You’ve got a beard. You love it…but…you want a better beard. What man doesn’t want to improve the bush of manliness on his face? Genetics play a huge role on the growth of your beard…more than we generally like to admit and accept. Fortunately, there are a lot of habits and choices we have in our control to get the most out of our facial hair growing experience and how to grow a better beard.
Disclosure… I’m not a doctor. Do your own research before adding any new supplements or vitamins to your diet.
At the end of the day, when you strip off the sexiness, the manliness, the awesomeness of your beard, what is it that you are left with? Hair. A beard is hair growing magnificently from our faces. Understanding that a beard is just hair gives us an opportunity to tackle beard issues and provides a base for opportunities in beard performance.
In its most simplest form, hair is composed of three parts: a root, a follicle, and the hair itself. The root is where the magic happens. It’s where new cells are created and is located beneath the surface of your skin. The follicle is a complicated structure and can also be referred to as the hair shaft. This is where the true beard magic happens and where we can really focus on cultivating a better beard. The follicle connects the hair to your face and interacts with other bodily systems. Blood and other body juices are involved here. It’s also where a gland that secretes oil to protect your skin and hair is located.
The actual hair itself is composed of three components: the cuticle, the cortex, and the medulla (or core). The cuticle is the outer layer of your hair and is made up of hard cells that overlap each other, much like the scales of a fish. These cells are dead and transparent. Merely protecting the hair shaft. The cuticle is what gives elasticity and resiliency to your hair. The cortex is the main part of our hair. It holds the moisture in your via strands of protein fibers. It’s also the part of hair that we see. Melanin, the pigment molecule in our hair, is also found in the cortex and is what gives our beards color. Cuticle damage exposes the cortex, which leads to dry hair and split ends. The medulla doesn’t do a lot, but sort of acts as the supporting structure of the hair.
Understanding the make up of our hair gives us an advantage to growing a beard that’ll make other men envious, or cry in the little man-cub caves. What specifically can we take advantage of?
You Beard-er Take Your Vitamins
Your hair needs to be healthy. It needs proper nutrition in order to grow at its best. What does this look like? Vitamins, minerals, and proteins. If we can take care of the hair cuticles, they protect the cortex. If we can take care of our skin, it provides a better medium for sprouting up and growing out beautiful beard hairs. A part of your daily routine should be a general multi-vitamin. Not only is this great for hair health, but it’ll round out any vitamins and minerals you may be lacking in your diet.
There are certain vitamins that we can consume to target specific goals. Vitamin A is an oily substance in our skin that helps to prevent dry hair by moisturizing our cuticles. It also keeps our skin moisturized and functioning at an optimized level.
B Vitamins, specifically biotin, are critical for better hair growth. It helps to renew hair follicles that are already grown. The biggest benefit for hair growth is its effect of producing keratin which gives elasticity and strength to our hair. So with a little bit of biotin added to our daily diet we’re looking at stronger and healthier hair. Biotin also has other health benefits…so kind of a win-win. If you’re not keen on popping a pill everyday to increase biotin in your body, you’re in luck. It occurs naturally in a variety of foods, such as whole wheat, whole grains, dairy products, salmon, and chicken.
The other vitamin that is important to consider is Vitamin E. Studies suggest that it helps to combat free radical damage. What!? Yeah, that shit’ll damage and age your hair faster that it ought to. On top of protecting your precious man hairs from free radical damage, it promotes blood circulation in your body. What’s that mean for your beard? Better circulation means more oxygen and nutrient exchange at your hair follicle. Better hair growth and stronger, healthier hairs are the result of that. Do yourself a favor and get yourself some Vitamin E.
A Clean Beard Is A Better Beard
Alright, that was getting a little too sciency. Fortunately, there are a lot of non-science methods for taking care of and growing a better beard.
Keep your beard clean. Start out each day rinsing and cleaning your beard in warm water. Get that leftover food you were saving for a snack out of your beard. Rinse out the sweat and dust from your manly activities. Keeping your beard and face skin clean is crucial to a shining beacon of beardness. Think of your beard as a garden…a garden of sexy. If the garden is full of weeds and bugs, it probably isn’t going to produce or grow very well. But if you pull those weeds, you kill them bugs, you’ll have a mighty fine crop of beard.
Oil Your Beard
Once your beard is clean and your body is chock-full of nutrition, we’ve got to protect those cuticles. It’s the first layer of defense in keeping the hairs that are already growing protected and shiny and strong. Find yourself a beard oil and make it a part of your daily routine. Best if used after cleaning your beard or after a shower. It is important to find a beard oil that is simple and not full of crazy ass chemicals and fragrances. We’re looking at nourishing and strengthening the dead skin cells, the cuticle, that make up our beard hairs. A couple of days of using a good beard oil and it’ll be on your shopping list above food. It’s that good.
Bad Habits For Your Beard
Lots of things we can do for a better beard. But there are certainly things we need to not do for a great face full of beard. Minimize touching and stroking your beard. I know, it’s hard not to run your fingers and hands over and through the growth of luscious beard, especially if you’re doing all you can to keep it healthy. Our hands our dirty and when we run them over our beards we’re transferring our hand gunk to our faces. I’m not saying not to touch your beard, just be a little more conservative in the touching of yourself. Yeah.
And most importantly…don’t pull your hairs out. Don’t pluck them. Don’t tug or yank or pull. If you’re trying to grow a beard, wanting your beard to look more full, harvesting face hairs is the most un-beneficial thing you can do. If you got that need to rip hairs out, the bald head look is something you can consider. Even light tugging can damage the roots and follicles of your hairs. So…don’t.
I’m hoping at this point you are seeing the correlation between having a healthy body and its effects of a healthy beard. Exercise. Get your blood pumping and circulating through your body. Get your system producing that testosterone and circulating it through your body. This improves the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to your hair follicles. It encourages quicker and thicker hair growth (testosterone specifically). If your not already, spend a half hour a day getting your heart beat up and moving your body. We want to avoid the whole lip-stick-on-a-pig thing when it comes to our beards. A sexy body with a sexy beard equals two sexy’s. Two sexy’s is better than one.
Genetics are probably the biggest variable in the overall growth and thickness of our beards. However, there are so many different things we can control and do to grow a better beard. The side effects of most of them are better overall physical health…so it’s most certainly a win-win. Doing what you need to to optimize beard awesomeness results in a more awesome you.
Here’s to beards!