“Let’s write a guide on how to grow facial hair,” we said.
“But you already have a guide on growing a beard,” came the reply.
“That we do,” we said. “But while all beards are facial hair, not all facial hair is a beard. What if a brother wants to grow a moustache or mutton chops or a solid pair of sideburns?”
“I see. Then you must give these brothers what they need,” came the reply.
For all you mo lovers who prefer not to have your entire face covered in hair, this one's for you.
There are two parts to growing facial hair: skincare and lifestyle. Essentially, if you treat your body like the temple it so obviously is, you’ll have a better chance of growing strong, healthy hair.
But there are specific things you need to be doing within those two parts for results to go your way. Let’s get into them.
Take care of your skin
If you think of facial hair as grass, for it to grow into a nice green lawn it needs good, fertile ground. You need to care for your skin like Alan Titchmarsh cares for his garden.
Keep your face clean
Okay, so washing your face is hygiene 101, but a clean face is a must for hair to sprout. To speed up facial hair growth you need to approach washing like a military routine: morning and night, every day.
Washing it twice daily keeps skin free of dirt, oil and dead skin cells that clog up hair follicles and make it harder for hair to grow.
For best results, use a mild cleaner and warm water. Cold water doesn’t effectively remove daily grime and hot water can irritate and dry out the skin. Warm water is just right, working to loosen dirt without stripping away your skin’s natural hydrating oils.
Get a moisturising routine
There’s a reason women take the time to apply moisturiser to their face every day: it keeps the skin healthy.
Keeping your face hydrated prevents dry, flaky and itchy skin, thus giving hair the environment to grow thicker and fuller.
Moisturise your face daily with beard oil.
“Beard oil? But I haven’t even grown any hair yet. And besides, I’m not growing a beard, I’m growing a ‘tache. And possibly some sideburns.”
It doesn’t matter what you’re growing or whether hair is showing through. The moment you have the idea to grow facial hair is the time to start applying beard oil. Because it’s the best tool for the job.
Beard oil is sensitive to the skin and designed to go beyond the hair (when your facial hair has grown) to stop your face from drying out.
After you’ve gone through your daily face washing routine, massage in some beard oil.
Stimulate your hair follicles
Quick bit of science:
Hair follicles are organs that produce hair. All hair follicles go through different phases of growth and rest. Hair will grow until it reaches a certain length before becoming inactive. When it becomes inactive, it gets replaced by new hair in the growth phase. Problems arise when inactive follicles cease to enter the growth phase, meaning no hair sprouts from the pore.
So, to stop follicles from becoming inactive, you need to stimulate them. There are three ways you can do this:
- With beard oil. You’ll already be doing this as part of your moisturising routine. Good work.
- By applying any of the following natural concoctions to your face: onion juice, mayonnaise, coconut oil, or lemon juice. With each of these, apply to your face and leave for 20 minutes before washing away with warm water.
- Massaging your face for 10 to 15 minutes, twice a day. You can do this by moving your fingertips lightly around your face in a circular motion.
At the same time as turning your skin into a canvas for some sweet facial hair, you can focus on your lifestyle to promote growth.
Take care of yourself
If you’ve ever struggled to motivate yourself to live healthier, you’re about to get all the motivation you’ll ever need:
A healthy lifestyle creates better facial hair.
We’re not suggesting that you go out and completely transform your life. If you want to do that, great. All that’s required to feel better and grow thicker is facial hair, though, are the basics: good sleep, regular exercise, and a balanced diet.
When you sleep, the level of growth hormone in the blood increases, boosting cell reproduction and hair growth. This reproduction peaks around 2am so ideally you’ll be fast asleep by then.
To give hair the best chance of growing strong and healthy, aim to sleep for at least eight hours a night. Anything less than six hours and you’re up against it.
If it helps, better sleep is also good for:
- Reducing stress
- Lowering blood pressure
- Improving memory
- Improving mood
- Maintaining weight
- Lowering your chance of diabetes, stroke and heart disease
When you exercise, the levels of testosterone and DHT increase and travel through the bloodstream to the androgen receptors and then onto the hair follicles.
In other (less scientific) words, exercising gives your facial hair the nutrients it needs to grow. Testosterone giving the hair its thickness and DHT providing the density.
To get the testosterone and DHT flowing and the blood pumping, any exercise is good exercise. For best results, aim for 30 of exercise minutes of a day that has you breaking out into a sweat — running, cycling, swimming, sports, those kinds of things. If these aren’t possible, a brisk walk, a spot of yoga or even a dance around the kitchen (it’s fine bro, no one is watching) helps.
Eat a balanced diet
Hair is made up mostly of protein, with a coating of healthy oils and fats. Your job as a man looking to grow hair on your face is to keep it that way. This means mixing up your diet to include a nice balance of protein and healthy fats.
Your diet should contain 30% of monounsaturated fats, found in red meat, dairy products, and olive oil. And 50% carbohydrates, found in potatoes, whole grains and fruit.
The rest of your diet should be made up of foods that support hair growth such as carrots, broccoli, citrus fruits and nuts like almonds, pistachios, walnuts or cashews.
How to grow more facial hair
So you’ve got the facial hair bug and you want more of it? We get that.
The trick to growing more facial hair is to do more of what we’ve talked about above.
- Take your exercise up another level by doing more intense activities like weightlifting, cross-fit, sprinting or high-intensity sports like boxing, squash or 5-a-side football. These give you higher levels of testosterone, which primes hair follicles.
- Supplement your diet with vitamins. Vitamins give you the right balance of oils and improve blood circulation to make hair grow faster and thicker.
Here are the vitamins you need, what they’re good for and what foods contain them:
- Vitamin B9 helps hair to grow thicker hair. Found cereals, nuts, and green leaf vegetables.
- Vitamins E, B5 and B3 help to improve blood circulation. Found in chicken, fish, beef, egg yolk, avocado, and whole grains.
- Vitamin A maintains hair follicles and serum. Found in carrots, broccoli and green leaf vegetables.
- Vitamin C improves the immune system for healthier hair growth. Found in citrus fruits, tomatoes, potatoes, green peppers, and dark green leafy vegetables.
You can also pick up all of these vitamins as individual and multivitamin supplements. Finally, avoid doing any of the following:
- Picking at your facial hair. This only leads to damaged, broken hair.
- Over-washing. There’s no need to wash your facial hair with beard shampoo daily. 2-3 times a week is good.
- Coating the hair with relaxing creams. These are known for killing off follicles. If your hair is curly or frizzy manage it with moustache wax and balm.
Facial hair grows at different speeds and in different ways for everyone. We’re all engineered in a unique way. Don’t worry if your hair isn’t growing as fast or as thick as you’d like early on. Trust in the process. Do the things we’ve talked about here, commit to taking care of yourself and the magic will happen.
Thinking about going full beard? Check out our guide to beard growth.
Image courtesy of Alan Hardman @ Unsplash.com