Facial Hair Styles

Beard Growth: Process & Stages

Beard Growth: Process & Stages | Gillette UK

Beards. Most men can grow one, some attempt it – but only a few truly rock it. So, what’s the beef with beards? Is our reticence to grow one out down to the latest fads, our partner’s whims, or the British weather? Or perhaps should we just sit back and take a deep hard look at our stubbly bearded face and just admit growing one out is bloody hard?

The thing is – the beard growth process is not an easy feat. It takes dedication. It takes time. Mostly, it takes you desperately trying not to scratch your face off during the first 3 weeks of beard growth! But it’s not just about scratching that itch. Messy facial hair that’s neither clean-shaven nor glorious goatee looks, well – meh.

No matter the advances in technology, we are yet to see that sought-after overnight beard growth that instantly takes us from itchy stubble to glitzy whiskers. In fact, if men could bypass the torturous beard growth stages, we think they’d all be lounging about in their full manes looking dapper and debonair!

Ready to embark on a one-way journey to beardom? Read on to follow our top tips for a tip-top beard no matter the growth stage!

How Long Does It Take to Grow a Full Beard?

Let’s get one thing straight, growing a beard can take a long time. It might not be until your late twenties that you have a full beard, and the speed of your growth is all down to genetics. If the men in your family had a full beard by their late teens, chances are you could too. This means it’s worth waiting it out with a short full beard to see how it might fill in.

Facial hair tends to grow in the following order:

  1. Upper lip
  2. Sideburns
  3. Chin
  4. Cheeks
  5. Neck

So, don’t give up too soon if you don’t notice any hair growing on your upper lip until your mid-teens, it could take a good few years for it to fill out on your neck. But the good news is that as you get older, your beard will carry on filling out, and your beard can get fuller and thicker even decades after your teens. So, if you don’t immediately get both a full beard and moustache look that you’re dreaming of, patience could be the key.

But before you throw out the beard balm and lose all hope of growing your own long, luscious locks, hear us out – for we have created a go-to beard growth timeline for all you facial hair aspirants.

Beard Growth Stages: First 3 Week Beard Growth

Gents – now that you’ve signed your life away to committed beard growth, there’s no looking back. Unless it’s to catch your swanky reflection in the mirror to check on your beard growth progress!

Jokes aside, we do hope you’re serious about being committed. The next few weeks will be challenging both to look at and experience. Beards, just like many other things in life, come with hard work. See it as a challenge. A testament to your persevering temperament. An oath to tenacity. And yes, we do genuinely believe growing a full beard should be one of those skills worthy of being added to your CV.

Beard Growth by Week 1

Right, so you’ve swapped the razor for the beard oils and now you’re all pumped up and ready for the exciting future beardedness entails. Yes, you’re probably staring at the mirror way too often. No, you don’t have to apologise. But as you glance back day after day and in some fateful twist never see any progress except for patchy stubble – Do. Not. Worry.

In the first few weeks of growth, it’ll seem like nothing’s happening. At least appearance-wise. The truth is, all the good stuff is happening behind closed doors, and by that, we mean underneath the skin!

Your facial hair grows in three phases:

The anagen stage is the growing phase, where your facial hair will grow on average around a quarter of an inch a month for the next 2-7 years. Whether your anagen phase is closer to 2 or 7 years is dependent on your genetics and has an impact on how long your beard will grow.

The catagen stage is also known as the transitional phase and usually lasts about 2-3 weeks. This is the stage where the hair stops gradually stops growing and disconnects from the blood supply and stops receiving nutrients. The catagen stage generally lasts 2-3 weeks.

The telogen stage is the shedding phase and lasts around 3 months. Your hair follicles are now inactive and ready for new hair to grow, beginning the hair growth cycle once again in the anagen phase.

Beard Growth by Week 2

Right, you’ve made it through the first week. You might not have noticed a great deal of difference, but come week 2, you’ll surely feel it. Now that your stubble is beginning to grow, you may start feeling an itchy, prickly and particularly persistent urge to scratch your face.

Now, this is where you get to test the true nature of your free will against the deterministic forces of beard-induced itch. Many a great man has fallen victim to the urge to simply do away with it, reach for that sharp razor, and cut off the damned facial hairs in a battle against their tyrannic tickle.

Gents – put down those razors and arm yourselves with beard balms and oils. This fight against the itch is won using soothing tactics, not blades! Use moisturising products like King C. Gillette’s Beard Oil which is packed with natural ingredients like sweet almond and avocado oil to soothe your itchy skin and hydrate your beard making it softer and less coarse.

Beard Growth by Week 3

Pat yourself on the back. Honestly, you’ve made it through the hardest part of the journey (hopefully unscathed!) It’s the end of week 3 and the dreaded beard itch is now hopefully over. Your patience and perseverance have paid though – you can now see a glimpse of a beard poking through and you probably can’t keep your eyes off it!

It’s now important to keep up with your beard hygiene. If you’re growing your beard out for the first time, you’ve probably never heard of beard shampoo before – but make a note – you’ll have to stock up on beard shampoo, beard oils and beard balms if you want your facial locks to look healthy and grow well.

Use King C Gillette’s Beard Shampoo and Face Wash to keep your face and beard clean and moisturised. This mild cleanser contains argan oil which softens your beard and menthol, which keeps your skin feeling fresh. Wash your beard once or twice a week to begin with or follow our guide to beard washing for more tips on how to keep your beard healthy.

Beard Growth Stages: 1 to 3 Month Beard Growth

Now that you’re out of the treacherously tickly phase, you can start enjoying the beard-growing process a little bit more. Your facial hair is now probably looking a lot less stubbly and a bit more beardy.

4 to 6 Week Beard Growth

At this point, you’ll see what pattern your beard has – whether it’s fuller around the chin or a little bit sparser on the neck. No matter how your beard grows, it’s important to not lose sight of the final goal: no two beards are the same, all beards are beautiful!

Plus, at just over 1 month since shaving down, your beard is still relatively new and you’re still learning how to cohabit with your newly acquired facial hairs. So, whatever you do, don’t go trimming or shaving.

2 to 3 Month Beard Growth

The trick in this phase is to wait. Patience is a virtue they say – well, let’s put your state of moral excellence to the test then! Why wait? Because the full, glorious beard of your dreams is just a couple of weeks away. Yes, it might now look a bit patchy, uneven, or even lopsided, but remember, you didn’t give up when your beard was itchy, so why call it quits now?

A general rule for those of you concerned about patchiness: firstly, it’s normal and most men will go through it. Secondly, you probably notice it way more than anyone else. Keep your beard clean and moisturised using a beard shampoo and oil and by the end of the three months, you’ll notice a softer, smoother and stronger beard.

Beard Growth Stages: 3 to 6 Month Beard Growth

Gents welcome to the glory and greatness of the beard club! That’s right, after months of stubble growing, you’ve finally been admitted to the prestigious club of beardsmen. Some will now have full, glorious beards. Others will need just a tad more time to get the full-bearded experience they’re after.

No matter where you are in your beard journey, if you’ve stuck to it thus far, you’ve not only proven to yourself that you can grow a beard but also tested the limits of your dedication and perseverance!

The best way to look after your 3 to 6-month beard growth is to wash it and condition it regularly to keep it healthy, moisturised, and clean. Now that your beard is long enough, you might also want to try styling it using beard balms like King C. Gillette’s Beard Balm.

Another handy tool is a beard comb or brush. Just like hair, your longer beard will be prone to getting knots and tangles. Gently brushing your beard down will help it look neater and will also help spread your beard oil or balm in smoothly.

Beard Growth Stages: 1 Year Beard Growth & Beyond

In case you didn’t know, you’ve now grown a yeard. That’s right. One full year-long beard! Whether you’re planning to chop the mane and start all over again or top the prize for best 20-year-old beard growth, your facial hair is now an integral part of your identity and routine.

To keep your beard looking luscious through time, we now recommend you trim it regularly to keep the split ends and rough edges at bay. Use King C. Gillette’s Beard Trimmer to ensure your beard locks are in tip-top condition.

Your beard locks can now be styled in all sorts of styles and fashions. From the Viking-style decorated braid to the elegant Garibaldi and quirky French Fork, the possibilities are endless. Keep up the beard hygiene and moisturising and we’re sure you’ll get to keep the beard of your dreams for many years to come.

Learn About the Process and Stages of Beard Growth | Gillette UK

Can You Make a Beard Grow Faster?

For those of you looking at the timeline and wondering how you can grow a full beard fast? We spoke to Dr Kristina Vanoosthuyze, Gillette’s senior manager of scientific communications, to find out if there is any way to make a beard grow more quickly.

Sadly, the answer is no. Kristina says that patience is key when it comes to growing a beard and that you shouldn’t worry. If you’re constantly wondering how long it will take to grow a full beard – you should know that you will grow full facial hair eventually.

However, most men prefer not to have a beard than to have a bad-quality beard, which means it’s worth learning how to shave properly as soon as you can, as a well-groomed full beard look takes practice and maintenance.

Beard Growth Stages: From 0 to Yeard

Whether you’re a beard novice or proud yeardster, we hope this in-depth beard growth timeline has helped you persevere through the most treacherous beard-growing stages and onto the pleasures and glories of rocking a full healthy beard.


How long does it take for the beard to grow?

The rate at which your beard grows depends on genetics, hair type and age. Whilst one person may experience 1 inch of growth a month, another might have less than ½ an inch. The trick is to persevere and just let the beard grow without trimming or shaving it.

What is a yeard?

A yeard is a full year of uninterrupted beard growth. For many, it’s a milestone and shows that dedication and perseverance can lead to great results. One-year-old beards or older are fuller, longer and generally thicker and require looking after with balms, oils and regular beard shampoos.

Why is my long beard itchy?

If your full beard is making your skin itchy, you could be suffering from dry skin. Wash your beard less regularly to help the natural oils keep your skin moisturised and use beard balms and oils to soften the hair and skin.



Writer and expert