Having a beard was a desire I held close to my heart through adolescence and the discovery of a sprout of chin whiskers was akin to learning I had super powers. Still not sure of the practical impact owning a beard has on my life, other than adorning my face with a rather spectacular shrub, but nevertheless, a beard has quickly become the must have accessory of the late 10’s. I mean, look at any of the ‘Avengers’ red carpets and you will see a mass of Hollywood heavyweights touting some of the finest face fur this side of Lincoln’s inauguration.
Alas, genetics is not as forthcoming with all men. If you are trying desperately to grow yourself a beard and the results are a little lackluster, we’ve got you sorted…well, mostly. And before we begin, put the Gillette down champ, the myth that shaving reaps thicker face fur has been debunked. You’re welcome.
There are a couple of key takeaways you will need to adhere to below and patience will be your best friend here. A beard will not appear overnight.
WHY CAN’T I GROW A BEARD?
First things first, let’s take a look at the ins and outs of beard growth. How it happens, why it happens and most importantly, why it might not be happening for you.
The ‘how’ and ‘why’ essentially boil down to an insurmountable and intricately laced combination of genes that bloom in a select, hairy, few. There is plenty of noise that attributes this beardy gene being handed down from father to son, however, this is not always the case. My father and in deed my grandfather did not poses the ability to grow a beard until later in life while myself and my two brothers can all grow beards to rival Odin. I digress, but what this can mean for you is it could just be a waiting game. In some men, facial hair doesn’t start growing in earnest until you hit 30, or maybe even 40. Not satiated? Fair enough, moving on.
HORMONES ARE A BITCH
A beard’s growth will depend on your testosterone levels. As we discussed, male pattern baldness is the side effect of a growing sensitivity to DHT, a hormone produced in response to the natural testosterone coursing through your body. For reasons that are not well understood, DHT is essential for most hair growth, but is detrimental to head hair growth. That’s why you see some guys rocking the bald head/badass beard combo. So, the silver lining here is that the less growth you have on your chin means the less likely you are to go bald. A small solace, but that’s not why you’re here. MISTR doesn’t recommend you raise your natural testosterone in unnatural ways. Jumping on the gear will not do you any favors in the long run.
So genetics and natural hormone levels play a big part, sure, but there are some other ways to coax the hair out.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO GROW A HEALTHY BEARD
BUY A BEARD OIL
First up, you will want to invest in a beard oil. A beard oil with quality ingredients will nourish the hair and help it to look thicker, healthier and more luscious. Keeping your beard topped up daily will aid in the continued growth of hair.
EAT YOUR VEGGIES AND GET PLENTY REST
Your lifestyle plays a big part in the growth of facial hair too. Your diet, your sleep patterns and your proclivity for hitting the gym all play a part. If you’re at an imbalance here, you may want to consider making some shifts for the sake of your beard, and of course your overall wellbeing. 7 hours of sleep and a green leafy vegetable or two can go a long way.
VITAMINS ARE YOUR BEST FRIEND
If you’re willing to step it up, there are 4 essential vitamins you may want to consider adding to your diet.
-Biotin – Supplement that aids in the growth of hair.
-Folic acid – Stimulates and repairs molecules associated with hair growth.
-Pantothenic acid – Natural way of increasing testosterone levels.
-Niacin – Helps blood circulation to the face, essential for hair growth.
Biotin and Niacin can both be purchased at any chemist for next to peanuts. Folic acid can be found in green vegetables like spinach (get your Popeye on) and Pantothenic acid can be found in mushrooms, chicken and beef. Pantothenic acid can also be found in greasy fish like sardines, if you swing that way.
MAGIC BEARD SERUM?
As a last resort, there are brands out there with kits to help give your beard the intervening push along it may need. Our pick of the pick is Copenhagen Grooming. What’s so interesting here is the practical application of a tool that has been used for an age by dermatologists with proven efficacy. The Beard Roller a repurposed version of the Derma Roller, penetrates the top layer of skin, giving way to the generation of new hair follicles and calling on your body’s natural healing process, which for your face, means more collagen production. This paired with Copenhagen Grooming’s activating serum containing all natural ingredients could pave the way for your beard journey. Keep in mind, this is not a cure-all and may not be effective for you. The full set will set you back $125 AUD if you’re game.
IN CONCLUSION (TL;DR)
Bottom line is there is no magic pill you can take to grow a beard. Genetics and hormones play a roll, as do environmental factors and lifestyle choices. That being said though, you no longer have to feel stuck with the cards you were dealt. Actioning the steps listed above can see you on your way to becoming the gloriously bearded man you were always destined to be. Just be patient, be diligent and above all, enjoy the little successes. A couple new hairs may seem small, but it’s a sure sign you’re on the right path.