“How long did it take you to grow a beard?”
It’s a question we hear a lot at Point 5cc, and although it might seem like a silly question, it’s not! Starting hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is an exciting time for transgender guys, and a very epic thing to grow as a FTM dude is a beard. If you’re about to start testosterone, or even if you’ve been on T for a while, you might wonder if or when your facial hair will fill in. Here’s what you need to know.
The Basics of FTM Beard Growth
Will I grow a beard?
Trans or cis, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to grow a full beard or even any facial hair at all. Beard growth is based largely on genetics. Take a look at the men in both sides of your family and see what their beard growth is like. If they have big beards or tons of hair growth, chances are you will, too. Then again, there are always exceptions to the rule. Just because your dad or uncle can’t grow a beard doesn’t mean you’re doomed not to. Most guys are in their late 20s before they get full facial hair, but lots of folks don’t see it fill in completely until they’re in their 30s-40s. You’ll have to wait and see!
Are there products I can take to help me grow a beard faster?
Some folks think products like Minoxidil will help you grow a thicker, fuller beard permanently, but the truth is few products have been shown to create any improvement over beard growth. It’s really just HRT + time + genetics.
Does shaving promote beard growth?
This is probably the most common myth when it comes to beards, so let us break the news to you: unfortunately, no. There’s no evidence that shaving promotes faster growth or helps you gain more follicles. Stubble might look thicker because of the blunt hair ends growing back in, but it’s not actually getting darker or thicker.
I’ve waited a few weeks and my beard looks really thin. What do I do?
You have two choices: shave or let that baby grow. But more importantly, most guys don’t give their beard enough time to grow in! Many trans guys self-report that they feel their beards grow very slowly and it might take 2-3 months to get a complete beard going. If you do shave, make sure it’s because you want to, not because you think your beard isn’t full enough. As trans guys, we’ve worked hard to get that facial hair: wear it with pride, however bushy or patchy it is!
Should I keep my beard if I can’t grow connectors to my mustache?
Of course. Tons of guys, trans or cis, can’t grow connecting hairs, but you probably never notice it on others. You can still have a rocking beard without connectors.
Does taking more testosterone help my beard?
HRT will create a second puberty, causing you to experience facial hair growth (among tons of other changes, of course). However, you should never take more T than your doctor has prescribed to you. They’re professionals – trust them. Taking too much testosterone can have negative effects on your health, and since your body converts excess amounts of testosterone into estrogen, you’re not going to help hair growth by going over prescription levels. Genetics, age, and time will determine your beard growth.
There are a few handy things you can do to keep your beard looking sharp.
- Pick a look that works with your hair growth and personal style. If you have lots of growth on your chin and not a lot on your cheeks, you could try a goatee or van dyke. Have fuller cheeks and no mustache? Bring on the mutton chops!
- Trim regularly. Your chin hair will mostly likely grow faster than your cheeks, so trimming every so often will keep growth even, and a well-kept beard with a clean neckline will always look better.
- Trim before you shower, not after. When your hair is wet, it can weigh down and look longer, so you’ll probably cut off more than you want.
- Condition. Rub some conditioner in when you shower, let it sit for a few minutes, and rinse out. Your beard will thank us.
- Use beard oil – especially if your hair feels coarse or itchy. There are a number of beard oils and facial moisturizers you could try to soften it up. Good oil will make your beard silky smooth. (Oils are also great if you get beardruff… it happens.)
- FTM Beards on Tumblr
- FTMGuide.org Facial Hair info
- Jefff’s Beard Board
- Beards subreddit
- GQ: The Modern Man’s Guide to Beards
- The Babble Out: How to Grow a Beard + The Best Beards Styles
- Men’s Health: Shaving 101
- The Art of Manliness: DIY Beard Oil