This post was most recently updated on May 7th, 2019
It’s a trend nowadays to grow a full beard. Many celebrities have rocked this trendy fashion like Brad Pitt, Leonardo Dicaprio, and Jason Momoa. If you’re trying to grow a beard just like them, you might be wondering, how long does it take?
There’s actually no definite answer. Some people can grow a beard for a few months while others may need to wait for a couple of years. A lot of factors play a role and one of them is genetics.
Understanding the basic features of your hair might help you gauge how long you’d wait before you can sport that sexy full beard.
Let’s get started!
Head Hair and Facial Hair- What’s the Difference?
Head hair and facial hair may appear to be the same, but there’s a slight difference. Facial hair, along with other body hair, is considered a secondary sex characteristic. It’s often associated with puberty. This is the stage where boys are starting to develop strands of hair in several parts of their body, including the face.
The hair on your head and face grows in three phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen. However, the beard follows a much shorter growing stage. While the cycle for head hair can last for years, the beard can only take a couple of months to grow.
Your facial hair is very different from hair that grows on your head. The hair around your chin tends to be thicker and coarser too. Your scalp may contain more oil, thus the skin is a bit oilier compared to your facial skin.
Apart from their biologic makeup, they can also appear to be very different. Even if you have straight hair, your facial hair can still curl up. That’s your testosterone working! It can make your beard thicker and even curlier. This hormone makes the follicles look unruly so you need a stiffer brush to groom them.
Your beard can also grow in a different color. You can even have a red beard even if you have black hair! Your beard can be all salt and pepper even if you have raven black hair. Quite cool, right?
The Science Behind Hair Growth
Different parts of your body grow different kinds of hair. The three types of hair that grow in your body are lanugo, vellus, and terminal.
Lanugo hair is the thick sheath of fine hair that envelopes the bodies of infants. It sheds out soon immediately after birth.
Vellus hair is the light, fine hair that covers the body of young kids. They don’t grow from oil gland connected follicles so you don’t see them on the lips, behind the ears, navel, and palms. They tend to look like peach fuzz.
The hair that grows on your head is called terminal hair. It’s long, broad, and darker than other parts of body hair. When you hit the puberty stage, terminal hair sprouts in the armpits and pubic region. Men usually grow terminal hair on the face, back, feet, legs, and chest.
During puberty, the developed hair becomes androgenic hair. The growth of androgenic hair depends on the testosterone levels of your body. The higher the testosterone, the more facial hair you can develops.
3 Stages of Hair Growth
As mentioned above, all hair types undergo the same three stages. The only slight difference is that head hair remains longer in the anagen phase compared to the beard.
Let’s take a look at each stage of hair growth:
1. The Anagen Stage
This is the actual growth of your facial hair and it tends to be the longest stage in the hair growth cycle. The hair roots keep multiplying, which means the hair keeps on growing between a few months to six years. Facial hair remains in this stage shorter than head hair.
You can’t really tell how your hair will behave in this stage. Genetics do. It’s either you’re blessed to have a fast-growing thick hair or unfortunate to have stunted facial hair.
2. The Catagen Stage
At this phase, the hair growth comes to an abrupt stop. The beard will stop growing and become dormant.
3. The Telogen Stage
New strands will start to push out the old hair at this final stage. Expect to lose some of your hair and grow some new ones. In average, you can lose about 1 to 100 hairs every day.
How Long Can Your Facial Hair Grow?
Facial hair can take up to six years to grow. According to Guinness World of Records, the longest hair recorded was 17.5 feet in 1927. But typically, the average beard can grow about 3 feet long.
You’ll know that your beard has grown the maximum length if you see some light shedding. The hair sheds when it reaches the end of its life cycle. Keep in mind that not all the hair in the beard will experience the final phase simultaneously, so you might see some hair growing in different lengths.
So, How Quick Does Your Beard Grow?
On an average, the beard can grow half an inch every month but there’s no certainty that your beard will do too. The way to find out is to grow your beard for four to six weeks and observe. Does it grow fast or not?
There are several factors that may help you get an idea on your beard journey. This includes your age, race, and genetics.
When you hit puberty between 12 and 18 years old, you can start growing some facial hair. A full beard may be expected when you reach your twenties and your testosterone levels are at their highest. Expect to have the best shape of your beard when you reach 25 to 30 years old.
Now, your race can determine the growth of your beard. African Americans and Caucasians are blessed to have thicker and fuller beards than Asians. Some African Americans sometimes face many issues while growing their chin hair.
Finally, your genes can dictate the pattern of your beard. If your ancestors have awesome thick beards, then you’re lucky to have the same beard density as them. If your future looks dim, don’t despair because there are some shortcuts you can do to hack the growing process.
Tips in Growing Your Beard
As mentioned above, it’s not the end of the world if you’re born to have a thin beard. You can groom your beard to grow it more quickly. Here are some tips that can help you get that full beard that you desire.
1. Keep the Stress at Bay
Aside from genetics, your stress level can affect the growth of your beard. Get enough sleep to keep a fully relaxed body.
Finish that gigantic puzzle that has been in the storage for zzz years. If you don’t have a hobby yet, get one! It’ll keep you away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Other people smoke to relieve stress but you shouldn’t! This is a big no-no, especially if you’re trying to grow a healthy beard.
Smoking prohibits your beard to reach its full glory and worse, it negatively affects your overall health. It affects your blood circulation and you know how facial hair needs proper blood flow to grow, right?
2. Exercise Regularly
Exercise can improve your blood circulation and stimulate your skin to grow more hair. The advantages of regular exercise are endless. One of them is that it increases testosterone levels in your body.
As you already know, testosterone is crucial for quicker and thicker beard growth. Working out can also help improve your circulation and to boost the growth of your beard. This is also one of the best ways to deal with stress.
3. Eat the Right Food
Your beard needs nutrients to develop more quickly. Maintain a healthy diet and make sure that you have enough supply of protein to improve the growth of your beard. Good sources of protein are red meat, fish, eggs, nuts, and milk.
Vitamins A, B, C, and E are also essential for healthy hair growth. You can get these vitamins from seeds, carrots, and green vegetables like broccoli and spinach. Fruits that are rich of these vitamins include oranges, strawberries, and bananas.
Minerals, like magnesium, zinc, and iron, are other nutrients that you should incorporate in your diet. Limit your consumption of refined sugars and fat to improve the pace of your beard growth.
Another way to take these nutrients is through supplements. It’s true, there’s no substitute for a complete diet. If you opt to take a supplement, try biotin which is proven to enhance beard growth.
4. Take Care of Your Skin
Another way to grow a beard faster is to take care of its foundation and that’s your skin. Wash your face with a gentle soap and warm water and moisturize regularly. Exfoliate to eliminate any dead skin cells at least once a week.
5. Forget the Razors
Obviously, the only way to grow your beard is to stop shaving! Don’t pick a razor if you’re planning to get a full beard. You might find it hard to resist the temptation if your stubble starts to get unruly during the first couple of weeks.
To overcome this awkward stage, use a good beard trimmer to keep the length that you desire. You can also use some high-quality beard grooming products like beard oil and balm. These products make your beard look great, eliminate the itchiness, and help them grow faster.
It’s also useful to use a beard comb and brush. A good quality beard brush contains boar bristles that help remove the split ends and make the hair stronger. Beard combs, on the other hand, are good for styling and can help increase the blood flow to your beard.
How to grow a beard faster if you’re a teenager?
There are a few tricks you can do to grow a beard quicker in your teens. Consume a nutritious diet rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. Do resistance training to increase testosterone and DHT levels in your body.
Consider taking some supplements, like biotin, carnitine, and a multivitamin to get all the necessary nutrients. Apply diluted castor oil to promote the growth of your pubescent facial hair. Don’t forget to massage your skin to boost blood circulation!
Does shaving stimulate beard growth?
Sadly, no. There’s no scientific evidence to back up this claim.It only gives the illusion that your hair is growing back thicker and faster because the new hair is darker as it hasn’t seen the sun. It will also feel thicker because the hair follicles are cut off at the end.
Remember the stages of hair growth mentioned above? People get the idea that shaving makes hair grow more rapidly because shaving basically returns back to the first phase.
Can I grow a beard even if it’s not in my genes?
There’s a slim chance that you can grow a beard if you don’t have the genes. However, there a few tricks you can do. First, stop shaving for a while because maybe you’re just a late bloomer.
You can also try to take beard supplements that will stimulate your hair growth. If it still doesn’t work, consider getting beard implants.
Can I get beard implants?
Yes, you can get beard implants if your genes don’t allow you to get that full beard that you desire. The hair is taken from other parts of your body (preferably the head) and repositioned to your face. Inform your beard transplant administrator of the precise location and amount of hair that you want for the transplant.
It takes about two to five hours for this procedure to complete. The good thing is that you get to decide on the style of beard that you like and the procedure is also painless. However, this new beard might fall off in three weeks and it can be really expensive.
So, how long does it takes to grow a beard? As mentioned above, there’s no exact answer. It depends on your genes, race, and age.
On the average, you can grow a beard from a few months to six years. If you want to grow a thicker beard fast, there a few things you can do. Sleep well, exercise regularly, eat right, and stop shaving!
To optimize the growth of your beard, use beard growth grooming products like beard oil, balms, and beard brush or comb. If all else fails, you can consider getting a beard transplant.
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