If you desire a thick, full beard but are having trouble growing it, you’re certainly not alone. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to help encourage facial hair growth. First, let’s talk about some factors that may slow facial hair growth and what you can do about it – according to dermatologists.
What are the most common factors that slow beard growth?
Genetic predisposition is the most common cause of having a thinner beard. If the men in your family have historically had a more challenging time growing facial hair, there’s a good chance you will as well. Similarly, ethnicity can also play a role in beard growth, with some ethnic groups being more capable of growing thicker beards over others.
Less common factors that slow beard growth
Certain lifestyle factors may hinder beard growth, including stress and diet. Less common factors for a sparse beard are low testosterone levels or an autoimmune disease, alopecia areata, which can cause round bald areas on the scalp. Alopecia barbae is a specific form of this disease where this hair loss affects your beard. In some cases, a thin or slow-growing beard results from an underactive thyroid gland or iron deficiency (anemia).
What are the signs of low testosterone levels in men?
Low testosterone levels can present with erectile dysfunction, infertility, decreased muscle mass, and gynecomastia (development of breast tissue). Please consult with your local doctor if you have one or more of these symptoms.
What are the best treatments to help grow a genetically related sparse beard?
The treatment for a genetically related sparse beard is similar to that for androgenetic male pattern hair loss on the scalp. For best results, it is recommended to combine a topical treatment solution (medicated or non-medicated) with a targeted shampoo and hair care oral supplements. Minoxidil is the only topical medication approved for hair regrowth on the scalp, and studies have shown that it is also effective for your beard.
How do you use Minoxidil to grow a thicker beard faster?
For best results, apply the Minoxidil solution to your beard area once a day, either in the morning or before you go to sleep. After two weeks, you can increase the frequency to twice a day. Apply a full dropper to the affected areas and gently massage it with your fingers. Leave the Minoxidil solution on your skin for at least four hours before washing it off. To prevent facial hair growth in areas not applied, always wash your hands after you use Minoxidil.
Note that shaving does not affect how Minoxidil works. In fact, shaving actually makes it easier to apply Minoxidil and makes it more effective. The same is true when using any non-medicated beard hair regrowth serum. If you shave every day, it is not recommended to expose your beard area to sunlight after applying Minoxidil.
How long does it take to see hair regrowth in the beard area?
It is common for your beard to shed after a few weeks of using Minoxidil use, as the new hair is pushing out the old, thinner beard hairs. This effect is totally normal and is proof that the Minoxidil is working. Don't be alarmed when you start to experience this and continue with your treatment. If used daily, we expect to see a thicker beard in 3 - 4 months. For more permanent results, it is necessary to continue using Minoxidil for at least 12 months.
What are the side effects of using Minoxidil on your beard area?
Minoxidil is regarded as a very safe topical medication. In some cases it can cause mild irritation, redness, or itchiness of the skin. In rare cases, it can cause allergies and acne in the applied area. If you are taking any medications to manage high blood pressure, have a heart condition, or have any other health disorders, consult with your local physician before using Minoxidil.
What are other ingredients to look for in a topical beard growth serum?
If you want to try a beard serum to boost beard growth, you’ll want to choose a product with the most effective active ingredients. There are a lot of over-the-counter products available, so keep an eye out for the absolute best formulas. Here are some great ingredients to look for:
Rosemary leaf oil: Stimulates hair growth.
Caffeine: Encourages circulation to the hair follicles to promote growth.
Biotin (vitamin H): Strengthens hair follicles and improves circulation.
Panax ginseng root: Reduces hair loss and promote growth by helping to minimize the miniaturization of hair follicles.
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): Strengthens and nourishes follicles to thicken the hair and promote growth.
In addition to the ingredients mentioned above, an effective beard serum will also include ingredients that nourish and moisturize the skin and hair. These can include vitamin E, hydrolyzed wheat protein, castor oil, argan oil, avocado oil, safflower oil, and aloe vera.
What are some other things you can do to promote facial hair growth?
In addition to using an effective beard growth serum, there are some other things you can do to maximize your potential for growing a full beard.
Take supplements. Look for vitamins and minerals such as vitamins B6, B9 (folic acid), D, E, zinc, selenium, copper. Some great plant based ingredients are berry extract, pygeum bark extract, maitake mushrooms, and reishi mushrooms, which are excellent to combat hair loss related to an excess of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Broccoli powder contains B vitamins that minimize stress and free radical-fighting antioxidants.
Minimize stress, get plenty of rest, and eat a balanced diet. A healthy lifestyle is important for hair growth and, of course, for your overall well-being.
- Efficacy and safety of Minoxidil 3% lotion for beard enhancement: A randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled study
- The male beard hair and facial skin - challenges for shaving
- Rosemary oil vs. Minoxidil 2% for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia: a randomized comparative trial
- The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review
- Alopecia Areata of the Beard: A Review of the Literature