Growing a beard? These are the stages that you can expect to go through!

It doesn’t matter if you are a long way into your journey or you have only just decided that a beard is for you! CONGRATULATIONS on making a bold and strong decision to wear your awesomeness on your face. You will face the many “growing a beard stages” and you will be tested as you progress through each stage.

In a hurry? Here are the stages of beard growth you can expect to go through!

  • One week in – not much to show at this stage other than a bit of overgrown stubble.
  • Two weeks in – you look really scruffy
  • Four weeks in – your beard should be looking much more beardy
  • Weeks six to eight – Full glory?
  • Week six – define the neckline, trim stray hairs…
  • Week eight – much fuller now!
  • Week ten – the chin is starting to get some nice length to it!
  • Week 16 – Keep growing until you get the beard that you have always dreamed of – the worst is behind you!

Make no mistake – your new face warmer will evolve and morph throughout its entire journey. This is why it is going to be so important for you to have a clear vision in mind. It will certainly help

As Stephen R. Covey states in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Start with the end in mind.

By working out where you want to end up with your beard you’ll possess the determination to get through the stages of growing one. There are plenty of awkward stages which will make you feel like giving up!

This blog post is or you if you want to know what lies ahead and how you can best prepare for each stage!

Work out why you want to grow a beard.

If you are in the very early stages, my recommendation to you is that you figure out exactly why you want to grow a beard in the first place. Your “why” will be your power play when you are up against the feeling a couple of negative comments gives you.

For me, I wanted to grow a beard for a couple of reasons: 1. I love challenges and I wanted to see if I could grow a beard that I was proud of and 2. I felt like I needed a personal style.

You see, my hair was thinning on the top of my head and, knowing that I could grow a good beard, I wanted that to be the focus of my style. I didn’t like the fact that my head looked like a testicle with a face on it!

Your reason?

Here are a couple more reasons that you may have considered:

  • Laziness – Be careful if this is you. Growing a beard is the lazy man’s dream in the beginning. After all – you have to do nothing. However, after the initial growing a beard stages it is a lot of hard work if you actually want your beard to look good! Be warned!
  • Warmth – Winter is the time people search more about beard growth. If you want to just grow a beard for the winter good on you. Be careful though! You may fall in love with it and keep it forever!
  • To look more attractive – Who doesn’t want to look more attractive! beards can make you stand out for all the right and wrong reasons. Do plenty of research on how to make your beard look good!
  • Create a personal style? This is the reason I grew a beard. Defining a personal style and choosing something that makes you stand out is a great way to grow your professional or personal brand.

Okay, let’s take a look at the different stages and what you need to do or keep in mind for each stage.

Here’s a video summary of all of the stages that I went through:

Getting started – day zero.

Beard growing day zero!

Good on you – you want to grow a beard! You look fresh-faced and you feel as optimistic as ever as you start your beard growing journey.

Here are the things you need to do in these early stages:

  • Look out for ingrown hairs. If you’ve been shaving your face reguarly you may have ingrown hairs. Make sure that you know where they are so that you can get them out soon. Once your beard comes in they’ll be covered up and you don’t want them causing any irritation.
  • Moisturize. Lay the foundations of your beard growing right now! Get a good moisturizer and use it regularly. This isn’t the right time for dry skin!
  • Take a photo of your face. Make sure you have a nice photo of your face pre-beard. Firstly, it’ll help you notice where you have come from. And secondly, it is fun to have a before and after to share with friends.

Let the waiting and growing begin!

Let the growing commence – the most difficult stages!

It is at this stage where you will be challenged the most. It’ll go from looking like you forgot to shave to looking like you are happy with a mediocre beard. But hold in there and you’ll get to your desired beard!

One week in!

Here is my “beard” one week in. Really there’s not much to show at this stage other than a bit of overgrown stubble.

For those who have nice dense beards, you’ll notice where it’ll grow faster than other places. For example, my chin grows faster than anything else. So it will look fuller and more substantial than my cheeks. This is still the case!

Two weeks in.

From two weeks until about 6 weeks it is going to look really scruffy! Your neckline and cheeks will have no definition – do not be tempted to cut them in – you’ll run the risk of ruining your beard shape.

The only bit of advice is to keep on moisturizing and don’t be tempted to cut anything at this stage – I mean it!

Four weeks in.

At the one month or four week stage. Your beard should be looking much more beardy. But it’ll so short that you will not be able to have any control over the hair.

It’s that this stage that you will start looking “fluffy”. Someone once told me that it was like pubes or a tennis ball. At this stage, you can invest in a good quality beard oil and comb. Don’t go too overboard with the accessories though.

This would be a good time to check out my top 10 tips and things I wish I had known about beard growing.

It’ll start to feel like you have a beard but don’t be tempted to shape it up just yet save that to week six!

Weeks six to eight = full glory?

This is where your patience and hard work will start to pay off! Your beard will be looking much more substantial and will be able to take on its own shape. There are still a couple of things to take into consideration, however!

Week six

At the week six-stage you need to do two things:

  • Define the neckline of your beard.
  • trims the stray hairs that do not grow anywhere near your beard. These hairs will be on high up on your cheek.

If you’d like to know how to trim your neckline head over to my other blog that will talk you through the two ways that I do it!

You’ll notice in the above photo that my cheeks have been tidied up and those annoying neck hairs are now gone. Keep trimming up those beard borders and you’ll feel like you are slowly taming your beard!

At this point, your beard will also only be following the shape of your head. Not too much of the shape will come from the growth of the hair but over the next two weeks that will change…

Week eight

Week eight is where all of your hard work starts to pay off!

The beard should be much fuller than it was in week six and it will start to be able to be shaped – only in the lightest way possible, however!

At this point, you should consider getting a professional barber to look over your beard and give you some advice.

I knew I wanted to increase the length of my chin and cheeks so I only cut my mustache shorter – because it was annoying as it was going into my mouth!

I also thinned out the sideburns as they were starting to look a little unkempt at this stage of growing a beard.

Week 10 – 16 – style it baby!

Ah, this is where you can start being as proud as punch of your new look.

It may be that you haven’t quite reached your dream beard yet but this is when you can start having fun with your new beard!

Week ten

You can see in my week 10 image that everything is starting to look super full. The chin is starting to get some nice length to it. The bottom has a little bit of weight to it too. Overall, it is looking bushy and lush.

At this point my full grooming regime is in place and happens daily:

  • Wash with mild soap or beard shampoo (every two days)
  • Shave cheeks and neck in the shower
  • Towel Dry
  • Blow-dry with a comb to control how the beard lays
  • A small amount of conditioner or beard oil
  • Wax to control the sides and mustache

At this stage, your beard still can have an oval shape as it still follows the shape of your face. But it is just long enough that with the right trimming you can start to get the shape that you want to achieve.

Week 16

Longer style beards will be able to be shaped up at this length. You can see that the chin is starting to get a good bit of length to it. Maybe looks a little like “a dad with a beard” but the hipster calling isn’t too far away.

The routine doesn’t change from here on unless you want to grow a fancy mustache and get that super hipster handlebar thing going on.

Keep growing until you get the beard that you have always dreamed of. The worst is behind you now and a bearded future is upon you!

Enjoy this stage!

The place you want to end up

Because early on you created a vision board you know where you need to end up. Maybe…

Let me tell you that my idea of a perfect beard is always changing and I’m always looking for a new beard shape and style.

Your beard will be constantly evolving as it grows and you learn about new products.

Here is the most up to date version of my beard as of the time of writing this blog post.

A little more length on the chin and cheeks and I think I’ll get to the beard that I’ve always wanted!

Final thoughts.

This was a great journey and I’ve got no hesitation in recommending that you embark on your own beard journey if you choose to.

Each of our growing a beard stages will be quite different. Depending on how quickly or slowly your beard grows the stages may come a little faster or slower for you.

No matter what – patience and holding back on the trimmer in the early stages will be the best thing you can do to grow a beard you are proud of!

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 trialing different beard styles, he started this blog to share the tips, tricks, and science that he has learned along the way!