For many men, growing a beard is a pretty big deal.
You don’t necessarily need a beard to be masculine. But for many men, growing the kind of facial hair that they want holds a certain special significance to them… and for good reason.
It is a fashion statement, a show of male health and development, and can even play into a man’s ability to assert dominance in social situations.
Not to mention that many women find men with beards and/or well-groomed facial hair very appealing!
Many studies have suggested, after all, that both men and women perceive men with beards as being more aggressive, stronger, and older than men without them.
So, it is little wonder then that so many men care so much about the quality of their facial hair… which is why we have chosen to write about the stages of beard growth in this article.
What Will I Learn?
- 1 Getting Started: Planning Out Your Beard Style In Advance
- 2 First, Figure Out What You Can’t Do
- 3 What Type of Beard Is Best For Your Face?
- 4 Do Plenty of ‘Celebrity’ Research
- 5 A Full Beard/Facial Hair Maintenance Routine
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions About the Stages of Beard Growth
- 7 How to Find a High-Quality Local Barber
Every man deserves to know how to grow, and care for, his beard.
But the key to growing a proper beard is not found in gimmicks or cheap tricks.
Instead, it lies in knowing how to care for it and nurture it as it develops.
You see, many men make the mistake of thinking that beard-growth is just automatic, and that it takes nothing more than a bit of washing and trimming to keep your beard in good condition.
But nothing could be further from the truth!
So in this guide, you are going to learn not only all about all the stages of beard growth… but also how to best care for your beard through each and every one of these stages.
You don’t need a college degree to grow an awesome beard. But if you don’t educate yourself at least a little bit, you could end up missing out on everything that it has the potential to be.
You could also fall prey to one of many classic pitfalls that often set men back in their journey to grow the best beard possible!
So let’s get to it, and learn how to make your beard as manly and as ‘excellent’ as possible!
Getting Started: Planning Out Your Beard Style In Advance
For the most part, you will want to plan out your beard style in advance… before you start trying to grow it.
There are a few different reasons for this.
If you already know what kind of beard you want to try to grow, then you’re a step ahead of the game. But there are also a lot of people out there who know that they want a beard, but are unsure of exactly what type of beard they should strive to grow.
Should you grow something long? Should you stick with something short? Should you grow a full beard, or should you go for a classic Hollywoodian?
Should you rock a goatee? Should you include a mustache? Should you keep it trimmed or let it grow wild?
There are actually a lot of different things to consider here. But in the following section, I am going to help you walk through these steps to figure out the perfect plan for you.
First, Figure Out What You Can’t Do
This is probably the first and most important step in planning out your beard.
Some people have jobs where they have restrictions on what they can do with their facial hair. And if your job fits into this mold, then you may want to figure out exactly what is and isn’t allowed so that you don’t accidentally start growing something that you won’t be able to keep.
Yes, it sucks to not be able to grow the facial hair you want due to your job… but it is still something that you must take into account.
If your place of employment doesn’t have any stringent standards in place regarding this, a quick visit with HR should yield enough information to get you started on the right foot.
Hopefully, you will come to find that growing your ideal beard will not be a problem at your place of employment… and you will then be able to move on to the next most important part of the process.
Deciding exactly which style of beard will work best for you!
What Type of Beard Is Best For Your Face?
This is another thing to take into account that warrants some research and planning.
Not every face is suitable for every type of beard, so you may want to do some digging to figure out exactly what styles will work best for your facial structure and general, overall look.
Here are some guidelines that might help you to figure out a good direction to start with.
As you start to move through the stages of beard growth, styling will become more and more important. But you also need to know what styles will work the best with your facial structure!
Face Shape: Heart
If your forehead is larger than your cheekbones and jawline, and if this feature is paired with a pointed chin, then you may have what they call a ‘heart shaped’ face.
If you have this face shape, then you generally want to go for a long, thick beard to balance out your pointier chin. But mutton chops, an extended goatee, or even a chin curtain are also awesome options for this facial-structure.
Face Shape: Triangle
If your face is widest at the cheekbones, and if you tend to have a forehead that is wider than your jawline, then you have what is called a ‘triangle’ face shape.
For this facial structure, you will generally want to avoid growing hair on your cheeks. A ‘beardstache’ works quite well for this face shape, as does a full moustache with a ‘heavy stubble beard.’
Face Shape: Diamond
This face shape is characterized by wide cheekbones, with a narrow forehead and jawline. Similar to a triangle face shape, a ‘diamond’ face shape is widest at the cheekbones.
Diamond faced men are usually well-equipped to grow a full beard, though alternatives like a chin-strap, a Balbo, or a moustache combo can all work well.
If you are feeling more ‘conservative’ about your facial hair choices, then a simple goatee usually works really well with this face shape.
Face Shape: Square
A square face shape is characterized by a strong, square jawline.
If you have this facial structure, then you will want a beard style that highlights your strong jawline without exaggerating it.
This is generally best accomplished with a softer beard that is circular on the bottom, rather than a beard with hard right-angles.
A full beard that is trimmed into a soft half-circle at the end could do this very well. A Balbo is also a popular choice for this facial structure.
Face Shape: Round
Round faces usually have wider cheekbones, a wide jawline, and a shorter chin.
For the most part, this facial structure calls for facial hair that helps the chin to look a bit more ‘angular.’
Longer beards tend to work really well for this face shape. Some examples of this include the Van Dyke beard or a goatee.
The only thing to take into account here is that you want to stay away from thicker, fuller beards… as these will just tend to make the face look even rounder.
Face Shape: Oval
Many men see this face shape as the ideal masculine facial structure.
People with this face type have slightly wider cheekbones than jawbones. The jawline also tends to be rounded.
An oval-shaped face is a great choice for shorter full beards and goatees. But honestly, it can work well with any facial hair style. It just really works with almost anything.
Face Shape: Rectangular
Rectangular faces tend to be longer… with a deep, square chin. The jawbone also tends to be wider on this face structure.
Facial hair that breaks up the vertical length of the face works really well on people who have rectangular faces. This face-structure works really well with a Chevron moustache (or really any other type of moustache).
It can also work with a full beard, especially if you are going to let the moustache grow out to be longer and more pronounced.
Do Plenty of ‘Celebrity’ Research
I personally think that one of the best ways to start planning out your beard is to start by identifying your facial structure type, and then finding out which celebrities/actors have the same type of face as you.
Then, you can browse different ‘looks’ that they have worn over time, and see what styles appeal more to you.
How do you picture yourself looking when your facial hair has come-in the way you are planning?
How do you want to look six months or a year from now?
You do not necessarily have to stick with styles that complement your face-type, but it does help. It can be frustrating to try to match a particular beard style with a face shape that doesn’t really work with it.
On the flipside, choosing a beard style that complements the shape of your face can really do a lot to help you level-up your looks and attractiveness.
You would be amazed at how big of a difference this can make!
Anyway, once you’ve done your research and have decided how you want your beard/facial hair to look, it will be time to get started growing it.
It might surprise you, but this actually starts with a really good shave.
The First of the Stages of Beard Growth: Clean Shaven
Before growing out your beard, it is generally a good idea to start off with a clean slate… and that means shaving your face clean as the first step.
This will give you an even place to grow your beard from, but will also give you one more chance to treat your skin before you cover it with hair for the long-term.
This is one of the first stages of beard growth, but it is a very important step.
Care and Instructions
When you do shave your face, use a brand-new, high-quality razor. Shaving can be traumatic for your skin. And the better the razor, the better the shave will be.
It is also really important to lubricate the skin as you shave, so make sure to use a high-quality shaving cream.
After the shave, it is important to avoid irritation and inflammation. Personally, I like to use quality after-shave that contains some alcohol. Yes, it burns a bit… but it stops the itching dead in its tracks, and really cools the skin.
I like to follow this up with a high-quality after-shave lotion to help moisturize.
The Second Stage of Beard Growth: the 5 O’Clock Shadow
Stubble is a style all of its own, and this is a stage to embrace as you begin growing out the beard/facial hair style that you will sport in the future.
But don’t get in too much of a hurry to start sculpting yet! As a general rule, you are going to want to let everything grow out for a bit, and then work on sculpting/styling.
Care and Instructions
Depending on what style you are going to be growing your beard into, there is a good chance that you will still want to keep the neck-line trimmed, even at the stubble stage.
Unless your beard style calls for keeping hair in this area, make sure to stay cleanly trimmed and shaven from the neck-line down.
Most men don’t want a neck-beard, and not shaving the stubble below this line can really start to look sloppy.
Even though you don’t have much hair on your face right now, it is still important to keep what you do have clean with a high-quality beard wash.
Face soap will tend to dry out your stubble, so avoid that for now.
When you do choose a beard wash, though, make sure that you are choosing something that will clean not only your beard, but also your skin.
The Third Stage of Beard Growth: the Beard
The average rate for hair growth is about ½ inch per month. So, judging by how fast your facial hair grows, it could take anywhere from 1 to 3 months to officially graduate from the ‘stubble’ phase to the ‘beard’ phase.
For the most part, a beard is technically a ‘beard’ if you have at least an inch of growth.
Care and Instructions
Now that your facial hair is getting longer, you will want to think beyond just keeping it clean.
You will now also want to start treating your beard for softness.
As your hair grows, it will continue to cover more of your skin. This, in turn, will make keeping the skin and follicles clean a greater challenge.
So whenever you do wash your face with your beard wash, make sure to really scrub beneath the hair to get a good lather going on the skin itself.
At this point, you will also want to find a high-quality beard conditioner to use on your beard after you wash it.
This will help to not only soften your beard, but also to keep it moisturized.
Some people leave beard conditioner in their beard without rinsing it, while others go ahead and thoroughly rinse it out. This mostly depends on what feels the best to you, and on what type of conditioner you are buying.
The goal of using conditioner is to not only keep the hair looking soft and healthy, but also to help make your skin underneath as comfortable as possible. So it is recommended that you try it both ways (and also try a few different conditioners) to find out which works best for you.
(Personally, I always wash mine out.)
And finally, at some point after you have about an inch of growth on your face, you will want to start using beard oil.
Beard oil helps to keep your beard from drying out. But it also helps to keep the skin underneath moisturized as well.
It helps to avoid dandruff, flaking, itching, and irritation.
A quality beard oil should also add a sheen to your beard. And many people also buy scented oil… something ‘manly’ that will give their beard a rugged, yet pleasant smell.
Beard oil is an important product for any man interested in growing out a full, healthy beard. So it is important that you experiment with a few different types to find out which one works the best for you.
What feels comfortable? What soothes your skin? What reduces dryness and flaking? Which oil leaves your beard looking shiny and sleek?
These are all great questions to ask as you shop for the perfect product.
The Fourth Stage of Beard Growth: the Beard in All of its Glory
As your beard continues to grow, it will obviously get longer, fill out more, and become more glorious.
But it will also get more challenging to control!
At this point, as it continues to grow, you will also want to start keeping an eye out for the perfect time to start styling it for the look you want.
This will usually take about 3 months, as this will give you plenty of time to grow enough length for a quality styling.
You can style it yourself if you want, though it is actually highly recommended that you find a professional barber to visit for the initial cut.
Getting your beard (and/or moustache) styled correctly from the beginning is super important. It sets the tone for how it will continue to look and grow-in.
Visiting a barber will also help you to avoid making costly mistakes that could happen if you slip up while styling it yourself.
I find that a good rule of thumb is to handle it like this…
I find that this routine gives me a healthy balance between getting it styled professionally, and also giving me the convenience of being able to maintain it at home in the interim.
And of course, this all contributes to helping my facial hair to look as awesome as possible in the process!
Care and Instructions
As your beard grows longer, you are going to want to start keeping an eye out for frizz, fuzz, and scraggly hairs. All of these longer hairs, pointing in all different directions, will not make your beard look any better… so you will want to get control of them pretty quickly.
Using a good beard balm can really help with this. Beard balm is very similar to pomade, and basically increases the pliability of your beard. This helps you to sculpt it and keep it under control.
The only thing to keep in mind here is not to use too much of it, as using too much can give you a ‘slick, wet look’ that can easily be overdone.
For best results, you probably don’t want to use more than a nickel-sized amount of balm at a time.
Use this in addition to the other products you are using, and massage it into your beard while it is still damp.
The Fifth Stage of Beard Growth: Keeping up the Good Work
As your beard and/or facial hair gets longer, or as you continue to progress into the style that you’ve chosen for yourself, it is important not to forget daily upkeep and maintenance on your ‘glorious man-mane.’
It can be relatively easy to neglect this as the weeks stretch into months. But this should not be something that you stop putting effort into!
Here are some tips for a ‘care routine’ that you can adopt as you transition into the final, complete stages of your facial-hair game.
A Full Beard/Facial Hair Maintenance Routine
Some people advocate washing your beard every day. But the science seems pretty sound on this. Much like washing your hair every day isn’t necessarily the healthiest option, washing your beard every day can dry it out and cause additional problems.
Instead, wash it 1-3 times per week, using a high-quality beard wash and beard conditioner.
It is vitally important to brush and/or comb your beard periodically throughout the day. In fact, as a general rule, the more facial hair you have, the more often it probably needs to be brushed.
Buy yourself a high quality beard comb and beard brush, and get into the habit of keeping your beard nicely groomed at all times of the day.
Personally, I brush and comb mine in the morning, in that order. I then use a comb on it while I am out and about, and a brush when I’m at home to keep it managed throughout the day.
Beard oil is different from washing. In fact, while over-washing can tend to dry out your skin and beard, beard oil has the opposite effect!
High quality beard oils contain essential oils and vitamins that will help to moisturize and nourish both the hair and the skin underneath it.
How often should you use it? You can actually use beard oil every day… and some people even use it as often as 3 times per day to keep their beard feeling soft and awesome.
Personally, I find that once per day, in the morning, is best for me… but this all depends on your beard, on what style you are choosing, on how naturally oily your skin is, and even on the climate you live in.
Beard balm is very similar to oil, but it does have a few differences. Balm can help to soothe the skin and moisturize your beard, but you will also find that it can leave your beard looking slick and wet if you use too much of it.
I generally only use beard balm if I am going to be out-and-about in public. I love how it looks and smells, but too much of it can definitely make your beard appear oily.
One thing to keep in mind about beard balm is that you want to massage it into your beard all the way down to the skin. It is also a good idea to comb it in as well.
Balm is awesome for keeping your beard styled correctly. Just be careful not to use too much. A nickel-sized amount should be plenty, unless you have more than 3 inches of beard on your face.
Straightening Your Beard
As your beard grows out longer, you may start to notice that it can sometimes get unruly.
Straightening your beard can make it look more elegant. And there are a lot of ways to go about doing this.
Straightening your beard, and keeping it straight, should be a part of your daily routine. So let’s discuss how to do it.
First of all, keeping your beard straight and beating out frizz and fuzz has A LOT to do with how you wash it. If you use cheap soap, your beard may develop split ends, and that will only make the problem worse.
Instead, use a high-quality beard wash that won’t dry it out, and follow it up with a nourishing conditioner.
After this, pat it dry with a towel. Be gentle, though. Don’t be too rough with it!
A good brushing, right after washing, can also do a lot to help you keep your beard straight… as can using beard oil and beard balm.
But sometimes, even these measures are not enough to keep the most unruly beards at bay.
So if you notice that your beard is going wild with frizz, you may need to step-up your straightening game!
Try brushing your beard while also using a blow-dryer on it, and rubbing in a bit of silicone cream to help keep it straight.
Be very careful not to use hot air on your beard, as this can make it more brittle. Gently rub the silicone cream into your beard while it is still damp from washing, and then proceed to brush and dry your beard slowly.
Once the silicone cream starts to set up, your beard should remain pretty straight for the rest of the day.
If this doesn’t work, however, you may need to turn up the heat and resort to using a beard straightener.
Beard straighteners are much smaller than hair straighteners, but essentially work the same way. If you cannot find any other way to keep your beard under control, then this method will generally get the job done.
After showering and washing your beard, gently towel-dry it.
Then, blow-dry it and brush it out as instructed above. But this time, after you get done blow-drying and brushing, break out the beard straightener and use it to gently straighten your beard a little at a time.
You don’t want to turn it up to full heat… but you will need a bit of heat to make this work.
This will last until your next shower. But if all else fails, using a straightener is a pretty sure-fire way to keep beard frizz under control!
Frequently Asked Questions About the Stages of Beard Growth
Here are some questions that we commonly get asked about the stages of beard growth. Hopefully, these will help to dispel some myths and further educate you on the subject of beard grooming/styling.
Q: How much does a beard grow in a week?
As a general rule, it takes about a month to grow a half-inch of hair on your face. This means that one week will yield little more than stubble.
But, with that being said, everyone is a little bit different. Some people grow beard hair faster than others. Some also get better coverage in less time than others.
Q: Does shaving stimulate beard growth?
This is a very common misconception that has never been proven scientifically. You may hear it all the time, about hair all over the body.
But in short, the answer is ‘no.’
Shaving does not stimulate beard growth, any more than letting it grow out. As it turns out, just letting your beard grow is the quickest, fastest way to get maximum growth and coverage.
Q: How can you stimulate beard growth?
There are A LOT of theories about this online. But as it turns out, most of them are exactly that… just theories.
The best proven way to stimulate beard growth is actually NOT TO TRY to stimulate beard growth, but rather, to keep from hindering it or slowing it down.
In other words, leave your beard alone and let it grow. Take good care of your skin to avoid breakouts, dry skin, and ingrown hairs. Stay healthy. Get plenty of rest. Take vitamins. Take care of your body, and your beard will come in as fast and as healthy as your body will allow.
Q: Does beard growth oil work?
The simple, hard truth is that there is really no evidence that you can actually make the hair on your body grow any faster through the use of any sort of oil or product.
But, beard growth oil CAN help to keep your skin healthy. It can also help to stave off hair-growth problems.
Dry, unhealthy skin can lead to breakouts, itchiness, flakes, and ingrown hairs… and these are all obviously problematic.
Beard oil can help to keep these problems at bay, thereby increasing your odds of being able to grow a full, healthy beard to the best of your body’s ability.
Q: Do beard-growth vitamins work?
There is a very limited amount of evidence suggesting that Vitamin D may help to activate dormant hair follicles.
There is also some evidence to show that a deficiency in Vitamin A can lead to hair loss.
It doesn’t necessarily seem like vitamin intake can increase the natural speed of hair growth. Rather, it is more like a deficiency in vitamins can negatively affect hair growth and make the hair follicles less healthy.
So yes, vitamins are essential for the health of all cells, including those responsible for hair growth.
But vitamins are not necessarily a ‘speed booster’ for hair growth, either. As it turns out, your hair grows at a certain speed… and all you can really do about it is try to stay healthy so that the process remains uninhibited.
Q: What can I do if my facial hair doesn’t grow in very fast?
A: Some people are not blessed with the ability to grow thick, full beards in record-time. But that doesn’t mean that they are incapable of doing it!
If you find that your facial hair grows in patches, and you struggle to get any length to it… try letting it grow and just leave it alone for a few months. You may be surprised to find that it just needs time to fill in.
How to Find a High-Quality Local Barber
Here at Male Ambition, we strive to help every man live the best life possible.
We also believe that every powerful alpha-male should have a trusted barber.
This is super important, and goes with the territory of leveling-up your attraction and good looks.
To start with, you can do a Google search.
Type in ‘barbers near me,’ and see what pops up.
Take your time to look at all available listings. See if there are any that stick out to you. Feel free to browse social media sites for reviews, and look closely at any websites that are offered by local professionals.
Make a list of 4 or 5 who seem to fit your style the best, and pay a visit to each one. Pay attention to how you are treated when you call, and follow this up with a walk-in visit.
Did you feel like you were taken seriously as a customer? When you asked them questions, were they eager to answer… or did they act ‘too good’ for you?
Sometimes, barber shops can be ‘cliquey’ places… but you may want to avoid this, unless you can get into the clique via a mutual friend.
Actually, asking your friends if they can recommend a good barber could also be a great way to find someone decent. Just don’t neglect a good Google search as well, to make sure that you are covering all of your options.
A good barber should suit your price range, take your personal style seriously, treat you with respect, and do a great job of styling and trimming your beard and hair. A visit to your barber should be an occasion where you know that you will look and feel great when walking out the door.
This is super important. Never spend time or money with a barber who fails to meet this mark!
As a powerful alpha male, choosing the right facial hair is very important to leveling up your own personal style. And understanding the stages of beard growth is an essential part of this process.
So find a style that is right for you, and go for it!
Joshua Sigafus is an experienced writer trying to make the world a better place. You can reach out to him on Facebook.