If you are growing a beard for the first time, or if you are starting to…
Growing a beard is something that nearly every guy has considered at some point in his life. However, many men are at a loss when figuring out how to start. Whether you’re thinking about growing a beard, or have already started to grow a long beard, you are probably looking for some guidance.
Thankfully, this guide contains everything that you need to know about how to grow a longer, fuller beard. Read on to learn all about beard growth stages, beard styles, the tools you’ll need for your new look, and everything else you need to know about growing a full beard successfully.
Men who do not have beards may think that growing a big beard is easy. However, growing and styling a beard is not as easy as just putting the razor away. Growing a long beard takes planning, determination, and effort.
Whether you are planning to grow a long beard or have already started growing one, this informative guide is all you need to ensure that you are on the right track. Let’s get started!
Why Do You Want to Grow a Beard?
Before we dive deep into the process of growing a beard, you need to be clear about a crucial question: Why do you want to grow a beard?
There are a few common reasons why men choose to grow beards, including:
- They want to try something new with their overall aesthetics
- They want to rejuvenate or reinvent their style
- They want to practice patience by achieving a long-term goal
Whatever your reason is, growing a beard can be a fun goal if you choose to chase it! As long as you are clear enough with the reasons, staying focused will keep you determined and motivated as you work for your goal.
What are the Benefits of Growing a Beard?
You may not have a specific reason in mind for growing your new beard, but there are a ton of good reasons to embark on this project! If you’re seeking some beard growing motivation, consider the following benefits:
1. Provides Health Benefits
A beard will not only enhance your style but will also provide you with a few important health benefits:
- A thick long beard protects you from harsh UV rays which can further help lower your risk of skin cancer
- According to recent research, beards contain certain bacteria that can help to produce natural antibiotics
- Your beard will protect you from cold during the winter months
2. Enhances Your Personality
Beards have been an integral part of men’s style in many different cultures across the globe. It isn’t uncommon to see guys with beards everywhere nowadays. It’s safe to say beards are cooler and trendier than ever!
Growing a beard can be a great way to enhance your personality by trying a new look. If you’re someone who wants to alter your aesthetics, growing a beard may be perfect for you.
3. Increases Manliness
There’s no better way to showcase your masculinity than by growing your own majestic beard. Many people consider the beard to be directly related to a man’s masculinity, maturity, and confidence.
Growing a beard can do wonders for you if you’re looking to adopt a manlier look. If you have a weak jawline or a baby-like face, a beard can work to make you look more masculine. In fact, many men say they feel more attractive with a beard.
4. Saves You Time by Not Shaving
If you’re looking to save on time in the morning, growing a beard can be a great solution! Removing the need to shave can cut down on some major grooming time. In fact, research says that a man, on average, spends nearly 5 months of his life shaving. That’s a ton of time!
Additionally, regular shaving can leave you with cuts and abrasions to deal with. This can cost you even more time, as these will have to be cleaned and taken care of to reduce risks of infection, ingrown hairs, or even folliculitis i.e. an inflammation of the hair follicles on the skin. Maintaining a beard may initially seem like a chore, but if you do it right, it will surely take less time than shaving.
How to Grow a Beard
Are you ready to get started? The process for growing a beard can be categorized into six phases:
1. Pre-beard Stage
In this stage, you’ll need to determine what your beard growing goals are. However, before you choose your new look, you need to understand a few key factors.
First, remember that growing a beard is going to be time-consuming. Even more so if you are unable to grow the beard of your dreams. Unfortunately, not all of us can grow a thick full beard – it all depends on genetics.
Don’t let that discourage you, though! There’s a beard style for every man. If you cannot grow a long beard, consider exploring other styles like a goatee, a chin curtain, or another style that you think will suit you best.
2. Initial Stage
When you first start growing your beard, you may be discouraged that it looks scruffy or scraggly. You’ll be tempted to clean it up, but try to avoid doing this, as shaping your beard during the initial growth phase can result in an awkwardly shaped beard.
Stick to a proper care routine to avoid itchiness and formation of ingrown hair through the initial beard growth.
3. Growth Stage
You will experience a lot of beard itch during the growth stage, but there are steps you can take to push through!
Sticking to a proper skincare routine is the most important thing. Be sure to keep your beard clean, as it can collect dust, which may irritate your skin.
Also, use beard shampoo instead of regular shampoo to clean your beard, as regular shampoo is too harsh for facial skin.
Lastly, use a quality face moisturizer to soothe dry skin. If your beard is already too thick at this early stage, then try beard oil, as it can also help to soothe itchy skin.
4. Shaping Stage
We recommend that you visit a barber for the initial shaping of your beard. They will have a lot of experience and can give you tips for shaping your beard, based upon the shape of your face.
The barber can also help you to establish your neckline, which can be a difficult process if it is your first time.
Once your beard has been shaped, it will be much easier for you to maintain and trim it.
We have outlined some shaping tips below, in case you want to do it yourself, or if you want to have a better understanding of what the barber is doing:
- Comb your beard thoroughly to remove the knots before trimming
- While shaping your beard, follow your natural cheek line, snipping away stray hair with a good pair of beard scissors
- Avoid trimming the areas that are too close to your beard i.e. between your neck and chin
- Use beard balm or beard cream to tame and shape your beard into the most suitable style
How Long Will It Take to Grow a Full Beard?
On average, beard hair grows half an inch every month, so it may take approximately two to six months to grow a full beard. However, the growth rate depends on the individual.
According to studies, an untrimmed beard can grow up to three feet long. Note that if you’re in it for the long haul, most beards won’t grow any longer than the length they hit after six years of growth.
What Factors Impact Your Ability to Grow a Beard?
There are several different factors that play a crucial role in how quickly and fully your facial hair will grow, including:
Genetics play a major role in hair growth, as genes will determine the length, thickness, and color of your beard. While this does not mean that you’ll grow the same beard as your father or grandfather, the general behavior of your beard depends on your genetics.
The rate of your beard’s growth depends on your age. Men begin to develop facial hair around the age of 13. However, men between the ages of 25 to 35 tend to see their fastest and the most abundant hair growth. This growth rate will slow down gradually as men age.
If you have high testosterone levels, you likely have an abundance of body and facial hair. However, high testosterone levels can also be the reason for baldness. This helps to explain why you may see many men with bald heads, but long beards.
Exercise can help to boost testosterone levels, aiding the growth of your facial hair!
If you’re looking to improve your testosterone levels, consider taking up weight-training exercises that work out multiple muscle groups. If you’re super serious, you may even want to hire a personal trainer to help you embark on a new weight lifting lifestyle.
Your diet can have an effect on your facial hair and its growth. To maximize your beard’s growth potential, follow a diet that is full of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Consuming a protein-rich diet can prevent your hair from growing weak and brittle. Additionally, you can keep it healthy by consuming foods that are rich in B, C, and D vitamins as well as zinc and iron. These will all work to give you better and healthier hair growth results.
Did you know? The quality of your beard can be affected by sleep! Try your best to get seven hours or more of sleep a night to grow your dream beard.
While you’re sleeping, your body temperature tends to decrease, increasing overall blood circulation. This blood circulation can help to improve beard growth, nourishing the hair follicles and roots.
Stress and hair loss can be closely correlated. Increased stress levels weaken your overall immune system, impacting the growth rate of your scalp and facial hair. If you’re stressed and have a weakened immune system, less hair growth is sure to follow.
While many people are aware of the health risks caused by smoking, its negative impact on beard growth is not so widely known. Smoking tobacco can even lead to hair loss, including facial hair. If you’re trying to quit, then this is another good reason to put cigarettes down for good.
Understanding Beard Growth
As we discussed above, not everyone will have the same beard length during their growth stage, as growth patterns depend on factors including age and genetics.
The average man is said to have around 30,000 beard hair follicles on his face. It’s quite natural for facial hair to appear patch and disconnected during the growth stage. Some hair will grow fast, some will grow slowly, and some may even grow curlier than other areas. As you grow your beard, it’s important to trust the process.
Your facial hair will act differently as it grows into the following areas:
- The mustache – which is the hair above the upper lip
- The soul patch – which is the hair below the bottom lip
- The goatee – which is the hair on the front of your chin, above the jawline that can further expand to cheeks
- The sideburns – which is the hair on the cheeks and above your jawline
- The neck – which is the hair that grows below your jawline
Out of all these areas, you can expect a noticeable length from neck hair, as it has a faster growth rate than the rest of your facial hair.
Every individual will have his unique terminal beard length and growth. This is why you will see that some can grow the long handlebar mustaches easily while others can’t after trying for months.
No matter what the length or growth rate of your facial hair is, you’re likely to experience three phases of growth:
Phases of Beard Hair Growth
1. The Anagen Phase
This is the initial growing stage of the hair growth cycle.
During the anagen phase, the cells within the root of hair follicles have a tendency to split at a rapid rate.
Here, you can expect your hair strands to grow by half an inch or more every month. Your DNA generally determines the duration of your anagen phase.
In total, this phase will last from anywhere between two to six years, or sometimes, even more.
2. The Catagen Phase
This signifies the transitional part of the hair growth cycle and is typically the shortest of all. In fact, you won’t notice any hair growth in this stage.
During this stage, the hair strands will be separated from the hair follicles and there won’t be any blood supply. This stage reflects an end to beard growth and will last for around two to three weeks.
3. The Telogen Phase
This signifies new hair coming in while pushing the old hair out. After your old hair sheds during this phase, the follicle will return to the anagen phase to start the growth cycle again. Typically, this stage will last from anywhere between two to four months.
Note that your different hair follicles will be at different stages at different times, meaning that your whole beard won’t stop growing at once. Some follicles will complete the cycle faster than others, shed their hair, and start new growth while others are coming to the end of the cycle.
Different Beard Styles
A beard can work to change your overall look, but not every style will suit you. It is important to determine the style that you think will suit your face shape best and contribute to enhancing your personality.
We’ve outlined a few options to explore below.
Go with one of the following options if you prefer to sport a short beard style:
- Van Dyke
- Soul Patch
- Handlebar and Chin Puff
- Chin Strap and Chin Curtain
- Goatee and Mustache
For medium beard style, go with one of these options:
- Full beard
- Short boxed beard
- Corporate Beard
- French Fork
Planning to sport a long beard style? Choose from one of these options:
- Old Dutch
- Faded beard
- Braided beard
- Biker beard
- Viking beard
Essential Beard Grooming Products
Investing in the following products can help you have a healthy beard:
Beard Wash and Beard Softener
You may use your regular shampoo and conditioner on your beard, but these conventional hair products will do more harm than good. In fact, these products’ ability to remove excess oil from your scalp will actively damage your beard, stripping it of the natural oils it needs.
Keeping your beard hair soft is key! Consider purchasing a beard oil to get the job done. It will work to replenish and hydrate both your skin and hair, keeping your beard soft, nourished, and easy to style.
Styling Balm is a useful finishing product for styling your beard. While it does not have the conditioning properties of beard oil but, it helps to control beard hair, preventing flyaways and giving you control throughout the day.
Beard Hair Brush
Since your beard hair is different from the hair on your head, consider getting a beard hairbrush. This brush is designed to stimulate your beard hair, aiding its growth.
Beard hair brushes are designed to get through the thickness of beard hair, with wider teeth than a traditional comb. When picking a beard hairbrush or beard comb, avoid plastic and metal combs, as they can produce static that will make taming your beard more complicated.
Beard Trimming Scissors
To keep your bead style in check, investing in some beard trimming scissors can be helpful. It is very common to see your beard hair growing unevenly, and a quick clean-up with these tools will keep you looking well-groomed.
Common Misconceptions About Growing a Beard
You may have come across some myths about growing a beard. Here, we look at some of the more common ones, and rebut them:
Myth: Beard hair will grow back more quickly if you shave
Reality: There’s no such evidence that shaving makes your hair grow back at a faster rate. It all depends on your genetics and time.
Myth: Beards make you feel hotter in summer
Reality: It’s actually the other way! Beards can help block UV rays from your face while creating a cooling airflow.
Myth: Beards create itchiness
Reality: While it is normal to have some itchiness during the early stages of growth, this goes away as your beard grows. In general, beards are not itchy.
Myth 4: Beards are dirty
Reality: If you wash your hair as frequently as you wash your scalp hair, you won’t have a dirty beard. Use a beard wash and follow a proper care routine to have a healthy beard.
Summing it up, these five tips will assist you in growing and maintaining your healthy beard:
1. Set a Realistic Goal – Be patient, and have a goal in mind. Choose a beard that suits you, and direct your efforts toward growing that style.
2. Give Yourself Time – Beard growth is going to take time. Let your beard grow for at least a month before you trim it, so that you get a clear idea of what kind of facial hair you’ll have to work with.
3. Keep Your Cheeks High and Your Neckline Low – Once it starts growing, your beard is going to spread on your face. As a general rule, keep your cheek lines higher and your neckline lower than you think they should be.
4. Use Beard Products – Keep your beard clean and hydrated from day one! Don’t wait till it is fully grown. Using beard oil or beard balm will help you keep the skin hydrated, the hair soft, and your skin free from irritation.
5. Maintain Your Beard – Once your beard has grown in, continue to take care of it! Regular washing, conditioning, and brushing will keep your beard and face healthy.