We know it’s only October, but still, it’s time to think about Movember.
Yes, Movember. That time many men, young and old, grow a stash and beard for a cause. But for those having trouble growing a stash or beard here are some tips to get you ready for next month. There’s no magic pill—but there are some methods that actually help:
If you want to know how to grow a thicker beard, there is one truth you must accept: You aren’t going to miraculously grow hair where it doesn’t already grow. Make your peace with that first. We’re here to help you thicken your beard, but we aren’t going to lie to you, either.
Now that you’ve swallowed that pill, maybe you should start taking some other pills—biotin supplements to be precise. That’s one way to start padding out your facial hair. Here are the best techniques we could find:
- Take Supplements:
Taking biotin supplements daily is one way to make your hair grow faster, and potentially stimulate regrowth for lost hair atop your head. There’s little conclusive evidence for its ability to stimulate the hairs that have fallen out, but one thing most doctors agree upon is that biotin does strengthen the keratin infrastructure of your hair, meaning it fortifies the hair and thickens it. So, in theory your beard grows thicker uniformly across each hair shaft. You can get biotin on the shelves of most drug stores, and there are many companies that tout beard-growing pills, which are mostly biotin and other vitamins packaged with some fancy graphic designs.
- Let It Grow:
In the same way you need to suffer through some awkward medium-length hairstyles en route to Fabio-like hair, sometimes you need to suffer through some awkward beard growing phases in order to fill in the patchy spots. Even if it’s not quite curly enough to fill in the patchy spots by just swirling over them, let it all grow out as long as you can and it’ll start to cover these spots. You should let it grow untrimmed on the cheeks and under the chin for at least a month at the start. Relax it daily with a nourishing beard oil, to encourage some movement and softness. A weekly hot oil treatment will do wonders for softness (and for your skin), and you can also brush the beard daily, then coach the strays over any patches with a high-hold, conditioning beard balm. But please, while you grow it out, keep the neckline, cheeklines, and mustache in check.
- Dye It:
This one is smoke and mirrors, but it works. I have brown hair, but half my beard is a weird translucent blond. So, I often dye it to match the blondes with the browns, and it more than triples the density. This tip ain’t helpful for anyone who doesn’t also have blonde beard hairs and dark hairs to match, but it does the trick, and usually confuses my friends who see my regularly—in a good way. Don’t be ashamed to admit the secret, either: Your beard is already thick, it just doesn’t appear that way. So you’re helping showcase what’s there. As for brands, Just for Men has yet to fail me, and they have a good sliding scale of options for facial hair. Just don’t let it set for more than prescribed, or else you’ll have patchy dye spots on your skin for a couple days.
- Be Healthy:
It’s good practice to eat healthy, to exercise, to drink lots of water, get 8 hours of sleep every night, and lower your stress. Beard hairs benefit from vitamins and nutrients, just like the rest of your body (it’s also why it’s good to apply a nourishing beard oil to the whiskers). Your hair is made of proteins, so you should in turn ingest plenty of protein. If you stay hydrated, your beard is softer. If you’re well rested, your entire body stays stronger, hair health included. If you work out a lot, you keep your blood circulation up, which stimulates hair growth, which fortifies the hairs all over your body. And if you minimize stress, you lower the odds of imbalanced hormones compromising hair health—or making it fall out all together. That’s all a roundabout way to say that your beard will inherently be more relaxed, stylable, and fuller if you take care of yourself. So why the hell not?
- Get a Beard Transplant:
Yes, beard transplants are a real thing. For a few stacks you can have the doctor pluck some hairs from the back of your scalp and transplant them onto your patchy spots. (Full coverage can run you a semester’s tuition at Harvard.) After a couple thousand grafts, the hair falls out after two weeks and then regrows after a few months. So there’s a long waiting period of trusting that it’s going to work. Until suddenly, it does.