So you want to grow a long beard, but you have no idea what to expect and how long would it take? No worries, we are here to help with some quality facial hair knowledge.
In this post, our purpose is to teach you how the facial hair growth really happens in the face of a man and how fast you can truly expect your facial hair to grow.
If you’re here just for the answers, here are the quick facts:
- A human beard grows on average about 1/2 inch per month.
- It takes 2-4 months to grow a proper full beard.
- Your rate of beard growth depends on age, race, genetics, and androgens.
Table of Contents
Beard Science: How the Facial Hair Growth Works
Many sites address beard growth as purely genetic, and something that just “happens” to some men.
But there’s more to it than just random chance.
Your facial hair grows in response to androgenic hormones, as the facial hair is; androgenic-hair.
And in order for the androgens to naturally promote the growth, those need to enter the DNA, which is where the human androgen receptor – a critical “gate-keeper” of the beard growth rate – steps in.
I have written an extremely detailed breakdown of how your body produces the beard growth hormones (testosterone & DHT) and how they work with the androgen receptor here.
To say that the growth is just about randomness and genetic potential is an understatement.
Simply because there are natural methods to increase the androgenic hormones; testosterone and dihydrotestosterone, and there are also methods to activate the androgen receptors and grow the beard faster through that.
Certain prescription-free drugs like minoxidil (Rogaine) are also proven to help in “hacking” your genetic potential and forcing beard growth, along with things like the Derma Roller, which is also likely to boost beard growth.
What Determines the Rate of Facial Hair Growth Speed
On average, the human facial hair grows a ½ an inch or 1.27 centimeters per month.
There are multiple factors influencing that number.
While someone may sprout out couple millimeters of beard in a month, someone else may sprout a whole inch or two in that time.
The factors impacting the beard growth rate include:
- Your race – due to some populational differences in the amount and sensitivity of the human androgen receptor Caucasian and African males tend to grow facial hair on a faster rate than Asian and native Indian men do.
- Your age – although hormones surge in puberty, the most critical facial hair stimulating hormone – DHT – usually peaks somewhere during your 20s. This is why most men will see the biggest beard growth in their 20s to 30s, and teenagers rarely grow any beards.
- Your genes – There are some genetic factors that are nearly impossible to manipulate. Although you can increase your hormones and enhance the activation of the androgen receptors, some men are genetically prone to having these run on supercharged potential without doing anything.
This is How Long it Takes to Grow a Beard
The average rate of facial hair growth is half an inch per month, and the average length of a beard is anywhere from one to two inches.
Therefore we can conclude that it can take anywhere from two to four months to grow a beard, depending on what length you deem as a “real beard”.
Let’s say that an average man stops shaving in January and attempts to grow a “yeard” style beard.
This is how long his beard will be on a monthly basis throughout a year:
Beard Length Infographic
Frequently Asked Questions
The maximum length of beard that you can grow is the amount of hair your follicles can produce in two to six years of time. This is because the active anagen phase of the facial hair follicle lasts 2-6 years before it sheds the existing hair and starts growing a new one.
So in theory, if most of your follicles stay in the anagen phase for the full six years, then the average beard grower would end up with a maximum beard length of 36 inches (91.44 cm). This isn’t set in stone, however, as the longest known beard ever grown was a whopping 18.6 ft. (5.66m) in length.
Testosterone, DHT, and sensitive-enough androgen receptors. Or as some people downplay these; the genetics. (remember, there are ways to work around even the worst of genetics, links above).
It’s not easy to predict and has to do with your age, race, lifestyle, and genetics. However, the average human beard growth rate is half an inch per month.
An average man grows his facial hair at the rate of half an inch or 1.27 centimeters per month.
There are some factors that can speed the growth rate up, such as using minoxidil (our faq about minoxidil for beards here) or improving your hormone levels (testosterone & DHT).
Of course, the rate of growth can also be slower – or non-existent – if your hormone levels are low for example.