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.
One of the most common questions that potential beard-growers ask is “how do I make my beard grow faster?”
While genetics will dictate how fast an individual’s hair grows, there are some methods and things to keep in mind that can help speed things along.
In short, we’ll be going over these things to help grow your beard to its fullest, fast:
- Keeping your face healthy & flake-free
- Personal health & nutrition
- Stimulating blood flow via different methods
- Psychological factors of beard growth
- Potential products to use
- Things to avoid
Keeping your face healthy is conducive to better beard growth. If your face is constantly oily and dirty from your job (or otherwise), it’s likely that your pores and skin are not clear of debris, making it a much harder environment to grow hair. Be sure that you’re at least rinsing your face with water daily, and on some days use soap to clean it more thoroughly.
While natural oils can be great, they can also be detrimental depending on how much your body produces, and how much sticks around. Washing with a soap, as opposed to rinsing with plain water, will strip oils quite a bit. This is why you shouldn’t necessarily wash everyday, and simply stick to plain water on most days. Excessive washing may lead to a dry face, which in turn leads to brittle, dry hair that’s not as healthy as it could be when growing it out.
Exfoliating about once every two weeks, or a month, can be helpful for those that need to rid themselves of dead skin that tends to build up.
This is one that a lot of guys don’t like to hear because of how obvious it is. But it needs to be said: for you to be able to grow your beard out healthy and as fast as your genetics allow, you need to have a well-rounded diet.
Being on a caloric surplus is better for your facial hair growth than being in a deficit (if you’re trying to cut fat), but either will be fine so long as you’re getting a healthy dose of macro- and micronutrients. A lot of people don’t realize that they are deficient in certain vitamins, which can hinder beard growth considerably.
A simple men’s multivitamin may be enough to cover your nutritional gaps. While it’s preferable to get most of your nutrients from wholesome food, it’s not always that simple; sometimes supplementing is necessary.
As for your macronutrients, all three are highly important. Getting enough healthy fats, carbohydrates, and proteins are a must for a well-balanced diet. Protein is particularly important due to the nature of hair, being made up of protein itself.
Working out, particularly doing HIIT or weight training, are very good when it comes to beard growth. Because facial hair requires testosterone and dihydrotestosterone to grow, having more of these hormones is a bonus. Paired with something like creatine, working out can be a powerhouse in growing your beard faster.
Also read: How to Increase Testosterone and DHT
Another part of personal health and one that is highly important: sleep. Sleep is the time that our bodies, essentially, do the most work in terms of improvement. Whether you’re an athlete that needs muscle recovery or an office worker that needs to refresh his mind, sleep is important for every single person, regardless of lifestyle. Sleep is a time of repair and growth, and this includes our facial hair. With inadequate amounts of sleep, you may find your beard growth to be slower than usual.
Stimulation of blood flow is an important factor for our skin and hair. Our blood is what carries the much-needed nutrients to our follicles, including DHT and testosterone. With insufficient amounts of blood flow come a sufficient amount of problems.
Thankfully, our bodies do this without much needed from us. But there are ways of increasing stimulation, which may result in slightly faster hair growth. One such method is to simply massage your face with your fingertips for a few minutes. Do this daily if you can, or otherwise try and do it about once per week.
As well as massaging, things such as boar bristle brushes and regular combing can be effective. In a way, using these tools is like killing two birds with one stone, as you style your beard while stimulating blood flow at the same time.
The first thing I want to point out in this section is shaving. No, shaving does not speed up growth or do anything magical like make your beard thicker. Like the myth about pores being able to be opened and closed, this too is a myth about shaving.
Moving on: as our beards grow out, sometimes it seems as if they are growing slower than they were at the beginning. This is just our perception, since going from no hair to stubble seems as if it’s coming in quickly. Don’t worry, your facial hair grows at the same rate at all times, barring the slowdowns from things such as stress and nutritional deficiencies and the like.
If you want a full, big beard, then the only option you should go for is to grow it out. Constant trims or shaving won’t get you anywhere. Keep it to just your neck line at first, and in a few weeks you can do your cheek lines if you so choose. Otherwise, don’t touch the beard except for when you need to snip off split-ends with a pair of scissors.
If you’re looking for natural products to help speed up your beard’s growth, you may want to look into peppermint essential oil. A study has shown that it can accelerate the rate in which hair grows.
Keep in mind, however, that not all essential oils do the same, regardless of what some companies out there may claim. Things like rosemary, lavender, and tea tree may very well be detrimental to your beard’s growth, as they are anti-androgenic. Simply put, they do the opposite of what beards require to thrive: they reduce the activity the 5-alpha reductase enzyme, which is what converts testosterone into DHT.
What’s good for head hair is, normally, not good for facial hair. Don’t fall into the trap that is “hair is hair,” as androgenic hair (facial hair + body hair) is grown differently from the hair we grow on our scalps. To learn a little bit more about about why we don’t recommend scalp-related products and studies here at Beard Profile, check out the articles below:
- Why We Shouldn’t Use Scalp-Related Products to Grow Our Beards
- PSA: Stay Away from Most Beard Oil Products
Wrapping things up…
At the end of the day, growing a beard requires time and patience. If you’re not willing to go through a couple of awkward stages or think that you’ll achieve your goal beard in just a few short weeks, it may not be for you. Get yourself into the mindset that growing a beard is a journey, and that growing one faster is a bonus.
With the information above, you should be armed with the knowledge of how to tackle growing a beard out. Whether it’s your first time or your tenth, one thing remains consistently true: there are no shortcuts. Once you get there, however… things don’t seem as bad as they did when you first started.
Beard onward, gentleman.