How to Grow an Awesome Beard
Ready to grow the best beard of your life? You’ve come to the right place.
Since 2012, Beardbrand has been the most trusted name in beard care, with a decade’s worth of educational content. And we’ve poured our years of beard expertise into this essential guide on how to grow a beard.
The following eight steps will take you from baby face to bearded legend in no time:
- Stop shaving.
- Give your beard time to grow.
- Set the edges of your beard.
- Keep your beard healthy with the right products.
- Shape and trim your beard.
- Find a good beard barber.
- Give your beard growth a boost.
- When in doubt, ask Beardbrand.
WHAT TYPE OF BEARDSMAN ARE YOU?
Before you figure out your beard style, do you know what type of beardsman you are? Take the quiz to find out if you're the rarest type, and get an exclusive offer on a Beardbrand Beard Oil Starter Kit.
1. STOP SHAVING
You know that old acronym K.I.S.S. — keep it simple, stupid? Yeah, this is that acronym in action.
If you want to grow a beard, the first step is to put down the razor and stop shaving.
However, let’s clear the air on an old myth that shaving helps make your beard grow back thicker, fuller, and faster. There’s just no evidence that supports that claim. If you’re constantly shaving, hoping that it will help your beard grow better in the long run, all you’re doing is setting yourself back.
At the end of the day, your beard growth ability is determined by two things—age and genetics. Full stop.
Your age helps determine the rate of your beard’s growth. Males begin to develop facial hair around age 13. Sure, there’s always that one kid in middle school who has a full beard, but typically, the most abundant and fastest hair growth occurs between the ages of 25 and 35. That rate of growth tends to slow down as men age.
Your genes are the single most significant factor for why your beard does what it does (or doesn’t do). While you may not grow the exact same beard as your father, grandfather, or great great great grandfather, the genes that determine the coarseness, color (or colors), and terminal length of your beard are coming from your ancestors.
Now that we’ve covered the easy step of not shaving let’s get into the more challenging aspects of beard growing.
2. GIVE YOUR BEARD TIME TO GROW
Many guys give up on their beard in the first few weeks of growth when the beard is awkward and itchy.
Don’t. Be. One. Of. Those. Guys.
On average, beard hair grows half an inch per month, so you can expect it to take around two to four months to grow a full, thick beard.
Give yourself a goal to grow for 60 days before deciding whether or not to call it quits. Any decision made before that 60-day mark is made hastily before your beard has had an opportunity to fill in. After 30 days, you’ll start to have an idea of what kind of beard-growing genetics you’re working with, and after 60 days, you should know without a doubt.
Many men get discouraged during the first month of growth because their beard looks patchy and sparse—but it’s normal for your beard to look this way during the first couple of months of growth. As your beard hair grows longer, it will start to cover up those patches where your follicles aren’t producing hair. Many men find those gaps in their beards are no longer noticeable after a few months.
That said, some men genuinely do have patchier beards that no amount of time can fix. If you find yourself in the patchy beard camp, this guide on how to fix a patchy beard is for you.
3. SET THE EDGES OF YOUR BEARD
A beard needs boundaries—at least in the first few months of growth. So once you hit the 30-day mark, it’s time to set the neckline and cheek lines on your beard.
We do this for two reasons:
- Trimming your neckline and cheek lines makes it looks like you’re intentionally growing a beard and haven’t just given up on life.
- There’s actually no second reason, so refer back to reason one.
Below is a breakdown of how to trim your neckline and cheek lines. For a deeper dive on trimming your beard, check out our guide to a perfect beard trim.
TRIM YOUR NECKLINE
Once you get through your first month of growth, you’ll likely have some thick neck hair growing down over the Adam’s apple. And while the likes of David Beckham, Adam Levine, and Brad Pitt can get away with letting their neck scruff run rampant, having a swath of thick hair migrating down your neck isn’t going to earn most people any style points. It’s more likely to make people wonder if you’re okay—a la Shia Labeouf and his 10-hour movie marathon.
Instead, you want to set a neckline at the point where your head and neck meet. This gives off a clean look and better frames your face.
Here’s how to do it:
- Grab an electric beard trimmer or a razor.
- Take your index and middle finger, hold them together, and place them on your neck with the middle finger at the top of your Adam’s apple. Where your index finger lands is the point where your head connects to your neck. This is going to be your line.
- With your electric razor, trim the bottom line above the Adam’s apple. Follow the shape of your jaw.
- For the outer edges, trim straight down from the back of the sideburns until you reach the bottom line.
- Trim or shave all the hair below the newly formed line.
While we’re on the subject of cleaning up your neck, be careful not to trim your neckline too high. Remember, the bulk of your beard’s shape will come from the neck. Cutting your neckline higher may work fine if you plan on keeping your beard short, but if you’re growing it out, you will end up with a wispy face beard that resembles Spanish moss.
To see these steps in action, check out our Neckline Video Tutorial.TRIM YOUR CHEEK LINES
Not everyone will need to trim their cheek lines, and the decision comes down to personal preference. For many men, cheek hair is the slowest to grow, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to see what your real cheek line is. We recommend letting your beard grow for three months before attempting to trim any hair working its way towards your eyes. A good rule to adhere to is to keep your cheek line higher than you think it needs to be. If you push your cheeks too low, it will look like you have a chinstrap or neckbeard.
Here’s how to do it:
- Grab an electric beard trimmer or a razor.
- Find the point where the front edge of your sideburn meets where your beard starts angling forward.
- Make a line from that point to the bottom corner of your lips. This is your guideline. If you actually want to draw a line, you can pick up an eyeliner pencil for a few bucks.
- You can also use a beard shaping tool and can find quite a few options online.
- Trim any excess hair that is above this guideline.
To see these steps in action, check out our Cheek Line Techniques Video.
If you make a mistake and trim one side too low, don’t panic. You don’t have to start your beard over. Bring the other side down to match, and then let both sides grow back up together.
4. KEEP YOUR BEARD HEALTHY WITH THE RIGHT PRODUCTS
Alright, you’ve made it through your first month or two of beard growth. Now it’s time to kick things up a notch and get into the beard-growing steps that will separate you from the pack.
Not properly caring for your beard with beard products is a major rookie mistake.
What happens when you don’t properly care for your beard?
For starters, you end up with a dry, wiry beard that feels like steel wool and itches like hell. A hydrated, conditioned, and clean beard is much easier to work with. It also looks better, feels better, and smells better—all of which help you feel more comfortable and confident with your beard.
Below are a handful of products that will set you up for success and help your beard look, feel, and smell awesome.
You've probably heard of beard oil. It’s a classic, and every beardsman should have some in his collection.
Click the link to learn all about what beard oil does, but here’s a quick summary:
Your beard thrives off the sebum your skin produces, but showering can strip your skin of those essential oils. If your skin is dry, your beard becomes dry, and dry hair is prone to breakage and more challenging to manage.
Beard oil is designed to replenish and hydrate your skin and hair so your beard stays nourished, soft, and easy to style. Since it is a liquid, it's lightweight and the purest way to take in any fragrance.
Beard oil isn’t just for men with long beards either. A few drops a day in the early stages of growth can do wonders for preventing beard itch.
BEARD WASH & SOFTENER
The number one complaint about beards is that they’re dirty. However, beards don’t have to be dirty if you wash and condition them. But there’s a catch—most skin soaps and hair shampoos are formulated with heavy surfactants (the ingredients that remove dirt) that strip away too much oil from your face. As we discussed above, that’s bad news for beards.
Instead, keep these two things in mind when cleaning your beard:
- Opt for gentler cleansers like Beardbrand Utility Bars or Beard Wash that don’t dry out your beard.
- Don’t wash your beard every day. Instead, we recommend co-washing (see below).
At the ground level, we recommend a method known as co-washing (conditioner washing). This is where you wash your beard daily with a beard conditioner such as Beardbrand Beard Softener. Beardbrand Beard Softener is formulated with light cleansers, so it’ll take care of your run-of-the-mill dirt buildup. It will also help make your beard soft to the touch.
Then, two or three times a week, do a deeper cleanse with Beard Wash. And remember, whenever you use Beard Wash, follow up with the Beard Softener.
Designed to stay on the surface of the hair and skin longer, Utility Balm is absorbed slowly, giving you the effect of a leave-in conditioner. It's not a styling product, so don't expect hold, but it is slightly heavier than our Beard Oil—giving you more control of those flyaways in your beard.
Like a utility knife, Beardbrand Utility Balm is designed for the beardsman who needs a grooming product that can do it all. It features all the benefits of our legendary Beard Oil but in a
balm form that gives a little more control to pesky flyaways, works magic on dry skin, and adds shine and vigor to fully healed tattoos.
BOAR’S HAIR BEARD BRUSH
Boar’s hair simulates human hair and is an essential grooming tool for any beardsman. What makes a boar's hair Beard Brush better than synthetic brushes? The surface of each bristle is scaly and draws dust and excess product from the hair as you use it. The stiff bristles also stimulate the sebum in the skin and distribute it along the hair shafts—keeping hair clean, healthy, shiny, and protected.
5. SHAPE AND TRIM YOUR BEARD
Once your beard grows longer and fills in, it’s time to start considering beard styles. Do you want to grow a short, corporate beard, or do you want to go all out and grow a yeard? It’s a lot easier to grow with a particular style in mind, so if you’re not sure what kind of beard you want, spend some time reviewing our top 22 best beard styles for 2022.
Once you’ve got a beard style in mind, you can begin to shape your beard to fit your goal. This guide will help you learn how to shape your beard into magnificence.
6. FIND A GOOD BEARD BARBER
No matter how adept you are at trimming your beard, having a reliable beard barber is critical—especially as your beard grows longer. A good beard barber has that extra steady hand and an understanding of how to make that hair on your face look as good as possible.
And when it comes to your beard, the last thing you want to do is leave it in the hands of someone who doesn’t have much experience working with beards. That means doing your research beforehand. Ask around for recommendations, scope out the Instagram pages of your local barbershops, or ask that guy with an awesome beard at the gym who trims his beard—whatever you do, don’t leave it to chance.
Of course, if you’re in the Austin, Texas, area, we recommend the Beardbrand Barbershop.
7. GIVE YOUR BEARD GROWTH A BOOST
This isn’t so much a step as it as a bonus tip to help your beard grow to its fullest potential. Your beard is only as healthy as you. Exercising, reducing stress, a proper diet, getting enough sleep, and naturally boosting your testosterone will help your beard be healthier.
Higher testosterone levels lead to a better chance of growing abundant facial and body hair. However, the flip side is that men with higher levels of testosterone are often more prone to baldness because of dihydrotestosterone. If you wonder why so many men with long beards are also bald, DHT is the likely culprit. The science isn’t exactly clear on what causes low testosterone levels, with some research indicating that it’s genetic and some research showing that a child’s environment factors into it.
Exercise—weight training specifically—helps to boost testosterone levels. Big, functional, compound movements that recruit multiple muscle groups are the most effective. Pushups, pull-ups, squats, deadlifts, rows, and chest and overhead presses are great. If you’re new to weightlifting, spend some time with a trainer or coach. Bad form will slow your results and lead to injuries. If you’ve been sedentary, consult with a doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen.
A well-rounded diet that’s full of protein, vitamins, and minerals helps sustain your beard while enabling it to maximize its growth potential. A lack of protein can make whisker strands brittle and weak. B, C, and D vitamins and zinc and iron also help keep your beard healthy and growing steadily.
Your hair, skin, and nails are made up of keratin. Biotin has been shown to boost your body’s keratin infrastructure. Research on biotin’s direct impact on hair growth is limited. However, adding foods high in biotin to your diet doesn’t hurt. You can also take biotin supplements, but you are likely already getting enough from your daily diet.
Getting a full eight hours of sleep each night improves the quality of your beard and the growth rate. The body’s temperature lowers during sleep, which leads to increased blood circulation—including circulation to hair follicles and their roots. The more nutrients reaching the hair follicle and its roots, the better.
It’s not necessarily a joke when someone says stress has caused their hair to fall out. Stress can change the growth rate of beard and scalp hair because it weakens the immune system—and a weakened immune system means less hair growth.
The health hazards of tobacco are abundant, but one risk you may not have heard of is that smoking may lead to hair loss—beard hair included. It’s just another good reason to put down the cigarettes for good.
8. WHEN IN DOUBT, ASK BEARDBRAND
If you have questions about your beard or need beard advice, we’ll help you out with free, style consultations. Just Text "STYLE" to 512-879-3297 and our resident beard and style expert will text you back with personalized advice—for free.
Keep on Growing.
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Do you know what type of beardsman you are? Take the quiz to find out if you’re the rarest type, and get ongoing beard advice sent to your inbox weekly.