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4 Beard Growth Stages: How Long Does It Take to Grow a Full Beard?

Growing a thick and full beard can take time, and may depend on your age and genetics. Learn about the 4 stages and timelines of beard growth.

Read on

Growing a beard takes time and patience. The beard growth stages may be somewhat unpleasant (patchy and itchy) and unpredictable.

But, there are certainly some mile markers you’ll reach along your journey. 

In this article, we’ll cover the beard growth stages, and answer the burning question “How long does it take to grow a full beard?”.  

Facial hair development stages

Facial hair starts developing around 13 to 16 years old when males are flooded with surges of puberty hormones.

Adolescent boys will notice that facial hair doesn’t fill in all at once, but instead, it develops in stages.

The first area to see a glimmer of facial hair is a wispy mustache. This is followed by the sideburns, chin, and cheeks. The last facial hair area to develop is the neck. 

Some men will see more development in some areas of the face than others. This is largely due to genetics and ethnicity. 

How long does it take to grow a full beard?

So, you want to rock a beard.

You know that stubbly itchy days, awkward new growth lay between you and that grizzly beard.

But, how long does it take to grow a full beard?

Well, it varies, but the general rule of thumb is it takes between 2 to 4 months to grow a full beard. 

Beard hair grows between 0.3 to 0.5 millimeters every day. So, you'll grow between 1/3 to 1/2 an inch every month.

Again, the speed of growth is dependent on genetics, age, and ethnicity. 

Anything over 1 inch is considered a beard while less than 1 inch is considered stubble. 

The 4 beard growth stages

Starting with a cleanly shaven face, this is what you can expect when you decide to grow out your beard. 

1. The stubbly stage: 1 - 2 weeks

Letting your beard grow beyond a 5 o'clock shadow might be totally new for you.

This initial beard growth stage is dubbed the stubbly stage because for the next 2 weeks or so your facial hair will be very short and “sharp”. 

This can feel quite itchy and cause some mild discomfort and annoyance.

When you first start to grow facial hair out it can feel like sandpaper.

Your significant other might complain during this stage because the stubbly stage can be quite prickly. But don’t worry, this will even out soon enough.

This new growth might even irritate your skin temporarily. Try keeping the area clean and use beard oil or moisturizer to keep the skin hydrated and soothed. 

This stage can really test you and make you want to shave it all off. But stick with it. This beard growth stage lasts about 2 weeks. 

During this first stage, you’ll also get an idea of how fast your beard hair can grow and where you have higher follicle density.

But, remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your beard won’t be fully formed for weeks (or months).

2. The patchy stage: 2 - 5 weeks

This beard growth stage is quite famous for being odd, awkward, and downright patchy. Since you’re covering new ground it’s more obvious when the hair doesn’t grow at the same rate -- which can make for a patchwork beard.

But, give it some time and patchy areas will likely fill in once your hair follicles catch up to one another. 

If you’ve been growing your beard for a month but it’s uneven and you’re ready to throw in the towel. Don’t. The good stuff is nearing. 

3. The beardy stage: 8 - 10 weeks

If it’s longer than an inch, it’s no longer stubble, it’s a beard my friend.

By the 9 week mark, your beard length may be around 1 inch long. So, congrats. You have a beard. 

At this point, you may have learned that having a beard can easily dry out the face. So beard maintenance is a big deal. 

Around 10 weeks is a good time to trim and shape the beard as it might be a little unruly in some areas. 

4. The full-grown beard stage: 3-4 months

After about 3 or 4 months your beard will be "fully formed" and all the pesky growing pains will be behind you.

You’ll notice some beard shedding as your hair follicles cycle through their lifespan. 

There is a point where your beard will reach a maximum length, where the hair will stop getting longer.

This will vary from person to person.

So, if your beard hasn’t gained much in length since the 3rd stage but it has gotten denser, that means your beard is close to its maximum length.

This is also known as the terminal beard length. 

4 Beard growth stages: Bottom Line

We’ve covered beard growth stages from puberty to lumberjack beard.

Beards come in stages, and you’ll see your beard slowly mature throughout each stage.

You’ll see that growth comes in 4 stages: the stubbly stage, the awkward stage, the beardy stage, and the fully-grown stage.

The beard growth stages take time, but it’s certainly a satisfying process. 

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