Before I started looking into how my diet can affect the quality of beard I can grow, I kinda thought the two were related, but figured it was more like 2nd cousins: distantly. Boy was I wrong. Not only is the answer a resounding “yes,” but it may surprise you (as it did me) just how closely the two are related. Indeed, eating healthy is directly related to growing a full, luscious, soft beard.
“A shinier, smoother, more healthy-looking beard is possible by eating the right nutrients,” said Wesley Delbridge, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Okay, good. Now we know that we need to take in the right kind of nutrients to get that beard into competition shape. But which nutrients are those? And which foods have those nutrients in them? Delbridge has the answer:
Foods strong in Vitamin A include sweet potatoes, carrots, fish, liver, and dark leafy greens. Like many things though, too much of a good thing can be bad. And such is the case here. Too much Vitamin A can actually lead to hair loss, so don’t overdo it.
Foods high in this nutrient are yellow, orange, and/or green leafy fruits and vegetables.</>p
“Protein is also a major factor in the production of hair. Hair is composed mainly of amino acids which come from protein, so the entire structure of hair is dependent upon us consuming enough protein each day,” explained Delbridge.
That means indulging in a little meat, fish, cheese, beans, and eggs (did someone say brunch??) can keep those whiskers looking mighty fine.
These suckers go hand in hand with protein. According to Delbridge, B Vitamins help your body process the protein so it can be used to build and grow hair. Luckily, many of the same foods that have protein in them also have plenty of B Vitamins as well.
Vitamins C and E
If you want your beard looking thicker, these two vitamins are basically your best friend.
“In hair growth, sebum is a natural oil that is produced by our bodies and lubricates and moisturizes hair, making it look thicker and more lush. Vitamins C & E are crucial to contributing towards plenty of healthy and shiny sebum to make beards look even better. And like Vitamin A, they also contribute to smooth healthy skin,”said Delbridge.
Foods high in these two vitamins are dark leafy greens, broccoli, tomatoes, nuts, and avocados.
What does this all mean?
That’s a lot to remember. Luckily there’s an easy way to get all of those vitamins on a daily basis without eating something like 11 frickin’ meals a day. Take a multivitamin. Pills like these from Nature Made have most of the vitamins you need for a healthy beard. And if you work out you probably already take in plenty of protein in the form of shakes, bars, or food.
Working out is not only healthy, but it’s also a great way to manage your stress! And when it comes to growing facial hair (and the hair that grows on your head for that matter) stress is not your friend. Which is why doing things like working out is a step you won’t want to skip.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids can also encourage your hair to grow healthy, wealthy, and wise (yes, I know hair can’t grow wealthy or wise).
Now for the sad part: let’s say you do everything above (or maybe you already are), and you still can’t grow a damn beard worth writing home about. That’ll happen. And if that’s the case it’s more likely than not genetics. Unfortunately, there’s really nothing you can do about that except maybe get a beard transplant. Yes, that’s a thing.
If you have a beard worthy of a king already, but you’re not happy with it’s length, feel, or, possibly, something else, you can always use some external products. Besides
Another problem? You may be washing it with normal shampoo. I used to do that. Turns out that’s a big no-no. Regular shampoo will dry your beard out faster than a (to keep this PG) dryer drying clothes. What you’ll want is a beard wash made specifically for beards, so it doesn’t dry the fluff out.
The main takeaway: the relationship between beard health and body health is a close one. If you have a well balanced, healthy diet, not only will you reap the benefits, but your beard has a much better chance to bloom.