How To Grow A Beard: The Essential Guide

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Bearded man holding a finger to his mouth
Image credit: Thomas Meurer from Pixabay.



While every guy thinks they know how to grow a beard properly, they mightn’t. Here’s what you need to know.

Everyone knows how to grow a beard, regardless of whether or not they’re actually capable of doing so. The main reason for this is that there’s almost nothing to it; you just stop shaving. Naturally, this leads to many people thinking that growing a thick and appealing beard is easy.

However, that isn’t the case. Instead, it can be a bit more complicated than that. That’s because knowing how to grow a beard properly is much different than just growing one out. The majority of this focuses on proper beard care. Sadly, many beard growers don’t take the time to find out what this is.

As a result, they can often have dry, messy beards that don’t look great. It also leads to them thinking that they can’t grow a proper beard. Or, they think that they’re doing something wrong. Truthfully, the second of these might have a bit of truth to it.

There is a silver lining to this, though, as it means that people can learn how to grow a beard properly. While there may be a lot of information to take in, it can be beneficial to know. Anyone who wants to grow a thick beard – especially one that’s healthy, looks nice, and smells amazing – will need to know a few things.

How To Grow A Beard For The First Time

Bearded man smoking from a pipe
Image Credit: Snapwire Snaps from Pixabay.

Most people wondering how to grow a beard are doing so for the first time. However, that usually means that they don’t know what steps to take. While everything is relatively simple, there are a few things that are easy to overlook. Alongside this, many people mightn’t know that some specific steps need to be taken.

Thankfully, there are some easy-to-follow guidelines. These are:

  1. Set a goal for how long you want your beard.
  2. Use beard oil or beard balm to reduce and remove any itchiness.
  3. Wait at least 30 days before trimming your beard.
  4. After 30 days, trim your neckline. You should aim for just above the Adam’s Apple.
  5. Use a brush to tame your beard. A boar’s hair brush is recommended, as it helps exfoliate the skin under the beard.

Once your beard is long enough, you’ll also be able to ask your barber to shape and style it for you. Naturally, this will depend on the length of your beard and what you want to do with it. You can also learn to shape and style your beard yourself, although this can be difficult to do. As such, it’s always worth going to a professional.

How Long Does It Take To Grow A Beard?

You might be wondering how long it takes to grow a beard. While this can vary from person to person, there are a few general rules of thumb. For the most part, hair grows at a rate of half an inch a month. Naturally, this means that you’ll need to do a little math, depending on how long you want your beard.

Typically, though, it will take between two and four months to grow a decent beard. If you want it to grow quite long, however, it’ll obviously take much longer than that.

How To Grow A Beard: Top Myths

Despite beards being so common, there can be a lot of myths about growing them. As we mentioned above, many people think that it’s relatively easy, despite it being more complicated than people would believe. While it would take hours to go through all of the myths about growing a beard, there are a few common ones that keep cropping up.

Shaving Makes It Grow Back Quicker

There’s no scientific evidence stating that shaving makes a beard grow back quicker. All this does is shave off your beard. However, it may initially appear thicker, as the base is now flat because of your shave. That isn’t the case, though. The only things that affect how fast your beard grows are genetics and how well you maintain it.

Beard Growth Oils Work

Many companies based their marketing on making beards grow faster and thicker. However, these beard growth oils and other products aren’t backed by any scientific consensus. You shouldn’t fall for these marketing tactics. That being said, there are certain vitamins – such as biotin – that have proven to be healthy for beards.

Beards Are Dirty

Many people believe that beards are dirty. While this can be the case, it doesn’t have to be. Instead, regularly cleaning your beard and using beard-care products can keep it clean. These will also have the benefit of making your beard smell nice and have a healthy glow. Like all good things, this will require some effort.

Bigger Is Better

One of the most common misconceptions about beards is that bigger is better. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Instead, the best type of beard is the one that’s right for you. This can vary from man to man, so there’s no shame in preferring one over the other. Choose the beard that fits your face best.

Factors That Affect Growing A Beard

Shaving utensils
Image Credit: Jacqueline Macou from Pixabay.

Not all beards are made equal, and there are quite a few things that affect how they grow. Some of these will be more obvious than others. Perhaps the most obvious of these is age, as men typically start growing full beards in their late teens or early 20s. You’re likely to grow your beard fastest and thickest between your late 20s and late 30s.

Genetics also plays a significant factor. Though it’s unlikely that you’ll grow an identical beard to your father or grandfather, they’ll be likely indicators as to what your beard might look like. Related to this are your testosterone levels. People will higher levels will grow thicker beards, alongside more body hair in general.

However, this also comes with the drawback of being more likely to go bald at higher testosterone levels. Your diet will also play a role. Like many other things, a healthy and balanced diet will maximize your growth potential, alongside maintaining its overall health.

There can be several other factors affecting beard growth, such as stress and sleep, alongside smoking. Naturally, the healthier and more stress-free your life is, the better.

What To Know About Growing A Beard

You might assume that a beard is a beard. However, facial hair can be much more complicated than that. If you want to grow a long beard, then there are a few things that you’ll need to know. For example, a beard is divided into five key areas. These are:

  1. The Moustache – the area above the upper lip.
  2. The Soul Patch – the area directly below the bottom lip.
  3. The Goatee – the area above the jawline and in front of the chin. This expands outwards toward the jaw.
  4. The Side-Burns/Mutton Chops – the hair on your cheeks above the jawline.
  5. The Neck – all the hair below the jawline.

It’s also worth noting that there are several stages to beard growth. Not all areas of your beard will reach these stages at the same time. As such, it’s natural for your beard to appear patchy at a certain point. However, this shouldn’t last too long, especially after you’ve been to a barber.

Since how fast a beard grows can vary from person to person, you shouldn’t expect yours to grow at the same rate as others. Yours could grow much faster, or it could grow much slower. If you want to grow your beard long, it’s also worth pointing out that the majority of beard growth is in the neck.

While this mightn’t look stylish at the beginning, it’ll look great once professionally styled.

The Three Stages Of Beard Growth

One thing that many people may not know is that there are a few stages of growing a beard. These all have distinct features, with there being a few differences between each stage. While there shouldn’t be much of a difference in how you look after your beard, there can be some information you need to know about them.

Anagen Phase

This is also known as the growth stage of your beard. The cells in your hair follicles’ roots divide at an extreme rate, with this period typically lasting between two and six years. During this period, your beard hair should grow about half an inch or more per month.

Catagen Phase

This is the shortest of the three stages of beard growth. It’s essentially the transitional part of the cycle, as hair growth stops. The strands detach from the follicles and attach to the skin. Blood supply is then cut off and the hair is no longer growing. Typically, this phase should last between two and three weeks.

Telogen Phase

The telogen phase is the final part of the cycle. This is when a new hair pushes through and replaces the old hair. When the older hair is being shed, the follicles have reverted back to the anagen phase, allowing the new hair to begin growing. This period should last between two and four months.

Naturally, that means that hairs will continually be replaced. As such, you might notice some hairs fall out, although there shouldn’t be any decrease in length or volume.

Where To Shave When Growing A Beard

Man having his beard styled
Image Credit: Jacqueline Macou from Pixabay.

Very few people want to grow out a full beard, as they could end up looking like they haven’t showered or cleaned themselves in years. After all, nobody wants the hobo beard. However, many people will be confused about where to shave when growing a beard.

While the majority of this will be dictated by what kind of beard you’re growing, there are some common areas that you’ll have to look at.

Neckline

The neckline may be the first area that you’ll want to look at. That’s because it can be the messier part of the beard, especially when you still have stubble. As such, you’ll want to clean it up relatively quickly. That’s especially true if you work in an office and want to look professional.

While you should stay away from the general beard area if you’re planning on growing it out, you should still clean-up your neckline. There’s a specific way of doing so, with the steps being:

  1. Get a razor or electric beard trimmer.
  2. Determine where your neckline is by placing your middle and index fingers on your neck. Your middle finger should be on your Adam’s apple. This is where your neckline is and where you should start trimming.
  3. Using your electric razor, trim a line above the Adam’s apple. You should follow the shape of your jawline.
  4. For the outer edges of your beard, trim straight down from the sides of your sideburns.
  5. You should then shave all of the hair below the line you just trimmed.

It’s also worth noting that there’s a time to stop trimming your neckline. That’s about when you need to start lifting your beard to trim it. People won’t be able to see the area by that point, so you can grow it out without looking bad.

Cheek Lines

Some men might not want to trim their cheek lines. Others prefer to put a bit of shape and style into their beard. However, they mightn’t know exactly how to do so. At least, they mightn’t know how to do so correctly. Thankfully, there’s an easy-to-follow guide to trimming your cheek lines.

These are:

  1. Grab a razor or electric beard trimmer.
  2. Find where the front of your sideburn hits where your beard starts angling forward.
  3. Trim a line between here and the bottom corner of your lips. This will be your guideline. You can also get a beard sharpening tool to help with this.
  4. Trim any hair above this guideline.

If you happen to make a mistake and bring one side too low, you don’t need to panic. Instead, you can bring the other side down to match it. Then, it’s just a matter of letting both sides grow back at the same time.

How To Look After A Beard

If you’re growing your beard out, then you’ll need to look after it. However, this is much more complicated than just running water through it. If you want it to look stylish and healthy, alongside feeling great, then you’ll need to put some effort into it.

That means that there are a few products that you should get. While not all of these are mandatory, some are, while others come highly recommended. Some of the most notable of these:

  • Beard Shampoo.
  • Beard Oils.
  • Beard Cream.
  • Beard Balm.
  • Beard Conditioner.
  • Beard Moisturizer.

In many cases, it worth using the majority of the above at the same time. Naturally, this depends on what exactly you’re looking for. Each will have its own benefits, although all of them help make your beard look and feel great. Others will help you style it, so you can make longer beards look as epic as possible.

It’s also worth highlighting that there are dozens of brands on the market, each offering high-quality products. As such, you should be able to experiment which ones are the best for you.

How To Grow A Beard: Common Problems

Bearded groom in a suit
Image Credit: Pexels from Pixabay.

Growing a beard for the first time, or any time, can present a few problems. Quite a few of these relate to what we believe other people will think of our beard. However, the majority of them focus on the beard itself, and the difficulty people may have growing them.

Fortunately, these issues are quite common. There are also a few ways to overcome problems with growing a beard, as long as you know what you’re doing.

Beard Itch

Beard itch is one of the most common issues men growing beards suffer from. This is caused by trimmed beards curling inward and rubbing against the skin. However, there is an easy way to minimize this; use a beard oil. This will soften up the hair and minimize any irritation. The itchy period should only last a week or two.

Patchy Beards & Bald Spots

Quite a few guys suffer from patchy beards while others will have bald spots. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t grow your hair out. All you have to do is be patient and grow your beard out. By doing so, you’ll be letting your beard fill out. This should address many of your concerns.

Between 30 and 90 days should be enough to let it thicken out. As you age, your genetics and other factors may kick in a little more and your beard might grow out naturally thicker.

How To Grow A Beard: Wrapping Up

Few people know what’s actually involved when figuring out how to grow a beard. Despite being an uncontrollable bodily function, there’s a lot more involved in beard care and maintenance than people think. While you might think that it will take a lot of time and effort to maintain, this doesn’t have to be the case.

There’s also the fact that, with proper care, your beard will look amazing. And who wouldn’t want to rock a badass beard? Just remember to maintain it and let a barber take care of any trimming and overall maintenance.

Luke Luby is a journalist, copywriter, and content marketing specialist with close to a decade of experience across these roles. He is Top Rated on Upwork and has a close to 100 percent satisfaction rating among his past clients. Mr. Luby is available for freelance work.