How to Grow a Beard: A Complete Guide for the New & Experienced
Beards are EVERYWHERE...
Are you looking for some guidance on how to grow a beard?
You've come to the right place!
This is the ultimate guide to growing a beard, both new and experienced bearded men will find this guide helpful and enriching.
Let's dive right in.
If you're here then you probably want to grow a beard.
Still...I will talk about why you should grow a beard.
I'll also layout the topics that I'm going to cover and who will benefit from this guide.
What to Expect From This Guide
Those without beards often think growing a beard is easy. All you need to do is simply not shave, right?
In reality, growing a beard is a bit more complicated than simply not picking up your razor.
Whether you’re planning to grow a beard or have already started, this definitive guide has everything you need to know on how to grow a beard:
From the practical to the psychological, the tips in this guide will help you on every step of your beard-growing journey.
Why Do You Want to Grow a Beard?
Before we even start, I really believe that the first thing you need to do is answer this simple question:
Why you want to grow a beard?
You want a rock-solid understanding deep within yourself as to why you’re growing a beard. Clear reasons will help you stick with the growth process during the difficult times. After all, you’re not just growing a beard; you’re also hopefully growing as a person.
There are a few common reasons many men grow beards, some of them are:
Growing a beard can actually help others, too.
No Shave November is a fun way to help fight cancer. Considering that the first 30 days of beard growth typically results in a wild look, you can avoid any snarky comments from friends and co-workers by simply pointing out that you’re helping raise money for charity.
There's also Decembeard that helps raising awareness to bowel cancer.
Pros & Cons for Growing a Beard
Need some help developing reasons for growing your beard? Here are some common pros.
Plus, to help you understand some of the difficulties you might face, I've also listed some common cons.
No Need to Shave
Say goodbye to standing in front of a foggy mirror every morning. When you have a beard, you don’t need to shave.
You don’t have to deal with the hassle of razor burn, nicks and cuts.
Depending on your shaving method, you might be able to save some money as well.
Beards don’t just look good. They have a few important health benefits, too. Some of them are:
Cool & Trendy
Beards have a big presence in popular culture. From fictional pirates like Captain Jack Sparrow to a variety of NBA legends, bearded guys are everywhere.
Beards are trendy among regular guys, too. Beard competitions are held all over the world.
The World Beard & Moustache Championship in Austin, Texas is an annual event which draws thousands of participants.
Sometimes changing your look is a great way to change your personality.
Tired of being shy and reserved? A beard is often a great conversation starter.
Plus, women perceive men with full facial hair as being better long-term partners
than clean-shaven men.
Pop culture equates a full beard with a masculine appearance. But did you know that connection is backed up by scientific research? A study by the Evolution and Ecology Research Center from the University of New South Wales found that both men and women correlate a heavy beard with increased masculinity. If you don’t look as manly as you’d like, science says grow a beard.
Beards Can Be Itchy
An itchy beard is probably the biggest complaint among beard newbies. Actually, it's probably the biggest complaint among veteran beard growers, too.
Beards itch when they’re growing and then continue to itch after they’re fully developed.
If your beard hairs are poorly conditioned, the rough hairs will rub against the dry skin of your face. Dry skin and coarse hairs work together to irritate your face. Fortunately, solutions are available.
Just because you don’t have to shave doesn’t mean beards are maintenance-free. That's not a real con, but don't think you won't need to work on your beard.
Beards require maintenance.
At a minimum, beard care involves regular brushing, washing and conditioning. I’ll cover the specific techniques you’ll want to use in chapter 3.
Not Everyone Finds Beards Attractive
Unfortunately, not everybody thinks beards look great.
Sometimes, young children, the elderly and others find beards to be rough-looking and even downright scary.
While a charming personality can eventually break the ice, don’t be surprised if some people find your bearded appearance off-putting. I’ll show you plenty of beard styles suitable for just about any professional work environment.
Beard Growth 101
There's a lot of fluff around beard growth.
In this chapter I'll discuss the basics of beard growth.
What affects beard growth and certain false myths that won't help (yup, there's no need to pray for the beard god on a full moon night).
What Affects Beard Growth or Thickness
Not all beards grow at an equal rate. Individual traits play an important role in beard growth. Internal physiological factors which determine how full and fast your beard develops include age, genetics and hormone levels.
Genetics is one of the most important factors when it comes to beard thickness, if thick beard runs in your family most chances are that you'll also get to enjoy a nice thick beard. Your genes also determine the length of your beard, also known as, terminal length. If you've been wondering why your beard has stopped growing, you need to learn about terminal length,
Everybody is born with a set of hair follicles which behave predictably. When a man goes through puberty, the follicles on his face are the last to be activated.
If you went through puberty after the age of 15, your facial hair follicles might be slow to activate. Guys in their early 20s with a thin or patchy beard should know their beard might grow and thicken over time.
Of course, age isn’t the only factor in determining beard thickness.
Testosterone levels also play an important role in your ability to grow facial hair.
Shrinking levels of testosterone will cause hair loss and poor hair growth. Don’t worry if your T-levels are low. We have a variety of testosterone-boosting solutions available in the resource section below. Increasing your T levels might help with beard growth.
Genetics also affect the color of your beard. Don’t be surprised if your beard is a different color than the hair on your head. Your beard’s color might not be uniform, either. Many guys find unexpected white or gray sections develop as their beard grows.
Beard Growing Myths - These Won't Help
Beard growth depends on a variety of individual factors. Basically, no two beards grow in the same way over the same time. This inconsistency means advice on beard growing is surrounding by many myths and half-truths.
Let’s take a look at some common beard-growing myths:
1. Shaving Your Beard Will Make It Grow Thicker & Faster
Shaving has no effect on the speed or fullness of hair growth.
Hair consists of protein and keratin. The circulatory and nervous system aren’t connected to your hair. Your body doesn’t know when you shave or get a haircut.
Despite what Kramer tells Seinfeld, shaving your hair does NOT make it grow back “thicker and fuller and darker.”
2. All Parts of a Beard Grow at the Same Rate
Every beard is different. Many new beard-growers become concerned when their beard grows out patchy and uneven. The best advice is to remain patient. Beards fill out in different ways.
For many guys, the cheek areas are the slowest to fill out. But there’s no one way for a beard to grow Stay patient. What seems like a patchy area might just be one which is slow to grow. As a general rule, you want to wait at least three months for your beard to fill out.
If you have truly patchy areas, that’s okay. Trimming, shaping and other grooming techniques can help disguise any sparse areas.
3. Growth Products Can’t Help
Growth products can be very effective.
The days of snake-oil and ineffective hair restoration treatments are long gone.
Today, there are a variety of hair growth products which have been clinically proven to grow hair. Rogaine and Propecia (a pill) are the two most common hair restoration solutions.
Vitamin supplements can also have a great affect on your beard growth.
Growing a Beard:
Week By Week
It's time for the REAL thing...
In this chapter you'll learn exactly how to grow a great looking beard.
I'll go over the growth process, week by week.
Starting to Grow Your Beard
Beard growth takes several months. The process can be divided into stages based on time. Having a clear roadmap to beard growth will help you stay the course when times get tough (and itchy).
Here’s what to expect and when to expect it:
Let it Grow for 8 to 12 Weeks
As a thumb rule, the first two to three months are devoted for pure growing.
You’ll want to let your beard grow naturally. Don’t touch, trim or interact with your beard at all. (I'll write about the caring routine during this period later on).
Each beard is a bit of a mystery. Letting your beard grow out naturally lets you discover your beard’s color, strength and other features. Two to three months is long enough to get a complete picture of what your natural beard is like. Basically, your natural beard forms the raw materials which you’ll later shape into your personal style.
The first three months requires the biggest commitment. Here’s the hard truth: Your beard isn’t going to look great during this beginning stage. It’ll be messy, wiry, patchy, disheveled and even more. On top of that, there’s a pretty good chance your beard will be itchy.
Facial hair doesn’t always grow in a uniform way. Instead, hair growth has three phases: anagen, catagen and telogen. Basically, this means there’s not always a predictable timetable for hair growth.
After a month or two, parts of your face might be covered in thick hair while others might be patchy or even completely bare. Many guys underestimate how long patchiness can take to fill. You might have patchiness for months until suddenly hair starts to sprout. Read more about patchy beards and how to fix them, here.
Bottom line - Be patient and give your beard a chance to grow.
After 8 to 12 Weeks
If you've managed to survive this period, it's safe to say you have a beard by now. Congratulations!
I will go into detail shortly, but here's what to expect and do:
Stay strong! During the first three months, the urge to simply shave your beard off can be strong. But know that your beard will become fuller, more comfortable and more manageable with time.
Week by Week Beard Growth: What to Expect
Keep in mind beard growth can vary wildly based on the individual.
How long does it take to grow a beard?
How your beard will look and feel like from the very beginning up through the final form?
Here’s a general timetable:
1. One Week Beard
The first week is probably the easiest.
Most guys get a nice, even stubble. Any itchiness will usually be mild. Your beard will likely resemble a five o’clock shadow.
2. Two Weeks Beard
Now your facial hair will look less like you forgot to shave and more like you’re purposefully growing a beard.
During week two you’ll experience more itchiness. While your newly burgeoning beard probably won’t look great, you’ll likely notice substantial growth.
3. Three Weeks Beard
Prepare yourself for patchy, itchy facial hair. This will be the first true test for most beard newbies. You probably won’t look great. In times of doubt, remember your personal reasons for growing a beard.
Also, don’t be surprised if your beard is darker than you anticipate! If you have dark hair, your week-one growth will be more noticeable than if you have lighter colored hair. Keep in mind your beard’s color might be different than the hair on your head.
It might be a great time to start using beard oil.
4. Four to Six Weeks Beard
Congratulations! You’ve hit one month. This is a major milestone and you should celebrate reaching this important goal. Keep the big picture in mind because right now your beard is very likely going to look wiry and wild.
Many guys will have a very visible mustache at this stage. You might feel tempted to trim your mustache so the length matches the rest of your facial hair. The problem is trimming your mustache will lead to an unbalanced look later as your beard length catches up.
Depending on your length, if you want your beard to grow in a certain direction you can use a beard brush to train it to grow in the direction you want. If it's not long enough you can wait a bit.
5. Six to Eight Weeks Beard
After about two months, your beard is finally ready for maintenance. First, you’ll want to create a clean, uniform look. Find the shortest hair length and trim the rest to match.
You’ll also want to style your beard based on your personal preferences and the shape of your face. Many guys have some patchy parts. Fortunately, there are plenty of style choices you can make to help. We’ll discuss some beard styles later on.
Focus on the bigger picture. There will definitely be days and weeks where your beard growth will seem to stall. Hang in there! A full beard takes time to develop, especially if you’re growing one for the first time.
How to Grow a Thick Beard:
Great beard requires patience.
In order to grow a thick, healthy beard you'll need more than that.
In this chapter you'll learn everything you need.
How to Grow a Thick Beard - 6 Commandments
What do we have so far?
You’ve decided to grow a beard.
You’re committed for the long haul.
You understand what changes will happen and roughly when they’ll occur.
So, now what?
I'll layout the 6 beard commandments that will help you grow and maintain the best beard possible:
1. You Shall Maintain & Groom Your Beard
While you no longer have to shave, beards do require daily maintenance. Thick hair on your face can easily trap dirt, grime and daily debris. You’ll want to keep your beard clean. Aside from just good hygiene, a clean, conditioned and groomed beard is more likely to be itch- and irritant-free.
Basic maintenance includes the following:
Brushing & Combing
Combs and brushes keep our beards free of tangles. Brushing keeps your beard tidy and clean because it removes dead skin cells, dirt and more. Brushing your beard also helps distribute the natural oils, preventing a greasy look and nourishing your hair. It can also prevent ingrown hairs.
Brushing your beard also trains it to grow the way you want it to – so if you want your beard to grow in a certain direction just train it to grow in that direction.
Tip: Use a beard brush to distribute beard oil after applying it to your beard.
Washing your beard is important for keeping it clean and removing dead skin cells.
You don’t need wash it every day. Washing it too frequently can strip it of its natural oils, and dry your skin. I recommend washing it 1-2 times a week.
Make sure you pick a product that is designed for beards, which means it’s natural and doesn’t contain chemicals. It doesn’t matter if you’re using beard shampoo or beard soap it’s all about what you like.
Applying Beard Oil / Balm
A healthy beard grows best from healthy skin. Moisturizing and nourishing your skin with natural oil allows your skin and facial hair to stay healthy.
A beard kit contains all the products you need. Recommended Beard Kit: The Zeus Deluxe Beard Grooming Kit includes beard oil, conditioner, shampoo, and 100% boar bristle brush.
2. You Shall Trim & Style Your Beard
If you feel like your beard needs a trim then you can trim it a bit to make it look presentable. Your beard doesn’t grow uniformly and at the same rate, so by trimming it you can make it look good while keeping growing it out.
Make sure you have beard scissors, they allow to cut just a millimeter at a time and be precise. You can use the scissors to trim your mustache as well.
Some people prefer to use beard trimmer to keep their beards short. Make sure you start with a higher guard and not lower guard, you can always trim more if you think it’s too long.
You should also trim your cheeks and necklines. These lines define your face so you should be careful when doing it. You can use electric clippers or a razor to style them. There’s no right way for the cheek lines, it depends on how your beard is and what’s the style you’re looking for. As for the neck line try to imagine a ‘U’ shape from your ears down and above your Adam’s apple, you should cut everything below it.
3. You Shall Maintain a Healthy Diet
Beards are visually striking. But the real health of a beard comes from within.
Improving your all-around health will also improve the look and feel of your beard.
Feed your body proper vitamins and nutrients. Vitamin D helps healthy hair growth. Vitamin A helps your body maintain proper sebum levels, preventing excess oiliness. A healthy, balanced diet should be augmented by the regular use of a multi-vitamin and other supplements.
Great foods for a great beard:
You’ll also want to stay well-hydrated. Drink at least eight eight-ounce glasses of water each day. Hydration keeps your skin soft while also minimizing beard itchiness.
4. You Shall Exercise
Testosterone influences hair growth in men. Regular exercise helps the T-levels in your body remain consistent and even to increase. Increasing your T-level will have a big effect on your beard growth rate and thickness. There are other natural ways to increase T levels.
Exercising also increases blood circulation which will also help with growth.
Focus on resistance training and lifting, if you can't then do whatever exercise you can.
5. You Shall Rest
Having a good night sleep has many benefits. And yes it can also have an effect on your beard growth.
Lack of sleep can increase stress levels which in turn can lower your testosterone levels which can harm decrease your beard growth rate. On top of that stress may harm your general health which can also have a negative effect on beard growth.
6. You May Use Growth Products
Is your beard isn’t as thick or full as you’d like?
Are you wondering how to grow your beard faster?
Consider a professional growth product. There are two basic types: Topical gels and oral medications.
Minoxidil is a popular topical treatment. Regular use increases blood flow by relaxing blood vessels. This promotes hair growth and helps treat bald pattern baldness among other conditions.
Supplements are another popular option. Biotin is a water-soluble B Vitamin solution which helps treat facial hair thinning. Amal Oil is a tree oil used to thicken thinning hair.
Beard Growth XL by Delta Genesis is a unique vitamin formula which helps promote thicker beard growth. An oral capsule is taken three times a day. Many men say they experienced long-lasting, noticeable results after about a month of use.
Determining Your Beard Style
With so many beard styles it's very hard to find your style.
Don't worry this chapter will help you determine the perfect beard style.
Determining Your Beard Style
After 2-3 months, it's probably the right time to trim, shape and style your beard.
When selecting your style, you’ll want to consider two factors. First,
Once you understand what beard styles are possible, then you want to decide on what option you like best. While you want to consider the opinion of others, as well as any workplace requirements, ultimately only you know what style you like best.
Here are some tips on choosing beard style:
Beard Styles for Patchy Beards
It’s an unfortunate fact of life that some guys simply have patchy beards.
But this doesn’t mean they have to live a beard-free, clean-shaven lives. If you’ve grown your beard out completely (more than two months) and still have patchy, thin areas, there’s hope.
Selecting specific beard styles is likely your best course of action. Short beards tend to look best. Let’s look at a few different styles which help minimize patchiness:
Full Beard Combover
Now, the word “combover” has negative connotations with head hair. So maybe a better term for beards is a “combdown.” Grow out the hair above any patchy areas and let that longer hair hand down, covering any bare spots. This look is often wispy but with a full volume. In many cases, a thick mustache enhances this look.
Patchiness is very noticeable when a beard is very neat and trim. But patchiness becomes less obvious when your beard is a bit on the wild side.
A degree of unruliness, combined with patchiness, often creates a rugged, masculine look. Maintain a medium-stubble length for the best results. Keanu Reeves is perhaps the poster child for the “rugged patchiness” look.
Goatee and Soul Patch
Most patchiness is on the cheeks. But if you don’t have hair anywhere on your cheeks, then the patchiness disappears. A thick mustache, goatee and soul patch showcase a rugged masculinity. If you want to increase the appearance of volume, grow the hair out longer and let it be a bit unruly.
Embrace patches by created a disconnected look. Separate the mustache from the hair on your cheeks. Don’t connect the goatee to other facial hair. Restrict the stubble on your cheeks to underneath your chin. A light, stubble-heavy look draws the eye away from any patchy sections.