Beard Growth Stages
Have you considered growing a beard but aren’t sure what to expect? It’s a little intimidating, isn’t it? If you’re like most guys, the idea of really letting a beard grow out for the first time raises a lot of questions. Plus, you probably don’t know all the answers yourself. The truth is, no one really knows what to expect in terms of beard growth stages because all beards are unique, but there are some common things you can expect.
Growing the beard you want means going through a few awkward stages. It may be frustrating. It may be occasionally embarrassing, but once your beard grows in, you’ll be glad you did it.
If you’ve ever wanted to grow an incredible beard, then you’re reading the right article. That’s because you’re about to learn about what stages your beard will go through and how long it takes to get to the length and look you want.
Day 1 – Clean Shaven
Today’s the big day! You’ve decided to grow out your beard. Yet not much is going on at this stage. Your face is still baby smooth (or close to it), and you’ve got a while to wait before a magnificent face mane appears.
You probably don’t have a lot of beard issues to deal with right now, but it’s a good time to form a good foundation for face and beard care. Wash and moisturize your face once a day. It will get you into the habit of facial grooming, which will include washing and moisturizing your beard.
Day 2 – The Shadow Effect
At this point you’ve got a bit of shadow going on in the area where your beard will eventually grow in. However, don’t judge your beard yet. You won’t really know how (or where) your beard is going to grow in, until it arrives.
That means don’t try to shave the edges to define where your beard will be. Hair grows at different rates, so some of the hairs that will eventually grow in, may not be visible yet. Early edge trimming may make your potential beard less full. You want to really let it grow it before trimming anything.
Days 3-7 – Varying Stubble
This is where the hard part of beard growing begins. At this point, you are probably starting to notice your stubble. In fact, in can get pretty itchy. You’ve been using some kind of moisturizer on your face, right?
If you haven’t, it’s not too late to start. Another option to consider is to start using a beard oil to help soften those stubbly bits. Applying moisturizer or oil can help with the itching.
Keep in mind, if you start using beard oil at this point, that it only takes a very small amount of product. There’s no need to overdo it. Your skin’s natural oil glands are providing most of the moisture at this stage, so just applying a couple drops after washing your face will do the trick.
Also, definitely keep washing the stubbly part of your face. You’ll want to maintain good skin hygiene even after your beard is fully grown in.
Week 2 – Getting Fluffy
You may feel like your beard is starting to look a bit messy or unruly now. You’ve finally got the starts of a beard, but it’s not so incredible yet. This is the stage where many men give up on their beard and shave it all off.
Although, if you can make it past this part, it will be worth it.
Just as in the previous stages, keep the trimmer and razor away from your beard. You’ve got to let it keep growing. In fact, the number one secret to growing a beard is to just leave it alone and let it do its thing until it fills in.
As far as maintenance goes, a beard is pretty easy to take care of at this point. It’s really just the awkwardness that makes it a pain. It gets too long to qualify as stubble but is still too short to style. You may kind of just look like...a bum.
In addition to the length being awkward, this is the period where many men are horrified to discover that their beard is patchy. It’s easy at this point to think that you just don’t have the right genetics to grow a good looking beard. That’s not true.
Pretty much everyone’s beard gets patchy at this point. Remember when I said during the shadow effect stage that individual hairs grow at different rates from each other? It’s the same here, and those varying growth rates are what cause the patchy appearance. All you can do is wait.
Oh, there is one other thing. If you haven’t started using beard oil yet, now is the time to definitely get in the habit of applying a small amount of oil to your beard every day. After you shower or wash your face is the best time for putting oil in your beard.
Besides being good for your beard overall, beard oil will help keep your beard from looking too scraggly during this awkward phase.
Weeks 3-4 – It’s Starting To Look More Like A Beard Now
Everyone’s beard takes different amounts of time to reach a full beard look, but by around week 4, most guys’ beards are looking pretty filled in. Be patient, though. It’s still not time to break out the trimmers.
What you should be doing is continuing to apply beard oil every day. You may notice that your beard is getting itchy at this stage. It’s not the same as the itch you get with early stubble.
The itchiness during the early stages of beard growth is caused by the short, coarse hairs curling in and scratching your skin. At this point, the itchiness has a different cause. Your beard requires moisture from the oil glands in your skin. As the beard gets longer, that means your skin gets less of the oil as your beard takes more of it.
The result is dry, itchy skin. That’s why using beard oil regularly is crucial to keeping a beard that feels comfortable.
Also, it’s at this phase when you may start seeing anomalies in your beard. Some guys get patches that don’t grow hair. Others may find that they have a solo red patch in an otherwise non-red beard (or any other unexpected color combination).
Embrace the unique qualities your beard has, and know that styling can help cover up any persistent thinner areas.
Month 2-4 – Getting Longer
At this point, your beard has probably filled in quite a lot. If you plan to keep your beard close-cropped rather than long, now is the time to trim it to the length you prefer. It’s important not to trim before this point because you need time for your beard to get full, and that requires that you initially let it grow beyond the final length you want for it.
If, on the other hand, you plan to grow a longer, fuller beard, don’t touch it! Continue letting it grow and reach its natural shape. At this point, you can certainly trim up outlying edges if you have sparse hairs on your cheeks.
You may also want to trim under your neck once you decide how far down the neck you want your beard line. A word of warning -- most guys make the bottom edge of their beard too high up. You can always move the line up if you find it necessary later, but it’s going to be a real pain if you set your lower edge too high and have to try to grow back that portion of your beard.
The goal is to avoid neck beard and having your beard connect to your chest hair (if that’s an issue for you). Otherwise, just trim along the natural line where your beard starts getting thinner on your neck.
For most guys, it’s about an inch above the Adam’s apple. You can also look in the mirror, tilt your head back, and try imagining a line where your beard would meet the outer edge of your ears. Then, trim off everything below that line.
You can check your neckline by tilting your head down and forming a double chin. The area below the second chin should be beard-free. Of course, these are just guidelines for what most people think looks best.
Your neckline should complement your beard and hairstyle, so trust your instincts on the location. If you’re going for a more long-and-messy style, letting the neckline fade naturally with just a bit of trimming, may be the way to go for you and your look.
Month 5-12 - Now That’s A Beard
All right. If you’ve stuck in there for half a year or more, your beard has finally arrived in its fullest glory. Now is absolutely the time to make sure you are keeping up with your beard. Aside from regular cleaning and moisturizing, that also means trimming any hairs that noticeably deviate from the length of the others.
You can shape your beard at this point. You’ll also want to pick up a beard comb or brush if you haven’t already, and brush your beard each day. Brushing both keeps your facial hair looking nice and helps to distribute oils throughout your beard.
Speaking of oils, it’s definitely important to keep up with applying beard oil daily. When your beard has grown to this length, it requires more oil because, well...you have more hair to moisturize. That means your natural skin oils definitely cannot do the job, and if you don’t apply an oil, you’ll end up with dry, flaky beard dandruff.
1 Year+ - Jesus Mode
For the most hardcore beard enthusiasts, the goal is to get the “yeard”. This is a beard you continue to grow without taking any length off for at least a year. You can of course trim the edges to keep the shape in control.
You have entered Jesus mode, where your beard is truly epic.
At this point, you’re probably close to reaching your terminal length, which on average hits at about the two year mark. Terminal length is basically the longest length your beard can get, no matter how much longer you continue to grow it.
That being said, beard growth cycles vary from person to person, and your beard may continue to gain length for up to six years.
Remember - Everybody Is Different
Length, fullness, color -- your beard is going to be uniquely yours. You may even be surprised yourself to see how it turns out. Watching your facial hair go through beard growth stages is exciting. Keep it up, and you will eventually have the beard you want, and if you're struggling to grow a beard at all, there are many tips and tricks you can try in order to boost your growing power.