This is a fun one. Will your beard grow faster if you shave it? Probably all guys know some friends that have told you this. I can easily remember a few mates that have told me this. Especially in my early days in my beard-growing-phase.
So, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss this topic a bit, will your beard grow faster if you shave it?
I’ll save you some reading, no it does not, and I’ll explain why below, and what you can do to best optimize your beard growth. There are a few key things you need to consider.
Beard growth phases
To better understand if the beard grows faster if you shave it, is incorrect we need to talk a bit about the beard and hair growth phases.
We have three phases, anagen, catagen, telogen and lastly exogen.
In short; anagen is the growing phase, catagen is the regression phase, telogen is the resting phase and exogen is the shedding phase.
You could say that the Anagen phase is the primary growing phase. During this phase, your hair follicles are pushing out hairs that will continue to grow up until you shave it, or when they fall out by the end of their lifespan.
It’s common to think that shaving your beard makes it thicker. This is probably due to our youth when it just started to grow, and when you first shaved your few beard hairs it came back thicker. This is most likely due to the fact that you were in your anagen phase. The hairs had just started to develop and you were slowly making you way towards the next phase in hair growth.
The Catagen phase takes place after the Anagen phase. During this period your hair follicles shrink and you can most likely find that your beard growth somewhat slows down a bit. During this phase, your hairs are slowly separating from the bottom of your hair follicle. This doesn’t mean that your hairs will start to pop out, just that you’re transitioning to the telogen phase.
Another word for the Telogen phase is what you could say as the resting phase. During this period of time, the hairs will not grow, however, they do not fall out either. They are more or less just there to make you look pretty, convenient right? The Telogen phase lasts for about 3 months, and more or less waiting to get new hairs to grow in the follicle.
This is when you start seeing hairs drop out of your beard. You may also call this the shedding phase. A lot of people get this confused with beard dandruff. Beard dandruff may cause beard hair to fall off, but during the Exogen-phase, this is completely normal. This just means that your hair follicle will start off from the beginning, the Anagen phase.
How fast does your beard grow?
The average beard grows about ½ inch per month, translating to about 1-2 centimeter for my European friends. As you might expect, this differs from a lot of people depending on what genes you’ve been blessed with, and how good you are at taking care of that glorious, soon to be beard.
If you do take good care of your beard, by using moisturizing oils, proper nutrition and a good amount of exercise, you will set yourself up for the best possible way of succeeding having that glorious beard.
Is it better to shave or let your beard grow?
If a guy came up to me and asked me if he should shave his beard, guess what my answer would be?
No.Rikard, anno 2020
There are a few possible scenarios I see that could lead up to me recommending a full shave or a huge trim of the beard. One is that you’ve somehow messed up so completely, that your only option is to start over. Thankfully this has never happened to me yet, but I’ve been pretty close!
The other scenario I see is that if you’ve gotten a rash or beard dandruff that just has gotten out of hand. Otherwise, why would you want to shave off the thing that you’re trying so hard to grow out and make you look more masculine?
Speed up the growth of your beard
Fear not, there are things you can do to speed up the growth of your beard. However, I’d like to point out that there are no miracle serums to get your beard to magically grow at a faster pace. There are things you can do to best optimize your hair, skin, and body to get the best possible results. I’ve listed below the key topics I’ve found works the best for me
Our body is like every other vehicle we use. If we don’t put the correct gasoline, diesel, oil, or even electricity nowadays, it does not run as smoothly as we want it. The same goes for our bodies.
Do you remember the movie “supersize me”?, if not I suggest you go watch it! The movie addresses health topics regarding to just eating fast food and how it affects the person’s body. In short, if you eat crap, you’ll end up feeling like crap. Well, your beard and hair are dependent on what you put in your mouth. Try to choose healthy alternatives while cooking, and be sure to top up your diet with some kind of fruits, vegetables, or maybe even supplements.
I’ve written a post in great detail about this topic. I’d suggest you give it a read if you want to know more about what foods, vitamins, and minerals you should aim for. The link for that article can be found here!
This is a recurring product we talk about on this page. If you are to grow your beard out, you need to take care of both the hair on your face, and your skin underneath.
If you do not, you will end up with an awful itch at some point, and you will consider why you started to grow a beard in the first place. If your skin is not nourished enough, you could even start to experience increased hair fall-out. And that is something we want to avoid at all costs.
So, what’s the “easy” fix? Beard Oil or Beard Balm! There are tons of beard oils on the market and I’ve written an in-depth article about DIY beard oils in this post. In that post, I talk about what properties each specific beard oil contains to best suit your needs. I can highly recommend the ones I’ve listed above in this post. Give them a try!
I would argue that you should have both Beard Oil and Beard Balm in your cabinet. I Have about a 4-inch beard at this point writing this post, and I use both depending on what mood I am in. I use Beard Oil when I feel my skin is pretty dry, and I use Beard Balm more for styling since I have a pretty curly beard. This becomes especially noticeable when we have humid days here, and my hairs are frizzing up. Beard Balm helps to tame it to some extent.
As talked about above, Beard Balm has more use for styling your beard. However, there are quite a few Beard Balms on the market, each with different properties just like Beard Oils.
If you look in your barbers’ store, you will probably find Beard Balms that are “max hold”, “medium hold” etc. This, of course, means that they have a different mix of ingredients. If you have a longer beard, I would say that try using Beard Balm to nurses your beard. And if needed, top up with Beard Oil to calm your skin down.
Pro-tip, if you want me to write an in-depth article on how to make your own beard balm, let me know in the comments on drop me an e-mail!
Condition of your skin for beard growth
If you want your beard to grow faster, you need to give your skin the right conditions for your beard to grow.
Imagine a farmer planting his seeds. If the soil is not properly taken care of and given the right nourishment, the seeds will not turn into vegetables and all the fruits of your labor will be for nothing. If you have a thick beard you may get away with it, but you will probably have an itch like never before. It will probably still look pretty decent, but you will not end up having that majestic and shiny looking beard.
So we’ve established that there is no miracle cure. There are a few key factors that come into play when growing a beard.
- Growth phases (depending on your age for example)
- Food intake and vitamins
- Beard Oil
- Beard Balm
- The condition of your skin.
If you aim to keep yourself healthy and your face is taken care of, you will probably see the results on your face. Keep in mind that growing a beard is a long process, and it will take you a while. Especially if you have a lesser beard growth.
But remember, if you keep growing your beard long enough, you can pretty much get away with having a thinner beard. The length will act as a sort of comb-over your patchy areas, and could still very well pay off.
So, give it a go! What do you have to lose? 😉
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