At a certain point, you reach a point where you have to decide whether to shave your beard and keep it going. It helps to know how much it will take to get it to where it was once you start, and there’s a standard timeline to help you out.
HOW DOES A BEARD GROW?
Credit: Tools of Men
Hair growth ultimately comes down to genes and hormones. For your beard, its growth is fueled by an enzyme known as 5-alpha reductase.
This is the enzyme that stores your body’s testosterone and turns it into a different hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This hormone attaches to each of your beard’s follicles, allowing it to grow.
Every man’s beard hair reacts to DHT differently. This impacts the rate of hair growth, and while the exact timeframe is different, the stages remain the same across individuals.
BEARD GROWTH BY THE STAGES
What can you expect when you decide to put the razor away for a while? There are four primary stages you’ll go through.
STAGE ONE: NOTHING’S HAPPENED YET
It’s only natural to want a beard as quickly as possible. However, you shouldn’t expect much in the first week or so.
You’ll start to see some stubble within a couple of days, but that’s about it for a while. It adds some nice color to your face, but you can’t really do anything with it in terms of styling or otherwise straightening facial hair.
STAGE TWO: THE AWKWARD PART
This stage occurs between weeks two through four. It’s the level where most guys decide whether they’re going to continue growing the beard out or shave it.
At this stage, you recognize where the beard hair will be most concentrated. You may realize it’s coming in patchy, but don’t worry about that.
Many men have patches, and they manage to cover it up nicely.
It’s at this stage where you ought to consider investing in a high-quality oil. Not only does it soften the beard, but it helps with the inevitable beard itch.
To help control your beard during this awkward stage, be sure to use a beard gel and comb to keep the hair in place.
STAGE THREE: THE BEARD REALLY STARTS TO GROW
Between four and six weeks, your beard growth really takes off. This is where you need to start considering how you want to style your facial hair, and as contradictory as it may sound, you need to bring the razor back out.
You may start to notice stray hairs, and you may want to touch up your neckline. You can really build out the shape, which beeswax can help with.
STAGE FOUR: TIME TO START TRIMMING THE BEARD
Most men enter this stage at around eight or 12 weeks. It’s at this point you officially have a beard, but the work isn’t done yet. You now have to focus on maintenance.
Some areas may start looking a little wild. It’s vital to brush often to ensure it doesn’t get tangled up. It may also be worth it to find a barbershop near you that can help you out further when you need it.
WHAT AFFECTS BEARD GROWTH?
You don’t have a ton of control over beard growth. But it can help to know why things may take longer than you would like.
One of the biggest factors is something you have no control over. Your family’s genes highly influence the rate at which your beard grows.
Therefore, if you want a good idea of how long it will take you to grow out a beard, talk to the men in your family about theirs.
Testosterone also plays a role, and the more of the hormone you have in your body, the faster your facial hair will grow. Men between the ages of 19 and 38 should ideally fall in a range between 264 and 916 nanograms per deciliter for testosterone levels.
You can get tested at your doctor’s office to see where your range falls. In the event you suffer from low testosterone, you can look into taking supplements. It helps with beard growth as well as other aspects of your health.
SLEEP AND HYGIENE
Believe it or not, getting a good night’s rest is essential for beard growth. Your body releases a lot of testosterone during this time, and one study even found that restricting sleep can lower your levels of the hormone.
Outside of that, it’s always a good idea to wash your beard often. Regular washing removes oil and dead skin cells that can hamper growth. Plus, it keeps your facial hair looking on-point.