So you want to grow a beard? Who wouldn't? A beard makes you look more responsible, handsome, masculine, wise, etc. There are more reasons as to why you should grow a beard than to not. However, if this is your first time, the challenge of growing and maintaining a beard may seem daunting at first. Fret not! We will help you along every step of your journey, and by the end, you'll come out more confident and wiser than when you started. So let's begin!
What are your goals?
How long do you want your beard to be?(knowing what the end goal is ahead of time will give you a realistic timeline so that you know what to expect). Everyman grows facial hair at a different rate, so your timeline may differ from someone else's. However, how long does it really take to grow a beard?
How long does it take to grow a beard?
Just like hair, your beard grows in stages. It typically takes 2-4 months for a full beard to grow, with hair growing anywhere between 0.3-0.5 mm every 24 hours. This in turn means that you can have anywhere between 1/3- 1/2 inch of growth each month, but before we get into what you can expect in each stage, let's look at some factors that need to be taken into account and some myths about growing a beard.
Things to take into consideration
Before you grow your beard, you should take some factors into consideration that may affect your beard growth.
- Genetics: What undoubtedly plays the biggest role in beard growth, your genetics will determine just how much facial hair you'll grow, along with the color, texture, and how fast your beard grows.
- Age: Your age will determine when your facial will start growing. Typically boys begin experiencing growth around 13, with there being the occasional full bearded middle schooler every now and then. However, for some men, they may not see significant growth until their mid-late twenties. So, if you can't grow much facial hair right now, it could be that you're just too young.
- Lifestyle: Your body is like a temple, what you put in is what you get back. If you don't treat yourself well, it'll be reflected. So, in order to have better quality beard growth, the 4 areas that you should focus on are: diet, exercise, grooming, and sleep( Yes! As you'll find out soon, sleep is important for your beard).
Unfortunately, with all the vast information that we have at our disposal, it can become confusing as to what is real and what is not. Don't worry! We will correct a few right now.
- Shaving makes your beard grow faster and thicker: This is false. When you shave, the razors tend to cut at an angle which leaves the hair follicle sharp. As a result, when the hair starts growing again, it gives the impression that there is more hair.
- Beard Growth Oils: There is no scientific backing for oils that claim to make your beard grow actually work. Beard oils are great at making sure your beard and skin is kept in top shape, and vitamins and certain foods help improve overall beard health.
- You need a big beard to look good: Nope! Whether you have a small beard or a big one, you'll look great not matter what. If you feel great, then that's all that matters. Besides, having a bigger beard will require more maintenance, whereas a small beard won't. Of course, whichever you decide to go with, we know you'll rock it!
The Different Stages of Growing a Beard
As mentioned previously, your beard grows in stages, and while every man grows their beard at a different rate, you can use the following as a reference. This is simply an estimate, so if you find that your beard does not grow at the pace we are about to describe, don't worry.
- Stage 1: Lasting around 1 week, you should have a stubble by the end of this stage. Depending on how much stubble you have, it can be indicative of how quickly your beard will grow.
- Stage 2: For the next 2-3 weeks you'll see more growth which will allow you to see if you'll have any patchy areas.
- Stage 3: Following another 2 weeks you should be able to see the entire shape of your beard. However, if you find that there is still not significant growth by this point, don't worry! As we said before, every man's facial hair grows at a different rate, so your beard could simply be a slow grower.
- Stage 4: As you enter your second month, it is time to start grooming. Keeping your beard in check not only makes sure your beard looks great, but it also helps in making sure you get the right shape.
- Stage 5: After 2-3 months, you'll notice that growth will have slowed down, but don't worry, this is normal. At this point your beard will have fully grown and now it is up to you to decide whether you want to maintain it or shave it(I mean... we think there is really only one choice here).
How to Improve the Overall Health of Your Beard
As previously mentioned, there are 4 areas that can be focused on, in order to improve the overall health of your beard. These areas are: your diet, exercising, grooming, and sleep.
Like your hair, your beard is made up of follicles, and these follicles are made up of a protein called Keratin. Depending on the state of your follicles, they will be rigid when thick, and flexible when thin, and because of all this, you want to make sure your beard is given the nutrients it needs, and your diet is one way of doing this. Here are some foods that can help:
- Spinach: A great source of Vitamin C & E, which allows for healthy production of sebum. Sebum is produced by your body's sebaceous glands, and is what naturally moisturizes your skin and in this case, your beard. A lack of sebum may lead your beard to look dry and dull.
- Eggs: Eggs are a great source of Biotin which helps improve the overall health of your beard and prevents breakage. If you're someone who prefers taking vitamins, then Biotin vitamins are readily available in most stores.
- Fish: Fish is a great source of protein which allows for more Keratin to be created by our bodies. As mentioned previously, your hair follicles are made up of Keratin, so this is definitely something you want. Healthy follicles means a healthy beard.
Exercising not only makes look great and feel great, but it can also help you as you go through your bearded journey. Weight training more specifically, boosts the levels of testosterone produced in your body. Specific trainings such as squats, deadlifts, rows, and overhead presses are great for this. However, making sure you do all exercises with the right from and good posture is so important. So if you're new to these exercises, you should get a personal trainer, because knowing how to do the exercises properly is very important, so that you don't injure yourself.
If your goal is to simply grow out your beard, then don't trim your beard, however, there are some circumstances where grooming your beard as it grows is recommended.
- As your beard gets longer, you may experience knots and tangles, and getting your beard groomed will alleviate these issues.
- As your beard grows, you'll experience hair growth to your neckline, and making sure this is trimmed is key so that your neck does not end up looking like an out of control forest.
You want your beard to grow, but you also don't want to look like a wild caveman(or maybe you do, it's your choice, we won't judge).
You always hear about needing those 7 hours of sleep because it's good for your health, and it is! Proper sleep will keep your mind sharp, make you feel great, and it's just good for your overall health. However, it'll also keep your beard healthy. The testosterone in your body is usually released during your sleep, and if your sleep schedule is messed up, it can affect this process. In one study, young men who slept less were found to have lower levels of testosterone during their waking hours, whereas those who received good sleep had the opposite. In another study, researchers found that testosterone levels peaked during the first REM cycle, stayed at that level until they woke up. Simply put, proper sleep is great for your health and your beard.
How to Take Care of Your Beard
So your beard is starting to grow or it's already fully grown. Either way, no matter what stage you are in, it's always important that you give your beard the proper care. While you can go ahead and let your beard grow without using anything, you'll inevitably run into issues along the way. Whether it's an itchy beard, a dry beard, a flaky beard, or dry skin. These issues are annoying and make the growing process less fun. So what do you use?
Beard oils are light and hydrating. Whereas balms should be used only after you have more length, a beard oil can be used right from the beginning. Beard Oils:
- Moisturize your skin and hair to prevent a dry and flaky beard.
- Alleviates itching(it's normal to experience itching when growing out your beard, and using a beard oil will stop that).
- Improves the texture of your beard.
- It's hydrating features will leave your facial hair feeling fresh.
Beardism's Beard Oil is formulated with soothing ingredients such as Vitamin E, Grape Seed Oil, and Coconut Oil in order to keep your skin and beard soft and hydrated so that your beard will feel great at any stage. However, how many drops should you apply? It varies between length, but heres an estimate:
- 0-1 Month: 2-3 drops
- 1-3 Months: 3-5 drops
- 3-12 Months: 5-10 drops
- 12+ Months: 10+ drops
Once you have more length, then you can introduce a balm into your care routine. Balms have a wax-like texture and are able to give your more manageability. Balms also:
- Tame wild hairs, so if you are someone who wakes with with bed beard, then a balm will be perfect.
- Because of its wax-like properties, if you wish to style your beard a certain way, a balm will keep your beard in place while still giving you manageability(like a pomade for your hair).
- Because a balm takes longer to be absorbed by your beard and skin, there is deeper and long lasting moisture.
Beard balms are amazing at longer lengths, and our Balms are formulated with Beeswax and Shea Butter as key ingredients. These two ingredients help in keeping the shape of your beard together while also moisturizing your beard and skin. The beeswax can also act as a sort of sealant in order to keep grime away from your beard. How much balm should you use? Again it varies between length, but you should start with a dime sized amount and apply more if needed.
Issues you may Experience When Growing your Beard
- Itchiness: When you do shave, your razor shaves the hair at an angle. As a result, it leaves the hair follicles sharp. When the hair starts growing again, it may cause irritation to the skin which causes the itch. To remedy this, using a beard oil will help immensely.
- Beardruff(Dandruff): An issue that can come about because of a dry beard and dry skin. If you haven't washed and exfoliated your face in some time, then this could also be why you are experiencing dandruff. If you wish to get rid of beardruff, washing and exfoliating your face is a must, followed by applying beard oil or beard balm. However, if the issue persists, it could be an underlying issue(usually seborrheic dermatitis). In this case, you should speak with your doctor or dermatologist.
- Tangles/knots: If your beard is long enough, you may become victim to tangles and knots. For some, this can happen during your sleep, because your pillow case does in-fact take away some moisture from your beard and hair. To solve this, getting your beard groomed every now and then can help with getting rid of the tangles and knots. However, if the issue is because your beard is dry, then a beard oil or beard balm should suffice.
Depending on where you live, when it gets hot, it can either be humid or dry, and during colder periods, your beard will also be affected. Here is what happens:
- Hot: If it's not humid, then hot weather is usually dry, and when it's dry and hot outside, that means your beard will become dry and brittle. This happens because the heat strips your beard of moisture.
- Humid: Whereas dry weather will cause your beard to become dry and brittle, during periods of high humidity, your beard will look moisturized and full of volume. This happens because the cuticles of your hair will absorb the moisture that comes with humidity. However, if it's very humid this may cause your beard to get frizzy.
- Cold: What do cold weather and cold water have in common? When they come in contact with your beard, your hair's cuticles will close up in order to preserve heat. This can cause your beard and skin to become dry, and according to a study, colder temperatures were found to slow down the rate of growth for hair.
- Hot: Making sure your beard is hydrated is essential when fighting against the effects of dry weather. Using a beard oil will help in keeping your beard and skin hydrated and moisturized.
- Humid: Humidity will bring an over abundance of moisture that may lead to your beard becoming frizzy. To solve this, men should wash their beard routinely.
- Cold: As growth slows down, the cold may also cause your beard to become dry. Just like the heat, making sure your beard is moisturized during this time is important. A beard oil or balm will be your best friend in order to make sure your beard is moisturized.
That's a lot of information to take in. So to sum it up:
- Understand how long a beard will really take to grow.
- Know the factors that may affect your growth.
- Know the issues that you'll deal with along the way.
- Your diet, exercising, grooming, and proper sleep is important for the overall health of your beard.
- Establishing and maintaining a proper beard care routine is very important to keep your beard in top shape.
Growing a beard takes time, and maintaining it requires work, but it is absolutely worth it. You look incredible and you'll feel incredible. We hope you are able to put this guide to use and that you go on and grow a beard that others can only dream of. Don't hesitate to let us know what you thought of this guide in the comments below, and if you believe we missed anything, don't hesitate to let us know!