Regardless of ever-changing trends, facial hair makes a perennially masculine statement -- a properly groomed beard expresses everything from ruggedness to independence, the mark of a man free to groom as he pleases. While there is no single magic trick for enhancing the quality and rate of your facial-hair growth, a combination of methods helps encourage the process, whether you choose to sport a pencil mustache or a long, full beard.
Eat plenty of proteins and a healthy amount of dietary fats -- including eggs, milk, beans and lean meats -- to bolster the growth of facial hair. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that adult men eat at least 56 grams of protein per day, with a fat intake composing less than 20 to 35 percent of your daily caloric intake. Foods rich in vitamin A, C, B12 and E -- like carrots, citrus, fish, walnuts and broccoli -- also support facial hair growth and health.
Increase your testosterone levels through exercise, says “Facial Hair Handbook” author and beard champion Jack Passion. Incorporate weight training that targets large muscle groups -- such as bench presses, rows and squats -- as well as regular cardiovascular exercise to maximize testosterone production.
Massage a small dab of skin moisturizing cream into your facial hair as it grows in to helps soothe irritation and make for supple, softer hair. Apply daily or every few days, depending on your skin type and hair type -- go with a less regular application if you have oily skin or hair and a more regular application if you have dry skin or brittle hair.
Condition and protect your facial hair to keep it healthy and encourage continued growth. When you shower, shampoo your facial hair with a small amount of natural, low-residue shampoo, such as a pine-tar-based product or a specially formulated beard wash. If you have a particularly long beard, condition it in the shower every few days with a gentle conditioner. Protect your facial hair by massaging it with a lightweight coating of jojoba or grape-seed oil before exposing it to windy, smoggy, smoky or chlorinated environments.
- Birchbox: Beard Champion Jack Passion on Growing a Healthy Beard Fast
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Protein
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Dietary Fat
- Columbia University: Go Ask Alice: Exercise -- Increase Testosterone?
- Esquire: How to Grow a Beard
- Philips: Here's How to Make the Most of Growing a Full Beard
- Men's Life Today: Eat Your Way to a More Beautiful Beard