The speed of beard hair growth is pretty much determined by your genes. Every hair on your body follows a specific cycle of phases in which hair grows, falls out, and regrows until one day it stops growing altogether. This usually happens when you get older.
Beard hair growth is determined by the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. This enzyme turns your body’s natural stores of testosterone into another hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT then attaches to receptors on each follicle of your beard hair to make it grow.
But this doesn’t mean that more testosterone means more beard hair. Beard hair growth is actually more determined by how sensitive your follicles are to DHT. And this is primarily based on your genes.
No artificial testosterone intake or any other supplement has been proven to help beard hair grow — or any other body hair, for that matter. And taking DHT can also make your hair grow slower.
Let’s get into some natural ways you can help grow your beard, what you can expect from your beard growth after you try some of these natural techniques, and when you should see a doctor for hair growth issues.
Here’s some natural ways that may help you grow longer or thicker beard hair and keep it healthier for longer.
Diet and beard growth foods
Some vitamins may be able to help follicles that have already stopped regrowing hair become active again.
Try to get plenty of vitamin D in your diet. It may reactivate receptors in follicles that no longer grow hair. Sources of vitamin D include:
- fortified plant-based milk
B vitamins have also
There’s no research that suggests that exercise can directly influence hair growth.
But exercise, especially high-intensity interval training (HIIT), can boost testosterone. This may in turn help encourage hair growth.
Not sleeping enough or not having enough high-quality sleep has been linked to a reduction in the testosterone that your body naturally produces.
This means less DHT for the receptors on your beard hairs, causing your beard hair to grow slower.
Washing and moisturizing
Clean, moist skin is more conducive to healthy hair growth.
Smoking has been linked to hair loss. Many chemicals in tobacco smoke cause inflammation and DNA damage to the blood vessels that nourish hair follicles.
Quitting smoking may allow your beard to grow by reducing blood vessel damage and inflammation. Quitting can be difficult, but a doctor can help you create a cessation plan that works for you.
Microneedling is done by poking tiny holes in your face with extremely small needles. Microneedling is purported to help with hair growth by increasing blood flow to your follicles and encouraging healthier hair.
Does shaving every day speed up beard growth?
No. This is an old myth that has no research to support it.
Your beard hair may look thicker when you shave because you’ve trimmed off the thinner tops of the hairs and exposed the thicker, darker base near the follicle. But they won’t grow any faster.
There’s some evidence that Ayurvedic medicine may help with scalp hair growth. But there’s no specific evidence that it will help with beard hair.
According to one
Here’s a general overview of the hair growth cycle and how long it may take:
- Anagen phase. Hair grows about half an inch per month and keeps growing for about 3 to 4 years, even if you cut it.
- Catagen phase. The hair follicle shrivels up while the hair keeps growing. This phase lasts about 2 weeks.
- Telogen phase. The follicle stays dormant for a few months, then starts growing again. The follicle pushes out the old hair and begins growing a new one.
So your hair grows and renews itself constantly. Even if you just wait, you may eventually notice a different beard pattern from follicles growing and regrowing over time.
Many factors influence how fast or thick your hair grows in, including:
- Genetics. Your hair follicle growth is built into your genes, so if your parents or grandparents on either side had difficulty growing a beard, you’re likely to have a similar problem.
- Genetic conditions. Conditions that damage follicles, cause a lot of buildup in your pores, or result in low levels of hormones like testosterone (hypogonadism) can inhibit beard growth.
- Stress. Cortisol from stress can make your hair fall out and affect your hair health overall.
- Skin care. Different skin types have different needs. But moisturized, healthy skin nourished by additional nutrients from natural skin care products is more likely to grow healthy hair than dry, cracked, untreated skin.
Talk to a doctor about using prescription-strength medications like minoxidil (Rogaine) to regrow hair that you’ve lost as you age.
A doctor may also recommend a hair transplant if you want to restore large areas of hair quickly.
See your doctor if you’re losing large chunks of hair quickly and suddenly.
There’s no way to make your beard hair grow faster. But there’s plenty you can do that may help your beard hair grower in thicker, stronger, and healthier.
Try adjusting your diet, lifestyle, and daily hygiene habits to see what works for you.