A beard-grooming enthusiast who writes about beard products, styling and other related facial hair trivia who also sports a beardstache.
How to Tell If You Can Grow a Beard
This is a very common question amongst prospective beardsmen: “how do I know if I can grow a beard?”. Otherwise, what’s the point in trying, right? Especially if you know early, that you can’t.
Well to determine whether you can, we need to first run down the factors that actually influence your beard growing abilities. These include your age, genetics and how well you are looking after yourself.
There are four factors at play here:
i) Your age
ii) Your genetics
iii) Your health
So let’s break each of these down below:
One key role that has an impact on your overall beard growing ability is your age.
Not sure if you have noticed, but you don’t get a lot of bearded 13 years olds walking around. If you are in your teens or even your early 20s your beard growing potential is going to be a lot less than when you reach the latter stages of your life towards your 40s and 50s where your beard growing potential is properly into its peak.
Now, that’s not to say you can’t hit puberty earlier and very well start to grow facial hair in your teens, it just means relative to you, you will likely grow an even better beard as you get older.
All this section is meant to point out is that you are a younger guy and you can’t grow much of a beard yet, don’t be disheartened, you are very much in the lower stages of your overall beard growing potential and despite only sprouting a bit of stubble here and there. It may well come into its own as you pass into your 30s (where you are at what some refer to as ‘peak beard’).
Peak beard is where you are likely to get the strongest overall beard growth - where it looks thicker and is overall less patchy.
If you are asking this question at 30 though - how do I know if I can grow a beard? Then chances are your genetics don’t lend to the beard-growing ability (that said, there are other factors to look at which we mention below).
Beard Growing Genetics
Obviously another key factor with your beard growing potential is your genetics.
It’s hard to gauge what your genetics are capable of, especially if you are on the younger side, that said, you can look for clues in your family and relatives. Does your father, grandad and genetically related uncles and cousins sport beards? If so, there is a good chance (especially the more you start to count up) that you will have a bearded gene as well.
On the other hand, if you don’t see many of your family being generally quite hairy, then that might be a sign that you are more likely at least genetically going to struggle with growing a beard. However, don’t just base it off physical appearance, ask them about their beard-growing experience - they might well truly be able to - however just prefer a cleaner overall look.
Of course, it’s not a guarantee by any stretch, there are a whole range of other aspects that get involved when it comes to genetics but it can start to give you a clue as to what’s your own potential beard growing ability.
The other factor here is health. Your beard just like other aspects of your body needs the nutritional value and functionality to actually go ahead and grow.
This basically means that you are in a good healthy state whereby you (and the beard) are getting everything you need for the beard to flourish such as a range of proteins (and in particular biotin).
Of course, another factor that is associated with your health and the beard-growing ability is sleep - and whether you are getting enough in order for your beard to grow. Another aspect to consider also is stress, this is because a high-stress level can produce cortisol - which can, in turn, hamper your overall testosterone levels which are linked to your beard growing ability as well.
Overall, to help encourage your beard to grow out more it’s basically about making sure that you do all the right things that you already know. Eat well, workout (lifting heavy things), getting plenty of sleep and of course keeping stress to a minimum.
Sounds simple, right? However, it’s for sure hard work.
This is less of a factor, however, you can inhibit your overall beard growing potential by not regularly cleansing your skin. This is ultimately the foundation of your beard and what can happen is that you can get a case of dead skin cells forming over the hair follicles - causing beard hairs to prevent growth or even cause ingrown hairs.
We recommend even at this stage (i.e beardless) to start applying beard oil and potentially exfoliate dead skin cells. The beard oil will act as a moisturiser to keep them fresh. You might even want to go down the beard roller route (however, this is something we recommend you do your own research into first). That basically just entails stimulation amongst the beard hair follicles to grow out further.
Early Signs to See if You Can Grow Your Beard
Now we have discussed four factors that do have an impact on your beard growing ability. Here's some other ways to find out how to tell if you can grow a beard or not.
If you are just getting started with growing your beard there are a few early signs to look for in your overall beard growing potential. The main one being to inspect the hair follicles of your stubble.
You might be a few days into your prospective beard journey at this stage and it is a good time to start inspecting what hair follicles you have sprouting up in your stubble. If you have a lot and they are relatively close to one another and work all the way around your face, you likely have some good beard growing potential.
If you are lacking, this might be a bit difficult for you in the long run as this is where most your beard is going to ultimately come from.
That said, we always recommend for prospective beardsmen to just give it three months. See where you are at after that. Don’t give it three weeks and ask yourself, “where’s my beard at?” This beard growing process takes a fair bit more time than you think and at this stage, your bathroom mirror (or any mirror for that matter) is your worst enemy.
After that 3 months have past and past. Then it is time to judge whether you - know if you can really grow a beard? Even at that stage though, don’t beat up your beard if it is a little bit patchy (especially if you are on the younger side) as someone speaking from experience, you find your overall beard quality tends to improve as you get older (see factor one above).
Basically this is a good time to get yourself acquainted with the specific beard growth stages that you are going to be venturing through.
"Can I grow a beard?" - Beard Growing Options
These are by no means recommended options but if you are particularly keen on having a beard and you haven’t been blessed with genetics and health, there are a few other options available to you. However, we recommend you are above a certain age and carry out your own due diligence into the options both from a health perspective as well as a monetary one and whether a beard is really worth it.
They are also good options if you think you have a particularly scraggly beard or want to fix up your beard in terms of getting connectors between your moustache and beard as well as side burns.
- Beard Transplant
A pretty extreme route that some guys take who are unable to grow a beard is this one. Taking up a beard transplant just in the same type of manner that you can get a hair transplant, you can also get a beard one. Is this a costly endeavour? Yes, it can vary anywhere from $5000 to $10,000.
This is another option that prospective beardsmen might take. Does it work? You will have to do your own research into this. It works by basically helping to stimulate the existing hair follicles. However, if you lack some of the hair follicles in the first place as pointed out, you could struggle here.
- Natural Beard Grooming
There is of course also the route of trying to encourage your beard naturally to grow out more. This includes applying beard oil, keeping your skin clean and fresh and also perhaps trying out dedicated beard growth kits and in particular ones that come up with beard rollers that are said to help stimulate the beard growth further. Again, however, we recommend that you carry out your own due diligence here and research into it further.
Make sure that you go ahead and check out some of the results of beard rolling right here.
Now of course if you’ve got any potential questions when it comes to growing a beard or you would like to know more on how to know if you can grow a beard and know whether it’s worth pursuing or not, please don’t hesitate to get in touch in the comments section below. We will be happy to get back to you and try our best to help you with your hirsute journey as best we can.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Jonathan Lees