Growing a beard is an admirable goal for any man. Whether you're going for something trim and sleek or a full fatherly beard, a beard can make you look older, more refined, and accent your face in a flattering way. However, not every man grows the same beard. Many have been frustrated that their beard doesn't grow in fast enough or doesn't grow in a pattern that you'd prefer for the style you want to take on.
That's perfectly normal. Beard growth varies depending on age, health, family, and ethnicity. Beard growth begins around puberty and many men experience their first whiskers of mustache and chin hairs before their 15th birthday while others are in their 20s before noticeable growth begins. From there, your beard may grow quickly or slowly, something that is determined mostly by your genetics. Some men have full beards before they are 18, some will always have just a few whiskers. The pattern of your beard growth also depends on lineage. As you may have noticed, only some guys get the full 'mountain man' sideburns while some guys naturally grow that sleek patterned look with 'sculpted' divets around the cheek and mouth.
What Causes Beard Growth?
Because beard growth starts around puberty, it's easy to guess that rate and thickness of facial hair growth is largely based on testosterone. Though where your beard grows will always be based on genetics alone. For most men in their early to mid-adulthood, daily testosterone levels range between 265 to 916 nanograms-per-deciliter (ng/dL) of testosterone in the bloodstream. This represents about the 3rd through 98th percentile for testosterone.
Beard growth can also be influenced by one's health and the quality of your skin. Having ingrown hairs and clogged hair follicles certainly don't help your beard come in fully. This is why both exfoliation and moisturization are important to help your beard grow as fully as it naturally can.
How to Increase Beard Growth
So you want a fuller beard than you have today. That is totally doable, to a point. Remember that your beard will only grow where it naturally grows, but you can increase the fullness and rate of hair growth in your beard-zone.
Increase Testosterone by Working Out
The best thing you can do is to naturally boost your testosterone. Don't worry, you don't need hormone treatment for this, and hormone treatment only helps guys with clinically low testosterone anyway. Testosterone is what makes it possible for guys to build more muscle, and harder muscle, than women. It's what makes you feel pumped, it's what drives your libido. It also makes you grow body hair, including the beard.
You can boost your testosterone by doing manly things, mainly working out. Building muscles, especially in an intense way like lifting weights, can boost your testosterone as your body gears up to bulk up. Try varying when you work out during the day, as your testosterone level also varies during the day. Focusing on building muscle and body-shaping is a great way to encourage testosterone and get healthy at the same time.
Increase Testosterone with a Healthy Lifestyle
You can also improve your diet to boost testosterone. Body fat can lower your testosterone, and you need a healthy balance of vitamins and minerals to keep your hormones in balance as well. Focus on lean proteins, high-iron foods, whole grains, and every color of vegetables to get the full range of nutrients your body needs. Zinc is especially helpful with testosterone and beard growth. You might also find that focusing on the B-suite of vitamins and folic acid help, as they are helpful with all hair growth.
Make Way for New Hair with Facial Care
Finally, be sure to keep your face clean and moisturized. Healthy skin with clear pores and clear hair follicles is more ready to welcome new beard growth than clogged pores or stiffly dry skin. Beard oil also helps your beard looking great while caring for the skin underneath. The better you take care of your face with exfoliants and moisturizers, the better shape your beard-zone will be when those new hairs start sprouting. Don't worry, there's some great manly facial care products out there that will be just the right balance of cleansing and moisturizing without leaving you smelling like a flower garden.