How Much Time Do You Need To Grow A Beard?
So you have climbed onto the bandwagon and are starting to grow a beard. Maybe you have seen the ladies pay extra attention to your bearded pal or curiosity got the best of you when you realized that facial hair is all the rage right now. The bottom line is that you are ready to venture into the land of grown men with faces full of manly hair.
Some men think that facial hair creates a more rough and dangerous look. Maybe you had this exact thought when you had an epiphany. You realized that the one piece missing from your ruggedly handsome looks is that manly bit of bristles to add some mystery and definition to your mug.
Since you have begun that gradual process of growing your whiskers to your preferred length, you are probably finding out that there is a lot more involved than meets the eye. You are not just sitting back with your feet up while letting nature take its course. At one point or another, the fact hits you that an impressive, attractive, and well-kept beard requires a bit of effort, time and devotion.
Think of it as a test of your patience. This virtue is definitely a good one to have once you are a man with a full face of hair because you will look more mature and patient. You will also have to learn how to handle the extra attention as acquaintances will either not recognize you right away or ask you a bunch of questions regarding your new style. It will take time for others to get used to seeing your face covered by bristles. Be patient as they adapt to your new look. It is just a matter of time until your beard will attain the ideal length to your liking.
Before the waiting and anticipation has you going crazy, let’s alleviate some of your anxiety by discussing the details of the beard growing process. Rest assured that you are not the only man trying to hide his impatience as he awaits the day that his facial hair has reached his ultimate goal. Consider each day as one day closer to the goal, but enjoy the journey in the meantime. Just think about it, with each day of growth, more and more ladies will be drawn to your new air of mystery.
1. Anagen, Catagen, Telogen
No, you won’t have to learn a new language to join the world of bearded men. Anagen, catagen, and telogen are the phases all of your hairs go through as part of the growing process. It is a cycle that continues over and over again. Thanks to this process, your beard will reach its maximum potential within about six months. So let’s familiarize ourselves with these magical phases of hair growth:
This is arguably the most amazing of the three stages. During the anagen phase, a hair follicle grows a long hair shaft. For facial hair, this period of growth lasts about a couple of months, depending on your particular DNA. During this time, the strand grows about 1 centimeter (2/5 inch) per month. At any given moment, about 85% of your hair follicles are at this stage in the process.
By the time your hair strand reaches this phase, it no longer grows and its follicle shrinks. For several months, it just kind of sits back into your skin and relaxes. Its hardest job is done.
This phase marks both an end as well as a new beginning. While a new hair follicle has been created, it slowly pushes the old, shrunken follicle out. This is the point when the old hair strand is shed, and the new follicle begins the anagen stage.
2. Some Much-Needed Advice
So with all of this in mind so far, you have determined that growing a beard is definitely the right course of action for you. Next you will plan the day when you begin on your new journey, the day when you put your razor away and stop shaving. It might sound simple and easy, but experience tells us that you will, at times, feel the urge to put the razor to your face just to make little adjustments. Please toss your razor and refrain from any shaving, snipping, clipping, or trimming with any tool whatsoever.
After practicing your patience for about a month, you can reclaim your tools and make small changes to your evolving beard. Remain conservative when using your razor, clippers, or scissors to make adjustments to your whiskers. You want to sculpt and shape, but do not go overboard. Allow your facial hair to grow in length more than you snip off. Here are some guidelines of how much is acceptable where.
Unless you want to grow a wild mane like a barbarian or Santa Claus, you can go ahead and draw a mental line at your neck where you want your beard to end. Since this outline requires a bit of aesthetic and artistic skill, you might want to leave this area in the hands of a professional barber.
If you are feeling courageous and aesthetically skilled, proceed in the following order: First, take a beard trimmer and trim the hair you wish to get rid of along your mental outline. Once you can begin to see the shape you have created for the neckline, make any adjustments with the trimmer before grabbing your razor. Only when you are completely satisfied with the shape you have defined with the trimmer can you then use your razor to completely get rid of the unwanted hair.
My recommendation is to let your facial fur evolve naturally along your cheeks. If you are really opposed to the way nature shaped the beard along your cheeks, you can eventually make tiny adjustments at a time. My assumption is that, unless you grow facial hair like Santa, you should be best off leaving your cheeks to their own devices. Now, in the case that you belong to the group of men who grow whole rugs on their faces, you can definitely decrease your growth along the cheeks to give you some air and avoid scaring small children. Just remember to trim a tiny bit at a time to make sure that you like the changes.
Once you have reached the 1 month mark, there is something additional that we recommend. You may have started to experience a bit of an itch or some dry skin flaking off from the skin underneath your beard. These are signs of dehydrated skin and hair, which is to be expected, especially in dry climates. We suggest that you go online and find yourself a bottle of beard oil. When your beard is cleansed and towel-dried, put about a dime-sized circle of the oil in the palm of your hand. Then rub your hands together to evenly disperse the oil before you rub it into your beard. Finally, use your fingers or a beard comb to stroke the oil through from the roots to the tip of your beard. Right away, you will notice that your hair and skin are hydrated and any discomfort should have subsided.
3. Remaining Devoted
So your beard has taught you patience. Now it’s time that it instill another virtue in you, namely loyalty. You see, it is easy to become bored, discouraged or side-tracked with anything in life, your beard included. However, just as in a marriage, loyalty and devotion will pay off in the long run.
Whether it is the itching, someone’s unappreciated comment, insecurity about your new look, or uncertainty about what you really want, always remind yourself to stay true and loyal to the goal you set. The itch is easily cured with beard oil, boredom will be killed off as soon as the first round of female attention hits, insecurity is an illusion every man needs to learn to see right through, and uncertainty is just unbecoming of any man, period. So mark a date in your calendar about two to three months past the day you began, and do not shake your loyalty to your beard until then. Once you reach that day, you most likely will be utterly grateful that you stuck to your guns.
4. How Low Will It Go?
How long your beard will eventually reach is predetermined by your genes. Don’t get obsessive about length. Grow your beard for several months to determine your maximum potential. Then you might wish to trim it to a more suitable, manageable length anyway.
5. Strong Like Popeye
The characteristics of your hair, including your facial hair, are determined by your genes. Whether or not your hair lives up to its maximum potential, however, is all up to you. The nutrients you consume, amount of water you drink, exercise you do, and the regular, sufficient hours of sleep you get all contribute to help your hair meet its highest potential. On the other hand, the more alcohol you consume and cigarettes you smoke are among the factors that will minimize your hair’s strength and quality.
Strong, healthy hair requires a healthful lifestyle. Now that your beard has instilled the virtues of patience and loyalty in you, you can add healthful habits to the positive lifestyle you have acquired thanks to your facial hair.