Whether you’ve been thinking about growing a beard for several years or you only decided a few weeks ago that now is the right time, growing a beard takes a lot of hard work and determination.
Whatever your reasons, we applaud you for taking the first step on your bearding-growing journey. Although it may not feel like it, there is a lot that goes into growing a stellar beard, and during this time, you will experience different beard growth stages along the way.
While we can’t hurry along the process, we can give you all of the information you need when it comes to the different stages of beard growth. By sharing some of our best beard care tips and guidelines, we want to help make your journey as smooth as possible.
We know that growing a beard can be a challenge, but don’t worry, we have faith in you.
Related: Why Beards Should Be Allowed In Corporate Settings
Start From The Beginning
Everyone has to start somewhere, and when it comes to your beard growth timeline, you need to start with a freshly shaven face.
Before you start your journey, you need to ensure your facial skin is the best shape possible, so while you’re in the ‘newly shaved’ phase, you must take as much care for your skin as you can. This means shaving regularly using high-quality shaving gel and moisturizing to ensure you minimize skin irritation. It’s important to note that it may take a few days of shaving before you feel ready to start.
Tips for Growing Your First Beard
So, you’ve decided it’s finally time to grow your first beard, congratulations! We’ll be by your side with tips and tricks for you throughout your beard-growing journey. Here are five quick steps to help you get started growing an excellent beard:
Have a Goal
Having patience throughout the process is one of the most important things that you can do; growing a beard takes time and effort. Having a goal in mind, whether it be to achieve a specific style or length, can help you stay motivated and prevent you from shaving it off early, which you might regret later on down the road.
It Takes Time
It takes at least a month before you will have enough growth to see what kind of beard you’ll ultimately be working with. During the first four weeks, don’t worry about trimming anything down; there will be a lot of difference in the growth patterns during this time.
Cheek and Neckline
During the first stages of beard growth, when you start trimming things up here and there, it’s best to keep the hair on your cheek lines higher than you think you should, and the neckline lower; it’s much easier to take a little extra off later than it is to wait for it to grow back!
Your beard doesn’t have to be any particular length to benefit from products like beard oil. You can use oil and balms in your beard from the very beginning; it will keep your hair and skin hydrated and help combat the itchiness that can stem from new beards.
Don’t Compare With Others
Your goal may be to end up with a beard like someone that you know has, but you should never compare your beard to others. Comparing beards can be discouraging and make you lost motivation. Everyone has parts of their facial hair that they like and dislike; focus on your growth’s strong points and go from there.
So, What Are The Different Stages of Growing a Beard?
When it comes to growing a beard, there are five different stages to consider. We discuss these in more detail below:
Stage 1: The First Week
Although you need to start with a clean-shaven face, this is where your journey truly begins.
For most, nothing will happen during your first week. You’ll start to notice bits of stubble here and there, but ultimately, there won’t be a lot of change.
While it may feel as though nothing is happening, there’s no need to worry. What happens in the first week is not reflective of what you will see towards the end of your journey. In fact, it’s far from it.
During this time, you may also notice two different types of hair. The first is the coarse, dark hair that your facial hair usually consists of. The second is light hair, also known as vellus hair. Common amongst younger men, vellus hairs eventually grow out and get replaced by darker hairs as the process goes on.
Stage 2: The Real Magic Begins
Although you will start to get a feel of what your beard may look like during your first week, that idea will begin to form more and more over the next two to six weeks. By the end of the six weeks, you will be able to see where your facial hair growth is the most concentrated.
During this time, you may also start to notice patches where your hair does not grow at the same rate. There are lots of reasons for this, all of which we will look at later. Most of the time, however, it comes down to genetics. As a result, there’s not a lot you can do.
While it may be tempting, a patchy beard is no reason to give up. When stages 3, 4, and 5 progress, you’re likely to see an improvement.
Stage 3: A Full Beard
By stage 3, you will have had over a month of growth, which will either mean you have a full beard or something very similar. Either way, you deserve a pat on the back for soldering through the itchiness and patchiness and getting this far.
When it comes to this stage, there are some essential things to bear in mind.
If you have several stray hairs around areas of your mouth, you may want to consider trimming them with a pair of beard scissors. Although it’s not necessary at this stage, it might make you feel much more comfortable.
Now that you have a fully grown beard, bits of food are likely to accumulate there from time to time. Adjusting your eating and drinking habits is a learning process, but over time something you will get used to. If not, you may want to consider carrying a napkin or a beard bib bandana with you at all times.
- Beard Care
With a fully grown beard to maintain, you need to ensure you’re washing and conditioning your beard regularly. This includes applying regular applications of beard oil or our beard balm.
Although it’s not necessary, you may also want to consider combing your beard often, as this helps train your beard follicles to grow in the desired direction. If you’re looking for a full kit, our Everyday Beard Care Kit even includes a comb.
- Hands Off
Touching your beard is a bad habit to acquire, and in the long run, it can do a lot of damage.
- Trimming Your Neckline
When it comes to trimming your neckline, the general rule of thumb is to shave everything on your neck that falls below the top of your Adam’s apple.
Stage 4: The Real Deal
After four to six months, you should have a beard with few patches, giving you a look you’re most likely going to have for the foreseeable future. You will have developed a consistent beard care routine and will be used to your new lifestyle as a bearded man.
It’s important to note that at this stage, you’re going to need to take even more care of your beard. There will occasionally stray hairs, and at times, you may need to trim areas to help keep them neat. While this doesn’t mean you need to take anything off the length, it does allow you to style your beard.
During this stage, you need to ensure you’re consistently combing your beard, using a beard balm to help stop wayward whiskers from sprouting out of control.
Stage 5: Stay Focussed
Stage 5 lasts for roughly three months, where your resting club hairs will fall out to make room for the new hair to come through the hair follicle. Although this may sound like something you should notice, it's a natural process that will go completely unnoticed by you or anyone else.
In order to prevent you from losing patches of hair all at once, you only shed around 50-100 hairs a day. The other 80-90% of your beard hair will be going strong, continuing to grow as it should during the Anagen phase.
So, What Are The Other Phases of Hair Growth?
As mentioned above, your hair goes through different phases of hair growth. These phases include the Anagen phase, the Catagen phase, and the Telogen phase.
The Anagen Phase
The Anagen phase is known as the period of growth. The cells in the help bulb start to divide rapidly, creating new hair growth every day. For a hair follicle to become dormant, it needs to have been actively growing for an average of 2-7 years. In this time, hair can grow from anything between 18-30 inches, depending on your maximum hair length and other external factors including age, race, and diet.
The Catagen Phase
The next phase of hair growth is known as the Catagen phase. This is a much shorter period where your hair stops growing and detaches itself from the blood supply. These hairs are named club hairs.
The Catagen phase lasts roughly 2-3 weeks and is usually something that goes unnoticed.
The Telogen Phase
Following the Anagen and Catagen phases, your hair finally enters the third and final stage. This is known as the Telogen Phase.
This phase begins with a short resting period; here, your club hairs rest in root while your new hairs start to grow beneath it. At any given time, 10% of your hairs may be in the Telogen resting phase.
What Are The Factors That Affect Hair Growth?
As we mentioned above, there are lots of different factors that can affect your hair growth. From your genetics to the diet you have, there may be a few things that surprise you.
So, to help you understand how external factors can affect the growth of your beard, we wanted to look at them in more detail.
Check out all the vitamins and grooming kits from Beard Gains to grow your mane.
When it comes to hair growth, genetics may tell us whether or not we have a chance of growing a full, healthy beard. All you need to do is take a look at whether or not your father or grandfather was able to grow one before you.
Understanding your genetic lineage can not only help you know what type of beard you can grow, but it may also show you the challenges you may face along the way. It’s essential to bear in mind that although your predecessors may have been able to grow a beard, it doesn’t mean your beard is guaranteed because there’s always a chance that certain traits are not passed down.
Another important factor to bear in mind is your age, as this will determine the rate of your beard’s growth as well as the overall quality. With your first hair forming around the age of 13 and your fastest growth occurring between the ages of 25 and 35, there are ideal times to start growing your beard. Although the rate of growth may slow as you age, it’s not always significant.
When your body produces testosterone, it makes thin hair thicker and darker in color. This means that, in turn, those with higher levels of testosterone have a better chance of growing out their facial hair.
Although it may not seem like it, a healthy diet can have an impact on hair growth, which is the case for various aspects of our lives. If you eat a well-rounded diet that is filled with protein, minerals, and vitamins, it can help sustain your beard and maximize its growth potential.
Vitamins such as B, C, D, as well as zinc and iron, are also known to keep your beard healthy.
Related: What Are The Best Vitamins for Beard Growth?
Another great way to increase the speed in which your beard grows is to ensure you’re getting regular exercise, as it helps to boost your testosterone levels. In turn, this helps to create a healthy beard. In essence, it’s a win-win situation as both your body and your beard will look good.
Again, sleep is something that you may not have considered when it comes to beard health. Ensuring you’re getting enough sleep is a great way to improve the quality of your beard and the rate in which it grows as your body temperature lowers during sleep. With a lower temperature, your blood circulation can increase, especially to your hair follicles and roots. The more nutrients that can reach your hair follicles and roots, the better.
Race is another factor that can influence beard growth; for example, Native Americans, Latin Americans, and Asians are less prone to being able to develop facial hair in comparison to Greeks and Italians.
The well-known phrase that describes your hair falling out due to stress is far from a joke, as, in a lot of cases, this can actually happen. Stress can affect both the rate of growth when it comes to both your beard and scalp hair, as it lowers your immune system.
Common Issues While Growing a Beard
During the early stages of growth, you may encounter some problems with your beard. These issues are all completely normal and easy to resolve. These are a few of the most common obstacles you might run into:
When you begin growing your beard, it may be itchy, especially during the first two weeks. After shaving, the hair is left with a sharp point, and as it grows, the hairs curl, and the tip can poke into your skin. This will go away are your beard gets longer; you can also use beard oil during this stage to soften the hairs and relieve the itchiness.
Having dandruff in your beard is typically a sign that the skin underneath is dry. Hydrate your facial hair and skin with a product like our Ultimate Beard Wash Kit, take advantage of beard oil, and you can exfoliate the skin with a boar’s hair brush.
If you have excess dandruff that you can’t keep under control, it could be a condition called seborrheic dermatitis; many bearded men have this condition and it is easily treated by a dermatologist.
Your beard may have some bald spots or areas that don’t fully connect; give it some time. As your beard grows longer, those spots may be covered up. Ultimately, patchy areas result from genetics; don’t let them discourage you from growing a beard! If the patchiness is bothering you while growing your beard out, you can get relief by using Beard Patch Filler Powder.
Gaps in Your Mustache
A common problem in the mustache area is hair not growing in the middle of your upper lip. For some, hair simply does not grow in that spot, but be patient; it may fill in once your beard gets longer. If not, you can always use mustache wax to train the hairs toward the empty area.
Everyone’s facial hair grows differently, and it can be straight, wavy, or curly. If you dislike your waves or curls, getting the hairs to straighten out isn’t very difficult. All you need to do to combat waves is apply some beard oil and use a blow dryer on your beard while brushing the curls in the opposite direction.
Beard Growing Myths
There are many misconceptions about beard growth; let’s clear up some of the common myths:
You may have heard that shaving your hair will make it grow back faster and thicker; this is simply not true. There are two main factors when it comes to how quick and dense your facial hair grows: genetics and time.
Many young men believe that because they can’t grow a full beard by 20, it will not get any better. Typically, your beard growth will continue to improve with age. Just because your facial hair is patchy now, it doesn’t mean that it will always be that way.
Looking at a full beard, you might think that it would be hot and uncomfortable in the summer. Actually, the opposite is true; beards help keep you cool in the summer by shading your face and helping to block UV rays from the sun.
Your facial hair doesn’t grow at the same rate in every area; the hair on your cheeks tend to grow more slowly than the hair on your chin. The best thing to do is wait for the slower-growing hair to catch up and give everything a quick trim to even out your beard.
Itchy & Dirty
While the first couple of weeks of beard growth can cause itchiness, it shouldn’t be a problem after that. If your beard continues to itch after this period, it’s most likely an issue with your grooming routine.
Some people may have the misconception that long, full beards are dirty. You could say the same thing about hair anywhere on the body; as long as you are washing and conditioning your beard regularly, it will be just as clean as the rest of your body.
There are a lot of health hazards when it comes to smoking, but one that isn’t often talked about is that it can also lead to hair loss. This, unfortunately, means it can affect your beard too.
Interested in growing out your beard? Check out Beard Gains for more information!
As the process of growing a beard has several stages, each a bit different than the one before it, you’re probably going to face challenges that you never thought you would face. While it can be a long and grueling process, take it from the experts when we say that the results are usually 100% worth the time that you have invested in your beard.
What are your experiences with growing a beard? Are you in the process of growing one right now? Your comments and questions are always welcome, and we would love to hear from you.