Facial hair growing slower than usual? 7 things you can do about it!

Facial hair and growth of that hair relies on your body performing at it’s best. Perhaps you have noticed that your facial hair has been growing slower than usual over the past few days of weeks? Here we will look at the things that you should consider if you feel like your facial hair has started slowing down or maybe you think it has stopped altogether!

Beard hair grows at a rate of 0.38 mm per day. Although that may seem slow, it some of the fastest-growing hair on your body! If you feel like your hair has stalled or has stopped completely – remember that it is very unlikely and that your hair may not be growing straight down.

If you have a varied diet your body has everything it needs. Check out the list below to make sure that you are doing everything possible to grow your beard healthy and strong…it may just not be super fast.

How fast does hair grow normally?

Facial hair growing slower than usual

The hair on your head grows at varying rates. Scalp, eyelash and brow, and beard hair all grow at different rates. Your eyelash and eyebrow hair grow the slowest and beard hair is the hair that grows the fastest…but, not by much.

According to science, beard hair grows really, really fast. The average daily growth rate of beard hair ranges between 0.3 and 0.5 mm, which is similar to the growth rate of scalp hairs and is about twice as fast as that of eyebrow hairs.

Here are the rates that the hair grows. It’ll probably surprise you just how slow it really is:

Hair typeGrowth rate
Scalp hair 0.014 inches/day (0.36 mm/day)
Eyelash/brow growth 0.006 inches/day (0.16 mm/day)
Beard hair 0.015 inches/day (0.38 mm/day)

The issue with quite a slow process is that it can feel like it has stopped! Just like watching a puppy or child grow up – it can be easy to not see how they change.

A tip I often tell new beard growers is to take a picture of your beard in the early stages and every month to track progress only then can you truly say if it has slowed down or not.

Another mistake I see when people think their beard has stopped growing or has slowed down is their beard has grown curly.

Maybe your beard is curly

Beards very rarely grow straight down. In fact, beard hair is actually flat. And it is the flatness that makes the beard hair curl and twist. It is not until a beard gets significantly long that the weight is able to pull the beard down.

You can straighten your beard if you want to check to see if it is actually getting longer or has stalled completely.

Check out our beard straightener post by clicking here.

If you feel like your beard growth has slowed down to an almost complete stop you need to know this. That beards very rarely stop growing unless they reach what is known as their terminal length.

How long can a beard grow?

Beards can grow really long. You’ve probably seen a beard that is so long that you wonder how they were able to have the patience. I just couldn’t wait for mine to grow off of my chin. Let alone to my belly button!

Just how long can a beard get before it just stops growing?

World record beard length?

There is a natural limit on how long a beard can grow but that depends on each and every person’s beard growth rate vs loss rate. The faster your hair can grow before it drops out will ultimately depend on the length that it can reach!

The world’s longest beard belonged to Hans N. Langseth (Norway, b. 1846) and it measured 5.33 m (17 ft 6 in) at the time of his burial at Kensett, Iowa in 1927 after 15 years residence in the United States.

Clearly, if this is the world record it’s very unlikely that your beard will get longer than this. Also maybe a 5.33 m beard is also something that you don’t aspire to – I know that I don’t.

What does a beard need to grow thick and strong?

Like any other part of your body hair needs a variety of nutrients to grow thick and healthy. There are many nutritional deficiencies that can impact hair growth and actually cause hair loss!

Here are 5 vitamins that are important for hair growth:

  • Vitamin A – Your hair needs this to stary moisturized and grow. Sweet potatoes, carrots and green leafy foods like kale are an excellent source of vitamin A.
  • B-vitamins – This helps carry oxygen and nutrients to the root of the hair. Whole grains, meat, and seafood are all good sources of this!
  • Vitamin C – This is used by the body to make collagen and can help hair from aging prematurely. Citrus and Strawberries are a great source of this.
  • Vitamin D – Vitamin D’s role is not fully understood but one form of hair loss is attributed to not having enough vitamin D. Get out in the sun – safely – to increase the amount of vitamin D in your body!
  • Vitamin E – This helps fight oxidative stress in the body – try good dietary sources like almonds, avocados, and sunflower seeds.

Should you take a supplement?

My answer to this is always NO! Food is the best place for you to get all of the nutrients that you need to grow your beard hair. There are plenty of options on the list above and all of them are delicious!

If you feel like you are deficient in any of these areas – go and see your doctor!

The 8 things that can slow down your beard growth.

Here are the 7 main things that may be slowing down your beard growth.

1. You are Not Eating Enough to Support Beard Growth

It actually takes a load of energy to grow hair.

There’s a 7-year long study that monitored men who ate low-calorie diets (calorie-restriction) and compared them to men who ate normally (with maintenance calories or slight surplus).

The results showed that the men who ate less also had significantly lower levels of testosterone than the men who simply ate a lot.

If you are not getting the recommended amount of calories per day – that could be seriously impacting your beard growing capabilities.

2. You are Not Getting the Necessary Vitamins & Minerals

Check out the list above. You need a good balance of Vitamins A, B, C, D, E and not to mention other nutrients!

Iron, Zinc, and protein are also very important in allowing your body to grow hair as strong and healthy as possible.

3. Changes in Hormone Levels May Slow Down Beard Growth

Hormones play a really important part in beard growth and any changes may be impacting your ability to grow a beard.

Clearly testosterone is a huge factor in beard growth. You may be experiencing a disruption in beard growth if you go through any big hormonal changes. Have you lost a lot of weight recently? Gained some weight? changed your diet significantly? or had any large life event?

If you have answered “yes” to any of the above – go and see your doctor about getting some tests done…

4. You May Have Reached your Beards Terminal Length – but probably not…

Terminal length is the length your hair would reach without cutting or breaking. Technically, there’s no defined terminal length – hair doesn’t stop when it reaches a certain length. It only stops growing when it reaches the end of its growth cycle and then falls out.

For more information about the growth cycles of beards – check out my blog post

The average growth phase it between two and six years although this is heavily influenced by your genetics, race and hair type. If your growing phase is on the shorter end (two years) you can grow a maximum of 12 inches. However, the average person can expect to grow anywhere between 12 and 36 inches before their hair stops growing and falls out.

Although some people will have a genetic advantage, there’s a natural limit on the length that you can achieve with your beard. There are ways that you can increase the length of your beard by increasing the amount it grows in the anagen phase.

That means that your body needs the right nutrients and to grow thick and healthy hair.

5. Your Beard Care Routine is too Aggressive

There are many ways that you can damage your beard hair.

Towel drying, over-grooming and constant touching of your beard and face can play havoc with beard growth.

Treat your beard with care and make sure that you are not playing too rough. Turn down the hair drier – stop using the beard straighteners and see if that helps kick start your beard growth.

6. You Think Shaving More Often Would Actually Help

By far the most prevalent beard myth of them all is that shaving your beard more often or against the grain would somehow magically stimulate beard growth.

It may make it look like your beard is getting thicker – because you’re cutting off the fine tips and left with a thicker coarser stub – but in reality, your beard does not grow any faster or thicker, the tips just look rougher.

7. Your Beard Might Just Naturally be a Slow Grower

So if your beard is actually growing (albeit slowly), you should be happy that you are in such a fortunate position to be able to grow one in the first place.

And hey, you don’t have to force your beard to grow in faster. Your genetics may have given you a naturally slow facial hair growth rate, and that’s perfectly fine, all it means is that you need to be a tad bit more patient than someone with a faster growth rate.

8. You may not be having enough sex.

There is a famous study where the scientist noticed that his beard slowed when he was away from his wife on field trips:

DURING the past two years I have had to spend periods of several weeks on a remote island in comparative isolation. In these conditions I noticed that my beard growth diminished, but the day before I was due to leave the island it increased again, to reach unusually high rates during the first day or two on the mainland. Intrigued by these initial observations, I have carried out a more detailed study and have come to the conclusion that the stimulus for increased beard growth is related to the resumption of sexual activity

Anon – Nature, 1970

The anticipation of sex was enough to cause the hair to start growing again on his face. So maybe it’s time to anticipate having sex and seeing your beard grow!

The Author

Andy Stapleton

Andy is a writer and YouTuber with a PhD in science. He has written and/or produced videos for Science Alert, COSMOS magazine, and Australia's Science Channel among others. He is an avid beard grower and after many years of growing and trialling different beard styles, he started this blog to share the tips, tricks, and science that he has learned along the way!