Man Touching His Full Thick Beard

If you have ever tried to grow your beard, you probably noticed that it somewhat stopped growing after reaching a certain length. It is as if your facial hair just decided to stop growing and stay there on your face as is.

This is when your beard has reached its potential for growth or maximum length, also called the “terminal length.”

What Affects Terminal Beard Length

The terminal length of a man’s beard depends on his facial hair’s anagen phase (or growing phase). Hair growth has four stages, namely:

  • Anagen or the growth phase.
  • Catagen, the transition phase, is when the growth gradually slows down until it stops. The facial hair continues to grow, but the rate has significantly dropped.
  • Telogen or the resting phase, is when the hair stops growing entirely. It is when your beard reaches its terminal length.
  • Returning to Anagen, which is the second part of the Telogen phase – This happens when the hair strand dies and falls off, and a new hair strand starts growing in its place.

As you can see, the anagen phase is the most important when determining the length of your beard. The longer it is, the lengthier your beard will be.

Certain factors determine the growth rate of a man’s beard, including but not limited to genetics, testosterone level, ethnicity, age, and more.

How to Determine the Maximum Beard Length

It is pretty difficult and some might even say that it is impossible to determine the maximum length through which a man’s beard can grow. Every man has different factors affecting growth, so giving even a ballpark figure is tricky.

A man’s facial hair can grow up to half an inch monthly. The anagen phase can last up to six years. In other words, if the conditions are perfect, a man can grow a beard that is 36-inch long

With that said, these numbers are still quite generous estimates. Growing a 36-inch-long beard will still largely depend on your factors. Also, not many men have the patience to maintain a long beard.

Can I Extend Its Life Cycle

Upping Your Vitamin Intake

Nutrient deficiency dramatically contributes to the rate and length of hair growth. According to a 2019 Dermatology and Therapy journal study, enough Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and iron promote healthy hair growth.

If you are not getting enough of these vitamins and minerals in your diet, consider taking supplements.

Bearded Man Holding Beard Care Product

Eat More Proteins

Because hair mainly consists of proteins, it means that you need to increase your protein intake so that you will have more building blocks to work with. Eat more lean meats, fish, and dairy to ensure that you have enough proteins to grow a thicker beard.

If you’re vegan, try eating more protein-rich plant-based food for beard growth, like beans and soy.

Proper Beard Treatment

You will need to use the right beard care products, like beard shampoos, beard balm and waxes, oils, and the like. You also have to try coconut oil for your beard. A lot of people swear by it.

You should also use the right styling tools, like a proper beard comb and brush, to prevent the hairs from tangling and distribute the natural oils better.

FAQ About Terminal Beard Length

How do you know if your beard is terminal?

You cannot tell until a month has passed since your beard reached its terminal length. Try growing a yeard beard. You will notice that your beard will stop growing in a specific month.

How do I get my beard to grow past the terminal length?

This is one of the beard myths that you should not believe. You cannot extend the growth of your beard once it reaches its terminal length. That’s the phase when the hair has naturally decided to stop growing and would wait until it has completely dried up and then fall from the follicle.

Is terminal length different for each person?

Yes, there are no two persons with the same beard terminal length. Men have different genetics, hormone levels, and other beard-growing factors. Not all men can grow a full beard, too. You may not even have the same terminal beard length throughout the year.


Don’t be frustrated if you cannot grow your beard as long as ZZ Top. It might not just be in your genes to do so. Still, there are some ways to get as close as possible by extending the growth phase of your facial hair.

However, even with that, you should still not expect a dramatic increase in beard length. Just do what you can to grow your beard and style it to the best of your abilities. Once your bushy beard has reached its terminal size, do your best to take care of it.

Michele Antunes

About the author: Michele Antunes

Michele Meesh Antunes is the lady of the Beardoholic writers team and a genius when it comes to hair and beard styles that suit any face shape. She’s been a barber for years now and, no matter your personal style, she knows exactly what beard, hairstyle and length suit you. She brings the women’s perspective on beards, beard care, haircuts and hairstyles and male grooming.

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