No doubt you’ve seen them.
Men attracting second glances from women just because of their facial hair.
Learning your lesson, you too want to grow a beard. It is what differentiates men from boys, you think. It allows you to buck social norms – while also gaining respect from others, your mind giving Abraham Lincoln’s example.
Hang On, says an expert in BEARDOLOGY, do you realize there’s more to it than what meets the eye?
For one, you don’t know how long will it take for your beard to grow fully. Two, growing beard requires patience, a commodity which is extremely rare these days. And three, you’d have to forego that clean shaven look which defined your personality till date.
Feeling a bit downbeat now? Don’t know how to move forward?
Good. It means you’re willing to learn new things. It also means you have what it takes to grow a beard. And that is where this article will help.
What You Need to Know First
Generally, it takes somewhere between two to six months for a person to grow a normal beard. There, I’ve answered your question already. But now you may be asking, why so long? Who not earlier? To answer these questions, let’s take a look at three phases of human hair growth.
Three Phases of Hair Growth
The first phase of human hair growth, it is also the stage at which most hair will sprout out. How long will this phase take to complete depends, among many things, on your genetics. If genetic history favors you, you might exceed expectations to grow your beard in no time.
What if it takes longer, I hear your anxious voice?
Well, once again, that’s your DNA at play. That said, a slow growth of hair doesn’t mean that you’ve some physical shortcoming. For, depending on your genetics, this phase can take anywhere from 2 to 6years to complete. Therefore, be patient.
Imagine a kid who did all his summer homework in the first two weeks of holidays, only to sit idle and do nothing for the remaining vacation period. Now replace the kid with your hair, and this is what this phase is all about.
Yes, resting on their past laurels, your hair won’t do much at this stage. They would just embed into your skin and rest, waiting for next phase to take over.
This phase is a new beginning in your hair growth cycle. New hair will sprout out, replacing the worn-out, old ones. You might see a lot of hair falling at this stage, but there is no need to panic. For, the hair falling were just too week to stay and fight for their place. In their place would come new hair which will be stronger.
Difference between Facial Hair and Head Hair
You may notice there are specific products for your beard such as beard shampoo, beard balm, and beard oil. If you have a curious mind, you may ask as to why head hair requires different products than facial hair. After all, a hair is a hair, no matter where it grows.
As we have noted above, hair growth takes place in three phases. While both the facial and head hair undergoes these phases, the timing differentiates them. On your scalp, the three-phase cycle could last for years; whereas it lasts only a few months on your face.
Second, the growth of your facial hair is dependent on testosterone hormone – the greater the testosterone you have, the quickly you will grow facial hair.
However, while its presence results in the growth of facial hair, testosterone causes loss of head hair, hence the reason why bald men have high levels of testosterone.
Even in their appearance, beard hair differ from scalp hair. For example, it is not uncommon for a person having straight scalp hair to have a curly stubble. Hence the reason why we need a stiff brush for our beard but a softer one for our head.
The reason for this variance? Yup, Testosterone.
Most Optimal Age for Beard Growth?
The first signs of facial hair growth will start to appear when you are somewhere between 12 and 16 years old. Hence, it is when you’ll be experiencing puberty that facial hair growth will become visible. It is your mustache which will sprout out first, followed by some stubble on your cheeks.
However, despite being the first phase of facial hair growth, it IS NOT the most optimal stage for beard growth. Rather, the optimal stage lies when your age is between 25 and 35.
Why is that so, you may ask?
Well, it is because of the way your body behaves between 25 and 35 years of age. With the age of puberty over, your testosterone levels will be rising, which will increase the duration of ANAGEN phase. Consequently, with hair getting more time to grow, they will have a better growth rate.
As a result, your hair would get the maximum time and nourishment from your body to grow. Consequently, your hair will have a fast growth rate than any other stage of your life.
So if you want to grow your beard thick and fast, this is the time you should keep in mind.
How Much Length Will It Acquire?
If left untouched, how long will my beard grow before stopping? It is a question most people ask when they are just starting their pursuit of bearded glory. Before answering this question, here’s a useful tip: a fully grown, the unkempt beard will look ugly. So it’s better if you can trim it midway through the growth phase. Check out our list of best beard trimmers of 2018.
Coming back to the question, a beard, if left untouched, will touch three feet in length. Some beards may exceed this length, but you don’t know their ability unless you let them grow undeterred.
One way you can predict whether your beard has finished its growth phase is by checking its hair fall pattern. Fully grown beards have long hair falling out of them even without tugging, pulling or brushing out. Once your beard has reached this phase, it won’t grow any further.
Tips to Increase Your Beard Length & Thickness
Ask people sporting a beard, and you’d know that most of them do not believe that one can make a beard grow faster. A similar trend is visible in Google searches where the phrase “grow beard” is miles ahead of “grow beard faster”.
However, as we are going to show you, there are natural ways to grow your beard faster and thicker. Take a look:
Get the right vitamins
The various nutrients, minerals, and vitamins in your daily diet can either have a beneficial or a harmful effect on the growth of your facial here. To make sure you are eating the right food for your stubble, therefore, you need to keep your diet habits in check.
As stated above, testosterone plays an important role in beard growth. An increased amount of testosterone in our body results in better hair growth. And to increase its amount, we need a proper intake of Vitamin D, zinc and magnesium.
Our best sources of Vitamin D – apart from sunshine – are oily fish, cod, and eggs. As for zinc, we can get it from broccoli, liver, and oysters. And we can get magnesium from cashews, almonds and bone broths.
Sleep Well and Exercise
Isn’t this what your dad told you in early childhood? While his motive was different – so that you can wake up fresh in the morning– we will show you how a good sleep and adequate exercise helps you in sporting a bushy beard.
According to research, an average adult needs at least six hours of sleep daily. The number is seven to eight hours for children and eight to ten hours for teenagers.
In the hours that we sleep, our body functions rebuild, repair and grow, including facial here. Lack of proper sleep, meanwhile, results in increased stress levels, which weaken our immune system, thereby contributing to a reduction in hair growth.
As for exercise, its relationship with hair growth is simple. When we exercise, our testosterone levels increase, which, as you already know, contribute to hair growth. Hence, the more hours you spend in the gym, the better will be the quality of your beard.
If an increased risk of cancer, heart disease, and respiratory illness aren’t convincing enough reason for smokers to quit smoking, here’s another reason why they should stop having puffs: smoking can cause hair loss.
Smoking impairs blood circulation and therefore reduce the capillary blood flow to the root of the hair. Consequently, when age and family histories are kept constant, it is smoking which contributes to premature hair greying and hair loss.
Therefore, the warning is clear: every puff you take is another nail in the coffin of that wooly stubble which you may want to grow. Keep smoking, and even if something manages to sprout out from your face, it will be grey and wispy.
Take Care of Your Skin
Although it’s hair follicles which act as protagonists, it is our skin which plays the most important role in beard growth. Make sure that you know the type of skin you may have before applying any substance on it.
If you are unsure, head to your barber and provided he is worth his salt, he should be able to direct you in the right direction.
Start growing it in Isolation
The most difficult period while growing a period is when it is patchy and uneven. In addition to the itchiness, you may feel, there will be comments and smirks from family and friends who won’t know why you are gunning for bearded glory.
It is for this particular reason that we recommend that you start growing your beard away from home/office. In this way, you won’t have to tolerate people’s not-so-glowing remarks about your appearance. Your beard, meanwhile, will get a head start away from the prying eyes.
Finally … How Long It Really Takes to Grow Your Beard?
There are two answers to this question: one being the simple and the other relatively complicated. The simple answer tells us that it shouldn’t take more than two to six months for an average person to grow a full beard.
As for the complicated answer – which we have explained in full detail already - beard growth rate depends on many factors, including genetics, lifestyle choices and testosterone levels.
How long is this going to take? Itis a question most people ask when growing their beard for the first time. While people living a healthy lifestyle could see results soon, those living anything but might have to wait longer. Therefore, if you want to sport a bushy, glamorous and long-lasting beard, follow the tips given above.
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