Growing any beard is as simple as not shaving for a while. Growing a nice beard is tough.
A lot of people know the pain of trying to grow out a scraggly beard into something more robust.
In my experience, it can feel like it takes forever to grow the beard of your dreams.
The truth is it does take longer to grow facial hair. It only grows at an average of one half an inch per month.
A lot of beardsmen can’t wait and resign themselves to a clean-shaven or closely trimmed look instead. The sad thing is they are often so close to a breakthrough and don’t realize it!
With a bit more knowledge about how facial hair grows and some perseverance, any man who can grow enough facial hair can have an awesome beard.
The problem is, most people expect facial hair to grow and behave the same way as the hair on their head.
To understand how beards grow and why you might be experiencing a momentary plateau in your beards' progress, you first need to understand the four phases of facial hair growth.
The Four Phases of Beard Growth
All hair on your body goes through four distinct stages of growth.
While facial hair does go through the same four stages of hair growth, regular hair and your beard are on a different schedule.
Different hair follicles in your beard will be on a slightly different schedule (although the majority are working together just fine).
Let’s take a look at these four stages of beard growth and what they mean for you in practical terms.
1. Anagen - Growth
In the anagen stage, hair is formed and continues to grow.
The hair on your head grows for years and reaches extreme lengths before moving further through the growing cycle. This hair also grows a lot faster than facial hair.
For beards, Anagen growth is much shorter, typically lasting from 2-4 months.
It is this short growing phase that makes you feel like you have hit a plateau with your beard growth. That's because you have!
While you will see some beardsmen rocking lengthy beards which have gone through a long uninterrupted state of Anagen growth, this is not possible for everyone and has a lot to do with genetics.
All through the anagen stage, it is important to keep your beard clean and moisturized to give it the best chance of growing to its full potential.
Use a good beard wash and start using a good quality beard oil to keep your facial hair and skin underneath well moisturized.
2. Catagen - Regression
After the anagen phase, your hair moves into catagen. This is a transitional phase, where your hair follicles begin to shrink. Yes, you heard right, actually shrink!
Hair follicles shorten by up to 70 percent during this phase, preparing themselves for future growth.
This stage is much shorter than anagen, lasting anywhere from 10 days to several weeks. Throughout catagen, you will see growth slow and eventually stop.
During catagen, your beard is approaching maturity and needs all the same care as in the anagen phase.
Additionally, you will now have a good idea of what you have to work with and can begin considering some long term styling options.
3. Telogen - Resting
Next, your beard enters telogen and takes a well-earned vacation.
Following months or even years of growth and change, your hair follicles take a breather. This phase can last for a variable amount of time, but you can expect a minimum of three months of rest.
This is where your beard reaches its full potential and is at its thickest and fullest.
After a long journey of beard growth, it is time to enjoy!
4. Exogen - Shedding
Previously thought to be a part of telogen, as a result of new research, exogen is now its own distinct phase.
In exogen, the follicle does not hold onto your hair very strongly, allowing it to fall out easily.
You will have some experience of hair in exogen phase. Every morning, you will lose a few hairs from normal washing and brushing - they just fall out.
Of course, not all of your follicles enter exogen at once, or else you would very quickly lose all of your facial hair!
Once a follicle has released the hair and it falls out, it prepares once again for anagen and the cycle begins again.
This is how you can maintain your new beard, as new follicles will always be entering a new anagen cycle, renewing your facial hair.
Beard Growth Comes Down to Hormones… and Genetics
One of the most important factors when it comes to hair growth is hormones.
Hormones signal shifts between the stages of hair growth and dictate how long you will remain in each stage.
You even have hormones to thank for the ability to grow a beard. During puberty, hormones help to change the virtually colorless vellus hairs into darker and thicker terminal hairs.
Don’t stress if your awkward teenage days are behind you and you still have a patchy beard.
These hormonal changes continue will affect the weight of your beard well into your thirties, so the best days of your beard could still be ahead of you!
Now, it does bear mentioning that there is a genetic factor at play. Just like you can’t change your height, there is a hardwired limit to how big and thick your beard will get.
There isn’t a supplement out there which will magically make your beard grow beyond its natural limits. To do this, you would need to grow more hair follicles, which as of the time of writing isn’t possible.
How to Promote Beard Growth
With that said, you can give your existing hair follicles the best conditions for growth.
You can increase circulation to your hair follicles and keep your hair and skin in good health with top-quality beard oil.
Our Mother Earth Beard Oil promotes this growth with our 100% organic ingredients made to nourish your beard and keep it at its healthiest.