So, you want to know how to grow a beard effectively and easily. You also want it to be thick, full, and soft. Also, you want to make sure it’s not too oily. You also don’t want it to be too dry.
You don’t want it to develop any sores, either. On top of this, you don’t want it to be patchy. Or to grow too slowly. Or this. Or that. Or the other thing!
Whether you already have facial hair growing, or you’re growing a beard for the first time, learning how to grow a beard can seem simple at the surface. Then, it becomes overwhelmingly complex once you start opening that Pandora’s Box that is the entirety of beard growth.
There are lots of aspects of beard growth to take into consideration and each of those aspects has an entire realm of information behind it:
- Proper Beard Hygiene
- Beard Oils & Balms
- Beard Washing & Conditioning
- Beard Grooming
- & On and On
The Gentleman’s Playbook is here to make it easy for you – with The Beard Playbook, we break down how to grow a beard the right way. Everything is broken down into digestible sections where you can learn everything you need about beard growth.
The Most Important Factors in Beard Growth
First of all, it’s important to discuss some of the most important variables in beard growth. To learn how to grow a beard, you have to understand that the following impact the rate of growth and type of beard you’ll have:
- Hormones/Testosterone Levels
There are more factors to beard growth, but the ones listed above are the core variables. Some of these can be controlled, but most unfortunately cannot.
Despite there being variables that can’t be controlled such as genetics, age, or time you’ve been growing your beard, there are some extra aspects to beard growth that you can control to enhance, enrich, and improve your beard’s growth rate and beard’s health.
Here are some factors that you can control (which we will go into detail on shortly):
- Beard Hygiene
- Beard Oil/Balm Quality & Type
- Beard Grooming Methodology
All of these impact your beard growth for better or for worse, and it’s up to you to take control of these variables to enhance your beard growing journey.
In this introduction to learning how to grow a beard, we will go over each of these factors to introduce you to them. If there’s a section you’d like more info on, such as Beard Hygiene Basics, we recommend checking out The Beard Playbook on our website – it breaks down everything you need to know about growing a beard in-depth. You can start by clicking here.
Health & Diet
We won’t spend too much time convincing you of the benefits of getting your health and diet in check, but we want to go over a few key elements of your health and diet that impact your beard growth!
Take Your Multivitamin!
While this may be a bit obvious, make sure you take a proper multivitamin that is bioavailable. This will help fill in any nutritional gaps you may have in your diet and provide some vital micronutrients to your body.
Men specifically need proper levels of Zinc. Vitamin D is also known to impact body hair growth and having your minimum Vitamin D levels met will help make sure you are maximizing your beard growth potential.
The last thing you want is to have your beard growth stunted by a lack of vitamins! It’s as easy as taking a pill a day with your meals.
Get Enough Omega-3
Omega-3 is a wonderful, wonderful nutrient. The best kind of Omega-3 is derived from fish oil, which can be consumed with regular fish oil supplementation (make sure you use reesterified triglyceride fish oil, as it’s the most bioavailable, read about fish oil here).
There are some alternate ways to get your daily Omega-3 intake up to snuff – it’s generally recommended a healthy male get 2 to 4 grams of fish oil per day. Our favorite way outside of supplementation is the magical, affordable, delicious canned sardine.
A can of sardines in water (not oil), with no added salt, is an incredible addition to your daily routine. Here’s the typical nutritional breakdown for a can of sardines:
- Omega-3: 2,010mg (or 2 grams)
- Calories: 140
- Protein: 22g
- Fat: 5g
- Carbohydrates: 0g
Sardines are a serious superfood. High in Omega-3, low in fat, super high in protein, and zero carbs. They also have great levels of iron and B12 as well as many other important nutrients.
Now all this praise about Omega-3 fatty acids and how great they are for your diet – but how does that translate to your beard growth? Omega-3s from fish oil help keep the body’s natural functions regulated. They also may:
- Promote Hair Growth (that includes your beard)!
- Increase Hair Strength (get those swole follicles…swollicles?)
- Provide Nutrients to Hair
Harness the power of Omega-3s and pick up a daily can of sardines! If you can’t stomach the idea of fish, then get yourself a fish oil supplement in the 2,000mg to 4,000mg range (making sure it’s reesterified triglyceride fish oil).
Drop the Nicotine
Hooked on nicotine? So was I (6 months clean as of April 2022). Nicotine, whether consumed via smoking tobacco or a flavorful vape, restricts blood vessels.
Wanna know what the enemy to beard growth is? Restricted blood vessels. While it will be an incredible challenge, kicking the nicotine habit will pay dividends not only in the way of increased, healthier beard growth, but also will add a little cash to that wallet and show you that you can overcome a massive obstacle!
Vaping specifically is known to cause dehydration, which can further stunt beard growth.
Stay Hydrated Throughout the Day
On top of making sure you’re eating natural, nutrient-rich foods, slamming a can of sardines each day, and kicking cigs to the curb, make sure you stay super hydrated.
Drinking plenty of water keeps your body clear of toxins, meaning you will have nice clean hair follicles prepped to push some incredible facial hair out! Aside from drinking plenty of water for beard growth, it’s best practice to stay hydrated at all times. It’s good for your body, skin, organs, and is part of well…being a human!
Testosterone levels have a heavy impact on how quickly and thickly your body hair grows. This includes the hair on your face. Men who have issues producing testosterone may not see as strong beard growth as men who have balanced T levels.
The best way to know is to visit your doctor to get your testosterone levels checked. We aren’t doctors, so we would rather refer you to this article on the signs of low testosterone.
Further, hormone issues or deficiencies can impact beard growth – a big factor in stable hormone production is getting a good night’s sleep, every night.
Maintain a Great Beard Hygiene Routine
Part of growing a beard is making sure you keep it clean. The last thing anybody wants is a stinky or smelly beard! Not just that, but beard hygiene has a direct impact on growth.
The Gentleman’s Playbook made sure to include a great Beard Hygiene Basics section in Part 1 of The Beard Playbook! You can read your intro to beard hygiene by clicking here.
The core of proper beard hygiene is to:
- Wash & Condition 2-3x per week with beard-friendly products
- Squeeze-Dry Beard with a Dedicated Microfiber Towel
- Use an all-natural beard oil with the right essential oils
- Apply beard balm to improve thickness and lock in moisture
That’s the gist of it – again, you can learn more about the how and why behind beard hygiene by reading Part 1, Section 4 of The Beard Playbook.
Using the Right Beard Oils and Balms
When it comes to beard oil and beard balm, there are great ones…but there are also awful ones. You want to follow two general rules with balms and oils:
- Natural carrier oils only (castor, almond, avocado, jojoba, etc.)
- Use ones with essential oils instead of artificial fragrances
That’s all there should be to it. Some beard oils or balms will be better crafted than others, or have a more luxurious blend of carrier oils for that perfect texture. Since it’s difficult to know which ones will be the best for your specific desires, sticking to the two above rules will rule out a lot of crappy products for you.
Even better, some essential oils help improve beard growth and growth rate! Others are great for fighting bacteria and others that just smell damn good. Here are some of our favorite essential oils and their benefits:
- Tea Tree Essential Oil (combats beard acne and beard sores)
- Peppermint Essential Oil (stimulates capillaries, improving beard growth rate)
- Rosemary Essential Oil (stimulates capillaries, improving growth rate)
- Lavender Essential Oil (growth and antimicrobial)
- Lemon or Lime Essential Oil (antibacterial)
There’s a world of incredibly beneficial and great smelling essential oils you can find in beard oil or balms, but that’s a different can of worms. You’ll discover lots of beard products with sandalwood and cedarwood essential oils as well! They smell fantastic and manly.
Get on a Regular Exercise Regimen
Exercise can boost testosterone. Testosterone also impacts beard growth. Need we say more?
If you’ve never hit the gym or lifted weights, making your first foray into working out can be incredibly intimidating. You’re scared of embarrassing yourself with bad form or poor lifts – that’s normal. We recommend anybody who has never lifted weights or gotten into exercising read the book, Bigger Leaner Stronger.
The book provides an entire layman’s term crash course on how your body gains and loses weight, how muscle building works, and how to reach your goals whether it’s to build mass or lose fat. It also teaches you how to easily meal plan. The results are phenomenal.
Another great tool to start getting into shape and getting routine exercise into your schedule is by running. Running can be daunting, though. We recommend an app on your phone called “C25K” – that’s an acronym for “Couch to 5k.”
It’s a running program designed specifically to get people who’ve never run a day in their lives started – it eases you in with very brief runs with walks in between, and week to week increases difficulty until, by the last week, you’re running a 5k (or around 3 miles) straight, without needing a break.
We’ve used both Bigger Leaner Stronger and C25K with great results. We highly recommend giving them a try if you want to up your exercise to help boost your beard growth speed.
Keep it Groomed to Keep it Sharp!
Learning how to grow a beard is pretty easy – eat right, exercise a little, drink plenty of water, and use some awesome-smelling oils in it. However, just because you’re growing your beard the right way doesn’t mean it will look good.
During your beard growth journey, you may find it beneficial to trim your beard to keep it clean (unless you prefer the scraggly look)! Keeping it trimmed and neat will also help hide any patchiness you may have at the beginning of the growth phases.
By trimming, you can keep your beard length controlled and uniform throughout the growing process, giving those weaker growing spots a chance to catch up with the rest of your face!
Go Forth and Grow a Glorious Beard!
Now that you know all of the basics on how to grow a beard, you can start enacting what you learned! Make sure you get all of these controllable beard growth factors in order by following our guide:
- Health/Diet (eating good foods, balanced meals, checking testosterone levels)
- Beard Hygiene (washing 2-3x/week with a beard-friendly wash & conditioner)
- Using Beard Oil & Balms
- Keep Your Beard Groomed
Make sure to check out the rest of The Beard Playbook – we go in-depth on some of the most important aspects of beard growth. This article was Section 1 of Part 1 – an overview of how to grow a beard. Section 2 and onward will provide more details on some of what we discussed here!