12 Proven Ways to Grow a Thicker Beard, Backed by Science

Daniel Bishop
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How fast does facial hair grow?

Facial hair grows at different rates, depending on your age, genetics and overall health. It grows at its fastest in your 20’s and slows down after the age of 40.

It’s genetically predetermined and while there are a number of chemicals that can stimulate hair growth, there is no magic solution to instant facial hair growth.

In this article, you will get some advice on how to grow thicker facial hair, backed by scientific studies.

Some of them are particularly effective in increasing beard density or thickness, while others are more related to the growth rate.

How long does it take to grow a beard?

Don’t rush it. If you expect full-on mountain man facial hair after a month or two, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Everyone grows facial hair at a different speed, with different thicknesses, curling patterns, and coarseness, so don’t put a stopwatch on it. There is no way to improve it beyond genetics and growth speed, except chemical treatments like minoxidil, and not everyone has the patience for that.

Be patient. As long as you’re staying healthy, eating well, and investing time in your developing beard, your effort will be rewarded.

Spectral.BRD and the Minoxidil beard

The first scientifically proven method of growing a thicker beard is a combined regimen that combines minoxidil beard growth serum with Spectral.BRD and DHT blockers in the form of Saw Palmetto.

The Spectral.BRD treatment is currently the only treatment in the world that has been proven by scientific study to grow a thicker beard than both minoxidil alone and a placebo.

In this study, conducted by the University of Southern Florida, both Spectral.BRD and Beardilizer provided better results than minoxidil alone (2% minoxidil foam) and a placebo.

The study found that men who combined Spectral.BRD and beardspray (both of which contain minoxidil) outperformed the placebo, coming closer to the results of minoxidil alone.

Spectral.BRD

A young neurosis?

Bearded men have suffered from facial discrimination for the last five years. Their beautiful beards are grown in captivity but are regarded with suspicion and mistrust. However, a new research paper might make things different.

"The evolution of the beard: why men grow beards and why women find them attractive" is a 2009 paper by Dr. Barnaby Dixson and Dr. Robert Brooks.

It has created some debate among experts, medical professionals, and beardless men.

Minoxidil (Rogaine)

Minoxidil is an antihypertensive vasodilator used for the treatment of high blood pressure and for the treatment of Male Pattern Baldness (MPB). It is a commonly available over-the-counter medication and is available from your local pharmacy.

A Minoxidil solution has been shown to be the most effective and efficient method of growing a thicker and fuller beard. 5% Minoxidil solutions are sold under the name Rogaine Beard, whereas 2% solutions are available over the counter.

Daily application of minoxidil requires approximately 6-12 weeks to show visible and measurable results. After this period of time, it is recommended that the user reduces the number of applications from 2 times to 1 time daily.

Before using Minoxidil, it is recommended that users perform a skin patch test to see if they are allergic.

The most effective application method has been found to be painting a thin layer of Rogaine on the beard area once a day.

The beard transplant: A permanent solution

A while back I decided to give my beard some more time to grow. I was aware I was in no way going to end up as the next shaggy hipster.

But I noticed I started looking better with a beard than without.

I discovered, a bit too late, that there was a science to growing a beard to the fullest.

Instead of letting go of my beard, I wanted to grow it bigger.

I went to my local marketplace and got some products for keeping the beard healthy. I knew they would help.

To give my efforts a decent boost, I started looking into natural advice for growing a thicker beard. I came across an alleged diet routine. It claimed to grow a beard over a period of 8 weeks, with no topical products.

But I did not want to shave – it’s no fun and the stakes were high. I decided to cut the beard short and start over.

The new beard grew rapidly, and I was happy with it. Proper diet and plenty of water had reaped its benefits. The beard looked thicker and more healthy than ever before.

This made me want to know more about growing a facial hair. I discovered that there was a lot of interesting information about the topic. It was not just about wearing a beard and looking cool.

How it works

As men age, testosterone levels will drop which usually results in some thinning of facial hair. Be that as it may, there are several independent studies that show a correlation between a larger beard and testosterone levels.

One of the reasons the relationship between testosterone and beard growth has been difficult to nail down is because the growth of facial hair can’t be measured by itself. It is extremely dependent on other factors that are involved in hair growth. One such factor would be androgenic hormone, which is responsible for promoting beard growth. If you have hair on your body, you know that the area of hair growth depends on the amount of androgenic hormones that are circulating in your system.

A research study conducted at Harvard University on this topic showed a drop in testosterone and an increase in androgenic hormone in their subjects.

When testosterone starts to drop in men, it results in thinner beards. However, androgenic hormone actually contributes to beard growth. If you increase the androgenic hormone levels in a man’s body, beard growth is increased and facial hair starts to grow in thicker as well!

The 2 types of beard transplants

There are 2 main kinds of beard transplants: Follicular Unit Transplant and Hair Plate Transplant.

Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)

Follicular Unit Transplantation is the most popular and successful form of beard transplant. In Follicular Unit Transplantation, the donor area is usually taken from the back of the head, but sometimes it can be taken from the sides (temporal region). The hair follicles are harvested one by one, and carefully transplanted into the recipient area. Hair follicles are then trimmed and placed under the skin and permanent sutures are used to hold the follicles into place. Since the donor area is large, a new hairline can be created to give the patient more facial balance and to make the transplant look more natural.

Hair Plate Transplantation

Hair Plate Transplantation is commonly used for smaller areas of hair transplant, such as eyebrow transplant. The donor area is shaved and is usually taken from the nape of the neck. The surgeon carefully cuts each hair into 1- to 4- inch-long grafts and implants these grafts into the area, one graft at a time. Each graft is implanted individually and then trimmed to match the size, shape, and density of the existing hair. This process can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 8 hours, so the hair transplant techniques that a surgeon has can have a huge impact on the cost.

Pre-surgery preparation

A visit to the plastic surgeon or a cosmetic dermatologist is planned prior to surgery, for evaluation, counseling and treatment. It is very important to be honest with the doctor and provide them with all the information that is required during this process. All medications must be stopped at least 2 weeks before surgery. This includes pain medications, vaccinations and blood thinners. It is important to let the doctor know about any allergies or sensitivities to medications as well. Dairy products need to be taken off of your diet as well as 48 hours prior to surgery. This is needed to allow the gas to pass out naturally and not get trapped under the skin.

While you're preparing your skin for surgery, you will need to take care of yourself as well. Being in the hospital can be stressful and you need to be prepared for it. Bring a movie or book with you as well as things you can do to relax such as reading your favorite magazines. Distract yourself or your children with these things to lessen the stress. Be prepared for your stay in the hospital by bringing something to sleep with as well as toiletries and any other things you will need.

Post-surgery

There’s no two ways about it, beards are awesome. I have one that I’m forced to keep shaven, and would still choose to have one had it not been for my job.

The more reasons we find to support the idea that beards are awesome, the better, and a study from the University of New Mexico (where else?) found a health benefit to beards.

Researchers call it a “health benefit” instead of an “eye-candy benefit” (which it is), and it’s all down to cortisol.

Cortisol is a hormone produced by glands in the adrenal cortex, and inthe US, they claim a five-day beard makes you look older.

Side effects

Beard growth is determined by several factors. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), referred to by researchers as a "sex hormone," is a strong contributing factor for discriminating against more body and facial hair. DHT is actually well known for inhibiting beard growth. From puberty onward, testosterone transforms into DHT, which inhibits beard growth. Once there's a significant change in testosterone and DHT levels, beard growth is inhibited.

The advantages of getting a beard transplant

Beard transplants can define your face and bring self-confidence instantly. An expert surgeon can transplant thick, dense hair follicles to bare patches in your beard, so you can get the beard that you always wanted since a long time ago.

However, as we said before, a beard transplant can be pricey. It is done under local anesthesia, so it does not hurt. But it also takes time for the surgery. In this regard, if you don’t have the time or just want to save money, you can use an alternative approach: beard growth supplements.

The disadvantages of a beard transplant

Before we get into the 12 proven ways to grow a thicker beard, let's talk about the potential downsides of a beard transplant. While they do have their advantages, transplants also have a few problems. In general, transplants aren't permanent. While most hair transplants last for a few years, they do tend to fall out over time. Not only that, but transplants only work to fill in spots. You can't get a beard transplant that just makes your beard thicker everywhere. However, with some of these proven ways to grow a thicker, fuller beard, that's exactly what you can do. And your beard transplant will blend right in with the rest of your new, thicker beard.

Taking supplements to enhance beard growth

Vitamin E has been shown to be effective for men with weak beards. As a fat soluble vitamin, the body stores about 90% of the Vitamin E that you ingest. For this reason, a steady intake of Vitamin E is necessary to see any results.

Vitamin E has also been shown to stimulate the shedding of dead skin cells, which allows for stronger beard growth. To take advantage of Vitamin E as a supplement, add the vitamin to coffee to increase absorption, or use a topical cream rich in the vitamin.

Reduce stress. All that extra cortisol is not doing your beard any favors.

High cortisol levels in the body, the stress hormone, cause hair loss in all cases, not just facial hair.

In studies with mice, the hormone was shown to cause significant amounts of facial hair loss. Decrease cortisol through meditation, regular exercise, and even reading fiction.

Secondly, ensure your diet contains zinc. A deficiency in zinc will cause the body to produce less testosterone and its cousin DHT, which stimulates hair growth in men. Foods high in zinc include barley, beans, cashews, dark chocolate, liver, oysters, pumpkin seeds, red meat, seafood, soybeans, and turkey.

Your brain gets clogged with cortisol when you are stressed so take steps to cut stress from your life.

Beard oil: The magic elixir

For fuller, healthier looking beards.

According to Indiana University, two essential oils in particular are believed to help stimulate hair follicles: bergamot (which smells like a blend between grapefruit and lemon) and lavender (which has a woody, floral smell).

If you do a quick search on Amazon for men’s beard oil, you’ll find there are hundreds, if not thousands, of options available.

Unfortunately, many of them are written by people who are just reselling the products with little or no real knowledge of them. So you’re left with dozens of poor reviews and little to no actual guidance.

That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you by finding beard oils that are cheap, high-quality, and are loved by customers.

Grow a thicker beard by giving it time to grow

This is probably the most important – and most disappointing – fact of beard growth.

While genes play a huge role in determining how thick your beard will be, you can only control how long it takes to get there.

Your body is able to rapidly grow new hair from your hair follicles, but it can not make a follicle produce more hair.

The exact time it takes to grow from stubble to a full beard is different for everyone.

Some guys grow a full beard in just a few months, while others may need to grow it for a few years to get the same growth.

Week 1

Week one to four, start taking biotin supplements.

Increasing the natural production of sebum with sebostatic agents such as vitamin E, zinc, iron, biotin, egg yolks, and silica is the most reliable method of hair growth.

It is thought that the increase in sebum production starts to open the pores of the skin, better preparing your follicles for the growth of new hair.

Vitamin E and biotin are easily incorporated into most people’s diet, all you have to do is start taking supplements.

Taking vitamin E supplements can also help your hair become stronger, thicker, and less dry.

There are too many benefits to taking biotin for us to go into detail here. Just make sure you do not take more than the recommended amounts. Excessive amounts will not speed the process along any more, it will simply make you ill.

Results should start to appear in as little as a couple of weeks. Be consistent and be patient, the results are worth it.

Week 2

Eggs: Consuming eggs will help nourish your hair follicles. This is important because it gives them the nutrients necessary for growth. Eggs are also inexpensive, which is great for people trying to save their money. Research has shown that people who ate an egg-rich diet saw a 23 percent improvement in hair growth. Spinach: Spinaak is rich in lutein. Lutein acts as an antioxidant in the body and in hair follicles. Carrots, pumpkin, celery, sweet potato, and pineapple: These are all healthy foods high in vitamin A. For hair growth, they will increase blood flow to the scalp, which will promote healthy hair growth. Spinach: As mentioned before, spinach can help fight against hair loss. Beets: These are rich in nitrates, and when consumed can help your body get more blood to your head. Your hair follicles will grow faster. Potassium: Potassium is important in the body for muscles, nerves, and for fluid balance. It can also be found in avocados, bananas, spinach, and other leafy green vegetables. Nuts: Nuts are rich in biotin. Biotin stimulates hair growth. Alcohol: According to experts, you should not abuse alcohol. However, a little bit of alcohol can help prevent male pattern baldness.

Week 3

Facial Hair Growth Factors

Let’s talk about the factors that’ll accelerate your beard’s growth. Here’s how this all works: Your beard naturally grows in a specific pattern. What’s most important during the early stages is the energy for growth. That energy is supplied by a substance called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is converted into other hormones such as testosterone.

DHT is recognized by the dermal papilla (more on that later) and is converted into testosterone … which stimulates growth. DHT also plays a role in the conversion of adipose tissue (storage for energy) into cartilage and collagen, which in turn is used to build connective tissue, muscle, and bone.

That is why testosterone is not the only substance required for a thick beard. Other hormones are also essential:

DHT

Di Piero explains, “Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) controls the determination of adult tissues (connective tissue, cartilage or bone) from their embryonic precursors, and its production increases in several areas of the face following their injury.”

Week 4

Reverse Your 'Honest Patchy-Beard'

Okay, you've received some good advice week-to-week thanks to our well-researched 'beard science' and you're not exclusively relying on F-it cream, Chinese herbs and pyramid power to justify your failed attempts of growing a great beard.

This is the best place to be, because we are bumping up beard care from functional to cosmetic… Next week we begin the multi-week process of reclaiming that beard line.

If you finished week three feeling on top of the world, then well done, you've done well. But for the rest of us, getting to this point after the first 3 weeks can leave you feeling deflated.

The fact is we could all be doing better, so whatever you've been doing, or not doing, up until this point, might not be getting you the kind of results you've been hoping for.

Don't be afraid to try something new or different and try your best to eliminate product and tool dependency for a few months: mix things up in your routine and address your beard in a new way.

Because despite what you may have been told, you probably haven't been doing something wrong, you've just been doing something average (or better for that matter).

But average buys you the same unsatisfying mediocrity that everyone else's version of normal produces; you want exceptional.

Diet

A healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle go a long way towards growing a healthy beard. Different nutrients are responsible for different stages of facial hair growth, and studies have proven that altering the diet you eat can greatly affect the rate of beard growth. Take for example biotin. Biotin (also known as Vitamin H) is a nutrient that is necessary for the body to metabolize protein and fat, and it's been proven to help in hair growth. Foods that are known to have high amounts of the compound include nuts, beans, eggs, and banana, and you should consume these foods often if you want to grow a great beard.

Folic acid is another essential part of the diet that has profound effects on facial hair health, and it's found in green leafy vegetables, legumes, and dark leafy greens.

Wait, did we mention exercise? That's right, even working up a sweat can help you grow a thicker beard. The most important exercise for growing a beard is of course brushing it, and it's been proven that brushing is crucial for many things, including increasing circulation and blood flow, fighting off wrinkles and skin blemishes, encouraging hair growth, and protecting the hair follicles from damage.

If you don't know what you should and shouldn't be eating if you want to grow a more impressive beard, then we suggest you find a trusted source online, or read the next resource below.

Foods for vitamin A and Beta A carotene

Vitamin A and Beta-carotene are essential vitamins for healthy hair growth. Let’s take a look at some foods you can consume to make your beard grow more and thicker naturally.

  • Sweet Potato- Have sweet potatoes with dinner every night. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A and beta-carotene.
  • Egg Yolks- If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, then lunch comes in a close second. Include 8 to 12 egg yolks every day in your diet. This will provide your body with the needed ingredients to grow a fuller, thicker and healthier beard.
  • Beef Liver- A diet that is low in iron and vitamin B12 will result in hair loss and breakage. This is one reason why bodybuilders and athletes are often plagued by hair loss. In order to get both iron and vitamin B12 into their system, many of these individuals consume beef liver occasionally.
  • Salmon- One of nature’s healthiest foods, salmon is a rich source of vitamin E and D. Both of these nutrients are essential for maintaining healthy hair.

Protein-rich foods

The hair is made from keratin, a protein.

Proteins are made from amino acids, and amino acids are made from protein. While the amino acids you get in meat are also present in non-meat foods, meat is the only source of complete proteins.

According to Swanson, a burger patty, beef steak or chicken breast are best for supporting beard growth. Fish and Dairy have a high amount of protein as well. However, they do not fit the rule of "complete proteins," making it harder to grow and maintain a beard.

Never Skip Breakfast

Breakfast will help your body with proper digestion, and can help you feel more energized throughout the day.

In addition, studies show that people who consistently eat breakfast have a lower incidence of diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and other conditions.

Nuts and Seeds

These goodies are packed with essential fats and protein, and an adequate intake of these nutrients has been proven to improve the function of your hair follicles.

Burgers, steaks, and chicken are great sources of protein, but nuts and seeds are the number one source for the omega-9 fatty acids that promote the growth of hair.

Add Some Spinach to Your Smoothie

Caffeine also contains nutrients that stimulate hair growth.

Foods containing vitamin C and E

Zinc, and magnesium, for example, will make your beard stronger. Recent studies have confirmed that beards can absorb these nutrients. In the same study, researchers found a correlation between the consumption of alcoholic drinks and the rate of facial hair growth. The vitamin B found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can improve your circulation and stimulate the growth of facial hair. Finally, monosaturated fatty acids found in grape, olive, and flaxseed oil have been found to nourish your hair and beard.

Omega-3 fatty acids

You probably already know that the best source for these fatty acids is oily fish, but why is this important for your beard?

These fatty acids can help reduce inflammation and aid in the relief of skin irritation, too. If you suffer from dry, itchy skin, or even skin that becomes irritated after shaving, you should definitely take a look at your omega-3 intake.

One study, published in the European Journal of Dermatology looked at the effect of dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids on hair growth. The group received additional omega-3 fatty acids for the first 6 months, and then the group serving as the control got no supplementation for the remaining 6 months.

At the end of the study, the men in the supplementation group saw significant improvements in hair growth, including improvement in beard growth.

We know that facial hair can be difficult to grow, so any extra help to increase hair growth is very welcome.

Foods containing vitamins B6, B12, and biotin

The top foods that promote beard growth are foods containing vitamins B6, B12, and biotin.

Vitamin B6 promotes skin inflammation, which is important for hair growth.

Vitamin B12 plays an important role in maintaining keratin growth, which is what your hair is made of.

Biotin is good for your skin and hair because it strengthens the hair follicles, which makes them grow faster.

Poultry, pork, salmon, and avocado contain vitamin B6. Eggs, milk, and nuts contain vitamin B12. Nuts, fish, and whole grains contain biotin.

Interesting enough, vitamin D is also a mighty promoter of healthy hair growth.

Nuts, egg yolks, and milk all have concentrated amounts of vitamin D.

Exercise and its benefits for beard growth

Exercise really is good for growing a thicker, fuller beard.

When you exercise your body produces testosterone and human growth hormone (HGH). Both of these have a positive effect on your beard because testosterone promotes facial hair growth and HGH is responsible for hair growth in general.

If you’re looking for a more specific explanation for these hormones just think about puberty, doing push ups and squats are going to cause your body to produce more testosterone and make it easier for your body to produce more HGH.

Being overweight or obese reduces testosterone levels and increases estrogen levels. Estrogen has an opposite effect of testosterone and inhibits its production.

Just 20 minutes of cardio a day can have a noticeable effect on your beard.

If you aren’t ready to exercise regularly you don’t have to force yourself. If you are looking for immediate results start by simply walking more or finding an alternative way to work out.

Those who are overfat or obese can still benefit from exercise. Even if you aren’t overweight you can still benefit from exercise and it will make it easier to lose weight in the future. Accumulating fat can also reduce the amount of testosterone that is produced.

So the less fat on your body the more testosterone you will have and the more testosterone you have the better your beard will grow.

Reduce stress

By giving yourself a massage.

A lot of men encounter and combat stress with alcohol, which is a bad idea, but does make them feel better for a few minutes. A much better alternative is to develop a stress-relieving hobby.

Focusing on your mind is more constructive than tacking your stress with a drink. Yoga is a great way to keep your body and mind in check.

Similar to yoga, a lot of people enjoy meditating.

Meditation is becoming increasingly popular as a stress management tool. In fact, it’s something that’s being taught in schools now. Learn these useful techniques and reap the benefits many other people have obtained!

Another method to reduce excess stress is by developing a hobby.

When you have an interest in something beyond your daily grind, relaxation will come naturally. Paint, take photos or even start writing again. Playing an instrument is another possibility. Anything that takes your focus away from your tough day at work is fine. No matter how stressful your job is, it’s usually not hard to find a hobby that will help you relax. You might even learn something that you can apply to your career.

Take in the sun.

That’s right, get yourself a tan. Stress levels can decrease after about 20 minutes in the sun.

Sunlight has antidepressant qualities.

Getting more rest

No surprises here. If you want to grow a thicker beard, you need to recognize the importance of rest.

Sleep is the time when your body recovers from all of your daily activities and stress. Losing out on one or two hours of sleep each night causes your testosterone levels to drop.

Besides, there’s nothing that prevents your body from producing the maximum amount of testosterone than a night’s rest.

So, if you want to have fuller facial hair, make sure that you’re getting at least seven hours of sleep each night.

While you sleep, your body is busy producing a plethora of anabolic hormones to help you recover.

Building a thicker beard through hormone therapy

Some men choose to take hormone supplements, such as testosterone, which help to grow facial hair.

However, there is currently limited evidence supporting the efficacy and safety of this approach.

Testosterone is a hormone that is naturally present in both men and women.

Through a process called organification, testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone to specifically affect beard hair. Once dihydrotestosterone is present, it causes the beard follicle to stop producing hair; it will then grow again in a new cycle.

In order to be effective, hormone therapy must be frequent and reliable.

Microneedling and beard growth

Microneedling is known to stimulate hair growth. I’ve been doing this for years on my face, and a couple times on my beard.

The Dermaroller I use is a 0.5 mm. Head and it’s good for restoring healthy microvasculature in the skin. It causes microtrauma under the skin, which activates repair mechanisms and draws some blood to the area. It’s similar to a tattoo, which is essentially a type of permanent, semi-induced injury.

In the case of a beard, the idea is to promote beard growth via damage to the skin, which triggers an inflammatory response. The body then responds to these inflammatory signals by increasing blood flow to the area. An increased blood flow to the hair follicles of the skin results in a transient increase in local temperature, which is the last known necessary environmental signal for triggering the final steps in beard growth.

Dermaroller also help in beard growth by smoothening the skin and loosening skin cells in the hair follicles. It’s like exfoliating, but the skin cells end up staying in the follicle. It makes it easier for cells and energy to flow into the hair follicle, and seem to help people who can’t grow facial hair.

Using beard dye to enhance your beard’s appearance

Beard dyes give you the advantage of turning a thin and patchy beard into a complete, thick mane. However, beards dyes will work best if you already have grown a noticeable stubble or patchy beard.

If you have a full beard, feel free to skip this part. On the other hand, if you want to improve the appearance of your beard, you may want to go in for beard dyes.

The procedure is pretty simple. You apply the dye directly to your beard and allow it to penetrate the hair follicles while it also gives your beard a different color.

The dye doesn’t have to be permanent, and you can always wash it off at any time.

Here are the best ways to get the best results when it comes to a beard dye.

Conclusion

In this book, you have learned that a beard is not just a facial accessory, but rather an integral part of a man’s body. We have shown you that the length of the beard, genetics and age are some reasons behind why a man grows a beard. You also learned that it is vital to keep it well-groomed since it is an old fashion that attracts many women in nowadays. We revealed that a beard can be a good indicator of the man’s status and family ties. Moreover, we have also discussed the benefits and disadvantages for having a beard, and we have prepared a guide for the best beard type for your face. We have also provided you some methods to grow a beard faster and thicker, which are all backed by science.