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October 15, 2020 3 min read

It is not enough to just slap on the latest beard and skin care products and call it a day. With an understanding of the biology behind the beautifully bodacious and bountiful bush of hair that grows upon your chin, you might gain the proper insight to care for your beard at even more meticulous levels. 

To that end, we have created this article to help you understand the science behind beard growth, and how you can use this knowledge for better care and growth. After all, if you know how it works, you would know how to work with it. 

It begins with genetics

Not all people are born with the capacity to grow beards. Some may only develop goatees, others may only develop moustaches, and some might just feel a few itchy whiskers growing above the corners of their lips. If you are not genetically predisposed to growing facial hair, it is unlikely for you to grow a beard as bushy and long as you might dream. 

Once you hit puberty, your body will produce a surge of hormones such as testosterone and androgen which regulate hair growth in the body. It signals existent hair follicles to start growing hair, and does not stimulate the development of new ones. 

That being said, it is still completely possible for you to grow a beard later in life. Many people have found themselves capable of growing a beard once they hit the ages of 40 and above. So if you haven’t been able to grow a beard in your teens, twenties, and thirties, you still have hope in your forties. 

The biological processes behind hair and beard growth

The growth of a beard usually takes four phases, which we will describe in detail below:

  1. Anagen: the Growth Phase

The anagen phase can last different lengths depending on the type of hair. The anagen phase for the hair on your head, for example, can last for years. For a beard, it can last anywhere from two to four months — even longer depending on your genetics. 

  1. Catagen: the Regression Phase

Once your body determines that hair growth is complete, the hair enters catagen. During this stage, the follicles begin to shrink and shorten — by up to 70%. Should something stimulate the follicles, such as a growth hormone or a surge in Vitamin D, the shrunken follicles will grow and can return to the Anagen phase. 

  1. Telogen: the Resting Phase

Your follicles go into this phase after months (or years) of hair growth. This is usually after your follicles have shrunk and shortened in catagen.

  1. Exogen: the Shedding Phase

The shedding phase is a phase in the life of a follicle. At this stage, the follicle would only be passively holding onto the hairs — as opposed to the previous three phases. This means hair in these follicles can easily fall out. 

Is there a way to stimulate beard growth?

There are a number of beard and skin care products that are known to stimulate hair growth, such as special beard oils and beard washes. Beards are also scientifically proven to grow faster in the summer. The increased exposure to sunlight and Vitamin D has been shown to stimulate the follicles and speed up hair growth, so it might be a great time to go out there and get some sun. 

Final thoughts

Beard and skin care is just as much a science as it is an art. It involves knowing how certain processes in the skin and body interact with each other. By understanding the way the beard and the body work, you are likely to make better choices about the health and growth of your magnificent mane of hair. 

If you’re looking for beard and skin care resources, send us at The Unshaved a message. We have everything you need, from the right products to helpful blog posts. 

Harry Strick
Harry Strick


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