Beard Growth Stages- A Guide on Expectations and Reality

Last Updated: 2021-07-24

by Jeel Patel

All set to grow a beard? 

That is amazing!

But, do you know what it takes to grow a beard? Especially when you are growing it for the first time. Don’t worry! You are not alone in this league.  Many guys don’t know what is happening to their faces.

Even we were confused when we experienced it for the first time, but since then, we started gathering information on it.

Growing a beard is not an easy task; from grooming and maintenance to styling and shaping, it has to undergo a lot many things.

Since there are many things to consider, we have framed a guide explaining every nitty-gritty about beard growth stages.  Also, it includes the phases through which our facial hair passes during the growth stages.

Besides, there is a list of challenges that you might suffer during a beard-growing journey.  You need to know so that you remain prepared whenever you face any of the challenges.

So, let’s jump into it without wasting time.

Beard Growth Stages

Now you might be thinking, isn’t it just allowing the beard to grow out and have patience!

Well, that is somewhat true to achieve a full beard.  But every beard-growing stage has its own set of difficulties, and each step requires specific products to use. So, after reading this guide, you will end up with actionable steps to witness signs of beard growth.  Here are the beard growth stages by week separation for a better idea.

Beard Growth Stage 1- Week 1 to 2

1 week beard growth

The one-week beard growth is not much actionable. If you recently used a trimmer, shaver, or razor to achieve a clean shave, there are high chances that you won’t see much beard progress in the first week. 

The second week is when some people can see stubble, and they get excited, thinking their growth is fast. But, this is a wrong expectation since first-week hair growth is faster compared to the rest of the weeks. 

Still, don’t see stubble? Don’t worry! It will eventually start to show up. You may see it in the 3rd week and start to notice beard follicles. 

Another important thing to take care of is to stay away from razors, trimmers, or shavers. I know it might be tempting to line up the stubble, but the beard hair growth cycle is shorter if natural, and it will work out best if you do not disturb it.

Though beard products like beard oils, beard balms, combs, and sebum oil are important, they will be of use in the next week. The first two weeks is just patience and observation. 

Some people might also develop beard itch, and that is not a bad thing. It just happens because of years of shaving, which sharpens the whiskers or the beard follicles. This sharpened scalp hair irritates skin as the hair grows out.  Beard care tips are a must-read if you have these irritations!

Expectation– After seeing stubble in less than two weeks, people think they will have a full beard in one month.

Reality– The initial hair follicle develops faster and has a good growth rate, compared to weeks 5 to 6, where it is the slowest. 

Note:  An average beard growth per week is somewhere around 3mm, which sums up to ½ inch per month.  You might even encounter an awkward beard in stage 1.

Beard Growth Stage 2- Week 3 to 6

one month beard growth

You will witness real growth once you come into the three-week beard stage.  Here, your genetics play an important role, which means if your father or grandfather is a bewhiskered guy, then you will not have a problem growing a beard.   If the terminal length is more than 1-inch, then it is known as a beard.

The 2-month beard is only where a few guys get a full beard, and the rest might have to deal with a patchy beard.  And the reason is the same, genetics.  You have already gone through the itchy beard phase where irritation was common, but you didn’t give up.  Similarly, you have to deal with a patchy beard and let this stage pass on. 

One thing you should avoid during this stage is to compare your beard with others.  The only reason is everyone will have a different beard, proportion, and growth rate.  Also, it is a fact that you will notice your patchy beard more than the onlooker or passers.

What you should control in this stage is to trim your beard hairs.  It will slow down your beard growth.  It is the stage where you need to keep your beard kempt and moisturized.  You can add beard shampoo or wash to your grooming arsenal.  

Tip: Do not wash your beard with head hair shampoo, as it contains chemicals that might dry out your beard and slow down the growth process.

You can even consider beard balms and oils for stimulating beard growth.  Whatever beard care products you buy, you should make sure that they are not chemically blended or alcohol-based products.

Expectations: Having a bearded father or grandfather means fast and quick growth.

Reality: Genetics is not only the reason for the beard hair growth patterns.  Various other factors play a crucial role in beard growth progress.

Beard Growth Stage 3- Week 6 to 9

three month beard

Appreciate your dedication!

You can say that you are now a bearded guy, or at least a guy with a face half-covered with a beard.  Don’t be disappointed if you don’t see full beards.  I have a motivation for you “Good Things Take Time.” 

Despite suffering from beard itch and patchy beard, you didn’t think of giving up.  Now there’s no U-turn, even if it doesn’t show up a full beard.  You might have a few areas where you may witness patchiness and some areas with a flourishing beard.

There might be grey hair on the beard, but that’s not an issue as it might be because beard hair grows faster than scalp hair.

At this point, you must start taking care of other things such as,

The MUSTACHE

The hair in the middle of the nose and upper lips is the center of attraction.  In the initial phase, it ruins look with an embarrassing growth, but then slowly, it starts growing and shaping in a way that suits the face.

If you don’t trim it, it may come into your mouth or may ruin your special moment.  It doesn’t mean that you completely shave off.  Just cut down the stray hairs that come on your lips with the help of mustaches scissors.

Keep Your Beard Away From Foods

Your beard can become a napkin or a food holder anytime you start eating.  You should always be conscious of your eating habits.  You should never compromise on your beard health.  

Use chopsticks and straws while eating or drinking, avoiding spilling food or beverages on the beard.  Always keep a handkerchief handy to avoid such challenges.

Beard Care

Beard’s growth journey consists of everything except for a razor or trimmer as the hair at this stage requires grooming and not shaving or trimming.  Constant conditioning or moisturizing a beard in this stage will boost hair growth.

As discussed, beard oils and balms are also responsible for growth and nourishment.  At the same time, regular combing will help in distributing beard oil evenly.  Also, it trains your beard hair follicles to grow in a particular direction.  Additionally, it reduces the chances of ingrown hair and split ends and evenly spreading the natural oil (sebum oil).

  • What is Sebum oil?

Whiskers on the face use a lot of sebum oil, which results in depletion.  That’s where beard oils come into the picture as a substitute for sebum oil.  It makes sure that it hydrates, moisturizes, and nourishes your beard and skin underneath it.

Another advantage of regularly applying beard oil is to keep away dandruff.  You can even include a quality beard wash in your grooming arsenal that makes sure your beard is clean and tidy.

Expectation:  it will grow on its own and doesn’t require attention.

Reality:  You need to be conscious of not only the beard but also the mustache.

Beard Growth Stage 4- Week 9 to 11

8 week beard

At the 4-month beard growth, you will witness flourishing facial hair that is duskier and thicker.  Now, you have to be more conscious about taking care of your beard.  You need to comb your beard so that it perfectly grooms and stays in a particular direction.  It requires a lot of effort in keeping your beard straight and in shape.

Regular use of beard balm or oil will bring a world of difference.  It keeps the whiskers in shape and doesn’t let it ruin your beard by sprouting up away from the direction.  Also, it helps in combing and brushing that can enhance your look and keep the beard in shape.

Tip: Do not use cheap plastic-made combs that are easily available in the local market or supermarket.  Use high-quality wooden or cellulose acetate beard combs.  This material does not pull or tug your beard.  And, it will also help you get rid of tangles or knots.

A boar hair brush keeps your beard in shape and away from dirt and dead skin cells. It manages well makes your beard flourishing and complete.  Beard balm is another accessory you can consider while shaping your beard.  It offers a hold and control, but you should restrict yourself from using it too much.  As if you overuse it, your beard may look wet.

Do not use a hairdryer to dry your beard if it is wet because the heat it produces can dry out the skin underneath the beard.  It can make your hair strands brittle and completely dry.  

Expectations: There is no requirement for beard combs, and if at all is required, any comb will work.

Reality: Any plastic comb will pull or tug your hair, and that’s why using a wooden comb is suggestible.

Beard Growth Stage 5- Final Stage

how to start growing a beard

The 8-month beard will be in full force, and you will be ready to rock.  It is the stage where you need to maintain your beard and upkeep yourself.  You need to stay focused by ensuring that you are doing every possible thing to maintain your beard.  The beard growth stages for black men are the same as these stages.

You may also witness beardruff at this stage, but it is acceptable as regular washing and moisturizing will bring a world of difference.  And at the end of the year, you will receive the best results for which you have struggled so far.

There will be many factors that might obstruct your beard growth process, but you must make sure. that you are going to work hard for what you want to achieve.

Expectations: After the final stage, thinking of a duskier beard to show off and rock.

Reality: Not maintaining a beard post-growing will result in unkemptness and untidiness.

So, these are the beard growth stages you must know before starting to grow a beard.  Besides, you must also know what phases your beard hair passes through and how it grows.

3 Phases of Beard Growth

There are three phases of growth. The growth of the body hair ranges somewhere between 2 to 6 years. Even if you shave or trim, it will grow back from the same roots.  After this period, the hair enters the resting phase. 

beard growing timelapse

Anagen Phase

The Anagen phase is also known as a growth period where your hair starts growing, and in some cases, grows wildly.  The phase lasts for months to about a year or two where your androgenic hair grows.  The story of scalp hair is different; its growing life remains for more than two years.  

The growth depends on several factors, out of which genetics play a vital role.  In this phase, protein production plays a crucial role in the hair growth of your body.  

The growth of beard hair is somewhere between 0.5 inches per month.  Scalp hair tends to have a longer Anagen phase, but the phase seems to end speedily.

Catagen Phase

The Catagen phase is a transitional period where your hair cuts off the contact with a hair follicle and starts attaching with skin.  The phase lasts somewhere around 2-3 weeks.

Even the supply of blood tends to remain completely shut to your beard hairs.  And sooner, its growth also stops.  Here, the hair follicles last in the catagen phase for a short period and then prepare themselves to move back to the Anagen phase.

Telogen Phase

The stage where hair follicles return to Anagen is known as the Telogen phase.  It lasts about 2-4 months.  Here, you start noticing new and upcoming hair on your beards and removing the old hair from its place.  

Many things happen in the Telogen phase; from follicles going back to the first stage to welcoming new hair, you never know how things evolve biologically.

Now that you know the phases through which beard hair passes, here are the beard growth tips to consider when growing facial hair.

Beard Growth Tips

These growing tips will help you to stay focused on your beard care routine.

Aim for Your Beard

Growing a beard requires a lot of patience where multiple factors contribute to stimulating hair growth. If you aim to grow a beard with a particular style or shape in mind, you need to let it grow.  Do not even think of trimming or shaving your beard in the middle of your beard growing process.

Takes Time

You will start noticing a beard after 2nd week, and that too, just your vellus hair transforming into the terminal length.  Once you let the beard grow for a complete one month, you will have a full-fledged bearded face.  Since there will be a lot of changes in the growth pattern, do not think of trimming your facial hair.

Cheeks & Neckline

During a 1-month beard growth, if at all you trim, it is advisable to keep the hair on the cheek lines higher and necklines lower.  It will help in growing at a consistent pace.

Beard Care Products

There is no beard length required to use beard care products.  You can reap the benefits of these products from the 1-week beard growth itself.  You can use beard oil and balm to hydrate and moisturize the skin and fight against beard itch.

Stop Comparing

Always focus on beard hair growing stages and not comparing with others.  Doing that will never satisfy you with your beard growth progress and may demotivate you.  Everyone has different beard growth phases, and one has to pass through themBeard.  Just let it grow the way it is growing and check for changes from the first week to the second week, and so on.

These tips are effective only if you follow them strictly, and any negligence while during the stages will not offer the results.

Accept the Issues While Growing a Beard

During the first month’s beard growth timeline, it is natural to face multiple challenges with the young beard.  You might think, why only you have to face the challenges, but these are common and general problems that any first-time beard grower will face.  Here are the young beards issues that you may encounter:

Beardruff

Beard dandruff is a sign of dry skin that needs moisturization and nourishment.  You need to ensure that your facial hair and skin are properly hydrated and nourished.  For this, you can buy beard oil and beard wash or shampoo.

Even you can buy a beard brush to exfoliate your beard hair that helps in removing dirt, dead skin cells, and dandruff.  If you are still facing issues with beardruff, then it could be seborrheic dermatitis.  Many men deal with this problem, and you could consult a dermatologist.

Embarrassing Mustache

A common problem that every guy faces is growing hair in the philtrum, i.e., in the middle of the upper lips.  You need to give time if you notice there is no hair in that portion.  For some, it grows faster, and for the rest, it might take time.  Here, you can use mustache wax to shape your beard in an empty direction to make it look complete.

Unruly Waves

Facial hair grows in a different direction. Some may witness curls, while some may be straight or wavy.  It is not under our control, but you can manage to have it in a way after it grows.  For instance, if you don’t like curls, you can apply beard oil and brush it in the opposite direction.  Many suggest using blow dryers, but you must avoid it unless and until there is no other option left to make it straight.

Itchiness

The first 2-week beard growth comes with multiple issues, out of which beard itch is common.  Why does it happen?  Well, once you shave, the hair left on the skin grows with a sharp point.  This sharp point hair curls and pokes the skin, which irritates.  Use beard oil to soften the beard and stimulate beard hair growth as the longer hair will decrease the irritation.

Patchy Beard

The most common problem is the patchy beard, which requires time to fill and connect.  Here, you need to be patient and let it grow.  Ultimately, it will grow and fill the space.  Genetics could be one of the reasons why you may suffer from patchy beards.

Now You Know The Stages of Beard Growth, But What Next?

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FAQs:

1. What are the stages of beard growth?

The beard growth consists of several stages and it varies from man to man. What remains the same for every man is the phases of beard growth. Anagen, Catagen, and Telogen are the three phases responsible for beard growth.

2. How long does it take to grow a full beard?

You can expect a full beard in 2 to 4 months. Meantime, you should just let it grow and do not trim or shave.

3. How do you make a beard grow faster?

Technically, there is no quick way to grow a beard faster. Many claim to use different products for growth, but that isn’t true. Your hair growth depends on the food you eat, decrease in stress level, and genetics.

4. How long is the awkward beard stage?

It starts after the first two weeks and ends at the end of the month. It is the stage where it is neither called stubble nor beard.

5. What are teenage beard growth stages?

The first stage is when you notice corner hair on upper lips that converts into a pencil mustache in the second stage. The third stage is where you see stubble in cheeks, chin, and lower lips. And finally, you will have a thicker beard.

6. How to grow a beard for the first time?

If you are growing your first beard, then you need a plan and patience. Also, a few supplements to stimulate growth. Many factors, such as genetics, mainly play a vital role in growing facial hair.

7. How to grow facial hair at 16?

Firstly, you need to regularly wash your face to remove the dirt present on the face. Secondly, moisturize your face to provide essential nutrients to your follicles to grow hair at the age of 16. Lastly, you must focus on taking a proper diet and exercising regularly.

8. How to grow beards in a week?

It is a myth that a beard can grow in a week. It requires proper care and nourishment to let the hair sprout up from the skin. So, be patient with yourself and let it grow in whatever ways it grows.

9. When do you start growing a beard?

Beard development starts when you reach puberty. First, the stages of mustache growth start, and then it is divided into beard phases. A few hairs on the chin and below the lower lip is where your beard hair growth passes through.

Conclusion

Growing the first beard consists of several stages where you see differences in each stage, with one being darker than the previous one.  Also, you will suffer from issues during these stages, but your serious dedication will allow you to pat on your back at the end of the year.

We hope this guide to growing a beard has helped you to an extent where you now know what it takes to grow a beard.  You can share your experiences and also send valuable suggestions or feedback to us.  We would be more than happy to listen to our dedicated customers.  For more such good reads, you can subscribe to our website.

Disclaimer

Published Date: Dec 25, 2020

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