Growing out a nice beard can be a tall order. Getting your facial hair to grow out thick and fast can be a tough job for some men, almost everyone will fall victim to the patchy beard at some point especially if it’s your first time trying to grow out your beard.

A nice, thick beard has long been associated with masculinity. It’s seen by many men as the ultimate symbol of manhood and so a lot of men will want to try out the look at some point in their lives. It’s not the right look for everyone, some men find the maintenance to be a little too much in their daily routine, whilst others prefer to be clean shaven, but done right, a well man-scaped beard can really elevate a man’s look. The beard can signify maturity, virility, wisdom and leadership. It can give men a more grown-up look and commanding appearance, perfect for those in leadership roles now that facial hair is becoming more and more accepted in professional environments.

If you haven’t grown out your facial hair before, or haven’t let it grow out in a long time then you might be wondering how to do it and whether it’s even worth it. Well, we’re here to tell you that it is and what you should keep in mind when starting out.

Things you should remember

There are few important things you should keep in mind about facial hair when you’re planning to grow it. Keeping these key things in mind when you’re working through the awkward grow out phases will make it all seem worth it!

The benefits of having facial hair

Facial hair is a great way to update your look, it can completely change the way your face looks and can make most men look much more distinguished. It can also help with protecting the skin and keeping it hydrated. Men who take the time to indulge in proper beard care will find their skin feels softer and more supple than ever, without the constant irritation of shaving.

Your facial hair isn’t patchy, it’s a normal part of growth

A lot of men will experience a bit of patchy facial hair or regrowth when trying to grow out their beards. It can be a bit embarrassing, and some men believe that it happens because they can’t grow a beard so this is usually the point when they cut it short or give up and go for a clean shave. It’s actual a normal part of growth. It takes a while for a beard to grow in. Facial hair doesn’t grow consistently, or to a uniform length, so it won’t come in all at once looking perfectly groomed. It takes patience and time to get it looking even. Patchy growth isn’t a sign that you can’t grow a beard, it’s just an earlier stage of hair growth!

The patchy stage can be a bit of an awkward phase of hair growth. A bit of careful grooming can keep it looking professional, but if you have the opportunity to, try growing it out during a holiday. By the time you get back you’ll be through the worst of it. If you’re going away somewhere, stop shaving a few says before, a week or so away will give you time to get over the phase where it looks like you just couldn’t be bothered shaving. If you don’t have the luxury of getting away, try trimming up around the edges, or waiting for ‘Movember’ to grow out your facial hair.

What to expect in your first month of beard growth

It usually takes a full month before most men start to see the patches in their beard start to fill in, although for some men it can be much longer. Beards take a lot of commitment and time, and sometimes can be frustrating to deal with. Beards come with a few common issues in tow that can be difficult to manage. For almost every man there will be a stage where facial hair looks messy and unkempt. In the first month it’s common to experience some itchiness and mild irritation initially, although this will eventually go away. Some men will feel self-conscious after dealing with comments from other people, not everyone like the look of longer facial hair. What can be particularly hard to deal with is partners who don’t like coarse or scratchy hair. These problems can eventually be overcome, supportive partners’ will get used to the change, acquaintances will lose interest and it will get long enough eventually for proper grooming.

What you should do to keep your facial hair healthy

Once you make the decision to grow out your facial hair, there are a few important things you should do to keep your beard and skin healthy.

The primary thing you need to remember when it comes to a healthy beard is that it’s important to wash it regularly, although you shouldn’t wash it too frequently. In the same way over-washing your hair can dry it out; overdoing your beard washing can dry it out and leave your skin feeling irritated. Your beard doesn’t need to be washed daily, but a few times a week is great for balancing cleanliness and hydration. After every wash you should make sure to immediately apply some beard oil as this will keep it soft and healthy and reduce any itchiness you might be experiencing.

After your first month or so of growth you’ll probably hit a point where you want to grow out a nice long beard, or start grooming it for a polished, manly lumberjack look. You can groom your facial hair even from the early days, but it’s best to let it grow out for a little while as this will give you a sense of your natural beard lines and how it likes to fall. Your natural beard growth tends to be a great complement to your face, over-grooming might have you starting from square one as you wait for an area of your facial hair that you’ve previously trimmed or shaved.

If you’re still struggling with density and glaring patches after a month or more of growing out your facial hair, then it might be the case that you can’t grow a full beard without a little help. That’s okay, in the same way that baldness can look great, so can a clean shave. Having less hair doesn’t make you any less of a person! It’s all about finding what works for you based on what you have to work with. Chances are if you’re struggling to grow a beard, you’ll probably have a full head of hair on top anyway. Strangely, studies have shown that genetic baldness seems to be linked with stronger facial hair growth, so if it comes easily to you when you’re young, you might find yourself thinning on top in your later years!

Facial hair myths you should ignore

There are a few untruths floating around out there about facial hair that you should pay no mind. Here are a few myths about beards that you should ignore.

Your facial hair isn’t growing slowly

Unless you have some kind of skin condition, illness or heath concern, chances are your facial hair isn’t growing slowly. When you’re dealing with patchiness, itchiness and awkward lengths it can feel like it’s taking forever for hair to grow out, but it’s likely that it’s actually not happening as slowly as you feel like it is. Your beard is probably growing at a fairly average rate. If it seems like things are taking a while, or you’re beard is dry and scraggly, you might want to consider what you’re putting in your body. A good diet and exercise and vitamins like B12 can have a big impact on hair growth. Using beard oil and keeping things clean and clear can help too, as it will prevent any hair follicles from becoming stuck or in-grown, and help to circulate blow flow to promote growth.

Your patches aren’t because of length

There are a few factors that will contribute to your beard looking thin or patchy. Lighter hair almost always makes your hair look less dense than dark hair because it reflects more light. Facial hair can also come in different thicknesses, just like the hair on your head and the thickness of the hair follicle can impact on how full your beard looks.

Tips and tricks for painless growth

You can’t speed up your hair growth, but it’s possible to make your facial hair look thicker and fuller. Here are a few examples of how you can achieve this.

Don’t shave

Some men believe that shaving facial hair will make it grow back thicker and faster, but that’s been proven to be untrue. Sometimes hair can look thicker at first after a shave, but this is only because the ends will be blunt after shaving. The only way to get an impressive beard happening is to stick with it and let it grow.

Exercise is more important than you think

Exercise increases two of the most important things to hair growth, testosterone and blood circulation. Short, hard workouts will help with growing out a beard so hit the gym for a thicker beard. You’ll feel better and look fitter ready for your majestic man beard!

Get some sleep

It might be easy to dismiss a healthy lifestyle in favour of finding a magic supplement or some kind of wunder-drug or product to instantly grow a beard, but sadly easy answers don’t exist. Beards take time and commitment, and if you want it to look full and healthy then you need to do the right thing by your body. Part of having a healthy lifestyle is making sure you get a good night’s sleep. Lack of sleep has been shown to impact on testosterone levels which can have a negative effect on your beard growth. If you want thick facial hair then make sure you get plenty of shut-eye.

Make sure you make time to relax

Stress can actually impact on facial hair in a couple of ways. Stress has been shown to constrict blood vessels and can even cause hair loss. High cortisol is also thought to have an impact on testosterone. Extreme stress can definitely put a dent in your ability to grow a beard so it’s definitely worth taking some time to do some self-care and relax.

Eat healthy

You can probably see by now that a healthy lifestyle and the way you treat your body are essential for good hair growth. A well-balanced diet with the right vitamins, proteins and minerals will help you to success with your goal.

You can fix unsightly patches

If you have patchy areas and you really can’t stand the look of it, then you can even out the look of your beard by trimming the hair down closer to the length of the patch. This might feel like a step backwards but it will increase the consistency and density of your facial hair.