When it comes to men’s fashion we can say with certainty that today beard is the new black.
All the cool guys sport some type of facial hair. It can be as grotesque as Justin Timberlake’s shot at growing mustache, or Adam Brody's, "What happened to your face?" type of beard.
Or as cool as Joe Manganiello's mane loved by Sofia Vergara, and to be honest, half the women population.
So it seems that if you want to join the cool kid's club you need to grow a beard, and you need it now… Well not now, it just doesn't work like that.
To grow an epic beard you need patience, time, and effort. If by any chance you need it by tomorrow, you could try visiting a wizard, or maybe try witchcraft, shady Chinese pharmaceuticals which can stimulate hair growth on your forehead, palms of your hands, feet, and other unwanted places, aforementioned methods are to be used at your own discretion.
Anyways, where can you find a good wizard?
Never mind… As most great things, mind blowing facial hair takes some persistence, looking after (not just your beard to be, but your overall health and daily habits), and most importantly time.
Where do you start?
Before you start growing your beard, you should definitely think about it.
Even though growing a beard is not as demanding as needing to shave every single morning, it can present its own challenges.
There are a number of people who tried to grow facial fur, but as soon as they run into a minor obstacle, they just quit.
Usually, the excuses are: "It itches", "It does not look as good as I hoped it would", "I hate the way it looks on my face”, “My girlfriend was not found of beard burns”, “I just want my mommy...”. Well, the last one came from me for no particular reason.
So, before you start growing your beard, set your goal. Think really hard about why you want to grow a beard.
If you want, you can even take a piece of paper and jot down all the reasons why you want to grow a fur. This step is probably crucial to growing a full, good looking facial hair, as it will get you through some of the awkward phases that are inevitable towards your goal to grow an epic mane.
Just to get you started, here are some of the most common reasons why men grow a beard.
- It just looks so damn cool - This is a no-brainer, sporting a beard will definitely make you look tougher, more rugged, and just more attractive.
- Beard highlights your masculinity - A well groomed facial fur demands respect from people. In fact, some scientific researchers have conclusively proven that a beard is a valuable tool in the competition with the same sex over mating opportunities. Numerous studies have suggested that both men and women perceive men with beards as stronger, more aggressive, older, than others. And dominant men get more mating opportunities by intimidating their rivals.
- Ladies love it - We can say with certainty that nowadays beard is as popular as Macarena in the 90's, or having a MySpace profile on the 00's. And it seems that this trend appeals to the ladies at least for now. A well-groomed mane is a great conversation starter, hell, you don't even need to try half the time, girls will just approach you and ask you questions about your beard. Some of them would even want to touch it. As I said, you don't even have to try…
- It makes you feel good about yourself - Sporting a full beard with itself brings a special feeling. It makes you feel manly, in a certain way complete. Once you look at yourself in the mirror you will be able to see the man that was hiding within the boy all these years. It will give you a never before experienced confidence, and will significantly change your personal interactions with other men and women, thus forcing you into that alpha male mindset.
- It is great for your facial skin - Researches show that your beard can block 50 to 95% of the UV rays from the sun, depending on how thick it is. Thus you will be well protected from sunburn and consequently skin cancer. It is also great at preventing acne as it acts as a natural shield against impurities. Have asthma? Grow a beard. Your mustache can prove to be an effective allergen filter. It is effective at keeping microscopic allergens away from your nose and mouth, thus preventing asthma attacks, hay fever, and other allergies.
Other reasons for having a beard can be: “Just because you can”, “If you are a lit freak: Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, D.H. Lawrence, Victor Hugo, Dostoevsky, they all used to have one”, “Just to see how it looks on you”, “Want to see if you could”, “It is a natural thing to do”, “You want to hide a facial feature that you don’t like”, “It will keep your face warm during winter”… As you can see the reasons are infinite.
What are the beard growth stages?
One of the main reasons why men struggle to grow a beard quickly is just because they don’t commit to the process. Most of us quit at the point when progress is being made.
You need to understand that growing a beard is not something that happens overnight.
As all good things in life, it requires resilience, tenacity, and commitment.
While you are growing your beard, there is an inevitable period when your skin becomes so itchy that you would scratch your beard all the time. This is the first obstacle that can easily be overcome, but unfortunately, most guys just give in at this point and shave their beard.
Also, there is that awkward phase, that sometimes is much worse than the itch itself… But that is about it, you overcome these two major obstacles and you are ready to go.
So in order to give you an idea of what you need to go through and the beard growth stages, here are some guides that will give you a pretty good idea of what you should expect on your beard growing journey.
- A clean start - Please note that this first step is not a rule, rather a personal preference. I like to start clean. So take your razor, and go for one last shave, then just wash your face, moisturize your skin, and dispose of your razor for a while. I prefer this simply because the beard is an extension of the skin, so keeping your facial skin happy and healthy would-would in terms contribute to a stronger, better looking, healthier beard. But if you already have a stubble that you don't want to shave off, just skip this step, but take care of your skin by washing it and moisturizing it regularly.
- The stubble - During the first week of beard growth, there is nothing much to do. As the days pass you will notice that stubble is sprouting on the surface of your skin. This is the sexy, 5 o’clock shadow stage.
- What happened to your face? - About 2-3 weeks in you will start yo show signs of your killer beard to be, and it would most likely suck. This is actually a beginning of a beard, that is not actually a beard but rather a stubble that you just don’t bother shaving. Your facial hairs grow in different directions, and the itch starts to set in… This is probably a great time to start looking into some beard products like beard oils and beard balm. But don’t go buy them just yet, at this stage I would recommend that you just look at your beard and decide on which beard products you should get.
- It itches so bad I want to tear my face off, phase - Congratulations and I am sorry… 4-6 weeks into your beard growth you will notice a sizeable beard growth. The sleeper hairs have started growing out and the patches are filled in, and you are starting to get an idea of the awesomeness that follows, although you are still not there yet… But it itches like a damn hell. It itches while you work, it itches while you sleep, it itches while you rest, and it seems like it is never going to stop. At this phase, most men would just shave off their beard and be done with it. But hang in there, the itching will be over in a breeze, just look how far you have come. At this point, I would recommend that you start using a good beard oil. The unbearable itch is caused by two factors, the first is that your skin is not able to produce enough sebum oil to moisturize your face and coat your hair follicles. Your skin would start cracking and the itch settles in. This problem can be solved by simply applying some beard oil to your beard which will aid your sebaceous glands in coating your beard with oils and moisturizing your skin. The second cause of itchiness is that your hairs are now sharp from all the shaving, and long enough to curve back and scratch your face, using a beard oil will eventually soften your facial hair and provide a healthy environment for your beard.
- Make an appointment with your barber - It is time to make an appointment at your local barber to neatly trim your beard. I would highly recommend that you don’t try this at home, especially if it is your first time growing a beard. Trying to define your neck and cheek lines by yourself, looking in the mirror can be rather tricky. So let the professionals handle it. Trust me on this one, one wrong move, with your trimmer and you will instantly wish to go back to step one.
- Almost there -Yes, everyone knows that you are doing it on purpose now. Things are starting to fill in. You can walk around proudly knowing that people are aware of your new purpose in life, your mission to achieving an epic beard. At t his point you should start stocking up on beard gear, beard oils, brushes, waxes, the works...
- I look awesome - And a couple of months in, things are filling in completely. Your friends compliment you more often, strangers stare at your mighty mane as you walk by, girls strain their necks to catch a glimpse of your mighty beard. The itchiness is completely gone. Your beard screams freedom, masculinity, and pride. And it was all worth it.
Can you grow a beard faster? And what does beard growth depend on?
Many people believe that beard growth depends solely on your genes.
If you have a good genetic predisposition to grow a beard, then you are one of the lucky ones. However, if your ancestors were follically challenged, you are well…. Screwed. Though, this might not always be true.
Recent studies have shown that while genetics play a major role in hair growth, your lifestyle plays a significant part.
What you eat, drink, how much you exercise, and how you cope with stress, can be important factors when it comes to hair growth.
OK, the important question you have been itching to ask all this time is: “How long does it take to grow a beard?”
Usually two to six months, for an average length beard.
And this brings us to your next question...
Can I grow a beard faster?
In order to give you as clear answer as possible to this question, you will have to understand the growing cycle of your hair. Every single hair on your body goes through this same cycle which consists of three phases:
The anagen phase is the most important phase of the cycle.
It is also known as the growth phase, and it covers an entire process of hair growth starting from the formation of the inside of your hair follicle until the hair stops to grow.
The anagen phase begins at the bottom of your hair follicle with the formation of the papilla which is made up of connective tissue and a capillary loop that provides nourishment for the hair.
The cells in the papilla divide to produce a hair fiber, and the follicle attaches itself to the dermal layer of the skin which will provide nourishment for the hair.
This phase can last anywhere from two to six years. And yes, you have probably guessed it, the duration of the phase is determined by genetics.
So the longer your hair stays in the anagen phase the more it will grow.
When the hair reaches its maximum length, or when the duration of the anagen phase is over, the body sends a signal that the anagen phase is over.
The first thing that happens is that the hair bulb stops producing melanin (a pigment), then over a period of two weeks, the hair gets detached from the papilla which means that it can't get any nourishment and the growth phase is over.
This phase is known as a transitional phase, during which the hair follicle is allowed to renew itself. Even though the hair is not growing during this phase, the follicle is slowly pushing out the hair increasing the terminal length (the part of the hair that we can see).
This is the last phase of the process. The hair follicle starts producing a new hair which eventually pushes out the old hair out, and the anagen phase of the hair begins again.
So, this fat we have concluded that if the genetic lottery has been good to you, and if your anagen phase lasts forever, all you need to do is stop shaving and you are all set. However, if you are descended from a line of beardless people, don't worry the trend will change eventually, your baby face would look cool in the next 15 to 20 years… But if you really, really, really want that beard there is always a harder way to get it.
Actually, there are two ways, the first one and the one I prefer is a harder, but more beneficial, the second one is easier but not always preferred.
- The first way is to just adopt a healthier lifestyle, watch what you eat, exercise more, quit bad habits like drinking or smoking. We will go into all the benefits a bit later.
- The second way supplements, starting from just plain vitamins to complex synthetic compounds. However, I will not be held responsible if you start growing hair on your forehead, palms, or soles, or any other side effect of the irresponsible use of supplements.
Are there other ways to grow a beard faster?
If you are committed to growing a full, healthy, awesome looking bush on your face there are certainly ways that can help you do it faster.
Even though you might not be genetically predisposed to grow a full beard as fast as you would like, and you are not able to prolong the anagen phase, changes in your lifestyle can help you achieve an epic beard.
Before I start explaining how changes in diet, exercise, and your daily routine can help you grow your beard faster, you should understand that your beard is an extension to your skin.
So before you even think of growing a beard, you should learn how to take good care of your skin. Keeping your skin healthy would certainly help your beard grow faster.
It is scientifically proven that the condition of your facial hair directly corresponds to the overall health of your body, the same nutrients that have a positive effect on our major organs also benefit our skin and hair.
So getting off junk food and switching to a healthier diet is a fast track to achieving a full mane. Let's check out some foods that are proven to promote hair growth.
Increase the amount of protein in your diet. The protein found in poultry (chicken, turkey, geese, ducks), fish, oysters, eggs, red meat, beans and dairy products will help your beard grow much faster, by providing the hair follicle with more nutrients.
Nuts and seeds, like walnuts, peanuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds, flaxseed, are an excellent source of minerals, protein, and are rich in oils, which are proven to boost hair growth.
Fruits and vegetables like apples, oranges, blueberries, strawberries, grapes, papayas, lemons limes, kiwis, avocado, pineapple, sweet potatoes, lettuce, collards, spinach, broccoli, kale, yellow peppers, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage, are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, natural sugars, which would not only speed up the beard growth process, but help with the overall look and feel of your facial fur.
In conclusion, growing a beard is a delicious commitment.
When it comes to beard growth, exercise helps your beard grow better in a couple of ways. It will improve the circulation of the blood in your body. This means that nutrients will be distributed to your hair faster, promoting the growth. It reduces stress which is one of the major causes of hair loss. And the third one is connected to science in a way. Basically, facial hair growth is connected to two androgens, a well-known testosterone, and DHT, and for a successful hair growth, these two substances need to be balanced.
A healthy exercise regime, along with healthy dietary habits will help balance out these two hormones thus promoting hair growth.
Choose a suitable exercise regime, if you haven't worked out in a while set yourself realistic goals, for example, start by working out once or twice a week, and increase the frequency and duration gradually. After a while, your beard will be thankful, and your body will be as well. Plus the ladies appreciate a well-built man with a mane to show off his masculinity.
Exercise and sleep
Health experts believe that beard will grow more quickly if you are relaxed, so find a healthy way of dealing with stress through yoga, meditation, and exercise.
Getting enough sleep allows your body and in turn your beard to rebuild, repair, and re-energize itself.
This is pretty self-explanatory, alcohol, cigarettes, and most certainly recreational drugs will in no way help your beard growth.
If everything else fails, and you are too lazy to exercise I would suggest that you visit a doctor before you take any type of supplements whether vitamin based or synthetic.
Although the vitamins can't do much harm, taking them on your own can prove to be just a recipe for an expensive pee.
There are readily available multivitamins that help promote hair growth. And when it comes to synthetic supplements like minoxidil, you should definitely consult a medical professional as these can have some serious side-effects.
Here is a list of supplements that boost hair growth:
Vitamin B5 – panthotenic acid or vitamin B5 is used to prevent hair loss and graying of the hair.
Vitamin C – it is a powerful antioxidant which among other things is great for promoting hair growth.
Vitamin E - Also a powerful fat-soluble antioxidant which also increases blood flow, allowing nutrients to be delivered to your hair more efficiently.
Vitamin A – Which is crucial for the proper synthesis of testosterone and helps production of sebum which is a natural conditioner.
Vitamin K – Crucial for healthy testosterone and DHS production.
Biotin – Promotes the production of keratin leading to a faster hair and nail growth.
Niacin and Inositol – both B vitamins which maintain the health of the hair follicles, and promote blood circulation.
Minoxidil – a powerful vasodilator which initially used to treat blood pressure, and proved to be a powerful tool for treating baldness.
Other supplements proven to promote hair growth are magnesium, sulfur, zinc, silica, beta carotene, flax seed oil, and nettle.
As I have previously stated it is highly recommended that you should always consult a medical professional before taking any of the above supplements. And even if your doctor advises you to use a certain supplement, best results will be achieved if you incorporate a healthy lifestyle.
Owing to the length of this article I am sure that by now you have a sizable bush on your face or at least you have reached the third phase and are scratching your face at the moment.
So now that you have a beard or something that resembles it, you should start looking into some products that will help you maintain your facial fur and speed up the growth process.
Essentially a beard oil is a moisturizer and a conditioner which comes in a bottle with or without an eye dropper or a pump. In case of beards oils from Seven Potions, they come with a convenient eye dropper for easy and accurate dispensing.
A good beard oil would help moisturize your beard and the skin underneath, making your hair softer, preventing skin cracking and promoting hair growth.
As well as being a great moisturizer a beard oil can be a beard deodorizer as usually essential oils are added to it to give it a great smell, while at the same time promoting hair growth, and dealing with various unwanted skin or hair conditions.
Beard Balm acts as a moisturizer, conditioner and styling aid.
All natural beard balms like our Seven Potions one, contain oils as a beard oil does helping condition and revive your beard and moisturize your skin, while it also provides a styling hold.
In addition to the oils, it contains usually natural butters and beeswax which help style your beard and make it look tamed and thicker.
If you can not keep your beard in check you should definitely go for a beard wax.
It also contains all carrier and essential oils as the previous two, however, it holds larger amounts of beeswax to give it that extra strong hold.
Want some suggestions? Check out our beard wax.
Just like your head, your beard requires washing too.
And no, you can not and should not wash your beard with a regular shampoo or soap.
The reason is that shampoos and soaps are so strong that they will strip your facial hair off the sebum oil entirely, causing your beard to dry out, and become brittle. Let’s not mention the cracking and beard split ends.
Buying a quality beard shampoo next to your beard oil makes all the difference when it comes to the speed your facial hair would grow.
Once you grow a sizable beard, one of the essential tools you will be using daily would be a high quality beard brush. And if you're looking for a brush for life, check out our beard brush here.
Besides helping you untangle your facial hair, and keep your mane in line, the beard brush is also a very helpful at distributing your beard oils evenly across the hairs helping to coat them evenly.
And being made from all natural materials it will gently massage your face stimulating the hair follicles, and promoting beard growth.
Beard comb performs the a similar job to a beard brush, but more on the styling side and detangling your longer beard.
Although you won't need one during the first couple of months, it's quite important at a later stage for straightening your beard after the shower and styling it once your apply your favorite beard balm or wax.
So if you are keen on having a luscious beard as fast as possible you should organize yourself and set a daily routine.
- An ideal day would be waking up in the morning, and a healthy breakfast (one where you will replace your bowl of cereal with a healthier alternative to fruit, vegetables, nuts, and proteins listed above).
- Short morning workout to shake things up and get that blood flowing (set realistic goals and a continuous exercise routine which you can maintain and upgrade).
- Wash yourself (and your beard using a quality beard shampoo), moisturize your beard with beard oil, beard balm or wax, depending on how wild your mane is. High protein food for lunch like fish, chicken, red meat, coupled with a nice fresh salad.
- Light dinner which would again include most of the ingredients discussed previously, and try to relax as much as possible.
- Watching a good movie, reading a book or listening to music just before I go to sleep is how I cope with the stress of modern time.
In conclusion, I would just want to say that no matter how low your genetic predispositions for growing a beard are, or how scary it seems, or what others would think or say.
If you want to grow a beard just go for it. Get into a healthy daily routine, try to relax more often, and just be yourself.
Growing a beard you have nothing to loose, and even if you don’t make it all the way through, at least you will know that you have tried, and you will be left with a happier healthier version of yourself.
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