Although exercising and eating a nutritious diet may speed up beard growth, the main factors that determine how fully a person’s beard will grow are hormones and genetics.

Males start to grow facial hair during puberty. Many of them will notice that their facial hair first begins to grow on the upper lip.

Other areas people may notice early facial hair growth include the chin or the sides of the face near the ears, which people refer to as “sideburns.”

Facial hair grows differently for everyone. Some individuals may be able to grow a full beard during late stage or even middle stage adolescence. Others may continue to have sparse areas of growth until their late 20s, while some may never experience significant facial hair growth.

This article will explore what factors influence a person’s beard growth and whether it is possible for someone to make their beard grow faster.

A note about sex and gender

Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms “male,” “female,” or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. Click here to learn more.

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Genetics and hormones are the main factors that determine how quickly and fully a person’s beard will grow. Their lifestyle and habits may also affect how their beard grows.

Testosterone is a hormone that affects the growth of facial hair, and its levels can vary. Males between 19 and 38 typically have a range of 264 to 916 nanograms per deciliter. This represents the 2.5th to 97.5th percentile for testosterone.

Low testosterone can adversely affect beard growth. For males with low testosterone, taking supplements under a doctor’s supervision may help increase beard growth.

If a person’s testosterone levels fall within typical ranges, taking supplements will most likely not affect their beard growth.

Genetics also affect the way a person’s beard grows. Some genes make them more prone to growing a fuller beard, while others may only ever be able to grow a sparse or patchy beard or other facial hair.

The health and well-being of a person affect how their whole body functions, including how their beard grows. Even though it is not possible to alter someone’s genes, lifestyle habits they can adopt may help them achieve a fuller beard.

Exercise

Exercise improves blood flow, which helps stimulate hair follicle growth. Exercises, such as weightlifting and strength training, may also help boost a person’s testosterone levels.

During the day, testosterone levels naturally fluctuate in young males, with a higher level in the morning and a lower level in the afternoon.

Diet

Good nutrition from eating a balanced diet may help in growing a beard and staying healthy.

According to a 2015 study, obesity and low testosterone have a bidirectional relationship, meaning that low testosterone can lead to obesity and obesity can lead to low testosterone.

Nutrients, such as zinc, may also be beneficial for testosterone levels. A nutritious diet will not override genetics, but it may help the existing hair grow healthier and fuller. Some foods that can help include:

  • lean protein, such as chicken and salmon
  • iron-rich foods, such as liver
  • whole grains and other complex carbohydrates
  • foods high in zinc, such as nuts and chickpeas
  • healthy fats, such as those in avocados
  • fruits and vegetables, such as those high in B vitamins and vitamins A, C, D, and E

Supplements

Some supplements can contribute toward maintaining a person’s health in a way that is conducive to growing their beard as fully as their genetic makeup will allow.

A person may wish to take a multivitamin containing iron and zinc if their diet does not provide them with sufficient amounts of these nutrients.

However, there are no supplements that will enable a person to grow a beard if they do not have the genes to do so.

Skin care regime

Maintaining a healthy skin care routine, including keeping the beard clean, can positively affect how a person’s beard will grow and look.

Exfoliating the face can help remove dead skin cells and debris from around each hair follicle, allowing the hair to grow through the skin unimpeded. Exfoliating can also reduce ingrown hairs under the beard.

Leave-in conditioners for beards can nourish the hair and keep it moisturized. This helps reduce and prevent beard dandruff and makes the beard look fuller. It is best to perform a patch test to find out which products work best for the beard.

Sleep

As well as being necessary for overall health, sleep can also aid beard growth.

The testosterone levels in males generally increase when they are asleep. A 2015 study found that reducing the amount of daily sleep lowered testosterone levels in healthy young males.

Keeping a beard clean and moisturized can help it appear thicker. However, there is no certain routine with scientific backing that can thicken a growing beard.

However, some anecdotal evidence suggests that olive oil and avocado oil could thicken beards.

It is possible that these may work the way leave-in conditioners do by keeping the beard nourished and moisturized.

Growing a beard depends mostly on a person’s genetics.

However, testosterone plays some role in determining how fast and well someone’s beard will grow.

Making sure to keep testosterone levels within a stable, healthy range by regularly exercising, eating well, getting sufficient, restful sleep, and exfoliating can help a person’s beard grow as thick and full as it is naturally able.