Sorry to break it to you, but that beard on your face is technically pubic hair.
Hear us out:
- The term puberty is a direct descendant of "pubertatum," the Latin word for "age of maturity" and manhood, as well as "pubertis" ("adult, full-grown, manly"). The Middle English term for pubic hair was "neþir berd." So, etymologically speaking, any hair that grows in a place it didn't before puberty is pubic.
- The follicles of beard hair are composed similarly to the hair on a man's groin and armpits, according to Dr. Bobby Buka, founder of Greenwich Village Dermatology and section chief at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "The concentration of sebaceous glands is high in several areas," he said: the face, groin and armpits. "So the hair characteristics in those areas are very similar, in terms of thickness of shaft and quality of hair."
- It is believed that our groin hair has stayed thick (while most of our body hair has thinned out over our evolutionary time) so that it can release pheromones and attract mates, and your beard does it, too. Sebaceous glands are higher on your face than your scalp, Buka said, which leads to an increase in sebum, which carries pheromones. And since it's richer in sebum, and richer in pheromones, your beard has a distinct smell. "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," Buka said.
In conclusion: If you have a beard, you have pubes on your face. Or, maybe your privates have a little beard on them down there. But for what it's worth, does Buka personally refer to beard hair as pubic hair? "No, I do not," he said.
Perhaps it's all semantics.