December 21, 2017

Why Your Beard Stopped Growing – Terminal Length Explained

beard stopped growing

Many people think that you can grow a beard down to your toes if you simply stop shaving.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), that’s not the case. The length of your beard is genetically predetermined. You can take steps to maximize its potential, though.

I’ve written a guide on what to do if your beard stopped growing and how to give yourself the best opportunity for a lush, long beard. I explain why your beard won’t grow past a certain point, how to take care of it and maintenance tips for the best-looking facial hair around.

Beard Terminal Length

Your genes designate how long your beard will grow. This also explains why your arm, leg and chest hair doesn’t grow so long that you can braid it.

Hair Life Cycle

Your hair has a growth cycle. the cycle contains 3 distinct phases:

  • Anagen
  • Catagen
  • Telogen

The Anagen Phase

During the anagen phase, your stem cells are producing keratinized cells within the follicle. Blood vessels at the base of the follicle nourish the hair, which begins to grow.

This cycle typically lasts about two to eight years. It may only last about two years for facial hair.

The Catagen Phase

After the anagen phase, your hair goes into a transitional period, called the catagen phase. This lasts for about 2-3 weeks. During this time, the hair follicle shrinks. Less than one percent of your hair is in this phase at any given time.

The Telogen Phase

The telogen phase is the final part of the hair life cycle. In the telogen phase, your hair is released. It falls out, and the follicle becomes dormant for about three months before re-entering the anagen phase.

In other words, your hair has a set time frame for growth before it falls out it also means that your beard or hair is constantly growing. All of your hairs are in different cycles at any given time, though. This is why you can still grow a full beard without noticing drastic fallout.

Some factors affect the different phases. For example, metabolic imbalances or poor nutrition can disrupt the cycle and cut the anagen phase short.

beard terminal length

World's longest beard

Different Lengths For Different Parts Of The Face

Each area on your face reaches terminal length at different times. Many people don’t ever reach terminal length on their beard because they trim it regularly.

Your mustache is more likely to reach terminal length before your beard. You may find that you don’t have to trim your mustache as often as you groom the hair on the rest of your face.

The hair on the center of your face tends to have a shorter terminal length than the hair on the sides. That makes sense. Your mustache doesn’t need to grow as long as your beard, or it would constantly get in your mouth.

The front of your chin hits terminal length fairly quickly. The hair on your cheeks typically stays shorter than the hair below your face.

Most of the mass of your beard comes from the area underneath your chin and on your neck. Although it can take some time to grow that area long, when your beard fills out, you’ll notice that it naturally creates a long oval shape.

Is Terminal Length Different For Each Person?

Everyone is different. Some men can grow wide beards that seem to extend from the cheeks. Others have patchy cheeks but can grow longer beards and mustaches.

Some people don’t go through the shedding stage for seven years. Others begin losing hair as early as two years.

Ethnicity may play a role in your hair cycle. Asian hair grows the fastest. Caucasian hair grows the second fastest, and African hair has a slower growth rate.

Other Reasons For Beard Growth Problems

Other than beard growth cycle and terminal length, there may be other factors that affect your beard length.

Poor Beard Care

Poor beard care routine may have a big effect on your beard growth. Split ends make the hairs disintegrate from the end upward. When hair is damaged, it becomes thinner at the ends. It also curls up more quickly, making it seem shorter.

You can trim different parts of your beard more frequently than others. If you let the longest pieces of hair be your guide, it'll look scraggly. You should trim it somewhere in the middle so that you maximize the hair cycle and length.

Poor Diet

Beard growth is strongly connected to the way that you eat. The following nutrients are important for hair growth:

  • Vitamin A
  • Beta carotene
  • Protein
  • B vitamins
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E

You can also consider taking a multivitamin to optimize your beard’s potential.


Most of us live busy lives. Technology has helped us do more in less time, and we’re constantly expected to be productive members of society. Combine that stress with caffeine, lack of sleep and a poor diet, and you get adrenal fatigue.

Your adrenal glands regulate your stress levels. If your body isn’t balanced in this regard, you may experience hair loss.

Exercising regularly can reduce stress levels. It can also boost testosterone, which can help your beard grow better. Stress hormones decrease testosterone levels. Focusing on general well-being can be a great beard booster.

Maintenance Tips

If you want to increase the length of your beard, in addition to regulating your stress levels and eating plenty of nutrients, you might want to focus on your grooming routine.

Make sure to buy some beard products that will help you with your grooming routine, be sure to include beard oil, beard brush and beard shampoo.

<< Here's a guide a wrote about caring & maintaining your beard >>


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