If you’re looking to grow a beard, there are many ways to improve the health and fullness of your facial hair. While beard growth is pre-determined by genetics, men are able to maximize speed and thickness with some basic tips and trick.
This guide will detail how to grow a beard faster and thicker naturally. From good beard care that minimizes itchiness and dandruff to tactics that can help keep your facial hair soft and shiny, here’s everything you need to know about making your beard grow.
Be Dedicated To Growing Your Beard Out
If you talk to a lot of bearded men, you may hear a similar origin story: they didn’t so much decide to grow a beard, as the beard just happened to show up. It started with a missed alarm clock and a rushed morning routine and a skipped shave, or with a long weekend where shaving seemed like too much effort, and before they knew it, they had a decent amount of scruff that was already on its way to becoming a full-fledged beard.
At a certain point though, a person can no longer leave everything up to the beard fates. A time will come when your facial hair is in an ungainly phase, where it’s too long to be stubble but too short and patchy to truly be a beard. Your face will itch. Your co-workers may start shooting you suspicious glances or asking in hushed voices if everything’s all right at home.
This is the point where you need to make a decision about whether you’re ready to fully commit to beard life. The good news is this: unlike puberty, which can drag on for years, most guys found that they only had to endure about four weeks of feeling awkward before their beard blossomed into its full potential.
If you prefer heavy stubble, you’re going to want to invest in a good beard trimmer so check out the best choices here.
Leave Your Beard Alone
Once you have committed to your beard, it may be counterintuitive to then leave it alone. But while you’re in that four-week awkward stage, the best thing you can do is pretend your beard doesn’t exist. You can’t really shape or groom your beard until it reaches a certain length. The only thing you can do for roughly that first month is try and deal with the itchiness of new growth.
Not everyone has to contend with a great deal of beard itch: it all comes down to how coarse your beard hair is, and how sensitive your skin is. If you find the itching to be unbearable, resist the urge to scratch as this can lead to patchy areas.
Instead, use a good beard shampoo and conditioner to cleanse and moisturize your facial hair, finishing with a beard oil containing aloe vera and tea tree oil, both of which can naturally assuage itching.
Beyond that, the best thing you can do for your burgeoning beard is ignore it: the more you leave it alone, the better your beard will look and feel down the line.
Vitamins for Beard Growth
A balanced diet isn’t just important for the health of your body: it plays a major role in the health of your hair. Certain vitamins can speed up hair growth, while others can make hair stronger, less brittle, and less prone to breakage.
Protein is absolutely essential to beard growth. Hair is made of keratin, which is itself a protein. Because humans don’t produce keratin on our own, we need to consume protein so that our bodies can convert it into the amino acids that compose keratin.
Omega-3 fatty acids also facilitate hair growth: in addition, they protect cell membranes so they keep your beard from getting too brittle or dry.
Low iron counts can cause facial hair to stop growing or even fall out, so in addition to consuming foods that are iron-rich, eat foods like citrus that are high in Vitamin C. Vitamin C can actually help the body better absorb iron. Vitamin C along with Vitamin E also promotes the production of sebum, a natural oil that moisturizes hair.
Other nutrients that aid in hair growth and health include Vitamin A, which assists in repairing skin tissue, and Vitamins B6, B12, and Biotin which promote the growth of skin cells and hair. Ensuring you are including all these nutrients in your diet can help set you up for beard-growth success.
While all of these vitamins can be taken in through a balanced diet, you may also want to look into taking supplements to make sure all your nutritional needs are being met. As with all changes in diet and supplement use though, be sure to consult with your primary care physician before drastically changing up your regimen.
Testosterone plays a major role in beard health, as it primes the hair follicle and contains a steroid called dihydrotestosterone (DHT): DHT is what actually stimulates linear growth of facial hair. Recent studies have indicated that men who do not get enough sleep tend to experience a marked drop in testosterone production.
Experts recommend sleeping for at least eight hours every night to give your body a chance to recuperate and recover. This should also give ample time for testosterone to regenerate throughout the night.
If you lead a stressful life, it may be having a deleterious effect on your hair. Certain types of hair loss may be associated with high levels of stress. Most notably, a type of hair loss called telogen effluvium pushes large numbers of hair follicles into a state of resting.
After just a few months, you may find your hair coming out in clumps when you wash or comb it. Fight back against stress-related hair loss by taking some time to engage in self-care.
Reduce screen time, and instead make time for more restful pursuits like meditating, doing breathing exercises, spending time with friends, or even just playing with a pet. The more relaxed you are, the more your beard will bounce back and thrive.
Exercising is another fantastic way to relieve stress. It can also help regenerate testosterone, which, as we know, facilitates better hair growth. Exercise also gets your blood pumping and increases circulation, thereby transporting the nutrients you’ve been diligently consuming to your hair follicles. In short, exercise is the final step that really pushes all your other beard-growing efforts into high gear.
Quality Beard Products
No real evidence exists that suggests that beard care products can help boost hair growth. That doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be an important part of your beard care routine.
You want to treat your beard hair like you would treat the hair on your head. Wash it and keep it clean. Use beard oils or balms to soften coarse, bristly facial hair. Dry and comb your beard to thwart ingrown hairs before they can begin.
A beard is a long-term commitment: caring for it with the right kind of products for you will help it look and feel better.
How Long Does it Take to Grow a Beard?
There’s no real hard and fast rule on how long it takes for a beard to grow in. It comes down to a variety of factors, including testosterone levels, age, diet, genetics, and more. Be patient for the first four weeks (and even a little beyond) and remember: even if having a beard requires a little more maintenance than you initially thought it would, it’s still a lot easier than shaving every day.
How to Grow a Thicker Beard
Size isn’t everything: girth matters, too. A long beard doesn’t necessarily look impressive if it’s sparse or scraggly. Often, a thick beard looks better than a long beard. But can you really impact beard fullness? You may be limited in what you can do to maximize the volume of your beard.
Just as baldness has a genetic component, so too does beard growth. If you come from a long line of clean-shaven guys, it may not just be an aesthetic choice: they may have struggled to grow good beards of their own.
But even if your father and grandfather and great-grandfather all had the capacity to grow patchy beards at best, remember to have patience and work on pursuing other ways to maximize your beard health.
If the initial four-week awkward stage has come and gone and your bead is as scraggly as a Charlie Brown Christmas tree, you may need to take a little extra time to let it fill out. In the meantime, you can always trim and shape your beard to help it appear