The Joseon Dynasty ruled Korea from 1392 to 1910. During this period, Confucian values were emphasized, including the belief that beards were unpolished and unkempt. As a result, many Korean men choose to shave their beards. After that, Korea was occupied by Japan from 1910 to 1945. During this time, the Japanese government encouraged Korean men to shave their beards to appear more “civilized.” This further contributed to the decline of beards in Korean culture.
In the 20th century, Korea went through a period of rapid modernization. This led to a shift in cultural values. And beards are becoming more and more associated with the older generation and conservatives. As a result, many younger Korean men choose not to grow beards.
Genes are also a major factor in hair growth. Korean men have hair follicles with low sensitivity to testosterone. This gently lengthens body and facial hair.
Culture also plays a role in growing a beard. In some cultures, a beard is seen as a sign of masculinity and maturity. In other cultures, beards are seen as dirty or impure. Korea’s culture does not place a high value on beards, so many Korean men choose not to grow them.
Bearded men in Korea are seen to have gone through some emotional trauma. or others think they are ‘lost’ and are taking drugs or alcohol.
Beards are considered a sign of masculinity, but in Korea, women see bearded men as unhygienic and incapable of taking care of themselves. They think it’s a negative personality trait.
Korea is known for its high beauty standards and skin care products. Appearance is the most important thing for Koreans. They want smooth, pore-free, blemish-free and even-toned skin. It is not natural but applies to both men and women.
Many workplaces and jobs force men to shave every day in order to look more classy. Even a small amount of stubble is considered messy and not allowed.
Of course, these are just some of the historical reasons why Koreans don’t grow beards. Other factors may also have contributed to this trend. However, the Joseon Dynasty, the Japanese colonial period, and modernity have all played important roles in shaping Korean attitudes toward beards.
Not all Korean men lack beards. Some men have the ability to grow a beard, but may choose not to. In the end, whether or not Korean men grow beards is a matter of genetics, environment, and personal taste.