How to grow a long beard

When you tell people that you want to grow a beard you probably imagine them with a massively long beard! Obviously, we know that there are many more options than to look like a wizard but if that is your goal this blog post will show you how to grow a long beard faster!

If you want to grow a long beard you must keep your hair in the growth phase of its growth cycle for as long as possible. About 80 to 90% of the hairs on your face are in this growth stage at any one time and protecting them while in this phase will result in a longer beard.

Before we delve deep into the things you need to buy, know and do we need to make sure that you know

How hair grows

Hair growth goes through three different stages. It’s the first of these stages that matter most to those who want to grow a long beard.

  1. Anagen stage – the growth stage.
  2. Catagen stage – the hair has stalled at this stage.
  3. Telogen stage – the hair follicle takes a rest.

These steps are shown graphically in the diagram below:

how to grow a long beard

In the anagen phase of the cycle, the cells in the root of the hair divide rapidly, slowly adding to the length of the hair. Hair will remain in the phase for anywhere from two to six years. About 80 percent to 90 percent of the hairs on your face are in this stage of hair growth. Keeping your beard in the best condition possible through this to minimize breakages will help you grow a long beard.

The catagen phase is a short intermediate stage that occurs at the end of the anagen phase. This is the end of the growth phase of the hair and no more cells are produced to increase its length. The hair is detached from the blood supply and lasts for up to three weeks.

The telogen stage is after the short catagen phase. Here the hair is released from the skin and the hair follicle takes a well-earned rest for about three months.

There’s nothing much that we can do for the final two steps. Once the hair has come to the end of its lifecycle we just have to accept that it will fall out!

The time it takes to grow a long beard.

On average, the growth rate for human hair is about 1.25 centimeters or 0.5 inches per month, or about 15 centimeters or 6 inches per year. The rate is about 0.35 millimeters daily – think of it like this and

The actual “length” of your beard will also depend on if your hair is straight, wavy or really 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 calls out.

On average here’s the amount of time it takes to get to each length:

000Clean-shaven. to fuzzy stage.
212.5You need to have a good shape up here.
637.5Your chin is full and impressive front on.
8410Looking like a long beard.
10512.5Substantial beardage.

For more information check out my other blog – Will your beard stop growing? Busting the myths!

Breakage – your worst enemy for a long beard

The above table is tue only if your hair is straight and you take enough care of your facial hair that it is strong and doesn’t break.

Hair breaks for many different reasons. Maintaining healthy hair depends on an inner cuticle with overlapping scales that keep your strands together. When these scales fall apart and become damaged, your hair will become dry – leading to damage. This causes breakage, frizz, and dryness which will reduce your beard strength.

Take a look at the image below for a rundown on what healthy and not healthy human hair looks like. You can see the overlapping scales and how they can become damaged to expose the inner core.

how to grow a long beard - reduce breakage.

Products and techniques that help make your hair strong

So we need to make sure that for a long beard our hair is as healthy and strong as possible. We want to stay away from split ends, and dryness that will lead to breakage.

1: Diet

Your beard can only be as healthy as you are! Certain nutrients can help your hair grow strong. Make sure that your diet contains a load of plants and green leafy vegetables.

Choose foods that contain zinc, iron, folic acid, and protein. Check out my other blog about beard vitamins if you feel like you need to supplement your diet.

2: Beard conditioners

Dryness is one of the first signs of unhealthy hair. It can be caused by a huge array of conditions such as the weather, climate, hot water, over straightening, too much blowdrying, the list goes on.

All of these issues can be resolved by a good quality beard conditioner! Check out this best seller on Amazon or look for one that contains oils to help hydrate your hair. My favorite is jojoba oil as it is the closest to natural face oils.

3: Improper towel drying

Getting out of the shower and giving your body a good old rub down feels great! But a super-strong rub with a towel can damage beard hair!

Hair is at its weakest when it is wet. Instead of rubbing the beard dry pat the beard with an absorbent towel and avoid any rough treatment. Also, avoid brushing when the hair is wet.

Patting dry and following up with a light and cool blow dry is the best way to dry your beard and minimize breakage.

4: Remove dead ends

Cutting the split ends of your beard is actually not counterproductive to growth. It helps keep it healthy. By regularly trimming and cutting the ends of your hair you will reduce the chances of your hair becoming dry and brittle.

Split ends can become out of control and travel up the hair. Cutting them off with REAL scissors, designed for trimming hair, will stop you needing a huge bulk cut away when you next visit the barber.

5: Our secret beard conditioning home remedy – hot oil

(a) Pour 5 tablespoons (or more depending upon your beard length) of extra virgin olive oil into a bowl. Warm it either in a microwave for a few seconds or heat it over boiling water. Heat it enough to be warm but not too much to burn your face!

(b) Massage the warm olive hair oil into your beard. Leave the oil on your beard for up to one hour (as long as you can – maybe watch a movie!) and then remove it with shampoo. Put in a beard conditioner and your beard will be as hydrated as it can be!

The final word

Growing a long beard is a lesson in patience and persistence. You need to take particular care of a beard if you wish it to be as long as possible!

Look after yourself with a good diet and care for the hair on your face and the beard of your dreams will be in reach. That is how you grow a long beard.

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!