are not sensitive enough and only a very high amount of testosterone would turn them darker.

22, after waiting for years for a beard and being disappointed (and bitterly angry at clean-shaven men who throw away their nice gift), I finally saved up enough money for a blood test.

After consulting with doctor about results:

Testosterone levels are normal, but low:
(me - 406.00 ng/dl :: normal range is 280 - 1100.00
me - 14.09 nmol/dl :: normal range is 9.72 - 38.17)

My SHBG levels are also low - actually they are borderline TOO low
(me - 14.40 :: normal range is 14.50 - 48.40)

However, much to my despair, my doctor informed me that low SHBG actually INCREASES effect of testosterone.

So, even though my T levels are on the low end, the low SHBG is actually supposed to be making it more effective.

And yet, all I have to show for it is a measly goatee at age 22, which only appeared from age 20 - 21, and after that nothing.

Many people have said "your beard will come in later", but here's the thing I need to know.

If your beard comes in later in life, or you become hairier in life, is it because
your hairs have become more sensitive to the testosterone and pick it up more easily?
or
is it because the amount of the testosterone in your bloodstream actually increases?

And if that's the case, is there any any any way to make these stupid hairs on my face accept the testertone in my bloodstream? Is there any way to test, measure, or increase the sensitivity of these hairs?

Thank you very much

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Dear DMaxC,

Thanks for writing in. I must first appreciate the homework you have already done.

The best that we can do at this point is to wait and watch. Mostly the sensitivity of hair follicles increases with time.  I would like to know how is your axillary and pubic hair growth. There is no clinical test to check the sensitivity of the hair follicles. There may be research tools to check the sensitivity of receptors but these are not commercially available.

You may try using Rogaine over your beard area twice daily and see if it works.

I hope I have answered your query. If there is anything else you want to know, please go ahead and ask me.

Thank you for using MedHelp's "Ask an Expert" Service, where we feature some of world's renowned medical experts in their fields. Millions have benefitted from our service to get personalized advice for them and for their loved ones.

Best Regards,
Dr. Gaurang Krishna
2 Comments
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by the way, I am sorry about "bitterly angry at clean shaven guys" this was just a joke, sorry if it offends someone :)
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