Growing a beard is a great test of patience. On average, it takes 3–4 months to grow a full beard. Factors like genes, ethnicity, and testosterone levels can affect the process.
Also, even if you have the genes and the ethnicity for it, you still have to go through different beard growth stages to get the look you want.
In this article, we’ll explore these factors in depth. We’ll also talk about the beard growth stages, what to expect, and how long each part takes. Finally, we’ll discuss some tips you can follow to give your body all the necessary help to grow a beard.
What Can Affect Your Beard Growth?
Facial hair growth takes time, and the wait is even longer if you want a full beard with thick hair. Various factors can affect the speed of facial hair growth, such as:
You might have seen some teens with full and healthy beard hair before turning 18. In most cases, that’s the exception, not the norm.
Typically, men start growing facial hair in their late teens or early 20s, and it may take a few extra years for the beard growth pattern to be completely set.
In short, you shouldn’t expect a full beard growth phase until you’re at least 20 years old.
Men’s beard development may be influenced by their ethnic background. For instance, individuals in the Mediterranean region typically sport fuller and longer beards than individuals in other regions.
Chinese and Japanese individuals, on the other hand, tend to have beards that are lighter and shorter.
Ethnicity isn’t the same thing as genes, as it’s not uncommon for significant beard growth to appear in short beard ethnicity and vice versa.
Genes can influence beard growth rates and could even indicate that you’ll never be able to have a full beard.
If your father or grandfather has a thick or patchy beard, you’ll likely follow the same growth pattern.
Testosterone plays a major role in the thickness of hair follicles, beard length, and overall facial hair pattern.
Low testosterone levels can hinder the healthy hair growth rate. In many cases, it can lead to a patchy beard, slow down the growth of a full beard, or prevent you from having one altogether.
All the previously mentioned factors were out of your control. Fortunately, this one isn’t. You can improve your testosterone levels with resistance exercise (working out) and cardiovascular fitness training.
What Are the Stages of Beard Growth?
Not satisfied with your beard growth? Get to know the different stages of facial hair growth before giving up on thick facial hair.
That’s because, even if you can grow a full beard, there will be a few weeks when your beard wouldn’t look attractive. So you should be patient as you go through these stages.
If you’ve just shaved your beard, these are the stages you should expect:
The Initial Stubbly Stage
A couple of days after shaving, you’ll notice some scratchy bits on your facial skin. These are the hair follicles forming the early bits of your beard.
Stubbles may last for a while or disappear quickly, depending on the factors mentioned above. However, the average time for it is around 7–10 days.
The Notorious Patchy Beard
For two weeks after the stubble, you’ll have to go through the patchy stage. The mix of hairy and bald spots won’t look attractive because the beard grows unevenly on your face.
Stay strong during those first few weeks; they’re often the hardest to deal with.
The Neat Short Beard
The annoying patches will start to disappear as the beard hair grows fuller. You still won’t be able to know the beard style you can sport yet, but your beard will look a lot better.
Keep in mind that beard itch is strongest at this stage. Try to resist the urge to scratch it, as our hands often contain a lot of bacteria. Needless to say, a bacterium and a hair follicle aren’t best friends.
The short beard stage will last for around 30 days, give or take.
The Beautiful Long Beard
At this stage, you’ll have longer beard growth with uneven facial hair. Consider going to a barber to trim the extras and achieve a neater beard appearance.
This stage can last anywhere between 3–4 weeks.
The Full Beard Growth
Your beard growth will slow down as your hair approaches its final length. Since a plethora of factors can affect beard growth, you’ll notice some irregularities every couple of weeks or so.
This is when you should decide whether to commit to the look or go for a shorter beard. Either way, you’ll need to commit to beard maintenance.
How to Improve Your Beard Growth
Here’s how you can improve your chances of growing facial hair:
A healthy diet influences beard growth more than most people think because hair follicles need a lot of nutrients to keep growing.
Eat healthy food that’ll help you grow a beard faster, like whole grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. They’ll also help you maintain a healthy beard when you’re done growing it.
Keep Your Skin Clean
The longer your beard grows, the harder it will be to take care of the skin underneath. So it’s essential to clean your beard thoroughly to wash away any dead skin cells.
Bushy beards are exceptionally difficult to clean. If you have one of those, a strict hair maintenance routine is in order.
Use Beard Oils
Anyone who wants to grow a beard has heard of beard oils. While some people doubt they can be of any use, you’ll never go wrong trying one.
After all, beard oils can nourish your beard and keep its hair hydrated.
Exercising not only improve your muscle mass but also improves your testosterone levels and blood circulation.
Paired with a balanced diet, exercise will help you grow a full beard.
According to science, smoking can adversely affect your ability to grow facial hair. The various chemicals in tobacco can harm your skin and blood vessels.
The heat from smoking can cause inflammation of your blood vessels, which will narrow your blood vessels and your chances of growing a beard.
Your blood vessels take nutrients to your hair follicles. If they’re too narrow to do their job, your beard won’t be nourished enough, and your facial hair will be affected.
The Bottom Line
Growing a beard isn’t easy, but it’s worth the wait. If you’re of the right age and you have the genes and ethnicity for it, you may start your 3–4 month journey of growing a beard.
You’ll go through several beard growth stages before you can achieve a full beard, so be patient.
While waiting for your beard to grow, consider committing to a great diet to improve your chances. You should also keep your beard clean and your body fit so that you can get the most out of your circulation. Using beard oils is also a great option, and quitting smoking is a win/win for both your body and your beard.
If you want to know how to take premium care of your newly grown beard, check out this guide.