The Men’s Attitude is reader-supported! We might get a small commission if you purchase something after clicking our links, at no extra charge for you.
So you’ve decided to embrace the wild man within and grow a beard. You maybe have gotten bored with your baby’s face and want to look older or just feel adventurous; to be honest, it doesn’t matter!
All that matters is that you’ve made the right choice, and there is no turning back.
But you should know that there are a few important things you’ll have to consider, especially if this is your first beard and you don’t know much about how to grow it properly.
What you should do is take a look at this article and learn how to grow your beard, what tools you should use, and avoid making rookie mistakes. You will also learn what to expect during the whole process and why sometimes you will feel like shaving your beard off.
Let’s start from the basics!
The Basic Problems of Growing a Beard for the first time
I bet you already know that growing a beard requires you to put down the razor for a few weeks. But what else should you expect? Here is a snapshot of what your growth experience may look like.
Determination, Acceptance, and Genetics
You probably think your determination will be enough to get the luscious beard of your dreams. But this is far from true; the truth is that genetics is the number one factor that affects how fast your beard grows and what it will look like when it gets long. Unfortunately, regardless of how hard they try, some guys will never see a full beard. We don’t say that to prevent you from growing a beard. We just state the facts. We are here to help to get the beard of your dreams, but you will need patience and consistency.
Speaking of consistency, it is important to enter the beard game with a full understanding of how long it takes to grow a beard. In reality, it takes at least four weeks for beard hair to reach a decent state, but for some men, six weeks is the golden number for a short beard. As mentioned, it depends on your growth rate.
The Dread of Week One
The first week is probably the most tiring and discouraging week of them all. It is during week 1 that initial growth takes on, and the appearance of extra dirt on your face with the itching can drive you to the brink of craziness. You may feel inclined to pick up a razor and shave, but please resist the urge. This week will soon pass, and you will start seeing your patience’s benefits.
There Will Be Itching
Skin dryness always leads to some discomfort that typically manifests with itchiness. Deciding to leave your beard hair untouched for weeks will cause the skin beneath to dry out, which will inevitably lead to a bit of scratching here and there. The best thing to do during the itching stage is to invest in good beard oil, as it will soothe and moisturize your skin and relief you from itching.
Read our beard oil reviews and learn more.
Get Ready For the Comments
While many of your friends will encourage you to get on the wild side, others will probably be a bit judgemental. You need to develop a thick skin and realize that some people won’t like your new look. You should also keep in mind that you are doing that for yourself, and you should not give a f** about negative comments. No one said that growing a beard for the first time is easy, but as long as you are comfortable with your look, who cares what others think or say?
Still, having a support system around to encourage you doesn’t hurt. Remember, your beard needs at least one month to grow into what could be the first version of the beard you’ve always envisioned. Your support system can keep you accountable on days you feel like trimming.
How to Grow A Beard For the First Time: 7 Actionable Tips!!!
Genetics has a lot to do with your beard growth pattern, but biology isn’t the only factor affecting growth. In this article, we are not going to talk about how to grow a beard faster or fill that patchy spot. We have a whole article dedicated to this matter that you can read here. What we will do instead is give you some tips that will help your beard reach its full potential. But before we talk about these tips, keep in mind that shaving won’t make your beard grow faster or thicker, so please leave that razor down.
1. Wash your Beard Regularly But don’t Overdo it
You’re not giving your beard the full purifying experience it needs when you just throw some water on it while washing your face. Long beards require frequent shampoo sessions (every other day or less). And when we say shampoo, we mean the best beard shampoo you can get. Regular shampoos contain chemicals that will strip off your beard’s natural oils, leaving it weak and dry, so you definitely need a good beard shampoo.
2. Use a Beard Conditioner
If conditioning your beard sounds extreme, you may not be ready to plunge into the beard world. Read our beard conditioner review guide and come back to this article.
Unless you want your mane to appear unkempt and, quite frankly, dried out, you need to develop a conditioning drill that includes deep moisturizing sessions at least once per week.
If you have fine hair, you will be fine by conditioning once or twice per week due to your beard’s ability to absorb and retain moisture. But if you have more coarse hair, you should do it more often, as dryness can lead to serious knots that can threaten your beard’s health.
Using beard oil or beard butter is the best way to condition your beard and skin cause they will eliminate the itchiness and will keep your beard hydrated.
3. Know When to Trim Your Beard
Your first trim will be after a couple of months of growth and will probably be the hardest. Not only will you be faced with the emotions associated with saying goodbye to the hair you have watched growing all this time, but you will also need to refrain from going overboard with it. You should only look to get rid of excess hair that does not fit in with the overall shape of your beard. Please be careful and do not cut everything; just shape your beard to get the style you want.
4. Watch what you Eat and Drink
Many guys do not realize the impact nutrition and exercise have on beards. Following a diet and exercise plan can help grow a thicker, fuller beard.
You need to eat foods high in protein, such as red meat, whole eggs (raw), fish (tilapia and salmon), and chicken (with skin). You should also eat nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Finally, foods like flaxseed oil, fish oil, or vitamin e that have the nutrients your beard needs.
Water is also very important. Drink about ten glasses of water daily to help with your hydration and body functions. Your body needs water to function properly, which means more nutrients and oxygen for your hair follicles too!
Please do not want to go heavy on alcohol because it contains sulfites that prevent collagen production for your skin, including your hair follicles, and as a result, it will slow down your growth.
Related Article: 15 Foods That Help With Beard Growth [Backed By Science]
5. Exercise a bit
When talking about exercise, we mean weight training. Strength training can help with facial hair growth because it boosts your testosterone levels, leading to thicker, fuller beards.
Exercise also increases the amount of blood that is going around your body, and as a result, you will have healthier cells moving oxygen and nutrients into your beard follicles which also helps them grow thicker and faster.
So you need a good workout plan to help your beard grow that will include strength training, cardio, and, most importantly, water!
6. Get Good Rest
Do not forget about sleep. If you are not getting enough sleep, it can cause your body’s hormone levels to crash and prevent facial hair growth. Aim for about 8 hours a night if possible, and be sure to get at least 6 hours.
7. Stress Less
Another good tip is to stop stressing. Stress reduces the testosterone in your body, which leads to reduced facial hair growth. So make sure you relax and try not to stress out too much.
Things like playing sports, Yoga, deep breathing exercises, or even listening to music can provide relief from daily stressors. Exercise also helps by releasing endorphins which not only reduce stress but make you happy too.
The 5 Stages of Beard Growth
Stage 1: The Beginning
The greatest challenge during this stage is doing nothing. You will have to watch your facial hair develop without plucking, trimming, or shaving for the next month. All you have to do is to keep your beard moisturized by applying beard oil.
Stage 2: The Awkward Phase
The second stage of beard development is a bit awkward. Since facial hair grows in waves, you may have rough patches until everything is in place. The good news is that this period lasts for a short time. You will find satisfaction in conducting a mini trim (to clean the neck and checks) during this time but refrain from going overboard. Remember, you have just spent four weeks watching your facial hair develop. You don’t want to put yourself back at square one by cutting too much hair on your first trim.
Stage 3: The Itchiness
Itchiness will be way worse during the third stage. Facial hair tends to block the sun’s rays from getting to the skin it is covering. Dryness ultimately leads to irritability that manifests in the form of constant itching. Using beard oils and balms during the third stage is the best way to alleviate the annoyance of itchy skin. You should also keep your beard and the surrounding area clean to prevent dandruff which leads to even more irritation.
Stage 4: It’s Official
Congratulations, you’ve made it through the most awkward parts of beard growth, and now you have arrived at the mature stage. Phase four is when all of the patchiness disappears, and the results begin to show. The texture, color, and volume of your beard become evident and gives you the confidence you need to face the world. Now is a great time to proudly show off your beard to friends and family and start thinking about the beard style you want to get
Stage 5: Decision Time
This stage of your beard-growing experience is when things get interesting. You’ve probably come full circle regarding fullness and shape. Some guys think that at this stage, you should shave. We totally disagree; now is the time to think if your beard is like you thought it would be and if you look better with it. In our opinion, this is the stage you should experiment with different beard styles. You might not like the full beard, but there are hundreds of beard styles, like the ducktail beard, and I bet some of them suit you. You can read our complete guide on how to choose a beard style based on your face type to get some ideas.
Beard Grooming Tools
Maintaining a beard requires the right products and tools. Here are the most common tools that will help you grow a beard for the first time and maintain it.
A beard comb is essential for your beard.
A handmade, high-quality comb will help keep your beard looking good and tangle-free.
The best material is wood because it does not slip or crack as plastic combs can. It also helps keep your hair oiled, which means healthier hair and a thicker, fuller beard.
Combing your beard regularly also helps remove dead skin cells and dirt, which can clog pores and reduce thickness.
So comb your beard! It will help you look good and feel good.
You can read how to comb your beard here.
A pair of small scissors never hurt anyone. Scissors should be used when you want to cut flyaway hairs and split ends. They are the old-fashioned way of shaping up a beard and the most viable option when you have a long beard.
Perhaps you reached the final phase of beard growth and decided that long facial hair is not the best option. Maintaining a short beard may be ideal, and you’ll need a special trimmer to pull off the look. The best beard trimmers come with guards that correspond to your desired length, which makes it easier for you to get the design that you want.
They are used for maintaining shorter and longer beards but also work wonders for styling the cheek lines and necklines.
A good beard oil will help you keep your beard and skin underneath hydrated and healthy. There are many types of oils available on the market that all do different things.
You should choose one that is good for your skin type, beard length, and hair growth. It should be a natural oil that contains only essential oils and carrier oils.
Next, you need to know how often to use it. If you wash your beard every day, you should apply oil daily to keep the hair moisturized.
After you get some experience, you can always make your own DIY oil recipe that works best for you!
Beards need care, just like the hair on your head, and if you don’t start taking care of it now, things can get out of control!
First-time beard grower’s Mindset
As aforementioned, you will receive mixed comments about your beard. Many people quit the process a few days in because of the negative comments that are sometimes judgmental and outright rude. Your mindset must be different to achieve success in your quest for long facial hair.
Your decision to think outside of the box creates a fashion statement that most people in your circle of friends would never do.
Growing a beard is not for the weak-minded. You must be patient with the process and realize that perfection is not a fact of life. Follow your decision and make sure to enjoy every stage of it. It will be just a funny memory when you get the beard you like and remember the early stages and how anxious you felt. And always keep in mind that healthy living is key when you are trying to grow a beard.
Russell is the founder of themensattitude.com. He is a barber a beard enthusiast and he is obsessed with trying men’s lifestyle products and blog about them. If you have any questions you can hit him up via the contact page.