sorghum bicolor grains on a wooden spoon

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of reading those low-quality articles about beard growth pills.

Mostly the smart marketers of the beard growth pills will push some poorly formulated “beard growth tablets” (like Beardilizer, Beard Grow XL, or Vitabeard or the ridiculous beard growther vitamins).

They will use buzzwords like “#1 best facial hair supplement, formulated for growth”, and then claim that there aren’t any other compounds that would work other than their under-dosed “beard vitamins”.

Well, let me tell you something.

There are dozens of proven ingredients that can increase beard growth rate naturally – and clear research to show it – but the people talking about beard health and growth, in general, are utterly clueless about how to get your beard to grow.

The people saying bogus like:

There are no known scientifically-proven beard growth supplements.

Don’t often even understand how and what hormones trigger facial hair growth. In fact, they often think that its the same stuff that works for scalp-hair, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

Continue below to find what truly determines a “working” beard enhancer, scientifically speaking. ↓

Why Some Compounds work as Beard Growth Enhancers

mucuna pruriens powder supplement and beans on a tableMale beard growth is stimulated in the follicles by testosterone, which primes the follicles1.

Linear growth of the beard is excited by an even more powerful male hormone, DHT1.

These are the androgens, and facial hair is purely androgenic-hair. If your androgens are low, beard growth is usually poor as well2.

Not only do you need high testosterone & DHT, but you also need sensitive enough androgen receptors so that the androgenic hormones can bind into it, enter DNA, and trigger beard growth.

Testosterone + DHT → Androgen Receptors in your face = Growth of facial hair.

Now, this is what truly determines a real beard growth activator from fakes like Beardilizer or Vitabeard, I mean really, one of the most popular “beard boosters”, Beard Grow XL, actually contains ingredients that block DHT (no joke).

For any compound to really act as a beard growth enhancer it has to either increase DHT, increase testosterone, activate androgen receptors, or provide vital co-factors (mostly vitamins and minerals) to fuel the hormonal processes.

vellus hair to terminal hair transition

Good news; there are a handful of scientifically proven facial hair growth supplements that can increase testosterone and DHT levels naturally.

And since the increased level of these hormones is directly correlated with increased beard growth rate3, you could go ahead and label these as “facial hair growth accelerating supplements.” Many vitamins and minerals can grow beard through this exact same mechanism.

This is what the “best beard pills” need to do:

  • Increase testosterone production.
  • Increase DHT production.
  • Boost androgen receptor density & sensitivity.
  • Provide enzymatic co-factors (micronutrients) for the above.

Top Ten Beard Supplements and Vitamins

Now, on to the actual facial hair nutraceuticals, the ten scientifically proven compounds for increased testosterone, DHT, and follicular nutrition.

No time for full review? Here’s a quick beard supplement comparison table. ↓

Preview
Best Beard Vitamin
Thorne Research - Basic Nutrients 2 / Day - Complete Multivitamin/Mineral Formula - 60 Capsules
Can Increase T & DHT
DOPA Mucuna - 90 Vegetarian Capsules by NOW
For Androgen Receptors
Nutricost L-Carnitine Tartrate Powder (250 Grams) - 1 Gram per Serving, 250 Servings
Product
Thorne Research Basic Nutrients
Mucuna Pruriens Extract
L-Carnitine L-Tartrate Powder
Growth Impact
Strong if Deficiencies
Medium to Strong
Medium to Strong
Backed by Research
Grows Beard Through
Supplying Micronutrients
Increases Testosterone & DHT
Upregulates Androgen Receptors
Prime Status
Price
$28.00
$12.08
$16.95
Best Beard Vitamin
Preview
Thorne Research - Basic Nutrients 2 / Day - Complete Multivitamin/Mineral Formula - 60 Capsules
Product
Thorne Research Basic Nutrients
Growth Impact
Strong if Deficiencies
Backed by Research
Grows Beard Through
Supplying Micronutrients
Prime Status
Price
$28.00
Where to Buy
Can Increase T & DHT
Preview
DOPA Mucuna - 90 Vegetarian Capsules by NOW
Product
Mucuna Pruriens Extract
Growth Impact
Medium to Strong
Backed by Research
Grows Beard Through
Increases Testosterone & DHT
Prime Status
Price
$12.08
Where to Buy
For Androgen Receptors
Preview
Nutricost L-Carnitine Tartrate Powder (250 Grams) - 1 Gram per Serving, 250 Servings
Product
L-Carnitine L-Tartrate Powder
Growth Impact
Medium to Strong
Backed by Research
Grows Beard Through
Upregulates Androgen Receptors
Prime Status
Price
$16.95
Where to Buy

1. Mucuna Pruriens

mucuna pruriens in its natural formMucuna Pruriens (velvet bean) is an Indian herbal supplement, used mostly by the pharmaceutical industry to relieve Parkinson’s Disease.

There are also some interesting hormonal benefits that come with Mucuna Pruriens supplementation.

Some that might as well make it one of the most potent beard growth products.

You see, the herb contains high amounts of a compound called L-Dopa (levodopa), which converts quickly into the neurotransmitter; dopamine, in the body.

This increased supply of dopamine has been proven in many studies to stimulate testosterone production.

In a rodent study, mucuna dose-dependently increased testosterone levels4, same happened with birds (yes, birds5), and lastly in two human studies which both showed close to 40% increases in blood testosterone levels6,7.

As you know from the above ramblings, testosterone (and its metabolite; DHT) are the very hormones that cause and stimulate beard growth.

So what does that make mucuna then, if it can increase t by ~40%?

A potent scientifically proven beard growth booster of course.

And I’m not even done yet.

Two further studies have found out that the L-Dopa in Mucuna Pruriens acts as an androgen receptor co-activator protein8, enhancing the ability of the human receptors to uptake male hormones, T and DHT9.

(hint: when male hormones bind to the receptor sites in the facial area, beard growth occurs).

Mucuna Pruriens is a potent testosterone booster and androgen receptor activator, thus one of the best of natural supplements to stimulate facial hair growth.

You can get a high-quality Mucuna extract from Amazon.

2. Quality Multivitamin (Best Beard Supplement)

multivitamin supplementMicronutrient optimization is a no-brainer.

Your hair follicles use vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) as co-factors and building blocks to produce the actual facial hair.

Your body also uses these same vitamins and minerals in the production of testosterone, which eventually reduces by the enzyme 5-a reductase to DHT.

So really, a multivitamin is a good beard growth-promoting supplement. It doesn’t magically add hair to your face, but it’s a great way to make sure that your micronutrient levels are topped up, and your body has all it needs to grow facial hair.

Here are some interesting facts about known facial hair vitamins:

  • Low-dose vitamin D supplementation (83 μg or 3,332 IU) for one year led to ~25% higher testosterone levels in men making it a potent facial hair supplement10.
  • Vitamin E supplementation has led to some pretty significant increases in testosterone in a study examining male rats and humans, so why not call it a beard growth accelerator11?
  • Calcium, zinc, selenium, magnesium, and boron have all been found to stimulate testosterone & DHT secretion when supplemented, all these minerals could be labeled as beard enhancers12–16.

↓ My go-to beard growth vitamin stack ↓

What kind of multivitamin to choose?

An easy (uneducated) pick would be a beard vitamin like Beardilizer or Vitabeard, merely because these are sold as vitamins for beard growth.

In reality, those are just expensive low-quality multivitamins with nothing special to offer when compared to ordinary grocery store multivitamins

(except that they have the “beard” in the title and they’re 3x more expensive).

For the same price as those two, you can get the highest quality multivitamin supplement on the market.

That’s why Beard Resource recommends Thorne Research 2 per Day Multi instead of over-priced low-quality multis (Beardilizer or Vitabeard).

NOTE: Click here to read the full evidence-based post about specific vitamins and minerals necessary for proper beard growth.

3. Sorghum

sorghum bicolor grainSorghum (Sorghum Bicolor) is an ancient gluten-free grain mostly grown in Africa.

Not much research exists about its effects, but one interesting study showed that sorghum extract was able to increase the levels of an enzyme 5-a reductase by 54%17.

Why is this great for beard growth?

Well, 5-a reductase is the enzyme that converts testosterone (beard growing hormone) into DHT (a more potent beard boosting hormone).

increasing 5-a enzyme is great for your linear beard growth.

DHT is the king androgen, and it stimulates your facial growth extremely effectively.

The downfall is that it’s tough to find sorghum extract as a supplement.

Best bang for your buck is to get Life Extension’s Tri-Sugar Shield supplement which contains 300mg’s of sorghum bran extract.

You can also incorporate sorghum flour into your diet. I mentioned it in my article about the best beard related foodstuffs here.

4. Creatine

creatine and other supplements on a tableIf you’ve ever lifted weights, the chances are that you already know what creatine is.

It’s – after protein powders – the most popular supplement for promoting lean mass and strength gains, and there is an impressive library of evidence supporting its use.

A lesser-known benefit of creatine is as a beard growth supplement, as there’s clear evidence of how it increases testosterone levels18, as well as DHT levels19.

Creatine is dirt-cheap, and a tub of creatine monohydrate goes well as a facial hair supplement even if you wouldn’t lift weights.

5. Carnitine

opened supplement capsuleCarnitine is often used for cognitive boost, as a bodybuilding supplement, and now as a beard pill too.

It works a bit differently to many other supplements on this list.

Instead of increasing testosterone or DHT levels (the beard growing hormones) it increases the density and activity of the human androgen receptors.

Androgen receptors are the exact receptor sites of the body where these great beard growing male hormones bind to.

For example, when DHT and T bind to the receptor sites in facial hair area, beard growth occurs3.

Now the studies on this are clear.

In studies using human muscle biopsies, L-Carnitine L-Tartrate supplementation increases the density and activity of androgen receptors (AR), in tissue both for sedentary20 and exercising subjects21.

Imagine that the receptors on your face are locks, which when opened by T or DHT, trigger beard growth.

In this scenario, creatine would increase the amount of these potential locks and also make them attract more keys.

If you’re pretty sure that your hormone levels might be on the higher end, but still thinking:

Why can’t I grow a beard?

Then the issue is likely in dormant androgen receptors (especially true for men who struggle with poor cheek beard growth). And that’s exactly the area where carnitine can help you.

For a similar type of carnitine as used in the studies, get L-Carnitine L-Tartrate powder and use 2-4 grams per day.

6. Nicotine

old man smoking a Cuban cigarWhat? Nicotine?

Yes, you can use nicotine as a supplement, preferably in the form of gum, instead of tobacco.

Why? In what World would this benefit beard growth?

Well, research has shown that nicotine and its breakdown product; continine, both inhibit the breakdown and metabolization of DHT22.

Meaning that there will be more DHT available in the bloodstream to stimulate facial hair growth.

NOTE: I do not recommend anyone to smoke, but there’s nothing wrong in taking nicotine supplements, as the main adverse effects of tobacco are caused by heavy metals and chemicals, not by the nicotine.

7. Ashwagandha

ashwagandha root supplementAshwagandha is a herb commonly used in Indian herbal medicine; Ayurveda.

It’s an adaptogen, a herb that promotes bodily homeostasis by balancing stress hormones and increasing testosterone production.

Ashwagandha’s hormone boosting effect has been seen in multiple human and animal studies.

The most impressive result comes from a non-sponsored peer-reviewed human study with young men23, where ashwagandha supplementation was able to raise the average testosterone levels from 630 ng/dL to 726 ng/dL.

Which is very impressive from just a single herb.

As said many times before, in this article, testosterone grows facial hair; therefore ashwagandha can be easily labeled as facial hair stimulant, beard pill, or whatever.

NOTE: The highest quality ashwagandha used in most of the studies is KSM-66 water-extract, that’s also what we at Beard Resource recommend.

8. Safed Musli

safed musliSafed Musli (Chlorophytum Borivilianum) is another herb from the Indian Ayurveda.

There aren’t many human studies available on the herb, but the animal studies conducted so far have shown that Safed Musli supplementation leads to androgenic effects.

As you might know, androgens are DHT and T, and androgenic effects are mostly considered as beard and body hair growth, increased testicular size, higher sperm counts, and better libido…

That’s what has been seen with Safed Musli.

It was nearly as potent as synthetic testosterone injections in causing androgenicity.

For that reason, there’s good evidence that it may be a potent supplement for beard growth.

You can pick up a bottle from Amazon.

9. Butea Superba

butea superba growing from a treeButea Superba (Red Kwao Krua) is a herb from Thailand, mostly used as an aphrodisiac.

Although it’s libido-boosting benefits in humans haven’t been well proven, it’s possible effect at increasing androgenic effects and raising DHT have been shown in few studies

(this would result in better linear beard growth too).

In these two rodent studies, Butea Superba was able to promote androgenic effects24,25.

One weird case-study shows how a man took Butea Superba, which raised his DHT levels 158% above the medical reference ranges26.

Discontinuation of the herb lowered the levels back to normal.

If you’re looking for that crazy DHT boost to promote beard growth, butea might work.

10. Glycine

gelatin dessertGlycine is an amino acid, the purest protein of the human body to be exact.

Evidence on animals suggests that glycine can increase 5-a reductase enzyme and thus the conversion from testosterone to DHT27.

Making glycine a supplement that should promote linear facial hair growth.

There are other benefits to glycine too, such as couple well-done human studies which show clearly how glycine (as an inhibitory neurotransmitter) promotes sleep quality28 and reduces the time it takes to fall asleep29.

(the last point indirectly leads to higher testosterone production too).

The best and cheapest way to get high-quality glycine, is to dissolve 10-20 grams of gelatin to warm water and drink before bedtime.

Frequently Asked Questions about Supplements and Vitamins for Beard

beard man thinks

Below are some questions we have gotten about specific facial hair related pills, be it supplements, minerals, or vitamins. ↓

Q: Do beard vitamins work?

Answer: In a way, yes. Many vitamins and minerals can speed up facial hair growth. However, I don’t recommend those “beard vitamin” brands who specifically label beard logos on their bottles. Those are usually under-dosed and have nothing special in them, but do come with a big price tag.

It’s much better to choose a normal high-quality multivitamin instead.

Q: What are the best vitamins for beard growth?

Answer: There are some vitamins and minerals that have been directly found to increase the hormones that trigger beard growth.

These include:

  • Fat-soluble vitamins E, A, D, and K2.
  • Water-soluble vitamins B6, biotin, and C.
  • And the minerals zinc, magnesium, selenium, boron, and calcium.

Conclusion on Beard Supplements

DHT and testosterone are proven to increase beard growth rate, and there are many supplements proven to raise those two hormones.

Therefore what are those supplements?

Beard growth supplements.

They don’t magically turn you into a lumberjack, but over long time, when used in conjunction with other beard stimulating stuff (such as microneedling and using minoxidil for beard growth), you WILL see better beard density and linear facial hair growth.

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Farthing M, Mattei A, Edwards C, Dawson A. Relationship between plasma testosterone and dihydrotestosterone concentrations and male facial hair growth. Br J Dermatol. 1982;107(5):559-564.
2.
Thornton M, Laing I, Hamada K, Messenger A, Randall V. Differences in testosterone metabolism by beard and scalp hair follicle dermal papilla cells. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 1993;39(6):633-639.
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CHIEFFI M. Effect of testosterone administration on the beard growth of elderly males. J Gerontol. 1949;4(3):200-204.
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Yamada T, Nakamura J, Murakami M, et al. Effect of chronic L-dopa administration on serum luteinizing hormone levels in male rats. Toxicology. 1995;97(1-3):173-182.
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Prasad S, Qureshi T, Qureshi S. Mucuna pruriens seed powder feeding influences reproductive conditions and development in Japanese quail  Coturnix coturnix japonica. Animal. 2009;3(2):261-268.
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Shukla K, Mahdi A, Ahmad M, Shankhwar S, Rajender S, Jaiswar S. Mucuna pruriens improves male fertility by its action on the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis. Fertil Steril. 2009;92(6):1934-1940.
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Gupta A, Mahdi A, Ahmad M, et al. A proton NMR study of the effect of Mucuna pruriens on seminal plasma metabolites of infertile males. J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2011;55(5):1060-1066.
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Wafa L, Palmer J, Fazli L, et al. Comprehensive expression analysis of L-dopa decarboxylase and established neuroendocrine markers in neoadjuvant hormone-treated versus varying Gleason grade prostate tumors. Hum Pathol. 2007;38(1):161-170.
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Margiotti K, Wafa L, Cheng H, Novelli G, Nelson C, Rennie P. Androgen-regulated genes differentially modulated by the androgen receptor coactivator L-dopa decarboxylase in human prostate cancer cells. Mol Cancer. 2007;6:38.
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Pilz S, Frisch S, Koertke H, et al. Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men. Horm Metab Res. 2011;43(3):223-225.
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Umeda F, Kato K, Muta K, Ibayashi H. Effect of vitamin E on function of pituitary-gonadal axis in male rats and human subjects. Endocrinol Jpn. 1982;29(3):287-292.
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Cinar V, Baltaci A, Mogulkoc R, Kilic M. Testosterone levels in athletes at rest and exhaustion: effects of calcium supplementation. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2009;129(1-3):65-69.
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Prasad A, Mantzoros C, Beck F, Hess J, Brewer G. Zinc status and serum testosterone levels of healthy adults. Nutrition. 1996;12(5):344-348.
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Bleau G, Lemarbre J, Faucher G, Roberts K, Chapdelaine A. Semen selenium and human fertility. Fertil Steril. 1984;42(6):890-894.
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Cinar V, Polat Y, Baltaci A, Mogulkoc R. Effects of magnesium supplementation on testosterone levels of athletes and sedentary subjects at rest and after exhaustion. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2011;140(1):18-23.
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Naghii M, Mofid M, Asgari A, Hedayati M, Daneshpour M. Comparative effects of daily and weekly boron supplementation on plasma steroid hormones and proinflammatory cytokines. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2011;25(1):54-58.
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Choi J, Jeon M, Moon W, et al. In vivo hair growth-promoting effect of rice bran extract prepared by supercritical carbon dioxide fluid. Biol Pharm Bull. 2014;37(1):44-53.
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Cook C, Crewther B, Kilduff L, Drawer S, Gaviglio C. Skill execution and sleep deprivation: effects of acute caffeine or creatine supplementation – a randomized placebo-controlled trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2011;8:2.
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van der, Brooks N, Myburgh K. Three weeks of creatine monohydrate supplementation affects dihydrotestosterone to testosterone ratio in college-aged rugby players. Clin J Sport Med. 2009;19(5):399-404.
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Kraemer W, Spiering B, Volek J, et al. Androgenic responses to resistance exercise: effects of feeding and L-carnitine. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2006;38(7):1288-1296.
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Kraemer W, Volek J, French D, et al. The effects of L-carnitine L-tartrate supplementation on hormonal responses to resistance exercise and recovery. J Strength Cond Res. 2003;17(3):455-462.
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Meikle A, Liu X, Taylor G, Stringham J. Nicotine and cotinine effects on 3 alpha hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase in canine prostate. Life Sci. 1988;43(23):1845-1850.
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Wankhede S, Langade D, Joshi K, Sinha S, Bhattacharyya S. Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015;12:43.
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Cherdshewasart W, Bhuntaku P, Panriansaen R, Dahlan W, Malaivijitnond S. Androgen disruption and toxicity tests of Butea superba Roxb., a traditional herb used for treatment of erectile dysfunction, in male rats. Maturitas. 2008;60(2):131-137.
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Malaivijitnond S, Ketsuwan A, Watanabe G, Taya K, Cherdshewasart W. Androgenic activity of the Thai traditional male potency herb, Butea superba Roxb., in female rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009;121(1):123-129.
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Chaiyasit K, Wiwnaitkit V. Hyperandrogenemia due to ingestion of Butea superba. Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2012;16(3):485-486.
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Venard C, Boujedaini N, Belon P, Mensah-Nyagan A, Patte-Mensah C. Regulation of neurosteroid allopregnanolone biosynthesis in the rat spinal cord by glycine and the alkaloidal analogs strychnine and gelsemine. Neuroscience. 2008;153(1):154-161.
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Kawai N, Sakai N, Okuro M, et al. The Sleep-Promoting and Hypothermic Effects of Glycine are Mediated by NMDA Receptors in the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2015;40(6):1405-1416.
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Bannai M, Kawai N, Ono K, Nakahara K, Murakami N. The effects of glycine on subjective daytime performance in partially sleep-restricted healthy volunteers. Front Neurol. 2012;3:61.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Hello! I have a question. I’m using Kirkland Minoxidil as I read in your website (after 4 hours, wash face and use some cream). But I recently discovered a cream that contains minoxidil 5% and bergamot oil. Is that ok if instead of use the regular cream (nivea men, for example), I use the minoxidil and bergamot cream? Have anyone tried it?

  2. Hey man, so I take it it’s okay to use all of these together? And they won’t have any damaging edge t if take all together?
    Thanks man.

    • Yeah, I don’t see why they wouldn’t be able to be taken together. I’d say start with lower-dose on some of the herbs to make sure your stomach can handle them. Other than that there shouldn’t be any issues.

  3. Unlike other blogs, you backed your research with proofs and the facts are very logical indeed. Almost twelve years ago I utilized creatine for muscular strength. At that time, I was totally unaware about the benefits it may offer for beard growth. Do you think, creatine is still effective for me?

  4. I have used the Beardilizer beard vitamin, was expensive and not useful at all. Besides i have never thought of Nicotine as a supplement, not to talk of using it for beard growth. I still have a lot to check out and experiment. I am determined to grow beard.

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