How to Grow A Beard (for Those Who Can’t)

Body

Can’t grow a beard?

Since I was kid, I always wanted to grow a beard. While daydreaming I’d stroke my face pretending to be pensive, imagining a full field of facial hair.

Just think of all the great Greek philosophers, burly-ass Barbarians and distinguished civil war generals. They all had neatly-kept man manes.

Beard facts infographic
It’s science

As I entered adolescence, I encountered a little problem that many young men suffer.

I couldn’t grow facial hair for shit.

Occasionally I’d get lazy and give the grow a go. Only to end up with a patch of disconnected peach fuzz. 

At one point in my late teens I was able to finally grow some skinny sideburns, 30 years after they had gone out of style. 

For the rest of my twenties, I kept a pretty bare face. Not out of preference, but for the fact I deemed myself a facial hair failure.

Benefits of having a beard

Since you’re reading this, I’m sure you’re well aware of the many beard benefits. But in case you need a refresher, here are some of my favorites:

Shave less often

I don’t dislike the act of shaving itself. However, having to shave every single day gets a bit old after a while. Although you might dig the 5 o’clock shadow, many employers don’t.

Shaving for women
Say goodbye to frequent shaving

Luckily, beards are in. So you might not have an issue sporting one in your workplace. The only problem is that not everyone is fond of the goofy in-between phase of clean-shaven vs. full barbarian.

Once you have a beard, you can enjoy shaving less surface area less frequently.

Relaxing barbershop visits

When it does come time to trim, shape and shave I find the experience extremely relaxing.

Man sleeping in barber chair
Sometimes the barber is a bit too relaxing

Like lifting weights, there is something soothing about focusing only on the task at hand. Especially when that task involves making you look and feel better.

When I visit the barber, I often become so relaxed when it comes to beard trimming time that I damn near fall asleep in the chair. All while a stranger slides a steel blade seamlessly across my neck. Oh, and don’t forget the hot towel.

Stroke of beard genius

There’s a reason all great thinkers have beards. I wouldn’t say that beards are correlated with high intelligence, necessarily. Although there is a perception that men with beards are wiser.

zach galifianakis smart gif
My mind with a beard

I would theorize that continual beard-stroking increases blood flow to the face and brain. Although it’s more likely the self-soothing effect that increases relaxation and pensiveness.

Regardless, stereotypes exist for a reason. If people think you might be smarter for rocking a beard, then so be it.

Beards fix face shapes

Have a weak chin, bad skin or asymmetrical face shape? There’s nothing like a beard to fill everything in and pull your whole head together.

James Harden beard vs no beard
Night and day difference

I have a bit of a horse face myself. So I definitely dig the short corporate-style beard to fill it all in.

Take a look at the different beard styles by face shape. Take your favorites to a nearby barber to help guide you in the right beard-growing direction.

Masculine men grow beards

Trigger warning: Men and women are different. For anyone with a set of eyeballs and a half-functioning brain, this fact is indisputable.

Donald Trump with beard
Time to bring back the presidential beard?

Women accentuate their attractiveness by calling attention to their long hair, soft skin, full lips, perky breasts, thin waists, wide hips, and plump asses.

In comparison, as a point of distinction, men are really just left with muscles and beards. We’re outnumbered here guys. Best to maximize the few distinguishing physical features you do have that separate you from the fairer sex.

Beard genetics

Beards are like fingerprints. Every single one is slightly different and completely unique in telling your genetic history. When you grow a beard, you pay homage to your ancestry.

Old time black and white beard chart
Respect your forefathers

Most of my beard hairs match my head hair. But every now and then I’ll find various shades of blonde, brown and black. And even a couple of copper hairs thrown in there.

Something interesting I’ve noted is how my blonde beard hairs never want to turn dark. They just seem to skin that phase and go straight to gray. Luckily, I don’t mind the start of some salt-and-pepper beard sprinkling that many silver-foxed men enjoy.

Do women like beards?

Numerous studies show that women find men with facial hair more attractive. Furthermore, they may even prefer men with full beards for long-term relationships.

Khal Drago Khaleesi gif
Looks pretty into him to me

Not to say the lack of a beard is a deal-breaker. Women will like you regardless, as long as you act like a man. However, I’ve never dated a single woman who claimed to prefer me clean-shaven over fully-bearded.

Stop thinking you can’t grow a beard

For these reasons, I wanted a beard. And wanted one bad.

A few years ago, misfortune turned to fortune for me. Or at least my beard game.

I was stuck in Houston during Hurricane Harvey for almost a month as the city was underwater.

Man american flag hurricane gif
How I felt at the start of the storm

With nothing much to do and suffering some serious cabin fever, I didn’t feel the need to shave.

At this point, I had already started undergoing my man-formation. Since I had always wanted a beard and finally had the opportunity to grow one, I decided to tackle the issue head-on.

As with everything I was looking to change, I made being bearded a concerted focus. I read the beard blogs and bought the beard gear. Then I got to work. 

If you’re like me and think you could never grow a beard. Think again. This guide is for guys just like you and me.

Now that you’ve decided you’re going to grow a beard come hell or high water (literally in my case), let’s start this journey together.

Focus on overall health if you can’t grow a beard

You’ll find out pretty quickly that the health of your beard is a direct reflection of overall health. If your diet is jacked, your sleep is non-existent and you live an overall loser lifestyle, I’ve got bad news. You’re going to have a pathetic looking beard.

Fat nerd with thin beard
Don’t half-ass your beard growth… or diet
Curvy girls on dating sites are never the good kind of curvy

Before dedicating to beard growth and maintenance, you best have your shit together first. Nothing looks better than a badass beard. Conversely, nothing looks worse than a half-ass beard.

Diet, sleep, hygiene, and proper nutrition are all key here. You also need to train your brain to make proper beard health a part of your routine. The rewards are worth it. 

How hormones affect beard growth

Some guys simply can’t grow facial hair.

Want to know who else can’t grow a beard? Women.

Get your hormones in check.

Man before and after TRT beard
Hormones make a huge difference gents

If you’ve yet to get your bloods drawn and examine your testosterone levels, do it now. Don’t expect to look like a man just because you have a pair of berries dangling from your twig.

Testosterone levels are dangerously low for most men born after 1970. Get your hormones in order and you’ll be surprised how the rest of your life falls into order. Including your soon-to-be full face of hair.

Be aware, genetics do play a part to an extent. You’ll know if you can truly grow facial hair or not by looking at the men in your family.

But, don’t be like the fatasses who use genetics as an excuse to not diet. Give the beard growth a serious go before you up and quit for good. 

Beard growth products for men who can’t grow a beard

Whatever you’re doing or wherever you’re going, make sure you have the essentials on hand at all times. The same goes for beard products.

You might not need everything right off the bat. But making the purchase will at least get you invested in the process. Plus, it’s nice to already have what you need as you start needing it.

Here’s what I use and recommend:

Boar hair beard brush

The soft boar hair bristles will help guide the beard hairs in their natural growing direction without splitting them. A dedicated beard brush is also essential for ensuring an even application of your beard oil or jelly.

Bossman beard jelly

I’ve tried many oils, but definitely prefer the jelly for its superior hold and ability to hold moisture without leaving my face overly oily. The company offers a handful of scents, but Stagecoach is by far my favorite. They also offer sampler packages if you can’t decide.

Bossman beard balm

I don’t use too much beard balm, only to support connecting the sides of my mustache to the rest of my beard. Otherwise, I end up with the Spanish conquistador curly mustache look.

Bossman beard conditioner

You don’t shave your nuts with a straight edge, so don’t use regular shampoo or body bar soaps for your beard. Pick the right tool for the job and stick with a brand that’s consistently good across their entire product line.

Wet-shaving kit

Eventually, you’ll probably want to clean up your neck and cheek lines. Moreso if you work in an office environment. When it comes time to shaving, do it the same way your granddad did. Wet shaving.

Be sure to check out everything you need on your wet-shaving shopping list here.

Boycott Gillette

As a man, you need to be principled. And out of personal conviction, I do not support companies who insult their customers.

Be patient if you can’t grow a beard fast

Delayed gratification is the name of the game here. Hair follicle growth is painfully slow.

Tom Hanks Castaway beard growth
I wouldn’t recommend counting the days

Don’t give up.

For the first month, don’t do a damn thing. Let it grow, let it grow, let it grow. 

During this time, you’ likely look like a complete fucktard. For at least the first month. If you’re dealing with patches and itty-bitty blonde baby hairs, it’ll be months more until the slow growers catch up and the fuzz fills in.

Then before you know it, you wake up one day looking like Tom Hanks in Castaway. Pack on some muscle in the meantime and you’re going to end up one swoley-mammoth of a man.

How to stop beard itch

Don’t be surprised if you develop a pretty serious seven-year beard itch within the first few weeks. No, you don’t have mites. Your skin is probably just irritated by this new object on your face.

Dave Chapelle crackhead scratching gif
Resist the urge!

There’s really not much you can do here outside of practicing proper beard maintenance. Just ride it out.

I don’t like to put anything on my face that might affect skin or facial hair quality. So creams and lotions that aren’t specifically for beard grooming are out of the question. Sorry Calamine lotion.

Whatever you do, don’t scratch it. You don’t want bacteria from your grubby booger-flickin’ fingernails fucking up your beard game. 

Does Rogaine help if you can’t grow a beard?

I read mixed reviews on this tip when I went for my initial full grow but gave Rogaine a try anyways.

The idea here is that the active ingredient in Rogaine will stimulate follicle growth, which also applies to facial hair. Just buy yourself a store brand of 5% Minoxidil and apply a liberal amount to your face nightly before bed.

Jesus Christ beard before and after
If it’s good enough for JC, it’s good enough for me

The result?

A luscious man mane that’ll get you serious bragging rights with the boys and non-stop stroking (of your face, pervert) from the ladies. All from a little pharmaceutical assistance and the power of prayer.

Note: You might want to be careful if you share pillows with anyone or snuggle against your significant other. Unless you want your girl looking like a boy and your kids looking like baby Paul Bunion.

I’m no scientist here, so this tip is purely anecdotal. Since I did include this in the first 30 days of my successful beard-growing routine, it merits mention. And like a superstitious baseball player on a hitting streak, I’m not changing a damn thing with my swing.

When to shape a new beard

After your first month or so, you should have a general idea of your natural beard outline.

Now would be a good time to find a reputable barber to help you pick a style and shape your beard, neck and cheek lines.

(Courtesy of realmenrealstyle.com)

Use the barber’s grooves as guidelines whenever you shave to clean up the surrounding beard area.

Nothing makes a badass beard look worse than sloppy cheek lines or a borderline neckbeard. Unless that’s the look you’re going for.

And since you likely can’t afford a barbershop visit daily, invest in a quality safety razor and learn how to use it. 

Welcome to the beard life 

Now that you have the beard you’ve always dreamt of, everything else is smooth sailing from here. So what’s my advice on maintaining your newly-added mark of manliness?

Easy. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Stick with the routine that got you to this point in the first place. By now you should know which grooming habits and products work best with your beard.

Warning: More beard = more maintenance
(Courtesy of madvikingbeard.com)

To be honest, I seriously surprised myself with beard success. Before I had accepted the fact I can’t grow a beard. But with the right tools, tips and a whole lot of patience, my goal was finally realized.

And yours can be too.

Know that you’re armed with a bit more beard knowledge, it’s time to embark on your very own beard growth journey.

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