Have you ever looked at a guy sporting an epic viking beard and wondered how long it took him to grow it?
Hair is the fastest growing tissue in the human body - but what does that mean for the project on your face?
Let’s look at how fast your beard will grow, and what you can do to influence it.
How Fast Does Beard Hair Grow Per Week?
Beard growth speed varies a lot, but healthy hair should be growing at a rate of 0.2” - 0.7” per month or 0.05” - 0.17” per week. Studies show no difference between beard and scalp hair. This is despite idea that facial hair is often said to grow faster.
How fast and how long your hair grows depends on your ethnicity, genetics, and age, among other factors.
All good things take time, and a beard is no different. Especially when you’re starting out, it can seem that growth is slow.
But, be patient. Give your beard time and take good care of it, and soon you’ll see results.
How Long Does It Take to Grow a Beard?
The answer to this question is complex and we can't model it with an equation.
It's a better idea to understand the key stages of beard growth.
This will help you understand what stage you're at now and what's upcoming in your own beard journey.
Anagen Phase (aka The Growing Phase)
This is by far the longest and most popular phase for hairs.
At any given time, of your beard hair will be in this phase. Here the hair follicle is continuing to push out new hair. It can grow in the Anagen phase for up to 7 years!
Catagen Phase (aka The Transition Phase)
This is where your hair goes from growing to 'hanging in there'. The blood supply is slowly cut off. Then the the follicle starts shrinking, stopping the hair growth.
This phase lasts around 2 weeks on average.
Telogen Phase (aka The Resting Phase)
It's here where your hairs get to hang out without doing much work at all. The follicles take a break, there is no more growth, but the hair still holds on strong.
These are good times for your hair, which can last several months.
Exogen Phase (aka The Shedding Phase)
This means it’s time to move on. The hairs are only passively retained, and not anchored in the follicles anymore. They will begin to fall out to make space for new hair replacing them.
It's hairs in this phase is what you’ll usually find in your beard brush.
Like the rate of growth, the duration of these phases varies from person to person.
So unfortunately there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer for how long it takes to grow a beard.
How long your facial hair stays in each phase above will determine your beard growth rate. It will also determine the greatest length you can achieve.
What Makes Your Facial Hair Grow Faster?
There’s a short list of things you can’t influence when it comes to speeding up hair growth.
To some extent, your genes influence how fast and thick your beard will grow.
If your father and grandfather sport an epic beard, you’ll likely be able to grow one too. If they both struggled, you might find it difficult as well.
18 and struggling? Don’t worry. You can’t speed up your aging (and you shouldn't want to either!). But there's hope...
Many guys don’t experience full beard growth until they reach their thirties.
The list of things you CAN influence is much longer.
There is no point shaving if you're trying to grow a beard. Let your hair grow for 2-3 months and the results might surprise you.
Slow hair growth or even hair loss can be caused by a protein deficiency.
Up your protein game - meat, chicken, fish, eggs, tofu, grains and nuts are all good sources. The options are endless.
Watching Your Diet and Nutrition
A balanced diet is a good stimulant for healthy hair growth.
Physical exercise increases blood circulation. This in turn increases the amount of oxygen and nutrients going to your skin.
Work out often to make sure you provide an optimal environment for strong growth.
Get your 7+ hours in every night and your beard will thank you for it.
That’s the last thing you want, so make sure to rest and relax to reduce your stress levels.
You already know this.
Don’t poison your hair follicles: Don’t smoke.
Your beard needs care and attention.
Regular conditioning will improve the health of your beard hair and your skin. This promotes healthy growth.
Make sure you use all-natural, premium products to achieve the best results. If you're wondering what products work best for which purpose then check out our beard product comparison guide.
Increasing testosterone levels is the most powerful thing you can do for growth.
Can Everyone Grow a Long Beard?
Short answer - no.
Based on your genetic makeup, the max length beard is defined by duration of your individual Anagen Phase.
If yours is 1 year, you’ll struggle to grow a beard longer than 6 inches. If yours is 7 years, 42 inches is theoretically achievable. That’s 3.5 feet - a mighty long beard.
Statistically speaking, you sit somewhere between those two.
Assuming your Anagen Phase is 3 years, you could get close to 20 inches if you keep your beard in good order. It’s likely that your partner will make you stop before your follicles do... :)
Will a Patchy Beard Eventually Fill In?
If your beard is patchy when growing, don’t worry. Growing a beard is not an exact science, and your hair follicles are not mandated to all grow at the same speed.
If you’re experiencing patches in the early stages of growth, relax and give your beard some time.
If the patches don’t go away, you might suffer from a condition that’s called alopecia barbae.
In plain English, that’s an autoimmune disease which makes your own immune system attack healthy cells by mistake. In this case, the hair follicles in your facial skin, preventing beard hair to grow in certain areas.
If you suspect you suffer from alopecia barbae, you might want to try .
For further help, consult your doctor or dermatologist.
Many factors influence how fast your beard will grow.
Some of these you can’t change, like your ethnicity, genetics or age. On the flip side, there are many factors you can change.
Do those things and your beard will flourish, growing anywhere between 0.2 - 0.7 inches per month, up to a length of 20 inches on average.
Any tips and tricks, or questions? Leave them in the comments below!