It seems like a simple thing with a definition that everybody can agree on, but before we address why you think you can’t grow a beard we have to define what a beard actually is.

It’s just facial hair, right?

Yes, it is, but since most people think of a big, thick mane of facial hair being a beard, it does a disservice to those guys that can’t grow one so long and thick.

There are a lot of different types of beards that all fall under the beard category. If you ask yourself why can’t I grow a beard, then you’re asking the wrong question.

You can grow a beard, it just depends on what kind.

You should be asking what kind of beard can I grow.

In this article, I will address why you can’t grow the beard you want, how to deal with that and what you should be doing to improve the beard that you can actually grow.

What is a beard?

According to Wikipedia, a beard is a “collection of hair that grows on the chin, upper lip, cheeks and neck of humans and some non-human animals.”

Notice what the definition does not say.

It doesn’t specify how long it should be, how thick it should be or where it should grow the most.

Any kind of facial hair that isn’t just a mustache, then, qualifies as a beard.

Even a goatee is a sort of beard, too. Mutton chops may even qualify if we define a beard loosely.

How long should facial hair be to be considered a beard? Is stubble a beard? If a beard can’t grow more than ½ inch is it not a beard?

See where this is going?

There is no real definition so when you think “I can’t grow a beard” it isn’t really true. You can grow a beard but it may not look like Grizzly Adams.

Can I grow a beard?

During puberty the hormones testosterone and dihydrotestosterone get the hair follicles going and some facial hair starts.

Genetics determine how much of each you have. There are some natural ways to boost your testosterone, but more about that later.

You no doubt noticed when you were first growing facial hair that it was thin and wispy. Called vellum hair, it is not so thick. It can take a few years, sometimes until a guy is in his twenties, to start growing in coarsely.

This is a point when many men, mostly teens, give up and say I can’t grow a beard.

As we will see, this is stinking thinking.

So, when I hear, I can’t grow a beard, I like to remind people that everybody can grow a beard.

Patience is usually the name of the game when it comes to growing a bead, but that is especially true if you are a teenager.

If you think you just can’t wait then here are some ideas on how to jumpstart your beard growing ability.

Can I grow a beard by boosting testosterone?

I am not the most patient guy, so it is kind of odd for me to preach about being patient. For those that hate waiting for things and like to feel like they are taking matters into their own hands, then you can try to boost your testosterone to grow your beard facial hair.


Specifically, lifting weights.

Any exercise will definitely increase your testosterone, but since more muscle means more testosterone, you need to lift and get serious about building that muscle mass.

If you are overweight, then this is severely limiting your testosterone production so you have the added benefit of losing weight to give your low T a boost, and then when your fat is turned to muscle it will increase it even further.

Pro tip: Don’t skip leg day!


There are some foods that you definitely need to be consuming to give your testosterone a boost.


Taking a tablespoon of honey is not only a sweet treat but it contains boron which is known to assist in testosterone production.

If you are also working out more, honey is a great way to add endurance. Ever see those runners that take a packet of something when they are in the middle of a long run? Instead of those packets, take a tablespoon of honey and kill two birds with one stone.


If you are lifting weights, eating carbs, in addition, will help you increase your testosterone. A lot of lifters will tell you to focus on protein and ditch the carbs. Well, you definitely need those carbs for testosterone production.


This is the fuel for adding muscle. Get the right proteins and your muscle will build and produce more testosterone.

Eggs, lean beef, chicken and lamb are all great to help.

Avoid Stress

This is obviously easier said than done.

But, if you can find a way to avoid feeling stressed, you limit your body’s ability to produce cortisol.

Cortisol blocks testosterone production. It also keeps your hair from growing and in some severe cases will also cause hair to fall out.

Meditate, do yoga, go for a walk to clear your head, anything to distract from a stressful situation.

Get Some Sun

Vitamin D is essential for a lot of body functions, but if you have low T then it is really important. In the summer, make sure you are getting as much sun as you can. Safely, of course. You don’t want to swap Low T for melanoma.

If there isn’t much sun then drink plenty of milk fortified with Vitamin D, or take a supplement.

Get Some Rest

Sleeping is important for so many reasons, so it stands to reason that getting your beauty sleep will also help you grow a beard and affect your testosterone.

It isn’t known if you get a boost, but it is well known that not getting enough sleep limits your testosterone production. To make sure you aren’t actively losing testosterone, then avoid burning the candle at both ends. Give up the nightlife and partying for a while to get back on track.

If you’re working too much or struggling with balancing your responsibilities, then try to get yourself on a sleep schedule and stick with it.

How to get your beard to grow thicker

If you think you can’t grow a beard, it simply means that you need to take some initiative in growing your beard thicker.

Now, take this all with a grain of salt. If you have a thin or patchy beard, you’re not going to look like ZZ Top by following this advice to grow out your beard.

If you’re already taking the ways to boost testosterone to heart, then you’re halfway there to growing a thicker, fuller beard.

Here are some more tips to grow facial hair faster.

Wash Your Face

Clean and unclogged pores are essential to growing a proper beard. When your hair follicle roots are clogged with grime, then they won’t grow in thick or even at all in some cases.

If you wash and exfoliate your face, then that will help your beard to grow.

Use a natural soap or beard shampoo. You don’t want to dry out your skin as that will have the opposite effect of growing out a beard.

Use Beard Oil or Balm

As important as it is to cleanse your face for proper beard growing, it does strip your skin and beard of natural oils.

These oils keep your beard hydrated, nourished with vitamins and nutrients and give it a healthy shine.

You need to replace those oils by using a beard oil or beard balm.

The best beard oils have ingredients like argan, jojoba, coconut oils or shea butter. These are carrier oils that will moisturize and nourish your beard hair as well as carry other essential oils that have other effects.

You can stimulate growth by using oils or balms with essential oils like peppermint, rosemary and clary sage oil.

Use a Beard Brush

If your beard is on the longer side already but you want it to grow thicker or faster, then using a beard brush will hedge your bets.

First, because it will stimulate the circulation in your skin. When your circulation increases, the blood brings nutrients to the hair follicle and speeds up the process of nourishing your facial hair.

It also helps to even distribute the beard oil or balm to make sure it is coated well. This gets all the benefits of the oil or balm to each and every follicle.

Lastly, it will train your beard to grow in the same direction. This can also help to cover some of the thinner spots by the longer hair. It will give the impression of a denser growing beard.

How to deal with a patchy beard

I wrote an article about dealing with a patchy beard if you want a more in depth look at what you can do, but here is a simple breakdown.

The first and the best thing you can do if you have a patchy bead is to try to control your beard envy.

Yes, it’s a thing.

You will always be lamentful and asking why life is so unfair that I can’t grow a beard and he can shave today and have a full beard by lunchtime tomorrow.

It is counterproductive.

It says that your beard growing ability is inferior when the reality is that it is just different.

Your beard can be glorious too, even in its patchiness.

The other thing to do is work with what you have.

If your beard grows thicker on your chin and around your mouth, then highlight that. Let it grow longer there and keep it shorter in the patchy areas.

The best thing you can do if you have a patchy beard is to be patient. Let it keep growing. You might find that it just took a while to get to the right length to start looking less patchy and more full.

The other thing you really need to stop doing when you have a patchy beard is to obsess over it. You might not like how it looks since you are comparing it to others that you think it should look like. But, others might be looking at your beard with envy.

Just let it grow, take care of it and don’t overthink it. Own it as it is and make it a part of who you are.

Can I grow a beard with supplements?

There are a lot of vitamins and nutrients in beard supplements that are proven to work.

You don’t necessarily need to take beard growth pills to get those vitamins, but it would take a very specific diet. And in the doses that you get in a pill would require eating a ton of foods that might not be the best tasting.

Will you see dramatic growth from taking a beard growth supplement?

Not really. Results are really going to vary as everybody processes things differently. But you should see a difference.

Take some before pictures and give it time. In a month or so, you should see less patches and thicker facial hair.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, by this point, we have done away with the attitude that you can’t grow a beard.

All it takes is a change of mentality, a change in lifestyle and a beard care routine.

Once you make those changes, then you’re going to have a beard that works for you.

Got any tips for the bearded wannabes out there? Or, do you have some questions that this article didn’t answer?

Leave us a note by commenting in the box below. Remember, if you think you can’t grow a beard that we are here to help!

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Salvatore Jamison
I’m an outdoor enthusiast and have sported a full beard since I was in my early 20’s. Originally, growing a beard was a way to save time when getting ready each day, but I quickly realized that keeping a neatly trimmed beard takes work and some forethought. That’s where this site comes in.

You get to benefit from my years of experience. I’ve reviewed many of the top hair clippers on the market today and also included some information on what works best for me. A great beard will turn lots of heads in your direction.

Since I never know when I’m going to find myself being photographed, whether it’s climbing in Yosemite, or playing volleyball on the beach, it’s important to me to always look my very best. Maintaining my beard is part of my daily routine and I hope you’ll find some useful tips and information on this site to help you on your journey.