The Ultimate Guide to Growing a Long Beard

The Ultimate Guide to Growing a Long Beard

READ TIME: 15 MINUTES. Growing a long beard has always been a journey many men aspire to embark on. It's not just about aesthetics; it's a symbol of patience, discipline, and, sometimes, a touch of rebellion. My journey to grow a long, attractive beard taught me lessons beyond facial hair care. Here's the ultimate guide I've compiled from personal experience to help you grow that attention-grabbing beard you've always dreamed of.

Introduction: The Attraction of the Long Beard

Historically, beards have signified wisdom, strength, and status across cultures. In today's world, a well-maintained long beard is a standout accessory, showcasing personal style and dedication. Beyond the look, the benefits include protection from UV rays, fewer shaving-induced skin irritations, and the simple joy of achieving a personal growth goal.

Understanding Beard Growth
Biology of Hair Growth

Anagen (Growth Phase)

The anagen phase is where the magic happens. Your beard hairs actively grow during this period, which can last from a few months to several years. Your genetics largely determines the duration of this phase; however, it's also influenced by your overall health and lifestyle. For example, a well-nourished body supplies hair follicles with the necessary nutrients for growth, potentially extending the anagen phase.

Catagen (Transition Phase)

Following the growth spurt, hair follicles enter the catagen phase, a transitional period that lasts about two to three weeks. During this time, the hair stops growing because the follicle shrinks and detaches from the dermal blood supply. It's a natural part of the hair's life cycle. It affects only a small percentage of hairs at any given time, so it's not typically noticeable.

Telogen (Rest Phase)

Finally, the telogen phase is a resting period during which the old hair remains in the follicle while new hair begins the growth phase beneath it. This phase can last around three months. At its end, the resting hair falls out, often during washing or combing, making room for new growth. Lifestyle factors, especially stress, can prematurely trigger more hairs to enter the telogen phase, leading to noticeable shedding or thinning.

Genetic Factors vs Lifestyle

Genetic Factors

Your genes play a crucial role in determining your beard's thickness, colour, and growth pattern. These factors are inherited from your parents and are set from birth. For instance, if your family members tend to have full, thick beards, you're more likely to experience the same. Genetics also decides the length of the anagen phase for your hair follicles, directly affecting how long your beard can grow.

Lifestyle Choices

While you can't alter your genetics, lifestyle choices significantly maximise your beard's growth potential. Here are some examples:

  • Diet and Nutrition: Consuming a diet rich in vitamins and minerals supports overall health and specifically aids in hair growth. Proteins provide the amino acids necessary for keratin production, the protein that hair is made of. Vitamins A, C, E, and B vitamins, along with minerals like zinc and iron, support the hair growth cycle and follicle health. A simple change like incorporating more leafy greens, nuts, eggs, and lean meats into your diet can make a noticeable difference.
  • Regular Exercise: Regular physical activity increases testosterone levels and improves blood circulation. Both are crucial for stimulating hair follicles and promoting healthy hair growth. For example, a 30-minute cardio session can enhance blood flow to your scalp and face, nourishing the hair roots.
  • Stress Management: High-stress levels can push hair follicles into the telogen phase, leading to shedding. Incorporating stress-reduction techniques like meditation, yoga, or regular exercise can help manage stress levels and minimise its impact on your beard growth.

Focusing on what you can control, such as maintaining a healthy lifestyle, can optimise your beard growth and achieve the best possible results your genetics will allow. Remember, patience and consistency in your care routine are crucial to seeing improvements over time.

Preparation for Growing a Long Beard

Setting Realistic Expectations

Assessing Your Beard's Natural Growth Pattern and Density

Every man's beard grows in its unique way, influenced by genetics. For instance, some might notice their beard grows densely on the cheeks but sparsely on the neck, or vice versa. The growth rate can also vary significantly from person to person.

  • Example 1: John notices that his beard grows thickly on the chin and moustache area but is much thinner on the cheeks. Understanding this pattern, John sets a goal to develop a style that suits his growth strengths, such as a goatee or Van Dyke, which emphasises the chin and moustache.
  • Example 2: Alex sees that his beard grows evenly but slowly. Knowing this, he sets a realistic timeline: He does not expect a full beard overnight but will give it several months to a year to reach a satisfying length and density.

Setting goals based on your beard's natural tendencies, rather than aiming for an ideal that doesn't fit your growth pattern, can lead to a more rewarding grooming experience.

The Importance of Patience and Perseverance

Growing a beard, especially a long one, is a journey that requires time and dedication. Understanding and accepting the stages of growth your beard will go through can help maintain motivation, even when progress seems slow.

  • Embrace Each Growth Stage: Early on, you might encounter the awkward phase where the beard is too long to be stubble but not yet shaped like a full beard. This phase can be discouraging, as the beard might look uneven or patchy.
  • Patience in Practice: Consider Tom, who, after a month of growth, found his beard looking unruly and considered shaving. However, remembering the importance of patience, he decided to wait it out. The patches filled in with time, and the length started to cover the uneven areas, leading to a more uniform appearance.
  • Dealing with Slow Progress: It's common to compare your beard's growth rate to others, but such comparisons can be disheartening.
  • Perseverance Example: Sam knew his beard grew slower than his friend's. Instead of getting frustrated, he focused on his health and grooming routine, gradually seeing improvements. Over time, his patience paid off, leading to a beard he was proud of, even if it took longer than expected.

Setting realistic expectations and being patient are vital for a fulfilling beard-growing journey. Understand your beard's unique characteristics and embrace the natural process of growth. Celebrate the small victories, like noticing new thicknesses or overcoming an awkward phase. With perseverance, the stages that once seemed challenging will become milestones in achieving the beard you desire.

Essential Steps to Grow a Long Beard

Diet and Nutrition for Optimal Beard Growth

The correlation between what you eat and the health of your beard is more significant than many realise. Here are more detailed insights into how specific nutrients influence beard growth and some examples of how to incorporate them into your diet:

  • Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E: These vitamins are crucial for hair growth. For instance, Vitamin A helps skin glands produce sebum, which moisturises the beard and keeps it healthy. Leafy greens like spinach are rich in Vitamins A and C, while eggs and milk can provide Vitamin D. Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of Vitamin E, and B vitamins are abundant in whole grains, meat, and seafood.
  • Example Diet: A breakfast omelette made with spinach and eggs can kickstart your day with a boost of Vitamins A, D, and E. A snack of mixed nuts can provide Vitamin E and B vitamins, while a dinner featuring grilled salmon with a side of quinoa offers a substantial dose of B vitamins and protein.
  • Minerals like Zinc and Iron: Zinc plays a vital role in hair tissue growth and repair, while iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen to your cells, including those stimulating hair growth. Oysters are an excellent source of zinc, and lean red meat is a prime provider of iron.
  • Example: Incorporating oysters as an occasional dinner option and lean red meats like beef or lamb into your weekly diet can significantly impact your beard's health.
  • Protein: Hair is almost entirely made of protein. Consuming adequate amounts ensures your body has the necessary building blocks for hair.

Exercise and Beard Growth

Physical activity has a direct and indirect influence on beard growth:

  • Boosting Testosterone: Regular exercise, especially resistance exercise, can increase testosterone levels, which are directly linked to hair growth.
  • Example Activities: Lifting weights, bodyweight exercises like push-ups and pull-ups, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) are effective ways to boost testosterone.
  • Improving Blood Circulation: Exercise enhances blood flow, efficiently ensuring nutrients and oxygen reach hair follicles.
  • Incorporating Routine: A daily 30-minute walk or run can significantly improve circulation, benefiting your beard and overall health.

Sleep and Stress Management

The impact of sleep and stress on beard growth is often underestimated:

  • Quality Sleep: During sleep, your body repairs and regenerates, which includes hair growth processes.
  • Sleep Hygiene Tips: Establishing a regular sleep schedule, reducing screen time before bed, and ensuring a comfortable sleep environment can help improve sleep quality.
  • Stress Management: High-stress levels can shift hair follicles into the telogen phase, leading to hair loss or slowed growth.
  • Stress Reduction Techniques: Practices like mindfulness meditation, yoga, or regular exercise can significantly reduce stress levels, benefiting your beard's growth cycle.

In conclusion, a comprehensive approach involving diet, exercise, sleep, and stress management can create the optimal conditions for growing a healthy, long beard. Tailoring these aspects to fit your lifestyle will benefit your beard and enhance your overall well-being.

Daily Beard Care Routine

Cleaning and Moisturising

A well-maintained beard starts with proper cleaning and moisturising routines. These steps are crucial for preventing itchiness and dandruff and promoting healthy beard growth.

Gentle Beard Wash

Using harsh soaps or regular hair shampoos can strip your beard of natural oils, leaving it dry and prone to breakage. Braw Beard Wash is formulated for facial hair. This product is designed to clean without removing all the natural oils that keep your beard healthy.

  • Routine: Start by wetting your beard with lukewarm water to open up the pores. Apply a small amount of Braw Beard Wash, gently massaging it into the skin beneath your beard. This not only cleans the hair but invigorates the skin underneath, promoting healthy growth. Rinse thoroughly.

Natural Oils for Moisturising

After washing then drying the beard hair, applying a natural oil like Braw Beard oil can help moisturise the beard and skin underneath. Included ingredients like jojoba and argan oils are particularly beneficial as they closely mimic the natural oils produced by your skin, making them excellent for hydration and reducing beard itch.

  • How to Apply: Take a few drops of oil (the exact amount depends on the beard length), rub it between your palms, and gently work it through your beard, making sure to reach the skin underneath. This moisturises and gives your beard a healthy, subtle shine.

Combing and Grooming: Promoting Health and Growth

Regular combing and grooming are about more than just appearance. They play a significant role in the health and growth of your beard.

The Benefits of Regular Combing and Brushing

Combing and brushing your beard does several things:

  • Brushing distributes natural oils along the length of your hair, ensuring your beard stays moisturised and healthy.
  • Combing removes tangles and knots, making your beard look neater and more styled.
  • Both stimulate the skin beneath your beard, promoting better blood flow and hair growth.

Investing in Quality Tools

A quality beard comb or brush significantly affects your grooming routine.

  • Beard Comb: Look for one made from wood (like THIS ONE) or anti-static material to avoid static and frizz. A comb with wide teeth is ideal for coarse beard hair.
  • Beard Brush: A brush with natural boar bristles (like THIS ONE) is excellent for distributing oils through your beard. It's also ideal for training your beard to grow in the direction you want, minimising stray hairs and giving a more uniform appearance.
  • Grooming Example: After applying beard oil, use your comb or brush to gently work through your beard, starting from the bottom and working your way up. This method helps to detangle the hair and spread the oil evenly, ensuring that every strand gets the nourishment it needs.

Combining effective cleaning and moisturising with regular combing and grooming keeps your beard looking great and promotes healthier growth. Integrating these steps into your daily routine can transform the look and feel of your beard, making it a point of pride and confidence.

Overcoming Common Beard Growth Challenges

Itchiness and Dandruff

Causes and Solutions:

  • Dry Skin: Dry skin under the beard is one of the primary causes of itchiness and dandruff. When the skin lacks moisture, it can become flaky and irritated.
  • Solution: Incorporate a hydrating beard oil, like Braw Beard oil into your daily routine. Oils rich in Vitamin E, like all Braw Beard oils, can be particularly beneficial. They moisturise the skin and provide nutrients that support skin health. After washing your beard, lightly pat it dry and apply the oil directly to your skin, using your fingers to massage it gently.
  • Harsh Products: Using harsh soaps or shampoos not formulated for beards can strip the skin and hair of natural oils, leading to increased dryness and irritation.
  • Solution: Switch to a gentle, beard-specific wash, like Braw Beard Wash, that cleans without removing essential oils. Look for products containing natural ingredients like aloe vera, which soothes the skin and can help combat dandruff.

Patchiness and Slow Growth Areas

Understanding and Managing Expectations:

  • Genetics and Time: Often, the root cause of patchiness or slow growth is genetics, and while you can't change your DNA, giving your beard time to grow can sometimes resolve these issues on its own.
  • Strategy: Allow your beard to grow for at least a few months without trimming. This patience can reveal that areas you thought were patchy fill in over time as hair grows at different rates.
  • Health and Nutrition: Hair health reflects overall health. Nutrient deficiencies can affect hair growth, leading to slower growth rates or patchy areas.
  • Solution: Focus on a balanced diet rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Specifically, foods high in omega-3 fatty acids (like salmon and flaxseeds), antioxidants (berries, nuts), and vitamins (sweet potatoes for beta-carotene, oysters for zinc) can support hair health. Additionally, consider supplements if you suspect you're not getting enough of certain nutrients.

Additional Tips for Managing Patchiness:

  • Styling and Grooming: Learn to style your beard to camouflage patchy areas. A longer length in some parts of your beard can cover thinner areas in others.
  • Technique: If the cheeks are patchy, growing the hair longer on the chin and moustache can balance the look. A beard balm (like THIS ONE) can help control the direction of the hair growth, making patches less noticeable.
  • Stimulate Growth: Regular gentle exfoliation can remove dead skin cells and promote blood circulation to the face, potentially stimulating hair growth in slow-growing areas.
  • DIY Exfoliation: Use a soft beard brush to exfoliate the skin beneath your beard gently.

In summary, managing itchiness, dandruff, patchiness, and slow growth involves an approach that includes proper beard care, nutrition, and patience. By addressing the underlying causes and employing strategic grooming techniques, you can enhance the health and appearance of your beard.

Trimming and Shaping Your Long Beard

Timing and Frequency: When to Trim

Strategic Growth Period:

  • Initially, resist the urge to trim your beard for a few months. This period allows your beard to grow fully, revealing its natural pattern and potential patchy areas.
  • Example: If you aim for significant length, giving your beard 3-4 months of untrimmed growth can provide a solid foundation. This duration lets you understand how your beard fills in and where its strengths and weaknesses lie.

Regular Maintenance:

  • Once you've established a baseline length, regular trims are essential for maintaining shape and health. The frequency of trims depends on your beard's growth rate and the style you're aiming for.
  • Trimming every 2-4 weeks can help manage shape and length for a well-maintained look. If you're focusing on growth while keeping a neat appearance, extending this to 4-6 weeks might be more appropriate.

Tools and Techniques: How to Trim

Essential Tools:

  • Quality Trimmer: A reliable beard trimmer with various length settings can help you maintain the overall length and tackle bulkier areas.
  • Scissors: A sharp pair of barber scissors is indispensable for precision work around the moustache and snipping individual stray hairs.
  • Comb: A comb is essential for detangling before trimming and lifting the hair to the desired position as you cut.

Trimming Techniques:

  • Outline First: Define your neckline, cheek, and moustache lines to frame your beard. Keeping these areas neat can dramatically enhance the appearance of your beard, even if the rest of it is quite full.
  • Technique Tip: Place two fingers above your Adam's apple as a guide for the neckline. Trim everything below this line to create a clean edge. Trim your beard when dry, as hair settles differently when wet. This ensures you're seeing its actual length as you trim.
  • Detailing with Scissors: After the initial trim, use your scissors to fine-tune your beard. Comb through your beard and trim any hairs that stick out or appear longer than the rest. This is also the time to shape the moustache, keeping the hair at the lipline for a clean look.
  • Technique Tip: When using scissors, cut with the precision tips. Always trim conservatively, snipping small amounts at a time.

Professional Help:

  • Consulting with a barber skilled in beard styling can be invaluable, especially for those new to beard grooming or aiming for a specific style. They can provide a professional shape to your beard that you can maintain at home.
  • Learning Opportunity: Use these visits not only for grooming but also to gather tips and advice on maintaining your beard's style and health and using tools effectively.

Remember, trimming your beard is both an art and a science. It requires patience, the right tools, and a bit of practice. By understanding the timing for trims, choosing quality tools, and mastering techniques, you can ensure your beard looks its best at all times.

Braw Beard Care Ingredients

natural beard oil

Essential oils have become cornerstone ingredients in natural beard care. They are praised for their ability to promote hair health, soothe skin, and offer delightful fragrances without the use of synthetic chemicals. Let's delve deeper into the benefits of lavender, ylang-ylang, patchouli, rosewood, and ginger essential oils for beard care. We use many more essential oils in our beard oils, but below are some of our favourites.

Lavender Essential Oil


  • Soothing Skin: Lavender oil is renowned for its calming properties, making it excellent for soothing irritated skin beneath the beard. It can help reduce redness, itching, and inflammation.
  • Promoting Hair Health: This oil can also contribute to healthier hair growth by enhancing blood circulation to the hair follicles.

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil


  • Sebum Balance: Ylang-ylang can help regulate sebum production, making it beneficial for dry and overly oily skin types. This balance is crucial for maintaining a healthy beard and skin.
  • Hair Strength: It's also known for improving hair texture and reducing hair breakage, contributing to a fuller-looking beard.

Patchouli Essential Oil


  • Anti-inflammatory: Patchouli oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe skin irritations under the beard.
  • Antifungal and Antibacterial: These properties make it excellent for maintaining clean skin and hair, preventing dandruff, and promoting a healthy beard environment.

Rosewood Essential Oil


  • Skin Regeneration: Rosewood oil can help stimulate cell regeneration, making it beneficial for healing and improving skin condition under the beard.
  • Moisturising: It also has moisturising properties, which can help keep skin and beard hair soft and well-hydrated.

Ginger Essential Oil


  • Stimulating Hair Growth: Ginger oil is believed to increase blood circulation to the hair follicles, encouraging growth and resulting in a denser beard.
  • Antioxidant Properties: It's rich in antioxidants, which protect the skin and hair from damage caused by free radicals.

Frequently Asked Questions: Demystifying Beard Myths and Offering Solutions

Myth: Shaving Makes Your Beard Grow Back Thicker and Faster

  • Truth: This is one of the most persistent myths about beard growth. The reality is that shaving does not affect the thickness or the rate of hair growth. Hair may appear thicker initially because it grows with a blunt tip after being cut. Still, the growth rate and thickness are determined by genetics, not shaving.

How to Deal with Itchy Beard?

  • Solution: An itchy beard can be caused by dry skin or the early stages of growth. To combat this, ensure you wash your beard with a gentle beard-specific shampoo like Braw Beard Wash. Moisturise the skin underneath with a beard oil or balm that suits your skin type. Regular exfoliation can also help by removing dead skin cells.

What to Do About Beard Dandruff?

  • Solution: Beard dandruff, or beardruff, can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. Keeping the beard clean and moisturised is vital. Use Braw Beard Wash and an oil or balm to moisturise. Hydration and a good diet also play a crucial role in preventing dandruff.

How Can I Fill in Patchy Areas?

  • Solution: Patience is crucial for patchy beards. Often, patches fill in over time as the beard grows longer. Regular grooming and maintenance can improve the appearance. Additionally, a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, exercise, and sufficient sleep, can support better growth.

Conclusion: Embracing the Beard Journey

Growing a long beard is more than just a grooming habit; it's a commitment to a process that tests and rewards patience, perseverance, and care. It's easy to get caught up in the end goal of having a majestic beard and forgets to appreciate the journey itself.

Stay Motivated

Find a community of fellow beard enthusiasts (like the Brawtherhood), either online or offline. Sharing experiences, challenges, and successes can provide a motivational boost and valuable insights.

Keep Learning

The world of beard care is vast and ever-evolving. From the latest grooming products to new styling techniques, there's always something new to learn that can enhance your beard game.

Enjoy Every Step

Celebrate the milestones, whether achieving a particular length or finally overcoming a patchy phase. Each stage of your beard's growth brings its challenges and rewards. Appreciating these moments can make the journey as fulfilling as the destination.

Remember, the path to growing a long beard is unique for everyone. What works for one person may not work for another, and that's okay. The key is to find what works best for you and your beard. Through trial, error, and patience, you can discover the practices and products that bring out the best in your beard, making the entire experience deeply rewarding. Welcome each day of your beard-growing journey with enthusiasm, and watch as your commitment transforms into the beard of your dreams.

Grow and enjoy.

Thank you for reading; I hope it has been helpful.

Join the #Brawtherhood

Scottish beard care.
Born in Scotland, enjoyed Worldwide.

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