It’s the ultimate problem that occurs when you are growing a beard! The hours of constantly analyzing the shape and trimming off tiny bits here and there. Trimming your beard can certainly keep it in shape despite the fact that you are risking trimming off too much! But you may have noticed that your goatee grows faster than the sides of your beard. Here we’ll take a look at the reasons why this happens and what you can do about it to stop it destroying your beard.
The fact is that hair on your body grows at about the same rate – with beard hair being the fastest to grow. What may look like slow growth may actually be that your chin area has a higher density of hair on it than the sides. This may give the appearance of slow-growing but, in fact, is just an illusion. It may be, also, that you have only recently started to be able to grow a beard. In this case, the growth starts from the chin and it may be that you have not reached full development yet. You may just have to be patient.
Does the hair on your chin grow at a faster rate?
As you painstakingly watch your beard growing it may feel like your chin hairs are growing faster than the rest – but there isn’t much variation in beard growth rate across your face.
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 type||Growth 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)|
So, if the rate isn’t that different across your beard what else is there that could explain what you are seeing?
It could be that you have not developed a full beard yet!
If you are young the chances are that your beard growing journey has only just started. Beards don’t just appear on your face. They grow in stages and it could be that you are in the early stages of beard growth.
For me personally, I felt like my beard was awesome only after about the age of 25. Before that, it always felt lopsided and “thin”. The thinness is what always put me off growing a beard.
But growing it out is the thing that gave me confidence and showed me that with a little bit of patience a beard will develop nicely.
Here is the order in which you should expect a beard to grow.
The order that the beard hair starts growing
Facial hair in males does not always appear in a specific order during puberty and varies among some individuals but many people beard growth journey follows this process:
During the later stages of puberty, the first facial hair to appear tends to grow at the corners of the upper lip (age 11–15). That is where a lot of people first notice the onset of their beard growth.
Soon after noticing it on the side of the lip it then spreads to form a mustache over the entire upper lip (age 16–17).
This is followed by the appearance of hair on the upper part of the 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 may vary among some individuals depending on one’s genetic heritage or environment.
A few people from forums agree. Saying that they didn’t really reach their beard-growing potential until their late twenties or early thirties.
I couldn’t grow anything until I was about 25, which was very similar to my father. I’m 28 now going on month 9 of growing my second yeard, and this one is twice as thick as my first one at age 26-27.Reddit
If you are not in the later stages of puberty there may be another reason that your goatee grows faster than sides – or at least look like it.
Why your beard grows more on the chin
Hair density is just thicker around the chin – that is why it may look as if your cheeks are struggling to keep up. It isn’t the rate of growth but rather the density of the hairs.
In my experience, the chin and mustache areas are the thickest parts of the beard – the cheeks are the least populated parts of my beard. If you are struggling with those parts of your beard – check out my other post – How to grow a beard on your cheeks. Some of the tips in there may help you.
A 2011 study found that you can reliably determine the density of a beard by using a simple photographic method. Take a look at the image from the University of Pennsylvania for examples of the hair density that they found.
What you can do to balance out the growth
Here, we are going to look at all of the options available to you which don’t require the use of medication. You can achieve some amazing things with simple beard and hair products and techniques.
Trim it up regularly
If you are not experiencing a lack of hair but a growth rate mismatch regular trimming can work wonders.
I trim up my beard at least once a week. During this time I check the length of each side of my face and trim the longer side if I need to. The techniques I use is to fan out the hair on each side of my face and check to see if each side has an equal length. I trim the longest side to match the shortest side and also remove any ‘hero’ hairs that are a lot longer than the rest.
I’ve also seen people use fades to hide the fact that they have weaker growth on some parts of their beard. Check out my other blog if you are struggling to grow a beard.
Use products to control the shape
Besides trimming you can always use products to hold your beard into the right shape and give the illusion of balance on each side of your face. Some beards have a natural sway or curve to them which can make them look unbalanced or that one side is longer than the other.
This technique works well if you are looking for volume and not length.
- Look for a beard wax with a strong hold and work it into your beard’s problem areas.
- Take a comb or brush and work your beard into the shape that you want it to be.
- Use a cool blast from a hairdryer to lock the shape of your beard into position.
The problem with this technique is that your beard can quickly get out of shape. I carry a pocket comb around with me in my bag and I can tame my beard when I head to the bathroom or when I notice that it is not looking as sharp as it could.
Get professional help!
I cannot stress enough the importance of asking a professional for advice. Building a relationship with your barber will help you overcome a range of issues. I have always found that barbers are incredibly giving of their time and have always been keen to answer my questions in a professional and helpful manner!
There’s one final note that I’d like to mention!
Accept that not all beards are symmetrical
Ask any man with a beard to give you a ‘beard tour’ and they’ll always tell you what is not right or what they want to change about their beards! It’s just the way that this beard growing thing tends to work.
Everyone’s beard is different and unique in some way. Taming the untameable is a constant battle and, personally, I enjoy the process.
Remember to enjoy the process of growing a beard and make sure that you keep track of your progress with photos!