How to grow a beard

best beard oils Photo by William Stitt on Unsplash

There is no meaning or purpose in life and societal values are artificial and unrealistic. Consider that your “reality” and the value you hold in yourself is defined by others. I challenge you: Toss away those shackles, embrace the nothingness, and start growing a beard.

The first month of growing a beard requires an expression — or lack thereof — of nihilism. That’s because you will look strange, those around you will notice and judge, but, more importantly, you won’t choose to care nor touch your beard. If, after that first month you’ve found that nihilism as a beard philosophy does not suit you, feel free to return to “society” and the absurd confinements that come with friendship and proper work hygiene.

Typically, a month’s worth of beard growth will provide enough of a base for alterations. Think of your facial hair like a block of marble. To properly execute your vision of a beard, there needs to be enough material to work with. Once you’ve procured the appropriate supply, get yourself some tools and get to work.

Growing and Grooming

how to grow a beard stubble closeup

We’ve already established that growing a beard requires patience — a certain amount of masochism. But, along with patience, a little love and care can go a long way as well. Here are some grooming tips and optional product suggestions that you might consider when maximizing the potential of your mug.

Use Beard Oil

Some will swear by beard oil and others will staunchly refuse to even discuss it. Everyone’s diet, natural oil production, and levels of acceptable hygiene differ — and so do their opinions. For your consideration, beard oil provides more than one benefit for your beard.

The oil moisturizes both your hair and the skin underneath it to reduce irritation and dandruff. Additionally, it helps to soften your beard, which gives you some styling control. The best time to apply a good beard oil is directly after showering or washing your face when your pores are open and can absorb the oil. Here are the best beard oils on the market right now

Man-with-Beard-2

Wash Occasionally

Washing your beard two to times per week will help stave off itchiness and keep your beard as smooth as sanded wood. Traditional body soaps can cause your beard to dry out, leading to itchiness and irritation. Some shampoos and conditioners work tolerably well, but you’re best off choosing a cleanser or a quality beard soap like this one from Enchanted Beard Co. Follow it up with a beard oil after each wash.

Take Care of Your Body

Other than manipulating your genetic code, there’s really nothing you can do to improve the fierceness of your incoming beard. With that said, you can encourage healthy hair growth (to a certain degree), by getting plenty of sleep, eating healthy, and exercising regularly. Frankly, you should be doing these things anyway — next thing you know, growing a beard may be the best lifestyle change you ever made. For more information on these steps, check out this breakdown of how fast facial hair can grow. We’ve also got you covered with some tips on avoiding itchy beard.

Trimming

best beard trimmers Photo by puhhha

You’ve given yourself a month, your beard is looking fierce, and you may have even pissed on the Dude’s rug — give us the money, Lebowski! Perhaps you’ve decided that nihilism is not, in fact, enjoyable oor profitable. It’s time to shape your beard.

Get a Quality Beard Trimmer

Having a good set of tools at the bookend of your initial beard growth is essential. The most important tool is a good beard trimmer, preferably one that comes with a few different attachments, including guards, different cutting heads, etc. Beard trimmers provide different levels of adjustments for blade height and length, so choose one that matches well with your particularity for precision. Aside from that you’ll need a good comb, a pair of sharp trimming scissors, and a mirror. Here are the best beard trimmers and beard combs you can buy right now.

Trim Your Beard

When it comes to actually defining your beard, there is no one beard style that is best. The shape of your beard should be defined by your face, your attitude, and your style. One thing we do recommend, however, is cleaning up around the edges so it looks like you are intentional about your beard. The best way to remain semi-presentable while cultivating your beard is to avoid the dreaded “neckbeard.” Trim up to one inch above your Adam’s apple but not more or you’ll risk losing the depth of your beard growth.

Beard-Trimming

Trimming the cheeks is also an essential for properly shaping your beard. Again, you don’t want to overdo it — just use a razor to wrangle a few stragglers that wander too far north. If you have something akin to a Chewbacca beard, you’ll need to take more drastic measures. Shave your cheek hair so it’s even with the bottom of your nose.

The above trimming tips are broad guidelines to properly formatting your beard. For a more information, take a look at our complete guide on how to shape a beard.

Final Thoughts

It’s your beard — wear it like you own it. Or just remember your days as a Russian poet when you discarded the thought-prison built around you by the aristocracy and choose not to acknowledge those who nay-say. Anyways, you’ll likely find that others appreciate the beard as much as you do.

Article originally published December 2, 2014. Last updated May 14, 2018.

Editors' Recommendations

Day 1 – 7: Leave it alone!

How to grow a beardThe true art of how to grow a beard is to do nothing. Isn’t that wonderful? Just do nothing. Don’t shave. Chill out. Have a beer. Go for a run. Eat chicken wings. Do whatever you fuckin want, man.

By the by, increasing protein helps hair follicles grow on the face, and so don’t shy away from meat, eggs, nuts and fish. Get it into ya son!

Protein is a building block for growth and restoration, and so get some protein into you every day.

Also, don’t stress. People lose their hair due to stress. It’s scientifically proven!

Day 14: Start Sculpting

You will probably have some facial hair at this stage. It also may look a little messy in appearance and you want to start that grooming process. You need to do three specific things:

  1. Look at where your hairline is. This is USUALLY just over an inch under your cheekbones. All skin above that point is to be left alone.
  2. The hair beneath the chin shouldn’t curl or sway upwards. Keep it straight at all times, or it won’t look good.
  3. Get rid of that hair curling over the upper lip. It looks gross and it’s going to have anything you eat stuck in it. It’s not cool, ever. Really. A lot of people get confused when learning how to grow a beard and think this is a good thing. It’s fucking not.
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How Long Does it Take to Grow a Beard?

For men wanting to know how long a beard takes to grow, the short answer is, it varies. Your genetics, testosterone levels, age and a bunch of other factors all come into play. Manage your expectations and remember to be patient. If you find yourself becoming impatient in these early growth stages, just think about how shaving every day is so much worse than waiting for your beard to grow.

Exercising To Grow A Beard

The Four Week Beard Rule

The four-week rule means one thing, grow thicker beard consistently instead of missing out on the full potential.

The sad truth is most guys do things to impede the growth of the beard long before it reaches its full potential.

For many men, the beard begins itching around the two to three-week mark, and they let this consume them to the point they either shave or trim before the hair reaches thick status.

The reason the hair is itching is a combination of two things. The first is poor grooming habits, basically, the skin is not being moisturized so it can withstand the hair follicles piercing through.

Secondly, as new hairs grow, they cause slight irritation in the skin that will subside in a few days, but most guys can’t get to that point. Here you can read how to deal with the beard itch.

The Four Week Beard Rule

The trick to growing a thicker beard is to be able to get past that four-week mark.

Even if you see patchiness and believe the hair will never fill in the gaps, you need to learn to be very patient when it comes to beard growth.

It is at the four-week mark that most beards will start to connect and fill in better, then you are in the best position to evaluate your unique condition.

The bottom line here is growing a thicker beard is a commitment on your part, you must get past the stubble phase to allow the beard to take shape and grow more rapidly.

If you start trimming and shaping too early, you stop the growth process and never attain that truly thick beard. Because not all beard hair grows equally.

Steps Before Starting to Grow Your Beard

A couple of things can be done at the very beginning of your beard growing journey to help your beard become thicker later:

Wash your beard regularly, but make sure you don’t over-wash it. If you do it every day, chances are your beard will soon start to dry out and become more prone to damaging. (we recommend Beard Wash by Mountaineer)

Apply beard oil since the first day. This way you will prevent excessive itching, and your beard will grow softer and healthier. (we recommend Beardoholic Beard Oil)

Noticing glaring patches or a lack of density in a few spots requires a little boost from your side.

You may find it hard to believe, but there is also good news in having a difficulty to grow a thicker beard from a young age.

Studies have shown that men who can’t develop a thicker beard when they are young won’t have to worry about going bald as they get older.

The Next Steps

If you’ve survived the first month of bearding without shaving, congratulations.

After you have made it to the four-week mark, you will have two choices when it comes to growing a thicker beard.

You have one option of simply letting it grow on its own, letting it reach its full potential. The other option is to begin to sculpt, shape, and groom the beard.

Good To Know: Top 9 Grooming Mistakes that You Must Stop Making

Letting it grow more naturally will earn you man points, but grooming helps to give you a more polished appearance.

Now comes the part of making your beard look more polished by grooming it.

Some men tend to groom the beard from the start, but in that case, there’s a risk. You can easily misjudge how your beard grows or its natural lines, and mess things up.

If that happens, you’ll have to regrow an area that you may have trimmed or shaved by mistake.

Trimming with scissors and with best beard trimmer is ideal, but consider utilizing a beard oil to help keep the skin below moisturized too.

The beard oil will soak into the beard and skin, and help it grow thicker.

How to Grow a Thicker Beard When Older

By your 30’s you should have developed a thick beard you were dreaming of. However, if that wasn’t in your genes, and you still want to have fuller and thicker beard there are only three options left.

Before going into details about each of them, have in mind that it’s always better to embrace the beard you already have.

There are plenty of beard styles to choose from even when your beard is not as thick as you would like it to be.

Still insisting on knowing how to make your beard thicker? Your options are:

  • Minoxidil (Rogaine)
  • Beard implants
  • Hormone therapy

All of these come with their pros and cons, and it’s important to know them before going further with trying to make your beard thicker with their help.

How Does Minoxidil (Rogaine) Work

A lot of men claim that Minoxidil helped them grow a thicker beard. On the other hand, there are a lot of others claiming entirely the opposite thing.

Logically, this implicates that Rogaine doesn’t work the same way for every man.

Those that swear in its effectiveness should know the way it works.

Rogaine doesn’t stimulate any new growth as it does on your head.  What it really does is stimulating follicles already existing on your face.

Your hair cells pass three phases of growth: Anagen, Catagen, and Telogen. Anagen is the one that promotes hair growth, and Rogaine simply prolongs this period.

How Does Minoxidil (Rogaine) Work

To use Rogaine, you should have in mind his cons too.

For example, it is proven that Rogaine effects diminish once you stop using it.

Also, like any other drug, there are a few more drawbacks. Some men have witnessed that Rogaine caused them dry skin, redness, itching, and irritation. Others experienced lower blood pressure.

Just a few of them noticed a slight weight gain after taking Rogaine, although there is no evidence that Rogaine is the one that caused this

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Have in mind all the possible side effects that come with the use of Rogaine and consult your doctor before taking it to make your beard thicker.

Is Hormone Therapy Safe

The last resort for men who want to grow a thicker beard is hormone therapy. It can be taken in pill form, hormonal cream, or via hormonal injections.

Men who have tried hormone therapy reported that they have noticed their beard became thicker afterward, although the percentage of them isn’t that high as for beard implants.

More importantly, dealing with hormones always poses health risks. Thick beards are great, but consider if it’s worth risking your health to get one.

After all, there are so many safer ways mentioned here that can get your beard thicker.

Photos: improvisor © 123RF.com, Gleb TV © 123RF.com and shmelevideo © 123RF.com, ronstik / depositphotos.com, 

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Before learning how to grow a beard, figure out why

Growing a beard for the first time is a deeply personal matter for any man. It could be done for a number of reasons both social and psychological.

  • Some think it’ll make them more attractive and some believe it’ll project masculinity.
  • Some men aren’t very confident about the way their face looks without beard while others are simply fascinated by the whole process.
  • Many others may want to grow a beard in order to cover certain imperfections on their face from acne or certain scars.
  • Whatever your reasons for attempting this personal experiment for the first time, you need to be honest with yourself.

Focus on what you are trying to achieve by sporting a mane before you set out to groom one. Realize that there is a lot of work involved if you want to have a great looking beard.

Getting started

Yes, staying away from razors & trimmers is a great start and it has a lot to do with growing a beard. Everyone knows that.

But what people don’t know is the actual work you need to put in it while you’re growing one to make it work.

First of all, you need to equip yourself with patience.

When you start growing your beard, you might have set a goal in your mind. Until you meet that goal, there will be times that you’re going think of shaving your beard off because you can’t take it anymore.

  • Maybe it’s the unbearable itch during the first few weeks.
  • Maintaining it and grooming it takes a lot more than your initially thought.
  • It isn’t as cheap as you anticipated since you have to buy new equipment (e.g. beard trimmers) and beard care products.
  • And lastly, you actually need to shave even though you thought that you would never have to do this again. Or at least a small part of your face.

So remember before you start growing a beard. You are building will power along with it and there are quite a few stages of growing a beard that you need to pass.

Speaking of goals and beard growth stages, there’s no ideal beard growth timeline to satisfy all beardsmen.

Some may like a stubble while other like to grow it for years until they reach the beard growth potential until your genes stops you.

Beard Stubble may be itchy

Image Courtesy: flickr/ddfic

Now, what about maintenance that we talked about?

When you first start growing out a beard stubble you may notice your face looks unkempt and shaggy.

This is when the itch hits you.

But this is the time that you need to be strong and become even more determined.

When you pass this stage -which is usually 2-4 weeks, things will get better, I guarantee it.

The reason that your beard is itchy is mainly because regular shaving doesn’t cut the hair straight which results in pointy edges of hair that has grown longer and touch the surface of your face.

This is a temporary hurdle you must cross, so don’t let it discourage you from going all the way with. Again, have some patience and the itchiness will pass.

In the meantime, consider applying moisturizing products on your growing beard. Beard oil is generally best for itchiness during the first few months. Well, I would say, beard oil is great at any beard length for softening and conditioning.

Here’s another issue you might have to deal with while in the initial stages of growing a beard – a sharp stubble. It’s going to be a source of endless scraping, soreness and redness for women you get intimate with, over the first few weeks.

Don’t let your quest for a manly beard undermine your sex life.

Since the hair on your face is fairly short in this stage, you won’t need to use shampoo at all. Normal face wash would be sufficient. However, be careful with products that may cause dryness on your face. This can make the beard itch even worse.

Prefer products with natural ingredients that promote natural beard growth and are proven to moisturize and make a beard softer.

Such natural beard softeners are the following:

  • Coconut oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • Argan oil
  • Hemp seed oil
  • Olive oil

If you don’t want to buy any product to make your face and skin softer, you can make a blend of two or more oils from the above list. After all, there’s a good reason why most great beard oils contain these ingredients.

Beyond the beard stubble

How to grow a beard faster starting from stubble

Once you are beyond the stubble phase of growing a beard, you will notice that your face looks unkempt and untidy. That untidy look is not very attractive and you need to shape your beard.

This means that you need to start trimming the lip, upper cheeks and neckline. This will neaten the whole look to allow you to show your face in public.

What I’m trying to say is that growing a beard is completely different than keeping it well groomed.

Of course, if you want the as-natural-as-possible look don’t touch your face at all. Let it grow by itself.

This is the point most men give up entirely. The scruffy look tempts you to shave it all off, and feel that smoothness on your face again. A majority of men never make it beyond this point, so consider it as a test. A test that proves you’re worthy of wearing a beard.

The glorious beard you’ve been hearing about from the elders of the village. No one saw it, but all the tales narrate about the golden beard.

I’m loosing the track of this post once again…

Even though grooming your beard is a good idea at this stage, this is when most mistakes happen.

You need to be extra careful now because the beard lines are not well defined and this is the beard stage when you’re actually creating them.

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When you want to shape your stubble, there are high chances that you trim/shave your beard too low or too high. For this reason, I would definitely advise to wait a bit longer until your beard is long enough so that you trim or shave your beard accurately with no regrets.

And when I say regrets, I mean shaving your beard off entirely because of the accuracy we were talking about.

Ah, and speaking of beard trimming…

After a few months of patiently growing your beard

Grow a beard faster and thicker with good diet and excercise

If this is your first time growing a beard, this is when things will start getting interesting.

Since you’ve never seen your facial hair at a long length before, you might see things that you’re either going to love or hate.

Even if your hair is naturally straight, you might see your beard to be wavy or even curly.

How does this happen? Genes, my friend.

My suggestion is to embrace the uniqueness of your beard and keep on growing it. From my own experience, it will take one or maybe two more months until you start loving it and being able to tame it in any way you want.

Your beard starts to get a life of its own.

Besides the personality that your beard starts developing, this is the time that it becomes even more demanding.

Beard oil is slowly becoming a product that should be used on daily basis. Wonder why?

Your beard requires more moisture than ever. Even though your beard produces its own natural oils -called sebum, this doesn’t seem to be enough anymore. Maybe it’s the water that washes the natural oils off or the dry weather or even your dry skin.

You should try to nourish the beard as much as you can. Again, you don’t have to cover your entire face with beard oil. Only a few drops here and there, brushing and massaging it, should be more than enough.

And speaking of washing the beard, after about three months of beard growing you may want to wash it less often. Instead of washing it everyday just like you were doing with your beard stubble, it might be a good idea to skip a day every once in a while.

On top of washing your beard two to three times a week, try to use shampoo that doesn’t strip off your natural oils and doesn’t dry your skin. Maybe your face wash isn’t such a good idea anymore for cleaning your beard.

This doesn’t mean that you don’t rinse your beard with water when you make a mess from eating a burger.

As far as beard trimming is concerned, scissors are slowly becoming the only tool you’re using, except for the beard areas that you’d like to keep short where beard trimmer is more suitable.

  • Seven Potions beard oil
  • Beardbrand Beard oil

At the same time, try to get rid of the urge to shave everything.

This is when you get the feeling that you need to get rid of the beard entirely. A lot of men give in to the temptation to just shave it all away at this point.

Just remember to be patient.

You’ve done a lot of work until now, and it would be a pity to shave everything away.

Styling your beard

How to grow a beard. Different Beard Styles for Disfigured Man

Image Courtesy: flickr/chiffheed

Letting your beard grow is one thing. But don’t forget the styling aspect.

Trimming your beard every one or two weeks is necessary to keep your beard tidy. Normally, you’ll want to trim down certain parts of your beard to reduce the bulks. For me, this is the beard close to the neck and the cheeks.

Besides frequent trimming, you might also need to shave.

Depending on the beard style you decided to sport, there’s a great chance that you need to shave even on daily basis, especially if you want to keep it clean and well defined.

As you see, even though we said that you need to stop shaving in order to grow a beard, there are high chances that you won’t get rid of the razor after all.

Other tools that you can use for your beard grooming routine are beard combs and brushes.

When your beard is freshly washed and dry, you can style the beard further with a bone or wooden comb and make it look refined and well groomed. This is also a way to detangle the hair knots (yes, it happens a lot) and make beard oil or balm application simpler.

Beard brushes can also do a great job if you decided to keep your beard at short level which also helps with beard care product applications. Especially natural hair brushes do a great job with softening your beard since they’re able to spread the natural oils of your beard across the length of your beard.

Beard combs and brushes to consider

Beard Comb – Natural Organic Sandalwood for Hair | Seven Potions Boar Hair Beard Brush

As for styling products you can use beard balm when your beard is already dry or even a beard wax for stronger hold. A good beard balm helps with both conditioning and shaping of beard. Even though beard balm is designed specifically for making your beard soft, depending on the amount of wax in the beard balm recipe, it might also give you some shaping properties as well.

Now, you might be thinking that you got the beard oil already for the conditioning part. For more information you can check out my article that talks about the differences between beard oil and beard balm.

Recommended beard balms

Seven Potions Beard Balm. 100% Natural, Organic | Honest Amish Beard Balm

There are a ton of different beard styles you can choose from, once your beard is long enough. Work with what you have.

Let your genes determine which beard style is more suitable to your appearance. You may find that some beard styles are either not suitable for your looks or not feasible. Unfortunately, not all men can sport any beard style. But again, that’s alright.

If you notice you have a thick and full moustache don’t trim it. It’s rare to have a glorious moustache, so you might as well enjoy it.

Once you understand what your genes have decided for your beard style, shape your beard based on your head shape, hairstyle (can be a great match) and clothing style.

Go for a stylish looking goatee if you feel your cheeks are too sparse. If they are not patchy and you can grow a full beard then go for it, it’s an all time classic.

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