thick beard coverage

Do you want to learn how to grow a thicker beard naturally and effectively? If so, you landed on the right article. We can teach you how to get a thicker, denser, and fuller beard.

We can also prove to you that increasing facial hair thickness is possible, and also pretty easy when you know exactly what to do.

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(Don’t worry, we won’t be ending the article with a boring get a beard transplant tip as the GQ did with their article).

Yes, I know, sounds too good to be true, but there are studies, thousands of anecdotal reports and before-afters, and I even share my own results in this article after following these exact steps.

It will take some time (you’re not going to see results in days or weeks, but months) and it will take some dedication and even faith in the process, but we will guarantee you; the results will come.

I also want to warn you that this is not your average beard thickness article where the authors just recommend something like;

(which we all know by now, do nothing).

We are also not denying the fact that a lion’s share of your beard density is determined by your genetics.

But genetics only determine your baseline, your rate of growth if you would never follow any of the tips on this article. You can improve upon this, and we will show you how – for free.

Factors Determining Beard Thickness

full and dense beard

Hair Follicle & Fiber Diameter Size

The diameter of your facial hair follicles determines the size of the hair strands that sprout from them.

Obviously, a larger follicle diameter will result in a thicker looking beard, as the large hairs cover up better than thinner hairs would.

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The diameter and shape of your beard follicles are determined by your genetics, testosterone levels, and blood flow.

You cannot change genetics, but you can definitely improve testosterone production and the circulation of the follicle.

It’s even possible to increase the number of blood vessels supplying blood there (Angiogenesis).

This will result in a fuller less of a pube-looking beard, and we will show you a couple of the ways to do it in this article.

Overall Beard Density & Coverage

Beard density and coverage comes from having a lot of beard hairs in a small area, making the beard look thick as there’s less and less of the skin showing through.

The only way to improve your beard’s density is by activating dormant facial hair follicles, growing more new beard hairs, and converting the pre-existing thin colorless vellus beard hairs into thick terminal hairs, resulting in increased fullness and coverage.

This too is possible, and there’s both scientific and anecdotal proof of it.

The Length of your Beard

Even if you have a patchy beard, you can still make it appear thicker by growing it longer and trimming it all down to the same length.

This, of course, will not actually make your beard hairs increase in size or activate any new growth, but it’s one of the easiest ways to create the visual impact of a thicker beard.

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We will be talking more about the different styles and other tricks to make your facial hair look thicker in the end because you know, it all adds up.

The Color of your Beard

It’s a fact that a darker colored beard will always look thicker than a lighter colored beard.

It absorbs more light and just looks denser, everyone can see that with their own set of eyes.

There’s not really much you can do to change the color of your beard, except maybe using beard dye and making sure you eat enough copper so that you don’t go prematurely gray and your hairs can produce the pigment to their best natural ability.

How to Get Thicker Beard Naturally

1. Start Micro-Needling

derma roller for a thicker beard

Bit of an underground secret to making your beard thicker naturally is called micro-needling.

This is done with a fascinating beard growth tool called Derma Roller or Beard Roller which is essentially a wheel that has hundreds of tiny needles.

These needles poke micro-punctures into the skin surface, which prompts the body to start healing them by enhancing the circulation and shuttling more nutrients and hormones to the facial hair area.

This, was for long theorized to result in thicker and denser beard growth, but no one knew for sure, and the use of Derma Rollers for beard enhancement was largely based on beliefs and anecdotal evidence.

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Then in 2013, a study was published which suggested that micro-needling could result in significantly thicker hair growth on the scalp, through factors such as stimulating the stem-cell related growth factors and enhanced circulation.

microneedling hair growth study results

It was even more potent at activating the follicles than minoxidil, one of the most effective follicle activators there is.

This brings us to the burning question…

Do these results mean that a Derma Roller could work in the same way for boosting beard thickness, by stimulating new growth to eventually result in better beard density and coverage?

The answer is; probably yes. The facial hair follicles should react to Derma Rolling similarly on your face as the ones on your scalp do.

So Derma Rolling likely fills up a patchy beard, but how do you do it?

how to use derma roller for beard growth stimulation

Easy, just get yourself a sturdy Derma Roller first (we recommend something like this with 0,25mm to 0,75mm needle size) and go through your beard area in multiple different directions.

To recap on the ways how micro-needling can grow you a thicker beard…

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  • Micro-needling enhances circulation to the follicles.
  • More nutrients & hormones reach the follicle with the fresh blood.
  • Stem-cell growth factors are activated through an unknown mechanism.
  • The collagen and keratin production in the area is enhanced.

All of this will result in new beard hairs popping up and existing vellus hairs converting to darker terminal kind which will inevitably fill up your beard area, promoting beard density.

2. L-Carnitine L-Tartrate

carnitine supplement bottle on the left and steak on the right

Carnitine is an amino acid that plays a key role in energy production, as it shuttles fatty acids to the mitochondria, where they get oxidized as energy.

So what could carnitine have to do with thickening your beard then?

Well, turns out that it can also significantly enhance hair growth – if you go by this study – which found that through the mechanism of delivering fatty acids to the mitochondria of the hair follicle cells, carnitine can promote the growth and enhance hair fiber diameter.

When you use carnitine, your beard follicles will have more energy reserves, meaning that more and more beard hairs can shift into the active anagen growth phase, which results in; thicker coverage of facial hair.

foizik et al carnitine hair growth study graphs

The specific type of carnitine used in the study was L-Carnitine L-tartrate (LCLT), which is basically carnitine bound into a type of salt.

But wait, it gets even better.

Not only can L-Carnitine L-Tartrate supply more energy to the hair-matrix, but it can also activate the human androgen receptors and enhance their sensitivity.

This was seen in both exercising and non-exercising subjects who consumed 2g/day of LCLT in trials led by Dr. William J Kraemer.

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The way this enhanced androgen receptor sensitivity helps promote beard thickness is simple. As you probably already know, beard growth in men is triggered by androgens (male hormones) testosterone and DHT.

And for these hormones to have any actual effects in the body, they need to first enter the DNA, and in order to get in there, they will first need to bind into androgen receptors, which can be found all over our tissues.

So what happens when you supplement with carnitine is that it will make the androgen receptors in your beard area more sensitive towards the actual hormones that trigger and regulate beard growth; resulting in thicker facial hair.

“Okay, okay, I get it. Carnitine is amazing for beard thickness, but how do I use it?”

Answer: You could try getting it naturally from meat, which is a source of carnitine. However, in order to get the ~2 grams that were used in the studies above, you would have to eat pounds upon pounds of steak every day.

Which brings us to the only worthwhile options…

No matter how you decide to use carnitine, make sure you actually do.

Bottom line: Carnitine has been proven to shuttle fatty acids into the follicles for energy, and to enhance the receptors that bind the beard growing hormones; effectively improving beard growth and thickness.

3. Thicker Beard with Minoxidil

minoxidil package

Minoxidil (Rogaine) is an over-the-counter hair-loss drug that is, to be blunt, stupidly effective and extensively proven as scalp-hair growth activator.

The exact reason why it’s so effective at growing hair is not known, but we do know that minoxidil does the following…

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  • Activates potassium channels and circulation to the follicles.
  • Increases prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) levels, which helps grow hair.
  • Can convert more hair follicles to the active anagen growth phase.
  • Keeps follicles at the anagen growth phase for a longer duration.
  • Can result in angiogenesis, aka. formation of new blood vessels.

This, of course, begs the question;

What could happen if you instead of applying it to your scalp, went and applied it to the beard area?

Answer: Your facial hair would get thicker and denser, while its growth rate would massively increase.

This used to be a bit of an underground beard secret for years, but nowadays, everyone and their dog knows that it’s possible and that the results are indeed permanent.

How can I make such a bold claim?

  • 50,000+ men use minoxidil on beard at FaceBooks “Minoxidil Beard Spot”.
  • Out of these men, thousands have shared clear before-after results.
  • Many grew beards with Minox, got results, stopped, didn’t lose their gains.
  • And then a group of Thai researchers ran a trial with minoxidil for beard use.
  • They concluded that minoxidil is “safe and effective for beard enhancement”.
graphs from minoxidil beard study

It used to be so that so-called “experts” and beard transplant centers ran around telling everyone that minoxidil didn’t work for beard thickening purposes.

In the face of this obvious evidence, the narrative has changed to them claiming that it works, but the results aren’t permanent so that you would lose everything you gained the second you stopped using minoxidil.

The only issue is that there are already hundreds if not thousands of guys who grew thicker beards with minoxidil, then stopped completely (many going for years without touching the stuff), who still have all the gains they made.

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I get it, minoxidil can make your beard thicker, but is it safe?

Well, it’s safe enough to be prescription-free, but at the same time, it’s also a man-made drug, which does indeed have side effects (albeit most get away with just beard skin dryness).

I have detailed a full list of the side effects and other important facts about minoxidil for beard here, so definitely read that article if you want to learn more.

Okay, I’m ready to enhance my beard density, how do I use it then?

I go over the best minoxidil beard routine in our article of “10 Most Frequently Asked Questions about Minoxidil for Beard Growth“, but I guess I can quickly give you the short version.

Basically, all you have to do is to get your hands on 5% Kirkland or 5% Rogaine minoxidil and apply 1-2ml of that stuff to your beard area once or preferably twice per day for 6-12 months on average.

Honorary mentions. ↓

I would like to give massive shout outs to Mr. Basik Ali Coe for being the first to document his minoxidil beard thickening journey on YouTube and starting the Minoxidil Beard Spot Group.

As well as to Adam Siddals, who also makes educational videos about minoxidil for beard enhancement in YouTube, and has recently been featured in some big news sites (TheSun, LADbible, Men’s Health, and Daily Mail) discussing the topic.

4. Testosterone & DHT

bearded man on a treadmil

It’s a known fact that men’s beards grow in response to testosterone (T) and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). These are the androgenic male hormones, and facial hair is androgenic-hair, just like body hair.

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More specifically, as explained in this study;

“These findings suggest that T and DHT may have independent roles in the control of male facial hair growth, i.e. T for hair follicle priming and DHT for promotion of linear growth.”

It has been shown that when men are treated with androgenic hormones, their beards get thicker and the growth rate gets faster.

The effect of androgens is so huge that even female-to-male trans-sexuals who undergo testosterone therapy, will start growing facial hair and even full beards.

Here’s a little example…

Let’s assume that you don’t have high levels of T or DHT or that your body can’t properly utilize them. In this case, you would not be able to grow a beard as all the hairs on your face would be unnoticeable small vellus hairs with no pigment.

If you then would be able to increase your levels of these hormones and the sensitivity of the receptors that uptake them, your facial hair follicles would naturally start attaching to the sebum-producing sebaceous glands.

This, in turn, would make the follicles rapidly grow larger and start sprouting out thicker pigmented terminal beard hairs.

illustration of how testosterone makes facial hair thicker

Okay, so now we know that increased testosterone and DHT result in full and thick beard growth, next step is increasing them naturally…

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How to Thicken Beard by Boosting Testosterone Levels

  • Sleep more; each extra hour results in an average increase of ~15% (ref.)
  • Supplement with vitamin D (ref.), zinc (ref.), and preferably a multivitamin.
  • Lift heavy weights, explosively, using big multi-joint movements.
  • Eat enough calories (ref.) and especially carbohydrates (ref.)

You may be thinking: “Hey, aren’t testosterone levels just genetic?” and your baseline surely is, but many factors still impact your levels.

Here’s an example:

sleep testosterone graph
Here we can see how just how big of an impact poor sleep can make on your 24-hour testosterone production, and sleep is just one of the many factors impacting your levels (source).

5. Eat these Beard Nourishing Foods

foods for increased facial hair density

“Your beard thickness is genetic, no food can change this.”

Lies. Many foods have shown to alter your levels of testosterone, DHT, and the thyroid hormones T3 & T4, all of which can help make your facial hair denser.

Not to mention the beard building blocks (macro and micronutrients) that you can get from a balanced and nutrient-rich diet.

I have provided an extensive list of references to the foods I’m about to mention below in my earlier article about beard growth promoting foods, so if you want more details on any of them, please go read that article…

Here’s a quick list of some beard thickening foodstuffs:

  • Gelatin and collagen hydrolysate (collagen protein is amazing for beard).
  • Ruminant liver (excellent source of vitamin A, copper, B-vitamins, and more.)
  • Brazil nuts (rich in selenium, a mineral important for your beard hormones).
  • Coconut oil (can increase the testicular enzymes used in testosterone synthesis).
  • Eggs (packed with nearly all vitamins and minerals needed for life.)
  • Orange juice (source of fructose, lowers SHBG, good for free-testosterone).
  • Coffee (shown in studies to boost testosterone and DHT, the beard hormones).
  • Raisins (source of boron, a trace mineral that boosts T, DHT, & beard thickness).

Again, I list all the references in the article I linked above, it tells you everything you need to know about what and how to eat for a thicker, denser, better beard.

6. Fix Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies

smoothies, fruits, and berries

Deficiency in almost any vitamin or mineral can result in suppressed testosterone production, which inevitably hurts your ability to sprout beard hairs at a good rate.

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If it’s a specific vitamin like biotin, then your rate of hair growth all around the body (including the face) will be limited.

Zinc deficiency is another one that will immediately and directly start hurting your facial hair growth.

So how do you ensure that you get all the needed vitamins and minerals so that your beard can grow thicker and fuller without any interruptions?

Well, primarily through eating a nutrient-rich and balanced diet with a wide variety of foods (root vegetables, dark leafy greens, meats, dairy, fruits, all the good stuff).

And if you think your nutrition-habits aren’t enough and you suspect that you might be deficient in one or multiple of the key micronutrients, then, by all means, you should be taking a multivitamin.

I personally use and recommend the Thorne 2 / Day Multi, as it’s produced by a trusted company in a state-of-the-art facility.

What I absolutely don’t recommend are the “beard vitamins” you can find on any big online retailer (Beardilizer, Vitabeard, Beard Grow XL, etc).

Those are grossly over-priced and deliver nothing special for beard growth. Which is why you should stick to a wholesome diet and a basic high-quality multivitamin.

7. Make your Beard Look Fuller

shaping beard edges

This last point will not discuss how to thicken beard by actually increasing its density, but it will help you to understand how to make your beard appear thicker visually through a few tricks.

Here’s what I’m talking about. ↓

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  • If you shave your neckline and cheekline, your beard will instantly look denser.
  • Heavy beard balms and beard oils can add volume and thickness to your beard.
  • Castor oil is so thick in consistency that it can make your beard look fuller.
  • Beard hairs grow at different rates, trim them all to the same length.
  • Darker beards look thicker, so dyeing yours could help.
  • If you have a few bald spots, a long beard can be used to mask them.
  • Cutting your hair short on the sides will instantly add more emphasis to your beard area, thickening its appearance.

Last but not least; if you apply beard oil and balm right after a shower, it will seal in some of the moisture and add weight to your facial hair, instantly creating a fuller looking beard.

Frequently Asked Questions

man with beard thinking
What determines beard thickness?

The thickness of your facial hair is made up by the hair follicle and fiber diameter, overall density, coverage, beard length, and color.

How can I make my beard grow thicker?

You can use a Derma Roller to stimulate growth, minoxidil to improve circulation, carnitine to help make your beard denser, and optimal nutrition to make your beard more healthier and vibrant.

Does shaving make your beard thicker?

No. This is an age old myth which has been proven incorrect.

Can all men grow beards?

No. Despite the fact that nearly all humans have the necessary facial hair follicles for beard growth, all men simply don’t have the right amounts of hormones or sensitive enough hormone receptors to make beard growth happen.

Can beard oil grow beard?

No. Beard oil is used to moisturize and hydrate the skin underneath your facial hair. There’s no mechanism on how it would make your beard grow faster or thicker, even if it makes it look more healthier.

My Own Beard Thickening Results

thicker beard journey

99,9% of beard websites talking about making your beard thicker fail to produce any convincing before-after results.

This is because they never tested their methods and are talking out of their asses, with a single goal of pushing you their useless beard growth oils and pills.

I, however, did test the above methods during the last six years, and even though I never took any high-resolution before and after pictures (I never thought I would be writing about this stuff publicly). I think you can still see the amazing results in beard density and fullness that I was able to achieve on the above images I found from my computer.

  • In the first pic, I am just starting to learn how to increase testosterone levels naturally. Not realizing it will have a thickening effect on the facial hair.
  • The second pic, I have managed to boost my levels quite significantly, resulting in some decent growth (or at least improvements) already.
  • The third pic, I’ve added in 2g/day of carnitine and Derma Rolling, and the beard kept getting thicker and denser. This is when I started BeardResource.Com.
  • On the last pic, I have used a short run of minoxidil to fill out the rest of my cheeks. At this point, I was more than impressed by the effectiveness of the routine.

I know someone will think that all of the above was just me getting older and growing a thicker beard naturally, but it isn’t the case.

I say this because…

a) rest of my body hair did not grow nearly at the same rate as the beard.

b) my father and brother have nowhere near the same amount of facial hair

c) It’s just not realistic to go from almost zero to full beard in ~3 years when already in your 20’s without doing any of the above.

I stopped using minoxidil right after most of my cheek hairs turned terminal, and I’ve been off for over a year without losing the gains (I do still take carnitine and Derma Roll twice per week).

All I can say after this long journey to optimizing facial hair density and thickness naturally – despite not having the strongest genetic potential to do so – is that it’s 100% possible, without having to rely on expensive beard transplants or settling to a patchy beard.

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There will always be so-called “experts” or beard transplant centers that will go on to claim that there would be no way to make your beard thicker and that it will always be just having to deal with your genetics or go get a beard transplant…

But they have never tried, and even if they did, they would never tell you that it’s possible because it would result in lost customers on their end.

Conclusion

You can grow a thicker beard, despite what you have been told.

Sure, your baseline beard density is genetic, but this doesn’t mean you can’t add up to your genetic potential. We just showed you how.

It will take some time, and a great deal of patience, but if you follow the tips and tricks above, your beard will eventually start looking fuller and healthier.

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Ali is a published author and a beard grooming expert from Finland. To this date, his articles have been read more than 15-million times on various sites, and he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and grow thicker. His work has been featured and cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.

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