Whether you’ve wanted to rock a beard since a young age or it’s your first foray into facial hair, you may be wondering how to grow a beard. That is, how long it takes to grow one, if it’s possible to grow your beard faster than normal, and also how to keep your facial hair looking good during the growth process. If all of these questions sound familiar, then you’re in the right place! Here, we’re sharing everything you need to know about how to grow a full beard; plus, we’ve rounded up some of our best skin care products and tips to keep your facial hair in tip-top shape. For example, did you know that you need to wash, exfoliate, and moisturize your beard regularly? Didn’t think so. Get ready to take notes!
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GROW A BEARD?
Just like the hair on your head, you may have wondered if it’s possible to speed up the time it takes to grow out a beard. In other words, can you grow a beard faster? Of course, since everyone is different, there’s no set amount of time it takes to grow a beard. The answer also depends on how long you want your beard to be. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), however, the hair on your body (which includes facial hair), grows much more slowly than the hair on your head. Still, even though it grows slower than the hair on your head, the growth process for body and facial hair is the same: Each strand of hair grows from the root of a hair follicle, then gets pushed up through the skin and passes an oil gland along the way. Per the AAD, this whole growth process takes about a month for hair on the body.
HOW TO GROW A BEARD FASTER
In a hurry to grow out your facial hair? Good news—according to the AAD, male hair generally grows faster than female hair. According to research published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), there is some evidence that male facial hair growth is related to testosterone levels. That is, higher testosterone levels result in increased facial hair growth. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that upping your testosterone levels is your ticket to speeding up beard growth. You can be genetically predisposed to having thinner facial hair, in which case increasing testosterone levels (such as with a supplement), might not help. If you are concerned with how slow your facial hair is growing in, your best bet is always consulting a doctor.
Editor’s note: For more information and research on the topic of hair growth, head over to our article, The Truth About How to Grow Hair Faster.
DOES SHAVING HELP GROW A BEARD?
Unfortunately, this common myth just isn’t true. Per the Mayo Clinic, shaving doesn’t change the color, thickness, or rate of growth of the hair. However, shaving around the edges will help keep your beard groomed and looking polished, so don’t ditch your razor just yet. Whenever you do choose to shave, be sure to follow up with an aftershave balm to keep your skin feeling soothed and protected. Try the L'Oréal Paris Men Expert Hydra Energetic After Shave Balm, which is formulated to do just that.
HOW TO GROW A BEARD AND KEEP IT LOOKING GOOD IN THE PROCESS
Yes, your facial hair grows naturally on its own, but that doesn’t mean that you should just let it run wild! Instead, you’ll want to add these tips to your skin care routine to help keep your beard looking its best, even while you’re growing it out.
BEARD GROWING TIP #1: KEEP IT CLEAN AND MOISTURIZED
Just like the rest of your face, the skin underneath that beard (or soon-to-be beard) needs to stay clean and hydrated. No matter what skin type you have, you should cleanse your complexion twice a day—every morning and evening—with a gentle yet powerful facial cleanser, like the L'Oréal Paris Men Expert Hydra Energetic Extreme Cleanser Infused With Charcoal.
Next, apply face moisturizer, such as the L'Oréal Paris Men Expert Vita Lift Anti-Wrinkle & Firming Moisturizer, all over your complexion and invest in a separate, specialized moisturizer to help keep your beard soft and supple. We love the L'Oréal Paris Men Expert 3-Day Beard Moisturizer, which is formulated with softening vitamin E and helps keep facial hair in its best condition. To use, simply pump a bit of product into your palms and apply onto clean skin and beard.
BEARD GROWING TIP #2: EXFOLIATE REGULARLY TO PREVENT INGROWN HAIRS
If you’ve ever shaved your face before, then you already know how easy—and annoying—it is to suffer from ingrown hairs. While you’re trying to grow out your beard, the last thing you need is a pesky ingrown hair standing in your way. Once or twice per week, or as often as your skin needs, use a gentle face scrub to slough off dead skin cells and keep your pores clear. Yes, use it on your facial hair, taking care to gently scrub your beard and thoroughly rinse. As far as face scrubs go, take your pick from the L'Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Resurface & Energize Kona Coffee Scrub, L'Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Nourish & Soften Cocoa Scrub, L'Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Smooth & Glow Grapeseed Scrub, or the L'Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Purify & Unclog Kiwi Scrub.
BEARD GROWING TIP #3: GET GOOD SLEEP
Easier said than done, right? Still, according to a study published by the NIH, young men with restricted sleep (aka not enough shut-eye) experienced lower testosterone levels—and we already know that low testosterone may be linked to slower hair growth. We’re not saying that sleeping more will automatically lead to quicker beard growth, but hey, getting eight to nine hours of beauty sleep per night is healthy for plenty of other reasons, too.
Next, we’re diving deeper into your facial hair care routine, plus sharing tips on how best to remove it (sans ingrown hairs or irritation) in our article, The Guy’s Guide to Taking Care of and Removing Facial Hair.