Beard Growth Stages: A Beginners Guide On What To Expect

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Growing a beard for the first time?


Know what to do?

Just let it grow right…

Well not exactly.

Don’t worry, to be quite honest, I wasn’t sure what the hell was going on my face the first time I was growing a beard either.

From the maintenance required to styling and shaping it, needless to say I was a pretty lost soul on how to grow a beard properly.

But alas, now a bit older and hopefully a bit wiser, growing a beard is pretty easy when you know what to expect during all the key beard growth stages.

To help first timers and those looking for a bit more additional info when it comes to growing a beard, we are breaking down the entire beard growth process by weeks.

Basically, this article should serve as a guide on when you should start to incorporate products, head to the barber, and adhere to general beard care tips along the way.

Without wasting a minute more of your time, here’s what you need to be on the lookout for when your beard goes through its growing stages:

beard growth stages

Beard Growth Stage: Day 0 – Day 7

During the first week of beard growth there isn’t really a whole lot that is going on.  If you previously used a cartridge or double edge safety razor, chances are that the follicle was cut either right to the skin level or just a fraction below the surface (especially with cartridge razors and their ‘lift-and-cut’ technique).

You can expect as the day’s wane on through the week, you will notice a slight bit of stubble beginning to form on the surface of your skin.

Some men at this phase tend to get a bit ancy and start to define the lines of their beard as the stubble grows in.  While there is nothing necessarily wrong with this approach, we would recommend leaving the razor blade stored away for a few weeks.

Regarding required beard products, during this growth phase, you won’t be needing to worry on investing in beard oils, balms, butters, etc.  While they will provide great moisturizing benefits to your skin, they will be a bit overkill at the moment since your sebaceous glands (through the use of sebum oil) is doing all the heavy lifting.

If you want to try and speed up beard growth, check out this post.

beard growth stages

Beard Growth Stage: Week 2 – 3

During this phase, you will start to show signs of a killer beard starting to form.

Depending on the genetic lottery, you should get a good idea on what type of coverage you can expect with continued growth.

With a very heavy stubble, it’s important to note that women find this type of facial hair the most attractive among men according to our recent study.

At this phase, you should start to become aware of some the rudimentary beard products that you can add to your arsenal as you will likely need them for the next couple of weeks and beyond.

Key products include beard oil and beard balm.

We still wouldn’t recommend making a trip to the barbershop yet.  Since it’s a heavy stubble, you can still let it grow in an unkempt manner.

Beard Growth Stage: Week 4 – 6

Here’s where things start to heat up.

During the one month mark, you should start to have sizeable beard growth.

We want to be the first to say CONGRATS!!

What’s next?

A few things should be at the top of your mind during these weeks.  Most notably you probably have experienced a bit of itching or are about to in the coming days.

Beard itch is this phenomenon that is so commonly misplaced that its quite extraordinary.

Beard itch is caused by the drying out of your skin of which your beard is resting.

As we eluded to earlier, you have this sebum oil that is being excreted throughout the course of any given day that keeps both your skin and beard nourished and moisturized.

During these weeks you have crossed over the mark of which sebum oil production just simply isn’t enough for your beard.

Therefore, you will need to begin incorporating a beard oil into your grooming routine.

Beard oil provides a ton of benefits as outlined here, and can instantly relieve any symptoms of beard itch.

But it goes way beyond just comfort…

A beard oil will also soften the young beard follicles.  This will not only make it softer to the touch for you and those around you, but also a soft beard will be less susceptible to split ends (which can only be resolved by getting trimmed down – ultimately undoing your hard work) as it grows.

For reviews of the best beard oils currently available, check out this guide.

beginners guide to using beard oil

Beard Growth Stage: Week 6 – 7

During this phase (and perhaps even earlier to week 5) you want to make sure that you book an appointment with your local barbershop.

We fully recommend that you don’t try to trim your beard – especially if it’s your first time ever growing one.

The reason for this, is that trying to define your neck and cheek lines while looking in the mirror is rather difficult.

One misstep with the shears and you might be reaching for your favorite razor to shave off your entire beard – erasing all your hard work and patience.

Therefore, it’s best to leave this to the professionals who do this sort of work for a living.

After the barber has defined the shape of your beard, you can use your favorite beard trimmer to clean up the lines where necessary between visits.

Beyond the barbershop, you also want to explore picking up a beard soap.

Beard soaps are starkly different from your standard shampoo, body wash, or bar of soap.  A quality beard soap will contain a plethora of natural ingredients that will compliment your skin.

Lastly, now that your beard follicle is getting a bit longer, you can now finally start to style it with a beard comb or beard brush.

Generally speaking, combs give more styling ability while brushes will give a fuller look.

Brushes can also be terrific at making sure any beard conditioning product will get fully worked into your face – from the skin and up through all the hair follicles.

beard growth stages

Beard Growth Stage:  Week 8 – 10

When it comes to maintaining your beard over the long run, you want to get an idea of where to stop or where to lengthen your growth.

If you are going for additional length, then you will want to be sure that you maintain a tighter style if you are looking for more presentable look.  Therefore, regular barbershop visits or home trimming will be key in keeping the wiry whiskers orderly.

Beyond beard maintenance, another key consideration will be around your mustache.

You may start to notice that the hair follicles on your upper lip will be starting to curl up into your mouth and oftentimes getting in the way of your food – which can be incredibly annoying.

Basically, men have two choices, trim back the mustache to prevent the annoyance, or fully embrace the ‘stache and let it grow out.

If you decide to grow it out further in length, then it’s important to be mindful of mustache wax.  This product will help to keep the stray whiskers away from your mouth (or nose) in a tight and orderly fashion.

We go over some of the more popular mustache wax brands on the market in this post here.

How long does it take to grow a beard

Beard Growth Stage:  1 Year – Achievement Unlocked!

Congratulations on making this momentous occasion!

You have officially grown a Yeard (beard for a year) there are not many men in the world that can mark this incredible achievement.

Instagram it, share it on Facebook, post it up over at /r/beards on Reddit – wherever you share it, be proud of your accomplishment and your epic yeard!

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About Shawn Burns

Shawn Burns is the founder and senior editor of Tools of Men. He started this site with the goal of teaching men proper grooming habits and sensible style. Shawn's expertise includes in-depth product reviews and how-to articles. Shawn was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise.