Korean Man Wearing Blue Shirt

Is it really true that Korean men can’t grow a beard or is it just a myth?

Having a beard is considered manly.

Those that can’t grow one are considered unmasculine, at least according to certain standards.

However, it seems that a lot of people think that men from Korea can’t grow a beard at all.

If you think about it, really think, having a whole nation filled with unmasculine, beardless men seems a bit unrealistic.

Aaand, statistically speaking, it’s not true.

While there are examples of some Korean guys having significantly lighter beards than others, there aren’t any specific scientific findings that prove this claim.

We decided to dig deeper into this topic and find out the truth.

Here you’ll learn some interesting facts, debunk some common myths and more.

Can Korean Men Grow Beards

Beards have been the main topic lately and now we are going Korean. Many wonder why many Koreans don’t wear beards and this is why we have come up with this topic.

Korean people don’t have beards because if you look at the Korean beauty standards, a beard is less approachable.
Many Koreans who wear beards usually look way older than their normal age and many of the girls wear the Kpop idol look.

Can Koreans grow beards?  The answer is yes. 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.
They also seem to impress a lot of girls with their visuals.

This can be one of the reasons why the hairless look is popular within the Asian ethnicity.

Short History

Korean men’s dislike for facial hair is not solely due to their inability to grow full beards. Instead, it has a lot to do with their history.
The Joseon Dynasty was a significant era in Korean history. This dynasty ruled the Korean peninsula for more than five centuries.

The effects can still be seen in Korean men’s shaving attitude and Korean culture today.

In the Joseon culture not trimming the facial hair was among the custom, but during the Gwangmu era from 1897 to the 1900s, many changes were brought to introduce Korea to civilization.

Apart from sanitary, education and administrative changes, people adopted a Western militaristic lifestyle.
Therefore, having a clean-shaven face has become part of modern lifestyles.

Being clean-shaven in Korea became a cultural sign of youthfulness and sharpness.
Young Korean men with facial hair are assumed to be messy and unclean.

At the same time, older men with full facial hair are ‘poor’ or ‘eccentric’.

Reasons Why Koreans Don’t Wear Beards

Korean Man Is Standing and Posing on Gray Background


Genetics decides how your mustache and beards will grow. The hair follicle’s sensitivity to testosterone determines the beard increase for men. Korean men have low sensitivity to hair follicles, resulting in a slow beard increase.


Unlike the whites, Korean men tend to age slowly. However, beard growth typically has to do with age.
The slow growth rate of Korean men causes the slow growth of the beards.


Growing beards in Korea is traditionally associated with poverty, laziness and dirtiness. This encourages men to shave often.


Most Korean ladies are used to seeing their men without beards. Therefore, in the dating market, hairless men are usually more preferred.

Influence of Media

The Korean media strengthen the idea of beardless. The BTS, K-pop bands and all other movie stars at the forefront of media fashion all have clean-shaven faces.

These clean, boyish faces of the single young stars are used as a marketing tool, portraying them as the ideal ‘boyfriend’, which strengthens the cultural hairless standard.

In Korean media, hairlessness is a symbol of success and stability. In a typical Korean movie, when a guy hits rock bottom, he grows a rough unkempt beard and starts living on drugs on alcohol. He wears a sharp, expensive suit and shaves his beard when he gets his life back.


Many Korean workplaces do not permit growing beards. It can get you fired.

Since the general public already knows that to be gainfully employed, you must be beardless, growing a beard offers the possibility of joblessness.

Shaving Frequency

Due to the big beard myths, Korean men shave their beards frequently, and, for some, every day to keep any facial hair from growing. 
Culture does come and go. Hopefully, in the coming years, we’ll see Korean men growing beards and beards will become acceptable.

Beauty Standards

Korean Man Looking at Himself at the Mirror

Korean beauty standards differ from Western standards due to the extreme skincare routine.
Other differences are big eyes, skin whitening, sharp jawline and a small face.

Let’s check out the differences between Korean and western beauty standards.

Shave Frequently

Almost all South Korean men shave regularly as this is the beauty standard. However, Western countries have divided options.
While some have a baby face, others have extremely long beards. Korean men frequently shave because this is considered normal in Korea.

Western Standards

As regards Western countries, it all boils down to personal preferences. If you desire to grow a long beard, it’s your call and if you have a baby face, you can leave it that way as long as you desire.

Skincare Routines

South Korea has a hug skincare routine. Many who apply skincare have cleanly-shaven faces.
Also, when watching Korean movies, there’s almost no one with a beard. This is one of the contributing factors to hairlessness in Korea.

Best Beard Products 


This kit is perfect for Korean men who desire to grow beards fast. Even though it may take a while before seeing the result, it will be worth waiting. Growing a beard requires a lot of patience.

The beard kit comes with everything you need, including the world’s best razor for head shaving, oils, a durable shaving brush, professional scissors and much more.


This premium beard balm is a must-have for all Asian men. It offers nice aftershave for men to achieve smooth skin.
 It is excellent for beginners and easy to apply. 


Beard soap is an excellent factor to consider when growing a beard. You want to keep your beards soft, smooth and clean.

Man Is Washing His Face


Are beards common in Korea?

Just about 30 percent of the men grow beards in Korea. Since there are no laws against growing a beard, you are allowed to maintain one.

Is it illegal to grow a beard in South Korea?

In this present day, there are no rules against growing a beard. In 1976, the then president of South Korea brought up a law regarding hair.

Although there was no specific length, if anyone did not trim their hair short, they would be taken to police custody, where they would be given a haircut against their will.

Do Korean men remove their facial hair?

Korea is popularly known for its laser hair removal method. Due to the Korean beauty standards, keeping body hair is considered barbaric.
It is a normal thing to be hairless in Korea.

Can BTS grow a beard?

According to a report on btimesonline.com, J-Hope, Suga and V confessed on TV the routines they go through to maintain a clean-shaven face. Maintaining a clean face is a personal preference and a cultural thing for the BTS group.

Why do pop idols have no facial hair?

It’s been known that a clean face is equivalent to a friendly and approachable face.
This is why most idols don’t have facial hair.

This might not be the same for everyone, but the significant fans are teenagers who are not used to seeing men with facial hair.
For this reason it is only normal that the idols don’t have facial hair.


Asian Man Wearing Vest and Holding Shirt

Now that we are at the end of the article, hopefully, you found the information you needed. 
Growing a beard in Korea isn’t a simple task because of genetics. Most men don’t keep beards due to beauty standards.

If you wish to grow a beard, you can always try some Asian beard styles any time you please.
It all comes down to you.
Remember that having a beard will set you apart from the rest of the Korean men.

Anthony Giannotti

About the author: Anthony Giannotti

Anthony Giannotti is a senior writer and editor for Beardoholic and a licensed barber for more than 13 years. He owns 3 barbershops and has his own hair care product line that is sold in barbershops worldwide. Known for his impeccable technique and skills, Anthony is an expert in hair and beard care and he knows the best products and tools to get rid of all beard problems and have an amazing beard.

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