If your usually clean shaven barber shop client decides they want to try out growing a beard, they are going to need some advice!
Growing a beard can be a labour of love – it takes patience, perseverance and lots of maintenance to get it to a place they are happy with.
So as a professional, make sure you have all the beard growth tips and knowledge you need to help them in their journey.
What are the stages of beard growth?
The truth is, beard growth largely comes down to genetics.
But, while everyone will grow hair at different speeds, thickness and length, we all follow the same cycle.
When growing your beard, it’s helpful to know what that cycle is so you know where you are in your journey.
The Hair Growth Cycle
There are three stages to all types of hair growth…
The first growing stage is called anagen. This is when your beard hair is actively growing, usually at a rate of about 1cm a month. The anagen phase lasts for different amounts of time for different people. So, the longer your anagen phase is, the longer your beard will be.
Next up comes the catagen stage. This phase only lasts a couple of weeks. It is when your hairs transition from actively growing to the end of its cycle. The hair remains at its current length and is cut off from its blood supply.
Finally, the hair follicle reaches the telogen stage. The hair rests for a few months until it is replaced by fresh hair, taking us back to the start of the cycle at the anagen phase.
The 4 Stages of Beard Growth
So, how does this hair growth cycle relate to the beard growth journey?
When growing a beard there are generally four stages for your client to go through…
1. Starting your beard growth
This starts from the point your client decides to grow their beard!
Their beard hair will first be in the anagen stage. After giving up on shaving, it usually takes about 2 weeks for a significant amount of hair to grow through, which leads to one issue – itchiness!
Yes, at this point clients might be tempted to pick that razor back up. As a result of past shaving, the hairs will have a blunt end, making it more irritating to the skin as it grows. To help them out, recommend them a good beard oil and brush to keep the skin flake free and moisturised. A face scrub can also help by clearing away dead skin cells.
2. The patchy stage
After around 4 to 6 weeks of growth, your client’s beard will be well on its way.
But, all of the hair will not be growing at the exact same time. So, it’s common to see some patches forming. At this point, they might be tempted to give up, but patience is key. Encourage them to see it through and not trim or cut their beard – with time, those patches may well fill in.
It’s important they continue to moisturise and care for their beard with a good oil and skincare regime if they want to see the best results.
3. The grooming stage
A around the 8 to 10 week mark, having not trimmed their beard at all, your client might have some serious facial hair going on!
Now that growth is fully under way, you can step in as a barber to begin shaping and taming their beard. Keep in mind their face shape and use the beard hair to define and flatter their look. Get rid of any stray hairs and keep the neckline nice and clean.
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4. Beard maintenance
Now your client has made it through the first three stages of beard growth, it’s all about maintenance!
The hair growth cycle will continue, so they will need regular barber visits to keep their beard well shaped and properly groomed.
They also need to keep up with using their beard oil and brush to keep it in good condition.
How to help beard growth
We’ve been through each stage of the beard growth process, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy for your client!
So, what can you suggest to help them along their way?
Beard growth tips…
1. Perseverance is key
It really does take time and patience to grow a full beard. Reassure your client that they are going through a process. It might not seem worth it now, but if they shave their face they really will be back at square one again. It’s perfectly normal for it to take months before they are at a stage they are happy with, so encourage them to see it through.
2. Follow a good beard care routine
Beards do come with a degree of maintenance, so you can’t skimp on a good beard care routine. Find your clients the best possible products to help them in their beard growth journey and it will make things so much easier for them.
3. Use a beard brush
Brushing your beard has benefits during every stage of growth. It helps groom away flakes of skin and provides exfoliation. It can also stimulate blood flow, which encourages the hair to grow. A brush should also be used to train the hair to grow in the direction you want. So, for moustaches, the hair should be brushed to the sides multiple times a day.
4. Eat protein and vitamin rich foods
A lot of clients want to know if there are any ways they can grow a beard fast. The truth is, they will have to rely on their natural hair growth cycle. The best way to support this is with a healthy diet. Eating foods that are rich in protein and vitamins can help speed up beard growth slightly, but it still won’t happen overnight.
5. Lead a healthy lifestyle
Again, there is little you can do to speed up the natural beard growth cycle. But, an unhealthy lifestyle can have a negative affect on your hair and skin. So, getting a good amount of sleep, exercising regularly and avoiding things like smoking will give your beard the best possible chance to grow fast and strong.
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