Some might think that growing a beard is as simple as leaving your straight razor in the cabinet and not touching it for a few months. If you don’t shave, the hair grows out and you get a beard…right?
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. There are a lot of factors to beard growth that might not be immediately apparent. Some are controllable, some aren’t, but it’s worth making a few lifestyle changes to see if they help you.
Good beard care starts with good skincare. Your beard grows out of your face, after all, and the better you take careof said face and the hair follicles that live inside of it, the better the hair will grow!
Making sure your face is properly exfoliated also helps alleviate “beardruff”, or dandruff of the face, which is what occurs when your skin starts drying out under your hair.
This dandruff makes you itchy, and when you scratch too much it can damage your face or even rip out hair follicles. Follicles don’t grow back quickly, and sometimes won’t grow back at all, so this could permanently impact your ability to grow a full beard.
Start up a robust skincare routine before you undertake any beard endeavor…and stay away from weird quack remedies like “microneedling” your skin to promote hair growth.
Stay Happy, Stay Healthy
All work and no play makes Jack a beardless boy…or something like that.
Factors like high stress and poor health are two of the biggest inhibitors to hair growth, both in terms of facial hair and the on-the-top-of-your-head kind of hair. So before diving too deeply into improving your beard health, try taking some time to focus on your mental and physical health.
Take some time to de-stress, however you like. Take up meditation or yoga if that helps, exercise but don’t stress too much about the results. Eat a better-balanced diet, and maybe limit your caffeine intake (though not too much! There’s evidence that caffeine itself promotes hair growth) to avoid getting the jitters.
Above all else, stay hydrated; it’s one of the easiest things you can do to benefit your overall health, and you’d be amazed how much drinking a lot of water throughout the day can improve your quality of life if you’re used to reaching for anything that’s not water when you’re thirsty.
When you’re centered and situated, try growing a beard again. Maybe that’s all you needed!
A no-brainer, right? But a lot of people have heard a common myth that not shaving makes your hair come in thicker; my own dad told me as much when I was a teen.
But it’s complete bunk. It came about because hairs are thicker at the base, so when they first grow in LOOK much thicker than a full beard. But all hair thins toward the tip, so it will come out to the same thickness as before eventually.
Just be patient and wait if you want a good beard.
While a lot of “beard vitamins” are based in…unsound science at best, it’s true that having a good overall vitamin balance, especially in the terms of Vitamin D can have a huge effect on your beard growth.
Low testosterone can also play a part in patchy or thin beard growth, so it might be worth seeing a doctor if you notice your hair growth feels stunted compared to what you remember from the past.
All in all, consider this an extension of “if you’re healthy, your beard is healthy”.
Use Beard Products
Beard products, particularly beard oil, are very good at promoting hair growth. They’ll keep both the beard hair itself and underlying skin healthy and hydrated – funny how it keeps coming back to those two words, eh? – which will make the hairs “want” to grow with the added nutrients they’ve been given.
There’s a strong chance that the problem with your beard is that you’re just letting it grow completely wild and free. Every man has patchy spots, thin spots, or places where the beard just doesn’t want to grow.
If you trim around and clean up these locations your beard will paradoxically look “fuller” because you have it clearly styled and ready to grow within certain confines that make it look flattering.
If you’ve tried literally everything and it doesn’t work…it may be time to give up. Beard growth is based on a lot of factors, many of which you can change: your overall health and lifestyle for instance.
But beard growth is also partially genetic, so if you’re not predisposed to having a full beard it’s not going to happen no matter how hard you try.
Instead of lamenting it, just work with what you’ve got and be happy with it.