Are you planning to grow a beard? Then you might have heard about the benefits that having a beard means. However, you also need to use the best beard care products to maintain it and give it proper care. It is also advisable to learn as much as you can about beard growth stages so you will know exactly what to expect.
Table Of Contents
- What Are Beard Growth Stages
- Benefits of Growing a Beard
- 3 Phases of Hair Growth
- Factors That Affect Beard Growth
- Beard Growth Stages
- Most Common Beard Care Products You Need
- How to Care for and Maintain Your Beard
- How to Trim Your Beard
- How to Comb and Brush Your Beard
- Do’s and Don’ts When Growing a Beard
- How long does it take to grow a full beard?
- How long does the awkward beard stage last?
- How can I make my beard grow faster?
- How much beard growth happens in a week?
- When to trim when growing my beard?
- Do beard growth products work?
- Does shaving increase beard growth?
- Do multivitamins help with beard growth?
- Which beard styles are right for me?
What Are Beard Growth Stages
Beard growth stages refer to the specific phases that you have to go through when planning to grow a beard. You need to work through such phases or stages in order for the beard growth to become a success. The stages are the major components of the cycle from the time the beard is still rough until it gets silky smooth as well as the time when you no longer feel the itchiness that often comes with growing a beard.
Upon learning and understanding the beard growth stages, you will also realize that the whole process requires proper upkeep. For instance, you need to invest in the world’s best beard grooming kit to be able to maintain a nice-looking beard. It is crucial to be an active participant in the whole process.
You need to invest in the best beard oil as beard oil moisturizes and tames facial hair. It is also necessary to clean and condition it. All these things form huge roles in the whole process of growing a beard, so it is advisable to get to know more about its stages. With that, you will have a clear idea of what to expect.
Benefits of Growing a Beard
Growing a beard produces several benefits. The following are just some of the many positive things that you can enjoy from your decision to grow a beard and maintain it:
Helps in Blocking Harmful UV Rays
Growing thick beards is extremely helpful, especially if you want to block up to 95% of the sun’s harmful UV rays. Aside from ensuring that your skin does not get burned from the sun, it also keeps you protected from cancer.
Lowers Risk of Developing Acne from Shaving
Note that regular shaving might cause you to develop acne in the long run. It is because the process will only spread acne-causing bacteria. With a beard, there is a strong and high chance that the skin beneath your beard or facial hair is smooth. Allowing beard growth and maintaining it by doing things, like cleaning your beard with a specialized shampoo, can assure you of healthy skin.
Another thing that makes having beard beneficial is that it tends to improve the confidence of any man who wears it. It usually gives you a sense of confidence and power that everyone around you can readily and evidently see.
Helps Retain the Moisture in Your Skin
Regularly shaving your facial skin might only open up the pores in that area. It also results in cuts that will eventually lead to dryness. During the winter and summer, these exposed pores caused by constant shaving might cause the loss of moisture in your skin. This can further result in flaking. Growing a beard can prevent such issues and ensure that your skin remains healthy and well-moisturized.
Other benefits of growing a beard include boosting your sex appeal, lowering your risk of dealing with bacterial infections, and providing warmth during the winter. Just make sure that you trim your beard when necessary as part of its maintenance. Shaping facial hair with a comb is also necessary from time to time to ensure that your beard continues to help make you look more attractive.
3 Phases of Hair Growth
When it comes to hair growth, you have to be aware that the whole process involves three important phases, namely the anagen, catagen, and telogen phase. Learning and understanding these phases is crucial if you want to grow your beard.
This is the growth phase or stage. It is the specific phase wherein the cells found in your hair follicles’ root will divide rapidly. This phase usually takes around 2-6 years. It even exceeds that period for some people. During the anagen phase, you can expect the root to divide continuously, causing the growth of hair strands by at least half an inch every month.
Out of the three known hair growth phases, catagen is considered as the shortest. It also encompasses the cycle’s transitional phase. Once the growth of your hair stops during catagen, you can expect your hair strands to get separated from your follicles and eventually attach to your skin.
The catagen phase is also when the supply of blood to your hair completely stops. Any hair during this phase can be expected to last for around 2-3 weeks only. They already stopped growing, which means that they are not on the active phase.
The telogen phase often has a 2-month to 4-month duration. Here, expect incoming new hair to push out old hair, triggering their fallout or shedding. Once it sheds, your hair follicles will go back to anagen. This is where the hair growth cycle will start again.
The same phases are also what you will undergo in case you intend to grow your beard. This is the main reason why gaining a bit of information about each phase is crucial in the successful growth of your beard.
Factors That Affect Beard Growth
Several factors play vital roles when it comes to beard growth. Among these factors are the following:
If you want to know if you have a great chance of having a full and healthy beard growth, then you can always take a look at your genetics. You have to get to know more about your lineage, as this will give you an idea about the type of beard growth that you will experience. It will also inform you about the specific reasons why your beard grows in a specific manner. It is mainly because your genetics contribute a lot to your ability to grow a beard.
Before growing a beard, it is also advisable to consider your age as this also contributes to whether or not you will be successful in this. How young or old you are also has a say on the beard growth’s rate as well as the overall quality.
In most cases, males start having facial hair after reaching 13. You can expect the fastest and most abundant beard growth rate once you are around 25 to 35 years old, too. This growth also seems to slow down as you age, although not as significant as others initially expected it would be.
Your testosterone level also has major contributions to how high your chance is of growing a healthy set of body and facial hair. Note that young boys often develop what we call as vellus, which refers to thin facial hair.
Once they age and mature, vellus tends to get blacker and thicker due to their body’s continuous testosterone production. The start of facial hair growth can also lead to the development of hair near your reproductive organ, on your chest, and under your arms. However, if your testosterone level is low, then this can cause weak facial hair growth.
If you want to grow your beard, then make sure that you receive healthy and good nutrients from consuming a balanced and healthy diet every day. It is advisable to maintain a normal body mass index because obesity or excess weight might cause your testosterone level to go down. Some nutrients, like zinc, also play a crucial role in raising your testosterone level.
It is also advisable to increase your intake of lean protein, like salmon and chicken, whole grains, healthy carbs, iron-like liver, zinc-rich foods, like chickpeas and nuts, healthy fats, like avocados, and fruits and veggies. Make sure that the foods you eat are also rich in Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E. It is because these vitamins support hair growth.
Exercise also contributes to hair growth. What regular exercises do is improve your blood flow, thereby stimulating the growth of your hair follicles. Some exercises, including strength training and weightlifting, also work in boosting your testosterone levels temporarily.
If you work out regularly, then consider varying them from time to time. Make some changes in your daily exercise schedule, too. Also, remember that your testosterone level will fluctuate naturally when you are still young. It tends to spike in the morning and ebbs once the afternoon comes.
Sleep is vital not only for optimizing your overall health but also in stimulating healthy and proper beard growth. Note that your body system’s testosterone is usually released when you are asleep. Inadequate sleep, as well as fragmented sleep and sleep apnea, among many other sleep issues, can have adverse effects on the beard growth process.
Restricting your sleep every day might cause your testosterone to go down. You need adequate sleep for the process to work because you can expect the level of your testosterone to peak at around the beginning of your first REM sleep cycle. It will stay that way until it is time for you to wake up.
Stress is one of the major causes of falling hair. This means that it also has a major impact on hair growth, including when you are growing your beard. If you are extremely stressed, then this can damage the growth rate of your scalp and beard hair. It is because stress tends to lower your immune system, which translates to a reduced hair growth rate.
The rate of beard growth in your case will also be influenced by your race. Note that Afro-Americans and Caucasians are among those who are often able to grow thick beards. Asian men, on the other hand, tend to find it more difficult to develop a full and healthy beard.
Excessive smoking might have negative effects – one of which is skin irritation around your lips, causing the area to dry out and crack. This is the main reason why you might want to keep your lips without cracks with a lip balm if you smoke excessively. However, this is not the only effect of smoking. It also has a few health hazards, plus it can result in hair loss. If you want to grow your beard, then smoking might negatively affect the rate and pace of such growth.
Beard Growth Stages
Now, let us discuss the different stages that you will have to go through when trying to grow your beard. Note that each stage has specific milestones and you should keep track of them, especially if you want to have full participation in the beard growth process.
Stage 1 – Clean Shaven (0-1 Week)
Of course, you need to start with a clean-shaven face. During the first few days, you will not notice a huge difference yet. If you are one of those who use sharp shavette for more accuracy or keep stray hairs in check with a straight razor, double-edged safety razor, or cartridge, then it is greatly possible that your hair follicle was cut just below the skin’s surface or directly to your skin level. Throughout the first week, expect to see the start of the slight formation of stubble in your skin’s surface.
Stage 2 – Stubble (2-3 Weeks)
During the next two to three weeks, expect the formed stubble to become more visible and noticeable. Depending on your genetics, this might be the stage wherein you will have a clearer idea about the expected kind of coverage you can anticipate from the continuous growth process.
If you have a heavy stubble, then you have to know that a lot of women find this more attractive. Since there is already a noticeable growth during this stage, it might be time to invest in some safe beard products – among which are beard balm and beard oil. You may find these products useful in ensuring that healthy growth will ensue.
Stage 3 – Filling (4-6 Weeks)
This stage is probably one of the most exciting stages in your beard growth journey. It is because this is when you specifically hit the 1-month mark, which will most likely let you see and notice significant beard growth. One thing you have to remember, though, is that this is also the stage wherein you will encounter a few discomforts – one of which is beard itch. This might happen because the skin where your beard rests tends to get too dry.
The dryness is caused by the insufficient sebum oil production during this period, which is supposed to nourish and moisturize not only your skin around the area but also your beard. Because of the beard itch, it is necessary to make beard oil a part of your usual skincare and grooming routine.
Apart from offering relief to beard itch symptoms, beard oil also helps in softening young beard follicles. The good thing about softening this young growth is that it can prevent split ends.
Stage 4 – Full Beard (6-8 Weeks)
You can also expect a full beard to appear during this stage, which will happen at around 6 to 8 weeks. Since you have already achieved full beard growth during this stage, it is essential to start booking an appointment with a barbershop. Avoid trimming your beard on your own, especially if you are still a beginner.
It is because you might have a difficult time defining your cheek and necklines while you are looking at your reflection in the mirror. A single mistake might even result in you having to shave off the whole beard growth, causing you to start the process all over again. To avoid that, let the professionals do the trimming by booking for an appointment.
Once your chosen barber already defined your beard’s shape, it is time to make use of your preferred beard trimmer as a means of cleaning up lines whenever needed in between each visit to the barbershop. This fourth stage is also the time for you to start using a beard soap, which is not the same as your usual body wash, bar soap, or shampoo.
It contains several natural ingredients capable of complimenting your skin. Also, take note that this specific stage is also the time when your beard follicles get slightly longer. With that, you might want to use a beard brush or comb to style it. You can also detangle your beard with a brush, thereby eliminating your problems with beard tangles.
Another advantage of using a beard brush is that it helps beard conditioners get down deeper into your face. This means that the conditioner will reach your skin and follicles, further maximizing their positive effects.
Stage 5 – Burly (4 Months)
Within a 4-month period, you would have probably grown a full beard. However, take note that while the worst-case scenarios about beard growing have finally come to an end, you will still be busy with its upkeep. It is because once you have fully grown your beard, some parts of it might look slightly wild and you can only handle that through proper care and maintenance.
In this stage, you might start using a boar bristle brush and beard balm. Make sure to brush in the specific hair growth direction after you put on the beard balm. If you do not brush it that way, then you will most likely deal with more rebellious hair. You can use the brush for untangling somewhat hard-to-manage and rebellious beards.
Stage 6 – Established Beard Care Routine (1 year)
In this stage, you must have been able to set a more established and effective beard care routine, which works for you specifically. Now that it has been a year since you have resisted the urge to shave your facial hair, you can now enjoy the result. However, note that this is not yet the end of the journey since the beard care routine you have established will continue.
The good news is that in this stage, you already know exactly the specific beard style that suits your facial shape. You are also probably aware of what grooming routines work best for you. You have collected the right beard grooming products and tools while improving the health of your beard through proper lifestyle options and hydration.
Among the products that you may have become so adept at using are the beard wax and beard balm. The beard balm offers additional hydration to your beard while ensuring that it stays in place after styling it. On the other hand, the beard wax helps in giving a firm hold to the hair. Just continue following the routine that you have established if you know it works for you and in the upkeep of your beard.
Stage 7 – Beard Is an Extension of Your Face (Rest of Your Life)
This last stage is probably the most enjoyable part of the journey since this is when you have finally got used to the beard as well as the usual upkeep and grooming routines that come along with it. You are also very comfortable with it. You know how to look your best while wearing your beard. With that, you can carry it confidently as an extension of your face for life.
Most Common Beard Care Products You Need
A face moisturizer makes skin soft and nourished. You need it to ensure that your skin stays as beautiful as you want it to be. Just like your skin that requires the most appropriate skincare products, you also need to invest in a few beard care products to manage your beard. The following are just a few of the most vital products that you need to invest in to ensure proper beard grooming and upkeep:
This is a vital beard grooming product, which can support the growth of different kinds of facial hair. It is usually created with an essential oil that also comes with various fragrances. Make sure to go for an organic beard oil since facial hair is coarser compared to the ones in your head.
With that in mind, expect it to gain great benefits from organic, pure, and natural ingredients. Aside from helping you groom your beard, this oil also acts as a beard conditioner. It works that way by moisturizing your facial hair and soothing the skin under it.
This is another product you should include on your beard grooming arsenal. What it does is offer the kind of nourishment needed by your facial hair in order for it to grow healthily. It also aids in minimizing the discomfort linked to the early phases of developing facial hair.
The beard balm works in softening your hair and minimizing the itchiness that might affect the skin underneath. Another advantage of the beard balm is that it contains fantastic hydration properties. It can hydrate your hair, thereby ensuring its proper and nice growth.
You should also invest in a pair of beard scissors. Note that your beard grooming kit will never be complete if you don’t have a good pair of scissors around. Make sure to choose one that is specifically designed for use on facial hair. You can use it to prevent your beard from getting unruly.
Your chosen scissor should also be able to provide a precise cut while ensuring that it handles even the finest details. Choose one that is easy to handle and sharp while still being long enough that it can properly clip facial hair. Make sure that it also offers a well-supported grip.
It is also essential to invest in a high-quality beard trimmer. This is a big help in case you want to clean up your facial hair without completely removing your beard. It also helps during those particularly itchy times because quickly passing the trimmer can offer instant relief.
You need a good beard comb once your beard follicle grows longer. Once that happens, you can use the comb to style your beard. It can provide you with more styling ability. It also helps in taming your facial hair in a way that it will cooperate and grow in a specific manner.
You may also want to use a wide-teeth comb as it lets your hair spread apart. With that, you can expect some grooming products to reach down to your facial skin and hair roots easily.
You also need a beard brush to manage your facial oil. It specifically refers to a brush that has boar’s hair bristles. It can make your beard more manageable while ensuring that oils are evenly distributed all throughout the hair. It allows such, even distribution without the need to tug and pull brushes specifically designed for the scalp.
You also have to invest in a high-quality and effective beard shampoo to groom your facial hair. It is a big help in treating a coarse beard as well as the skin under it. Note that beard shampoos are different from the ones you use on your scalp and head. It is because the skin beneath your beard is more sensitive compared to the one under your scalp.
A good beard shampoo contains organic and natural ingredients that work effectively in soothing the skin instead of causing irritation. It can relieve the skin surrounding your beard from discomfort and ensure that the hair grows healthier. It prevents the hair from becoming too coarse in the sense that it already triggers extreme discomfort.
How to Care for and Maintain Your Beard
Step 1 – Use a natural shampoo in washing your beard
This will always be a primary step in beard care and maintenance. It is necessary to use a natural shampoo specifically designed for men in washing your beard. Do this twice or thrice a week. It helps in ensuring that your beard stays clean and smells great. It also prevents the buildup of sweat and excess oil in the area.
Step 2 – Hydrate and condition your beard
The next step, which involves hydration and condition, can help maintain the softness and shine of your beard. In this case, use your favorite beard oil as a means of conditioning it and keeping it soft and shiny. Ensure that your chosen beard oil contains natural ingredients and high-quality essential oils and premium extracts.
By hydrating and conditioning your beard with the oil, you can moisturize the skin beneath it and prevent certain issues like flakes and itchiness. It can also preserve the health of your hair follicles. It would be best to put on the beard oil once every day if you are living in a place with a dry climate. However, if you are in an environment with a more humid climate, then you can apply it two or three times weekly.
Step 3 – Trim the beard
Trimming will always form a vital part of the beard care and maintenance routines of most men. It can help ensure that your beard looks great and healthy. As much as possible, use scissors when trimming your beard. It is because while trimmers are useful, they also tend to trigger split ends. One advantage of beard scissors is that they can help in fine-tuning the shape of your beard. Do the trimming every few weeks by cutting uneven patches and any loose or split ends.
Step 4 – Trim the neckline
Apart from regularly trimming your beard, it is also necessary to make trimming your neckline a part of your regular routine. This is where you can take advantage of your beard trimmer. Trim the area surrounding your beard neckline with your trimmer twice every week.
How to Trim Your Beard
Step 1 – Comb it
This should serve as the first step of trimming your beard. Combing it will help all your facial hair to settle in just one direction. Comb all parts of your face, including the bottom and mustache.
Step 2 – Follow your face’s contours
It would be best for you to have your beard comb within easy access so you can use it in trimming your beard and check if you were able to cut your hair to a similar level.
Step 3 – Put two fingers on your Adam’s apple
The position of your topmost finger should then be used as a marker for the neckline. You should trim beneath this line, letting your neckline and cheek fade into the primary beard.
Step 4 – Trim your neckline
What you should do is to shave every side of your face into a u-shape. Start this behind your ears then behind your jawline.
Step 5 – Use scissors to clean up stray hairs from your beard
You should then put on some post-shave balm. Apply liberal amounts of it to lessen the tightness and redness from trimming and shaving.
How to Comb and Brush Your Beard
Step 1 – Choose the right beard comb
Note that the correct beard comes with the correct set of teeth is vital in combing your beard properly. You can expect combs with wider teeth to glide easily through the beard.
The comb also needs to have smaller teeth to comb your mustache. It should also be made from the right material. As much as possible, avoid plastic as it might trigger snags and static. It might also damage the growth of your beard.
After that, go upwards and outwards. This means that it should start from the neck then going up to your cheeks and chin. This specific direction can help in separating all your facial hair, thereby resulting in a beard, which looks fuller.
Step 3 – Comb through the snag gently and slowly
Avoid tugging and pulling at the snags that may become part of your beard when you are combing it. Note that in most cases, these snags are just some hair strands crossing over each other. One effective way to handle snags is to use beard oil. With the beard oil put on, it will be easy for the comb to glide through the beard.
Step 4 – Comb the beard down after brushing it upwards
This will let you start styling it based on your preferred manner. Avoid combing the mustache away from and to the sides of your mouth.
Do’s and Don’ts When Growing a Beard
Use a Beard Softener or Skin Moisturizer
Another product you can use is a hair conditioner. You may find these products useful in softening the facial hair. Keep in mind that your facial hair is coarser and more disorganized than the ones in your head, so using the most appropriate products to soften them is essential.
Find Out Where You Can Appropriately Grow Your Facial Hair
It is essential for you to know the exact spot where the facial hair growth will look perfectly. It is because the wrong spot might cause patchy areas of hair combined with light fuzz. There will even be hairless parts that might not be that good to look at.
Trim Your Beard Regularly
This is crucial in ensuring that it remains in shape. Regular trimming can also prevent split ends and possible damage.
Do not forget to condition your facial hair to maintain its softness and silkiness. By applying a good conditioner, you can prevent the facial hair strands from becoming frizzy, brittle, and weak.
Don’t Use Harmful Products on Your Beard
Among the products you should avoid using on your beard are those that contain artificial fragrances, lanolin, and dyes.
Don’t Forget to Clean Your Beard
Make sure to wash it all the time as your beard might accumulate plenty of debris and dust. It might also cause the buildup of dead skin cells that might lead to itchiness. Use a high-quality beard wash or shampoo in washing your facial hair. Do it several times every week.
How long does it take to grow a full beard?
It often takes up to two months to grow a full and complete beard, though it might take longer for some men to reach that. Several factors also affect the speed of growth. It could be because of genetics, diet, exercise, and your testosterone level, among many other factors. On average, though, the beard growth is around half an inch every month. However, keep in mind that the speed and thickness of the beard differ from one person to another.
How long does the awkward beard stage last?
The awkward phase when growing your beard often takes around two to three weeks from the time you started. It is the specific time when your hair becomes longer compared to a stubble but still shorter than the usual beard.
It is considered the awkward phase because this might lead to itchiness. You may also have a hard time styling it based on your preference. This is the main reason why you need a lot of patience and commitment when you are in this phase.
How can I make my beard grow faster?
If you want your beard to grow faster, then consider applying some important tips. One of these is to tweak your diet in the sense that it increases the level of testosterone within your body. You may also do some exercises regularly, make sure to get enough sleep and take some beard growth supplements and vitamins.
How much beard growth happens in a week?
The answer to this is dependent on your lifestyle and habits (exercise, sleep, diet, and smoking, among many others) as well as your genetics. In most cases, though, men can grow around half an inch every month. This can be translated to at least 3 mm every week. Some men might be able to grow more than that figure, while others have a slower growth pace.
When to trim when growing my beard?
You have to watch out for the ultimate sign that will let you determine if it is indeed the perfect time to trim your beard. This sign involves having stray hair strands over your beard regardless of the effort you exert in brushing and combing it. This means that no matter what you do, the beard still looks messy.
Another sign is the uneven growth of the beard. This means that some hair strands tend to grow more rapidly compared to the others. If you notice such signs, then trimming your beard might be necessary with the help of a high-quality trimmer that can help in equalizing it based on your preferred length.
Do beard growth products work?
The answer to this is dependent on the kind of product you have chosen to use or buy. Some of these products come in the form of beard-growing pills. They usually contain vitamins that can help in the beard growth process. However, if you consume a balanced and healthy diet, then such vitamins may be unnecessary. You may also want to make use of beard oils to speed up the growth of your beard.
Does shaving increase beard growth?
Some believe that shaving their beard can help its growth as it might lead to it growing back in a fuller and thicker manner. However, keep in mind that this is often just an illusion. You might think that the beard, once it grows back, is thicker as you cut it depending on its thickest part. The truth is that because of your naturally tapered hair, which means it is thinner in the end, the thickness will also tend to taper out within just a few days after you have shaved it.
Do multivitamins help with beard growth?
Again, this is dependent on the specific multivitamins you decided to invest as well as their components/ingredients. One thing to remember is that your body might need several vitamins to keep it nourished, allowing it to grow hair and generate new cells, among many other functions.
You can expect some multivitamins to be a big help in growing your beard if your body was unable to get its required vitamins for proper functioning. However, if you are already following a balanced and healthy diet with all the nutrients and vitamins you need, taking multivitamins may already be unnecessary.
Which beard styles are right for me?
The perfect beard style for you is often dependent on your actual facial shape. If your face is round, then picking a round style is not always a good idea as it may only accentuate some of the facial features that you do not want to emphasize. In that case, you should go for a slightly squarer style. An example would be the short-boxed beard because this will produce cleanly shaved lines that will define some of your features.
Learning about various beard growth stages is essential if you want to be able to enjoy the full and healthy growth of your facial hair. By familiarizing yourself with these stages, you will know exactly what you should do during each phase of the entire process. With that, you have the assurance that you can grow your desired thickness, style, and length of beard, maintain it and use it to enhance your features.
Anthony Giannotti is a senior writer and editor for Beardoholic and a licensed barber for more than 13 years. He owns 3 barbershops and has his own hair care product line that is sold in barbershops worldwide. Known for his impeccable technique and skills, Anthony is an expert in hair and beard care and he knows the best products and tools to get rid of all beard problems and have an amazing beard.