Whether you are browsing Instagram and stumble across the #beardstagram hashtag and witness some epic beards OR you meet an old friend that has an kick-ass beard, it starts to set in…
Needless to say, you start sifting through YouTube, Google, /r/beards, trying to find out why your beard is growing so slow, what you can do to hasten the growth rate, and go down the rabbit hole ultimately leaving you wondering if you should just shave your beard off completely because it doesn’t look as good as you had hoped…
I am here to tell you this:
You aren’t alone!
In fact, I went through the same experience a few years ago and almost shaved my beard completely off…
But not only was my beard taking forever to grow in, it just wasn’t looking nearly as good as I wanted it too (after all, when working in an office environment it had to be somewhat kempt – even if it was a startup).
So today I wanted to talk to you about a few things:
First, your awesome.
Secondly, a few tips to speed up your beard growth.
And third(ly), a couple of tricks I learned from firsthand experience on maintaining a slower growing beard to make it look both longer and fuller.
Without wasting a minute more of your valuable time, let’s get started:
Patience Is A Virtue – Growing A Beard Takes Time
I know this sounds obvious, but if you just started growing a beard last week and are looking to have a full burly beard in a couple of weeks time, I hate to break it to you, but you won’t…
…and that’s ok!
Whether you are 17 or 37, a man’s beard can grow at varying speeds and thickness throughout their life.
Therefore, if you are a bit on the younger side, it may take a bit longer for your beard to grow in – and that’s expected.
So, we can’t stress this enough, if you are looking for a thick beard from day one, know that other men experience the same growing pains and there’s almost (more on this in a minute) no way around it.
Don’t Shave Your Beard Off
Ok, I know that this is as old wives’ tale, but it’s worth addressing.
The ‘theory’ goes something like this:
If you shave any part of your body, the hair will grow back thicker, faster, and longer.
As a 33-year-old bald man, and one who has a few patches in his beard, I can unequivocally say that this myth has been BUSTED.
Seriously though, if anyone out there has proof that shaving will make your hair grow back thicker and longer – email, call, tweet, whatever – I want to know immediately!
So, if this is so blatantly false, then why the widespread misinformation?
In a word – puberty.
Check this out:
When you start shaving in your middle to late teens, your hormones are going crazy.
You have new hairs sprouting up from all areas of your face it seems like every other day.
It’s during this time in a man’s life that the myth of shaving equates to hair growth likely originated.
Secondly, there is this other notion:
If you ever look at a strand of hair under a magnifying glass, you will see that it grows in a tapered design (thick at the base and thin at the top).
Therefore, when you shave a beard no matter the age, you are looking at the thickest visible part of the hair.
This makes the hair appear thicker after you shaved – but in actuality, you are just seeing it at its widest point.
So, if you are in your teens, give it time…
…and if you are in your 30s…well hate it break it too you, but no more hair is likely going to grow in anytime soon.
Supplements MAY Work – But Come On Guys
Supplements have been around for years.
And it seems like with any trend that comes along, there is guaranteed to be a supplement that will magically pop up being the end all be all of your daily woes… ginkgo biloba anyone (remember those cheesy commercials from the 90s?!?!).
So where am I going with this…
Yes, stop shaking your head.
And no, I am not joking.
Seriously, if you go to Amazon or any major online retailer and search for ‘Beard Vitamins’ you are going to be served a plethora of results…
What’s the deal with them?
Thanks for asking!
Beard vitamins are essentially just a multi-vitamin with an extra high dose of Vitamin B7, also known as Biotin.
Without sounding like the 8th grade biology teacher that would drone on WAY too long about midichloria (or wait, was that Star Wars? I dunno I didn’t pay much attention in that class anyways), Biotin has been noted in many medical studies as being linked to hair growth (Source).
Basically, the studies go something like this:
They find a group of people deficient in Vitamin B7 and see they have very thin or sparse hair.
Researchers then load up the person with Vitamin B7 and see their hair grow – BOOM, Biotin = Hair Growth.
So, what does this mean?
Well in short, many folks believe that if you incorporate Biotin heavily into a supplement you will have thick, luscious, and healthy hair in very little time…
…or that’s the belief anyways.
But there’s a dirty secret that a lot of vitamin peddlers don’t necessarily disclose:
If you eat healthy and have a balanced diet, sleep regularly, and don’t spaz out and get overstressed and overworked, a multivitamin probably isn’t going to do much.
Specifically, with Vitamin B7, it’s found in many protein rich foods including eggs, red meat, fish, nuts, and other stuff. Just search ‘foods rich in biotin’ and you will get a list longer than you know what to do with.
So, what does all this mean?
If you eat healthy, incorporating beard growth vitamins into your daily regimen will likely not yield material results and will just simply be a waste of money.
You are better off skipping on this option.
Now if you are packing McD’s and downing 2 liters of pop/soda/cola/or whatever you call it, a day, then you might see some effects.
Simply put: YMMV (your mileage may vary).
Now quick note here guys – We aren’t doctors. We aren’t giving you medical advice. If you have an itch, a burn when you pee, we don’t want to see it. For all medical stuff – see your doc, even if that means asking them about a slow growing beard!
While minoxidil (active ingredient in Rogaine) might be another option, this is better suited for someone with a patchy beard and NOT to speed up entire beard growth.
After Patience, You Need To Be Moisturizing Your Beard
Slow growing beard or not, here’s the truth:
As men grow a beard, many of them may become irritated with it.
It’s like it happens overnight.
Seriously, one day you love your beard and decide to enter The World Beard & Mustache Championships, and then the next week you just want to take a razor blade to it and shave it clean off…
But why the sudden change of heart??
Seriously, it’s the number one culprit of past beards everywhere, followed closely by having your mustache always getting in the way of your food (#FirstWorldProblems)!
While some men may be keen on applying baby oil to their beard, you should be applying a beard oil or balm instead.
Conditioners like beard oil deliver key nutrients that your skin and beard DEMAND in order to look their very best.
Containing basically two ingredients: carrier and essential oils, beard oils are the secret weapon to any seasoned beardsman’s arsenal.
Delivering much of the benefits from either nut or seed extracts, carrier oils will help to fully remove ANY signs of beard itch from your face.
So even if your beard is coming in at a bit behind schedule, you will want to get in the habit of applying this stuff after a few weeks of growth.
This will not only ensure that you don’t get any split ends that will require a trip to the barbershop to trim down (which you definitely don’t want that), but most importantly, to make your beard feel incredibly soft…all without feeling greasy.
Therefore, you will want to make sure that you check out our roundup of some really good beard oils and conditioners that will make your beard sing.
While we won’t go too deep into the details here, essential oils are the other key ingredient found in good beard oils.
Typically just delivering that classic manly scent, essential oils can also give some great secondary benefits as well (i.e. anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, increase blood flow, etc.).
The Inside Secret To Making Your Beard Look Fuller And Maybe Even A Little Longer
For a man whose beard is growing in just a hair behind schedule, you are going to want to pay attention…
Seriously, beard brushes are so underrated when it comes to making your beard look fuller and longer.
Beard brushes aren’t like combs.
They aren’t built for styling like a comb.
Instead, they are constructed in most cases from natural boars hair.
This fiber is great for three things:
- To get product (i.e. beard oil) evenly distributed ENTIRELY through your beard so it looks the absolute best.
- Adds volume to your beard as the bristles on a GOOD beard brush is offset. This will help get all the way to your skin and pull the hair outwards making your beard appear MUCH fuller than it actually is.
- When used regularly (i.e. daily), a beard brush can help to make your beard grow in a uniform direction (a comb can’t do this with the same efficiency). Therefore, this will help hairs that are going in stray directions to go downwards to ultimately make your beard look a bit longer.
Seriously, if those three reasons don’t look convincing, read them again.
It will be the best $20 bucks you ever spent for your beard.
Keep Your Head Up!
If there are any parting words that we can leave with it’s this:
Keep at it.
Growing a beard requires patience.
While it would be great to snap your fingers and have a full beard grow right before your eyes, the reality is starkly different.
So, don’t get discouraged and beard on!