Beard Growth 101:
Welcome to Beard Growth 101: How to Grow a Beard, the first stop in your journey through The Beard Playbook from The Gentleman’s Playbook!
In this guide, you’re going to learn all the basics of how to grow a beard. We’re going to cover lots of different facets of beard growth, so feel free to use the Table of Contents on this page to jump through the guide to get the exact info you need – you can also read this guide start to finish to get a broad understanding of what all is involved in growing a beard.
Make sure to follow the links at the end of each Section, as each section will be linked out to a guide that covers the Section topic more in-depth. Think of this page as the synopsis of all the various chapters in Part 1 of The Beard Playbook!
Whether you’re growing a beard for the first time or you’re a veteran beardsman looking for some new info to make those whiskers bolder, you’re in the right place.
How to Grow a Beard
The first section of Beard Growth 101 Guide will give you an overview on what goes behind beard growth!
You’ll learn the basics of how to grow a beard and get an idea of what to expect with the rest of this Playbook.
Let’s jump right in.
So, you’ve made the decision to grow a beard – we’ll tell you right now – you made the right choice!
Growing a beard can be very rewarding in a multitude of ways. Aside from joining the fraternity of bearded gentlemen, a beard is also an accessory that you grow with your very own body. Kind of like a garden on your face, except cooler.
Learning how to grow a beard comes down to a couple of primary points:
Outside of that, there’s really no magic to it!
Everybody’s beard is different and that’s okay; there’s no right or wrong beard. Whether you’re trying to grow a luxurious mane that would make even the most ferocious lions quiver in fear, or you’re looking to keep it short, trimmed, and sharp for a professional setting, these same principles apply.
You want to know how to grow a beard? We’ll let you in on a little secret…
Learning how to grow a beard is as simple as just letting it grow (for the most part).
There are lots of extra things you can do to promote faster or fuller beard growth, but when it comes down to actually growing the darn thing, all you have to do is let it keep growing.
Humans are absurdly efficient at growing body hair, for the most part. The beautiful part about beard growth is that you’re letting your body do what it evolved to do: cover that smooth face with some good ol’ fashioned scruff.
As you read through this part of The Beard Playbook, you’ll learn that when it comes to figuring out how to grow a beard, you’re looking at establishing simple, yet effective hygiene and grooming routines.
Here’s the secret to growing a great beard:
- Keep it Clean (the right way)
- Use Beard Oil
- Use Beard Balm
- Get the Right Micronutrients/Vitamins
- Keep it Groomed
- Give it Time
While the basic tenet of beard growth is to just let it grow, you don’t want to let it become unruly, even if you’re going for a long and thick beard. You need to keep groomed and hygienic so that your beard has the best possible ecosystem to grow from and so that potential lovers don’t run away from seeing how gross an uncared-for beard can be.
Growing a Beard for the First Time
In Section 2, you’ll learn exactly what to expect when you start growing a beard for the first time.
Even if you’re a beard veteran, this section may be useful if you’re planning on regrowing a beard.
Read the Full Section 2 of The Beard Playbook Part 1: Growing a Beard for the First Time
If you’re reading through The Beard Playbook because you’re planning on growing a beard for the first time, we wanted to offer you some general advice and mindset tips heading into this glorious adventure.
When you start the beard growth journey, there’s a lot of excitement (and maybe even some nervousness)! Some things to keep in mind when you do this:
It Will Take Time
Growing a beard takes some time – you won’t be the poster boy for great beards anytime soon, and that’s okay! Great things take time, and a beard is no different.
Heading into this, make sure you keep reminding yourself that you’re playing the long game here. Quick results typically won’t happen for most people, especially if you’re younger. With age, beard growth becomes a bit easier, but for anybody who’s growing a beard for the first time, it’s best to go in with realistic expectations.
Your Beard May Be Patchy
As this is your first foray into beard growth, you may not have that nice foundational beard some men have. We say “foundational beard” because by having an established beard, it’s easier to grow a bigger and better beard.
Since this will be your first beard, you’ll first be growing your foundational beard, which will set the stage for your future beard growth efforts. The patchiness happens naturally as your beard starts to fill in – luckily, what you’ll read on this page will share some beard growth tips that include methods and routines you can do that can help reduce the amount of patchiness in this phase (see Beard Oils).
Your Beard May Get Itchy, or Develop Sores Occasionally
Sometimes, when you grow a beard for the first time, all this growth can increase the amount of oils on your skin where your beard grows. This can cause some temporary occasional acne spots, or even sores under your beard.
If you find that you are experiencing any of this, make sure to read our article that goes in-depth on what to do when you have sores under your beard.
How Long Does it Take to Grow a Beard?
In Section 3 of The Beard Playbook, we will go over how long it takes to grow a beard, as well as the different stages of beard growth you can expect to go through.
Read the Full Section 3 of The Beard Playbook Part 1: How Long Does it Take to Grow a Beard?
Like many questions that revolve around beard growth, when it comes to understanding how long it takes for a beard to grow, the honest answer is, “it depends.”
The reason we say it depends, is because not everybody has the same end goal with their beards. Some men are wanting a shorter, more controlled beard. Other men may be wanting a beard that goes well beyond their chest in length. There’s no steadfast rule on how long it takes to grow a beard.
We can tell you, though, how fast beards tend to grow!
In most cases, beards tend to grow about one third to one half of an inch every month. This is a significant amount of growth! Different factors can affect the speed and rate of beard growth from genetics to diet. Our goal with The Beard Playbook is to help you grow a quality beard as quickly as possible.
Stages of Beard Growth
The Gentleman’s Playbook breaks down the stages of beard growth into 6 stages. They are:
- Stubble – Occurs over weeks 1-3. Your beard will feel very sandpapery during this stage of beard growth.
- Patchy – Occurs over weeks 3-6 (or longer). This is where your beard is still working on getting to the next beard growth stage. You’ll notice some spots missing hair, or some zones of your facial hair that are shorter than others.
- Foundational – Happens after 2-3 months of beard growth. This is where you have a short, but mostly established beard. It may still have some patchiness, but you’re looking like a guy who rocks the beard look.
- Medium Beard – Occurs after 3-6 months of beard growth. Your beard will be fuller, fluffier, and maybe slightly unruly. It will still follow the shape/contour of your face, and without proper grooming may make your face look a little round.
- Long Beard Plus – This is where the legends are made. This stage is very long, as it continues until you get rid of your beard!
- Maintenance – The Final Stage of beard growth is Maintenance. This is when you reach your desired beard length and fullness. Everything after this is maintaining the appearance of your beard. This can occur at any stage, but it’s your last stop on the beard growth journey.
Read the Full Section 3 of The Beard Playbook Part 1: How Long Does it Take to Grow a Beard?
Section 4 will teach you the basics of beard hygiene. This includes washing, conditioning, and day to day care basics.
Pay attention – your beard is special and you have to use specialized products to maintain good beard hygiene.
When you’re learning how to grow a beard, an important consideration is beard hygiene. Believe it or not, a beard can be a massive party for bacteria (and you don’t want a bacteria rave in your beard keeping you up late on a work night)!
In fact, studies show that beards can contain more bacteria than the dirtiest part of a dog’s fur.
This doesn’t mean your beard has to be like that. You’re different. You’re hygienic. And you’re awesome. That’s why maintaining good beard hygiene is crucial to beard growth and facial hair care.
Be careful, though! There are right ways and wrong ways to wash and clean your beard. Do NOT use hair shampoo, facial wash, or hair conditioner in your beard. These hair products and cleansing products are too strong – they’ll strip your beard of vital oils and moisture, leaving your facial hair brittle, itchy, and can even make it look bad.
The Beard Playbook has a couple of tips when it comes to beard hygiene. Here’s what you need to know…
Washing Your Beard
Figuring out how to wash a beard isn’t too complex, but many men go about it the wrong way. We wanted to give you an introduction on how to wash your beard in the context of beard growth.
Your beard hosts some important oils produced by your skin; these oils make sure your beard stays soft, shiny, and healthy. Without these vital oils your skin and beard produce, your beard growth will slow down, the skin under your beard will get itchy and sore, and you’ll end up having a dry and brittle beard.
There are specific kinds of soaps made for washing your beard – don’t go using hair shampoo on your facial hair, as the shampoo will strip it of all those great and wonderful natural oils that give your beard the environment and ecosystem it needs to thrive and be healthy.
Look at using a wash made specifically for beards.
You can also use soaps that are made naturally – some soap brands are safe for your beard. They are typically soaps that are made via the cold process method and are still geared toward beard washing. Cold process soap made for beards will have a lower level of essential oils with more gentle base oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, or castor oil.
The Gentleman’s Playbook recommends using beard wash or soap sparingly, especially when you’re first growing your beard. Even just letting water run through your beard while you massage the skin underneath is ample for hygiene, depending on how oily your skin naturally gets.
If your skin tends to over-produce oil, you may want to use a beard wash daily.
For those of you who’s beards don’t get greasy or oily, and tend to have that perfect middle ground, we recommend to only wash your beard with beard soap or wash 1-2x per week maximum.
The reason we keep the washing frequency so low is because in The Beard Playbook, we will recommend the use of beard oils, some of which have essential oils that naturally cleanse and fight bacteria on your beard and skin, while keeping your beard nice and hydrated and healthy.
Conditioning Your Beard
Just like washing your beard, conditioning your beard can be a delicate thing.
You don’t want to use the same kind of conditioner you’d use on your scalp – you want something specifically made for beards. Even further, you only really should use beard conditioner in tandem with beard wash.
Beard conditioner is great for restoring the softness and moisture your beard loses when you use a beard wash.
The Gentleman’s Playbook recommends only using beard conditioner whenever you use a beard wash, as outlined above in the Washing Your Beard section of The Beard Playbook.
How to Grow a Thicker or Fuller Beard
Growing a thicker or fuller beard is easier than you’d think – usually it just involves the right routines and products.
Read on to learn how to grow a thicker or fuller beard.
Growing a beard is all good and fun, but we know that it’s natural for many of you gentlemen reading this to want to go for that badass, thick, long beard.
If you’re concerned about the thickness or fullness of your beard, there are a few things you can do to help ensure that your beard grows nice and full!
Figuring out how to grow a fuller beard or how to grow a beard thicker is as simple as making sure you have a dedicated beard growth routine you stick to.
This routine involves following our beard growth tips on hygiene, as well as using some extra products such as vitamins, beard oils, and beard balms. These products have some elements that help promote good and healthy beard growth, ensuring that you grow at thick, full beard. You’ll also want to make sure you have a health, well balanced diet as well (what you eat affects your body, and in turn your beard’s growth capability).
Remember that you’ll still likely go through those early phases of beard growth where your beard may be thin or patchy until you get to your Foundation Stage. Foundation Stage and onward is where the magic really begins to happen!
Next up, we want to share some beard growth products that you can use to help get a thicker beard, avoid patchiness, and help keep your beard hygienic. These product categories are pretty catch-all when it comes to beard growth strategy.
Beard Growth Products
Section 6 breaks down the different kind of beard growth products you’ll come across in your beard growth journey!
You’ll learn what they are and how they work, as well as some basics on how to use them properly.
Aside from a healthy diet, there are three primary beard growth product categories you can take advantage of for a healthy, luxurious beard:
- Beard Growth Vitamins
- Beard Oils
- Beard Balms
Let’s briefly go into each one and how to use them.
Beard Growth Vitamins
First up, we have beard growth vitamins. This may sound cliché, but you want to start by making sure you’re taking a good once daily multivitamin for men, that way you have the baseline nutrients you need for a happy and healthy body. Healthy body means healthy beard.
Next up, to really jumpstart your beard growth, we recommend using a high-quality biotin supplement.
Biotin is an essential vitamin for your hair and nails – it helps create stronger nails and helps with hair growth by stimulating keratin production. It doesn’t just help with the hair on your head, though, it helps with your facial hair too!
Fortunately, biotin is one of the cheapest vitamin supplements on the market. We recommend using a 5,000mcg Biotin Supplement once per day. That’s really all you need to do!
Beard Growth Oils
One of our favorite beard growth products to include in your arsenal is beard oil. We talk about it a lot at The Gentleman’s Playbook, and as you follow The Beard Playbook, you’ll see how frequently we go to beard oil as a fix-all solution for most of your beard problems.
The reason for this is that beard oil has so many variable uses you can take advantage of. Some beard oils have different kinds of essential oils in them, all of which have different properties that can affect your beard differently!
For example, beard oils that contain peppermint essential oil are good for growth, as the peppermint naturally stimulates the capillaries in the skin, promoting better and quicker beard growth.
On the other hand, citrus (such as lemon or lime) essential oils contained in beard oils are great for fighting bacteria and keeping your beard clean, which can help with those who often find themselves with a stinky or gross beard.
Beard oils also are primarily composed of what’s called “carrier oils.” These are the oils that carry the fragrance/essential oils. Carrier oils are commonly fragrance-free, and quality beard oils use carriers such as jojoba oil or almond oil, as they’re delicate on the skin and keep your beard moisturized without it becoming oily.
We’ll go more in-depth later in The Beard Playbook on the different kinds of carrier oils and essential oils as well as their effects.
Here are some common ones to start:
- Jojoba Oil
- Almond Oil
- Castor Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Peppermint (Growth)
- Cedarwood (Growth)
- Lemon/Lime (Bacteria-Fighting)
- Tea Tree (Anti-Inflammatory/Helps with Acne)
Beard balms are quite similar to beard oils due to the fact that both contain carrier oils and essential oils that can help with growth, beard dandruff, beard itchiness, beard pain, and more.
There are some stark differences between the two, however!
Beard balm comes in a tin or jar and is solid before application, whereas beard oil is held in a bottle and in liquid form. Beard balms often include waxes or butters that add dimension to your beard when applied.
When you use beard balms, they give you a chance to style your beard a little bit and help keep those stray beard hairs under control. Beard balms also help your beard look thicker immediately after application and add texture and depth to your facial hair.
The Gentleman’s Playbook recommends applying a small portion of beard balm to your beard after showering in the morning and applying your routine beard oil – yes, you can use both in tandem!
You don’t need much beard balm, just a little bit rubbed onto your fingertips is enough, unless you have a very long beard already.
Grooming Your Beard
Section 7 goes over the end goal of beard growth – maintenance.
Maintaining your beard involves keeping it groomed and at your desired length.
Finally, the journey of beard growth ends whenever you get your beard to the length you want. Some of you may choose to never stop growing your beard, but for those of you who have a desired end game in mind, know that you’ll also have to put work into grooming and maintaining your wonderful beard!
For shorter beards, this can be as simple as picking your favorite trimmer length and just trimming your entire beard, followed by shaving your neck and shaping your facial hair line.
For others – especially men who wish to maintain a lengthy beard, you may use scissors to manually groom and shape your beard, but at this point we recommend finding a trusted, professional local barber and making a routine visit to the barbershop part of your lifestyle.
We will have more information on beard grooming available as part of The Beard Playbook, so bookmark this page and come back frequently to keep an eye out for that guide when we release it!