As you grow a beard, you become acutely aware of its changes in length. Sometimes, it can feel like watching paint dry in the early days, but what about as you grow older? Does beard growth increase with age? Or do you have to wait longer for your beard to grow as you get older? Here we’ll go through the science and the experiences of men who are growing beards
Why does beard grow patchy 3 Hidden...
Why does beard grow patchy 3 Hidden...
Beard growth has been shown to increase with age. Puberty causes the onset of beard growth, with most men reporting that their beard grows thicker after 25. A person’s beard darkens and gets thicker as their age increases due to the long-term exposure to testosterone.
Many people believe that they should see a nice thick beard in their teenage years. However, an investigation I performed on my YouTube channel highlights that most people’s beards start growing after 20.
Most teenagers feel like their beard will never come in, and it is often impatience and wrong expectations that lead them to believe they will never be able to grow a beard.
Check out the poll I did on my YouTube channel, which has received over 500 votes from a growing subscriber base that shows:
- only 4% of people started growing a beard by the age of 12,
- 12% of beard growers started growing a beard between the age of 12 and 14,
- 21% of beard growers started growing a beard between the ages of 15 and 17, and
- 19% of beard growers started growing a beard at the age of 17 to 19.
Interestingly, 44% of people only started growing a beard when they had left their teenage years.
On the other end of the spectrum, after thirty men’s testosterone production reduces by about 1 – 2 percent every year, this drop can cause a thinning out of beard hair and reduce the thickness of men’s beards.
All of these effects are hormonal changes in the body and to understand if beard growth increases with age
What causes beards to grow?
When boys enter puberty, the testicles begin producing the hormone testosterone. It is this hormone that is responsible for growing a beard.
In teenage boys going through puberty, facial hair grows and becomes thicker due to the effect of testosterone on the hair follicles. Before that, there was hair present, but it was faint and thin. The secondary hormonal effect is seen quite late in puberty, so many boys think they will never grow a beard.
They have to be a little more patient.
Hair follicles on the face are sensitive to testosterone and what it becomes in the body –dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is made from testosterone by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase.
To grow a beard, testosterone, DHT, and the androgen receptors at the base of your beard hairs play a vital role.
The thickness of a beard is determined by the susceptibility of individual hairs to DHT, a testosterone byproduct, rather than the testosterone levels in the body.
As the amount of DHT in the body increases, it has a bigger impact on the surrounding beard hairs, causing them to thicken and darken over time.
The stages of beard growth with age
Don’t have much time? Check out my YouTube video on the topic:
Up until a certain point, beard growth will increase with age. It is the early years of life – specifically around teenage years – where we can expect the hairs on our face to transform into the capability of forming a beard.
I’ve written in detail about the stages and journey of beard growth – click here to read more!
Here are thestagesthat teenage boys can go through – but remember that each step can vary wildly for each individual depending on genetic and environmental factors.
The moustache develops first for manyadolescentmales.
I asked over 6,000 people when they first shaved their moustache and found that of the 682 respondents, most people started to shave their moustache at the age of 13 – 14.
Check out the results from my poll here:
Facial hair in males does not always appear in a specific orderduring pubertyand varies among some individuals but may follow this process:
- During puberty, the first facial hair to appear tends to grow at the corners of the upper lip (age 11–15).
- It then spreads to form a moustache over the entire upper lip (age 16–17).
- This is followed by the hair on the upper cheeks and the area under the lower lip (age 16–18).
- It eventually spreads to the sides and lower border of the chin and the rest of the lower face to form a full beard (age 17–21).
- Although this order is commonly seen, it can vary widely, with some facial hair starting from the chin and up towards the sideburns.
As with most human biological processes, this specific order will vary from person to person, depending on genetic heritage and environment – like the ability to live a healthy and active life.
Testosterone (and beards) as we age
Looking at the data above, we can see an important link between testosterone and DHT and the growth of a beard.
We can, therefore, take a look at the amount of testosterone produced in the body as a function of time to determine whether or not beard growth increases with age.
The “normal” or healthy testosterone level in the bloodstream varies widely, depending on thyroid function, protein status, and other factors.
According to recent guidelines from the American Urological Association (AUA), a testosterone level of at least 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) is normal for a man. A man with a testosterone level below 300 ng/dL should be diagnosed with low.
The decrease in testosterone
As men get older, their testosterone levels may decline by about 1 -2 percent per year after age 30.
Although this slight reduction of testosterone doesn’t seem like much on the surface, what this means is that after ten years of a 1-2 % drop every twelve months, a man could find that hisproduction of testosteroneis down 20 percent.
The reduction of testosterone can have a tremendous adverse impact on his overall well-being, quality of life, and beard growth and thickness.
Here is a breakdown of the testosterone levels in men at different ages fromthis source.
|Age Years||Total Testosterone Average Range||Normal Total Testosterone|
|30 – 40||219 – 1009 ng/dL||600 – 675 ng/dL|
|40 – 50||201 – 993 ng/dL||500 – 550 ng/dL|
|50 – 60||170 – 918 ng/dL||400 – 450 ng/dL|
|Over 60||156 – 700 ng/dL||300 – 350 ng/dL|
This reduction in testosterone from the age of 30 will likely cause the beard to reduce in thickness and colour, but your genetics plays a huge part in determining your beard growth.
However, many other factors play an important role in why beards get darker as you age.
You can read all about them in my other article – the six surprising reasons your beard is darker – click here to be taken to the article.
Hair growth cycle
Now that we know how important DHT is to growing a beard. Let’s take a look at the steps of hair growth, which is important if we answer the question of the increase of beard growth as people age.
Hair growth goes through three different stages.
- Anagen stage
- Catagen stage
- Telogen stage
The cells in the root of the hair divide fast throughout the anagen phase of the cycle, gradually increasing the length of the hair. The phase of hair might last anywhere from two to six years. Approximately 80 percent to 90 percent of the hairs on your head are in this stage of growth.
The catagen phase is brief interphase between the anagen and catagen phases. This stage is the end of the hair’s growth phase, and no new cells are formed to lengthen it. Hair can be separated from the blood supply for up to three weeks.
After the brief catagen stage, the telogen stage begins. The hair is removed from the skin, and the follicle takes a three-month break. A person’s hair might fall out at a rate of up to 100 per day. After three months, the follicle returns to the anagen phase and generates new hair.
Importantly, all hairs undergo this at a different time, and a thick beard relies on a dense collection of hair follicles in the anagen phase for a long period.
Typically, 15 percent of hair is in the final stages of this cycle.
The rate of beard growth
On average, the growth rate for human hair is about 1.25 centimetres or 0.5 inches per month, or about15 centimetres or 6 inches per year.
The actual “length” of your beard will also depend on if your hair is straight, wavy or curly, as the length will be as long as your beard falls from your face.
The average person can expect to grow anywhere between 12 and 36 inches before their hair stops growing and falls out.
On average, here’s the amount of time it takes to get to each length:
|0.5||0.25||0.625||Stubble to fuzzy stage.|
|2||1||2.5||You need to have a good shape up here.|
|6||3||7.5||Your chin is full and impressive front on.|
|8||4||10||Looking like a long beard.|
For more information, check out my other blog –Will your beard stop growing? Busting the myths!
How to increase your beard growth when you are younger
If you are in the younger stages of life, you may want to enhance your beard growth by using medical interventions or products that can give the appearance of more beard hair than you have.
The proven ways to increase your beard growth when you are younger involve minoxidil.
Minoxidil was first launched as an oral hypertension treatment in the 1970s. At the same time, doctors detected hair regrowth in balding patients, leading to a topical formulation for treating male pattern baldness in both men and women.
Minoxidil was initially brought to the market in 1986 as a 2% solution, followed by a 5% formulation in 1993. It has remained a popular, topical treatment for a range of hair problems.
How to apply minoxidil
Men who used topical minoxidil grew beards faster than those who used a placebo. The findings were published in the Journal of the Japanese Dermatological Association in 2016. Patients were instructed to dab a 0.5 mL of 3% minoxidil ointment on their chin twice a day.
Because minoxidil has long been used to treat hair loss, it has been demonstrated to provide incredible benefits to patients with various hair-related issues.
Even though topical minoxidil treatment is considered an excellent and safe alternative for various patients, the FDA has yet to improve numerous off-label uses for minoxidil.
You can also increase the efficacy of the topical treatment by using a micro dermal roller which helps the minoxidil penetrate the skin by puncturing the skin using tiny needles on a roller.
Check out the research I provide in my YouTube video below for more information on how to grow a beard.
Products to help boost density
Lastly, you may also want to consider using products to give the appearance of a thicker and fuller beard. Hair fibres are a popular option for people who do not want to go down the medication route.
Hair building fibres can be applied to the surface of the beard with a spray applicator attachment or by shaking the hairs over the surface. Shaking the hair building fibres gives you more coverage over a larger area while using the applicator attachment gives you a more precise application. A puff delivers the fibres of air from the applicator.
Follow these steps to use this beard thickening product:
- Dry and style your hair as usual – hair fibres rely on static to stick to the hair. Therefore, the beard should be as dry as possible to ensure effective static attraction.
- Shake the hair fibres over the region you want to darken or use the applicator to apply them.
- A hairline optimiser is included in some formulations, which can be applied to the beard’s edges for a more natural look.
- Pat the hair gently to spread the hair fibres and prevent clumps from forming.
- Consider using a fibre hold spray to help strengthen the bond between your hair and the fibres that help it grow.
The final word – Does beard growth increase with age?
Your beard growth and age are intimately related. From the moment you go through puberty up until the age of thirty, testosterone increases in your body, which will help your beard grow.
After 30, your testosterone decreases about 1 – 2 percent each year. A reduction of testosterone will impact your beard growing potential. But, it’ll be your genetics and how well you look after your beard that will determine the magnitude of that effect.
Yes, your beard can get thicker with age. But you'll need to be patient—it may take years to achieve the fullness and density you want. The exact amount of growth depends on a number of factors: genetics, diet, stress levels and overall health—all things that affect hair growth in general.How does beard growth increase? ›
The rate at which your beard will grow in, as well as its fullness, is largely determined by genetics. Testosterone and DHT also play important roles. Keeping yourself healthy through diet and exercise may help your beard be healthier, too. Getting enough sleep and maintaining good hygiene may also help.Why does my beard grow faster as I get older? ›
As we age, our bodies lose estrogen; testosterone, unopposed, causes us to grow more hair where men have it, on our faces (and to grow less on our heads).Why do men's beards grow thicker with age? ›
Testosterone and Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) are both culprits for regulating and stimulating facial hair growth. In most cases, higher Testosterone and DHT result in faster, thicker, and better beard growth. Having low levels of Testosterone can negatively affect your beard growth.How does facial hair change with age? ›
As you age, your body and face also lose hair. Women's remaining facial hair may get coarser, most often on the chin and around the lips. Men may grow longer and coarser eyebrow, ear, and nose hair. Contact your health care provider if you have sudden hair loss.What age does your beard grow the fastest? ›
Most men will experience their biggest beard growth from around age 25 to 35, although it varies for each person. Testosterone, a hormone, propels beard growth more than any other factor.What affects beard growth the most? ›
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.What is the last age of beard growth? ›
Men typically start developing facial hair in the later stages of puberty or adolescence, around fifteen years of age, and most do not finish developing a full adult beard until around eighteen or later.Why do men get hairier as they age? ›
As we age, our prolonged exposure to testosterone starts to play a visible role on other body hair as well. Just like it transforms the vellus hair on a young man's face into a thick beard, it also changes the nearly invisible hair that grows in places like our ears into thicker strands.Do beards stop growing at a certain length? ›
Conclusion. Beards never stop growing. However, individual hairs reach a maximum length, fall out, and begin the growth cycle again. In addition, there is a host of factors that can change growth rate, full length, and length in general.
Genetics also affect where facial hair grows and when your beard reaches its full potential. “From ages 18 to 30, most beards continue to develop in thickness and coarseness,” he says.Do men with thick beards have higher testosterone? ›
However, a new study published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior has found no relationship between the amount of facial hair and self-perceived dominance in men and their testosterone levels.Does testosterone increase beard thickness? ›
How does testosterone aid in growing facial hair? By interacting with the tiny hair follicles (sacs in the skin) you have on your face. It pigments them giving them a darker color and stimulating them to thicken. However, testosterone without the right genetics won't give you a bushy beard.At what age does beard growth start? ›
Beard hair starts to appear during puberty, under the influence of male hormones. Most adolescent boys first notice facial hair between the ages of 13-16 years.Does shaving make hair grow faster? ›
No — shaving hair doesn't change its thickness, color or rate of growth. Shaving facial or body hair gives the hair a blunt tip. The tip might feel coarse or "stubbly" for a time as it grows out. During this phase, the hair might be more noticeable and perhaps appear darker or thicker.What hormone increases beards? ›
With hirsutism, extra hair growth often arises from excess male hormones (androgens), primarily testosterone.Do multivitamins help beard growth? ›
Vitamins have been known to play vital leading roles in the growth of healthy beards and are necessary for daily body functions. Some of these vitamins include Vitamin B3 (Niacin), B7 (Biotin), Vitamin K, Vitamin E, Vitamin D and Vitamin C.Can beard grow after 40? ›
Some people just don't have the genetics for a beard. Beards are linked to hair patterns, for some, beards don't really begin to sprout until you start losing some up top. A lot of european-descent men (and others) can't really grow a full beard until their 40s, that is very common.Why do hairy men go bald? ›
A male sex hormone might be responsible, causing tightening of head tissue eventually impacting the hair follicles. Characterised by hair loss from the top and front of the head, 'male-pattern hair loss' is partly determined by genetics and partly by high levels of a male sex hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT).Why do some men have hairy chests? ›
The individual occurrence and characteristics of chest hair depend on the genetic disposition, the hormonal status and the age of the person. The genes primarily determine the amount, patterns and thickness of chest hair. Some men are very hairy, while others have no chest hair at all.
Keep your hands off your face and let your beard do its thing. The more you touch or agitate your facial skin and hairs, the more damage and stress you put on your follicles. Not to mention your hands are covered in oils and bacteria that worsen the quality of your beard growth. Just let it grow.Does Beard Oil work? ›
Beard Oil will soften and condition your beard, but its biggest benefit is going to be for the skin underneath. It helps alleviate itchiness, dryness, acne, irritation and ingrown hairs. Beard Oil really shines, by helping to keep the skin underneath your beard happy and healthy.Why can't I grow a beard at 40? ›
Answer: Poor beard growth
Some men are just not genetically programmed to develop beard hair. It is difficult to see your beard area in the photograph submitted but perhaps you should just accept that this is your situation.
Most men will experience their biggest beard growth from around age 25 to 35, although it varies for each person. Testosterone, a hormone, propels beard growth more than any other factor.How many years of age does a beard add? ›
Beard Growth and Age
Put simply, in an average amount of cases, a full beard will add roughly 8 years of age to your appearance. Whether you consider this a good thing or not is up to you!
“But how thick it is depends on genetics.” Genetics also affect where facial hair grows and when your beard reaches its full potential. “From ages 18 to 30, most beards continue to develop in thickness and coarseness,” he says.Does growing a beard increase testosterone? ›
The results showed that beard length (directly measured and self-reported) was not related to testosterone levels or dominance; thus, no evidence was found to support the hypothesis that beards are honest (or dishonest) signals of the beard owners' testosterone levels and dominance.How do you tell if you can grow a beard? ›
- Genetics: Genetics is one of the major determining factors behind the thickness of your beard growth. ...
- Age. Besides genetics, age too is a highly influential factor in determining your beard's growth. ...
- Ethnicity. ...
- Alopecia Areata. ...
- Unhealthy Habits. ...
- Low Testosterone Levels.
Comb the beard up and out, starting from the bottom — Go from the neck to the chin, then the cheeks, to separate the hairs to make your beard look as full as possible. Slowly comb out snags — If you pull too hard, you can hurt yourself and rip out your hairs; always go slow and easy (like the Whitesnake song).Do beards grow slower with age? ›
Facial hair tends to grow faster as men get older. This is due to the increasing levels of testosterone that men experience as they age, which stimulate the growth of facial hair.
The most common reason some men can't grow a beard is genetic factors. Some men who have trouble growing beards have turned to beard implants. Although beard implants are now available, they're expensive and are a surgical procedure. So careful evaluation of the risks and benefits should be considered.