I am 16 but still I don’t have a beard but all of my friends do. I feel embarrassed with them. So what should I do? Please help me. It sounds funny but it’s a serious concern for me.

Even though you may know that all guys go through puberty at their own pace, it can still be frustrating if you feel your friends are developing faster than you. Keep in mind that facial hair, the amount, color, texture and thickness, is the result of many factors. This is mostly determined by your genes (not the kind you wear but the kind that are passed down from your parents) as well as the presence of male hormones called “testosterone” and DHEAS. These hormones begin to rise in early to mid-puberty (example: 11-14 years old) and continue to rise throughout puberty. Even if you are going through puberty at a normal pace, you may not develop much hair growth on your face if your male relatives don’t have much facial hair or it may take a few more years for you to see it. You may want to ask your dad or other male relatives when they began shaving. If you have any questions about how your puberty is progressing, please see your primary care provider (PCP) who can do an exam and further evaluation as needed.