This is the most read and complete guide to beard growth you can find right now. Read this guide carefully so you can start growing a beard to style in all your favorite ways.Content:
- Inspiration and lookbook
- Making the decision
- Committing to it
- Beard care and maintenance
- Boost beard growth
- Useful beard products
Inspiration and lookbook
Making the decision
A beard is the epitome of masculinity. In some regions of the world, it is even strongly associated with power.
Whatever the reason, there will probably be a point in your life when you decide to grow a beard.
Maybe you are curious about what you look like with a beard, or you just want to try something different.
But if you are to end up with a glorious beard then it’s not a matter of growing your facial hair for a few months and hoping it will all turn out fine.
In fact, a healthy beard requires a number of crucial maintenance steps and, of course, a good dose of patience.
Unfortunately, it is not certain that the ultimate tough beard you have in mind will ultimately suit your face and personality.
To help you on your way, we have put together this guide for you.
In this guide, you will read all about the best way to grow a beard, as well as science-based insights and supplements that allow you to grow your beard faster in a natural way.
We’ll be giving you valuable tips for the growth process that can help you achieve your beard goals.
If you haven’t tried growing a beard before, we definitely recommend reading the tips and advice in this article first.
To make the journey to your beard goals a little easier, we’ve also put together a lookbook full of inspiration for you to check out at the bottom of this guide.
If you have found a beard that you think will suit you, take the photos to your barber for reference if you plan on having your beard trimmed at a barber’s during the growth process.
Committing to it
Growing a beard requires a certain amount of dedication. This journey is actually a test of your character as well as a kind of self-discovery for some people.
The perfect beard can’t be achieved just like that, but the pay-off, in the end, is a great feeling.
The reason many men have trouble growing a beard is that they give up when there is no visible progression.
There will come a time when your beard will cause itching, irritated skin, and bald spots, but that shouldn’t stop you.
This annoying side effect is unfortunately enough for many men to stop growing their beards too early and get a smooth shave.
If you have decided to go for it 100%, it can help to seek inspiration and have your end goal in mind.
What often helps too is setting a start date and a minimum number of weeks during which you make an agreement with yourself not to shave, regardless of irritation or comments from your friends and family.
Why grow a beard?
To put the question differently: why not grow a beard? While stubble and clean-shaven faces are “the norm” these days, it’s perfectly acceptable to grow a beard regardless of your profession or background.
In this sense, it’s easy to make the decision to grow a beard.
But it is also just as easy to go against yourself and choose to shave again — and that will probably happen a number of times before you really commit to a beard and go all the way.
The most popular reasons for growing a beard are:
- To look older
- To get rid of a “baby face”
- Because it suits your personality
- So you can shave less
- Because women think it’s masculine
Does your beard grow faster when you shave?
No. Shaving regularly does not affect the speed of beard growth.
It also doesn’t make your hair thicker, fuller, or harder. The reason many men think this is the case is because most men start shaving during puberty.
And it is precisely during this period that hair growth accelerates due to changes in hormone levels, but that has little to do with shaving.
Using a razor doesn’t stimulate the hair follicles, either.
How fast does a beard grow?
Hair grows by about 1.5 centimeters every month. This varies from person to person, but the difference will be minimal.
For some men, beard growth seems to happen faster than for others, but this has to do with:
- The color of the hair. Dark hair gives the illusion that the beard is thicker and fuller.
- The thickness of the hair. Thin hair gives a less “full” look.
- The density of the hair follicles. More hair follicles create a “fuller beard” with less hair.
From what age do men’s beards start to grow?
In most men, facial hair appears in the late stages of puberty, between the ages of 17 and 20. A full beard will not be noticeable until a man’s early twenties.
Until what age do men’s beards grow?
Just like all other hair on your body, your facial hair will continue to grow slowly. However, the speed and color will diminish as you get older.
So you’ve decided to grow a fierce beard. The problem is, you can’t maintain something you don’t have.
It sounds logical, but if you want to grow a real beard you just can’t shave anymore.
That means that you shouldn’t be tempted to shave even just a little.
Another reason is that the hair follicles can become irritated when you shave, which can hinder growth in those areas.
Once you decide to grow a beard, don’t shave at all for at least a month.
Many men find the new hair that grows annoying. It itches and you soon want to shave some areas because not all hair is growing neatly in the same direction.
We really don’t recommend this because it will be visible during the entire growth process. Trimming at a later time is easier.
Don’t shave after the first week
If it’s your first time growing a beard, the first 7 days will be quite… special. The hair will look “frayed” and the itching will begin.
You will also likely notice that your skin will become red and dry. This is because previous shaves have cut off your hair, and these hairs are chafing against your skin.
If the itching is too intense, you can wash with beard shampoo once, which will soothe the skin. Other than patience and persistence, there is not much you can do at this point.
→ Read more: The best beard shampoos of the moment
After the first four weeks of beard growth, it’s decision time
After a month of not shaving, your facial hair will be long enough to style.
This is also a decision moment: you can choose to trim your hair or make some areas a bit tighter here and there. Or if you’re going for a full, rough beard, you can let your hair grow slowly.
A beard is measured in months, not centimeters.
→ Must read: beard styles that can be grown within a month
Define the neckline
Whatever you do, you’ll want to define a visible neckline to avoid a so-called “neck beard.”
This is the line where your beard hair stops and merges into your neck.
Since shaving a tight neckline is an art, we recommend that you have this done by a professional barber, especially if this is your first attempt at growing a beard.
In general, the cheeks are not trimmed to maintain a natural look during the growth process.
If you want to update the neckline yourself, push your index and middle fingers together and place them above your Adam’s apple.
Then draw an imaginary line from ear to ear. This is the neckline.
If you trim everything below this line, you will get a neat and well-groomed beard. During the growth process, you should keep trimming the hairs below this line.
One of the things you might notice and that you should know is that facial hair is not the same as the hair on your head.
Almost every man suffers from bald spots that become visible during the growth process. The hair follicles in these places are slightly less active than the rest and are therefore lagging.
This is immediately noticeable, but don’t worry: after a while, the bald spots will close themselves thanks to the length of the surrounding hairs.
Your genes determine where the bald spots arise and unfortunately little else can be done about it. Patience pays off and is the only way!
Beard care and maintenance
After the initial four-week period of no shaving, the hairs should be long enough to give you visible facial hair.
From this moment on, it’s extra important to take good care of, and maintain, your beard hair.
In order to take good care of your beard, you need to invest in a number of essential tools.
If you choose to trim your own beard rather than going to the barber then you need a decent trimmer + the necessary tutorials on YouTube to learn how to use it.
Beard oil and shampoo are important to make trimming easier and to keep the skin under your beard healthy.
In addition, you will notice that your beard absorbs more dirt than a Swiffer in your closet, so keeping your beard clean is an absolute necessity.
Below is a quick explanation of how you can maintain and care for your beard. You can read some detailed information in the specific guides.
→ Read more: Our in-depth guide on beard maintenance
The main difference between modern men with a beard and those from previous generations is hygiene.
Back in the day, men would just grow their beards without combing or maintaining them. This is why beards were often associated with poor hygiene and disrepute.
Fortunately, these days the range of beard care products available has grown significantly, so you have no excuse to look disheveled.
One of the most important tools to equip yourself with is a beard comb. This should definitely not be an ordinary comb with the teeth too close together!
You should also know that your beard will be the easiest to comb after using a moisturizing cream or beard oil.
That way, the hairs will break less quickly. There will also be a noticeable difference in how easily you can style your beard by combing it.
One of the most important things to remember when growing a beard is not to comb while the hair is still wet. This results in hair loss, which can create bald spots.
Take your time to brush your beard and work from top to bottom.
→ Read more: Our in-depth beard comb guide and top 5 combs
Beard hair grows better when you trim it regularly. By trimming the dead ends, you get a fine beard that is easier to maintain and looks natural.
Depending on the speed at which your hair is growing, we recommend trimming your beard at least every two weeks with a decent beard trimmer. And if you can’t manage it yourself, then have a barber do it for you.
→ Read more: A step-by-step guide to trimming your beard for a neat look
The skin under the hair
The skin that is normally exposed to sufficient daylight and care has had to adapt since you’ve been growing your beard.
Make sure to use beard shampoo and conditioner while trimming. This will help exfoliate dead skin cells while cleaning your beard and removing excess oil.
Healthy skin = a healthy beard.
Our advice is to clean your beard at least once, but preferably twice, a week with a beard shampoo (or beard soap if you prefer, it’s completely up to you) composed of natural ingredients to stimulate growth.
Shampoo and conditioner with artificial ingredients can cause irritation and thus itching (red spots), so avoid these if you can.
If you experience itching, it can help to moisturize your skin with natural beard oil.
This will only be temporary because your skin will adapt to your new beard, and eventually the itching will stop on its own.
If you still really suffer from it, you could try extra thick baby oil (note: your hair will also get a shine boost). The itching phase will last for up to 3-4 weeks.
→ Read more: Our comprehensive article on beard oil with valuable buying tips
Dandruff (flakes) is caused by a micro-organism called Malassezia, which feeds off the body’s natural oil (sebum).
When this happens, cell production in the underlying skin will be extra stimulated, and too many skin cells will eventually result in white flakes.
You can combat this by exfoliating with, for example, a beard brush or a mild scrub. Although beard dandruff will then temporarily disappear, it could still return.
This is a “problem” for the majority of men.
Shave your beard
Have you decided to shave your beard? First use your beard trimmer set to 1-2 centimeters, then shave it smooth with a razor.
Boost beard growth
In this section, we share our findings on promoting beard growth and whether it is even possible to make your beard grow faster at all with remedies and/or nutritional supplements.
We have noticed that there are a lot of contradictory articles on the internet, so to make it a bit easier for you, we have already filtered through the marketing bullshit.
Here, we lay out our conclusions after sifting through a small mountain of material.
Is this the only knowledge you’ll ever need about stimulating beard growth? Maybe, maybe not. In any case, it’s what seemed most logical to us. We hope it will help you!
Body hair is controlled by your hormones.
Some men have a lot of chest hair while others have hairy legs. The difference between individuals is due to the amount of androgens that are produced during puberty.
Everybody has so-called “vellus hair” (invisible hair).
Vellus hair that is fed by androgens turns into “terminal hair” in places (the hair that you now have all over your body).
The production of androgens is influenced by two male hormones, namely testosterone, and dihydrotestosterone.
- Testosterone regulates the thickness of the hair and stimulates the hair follicles.
- Dihydrotestosterone regulates the number of hair follicles and their density.
This is also the reason that women do not have facial hair. Women have too few of these hormones in their bodies to stimulate facial hair, despite women also having hair follicles on their faces.
Beard growth is genetically determined
Whether growing a beard is for you depends on your genes.
Whether you can grow a full beard (without patches or bald spots) is genetically determined and there is little you can do to change that.
But you will only find out if you decide to let your facial hair grow.
If you have experimented with growing a beard before and you find yourself blessed with good genes, you should definitely try it at least once in your life.
Maybe it’s not for you, and maybe you will choose never to shave your beard again.
The rate at which your hair grows depends on both your genes and the testosterone in your body.
A healthy lifestyle is directly related to the quality of your facial hair. Think of the impact of a diet with enough vitamins and proteins, and of what stress or sleep can do to your health.
Vitamins and minerals promote healthy hair follicles, so if these are missing from your diet, your beard will become dry and look unhealthy.
Just like the rest of your body, your hair follicles need enough nutrients to function properly.
As a supplement to your diet, you can choose to take certain vitamins that stimulate (accelerate) beard growth. You can read more about this in the supplement section.
Last but not least: consider a good night’s sleep. The consensus (at least right now…) is that 6 hours a night is the absolute minimum you need.
Blood flow and cardio
Doing cardio or strength training regularly promotes healthy blood circulation in your body. This also means that your hair follicles will benefit from it.
Resistance training is one of the best ways to stimulate beard growth. The effort gives your body a valuable testosterone boost.
A good night’s rest
A good night’s rest is important for your beard growth, as it helps to reduce stress.
And less stress means a beautiful beard. Science indicates that adults should get a minimum of 6 hours of sleep every night.
Stress is literally a killer. It prevents hair growth and for many men, it even causes hair loss; including on your face! This is because stress produces the hormone cortisol, and cortisol has been proven to counteract the production of dihydrotestosterone.
Having a few beers or Jägerbomb is fine, but research has shown that too much alcohol suppresses the production of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone. This has a direct influence on your beard growth.
Avoid synthetic shampoos and creams
Many skincare products such as face cream, shower gel, and shampoo contain BPA (the packaging) and parabens. These substances are referred to as antiandrogens and have a negative effect on the production of testosterone.
Accelerate beard growth through a balanced diet
Below, we list some of the most obvious sources of minerals and vitamins.
If you want to delve further into this, we recommend the MyFitnessPal app, on which you can enter what you eat in a day and measure your macros and nutrients.
Foods that help you grow a beard:
- Chicken breast
- Cottage cheese
Nuts (healthy fats)
- Sunflower seeds
Vegetables (high iron content)
Supplements that speed up beard growth
Long story short:
“ Are there any supplements that stimulate beard growth? Yes. ”
Just so you know, we’re talking about supplements that have been scientifically proven to work.
Think of amino acids, including serine, and micronutrients (vitamins from vegetable sources that occur in small quantities).
Neofollics beard growth serum
The beard growth serum from Dutch brand Neofollics is one of our favorite new products at the moment.
The serum is made with 7% Neoxyl, an ingredient with a scientifically proven effect.
The result varies with each person, of course, but many men report that they see an increase in beard growth after 3 weeks.
This serum is a powerful formula and activates hair follicles without side effects.
Minoxidil is the only topical hair growth product that gives you results from 3 months and within 12 months.
Minoxidil ensures that the hair follicles better absorb nutrients and hormones, which of course can have a very positive effect in the long run.
Just like biotin, Minoxidil reduces hair loss and helps you grow new hair. Please note: this new hair can sometimes be a different color than your original hair color.
Apply Minoxidil twice a day to the places where you want to stimulate hair growth and let it dry.
Here, the result varies from person to person. But in general, Minoxidil is actually the only real way to accelerate beard growth.
It is recommended to only use the drug if you are under 40 years old.
The product is available as a foam emulsion or as a lotion in both 2% and 5% strength. Be careful if you use the 5% because it has a higher chance of side effects. As soon as you stop taking Minoxidil, your new hair can disappear again.
- Effect after three months
- Maximum effect after 12 months
- Skin can feel dry
- Possibility of a different hair color
- As soon as you stop there is a chance that your “new” hair will no longer keep growing
Biotin is the same thing as vitamin B8 and is necessary to properly absorb the nutrients from food. This results in healthy skin and hair too.
Biotin doesn’t stimulate hair growth, but it has been shown that a lack of Biotin can cause hair loss.
Therefore, you should try a Biotin supplement if you don’t think you’re getting enough through your food. Biotin is naturally found in nuts and dairy.
Note: the recommended amount of Biotin per day for adults is 40 micrograms
The use of a Dermaroller stimulates beard growth in many men.
A Dermaroller punctures microscopic holes in the area where you use the roller, with the following effects:
- It stimulates blood circulation, which in turn helps to transport nutrients and hormones to the hair follicle
- Your body sees the small holes as damaged tissue, causing keratin and proteins to be sent to the area for repair (the same happens with muscle cramps, where there are micro-cracks in your muscles)
A Dermaroller works best in combination with Minoxidil.
→ You can buy a Quality Derma Roller at Amazon.
Handy beard tools
In contrast to the above products, there are also practical tools available that can help you with optimal beard growth. We discuss them briefly below.
A beard brush is one of the best ways to achieve an optimal growth cycle.
When using a beard brush, the hair follicles in the skin are stimulated, which has a positive effect on general growth.
In addition, you can also use a beard brush to make uneven lengths visible before trimming your beard.
Plus, removing split ends also ensures better growth.
Finally, a beard brush can also be used for detangling, so that beard oil and beard shampoo are better absorbed, ensuring that you reap all these products’ benefits.
→ Read more: Beard brush tips and our top 5 tested brushes
Using high-quality beard scissors allows you to trim your own beard so that you can step out the door looking well-groomed.
Always use beard scissors after brushing your beard to reveal uneven lengths. Be careful not to accidentally cut pieces off.
Are your genes working against you and are your first gray hairs starting to show, or are you not completely satisfied with your natural beard color?
Beard paint or dye is specially designed to create a gradual transition between the color of the dye and your natural color.
That way you can slightly change your beard color to suit you.
→ Read more: Tips for using beard paint and step-by-step coloring
To grow a beard, you must first make a commitment with yourself to really go through with it. You should also think carefully about why exactly you want to grow a beard.
Does a beard suit your personality, or do you want to hide that baby face? Then the first thing to do is to begin a four-week period of not shaving or trimming.
After the first four weeks of beard growth, your hair will be long enough to move onto the next stages: trimming and maintenance.
Then take care of your beard by combing it with a beard comb after using beard oil so that the hair is less likely to break.
Trimming your beard regularly is necessary to remove dead ends so that the hair grows better.
To keep your beard clean and to properly care for the skin under your beard, use beard shampoo and conditioner. Repeat this ritual twice a week.
Bald spots are unfortunately genetic. But don’t panic: in the end, the rest of your beard will be long enough to cover the bald spots.
You can stimulate beard growth through a good night’s sleep, diet, and lifestyle. In terms of supplements, Minoxidil is a great choice and has been scientifically proven to promote hair growth.
That’s it for this guide.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make my beard grow faster?
Yes, but not naturally. There are products available that influence hormone levels and therefore beard growth. You have to ask yourself if it is worth it to you. This article explains how you can accelerate and stimulate beard growth in a natural or unnatural way.
How can I grow a beard?
Growing a beard is a personal development that every man should try at least once. The initial period (the first four weeks) is difficult because it is accompanied by itching and uncertainty. We recommend keeping a diary and using natural products that will help you grow a healthy beard. Read more in this article…
Will my beard grow faster if I shave regularly?
No. This is a persistent myth, but it has been proven that shaving does not affect the rate of beard growth.
How can I grow a full beard?
That depends on your genetic predisposition. Many men have to deal with bald spots in their beard. Unfortunately nothing can be done about that. A common solution is to let the beard grow longer so that the surrounding beard hairs eventually cover the bald spots.
How can I speed up beard growth?
It is not possible to accelerate beard growth. What you can do is reduce or completely avoid all factors that negatively affect beard growth. Think of unhealthy food, little exercise, fitness and maintaining the beard. Properly caring for the underlying skin is very important as well. Your skin must be well moisturized so that the beard can grow optimally and without hindrance.
How do I grow a beard?
By having a realistic goal in mind and committing yourself to it. Growing a beard does not happen automatically and only you are responsible for the result. First, choose a beard style that works for you (by reading our inspiration guide), then start with a month of no shaving. After that...
How long does it take to grow a beard?
That entirely depends on your personal goals and the beard style you have in mind. Read our in-depth article to find beard styles that can be created in a month, 3 months and half a year.
When will my beard start to grow?
That depends largely on your genes. In some men, beard growth starts from adolescence, in others when they are a young adult.
How can I boost beard growth?
This can be done in two ways: naturally and synthetically. The natural way is to maintain a healthy lifestyle, reducing stress, eating healthy food and exercising, and maintaining a healthy balance. That way the hormone levels are balanced and your beard will benefit. Using beard oil and trimming the beard also helps with optimal beard growth. The “unnatural” way is to use synthetic aids. Note: these do not guarantee more growth or a fuller beard.