In many cultures across the globe, having a full, thick beard is a sign of manliness. So it would make sense then that the question on most men’s minds is how to grow an impressive beard and fast!
Whether you want to transform your patchy beard, grow a beard for the first time, or cover that baby-faced look with a thick and rugged swathe of facial hair, you need to know this: there is no quick fix for growing an impressive beard.
However, there are a few steps you can take to ensure your beard grows out fuller, thicker, and more quickly. Most of these steps revolve around lifestyle choices and, if followed, will leave you with impressive results. Let’s take a closer look!
How Long Does it Take to Grow a Beard?
The length of time it takes a man to grow a beard depends mainly on his genetic makeup and hormone levels. While men often gauge the time it takes to grow a beard on how long it takes to grow head hair, this is not an accurate measure, as facial hair grows a lot faster.
The hair follicles found in your skin begin to grow beard hair when you hit puberty, usually between the ages of 12 and 16. During puberty, the production of hormones such as Testosterone and Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) begins. These hormones are responsible for your facial hair growing.
Testosterone determines how thick your beard will be, while DHT determines its density. Men with high levels of Testosterone and DHT often have a thicker, fuller beard. Those with low levels of these hormones or lower sensitivity will often find that they have a problem growing a full beard and often end up with patchy facial hair.
If you’re finding that your Testosterone levels are not quite what they should be, you will be happy to know that there are a few ways you can increase these levels without the need for medication or supplements.
Regular exercise, a healthy lifestyle, and a diet covering all food groups are the best ways to grow an impressive beard. In addition, making sure you get enough sleep, keeping your stress levels low, and incorporating sufficient proteins and fats in your diet will boost your Testosterone levels naturally.
Genetics is another factor that influences the growth rate of your beard. If your father and grandfather could grow full beards relatively quickly, then chances are you will be able to do the same.
While genetics is something you cannot change, there are simple steps you can take to help things along for faster beard growth.
Beard Growth as a Teenager
If you’re reading this as a teen, chances are you have hit puberty, and the idea of growing a beard that would impress lumberjacks and your friends is appealing. And we hear you; however, patience and time are your real friends here.
If you’re just hitting puberty, your chances of growing a full beard are lesser because your hormones are still coming into play. However, when you hit the ages of 18 to 20, you will start to see an improvement in beard growth. It is important to remember that this isn’t the case for everyone – we all develop at our own pace.
This doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t grow facial hair now. If you find you can only develop a patchy beard, keep it trimmed to minimalize the look of the patchiness, or focus on growing facial hair in one area, such as a mustache or goatee
It is also essential to practice a good skincare routine to keep your hair follicles free from impurities that inhibit hair growth. Using a good cleanser and exfoliating is a great place to start. If you battle with a skin condition visiting a dermatologist will also help.
Maintaining a balanced diet and exercising regularly will also do wonders for your facial hair growth.
Simple Steps to Improve Beard Growth
While genetics and hormone levels play a significant role in how thick and how fast your beard grows, there are a few simple steps you can follow that will help the process along. So let’s take a look:
Step One: Self Care
Diet and skincare both fall under the umbrella of self-care, as do the number of hours of sleep you get in a night.
- Skincare Routine
Spend a little time each day using an effective skincare routine. Washing your face with a gentle face wash and warm water and following through with a cleanser, toner, and exfoliator are all important steps that will keep your skin and beard clean, remove dead skin cells, and keep your hair follicles unclogged. Never use hot water to clean your face; it can damage your skin and hair follicles, causing them to dry out.
- Get a Good Sleep
Getting a good nights’ rest is also vital for ensuring optimal beard hair growth. Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night is imperative for cell renewal. Enough rest allows your body to perform its functions at a higher level and increases blood flow and cell regeneration.
- Eat a Balanced Diet
A well-balanced diet is also key to producing a thicker beard. Below is a list of food groups you should be adding to your diet to help your beard grow faster:
- Greens: cabbage, collards, Brussel sprouts, kale, spinach, broccoli, and lettuce.
- Fruits: avocado, kiwi fruit, citrus fruits, pineapple, blueberries, strawberries, apples, and pomegranate.
- Proteins: eggs, poultry, fish, red meat, pulses, dairy
- Nuts & Seeds: flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, cashew nuts, almonds, peanuts, and hazelnuts.
- Reduce Stress
Alleviating stress is another aspect of self-care that plays a far more significant role in your hair growth than you would imagine. Stress is a leading cause of hair loss in men, and this includes facial hair. Therefore, keeping your stress levels down will improve the growth of your facial hair.
- Exercise Regularly
Another way to keep your body healthy and to help your beard grow faster is exercise. Movement improves your blood circulation, which provides higher levels of oxygen to your cells. Higher oxygen levels improve cell growth and regeneration, keeping your hair thick, full, and healthy.
Step Two: Stay Committed
Growing a beard can be an arduous and often frustrating task. At first, it seems to take off, growing at a pace, before reaching that point where it feels as though it has come to a standstill and will never look like more than unkempt stubble.
It is at this stage that most men throw in the towel and shave it all off. But, unfortunately, they don’t realize this is the most crucial stage just before another growth spurt happens.
Another factor that leads to men shaving off their beards before becoming the lush manes they had hoped for is itching. Beard itch can be irritating to the point that shaving the thing off makes more sense.
But, this doesn’t need to be the case. There are plenty of exceptional beard products such as beard balm that will help soothe the itch. You can find a host of beard balms and beard oils on Amazon that will help control the itching so you can grow out your beard.
Step Three: Take Your Vitamins
Supplementing your diet with premium vitamins and minerals will ensure that you get all the nutrients your body needs to faster produce thick and healthy hair.
It is always advisable to first speak with your doctor before taking supplements. Talk to them about trying some of the following:
Biotin or Vitamin B7 helps support a healthy metabolism and is known to help promote the growth and health of hair, skin, and nails. Biotin is the most favored supplement to aid hair growth and you can find a range of Biotin-infused shampoo and conditioners.
- Other B Vitamins
Niacin or Vitamin B3 is used to help your body turn food into energy. It also promotes good skin and hair health.
- Vitamin A
Vitamins A, also known as Retinol, promotes growth and improves cell reproduction. It also has excellent antioxidant properties.
- Vitamin C
Also known as Ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is used to promote the growth and repair of body tissues. For example, this vitamin helps with hair growth, and it allows new hair cells to grow faster and stronger.
Keratin is a type of protein and is the same protein that makes up your hair, skin, and nails. You can use keratin-infused beard products to promote the growth of thicker hair. Eating whole grains, salmon, and eggs is another way to boost your keratin intake.
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps to fight against hair loss and alopecia. Vitamin D works in conjunction with sunlight to promote bodily health.
- Vitamin E
This vitamin is known by many to help with skin, but it also helps hair growth. It works as an antioxidant and helps prevent oxidative stress.
Step Four: Let it Grow!
During the first month or so of growing your beard, you may find that it frustrates you. It is itchy, looks ragged and untidy, and has little you can do to style it. At this point, most men tend to take a trimmer or a pair of scissors and attempt to neaten up the shape and style of the beard.
The key here is: Don’t! Let your beard grow.
As challenging as it may be, don’t trim, shape, or cut your beard for the first four weeks at least. The less grooming you do, the faster your beard will grow! When you finally reach the six-week mark, you can trim and shape to your heart’s content, by waiting until your hair is a little longer and softer allows you to groom your beard more easily and prevents you from cutting off too much and creating patches.
Again, patience is key, and once your beard softens, giving it shape will be much less time-consuming.
Step Five: Hydrate!
The more water you drink, the healthier your body will be. Scientists claim we should be drinking between 64 and 80oz of water a day.
Staying adequately hydrated will improve your blood circulation, carrying more oxygen to your cells. Increased oxygen at a cellular level enhances cell regeneration and health.
However, when you are dehydrated, you can expect the converse – cells take longer to regenerate, your skin and hair become dry and brittle, and will take longer to grow and will, in some cases, begin to fall out.
Step Six: Kick the Habit!
While your habits are your own, there is research that shows smoking has a negative effect on facial hair. While you may be aware of the impact the habit has on the skin and how it increases the signs of aging, it affects hair follicles too.
Smoking narrows the blood vessels in your skin, reducing the flow of oxygenated blood to your hair follicles, causing them to die, and in turn, causing hair loss.
Another result of the lack of blood and oxygen caused by smoking will turn your beard grey prematurely. If you are spending money on taking supplements but then smoking, the one defeats the purpose of the other, leaving you with a malnourished beard and a lot less money in your bank account.
Step Seven: Moisturize
Keeping your skin and beard moisturized has a host of benefits. The most important one is that it keeps your hair soft and supple, preventing it from breaking or becoming damaged. Moisture will also stop the formation of split ends and a dull-looking beard.
There is a wide selection of beard products (you can find many of them on Amazon) that help to keep your beard moisturized.
- Beard Oil
Beard oil is designed to mimic the natural oils or sebum produced by the skin. The oil helps to soften and nourish the hair while keeping it moisturized and full of shine.
In addition, beard oil often contains essential oils that provide additional benefits. For example, Eucalyptus oil stimulates hair follicles, relieves itching, and promotes hair growth. You can apply a few drops of beard oil at night after washing your face or in the morning during your grooming routine.
- Beard Balm
Beard balm is a form of leave-in conditioner for your beard. It comes in a balm or paste-type formula made from an assortment of moisturizing butter, oils, and fragrances.
Because the balm is slightly thicker in consistency, it works well for styling your beard too. You will often find shea, cocoa, or beeswax in beard balm, and these, along with the essential oils, help soften and moisturize your beard.
Balms add a light shine to your beard too, but not as much as a beard oil would. Beard balm will also moisturize the skin beneath your beard hair, preventing dry skin, flaking, and dandruff.
Step Eight: Keep Conditioning and Prevent Ingrown Hairs
Washing your beard regularly with beard shampoo is essential as it clears away any dead skin cells or dirt, and it opens up your pores and hair follicles. Conditioning your beard is just as important.
Using shampoo only could lead to your beard hair becoming dry and brittle as it strips the hairs of their natural oils, and washing your beard more than a couple of times a week will do the same.
Using a good conditioner will restore the moisture to your hair and prevent your beard from looking dry and becoming damaged. Conditioner also helps to moisturize the skin underneath your beard, preventing the overproduction of sebum and ingrown hairs.
Step Nine: Exfoliate
When dead skin cells clog your pores, they prevent natural hair growth. Blocked pores mean blocked follicles, and this stops new hair from growing. Not only will this cause your beard to grow out thinner and slightly patchy.
Exfoliating with a good facial scrub will remove any dead or flaking skin, dandruff and unclog your pores.
Remember that you need to follow up with a good-quality moisturizer to prevent your beard and skin from drying out after exfoliating.
Step Ten: Plucking is a No-No!
Suppose you’re one of those guys who takes comfort in stroking his beard while pondering the wonders of life; great! But, if you’re that guy who plucks, pulls, and picks at his beard, you need to stop. If you’re constantly pulling out hairs from your beard, you’re going to end up with a patchy beard.
While stroking your beard is a lesser evil, it still isn’t ideal. The amount of bacteria found on your hands that you then rub through your beard when you stroke it can lead to breakouts and poor hair growth.
Make sure if you use a beard comb that it doesn’t pull or snag your hair either and that the teeth are wide apart enough to comb your beard neatly without ripping out hairs or breaking the strands.
Step Eleven: Avoid Beard-Growing Quick Fixes
Keep away from unusual “solutions” to growing your beard. For the most part, these quick fixes are nothing more than ways to waste your time and money.
While it would be great to think there was a miracle beard oil that spurted beard growth overnight, leaving you with the best beard you’ve ever had, these products are usually a fad.
Shaving also won’t make your beard grow faster. Although it has been said before that cutting your hair makes it grow quicker, there is no scientific research that backs this up. Thicker yes, faster, no.
Hair growth sprays are another hoax to be weary of – aside from Rogaine, which takes around six months to provide results, there is no spray that will magically leave you with a full beard look by the following day or week.
Staying away from unusual concoctions that require an application to your face or drinking is also a good idea. For example, while vitamin-infused smoothies and other healthy dietary elements are okay, drinking a blend of pressed garlic, odd berries from granny’s garden, and pure chili peppers combined with raw egg won’t make your beard grow faster. Instead, it will just make you sick.
If you are looking for a solution that will provide results a little faster than maintaining your health will, you may want to try a more extreme method. So let’s take a look at some of the more intensive ways to improve the speed at which your beard grows:
Micro-needling / Derma Roller
Micro-needling is believed to help stimulate faster beard growth.
This method sees the pricking of the skin’s surface with a derma roller that has hundreds of tiny needles on its surface. As you run the roller over your face, the needles poke your skin, causing micro-abrasions.
The body recognizes these abrasions as injuries and increases the blood flow to the affected area to stimulate healing. This increased blood circulation and additional oxygen stimulate the hair follicles.
In addition, the body sends collagen and keratin to micro-needled regions to heal the skin, which improves hair growth. Amazon sells a variety of micro-needles and derma rollers to choose from should you decide to give this method a try.
Rogaine / Minoxidil
Rogaine, also referred to as Minoxidil, is a chemically-based solution used to treat male pattern-baldness and high blood pressure. Rogaine has proven effective; however, keep in mind that it takes between six to twelve months to produce visible results.
Minoxidil is applied to the hairline or beard and comes as either a solution or a foam. This topical application works by increasing the Testosterone and DHT circulation to the hair follicles in the beard, stimulating hair growth and activating dormant hair follicles for a thicker beard.
While Rogaine is adequate for most, it is not guaranteed to produce results for all. Minoxidil is also relatively expensive. Men who used this treatment reported impressive hair growth, but they also noted that when they stopped using Rogaine, they began to see their beards revert to how they were before treatment.
For Rogaine to be effective, you will need to use it continuously and only observe results after six months.
Red Light Therapy
Red light therapy is also called cold laser therapy or low-level laser therapy. This method sees the irradiation of photons into the skin cells. These photons then penetrate weak cells, rejuvenating them and stimulating hair growth.
Men who used this treatment found that their facial hair grows back thicker and stronger and that hair regrowth was detected after 12 to 26-weeks after Red light therapy.
This procedure is deemed safe and is far less invasive than a beard or hair transplant.
Although, you should note that you will have to have multiple sessions over 12 weeks. You would need to have 20-minute sessions between three to five times weekly for the first four weeks. The following four to twelve weeks would see you having these sessions two to three times a week.
After that, you would need to have maintenance sessions at least once a week.
A beard transplant is considered as the most extreme form of “growing” a beard. This method requires surgery that sees hair grafts removed from an area on your head and then transplanted to the areas of your beard that need filling.
A beard transplant takes around eight hours and requires only a local anesthetic. Between 15-30 days after the transplant, the hairs will begin to fall out, but this is normal and indicates that the hair follicles are preparing for a spurt of new hair growth. Around 90 days after the procedure, your hair follicles will have settled, with your beard gaining coverage four months after the surgery.
Nine months after the process, you should be able to grow a full beard.
This procedure will leave a small scar but is relatively safe, and the risks are minimal, although you should remember that this method is expensive and requires recovery. Also note that it will be nine months before you can grow a full beard, so if you are looking for a quick fix, this may not be it.
While finding a magical cure to get your beard to grow lush and full overnight would be spectacular, there is, unfortunately, no such fix. Genetics and hormones both play a significant role in how quickly your beard grows and how thick it will grow.
While there isn’t much you can do about either of these two elements; you can do other things to promote faster growth. For example, maintaining good beard care, following a healthy and balanced diet, exercising, and reducing stress will all help your beard to flourish.