Beard growth has been a ever-present topic of discussion for centuries. Many men are eager to find out if shaving can actually enhance the rate at which their facial hair grows, and whether or not it is a useful step in the process of growing a fuller beard. While a lot of anecdotal evidence suggests that shaving can improve beard growth, there is not actually a lot of scientific evidence to support this.
Data and Perspectives
There have been some studies conducted on the link between shaving and beard growth rate, with most of the results suggesting that shaving has no significant effect on the rate at which facial hair grows. One study conducted by researchers in 2011 demonstrated that there was no significant difference in the beard growth rate of men who chose to shave regularly, as opposed to those who didn’t. The study also suggested that there were no significant differences in the number, or thickness, of hair follicles in the two groups.
Furthermore, as highlighted by board-certified dermatologist and medical director of Henderson Dermatology, Dr. Joshua Zeichner, there is an idea that the blades of the razor pull out hairs or cut them at a certain level, in turn helping them to grow back thicker or faster. However, Dr. Zeichner points out that this is false and “there are no scientific studies to show that shaving makes hair grow back thicker or faster”.
Analysis and Insights
Though it is true that hair typically appears thicker in the weeks following a shave, as the hairs have been cut and have then started to regrow, it is important to note that those hairs are not necessarily growing more quickly than they would have been otherwise. It is a common misconception that the blade of the razor helps stimulate hair follicles, causing hair to regrow faster, however, this is not the case.
In fact, there is some evidence to suggest that for some men, regular shaving can actually cause irritation and damage to the skin, in turn, making beard growth more difficult or slower. One potential reason for this is that with certain types of blades, or shaving methods, skin can become irritated or damaged. When this occurs, it can make it more difficult for hair follicles to function correctly and hair growth is inhibited.
Beard Oils and Conditioners
As well as avoiding potential skin damage from regular shaving, there are other steps which could be taken in order to help improve beard growth. One potential option is to invest in beard oils and conditioners, as these can help to replenish natural oils which may have been lost through regular styling.
Product Reviews website, My Beard Gang, suggests that beard oils and conditioners can help to improve the overall health of a person’s facial hair, while encouraging stronger and thicker growth. Oils can work to encourage the transfer of natural oils from the scalp to the remainder of the facial hair, ensuring that vital nutrients are distributed to all areas of hair growth.
Diet and Exercise
Though using the right products can make a difference to the rate at which facial hair grows, it is also important to consider other aspects of health in order to encourage healthy beard growth. A balanced diet is important, with foods high in iron and proteins being particularly beneficial, as are regular exercise and plenty of rest.
In an article on Men’s Health UK, it is highlighted that a healthy lifestyle is key when trying to achieve facial hair goals. As a further suggestion, the article suggests that taking supplements such as biotin or zinc could be useful, as these particular nutrients can help to encourage hair growth.
Daily Care and Grooming
As well as looking for natural methods of encouraging healthy facial hair growth, it is important to maintain the hairs which have already grown. Daily care is essential in this process, with trimming and brushing being particularly important. This is because it is easy for new hairs to become tangled up and matted in amongst the longer established hair strands.
The American Board of Physician Specialties highlights that trimming is one of the best methods for maintaining a healthy beard and helping it grow as quickly as possible. This is because it helps to ensure that all of the new hairs are growing in the same direction, making them less likely to become tangled or knotted. Furthermore, regular brushing helps to remove any dirt or grime which has accumulated throughout the day.
While it is important to take good care of existing beard growth, the amount of facial hair a person has is typically based on genetic factors, such as levels of hormones, including testosterone. For those who have naturally lower levels of testosterone, it can be difficult to encourage substantial growth and thickness.
Fortunately, there are steps which can be taken to help in this area. Though hormone replacement therapy has been suggested as an option, it is an extreme measure and may involve risks, as well as potential side-effects. As such, it should only be undertaken with guidance from a medical professional.
There are, however, natural alternatives which can be considered, such as exercising or changing the diet. Adopting a diet which is rich in protein can be beneficial for encouraging healthy hair growth and for boosting testosterone levels. Furthermore, regular exercise has been highlighted in numerous studies as a potential way to boost testosterone levels.
In addition to eating a balanced diet and exercising, men also have the option of taking herbal supplements to encourage beard growth. These supplements are designed to help nourish facial hairs and encourage testosterone levels, while also helping to keep existing hair healthy.
One product which has been suggested by numerous experts is Hemp Oil, as it is rich in vitamins, minerals and fatty acids, making it ideal for nourishing facial hair follicles. Additionally, WebMD has highlighted that taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements can also be beneficial for facial hair, as these ingredients help to encourage healthy cell and hair growth.
Finally, there are a number of alternative treatments which can be used to help encourage facial hair growth. One popular method is microneedling, whereby tiny needles are used to puncture the skin in order to stimulate collagen production, which can in turn lead to the improved production of new hairs.
Additionally, many people opt to use laser treatments which work by targeting the testosterone receptors in hair follicles, in turn stimulating them to produce new hairs. Lastly, there is a method known as Low Level Light Therapy or LLLT, which involves using an LED device to stimulate hair follicles, potentially leading to improved facial hair growth.