Beards don’t grow overnight, that’s for sure, but when you spend weeks waiting for your facial hair to come in, you hope that it’s thick and lustrous. However, that often takes more time and patience. In addition, itchy beard problems arise as you wait for beards to thicken. With certain skin types, it can be unbearable waiting for a patchy beard to finally come in.
Beard hair grows about ½ inch every 3 to 4 weeks. If you have a thick beard, your hair may grow faster, or you have been growing your beard for many years. Thicker beards have a few characteristics, such as:
- Impressive density
- Dark hair color
- More skin coverage
- Healthy, thick hair strands
If your beard is thicker in patches with gaps, you may be able to groom and brush your hair or style your beard to disguise these patches. We’ll show you how with steps below.
In this guide to facial hair growth, we also provide you all the resources and tips to grow a thicker beard with specific answers to your most asked questions about patchy beards, beard thickening products, and ways to speed up facial hair growth.
Tips to Growing a Thicker Beard
Only a small percentage of men can grow a beard overnight, and while that may seem like a wish come true, it requires a ton of grooming. Most beard hair grows slower than you think, so if you haven’t waited at least 4 weeks since you began this thick beard growth journey, you may want to wait just a bit longer.
The main reason that men experience slow beard growth is because of genetics. However, diet and hair care products can affect hair growth, too. For instance, biotin and hair loss shampoos may be able to stimulate hair growth.
We include more information about these products and other tips we have learned from growing a beard.
1. Follow the Four Week Rule
You probably won’t see a whole lot of hair growth in the first week or even the second week. By the third week, you should have stubble or longer hair, as well as some patches of longer and thicker growth.
By the fourth week, you should have some significant beard growth, enough that you can start shaping and trimming your beard length the way you want.
2. Take Care of Beard Itch Fast
This is mainly because as new hair grows in, your skin isn’t used to these follicles becoming active. By moisturizing with a beard care product, you eliminate these problems and help your follicles stay healthy.
3. Comb and Trim Your Facial Hair
Using a beard comb or brush with boar bristles, you can brush over your beard to guide the hair where you want it to grow. This isn’t just a one-time thing, you have to brush your beard every morning and get into a routine.
Also, if you notice stray hairs growing lower on your neck or into the hollows of your cheeks, get the beard trimmer to keep in tune with your beard shape.
4. Beard Not Growing In? Try Minoxidil Creams
Many men have had success on Reddit and documented their experience with minoxidil or Rogaine products. These are hair growth creams and shampoos that you can use on your facial hair to stimulate new growth.
There are some side effects with these products, but this is a trend we’re following closely as it could be revolutionary for those with patchy beards.
5. Change Your Diet
There are plenty of beard growth kits and supplements out there, and these may be able to help you with a thicker beard. However, the first place you should start is with your diet. Are you eating the right food for facial hair growth? You can start with more protein, spinach, bananas, and strawberries, which are all high in biotin and vitamin D. These are essential for healthy hair growth.
Another reason you may not be able to grow a beard quickly is because of your age. We answer why this occurs in our guide below.
How to Grow a Full Beard?
Have you made it past the four-week period and still find your beard hasn’t grown in? You should look at your skin care and grooming routine. Then again, if you don’t have much stubble at all, there may be a real health issue preventing growth if you’re over the age of 25.
Even though it’s typical for men to start growing facial hair after puberty, you may develop later than others. You should talk to a doctor if you aren’t able to grow any facial hair within 60 days of putting down the razor.
Reasons men can’t grow a beard to its full potential:
- Neither mom’s or dad’s families have large, thick beards
- Alopecia areata, which causes hair to fall out in round patches
- Low testosterone production may cause slow facial hair growth
- Poor blood circulation
- Dry, flaking skin
- You’re too young
Your overall health affects your body, mind, and hair growth. While you can’t change your genetics, you may alter lifestyle habits, fix vitamin deficiencies, and try products that produce a thick beard.
Is It Possible to Grow a Thicker Beard?
How fast is your beard currently growing? While it’s difficult to measure your beard growth stage, check that your growth is at least ½ inch every month. What does this mean for your beard?
- First week: Some stubble in a few areas to longer hair all over chin and jawline
- Second week: Longer stubble to full hair growth in some areas
- Third week: Longer stubble beard growth around upper lip, chin, jaw, and cheeks with a natural shape coming through
- Fourth week: Longer beard hair over chin, upper lip, cheeks, jawline, and neck. Patches start to fill in.
- Fifth week or more: Thicker facial hair growth that takes on a definitive shape, patches start to connect, plus the ability to trim and shave your beard.
After this point, you basically should see small growth every month, and it may take a few more weeks to see your beard pattern really grow in. If you continue to grow hair in certain patches and not others, then you may have an issue with diet, skin care, hair loss, hormones, or other issues that could be resolved with medicated creams or beard growth pills.
What Stimulates Beard Growth?
When you’re a young kid, you don’t ever think about how your facial hair grows, but by the time you’re 13 or 14, you start to envy older guys who are able to grow thick beards. It’s a size of manhood to have a thick beard after all.
However, most men won’t grow thick beard hair until their late 20s. While you may be able to sport a mustache and some stubble, if you have issues with testosterone, then it could be difficult to grow hair. You may want to take supplements and growth pills with the help of a doctor to increase your beard growth.
In other studies, biotin and other vitamin deficiencies can cause poor facial hair growth. This is because biotin and other B-vitamins are essential to regulating hair follicles and stimulating hair growth.
How Can I Grow a Full Beard Without Patches?
Every guy wants to be able to grow a luscious, full beard, but even Keanu Reeves has had trouble with patches and slow hair growth. Your beard pattern and shape is unique, but you can find beard styles that enhance a patchy beard.
There are also ways to fill in patchy growth. For example, brushing your beard hair with a boar bristle brush can stimulate hair growth in the right direction. Apply beard oils, beard balms, and hair loss shampoos may also be able to help you stimulate thicker beard growth.
How Do I Fill My Patchy Beard?
Some methods of filling in a patchy beard include (ranging from the least to the most extreme):
- Fill in your beard using a beard filler pencil or powder
- Dye your beard darker
- Take beard supplements
- Use minoxidil
- Beard transplant
There are multiple hair loss products or supplements you can try to grow hair in your patches, but we think it’s best to trim your hair and shape your beard to suit your face.
You can also rock different looks, such as the short stubble beard hybrid. These don’t require much beard hair to create a shape and style.
Do Beards Get Thicker with Age?
The truth is that beards don’t come in quickly when you’re young. In fact, studies show that facial hair doesn’t start for men until after puberty. So this means up until the age of 19, you may not be able to grow a thick beard just because of hormones (testosterone levels) and genetics.
After the age of 20, you should be able to grow stubble, and beyond the age of 25, typically beards look thicker.
Does this mean that men in their 30s and 40s can grow hair faster or thicker? In some cases, yes! We analyze this in our Ultimate Guide to Beard Growth Stages. Essentially, you may be able to grow a thick beard faster if you have no vitamin deficiencies and are over the age of 40.
Do Beard Growth Products Really Work?
There are a few different beard growth products out there that have been studied and shown to work. However, results vary and depends on your age, health, and genetic factors.
Minoxidil Products (Rogaine)
Men have been experimenting with minoxidil topical creams to grow a thick beard. These creams are spread over all patchy areas where there’s no hair growth or can be used all over for more growth.
While it’s rare to have a biotin deficiency, your body may simply not be absorbing biotin and other B-vitamins very well. You may want to change your diet or look into beard growth vitamins, specifically biotin supplements. These have been shown to work for some men.
Hair Growth Shampoos
Also called hair loss shampoos, these are products that contain vitamins, biotin, and medical treatments for baldness. These may work to grow beard hair, but they also can irritate your skin unless specially formulated for facial hair and skin contact.
When looking at your beard over time, it’s easy to be critical of patches, but we think it’s more productive to look at the possibilities of changing your face shape by styling your beard. Your beard doesn’t have to connect or even be thick to make you look good.