With the rise in popularity of beards, many men are having to face the truth that they cannot grow the full, thick beard that their peers can. Whether you are dealing with patchiness, bald spots, or completely lack any beard growth, there may be a few things that can help improve your beard.
We’re here to provide the necessary information to unlock the reasons why you may not be able to grow the beard you want, factors that influence beard growth, and steps you can take to improve your chances of achieving the lush beard you desire.
- Why Can’t You Grow a Beard?
- What Determines Beard Growth
- Improve Your Beard Growth Chances
- Now for the Unfortunate Truth
Why Can’t You Grow a Beard?
If you are reading this article, you have likely asked yourself this question many times. There are a number of reasons that some men are not able to grow a beard at all or the beard they truly want. Unfortunately, there is no magical way to instantly grow the beard of your dreams.
You may be surprised to learn that there are several factors that determine one’s beard growing potential. And the reality is that every individual is completely unique and what helps or hinders one may do the opposite if anything for another. Let’s take a look at some of these factors.
What Determines Beard Growth
While there are several very individualized situations that may influence how your beard grows the most general determining factors that most people face are as follows.
Does your father have a thick beard, or need to shave everyday to ward off the dreaded scruff? Or does your older brother have a super smooth baby face that barely even has any peach fuzz? The males in your genetic mixture may be a good indicator of your own genetic predisposition toward or away from facial hair.
Although it is important to remember that genetics can be extremely complicated. In some cases, hairy men father offspring that have little or no facial or body hair. One of the biggest wonders of the human condition. More often than not though, even in this circumstance, some clue can likely be found on the mother’s side of the gene pool.
Hormones can have a huge impact on beard growth. Remember that most young men do not even start to have noticeable facial hair until well into puberty. This is due to the surge in hormones that activate the hair follicles on the face causing them to begin to produce thicker, usually darker hair than the light peach fuzz from before.
While several hormones may contribute, the primary hormones that affect hair growth (beard, head, and body hair) are dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and Testosterone. DHT is actually contained within Testosterone, so it can get a little confusing. Higher levels of DHT have been found in individuals that can grow a great beard, unfortunately, higher levels of this hormone are also connected to male pattern baldness.
Any teenager can probably tell you that facial hair starts to grow, if at all, somewhere around the middle teens. Brought on by an increase in hormone levels during puberty, facial hair continues to grow at varying rates and patterns throughout life. As we age, fluctuations in hormones can cause changes in hair growth as well.
Just as puberty appears and affects men individually, so does beard growth. Some men will reach the potential to grow a full beard very early, even in their late teens and early 20s, while others may not develop the potential for a full beard until their 30s. Gotta love biology!
It is not uncommon for men who have previously had little trouble, notice a rapid decline in facial hair growth or thickness as they reach the later stages of life, beginning as early as 50 or so. Although as many older gentlemen will attest to, the hair also seems to crop up in other annoying places such as the insides of the ears.
Increased stress over a period of time can have some serious effects on your body, overall health, and yes, even your beard growth. High levels of stress cause the body to produce high levels of cortisol. Cortisol can affect your immune system, your metabolism, blood sure, and mood. High cortisol levels can cause a drastic drop in DHT, which as you remember helps to facilitate facial hair growth. So, calm down and let go of excess stress. We know, easier said than done!
Like everything else related to the body, your overall health can have a significant impact on your ability to grow a long, thick, and full beard. The list of health conditions that may have some impact on beard growth is quite substantial, essentially and male health concern may have even a little impact. Here are a few health conditions that are known to have a direct impact on the processes responsible for beard growth.
Hypothyroidism is a condition resulting from a decrease in thyroid activity. This can cause a number of issues with many body systems. One of those being the production of facial hair. Hypothyroidism can be successfully treated by medications.
Iron Deficiency, a type of anemia, results in a decrease in the production of healthy red blood cells. Since red blood cells are what get oxygen to all of the body systems, lower levels of healthy red blood cells result in many issues throughout the body including a decrease in facial hair growth. Iron deficiency anemia may also cause existing hair to become thin and brittle.
By now it should be no surprise that low testosterone can have a huge impact on your ability to grow a beard that you want. There are a number of health conditions that can cause testosterone levels to drop, some temporary, others may even result in a permanent drop unless properly treated. Low levels of testosterone can result from chemotherapy, pituitary dysfunction, many medications, type 2 diabetes mellitus, even sleep apnea.
If you suspect any of these or other health concerns, we urge you to discuss them with your physician before making any drastic changes that may impact your overall health!
Improve Your Beard Growth Chances
If you struggle when any of the above-mentioned issues, all is not lost, there are ways that you can improve your potential for growing a fantastic beard, even if you can only currently sport a baby face. Here we will uncover some to the secrets to improve your chances.
We know you probably rolled your eyes, but there is a good reason behind improving your overall health. Let’s dive into the specific ways to improve your health that can increase your beard potential.
If you consider the structure of all hair is based on specific proteins called keratins that are found in some of the most protein-rich foods. Consuming a diet high in lean proteins, vitamins B & C, and zinc will give you the best chance of reaching optimum keratin levels.
Not to be repetitive, but regular exercise is one of the key components for increasing the bodies testosterone levels naturally. This doesn’t mean you have to go out and train for the next Iron Man competition. Testosterone levels can be increased by adding even small amounts of physical activity.
Look for easy, fun ways to increase your heart rate a few times a day andembrace activities that force you to move instead of gazing at a computer screen, except here, you are welcome here as long as you like.
There are several dietary supplements available to help fill in gaps in nutrition that you get from the foods you eat, some even marketed specifically for improving beard growth or health. There are even several supplements with grand claims of allowing you to achieve the super long luscious beard you have always wanted. Don’t fall for the hype.
Are there benefits to supplementing your diet in order to make sure you are getting all of the vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients? Absolutely, quality supplements can help to support a healthy body and potentially grow a better beard.
Look for supplements that contain the nutrients that you know you are not getting from the food you eat. The most common deficiencies are usually iron and/or zinc. You may also consider finding supplements with plenty of vitamin D, B-12, and biotin all known to improve hair growth, though little is known about their effect on beard hair specifically.
Get Some Rest
Remember the bit about increased stress levels and those effects? One of the quickest ways to increase stress levels and the resulting cortisol increase is by failing to get adequate rest. This not only refers to getting a great night’s sleep but also taking a few moments throughout the day to just take a few deep breaths and allow your body to relax. You may be pleasantly surprised how quickly you will notice a difference just by embracing a little R and R.
Skin Care Regimen
Your beard can only be as healthy as the skin beneath it. Therefore, it is extremely important to take care of your skin. Taking the time to establish a great skin care routine can provide your beard with a healthy foundation.
Great skin care includes using the proper cleansers and other products designed to clean your skin without stripping away the essential oils that the hair follicles need to grow your beard. Here are a few skin care products you may want to consider adding to your routine.
Using a gentle exfoliating scrub once or twice a week will help to remove dead skin cells as well as gentle stimulate the hair follicles on your face. Exfoliating also helps to decrease the occurrences of ingrown hairs, which many disposable razor users have had to deal with at least once. Not only does exfoliation help to improve skins texture, but over time, the skin may appear healthier and smoother. Couple that with a great looking beard and, Watch out People’s Sexiest Man of the Year!
Whether you decide to use a leave-in designed for beards, or skin care moisturizers, you will want to ensure you are properly hydrating your skin, and as a result, your beard (or potential beard) adequately. Not only will a great moisturizing routine help your hair to grow and improve the health of your skin, but it can also help to decrease or eliminate beard itch and dandruff.
Look for moisturizers and leave-in conditioners design for your individual skin and hair type. For individuals interested in only using the most basic ingredients, eucalyptus has been shown to increase beard hair growth as well as provide the skin and beard with essential moisture. However, it is important to only use diluted eucalyptus oil in contact with the skin.
One option for moisturizing and nourishing your beard is by using high-quality beard oil. Premium beard oils provide most of the essential nutrients and moisturizers directly to the skin and beard. The use of high absorbable carrier oils increases the nutrients that are absorbed into the skin, hair follicles, and any facial hair you may have.
Look for beard oils that contain only all-natural and pure oils and plant-based botanicals to ensure that you will not have to deal with any skin irritation. Those with excessively sensitive skin may have to look hard to find hypoallergenic beard oils, but they are out there.
For those that have little or no beard growth yet, the idea of using a wash, or shampoo, specifically designed to clean beard hair may seem ludicrous. But hear us out. Even the slightest growth can benefit form cleansers specifically designed for beards, especially formulas that target the hair follicles in order to increase beard growth.
Beard shampoo is different than traditional shampoos in that they are not overly harsh, they do not strip away the essential sebum oils that are necessary for healthy beard growth. Using a regular bar soap, or even regular shampoo would be like dousing your beard in rubbing alcohol.
Beard shampoos are also available in many different formulas, specifically designed to match your beard needs, as well as skin and hair type. If you think about it, it makes sense that washing your beard and face is different from the less sensitive scalp and head hair.
Even if you have only a slight beard, investing in quality grooming tools, such as a beard brush or comb can help to improve the look and feel of your beard, as well as help stimulate growth.
Older readers may remember a time when you would often see women on TV spending tons of time brushing their hair. That is because brushing does stimulate the hair follicles to produce the important sebum that helps to moisturize and protect the hair as it grows.
The best option for beard grooming tools with being brushes made from only the best natural fibers, such as boar hair. These provide a superior smooth fiber that will not damage your beard hair as you brush through it. The alternative synthetic fiber brushes often contain small imperfections as a result of the manufacturing process that can damage your hair. Synthetic fiber brushes will also not be able to remove excess sebum.
Beard combs are also available in a wide range of qualities. Choose a comb that is made from wood or has been expertly crafted to have smooth teeth. Like the boar hair, this will decrease the potential for damaging your hair or catching your beard on small burrs on the surface of the comb teeth.
Individuals that may suspect they have low testosterone or other medical conditions that we have discussed may want to consider medical interventions to remedy these issues, if possible. For those that have low levels of testosterone, in addition to the natural ways to boost these levels, such as exercise, there are several medical treatments that may be considered in order to increase free testosterone levels.
Discussing your personal options with your physician is important. Also, unfortunately in some cases, insurances do not cover intervention for the treatment of low testosterone in all cases. Here’s a hint, DO NOT, tell your doctor you are only looking to grow a beard.
There are plenty of other issues that are a result of low testosterone. Some of these include erectile dysfunction, lower sex drive, decrease in bone density, emotional instability, memory issues, and lower blood counts. If you suspect you have low testosterone, you will likely have one or more of these issues as well.
More commonly known as Rogaine, Minoxidil is a chemical solution that has been used for years to help combat male pattern baldness. A while ago, as the beard revolution was just getting started, some found out that it could be used to improve beard hair growth too. But Minoxidil use does not come without some side effects, some of them quite serious.
Some of the common side effects associated with using Minoxidil include skin irritations, chest pains, more hair growth all over the body (Some have even reported hair growing under their eyes!!!), heart palpitations, and excess shedding of existing hair.
Perhaps the most understood effect of Minoxidil use is that you will likely see growth, as long as you keep using it. However, once use is stopped, hair loss can happen rapidly. In as little as two months, many previous users have reported massive hair loss as bad or worse than they had suffered prior to using the product.
Now for the Unfortunate Truth
Some men may never be able to achieve the thick luscious beard they really desire. We are only born with a set number of hair follicles on our face. For some, the number may be so low that even if they are able to successfully activate the hair follicles to grow their beard will never have the full look that they want.
Why Do You Want To Grow A Beard?
For some that may struggle to grow a beard, we suggest taking a look at the reasons you want to grow a beard. It is a widely accepted attitude, though completely false, that facial hair is a strong indicator of masculinity. There is no direct connection between the ability to grow facial hair and other traits deemed as masculine. One of the most common is muscle mass.
Men who can achieve larger muscles are considered some of the most masculine of men. You may be surprised to know that there is a reason you often see very muscular men with bald heads. Many suffer from early onset male pattern baldness, though the connection between the condition and excessive weightlifting or muscle mass.
How Far Are You Willing to Go to Grow a Beard?
We’ve uncovered some of the things that can influence beard growth, as well as steps, both safe and risky, that can be taken to potentially grow the beard you want. However, only you can decide if the necessary steps are worth the long term risk and advantages that may result.
When it comes to most of the things in this article, implementing things such as a balanced diet, decreasing stress, and taking quality supplements to have no adverse effects. There are really no long-term negative consequences from going that route. On the other hand, if you are willing to go to extremes, such as taking testosterone injections, or using minoxidil, then please consider the possible consequences first.
Now that we have provided you with all of this information, we sincerely hope you are able to understand your personal beard growth status a little better, and may even have some ideas for ways that you can boost your beard growth in order to eventually achieve the beard of your dreams. Most importantly, try to be patient, the average beard only grows somewhere around half-an-inch in a whole month. That means that up to half of all beards likely grow at an even slower rate.
- Why Can’t You Grow a Beard?
- What Determines Beard Growth
- Improve Your Beard Growth Chances
- Now for the Unfortunate Truth