A beard is the collection of hair that grows on the chin, upper lip, cheeks and neck of human beings. Usually, only pubescent or adult males are able to grow beards. However, women with hirsutism may develop a beard. When differentiating between upper and lower facial hair, a beard specifically includes the moustache, which refers to hair above and around the upper lip. Over the course of history, men with facial hair have been ascribed various attributes such as wisdom, sexual virility, masculinity, or a higher status; although beards may also be perceived to be associated with a lack of general cleanliness and a loss of refinement. The beard develops during puberty. Beard growth is linked to stimulation of hair follicles in the area by dihydrotestosterone, which continues to affect beard growth after puberty. Hair follicles from different areas vary in what hormones they are stimulated or inhibited by; dihydrotestostorone also promotes balding.
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