Grooming: it’s not something that many men discuss over a drink at the bar. Discovering your grooming routine can be a little tricky in an industry that tends to be viewed as feminine.
But even we guys like to look good!
Some people say that there’s nothing manlier than a nice, thick, well-groomed beard. While some of us are blessed with the ability to grow facial hair at rapid speeds, others of us struggle to get even, consistent growth.
Unfortunately, I belong to the latter group – you know, the dudes that can’t grow a beard to save their lives. Today, I’m going to help you fellows out and give you some direction and tips that I’ve picked up on how to grow a beard.
Let’s Talk Genetics
First of all, it’s important to note that there’s not really one secret that’s going to solve the whole beard fiasco for everyone. The biggest impact on your ability to grow a beard is your genetics.
Like all other physical traits that you have, your facial hair is a physical aspect that you inherit from your parents. While the process of figuring out these genetics can be a bit complicated, we know that things like your hair’s texture, your eyebrows, your hair color, and baldness are all genetically attributed – along with your beard growth abilities.
In fact, there are 18 different genes that relate to hair growth. Four of these genes are directly related to beard growth. These genes can be unique, even to the point where your beard color does not match your hair color.
How to Help Beard Growth Along
Though genetics play the largest factor in your ability to grow a beard, there are still some things you can do to help the process along. Remember that there are no guarantees that these will necessarily work for you, but these tips are worth a shot!
The first thing to keep in mind when your trying to grow your beard out is that it will take time – especially for guys who have a harder time getting that lumberjack look. And like with everything else, everyone will be different. There’s no timetable that says how long it will take because all hair grows at different speeds.
Growing a beard can also be a bit frustrating. The first few weeks will likely leave you with an itchy, uneven patch of fuzz. The best thing you can do here is not to touch it. Don’t shave it, don’t itch it, and don’t play with it. Just leave your beard to its work.
It’s also vital to note here that constant shaving will not make the hair grow back any faster. This is a myth that’s cycled for quite some time, and it simply isn’t true. Regular shaving is just going to get rid of your progress, forcing you to start all over again.
Take note that this is following the start of your beard’s new journey. Others have suggested wet shaving every day for a week right before you start growing your beard. Some have experienced that doing this stimulates the hair follicles, basically prepping them for growth.
Take Care of Yourself
It’s pretty much impossible to accomplish anything within the human body if you aren’t taking care of it as a whole. That’s right: eating healthy, exercising regularly, and getting the right amount of sleep can help your efforts towards growing a beard.
Take the obvious: your hair grows most while you’re sleeping. So, logic would tell us that if we’re not sleeping enough, our beards aren’t growing to their full potential. Catch those Z’s, man!
Your hair follicles also operate on nutrients. Nutrients reach the follicles through active blood flow. Getting good sleep promotes healthy blood flow – as does regular exercise.
Eating a proper diet can also help stimulate growth. Getting the right intake of proteins, vegetables, fats, and more can not only increase your growth rate, but it can give your beard hair a healthy glow.
Boost Your Testosterone
Testosterone occurs naturally in the body and is our primary male sex hormone. It plays a hand in many areas: fertility, muscle mass, fat, and red blood cell production. Testosterone also affects the growth of hair on the human body.
While the natural steroid DHT, which is contained within testosterone, affects hair growth on the head, it doesn’t touch the beard. Haven’t you ever seen a bald man with an awesome beard? This is because there’s a difference between levels of DHT in every man.
Testosterone as a whole, however, is an androgen, which is a hormone that has a big impact on facial hair and comes into play during puberty.
That said, increasing the levels of testosterone in your body can help you achieve your beard dreams.
You can supplement your testosterone through testosterone boosters, but there are also other things you can do to increase your levels naturally:
- Exercise regularly and lift weights
- Eat a larger diet of protein, fat, and carbs
- Control your stress and cortisol levels
- Increase your Vitamin D intake
- Take other vitamins and minerals (A, B, C, E, zinc)
- Avoid overconsumption of alcohol or drugs
- Strive for a regular and healthy sex life
- Avoid exposure to estrogen or estrogen-like chemicals
These are just a few things you can add to your daily life to help increase testosterone and help you grow out your facial hair.
Skin and Beard Maintenance
We’ve already noted that health is an important factor to hair growth, so of course, healthy skin is going to play a role in how your beard grows (or doesn’t grow). Just because your skin is slowly becoming covered in hair doesn’t mean you don’t need to take care of it anymore.
I recommend using a facial scrub during those awkward first few weeks when your beard is short. Not only will this let you scrub the skin, but it will probably feel really good on your itchy face. The longer your beard gets, the more effort you’ll have to put in to really getting down under the hair.
Like with the hair on your head, you should be shampooing your beard. You are more than welcome to invest in a fancy beard shampoo or other specialized products, but regular shampoo will do just fine.
When your beard becomes a little longer and fuller, you should comb through it after you wash it and dry it with a towel. Some guys like to add some beard conditioner or oil to keep the hair soft, manageable, and in place.
Keeping both your beard and the skin underneath of it clean lessens your risk of clogging up the follicles, freeing your face up to keep growing that facial hair.
Beard Growth Serums
Some people swear by beard growth serums while others see no results whatsoever. Again, as we said earlier, everyone is different, so here are your options.
The first beard growth serum is usually a medicated solution that is given to men who experience hair loss or hair thinning. These products boast clinical claims of increasing hair growth by as much as 25 percent.
While these products can be helpful, they also depend on your genetics and other personal factors, so again, there’s no guarantee. They can also cause red, itchy skin in some users, and others have experienced weight gain because of them.
Other serums are blends of natural oils that aim to increase moisture to the hair follicles. Your follicles need nutrients and moisture to function properly, so these serums take that approach to increasing hair growth.
Products containing essential oils, castor oil, and tea tree oil are the most popular and tend to produce the best results. These oils are also much easier on the skin than medicated products.
And there you have it: some tried and true tips on how to grow a beard. The process can be frustrating, and the results don’t come as quickly as we would like, but if you end up with a full face of hair in the end, you can consider your efforts well worth it.