Trying to grow a beard takes more than just putting down the razor. Going from a clean shave to a full-blown beard can transform your look, but how long does it take to grow a beard?
While everyone desires a full-grown beard, not many like the process. And while some have genes as an upper hand, others may have to put in a bit of effort.
However, it usually takes a few months for you to get a well-grown beard.
How Long Does It Take To Grow A Beard?
Facial hair grows between 0.3 and 0.5 millimeters (mm) every day. A single hair will increase in length between ⅓ and ½ inches per month. So, a full beard will take you around 2 to 4 months.
However, the numbers are not the same for everyone. While some find it easy to grow facial hair, others can take a bit longer.
Phases Of Beard Growth
Beard growth is a journey that happens in stages. When growing a beard, keep in mind the following three stages of beard growth.
Phase I (Anagen Phase)
After you have grown your beard for about a month, the anagen phase starts. It is the growth phase during which hair grows around half an inch per month. However, it varies for everyone. While the hair on your head is always in the anagen phase, for facial hair, this phase lasts for several months to years, depending on genetics.
Phase II (Catagen Phase)
When the hair matures, growth ceases. The hair detaches from the follicle and gets attached to the skin; hence, this phase is also referred to as the “transition phase.” This cuts off blood and nutrient supply to the root and is the time when you notice patches in your beard.
Phase III (Telogen Phase)
It is called a resting phase; however, much goes on during this phase. During this period, the follicle will stay dormant and slowly return to the anagen phase. The incoming hair pushes at the old hair and eventually causes it to fall off. This process is known as “shedding.” During this time, you will notice your beard is bushier or fuller; however, the growth will be very slow.
Factors Affecting Beard Growth
Before you start your beard-growing journey, you need to consider the following factors that play a key role.
Like every other feature of the human body, the beard is controlled at the gene level. Your genes have a major say in the type of bead you will have. So, if you have a family lineage of full, bushy beards, expect to have one yourself. But if it is the opposite, you will have to work a bit harder.
Beard growth starts at puberty. However, while some start growing a beard as soon as they hit puberty, others may take longer. Still, the prime age for beard growth is between 25 and 40, as the testosterone levels are highest during this period, and the beard is in the anagen phase.
After this age, testosterone levels start to drop gradually, around 1 to 2% per year. However, in some men, white hair grows twice as fast as pigmented hair, so they experience fuller beards at a later age.
Testosterone levels have to be within the range of 264 to 916 nanograms per deciliter for optimum beard growth. If the levels are below the range, a prescription from the doctor will help with beard growth.
But most men can increase their testosterone levels by adopting a healthy lifestyle. However, if it is within the range, testosterone supplements will do no good.
Another hormone that plays a vital role in the regulation and stimulation of facial hair growth is dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It, too, has a direct relationship with beard growth. So, high DHT implies a thick and full beard that grows quickly.
Your eating habits, sleeping patterns, physical activity, and stress levels all play a role in your health and development. They also affect beard growth. A deficiency of nutrients and essential vitamins and an imbalanced diet will not support beard growth.
Ways To Improve Beard Growth
While age and genetics do play a major role in beard development, a little hard work, dedication, and reasonable expectations can help you achieve a beard even at the age of 60 and without a strong beard growth genetic factor.
Some things that you can do are:
Your diet affects your testosterone levels. So, besides providing your body with fuel and necessary nutrients, a well-balanced diet will also optimize testosterone production.
Some foods that you must incorporate into your diet when growing a beard are:
- Lean proteins like fish, egg, meat, and nuts
- Vitamin A sources, like sweet potato
- Sardines and salmons for omega 3-fatty acids
- Biotin sources like eggs
- Sources of iron and zinc
- Chickpeas and avocados
- Whole grains
Factors like stress and sleep have a big say in beard growth. One study found that sleep deprivation resulted in decreased beard growth. Also, studies have found that testosterone levels are highest at night.
So, sleep is vital for optimal testosterone production. Depending on the sleep requirements of an individual, a person may need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep daily.
When you are stressed, your body produces a high amount of the stress hormone cortisol. High cortisol levels not only affect the body’s ability to produce testosterone but also negatively affect the hair growth cycle.
It constricts the blood vessels, reducing the supply of essential nutrients to the hair follicles and encouraging them to go into a resting phase.
Exercise improves circulation, improves metabolism, and boosts testosterone production. It improves your metabolic rate and distributes nutrients throughout the body.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
The human body is made up of 70% water. Dehydration will limit the supply of essential nutrients to secondary sources like hair.