How to Tell if You Can Grow a Beard

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In case you missed it, I have a great roundup article listing my favorite beard growth products.

Most beards – from the stubble to the bandholz – are bound to go through a rough “patch” at some point, literary.

But, if you’re like every other guy out there, you’re probably wondering if there is a line between a patchy beard and a can’t-grow-shiz-on-my-face situation.

From taking a look at your diet to checking out your dad’s man mane, here’s exactly how to tell if you can grow a beard.

3 Factors That Affect Beard Growth Like Crazy

Fun fact, but your whiskers don’t just grow on their own.

Well… they kinda do, but what I mean is that there isn’t just one thing (as in factor) that makes or breaks the deal.

On the contrary, the jigsaw of beard-growing has a lot of pieces, some of which are more important than others.

So, yes, various factors have a say in your beard growth and are clear indicators of whether you can grow a man mane or not.

I’ve compiled a list what you should know when it comes to grow a beard.

#1 Genetics

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While there are a lot of things that can influence just how your beard looks and grows, none of them is as important as your genes.

You see, these personalized molecules carry a bunch of info which dictate how you can (or can’t) look like and basically work as the paints and brushes on the canvas that is your body.

But, here’s the fun part…

For many years, people thought that when it came to your beard’s growing potential (or lack thereof, in some cases), it was all your mom’s “fault.”

But, truth be told, this theory is quite inaccurate (if not downright, misleading) as studies prove over and over again that a person’s genetic makeup is a random mix of both parents’ DNAs.

Heck, even experts agree that paternal genes are more dominant than maternal in some cases.

Why believe that your mom’s DNA is the one responsible for your stubble, especially if there are no studies to back up this claim?

If you don’t know what’s true or not anymore, understand that your whiskers-growing potential depends on a random sequence of genes and alleles – which is why it’s not easy to tell whether it’s your mom’s or dad’s side who did the trick.

#2 Healthy Habits

hairy healthy body

Probably the most neglected parts of the beard-growing puzzle, a balanced diet, exercise, and a solid sleep routine could also influence the way your whiskers grow and look.

Among others, these three habits fuel your body with enough nutrients and energy and provide a base for non-stop hair growth.

In particular:

#3 Age

Happy birthday

Age also plays a huge role in the development of beard growth as facial hair usually starts growing when guys hit puberty.

Depending on your genes, that could be anywhere from 13 to 19.

Some guys may take a few more years to get there as they may sprout their first facial hairs during their early 20s.

But, in most cases, things are standardized once you reach your 30s.

As a matter of fact, most people agree – and by that I mean, both barbers, and us, common beardos – that a guy’s “beard prime time” is during his 30s.

Not that can’t grow a full, lush beard in your 50s or 60s, but I’m just saying.

In fact, I’ve heard this theory that the older you get, the less patchy your beard becomes.

But, seeing that many young guys sport a man mane that older guys can’t even dream of (and vice versa), I can’t help but think that there’s not one cut-and-dried answer to this question.

So, let’s file this under “another urban legend about beards” for now.

6 Signs You Can Grow a Beard

#1 You Have Bearded Ancestors

Healthy body

One of the easiest ways to tell if you can grow a beard or not is to simply take a look at your ancestors’ visage, and particularly their face.

As mentioned above, genes are the #1 cause behind a lush, full beard, so their contribution to the cause is pretty undeniable.

What does this mean IRL?

Well, if your dad, grandfather or great-grandfather sported a duck-tail, Verdi or whatever was in fashion during their time, chances are you will too (if you put in the work, of course).

And for those who claim that they got their bushy-beard genes from their mom’s dad, do yourself a favor and take this claim with a grain of salt because truth be told, there’s no research to back all this up.

So, until a beard-loving scientist decides to give a definite answer to this age-old question, know that the genes from both sides of your family have dibs on your man mane.

And another thing: certain populations such as Chinese, Mexicans, and Native Americans tend to grow less facial hair than the average guy.

So, if you or your parents have roots in any of these areas, note that your chances of growing a full beard a la Jake Gyllenhaal are quite slim.

#2 You Have a Hairy Bod

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Now, onto the second easiest way to tell if your face is up for the (beard) task: a.k.a. the body check.

If you tend to sprout hair from everywhere, then you’re most likely to grow facial hair as well.

So, if your shoulders, chest, arms, and legs (among others) are fair game for your non-stop-growing bristles, you got a solid shot at growing a long, manly stubble.

Now, you could stop here or learn a few more things about the quality of your future beard.


Just check how quickly your hair grows on other parts of your body, say your head, and you’ll be able to tell if your beard will have the same fate.

In fact, if you trim and cut your scalp hair often enough (as in once or twice a month), you should expect, more or less, the same growth rate from your beard.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that a receding hairline is a red flag for your whiskers.

Many bearded guys tend to have thick, Viking-worthy beards because DHT (that’s a testosterone metabolite) affects just their scalp but not their stubble.

So, warning: As with every other sign on this list, the “body check” isn’t a clear indicator of a non-patchy, full beard as there are a lot of factors which need to co-exist to achieve the optimum result.

#3 Your Puberty Was Woolly

Another sign to look for on your quest to become a beardo is the way you looked during your teen days.

If you hit puberty early on, then you had the chance to get acquainted with your hairy version earlier than most.

On the contrary, if you were hairless as a teen, then all signs point to a no- or patchy-beard future.

Of course, I wouldn’t count on this sign alone because I’ve met a lot of guys who grew zilch hair during their puberty but turned into full-on Vikings when they stepped into their 20s. #justtokeepinmind

#4 You Lead a Healthy Lifestyle

 best wishes with healthy body

You can also verify your beard-growing potential by keeping some of your everyday habits in check.

If your meals consist mostly of fruits, veggies and seafood, especially those that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and biotin such as avocados, sweet potatoes, and oysters, then you’re one step closer to your beard goals.

Also, if you hit the gym weekly, know that your hormones are well-balanced and your testosterone levels are through the roof.

That great news for your budding scruff as testosterone affects hair follicles in a variety of ways.

Friendly tip: If cardio is your go-to form of exercise, try and get your sweat on with resistance training instead.

This form of exercise is known for boosting T levels in men.

One last sign that you’re in for a healthy beard is your sleeping patterns.

If you catch enough zzz’s every day, it means that your hormones are well-regulated – which means that your skin and follicles work at 100%.

#5 You Are Patient

Hairy body

Some may argue that patience is not a reliable way to determine whether you can grow out a full-on man mane or not.

But, being a guy who has grown a Garibaldi more times than I can count, all can I say is “Dang, man, you bet it is!”.

You see, during the first few weeks of sprouting your scruff, everything literally feels like hell.

From the itchy skin to the pinching tips, there isn’t a single thing for you to hang on and say: “Well, this is worth it.”

But, if you tough it out, and are patient enough, you can get past that awkward phase and turn from an itchy, ugly duckling to a beautiful, manly swan.

So, to all doubters out there, yes!

Patience is a solid sign that you can and should grow a beard.

#6 You’re Chillaxed AF

Stress can be a total buzzkill.

From zapping out your energy to killing your sex drive, worrying too much doesn’t always work to your benefit.

The worst part?

According to a recent study, people who experience stress on the reg are prone to hair loss, especially when their hair goes through the growing phase (anagen effluvium).

By default, that means that dudes who are always stressed are less likely to grow a healthy beard.

So, if you tend to brush problems off of your shoulders, know that:

a) you’ll live longer and

b) your chances of growing a beard are much higher than the average, stressed-out Joe.

Kudos, my friend!

The Takeaway

The desire to have a full, lush, and shiny beard is hankering.

Considering that you have the right genetic material to naturally grow this wonder of nature, the biggest key here is patience!

Unfortunately, not everyone will have this opportunity to have the right genetic material.

But we live in a world where evolution takes place at the speed of light and the good news for those who do not fit the group of naturally blessed is that there are several solutions to achieve the same results using advanced aesthetic techniques.

So, are you thinking of growing a beard?

Remember to maintain a healthy grooming routine once your goal is achieved.

Join the convo in the comments down below!

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Hey there, I'm the guy behind the wheel. I've been passionate about looking good and feeling confident about myself since I know myself as a person. I love to share my experiences with such an amazing audience. Feel free to drop me a line if you feel like wanting to.

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52 thoughts on “How to Tell if You Can Grow a Beard”

  1. I usually get enough sleep but not on the right schedule; I’d sleep midnight and wake up noon, does that hurt my chances? I’m guilty with the exercise part and the food too, and stress? We do come at terms from time to time.

    I’m 18 btw and seeing very thin, almost invisible sideburns, the chin and the stache are grown, but are practicing social distancing????

    • Hey John,

      That will not hurt your chances. The difference in testosterone levels between you and someone who has a regular sleep schedule is hardly noticeable.
      Exercises are a great addition though. They do increase your testosterone above normal levels, and testosterone is responsible for male traits, beards. Maybe you should consider that. 🙂

      Regarding your age, you’re still in the development stage. Commonly, when puberty hits, the little hairs on the sides of the upper lip are the first ones to show up, then they tend to spread to form the full ‘stache. Then some hair appears on the upper part of the cheeks and under the lower lip (usually by your age), it then spreads to form a full beard by early 20’s.

      Even though that’s common, you must keep in mind that your genetic heritage is the major stockholder in the process.

  2. Well, I have tried to grow my beard….. I didn’t trim it for about two months….it grew well…but the problem was… mustache wouldn’t grow….I’m worried about that…if you could please tell me a solution to my problem….. I would really appreciate your help.

  3. Hey, I’m 23 years old and I’ve allowed my facial hair to grow out fully without trimming it and a mustache and a small goatee as well with a small strands of hair connecting to my mustache, is this a sign that i can grow a beard?

  4. Hello Agnaldo!

    I found your post to be super interesting. I’d say I’m pretty discipline for a 20-year-old. I work out at least 4 times a week, get anywhere from 7-8 hours a sleep, and have an extremely healthy diet. I can grow a pretty good mustache and get a lot of growth around my chin (also known as a “go tee”) and sideburns. But the sides of my face are so patchy! My dad can grow a full beard so I don’t think genetics is a problem, perhaps it’ll start to grow in as I get older? It’s pretty frustrating but I am thankful for what I can grow, but of course, I’d like to have a full beard.

  5. So I have upper lip hair that’s pretty good, but I question what happens with my chin. It started having some hair about a year ago and I guess in increased a little, could that lead to me getting a beard. I’m turn 17 right now but I’ll soon turn 18. I just need to be sure if its going good.

  6. So I’m a pretty thin dude (6’4 190) 19 yo and am trying to grow a beard through quarantine to look a little more manly before the gyms re open. Right now I pretty much have sideburns and light growth across the jaw, chin area decent though. Its only been like two weeks, but it doesn’t look very promising. My father shaves twice a day due to his absurd beard growth as do most people in my family, however my 24 yo brother cant grow much of one either.

    Anyways, i’m wondering if you think itd be worth it to keep at it and see if I pass the “ugly duckling” stage. Also, can my semi-nocturnal sleep schedule be affecting growth?

    • It is advised to have a full rest, but I believe that if you interrupt it in a moderate way it will not have a drastic effect on your potential to grow a full beard. You are lucky that you probably already have genetics in your favor, and yes, you should grow a beard and just trim the ends when convenient to keep looking good.

  7. Bro? Does Daily masturbation affects beard growth somehow? If yes then pls tell how much should a person masturbate that will not affect his beard growth.

    • There is some evidence that indicates that testosterone levels may rise during masturbation. Ejaculation, which is the result of masturbation, does not significantly affect the levels of testosterone, semen ejaculated after masturbation is not the primary source of testosterone. Masturbation does not stunt beard growth, but excessive masturbation might affect your normal testosterone level.

  8. My dad has definitely beard potential. If he were to grow it out, I bet he would look like Ragnar Lothbrok from the later Vikings seasons. This has definitely been passed down to me, as my beard is well under way; the only part that needs more sprouting, really, is my chin. If that can happen and my beard was to connect with my mustache, I think I will go full-on Viking mode. I’m 17 btw.

  9. I’m 21 and can grow a mustache and chin hair, I don’t have much sideburn hair and I have a line of hair on my cheeks running from my sideburns to my mustache, if I left it alone and took on healthier eating and exercise habits do you think it could grow into a beard?

    • Definitely! A healthy lifestyle will contribute immensely. But don’t forget that you can only stimulate what genes have already programmed. It is naturally difficult to beat nature!

  10. I’m just twenty and have like 10 long hairs under my chin, had some scrubby mustache for like 3 years now, I am wondering if I’ll ever get a beard, can’t tell from my dad because he only keeps his mustache, but I want a full mane, and I’m kinda sick of waiting.

    • Look, Ronald, not everyone can start to develop a full beard in their youth. Genetically there are several types of beard, perhaps yours is one of many that instead of developing a full mane, the growth is centered on the mustache and beard on the chin. But do not rule out the chances, a healthy lifestyle can increase testosterone and consequently beard growth.

  11. I’m 22 and I have had to shave every day if I wanna look clean shaven, but, I’m very patchy in my cheek areas and I have this weird little soul patch on my chin, it’s slowly starting to fill in, but, not as fast as I’d like it to. Although the places I do grow my beard are very long and thick, and the hair on my head is very thick and curly and I do have lots of chest hair, but, none on my back or shoulders. Do you think it’ll fill in and make me present my viking lineage more?

    • Hey Zach, my bet is that your facial hair is still under development. Unfortunately, I cannot predict if you’re going to get the Viking mode activated, but it seems like you do have the potential. Take care and get trimmed. Cheers.

  12. hi Agnaldo am 18 and my upper lip hair is coming out and when I pull my cheeks i feel a little hair on them
    does that mean I will grow a beard
    thanks for the advise

  13. Hi , i am 20 years old , i have facial hair mostly on the sides and in the neck part , i have a few hairs on the cheeks and mustache. From my father side my uncles and including my dad they have alot of facial hair , but my uncles from my moms side they barely have facial hair. Would i be able to grow as much hair as my dads ?

  14. Interesting read. I have a patchy beard on the sides. But my moustache is alright and so is my chin area. It’s just the upper half of my face the sides that I cannot really grow. So I do think I can grow out a beard. I’m not really sure who decides. Didn’t shave for a month and while I do not have the thickest beard you cannot really see trough it. I think I should just be patient. I cannot grow a full beard but I can at least grow whatever grows. I’ll just miss the upper half as it is really patchy there. However I’m just letting it grow out now and something is forming.

  15. Hello, I am 20 years old, Spanish. Both my father and my 2 grandparents have a good beard, but the funny thing is that it comes out perfectly on my sideburns, cheeks and neck, but it barely appears on my chin and mustache, which is usually the first thing that appears, is that a bad sign?

    • Facial hair doesn’t always appear in a specific order. It varies among some individuals. Most of the times mustache is the first to form but might be the last to fill (that’s my case), the chin usually tends to be the last. Since you’re in your early 20s, just watch.

    • Hey brother….. iam 20 yrs old and an Indian….. my father and my brother got good genetics to grow beard but still I can’t grow thick moustache or beard…… the moustache I have is very thin and the beard is soo thin which is only on my chin area…… what to do?

    • Agnaldo,hi I’m 16 and I’ve noticed hair on my upper lips since I was 11 and have also noticed hair on my cheeks and on my chin also.And I’ve been using a special cream called “Robb” on my face to improve the growth of my chin and cheeks,and it quite had an effect on it .But I really do need some tips from you to improve it’s growth because I really do see a full beard in the future(next 3yrs)

  16. Hi Agnaldo!
    Your article was the coolest and the most awe-struncking result i’d gotten after a curious Google search,keep it up, more power to your elbow….,thanks a bunch for it!
    I’m still seventeen,though am already sprouting a mustache and an appreciating lines of hair drawn from the bevel of my head downward beside my ears with little on my chins, but none yet on my jaws but when i flash light on my face i view imperceptible hair growth in beard form but they’re a bit chattered, though i excercise frequently but a kind of a midnight Owl as a student so a bit unrelaxed,and as for the genetics part:they’re are of more viking-like faces in my mum’s fams than that of my dad’s side,which is about 65% to 45% would i be able to grow a full viking-like beard with all this still?

    • Hey Hals, I appreciate your compliments towards the website.

      You’re still young though, I believe you have the right genetics just waiting to be triggered by a few dose of hormones that will turn you viking-like.

  17. I’m 18 and still haven’t recorded any beard growth on my face, only some little strands on the side of my face. Will I be able to grow one? My dad has a good beard with my uncles too.

  18. I just turn 17, I have been having a noticeable mustache (which doesn’t grow past a certain length for some reason )for a while and some chin hair. My dad has a goatee. My chin hair isn’t that noticeable though(also doesn’t grow past a certain length. Been like that for 2 years). I’m wondering if a derma roller can stunt or help my growth. Im also an active/healthy person especially when I’m still young in my growth journey

    • It’s great to know that you have a healthy routine, keep it that way. I think you should wait a few more years before trying and procedure. If after 3 or 4 years the signs are still weak, then you can consult with a specialist within your area.

  19. I’m 18 my father and grandfather both have full grown beards but my brother is as smooth as a baby’s butt, but I look like my father more than my mother and I have peach fuzz on my upper lip and I feel tiny hairs on my chin and side burns. I work construction I try to eat a healthy diet. do u think I can grow a beard naturally or u think a derma roll would help?

  20. Yo Agnaldo, I turned 16 3 months ago and I only have an unnoticeable mustache mark on my upper lip and my dad has had a beard all his life, I was wondering if I can still grow a beard soon. I’ll be happy regardless if I can or can’t. I wanna take pride in my insecurities. Just curious.

  21. I’ll be 26 next week i have a noticeable goatee and a little hair on the cheeks that look okay when combed and brushed. How soon should i expect my soul patch and thicker cheek hairs?

    • Do you have any close family member featuring a soul patch? By this time, it should show strong evidences of growth and thickening. I know some guys with full beard but their genetics won’t allow them to have a thick soul patch, or any at all, that’s also my case. I have full beard but my soul patch consist of a few individual hairs.

  22. i am 19 years old and i have a question.i recently noticed that i am growing small and patchy hair on my chin.i dont have a single hair on my upperlip,sidechin or anywhere is confusing me and it looks so weird.i have decent hair on my legs,laps,and small amount on hands.what do you think about it?