How to Grow a Thicker Beard – Do’s and Don’ts
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The body’s production of hair is part of a complex interplay of hormones, hair follicles, and nutrients that work differently on the scalp than on the face. In our great guide on hair loss, we explained that the most common cause of men losing hair on their heads is dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is a so-called androgenic hormone that is formed by testosterone binding to the 5-alpha reductase enzyme, which is found in sweat, among other things. If DHT accumulates in the scalp, it will block off the hair follicles there.
Now comes the counterintuitive: DHT prevents hair growth on the scalp, but promotes hair growth on other parts of the body. With age, DHT levels in the skin increase, so older men tend to have thinner hair on the scalp and thicker beards and body hair than younger men. Most men get their full beard growth during their 20s. Some men are also genetically predisposed to greater beard growth than others – this may be due to greater local DHT production, but also a lot of other factors.
I Thought Men with a Lot of Testosterone Had a Stronger Beard Growth?
It was previously believed that testosterone alone triggered the growth of beards and body hair. Recent research shows that testosterone must bind with 5-alpha reductase to form DHT. Ergo, there are men with high testosterone levels and little beard growth, and men with low testosterone and at the same time a lot of beard growth, depending on how much 5-alpha reductase they produce and how sensitive their hair follicles are to the substance.
Since DHT is essential for beard growth, you may not necessarily use the same means for increased hair growth on your head as on your beard. The most effective remedies for hair loss are based on neutralizing local DHT, which in many cases will slow down beard growth rather than accelerate it.
Are There Beard Products I Can Use to Get More Growth?
Most men with less beard growth have hair follicles that produce hair on the face, the challenge is that many of the hair follicles only make thin, patchy, sparse, soft hair. An easy way to get a fuller beard is in these cases to add more nourishment to the hair follicles which they can use to make thicker and longer strands of hair.
We can recommend F.A.S.T. shampoo and conditioner. This hair treatment is formulated to supply the hair follicles with the amino acids and vitamins they need to produce more keratin. Keratin is a fiber-forming protein that is the most important building block of hair strands. Each hair thus becomes thicker, longer, and grows faster. Clinical studies show that regular treatment with F.A.S.T. can increase the diameter of the hair strands up to twice as well as increase the length of each hair. The growth rate increases at best by 100%. The study was done on scalp hair, but the relationship between nutrients and keratin production is the same for beard hair.
How Fast Does F.A.S.T. Work and Does It Work for Everyone?
As the name suggests: Pretty fast. Most people see visible results after 3-4 weeks of use. As this cure does not change anything hormonal in your body, only adds nourishment, the effect will gradually disappear if you stop using the shampoo and conditioner.
Please note that F.A.S.T. neither reactivates inactive hair follicles nor conjures up new hair follicles out of nowhere. If you simply do not have hair follicles on your face, the cure will not work. The treatment simply causes existing, active hair follicles to make more hair. The products do not interfere with your hormone production and can be used by anyone without side effects.
The treatment can also be used on the rest of the body. F.A.S.T. is also used with cancer patients to grow hair back faster after chemotherapy treatment. The products have also been tested on women with great success to repair hair growth after aggressive bleaching and coloring, as well as regrow removed eyebrows.
People Say a Beard Gets Thicker from Shaving. Is That Correct?
Shaving gives the optical illusion that the beard grows back denser than before. Beard hair has naturally pointed tips. When you shave with a good razor, you cut off the tip of each hair, so that the hairs that grow back are completely flat at the end and thus look thicker.
You do not have to trim down that far to experience this – regular trimming with scissors or a sharp beard clipper gives the same effect. Most electric razors, on the other hand, do not do the same good, as they wear out the hair with a much more messy cut than a traditional razor or sharp scissors.
What Else Can Give a Fuller Beard?
Good beard maintenance makes the beard you have fuller, stronger, and more healthy-looking. By softening the beard strands and combing/ brushing, the beard will cover the skin better, and by adding moisture, the beard appears thicker and healthier.
Lots of men also have a good result with coconut oil for beard growth many beard growth products contain this ingredient.
You can read more about this in our beard guide.
Are There Substances I Should Avoid If I Want a Fuller Beard?
In the beard zone, you should avoid hair products that neutralize DHT and/ or block 5-alpha reductase. Therefore, do not use a product like NISIM shampoo for hair loss in the beard zone.
NISIM shampoo for hair loss should be used on “bald spots” to reactivate hair follicles that are at rest (if any).
In all cases, you should consult a doctor before starting to use drugs with Finasteride that lower the body’s DHT levels, not only for the sake of the beard but also for possible side effects you may experience. The same goes for Minoxidil (sold under names like Rogaine, Recrea Forte, and Propecia), a drug that increases blood flow and under certain conditions can contribute to increased beard growth.
Certain natural essential oils can block 5-alpha reductase marginally. These include:
- Lavender oil
- Pumpkin seed oil
- Rosemary oil
- Tee-tree oil
- Dwarf palm oil
- Emu oil
Most people can use these oils in their beards, but if you are worried about your beard growth and want to do everything you can to increase it, you should choose alternatives that do not contain these substances.
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