There’s an old joke among accountants, lawyers, and other professionals that when a client asks a question that they can’t answer, they should say, “Well, that depends.” This gives that person a chance to look up the answer to the question. It’s a funny joke to be sure, but when it comes to answering the question of “How long does it take a grow a beard?” there’s a lot of truth to it.
This is because there are a lot of variables to consider, including the health of the individual, age, genetics, and much more. This article is a rundown on the general factors involved in how long it takes for a beard to grow.
Before we teach you a little about how long it takes to grow a beard, a few definitions are in order. First of all, you need to understand that when you talk about hair growth, you are actually talking about several different types of hair that is on your body. First, you have probably noticed that there is a huge difference between the hair on top of your hear and that on your chest, legs, and other areas. The truth is that there is actually more than that.
Primary hair. The hair on your head and face is called primary hair. It is generally the thickest kind of hair on your body.
Secondary hair. Secondary hair is also called body hair, or androgenic hair, and is less thick. Secondary hair can be found on your legs and other areas.
Vellus hair. Finally, there is vellus hair, which is short, thin, and barely noticeable. Vellus hair is all over your body.
Next, if you think that your hair grows, only to remain on your body until your dying day, you would be incorrect. Hair has a lifetime of its own, which is important to understand to determine how long it takes to grow a beard.
The Lifecycle of Hair
How long does it take a grow a beard? Again, that depends on the hair you are concerned with. The truth is that every hair on your body goes through three stages: anagen, catagen, and telogen.
Anagen hair, or the hair we are talking about here, can last from two to six years. Your genetics determines how long this hair lasts. This is the hair stage you want to maintain as long as you can. Regardless, it is safe to say that the longest you will have any hair on your body is six years before it goes to the next stage.
Catagen hair is sort of dormant. It grows to a certain length, then sort of sits there for a few months, then goes to the next stage.
Telogen hair is the last phase of a hair’s growth when the old hair stops growing and a new hair begins to grow, pushing the old hair out. If you have run your hand through your beard only to see a hair come off in your hand (unless you pulled it out), that hair was probably in the telogen stage.
Hair: The Where and the When
If you have followed this along thus far, you know that there are lots of different types of hair, all depending on where it is, it’s stage in its lifecycle, and your genetics. With all of this in mind, now it’s time to answer the question at hand: “How long does it take to grow a beard?”
If your genetics cooperate (yes, that cocktail your parents mixed when they made you), you should have a fairly respectable beard after about two months. Before this time it will be kind of light and scraggly. At this time you will probably be very tempted to trim it, but it’s also likely that it won’t do much to help the way it looks. As it grows, it will look better and more respectable, especially if you keep it trimmed and shaped the way you want it.
How Long Will Your Beard Get?
After your beard has started to grow, you will probably begin to wonder how long your beard will get before you (sorry to make you sound like a dog) shed it. Again, this is a matter of genetics, but it’s also a little easier to answer.
The answer is that your beard will last as long as it lasts. And while that might sound like a pathetic answer, it’s true. Some guys are lucky enough to grow a beard to what we refer to as a respectable length. On average, however, most guys can grow a beard to be about three feet long. Others might be able to grow a beard that would make ZZ top jealous. It all depends on what happens.
You might not want to wait to see how long your beard can get, and that’s okay, but when you see it shed to any great extent you will finally learn how long, on average, your beard is meant to last.
If all of this hasn’t been confusing enough to you already, hold on, because as you might recall, not all of your hair is created equally. Even when you look at only one type of hair, such as that on top of your head, hair is constantly going through its lifecycle. This means that although one hair in your beard might grow to six feet long, the one next to it might only grow a few inches before it falls out.
If you are still holding out hope that you can still have a full, long beard, remember that there are other factors involved in determining the length and thickness of your hair. It all depends on how many of these factors you encourage along with those that you really don’t have much control over.
These include your diet, exercise routine, how you handle stress, and much more. Plainly stated, the more of these factors that you influence in a positive manner, the better the chances are that your beard will benefit in the long run. Growing a beard can be one of life’s secret joys is one of my favourite articles on our blog, I guarantee it will help you in your quest for improved beard growth.