If you shave regularly, you're on track to spend roughly 3,350 hours of your life in front of the bathroom mirror. That's a lot of time that you could put to other uses.
Let's look at what you need to know to get the most effective beard growth.
Decide on a Beard Style
One of the luxuries of growing a beard is that you don't need to do anything special to get started. All it takes is to stop shaving and you're on your way.
It's not a bad idea to have some idea of your end goal in mind when you get started though. Do you want to keep your beard trimmed to a few days' worth of stubble or are you shooting for ZZ Top-style terminal growth?
Beard growth isn't measured in inches, it's measured in time. Do you want to shoot for a 1-month, 3-month, or 6-month beard? Or are you going for the "yeard" by letting it grow for an entire year? Or do you want to aim for the ultimate beard and go for terminal growth - the maximum length you can grow?
If you've never grown a beard before, you might not know how your beard grows or how long you want it to get. That's okay too. Get started and see where it takes you.
It Takes Patience to Grow a Beard
The most important factor in growing a beard is having patience. It takes time to grow a beard, especially if you're aiming for a longer style. Some guys' beards grow faster than others but no matter how fast it grows, you'll have to put up with some frustrations at the beginning.
One of the most annoying is the itchiness. When you shave, the razor blade cuts your whiskers at an angle which creates sharp points on the hairs. This isn't much of a problem when you keep your face clean-shaven but when you start to grow your beard out, those sharp points can cause itchiness until it gets past a certain length.
You might also get comments from people around you when you start growing your beard and those comments aren't always positive. Don't let negative comments derail your plans, it won't be long before those "you look like a hobo" comments turns into "wow, that beard looks great."
You Still Need to Shave
When you first start growing a beard, one of the nice side effects is the time you save by not having to shave every day or two. That won't always be the case though. To keep your beard looking good, you'll still have to do some shaving.
When you start growing your beard, it's best not to trim it at all for the first four weeks or so. Let it grow naturally so you get a feel for how your beard will fill in.
Once you get a decent amount of growth, you should trim it and shave your cheeks and neck to give it some definition.
Shave your cheek lines to tighten up the shape to how the hair fills in on your face. Use the natural shape of your beard as a guide or pick up a beard shaping tool to use as a template for the shape of your cheek line.
Letting your beard grow naturally is fine if you don't mind it looking a little out-of-control for a while but if you want it to look neat and tidy, the neckline is important. Trim your beard evenly to give it a U-shape under your chin and trim it up from the lowest points.
A good guideline is to put two fingers above your Adam's apple and trim the beard to that point. It should end up being roughly the point where your neck meets your head.
Your Diet Counts
Your beard will grow better if you take care of your body and your health in general. A big part of a healthy beard is your diet.
A good multivitamin will help give your beard the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Biotin will also help it grow faster in some cases.
Your testosterone levels also play a part. There are several ways to help increase testosterone naturally including eating more red meats, eating avocados, nuts, spinach, broccoli, and olive oil, and lifting weights. It's also a good idea to avoid soy-based products as much as possible.
How to Maintain and Care For Your Beard
Proper care and maintenance are important to keep your beard healthy and looking good. This won't take a lot of time but you will need to put some effort into it.
First, keep your beard clean. This will help reduce itchiness and will ensure your partner wants to stay close.
That doesn't mean you need to wash it with soap or shampoo every day though. It's best not to, in fact. If you wash it too often, you'll strip your beard's natural oils which can make the hair more brittle and can cause flaking and itchiness.
Rinse it daily but you only need to wash it 1 to 3 times a week. And you should use a beard wash product instead of a bar of soap or normal shampoo. Your beard hair is different than your head hair and these specialty washes are designed to work with the more coarse hair on your face as well as keeping the skin underneath healthy.
After washing or rinsing your beard, use a quality beard oil, beard balm, or beard wax to moisturize it and help style it.
Beard oil is good for beards of any length. All it takes is a few drops worked into your beard and it will keep it moisturized, help keep your skin healthy underneath, and keep it smelling great. Beard oil also help keeps flaking and itchiness to a minimum.
Beard balm does a similar job but it's a thicker version that gives you a bit more styling hold. It works well when your beard starts to get a bit longer. Beard wax is the strongest hold of the three and is best for shaping your beard when it's long enough to do so.
As your beard gets longer, you can also use sea salt spray to help thicken it and give it more hold so you can shape it the way you like.
Pick up a quality boar's hair beard brush as well. Brushing your beard after applying any of these products will help work them through all the hairs. A boar's hair brush will also help pull out dust and dirt while keeping your beard's natural oils well-distributed through the hair.
The Biggest Enemy of Beard Growth
If you take proper care of your beard, it will look better and you'll feel better about it. The biggest enemy of growing a beard is losing patience and shaving it off in a moment of weakness.
Don't let a lack of patience take you back to square one. If you feel like you want to shave your beard off, step back and give it a bit of time to see if the feeling passes.
A good guideline is to wait a day for every month of growth. If you've been growing it for 6 months, wait for 6 days and see if the feeling passes before doing anything drastic.
Finding the Right Beard Care Products
High-quality products are important to beard growth. They have better quality ingredients and will help keep your beard healthy and looking good.
Eviqe carries a splendid array of grooming products for the modern man. Check out our men's grooming gift boxes for all your personal grooming needs.