This article was originally written on Beard Profile, which is merging with the Beard Wiki. It is written by the same author and founder of both websites, but uses a different voice from what the Beard Wiki traditionally uses. Some of these transferred articles may or may not have sources included.
This is probably the most asked question in the world of beards: “How can I make my beard thicker?” For one, don’t shave. You’d be attempting a fool’s errand. You really need to let it grow to see your full potential. The average time it takes for that to happen is roughly three months. No, not three weeks — three months.
Growing a Beard is Psychological
It really is. You’ll have people telling you to shave, to trim, and that a beard is “not for everyone.” Every man deserves to rock a beard, in any style he likes, without having people harp on him to get rid of it.
Beards need to become the norm, not the exception.
I believe I read somewhere that most men give up on their beards after two weeks of growing. What?! Sorry to get hysterical, but two weeks isn’t enough to grow a full beard. It’s still in the stubble stages, and for a lot of guys that stage isn’t strong at all. It looks weak. Only the truly blessed will have a full face of stubble by week two.
So, please, don’t base your results off of the dude you work with that grows an insanely full beard. Don’t base your results on the guy that had struggled to grow his patchy beard (which you never saw) into something respectable over several months. Don’t give it two weeks, don’t give it four; give it at least three months of growth before you decide whether a beard is for you or not.
The younger you are, the slower your beard is likely to grow, as opposed to older men. This is yet another reason not to compare.
Even then, three months is truly just the start of the journey. Beards become greater with each passing week, with men that have patches on their cheeks filling out over time.
Many guys attempt to carve their neck and cheek lines, some mess this up. That’s okay, don’t shave. Hair always grows back, corrections can be made by simply waiting. Now, that doesn’t account for a complete accident where half your cheek got shaved off; we’re just talking little mistakes here, such as the cheek line being too low, or the neck line being too high. But more on that later.
Methods of Thickening your Beard
Beard Health Begins on the Inside
I get it, everyone knows by now. Being a healthy person unsurprisingly leads to better skin, hair, and state of mind. So let’s knock that out of the way first. Simply take care of yourself, go to the gym and lift weights, and eat halfway decent. If you’re already doing these things, great!
If you’re not getting all of the vitamins that you need each day through food (that meal from Taco Bell sure won’t fill that requirement), consider taking a multivitamin to fill that nutritional gap.
Get plenty of sleep every night and, while it may be hard to do, keep your stress in check. Take a breath.
Jamaican Black Castor Oil
This oil is some good stuff, and generally put a step above other carrier oils because of its uses in help treating hair loss and restoring edges of hair. We have a guide on how to use JBCO for beards.
Minoxidil for the Beard
Another viable option would be to use minoxidil to grow your beard, should you have patches or even if you’re entirely beardless at this point. Many men opt to use this, as it’s the quickest and most noticeable route to take that we’ve seen so far.
Also known as derma rolling, microneedling is the act of rolling tiny needs into your skin, which causes your body to start the healing process. During this healing process, we produce collagen, which is what keeps us looking young. Many people use this to help remove fine lines, stretch marks on the body, and to help regrow hair from hair loss.
The same concept is used for the beard area, where men roll .5mm microneedles along the beard area. This then stimulates new growth that men had never seen previously.
Learn how to stimulate beard growth using a derma roller by clicking on that link.
Making your Beard Appear Fuller
Carve a Cheek and Neck Line to have the Illusion of a Fuller Beard
This is actually more important than a lot of guys realize. The outline of your beard is essential to the way your beard looks as a whole, even allowing it to look fuller with the correct outline. This goes for a short beard as well as big beards.
Keep your beard looking intentional and you’ll get fewer comments to shave or trim it.
Carving the Neck Line
The neck line should be carved about two finger widths above your adam’s apple, with your middle finger resting on the center of the apple.
Carving the Cheek Lines
The cheek line actually, a lot of the time, will look better to keep natural. But if your growth isn’t very strong on the cheeks, this can still help make the beard appear fuller, as you would be shaving off the scraggly, lonely strays above the thicker line of growth. If your cheek lines naturally grow high and dense, you might also consider carving them to have a neater appearance.
Note: the cheek line in this picture is the result of trying to correct it, as it was lower during a previous cheek line cut. To correct it, I didn’t shave the beard — I waited a few weeks and then went to the barber and told him I wanted my line to grow higher, hence why it looks a little light here. The beard could actually look even more full if I were to carve the cheek to connect to the bottom of the mustache.
When in doubt, visit a barber — if he has a beard, even better. Make sure you’re clear with how you want your beard styled. That will automatically let them know you want it a certain way and they won’t freestyle it.
Want to see how I do the cheek and neck lines in video format? Watch the video below.
Maintaining your Beard for Maximum Growth Potential
Daily maintenance shouldn’t take long at all. Not only does maintenance keep your beard looking great, it also helps throw out the stigma that beards are unsanitary and for lazy men that don’t want to shave. Beards take much more time and care than shaving does, as you need to care for a second set of hair (or one set if you’re going with the bald-headed look. Savage).
Some of the things that should be done with beard grooming:
- Washing (2-4x p/week)
- Combing (1-2x p/day, more if wanted)
- Brushing (1-2x p/day at most, or a few times per week)
- Oiling (1x per day, or as many times as needed)
- Cutting split ends with small scissors
- Massaging your skin
Don’t wash your beard too often with shampoos and soaps. In fact, we recommend not using a traditional shampoo in your beard, because they’re meant to be used on your scalp. Facial skin and the scalp are entirely different beasts, so use a face soap or all-natural type of shampoo. Consider picking up Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap, which can be used for full body and beard.
While you don’t want to comb or brush hair while it’s wet, it’s fine to comb while the beard is damp (pat dry with a towel). Using an oil in your beard prior to combing should help protect the hair while the comb helps spread the oil around. Wait until the beard is dry before brushing, to prevent breakage.
You can rinse the beard every time you shower or splash water on your face, but remember not to wash it unless you need to clean it.
Keep an eye on split ends, and snip them with a small pair of scissors any time you see them. Simply snip from the highest part of the hair, where it’s undamaged by the split. Leaving splits will eventually allow them to travel up the shaft, requiring you to cut the hair even shorter than needed than if you had gotten to it beforehand.
Massaging your face is a very effective way of stimulating hair growth, one that a lot of people don’t think about. It’s best to massage your face as you’re applying a deep beard conditioner such as JBCO, which will help enhance blood flow while providing nutrients and hydration to your face.
Beards Require Time and Care
Always remember: time. If your beard is filling in but patchy, time can help fix it. Don’t shave, let it grow. Utilizing the techniques mentioned in this article will provide you with the best beard genetically possible. We may not all grow our dream beards, but each week we can improve our beard’s potential. Consistency and dedication is key. Let’s grow and beard onward.
Products Linked in This Article
For quicker reference back to the products we’ve listed in this article, you can find them easily below.
- Multivitamin to fill nutritional gaps
- Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap as a full body & beard wash
- 0.5mm Derma Roller for collagen production (learn more)