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Some men grow a thick, full beard while doing nothing more than setting their razor aside for several weeks. Others, well, their beard comes in patchy and never quite attains a satisfactory thickness.
For most people, this is worse than not having a beard, which is why they choose to shave it all off.
Not all hope is lost if you fall into the latter group, however. There are several methods and products you can try to grow a thicker beard, and many have used them and experienced good results.
While there’s no magic potion that will make your whiskers grow in areas where they don’t – because of genetics or other reasons – you can make your beard thicker and give it an overall appearance of fullness. The health of your beard depends upon a lot of factors, and in this article, we will talk about all of them in proper detail to help you get the look you’ve always admired and wanted.
Here’s a look at some ways you can enhance your beard by making it thicker.
First, let’s quickly address a couple of key questions before we dive into our beard growing tips:
How fast does facial hair grow?
How fast your beard grows depends on several factors, including your genetics, age, and race. Most men experience their biggest beard growth between the ages of 25 to 35.
But back to the original question: The average growth rate for facial hair is about a half-inch per month, sometimes less, sometimes more.You might see the rate of growth in beards a lot more in some men than in others.
To understand how hair grows, it’s important to know that there are three stages to growth: anagen, catagen, and telogen.
The anagen phase is when hair is growing – when the cells of hair follicles divide rapidly to create a new hair shaft – while the catagen phase is when hair lies dormant.
The telogen phase is when new hair starts to push out older or dead hair to, hopefully, kick-start the process all over again. About 10% of all hair follicles are in the telogen phase at any given time.
How long does it take to grow a beard?
It takes around two to four months for the average man to grow a full beard. Again, the growth depends on many factors; one man may grow an inch of facial hair per month while another may grow at the standard half-inch per month, or maybe less.
It also depends on what you think a full-fledged beard is. If you want something that covers the bottom half of your face, you can get in less time than something that’s longer and falls down to your chest.
1. Spectral.BRD and the Minoxidil beard
Let’s begin with two common and effective ways for growing a thicker beard, both of which have scientific backing.
Developed by DS Laboratories, an innovative company focused on the science of hair growth, among other things, Spectral.BRD is a potent serum designed to reduce the patchiness of facial hair while helping it to become thicker.
A key ingredient in Spectral.BRD is Nanoxidil, which is very similar to minoxidil, but without potential side effects.
The primary difference between nanoxidil and minoxidil lies in their molecular structures. Nanoxidil has a greater molecular weight than minoxidil because it contains one less carbon chain.
Because it has a larger molecular weight, nanoxidil absorbs better into the skin.
Again, nanoxidil users don’t experience the side effects that may occur with minoxidil, which we’ll touch on later when we take a closer look at minoxidil.
Another important ingredient found in Spectral.BRD is adenosine, which is shown to increase the anagen phase of hair growth. Adenosine also helps increase the hair shaft diameter, which contributes to the overall thickness of your beard.
Scientifically speaking, adenosine increases thymidine uptake, which helps induce hair follicle development from the epidermis.
We can’t mention Spectral.BRD without discussing DS Labs’ unique nanosome delivery system, which enables key ingredients to penetrate deeply into the skin. It encapsulates and allows for a continuous release of active ingredients for longer-lasting results.
The ingredients are encapsulated in nano-sized liposomes that, because of their small size, penetrate deeper into the skin to deliver those ingredients. Here’s an interesting study about nanosomes and their efficacy.
Besides nanoxidil and adenosine, Spectral.BRD has a long list of other ingredients that help produce thicker, healthier whiskers while helping to eliminate the patchiness that plagues some beard growers.
Caffeine extract, when used topically, counteracts testosterone-enhanced protein that suppresses the growth and division of hair cells while stimulating scalp and facial hair growth.
Biotin is a common ingredient found in many hair growth products, and a biotin deficiency can lead to alopecia, i.e., the loss of hair from some or all areas of the body. A daily biotin supplement may increase hair growth after 90 to 180 days.
- Piroctone olamine
Piroctone olamine increases the number of hairs in the anagen phase. Nearly 90% of people who use piroctone olamine report thicker hair.
- Rosemary oil
Rosemary oil strengthens circulation to prevent hair follicles from becoming cut off of the blood supply that’s necessary for them to survive. In turn, this promotes healthy hair growth.
- Castor oil
Castor oil contains the omega-9 unsaturated fatty acid known as ricinoleic acid, which restores moisture in the hair.
- Copper peptides
Copper peptides increase hair follicle size, stimulate hair growth, and reduce hair loss. They also help to improve hair transplant success (and we’ll talk about transplants later on in this article).
- Hyaluronic acid
Hyaluronic acid helps to promote hair growth by adding moisture to a dry scalp and hair. It can also help increase the diameter of hair strands.
- Nicotinic acid
Nicotinic acid, or niacinamide, is a type of vitamin B3 that increases the density of hair follicles and improves the quality of existing hair shafts. It also aids the synthesis of keratin, the main component of human hair.
Another benefit of Spectral.BRD is that it’s relatively easy to use. You apply six to eight drops of the serum on the affected area and then massage it in until it covers the entire area. Do not rinse it off after application. You should apply it twice a day.
You’ve probably heard of minoxidil, or as it’s commonly known – Rogaine. We’re betting that you have.
First introduced as a drug to treat high blood pressure – and it still is – minoxidil is considered an anti-hypersensitive vasodilator.
People who couldn’t lower their blood pressure through standard treatment options and other medications turned to minoxidil and experienced good results.
But here’s the kicker: One of the side effects of minoxidil was that it caused hair growth. For many people, that wasn’t such a bad side effect. The rest is history, and by 1988, minoxidil became the first drug approved by the FDA for use as a hair-growth product.
Minoxidil is also backed by science regarding hair growth, as several studies – including this one – show that it’s effective in many cases.
How does minoxidil work?
Oddly enough, scientists aren’t 100% sure how minoxidil works to promote hair growth. They do know that it’s a potassium channel opener that stimulates the blood circulation of hair follicles, which allow more nutrients and hormones to reach their roots.
In turn, the hair grows thicker and faster because it has more access to nutrients that go behind growing a healthy beard.
It also works by prolonging the anagen phase of hair growth, the phase that promotes hair growth.
Another suggestion is that minoxidil works with the immune system by stimulating the enzyme prostaglandin synthase-1. That’s notable because hair loss, in general, appears to have a connection with the immune system.
Something else worth noting: minoxidil doesn’t revive hair growth on your face in the same way as it does on your scalp.
Men who suffer a lack of facial hair aren’t “balding” in the same way as someone who is losing hair on his head. Instead, minoxidil works to stimulate the follicles already present on your face.
These follicles are just dormant, and not completely dead as you see in the victims of male pattern baldness.
The types of minoxidil
Choosing the right type of minoxidil, whether you use it on your face or scalp, is important for getting the best results. The two primary types are minoxidil foam and minoxidil liquid.
Liquid is the original form of minoxidil and can be applied twice a day. It’s less expensive than foam, but it takes longer to dry.
Perhaps the biggest difference between liquid and foam minoxidil is that the liquid contains propylene glycol, which helps transport minoxidil’s ingredients past the skin surface.
It also ensures that minoxidil is evenly distributed over the areas of the beard which need treatment.
The kicker is that propylene glycol irritates the skin in some users, which, for them, makes minoxidil foam a better option. Nonetheless, propylene glycol plays an important role in getting the drug to work.
- 5% minoxidil vs. 2%
Minoxidil liquid typically comes with either a 5% or 2% minoxidil concentration. The stronger the concentration, the greater the potential for experiencing good results, at least for most men.
Some studies show that the 5% concentration delivers nearly 50% more new hair growth, although results may vary from one individual to the next.
- How to apply minoxidil liquid
Both liquid and foam minoxidil are relatively easy to apply:
- Begin by cleansing your face with a quality cleanser or wash, such as the Ursa Major Fantastic Face Wash. Avoid using a bar soap because it can irritate and dry out the skin.
- Apply the liquid minoxidil to the area(s) of the beard you want to treat. The typical application is 1 ml of liquid, and the dropper that comes with the solution measures the amount for you.
- Leave the liquid minoxidil on your face for approximately four hours to allow it to better absorb into the skin. Some people apply it before going to bed to ensure that it’s left in for the proper amount of time.
- Rinse or wash your face with water after you’ve left the minoxidil on for the suggested period.
- Use a moisturizer to reduces potential dryness and skin irritation. Again, the propylene glycol found in liquid minoxidil may irritate the skin, although that’s not the case for every person.
- How often should I apply liquid minoxidil?
You should apply liquid minoxidil to your face and beard twice a day or as instructed. Results may take time – and at least up to six months – but you should notice a thicker, less-patchy beard over time.
You can stop using it when you’re satisfied with the thickness of your beard. Or, you can slowly wean yourself off of it; you may experience some minor shedding during the process.
If you decide that liquid minoxidil is your best option, we think that the Kirkland Signature Minoxidil is a great choice. It’s a 5% topical solution that comes in a two-year supply and with two child-resistant dropper applicators.
The bottom line is that you don’t need to use minoxidil, whether liquid or foam, for the rest of your life. But don’t stop using it until your beard has reached its full thickness.
Minoxidil foam costs more than minoxidil liquid, but studies show that it’s equally effective for growing a thicker beard. And it doesn’t include propylene glycol, which may cause skin irritation, although it may not absorb in the skin quite as effectively as the liquid.
For many users and reviewers, minoxidil foam produces very similar results to liquid. Deciding which one works best is more a matter of personal preference than anything else.
Rogaine’s 5% Minoxidil Foam is a popular choice among men seeking to stimulate hair growth. It works to boost hair follicle activity and hair protein protection – important factors in the quest for a thicker beard.
- How to apply minoxidil foam
- Wash your face, preferably with a face wash or cleanser, and not bar soap.
- Rinse your fingers and hands with cold water. The foam will dissolve too quickly if your hands are warm, so make sure that they’re nice and cool.
- Dispense the foam onto your fingers. Use an amount that fits into half of the cap, or approximately 1 ml.
- Apply the foam to your beard and the skin underneath until you’ve used up all of it.
- Wash your hands thoroughly once you’ve finished.
Minoxidil side effects
Unlike nanoxidil, as discussed in our overview Spectral.BRD, minoxidil may cause side effects.
For example, skin irritation and redness, unwanted hair growth in other areas of the body, or – in more serious cases – abnormal weight loss, dizziness, swollen feet or hands, and chest pain.
Most minoxidil users experience few side effects if any; if you experience a more serious reaction, contact your physician immediately.
2. The beard transplant: A permanent solution
For some men, the inability to grow a full, thick beard is completely out of their hands. That’s because they’re genetically-disposed to grow a thin, patchier beard than other men, and their fathers and grandfathers probably faced the same issue.
That’s why a beard transplant, especially for those men, is a viable alternative to a lifetime of patchy beards that only serve to frustrate.
In short, a beard transplant involves taking hair from another part of the body and transplanting it to the face, or wherever a beard or mustache grows. While beard transplants are still a relatively new procedure, their overall results have been good.
And by “good” results, we mean those that produce a thick, full beard that looks completely natural, not contrived.
Let’s dig a little deeper:
How it works
For starters, the hair that’s transplanted to your face typically comes from the back of the scalp, where hair most closely resembles facial hair than the hair on other parts of the body.
The 2 types of beard transplants
There are two major types of beard transplants – Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT). Both types involve removing hair from a donor area.
An FUE beard transplant involves taking individual hairs one-by-one from the donor region and transplanting them to the face. It’s the most common beard transplant procedure, and it leaves only small, white scars behind (which are hardly noticeable).
In a FUT transplant, the surgeon takes a small strip of tissue from the donor area via a microscopic dissection process. The strip is transplanted to the facial area, and the surgeon closes the wound edge of the donor region, leaving a single, fine scar behind.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both procedures:
- The FUE procedure doesn’t leave a linear scar – as with FUT – and it heals faster. The latter is important because, for one reason, the patient can return to normal activity in less time.
- The scars left by the FUE procedure cover a wider area; on the other hand, they’re harder to detect than those left behind by a FUT transplant.
- The FUT donor strip harvests a greater amount of hair, which may make it easier to achieve maximum beard thickness.
- Most patients report little or no discomfort during the FUE procedure.
For a closer look, here’s a video comparison of the FUE and FUT procedures during a hair transplant:
Transplant specialists advise patients not to take any medication that contains aspirin 10 days before the procedure. Further, patients shouldn’t take anti-inflammatory medications or drink alcohol three days before the transplant.
Also, taking a vitamin C tablet once a day for a full week prior to the transplant can help aid the healing process.
The transplant surgeon may prescribe an antibiotic to prevent infection in the donor area following the procedure. That may include an antibiotic ointment that you apply to the donor area for five days after the transplant.
You may notice hair shedding after the transplant, which is no reason to panic. Instead, it’s a natural part of the process; by three months, you should notice a marked improvement in the thickness and amount of your facial hair, if not sooner.
Also, you should keep the transplanted area as dry as possible for five days following surgery.
There are some side effects associated with a facial hair transplant, but nothing serious. They may include:
- Swelling in the donor region
- Mild bruising
- Ingrown hair
- Increased sensitivity at the donor and recipient sites
Facial transplant patients typically resume shaving within a week to 10 days after transplant.
The advantages of getting a beard transplant
We’ve already mentioned one advantage, i.e., that beard transplants make it possible to get a full beard for men who are genetically predisposed to have a patchy or thin beard. There are other advantages, as well:
- You’ll get a realistic, natural-looking beard – especially if a skilled surgeon and clinic is in charge of the transplant.
- You can choose the style of beard you want and have the procedure follow accordingly.
- You can also have hair transplanted to your eyebrows and sideburns if you so choose.
The disadvantages of a beard transplant
The primary disadvantage of getting a beard transplant is its cost.
There’s no getting around the fact that a transplant will strain your budget – it may cost $7,000 or more, and even up to $15,000, depending on the quality of the clinic and the surgeon’s talents and experience.
You can always find clinics willing to do a transplant for less, sometimes much less, but make sure that you evaluate them thoroughly while reading the reviews of men who’ve had the procedure performed there.
Some clinics charge on a per-session basis because it may take more than one session to complete the transplant. Others may charge on a per-graft basis in which the total cost equals the number of grafts times the price per graft.
Some surgeons may use or need, more hairs per graft to give the beard a fuller, thicker appearance.
Another factor to consider is that some clinics charge a consultation fee to meet with the patient before the procedure takes place. A consultation fee may cost as much as $300 – but often less.
Another minor disadvantage of a beard transplant is that because the hair comes from the back of the head, it may be harder to match. The hair from your head has a slightly different structure than pre-existing beard hair, which also can make it harder to match.
3. Taking supplements to enhance beard growth
We’ll discuss a well-balanced diet – which is another important factor for stimulating beard growth – a little later because getting the right amount of vitamins and nutrients is among the many beard growing tips.
Vitamin supplements can help in the beard growth process, although results may vary from person to person. They can make your beard look thicker and help it grow faster than men who don’t get a sufficient dose of vitamins in their diet.
Supplements may also help to fill in those patchy spots. Do they actually work? Well, there’s not a lot of credible science backing them, but that doesn’t mean they don’t provide some benefits to patchy facial hair.
Vitamins such as copper, zinc, magnesium, vitamin B, iron, vitamin D, and vitamin E may all play helpful roles for growing thicker hair, both on your face and on your scalp.
Additionally, there’s some evidence that vitamin D helps to activate dormant hair follicles, while B vitamins also strengthen and condition hair.
Among the B vitamins, biotin is probably the most important one for facial hair growth. Biotin dramatically boosts the production of keratin, a protein that provides the structural base for hair and nails.
Studies also show that a biotin deficiency can slow hair growth by, in part, causing hair to become thin and brittle.
While biotin is found in foods such as eggs, meat, bananas, and legumes, ingesting it as an oral supplement may be the best method to get the results you desire, or least to make sure you’re getting the right amount of biotin to enhance hair growth.
How much biotin is the right amount? One school of thought says your diet should include 5,000 to 10,000 mcg of biotin to influence beard and hair growth.
The good news is that biotin is water-soluble, and any excess is removed when you urinate, and, besides, it doesn’t have side effects.
Nonetheless, you should always consult with your physician first before taking a supplement or an extra dose of biotin.
4. Beard oil: The magic elixir
No self-respecting beardsmen should be without beard oil in his grooming arsenal. Beard oil, simply put, has too many benefits for you to not include it in your daily grooming regimen, whether you want to enhance your beard’s thickness or not.
What is beard oil? In general terms, it’s a mixture of essential and carrier oils that act as a leave-in conditioner for the beard and skin.
You can begin to use oil early in the beard-growing process and keep using it until you shave your beard off (which we’re not advising, mind you).
What are some beard oil’s many benefits? Here’s a look:
- Beard oil reduces the itchiness that many men experience, particularly in the early days and weeks of growing a new beard.
- It softens the beard to make it more manageable.
- It helps the skin below the beard to thrive while also healing any issues that can lead to patchy growth.
- Beard oil helps eliminate “beardruff,” the facial hair equivalent of dandruff.
- Beard oil helps to enhance your beard’s overall appearance.
But let’s discuss the more pertinent question: Does beard oil help beard growth and to create a thicker beard?
The answer is, no, not technically, because it doesn’t – by itself – change the rate at which your beard grows. However, it can help create the conditions which help the beard thrive, which, in turn, can lead to a thicker beard.
Beard oil treats symptoms and issues that prevent beard follicles from nourishing and growing.
If you’re in the market for a quality beard oil, check out Honest Amish’s Classic Beard Oil. It contains seven important oils that improve hair and skin health.
5. Grow a thicker beard by giving it time to grow
The fact that your beard takes time to grow seems fairly obvious. Of course, some men grow facial hair faster than others – it’s a genetic thing, for one – but “giving it time” requires a bit of patience; perhaps more patience than you’d think.
Let’s spend some time talking about the Four Weeks Rule and how it applies to how to grow a thicker beard. In short, you need to regard time as a close ally (perhaps your closest ally) regarding beard growth and to grow a beard naturally at home.
And it comes down to this: many men think their beard is patchy when it really isn’t. Instead, they may not have given it enough time to grow a beard on your cheeks.
That’s why you need to give yourself four weeks, at the minimum, to grow a thick, luscious beard of which you can be proud. Never evaluate your beard’s status without allowing it to grow for four weeks.
Many men experience the temptation of wanting to throw in the towel – and break out their razor – because their beard looks scraggly or patchy after a couple of weeks of growth. Don’t do it.
To grow a thick beard requires the same kind of commitment that it takes to develop a killer body or to earn an advance degree. And it’s not even the same kind of commitment, time-wise, like many other things that require discipline.
The point is, you need to stay the course even when you counter the inevitable bumps along the way.
Let’s take a closer look at the four weeks:
If you’ve never grown a beard before, or even if you have, the first week is the “weird” week. Those newbie whiskers feel strange on your face and even look a little weird.
You may also start to experience the dreaded beard itch during this opening stage of your march to beard greatness. Let’s not dismiss the impact of beard itch and how it’s the reason many men decide to scrap the project altogether, but hold your ground.
Beard itch is another reason why the first week of the growth cycle is a good time to apply beard oil. Beard oil makes your beard look and feel healthier, and has many benefits for the skin underneath, but it also helps to keep beard itch at bay.
The second week of beard growth gives you a better sense of the shape of your beard. You’ll probably continue to notice patchiness, with some areas thick with growth and others more sparse, but you may have an idea of what beard style best suits your face.
You still want to focus on growth at this stage, however, so resist the urge to trim your beard’s edges or to clean it up by getting rid of stray hairs, etc. You may want to start using a growth supplement at this stage, as well.
By the third week of growth, you should be mostly free of that pesky beard itch. You’ll also really begin to notice how that patch of facial hair is taking shape and starting to look like a real beard.
You can start to trim the edges of your beard at this stage, just don’t go overboard and snip away any hairs you’re planning to keep. If you want, you can begin to brush your beard – with a quality beard brush meant for the task – to start training hairs to lie a certain way.
You deserve a hearty pat on the back at this point in your beard growth journey. You may not have the fullest, thickest beard that you desire quite yet, but you’re getting damn close.
You’ll have a clear picture of the final shape of your beard, and you can start to groom it in earnest.
The importance of maintaining a healthy diet cannot be understated. You can lessen your risk of disease, it helps you to maintain a suitable weight, it can even improve your energy levels and state of mind.
And it can help you to grow a thicker beard.
Supplements, which we talked about earlier, can help you to grow a thicker, less-patchy beard. But a healthy diet also ensures that you’ll get the right amount of vitamins and nutrients.
Vitamins support the growth of a thicker, healthier beard as you move forward, which is the result you want.
Among the many positives of eating a healthy diet is that you have a wide variety of foods to choose from, i.e., you don’t have to eat the same thing over and over again to get the dose of vitamins and nutrients you need.
You can try different foods, dishes, and recipes without being forced to eat something just because it’s healthy.
There’s an old saying that says the healthier the food, the worse it tastes, but that’s far from the truth. You may have to wean yourself off junk food that you think tastes great, but it doesn’t mean you’re forever cursed to eat a bland diet.
Here’s another thing: Men who eat healthy foods lose more weight than those that don’t – no surprise there – and maintain a healthy weight more easily. But losing weight boosts testosterone, the male hormone that has a huge impact on facial hair growth.
Here’s a look at some types of foods that can help you to grow a full beard without patches.
Foods for vitamin A and Beta A carotene
These two vitamins help repair skin tissue, which, in turn, leads to better hair growth. You’ll find them in foods such as carrot, egg yolks, kale, spinach, and sweet potatoes.
Protein is essential to hair growth because, for one, hair consists of keratin – a type of protein that contains amino acids. Your diet is the best source of keratin, and you’ll find it in foods such as fish, lean meat, eggs, poultry, rice, beans, and legumes.
Foods containing vitamin C and E
Vitamins C and E are important to beard growth, and hair growth in general, because they boost the body’s production of sebum – the natural oil that lubricates and moisturizes hair.
Foods that include C and E include citrus fruits, green peppers, broccoli, almonds, peanut butter, spinach, mangoes, and sunflower seeds.
Omega-3 fatty acids
This type of fat is essential to our overall growth, including the growth of facial hair. Omega-3 fats also protect cell membranes that help prevent your beard from becoming dry and brittle.
You’ll find Omega-3 fatty acids in salmon (and other “fatty” fish), as well as in walnuts and flaxseed oil.
Foods containing vitamins B6, B12, and biotin
Vitamins B6, B12, and Biotin promote the growth of hair and new skin cells. Additionally, B vitamins help the body to synthesize protein, and we’ve already discussed how important protein is to hair growth.
Foods such as fish, poultry, nuts, brown rice, eggs, oatmeal, and wheat germ contain healthy amounts of vitamins B6, B12, and biotin.
Another important diet tip is to drink plenty of water. Maintaining proper hydration is important for a long list of reasons, including that it keeps the skin beneath your beard healthy and hydrated.
How much water should you drink each day? It depends upon several factors, including your activity level and the type of climate where you live. But it’s recommended that men drink a total of 13 cups of water – about 3 liters – daily.
7. Exercise and its benefits for beard growth
There’s a ton of reasons why you should exercise consistently, and we’re sure you’ve heard most of them by now. But maybe you didn’t know that exercise can help you to grow a thicker, healthier beard. Here’s how:
- Exercise improves blood flow, which helps to stimulate hair follicle growth.
- Exercise increases testosterone, which can trigger beard growth.
- Exercise boosts your metabolism, which can spur hair growth.
- Exercise boosts your blood circulation rate. Improved blood circulation means that vitamins and nutrients reach your hair follicle more effectively, which, in turn, stimulates hair growth.
- Shedding weight also helps to boost testosterone; it’s like a one-two punch, you exercise and boost your testosterone, you lose weight because of exercising and you boost testosterone again.
Any form of exercise is helpful, but short, intense exercises such as lifting weights and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) help to give your testosterone a turbo-charge. You can focus your weight-training on the major muscle groups, i.e., the legs, back, and chest.
Another way that exercise helps in the beard growth process is that is causes you to sweat. Sweating pushes dirt, grime, and excess oils out of skin’s pores. Beard hair won’t grow properly if your pores and hair follicles are clogged.
One of the most important factors for choosing an exercise program is finding a routine you like and sticking with it. You want to push yourself, but it shouldn’t feel like medieval torture. Create a plan that fits your lifestyle and that you find enjoyable, and stick with it.
8. Reduce stress
Too much stress can have damaging effects on our minds, body, and hair. It can restrict the flow of vitamins to your hair follicles, for one, and hair loss, say many experts, is a normal response to stress.
The good news is that there are a plethora of stress-reducing activities – such as exercise, meditation, or even just taking needed breaks during a busy day. You’ll be more productive, clear-headed, and less frazzled.
9. Getting more rest
There’s nothing quite like a good night’s sleep. There’s also nothing quite like a bad night’s sleep.
Most of us know how it feels when we don’t sleep right: grogginess, trouble concentrating, less productiveness. It’s not doing your beard any favors either.
Among the many negative effects a lack of sleep has on the body is that it reduces testosterone. A reduction in testosterone, as we’ve discussed previously, can have an impact on facial hair growth.
A study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association said that a week’s worth of sleep deprivation, in which study participants got no more than five hours of sleep per night, caused a 10 to 15 percent reduction in daytime testosterone levels.
That number is significant when you consider that there’s only a 1 to 2 percent reduction in testosterone during the normal aging process.
A lack of sleep also raises your stress levels, and stress is another thing that can impact your beard growth negatively. Lack of sleep will also reduce testosterone production in your body, which is another important contributing factor towards hair health.
So, get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. You’ll not only do your mind and body a favor, but you’ll probably notice less patchiness in your beard, as well.
10. Building a thicker beard through hormone therapy
We’ve talked about the role of testosterone in beard growth already, but it’s worth repeating. In short, one of the culprits regarding a lack of facial hair growth in men is testosterone deficiency. Testosterone promotes beard growth, plain and simple.
It’s also important to note that testosterone levels often decrease with age. The older you get, the harder it can be to grow and maintain the thick, full beard you desire.
This means that you have a much better chance of stimulating your facial hair follicles and engaging in beard enhancement techniques until you’re in your early thirties.
All of which leads us to hormone therapy. Hormone therapy is another option when your beard is patchy or too thin for your liking – whether you’re young or old.
Also known as Testosterone Replacement Therapy, hormone therapy can help restore facial hair if the underlying cause of thinness and patchiness is a deficiency of male hormones.
The therapy is administered in a variety of forms – injections, tablets or capsules, and hormonal creams.
Men with unnaturally low levels of testosterone may benefit from hormone therapy, although the jury is still out as to whether it’s beneficial for men who experience a decrease in testosterone because of their age.
This can have other benefits, as well, as it is easier to put on muscle if you’re on hormone replacement therapy. You can read up more on the benefits and disadvantages of HRT.
It’s important to note that hormone therapy isn’t without risks. Minor side effects include fluid retention, acne, and increased urination.
More serious risks include increased cholesterol levels, a worsening of sleep apnea, decreased sperm count, infertility, and an increased number of red blood cells.
11. Microneedling and beard growth
While the idea of rolling tiny needles over your face may seem cringe-worthy, it can help you to grow a thicker, healthier-looking beard.
Microneedling has emerged of late as another good option for stimulating facial hair growth, and it involves pricking your face with hundreds of needles. Not to worry, however, because most users say the process is painless.
The needles are quite tiny and do not pierce the skin too hard or too deep.
The needles come connected to a roller that you apply to your beard and, particularly, the skin underneath it. It sounds a bit odd, yes, but it works by attracting nutrients and hormone-rich blood to the skin.
It also increases circulation in the face, which helps to reduce scar tissue and wrinkles in the long run, giving you healthier skin on your face.
When you roll the needles over your face, they create tiny punctures in the skin. The body recognizes that “damage,” and then begins the healing process. As mentioned, blood circulation improves, and more hormone-rich blood rushes to the affected area.
In other words, the repair process helps to create a healthier base from which facial hair can grow. Your beard growth might also be stunted because of the dead skin cells present on your face, which microneedle therapy can help get rid of.
Using microneedles also helps activate stem-cell growth factors, at least according to this 2013 study. Additionally, the study suggests that using a microneedle roller in conjunction with minoxidil treatments can kick-start beard growth.
To combine minoxidil and microneedle treatments, continue to use minoxidil twice daily except for one day in which you use a microneedle roller instead. You should wait 24 hours after your most recent microneedle session before applying minoxidil.
Some other things to keep in mind with microneedles are:
- You don’t need to apply a lot of pressure for the treatment to be effective. Just because you don’t feel a bit of pain or discomfort doesn’t mean the needles aren’t working, since the needles will still puncture the surface of the skin. This can open up room for infection and other impurities to get into your skin.
- They come in two types of needle materials – titanium and stainless steel. In general, titanium needles cost a bit more but seem to be more effective and durable, which can make them a better long-term investment. If you choose to opt for a stainless steel needle, make sure you change it periodically.
- A roller with more needles isn’t necessarily better. Rollers with fewer needles can have the same positive effect and are, generally, gentler on the skin. A harsh roller might cause damage to your skin and also not help your beard grow as well as it should.
- Don’t use a microneedle roller if you have acne, because it can spread the acne and make the problem worse. The needles in the roller enter the surface of your skin multiple times, and they can spread the impurities in the acne throughout your face, making your skin problem worse.
- It’s also recommended that men with psoriasis and eczema shouldn’t use microneedles. This can cause infections and other related complications on your face, which might take a long time and a lot of medications to fix.
While there are potential side effects of microneedling, they’re typically mild. They may include bruising, infection, some bleeding, and the formation of scar tissue. But the odds of experiencing those side effects are low. Make sure that you check the instructions properly and do it the right way to minimize the possibility of these side effects.
There are many quality microneedle devices available, including the StimuROLLER Face by DS Laboratories.
12. Using beard dye to enhance your beard’s appearance
OK, so beard dye won’t help you to grow a thicker beard, but it can make your beard appear thicker. It works best for men with beards of a lighter color, and many men suggest that beard dye – when properly applied – makes a beard look more robust.
A darker beard, in general, tends to look thicker but has nothing to do with beard density, which refers to the number of hairs per square centimeter of your face.
Sure, beard dye is a bit of smoke and mirrors when it comes to creating a thicker beard, but if you can make your beard look healthier and fuller through coloring it, why not give it a try?
Among our favorite beard dyes is Godefroy’s Professional Tint Kit. You can use it on beards, mustaches, sideburns, the temples, etc. It features 20 single-application pre-measured capsules.
Man’s quest for a thicker beard is both challenging and rewarding. It may take time, but the benefits are many. Beard products are not the only answer to this, as leading a healthier lifestyle, getting enough exercise, eating the right foods, and keeping your skin hydrated are also major contributors to what goes behind growing a healthy beard.
Perhaps the biggest challenge is choosing a method that delivers the best results for you. We hope you find the tips we provide helpful and informative. We’re confident that you’ll find one that helps you to grow the kind of beard you’ve always wanted.
We’d love to hear from you, too. What method or methods have you used to grow a thicker beard? What kind of results have you experienced? We always welcome your comments. If you’re interested in similar topics about beard care products and other tips, please feel free to check out our other articles, as well!