1. Be Patient
The first and most important tip, whether you’re growing your beard out for the first time and dealing with those awkward, itchy first few weeks or you have a beard you’re looking to grow out longer, is to have patience. Many of us trans guys are super excited about growing our beards when we start hormone replacement therapy, but like all guys, your rate of growth and beard density will be affected by genetics and other factors.
Let your hair grow in for at least 3 months without touching it with a trim or a shave so you see what kind of styles you can work with. Then you can pick a look that works with your 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!)
The trick to a truly impressive beard is self-restraint. Trimming as you grow helps maintain a professional and kept appearance, but it won’t make your hair grow any faster. Keep the clippers down as much as possible to grow it out.
2. Use a Beard Comb with Your Products
Using a beard comb is an easy way to condition and protect your beard. When you buy a beard or mustache comb, wood is the way to go.
“When someone chooses to comb their beard with a wooden beard comb, the wood will naturally saturate itself with your natural skin and beard oils… what was once taking away from your skin, now gives back with each brush of the whiskers,” says Zach Stephenson, CEO of Beard Gains. “Another reason is because it is way better than any hard plastic or metal comb, those combs do not flex at all and WILL rip/pull out hairs.”
(Check out their huge selection of wood combs, super high-quality and lots of different designs to choose from.)
Then comb your beard every single day. The best time to use a beard comb is after applying some type of beard care product, such as beard balm, beard conditioner, or beard oil. This helps promote a healthy and natural look to your beard, plus helps promote beard growth in a downward direction.
3. Get a Great Pair of Clippers
Not all clippers and beard guards are created equal. Some clippers are just for your beard, and others come with other attachments – for head, beard, mustache, ear/nose trimmer, and more.
Once you pick out a clipper, it’s time to trim. Trim your beard when it’s dry for the best sense of how it will look. The first time you use your clippers, if you’re not sure of the guards’ exact length, start with a high guard and work your way down to your desired length. Fade your cheeks and neck a little shorter by bringing your guard down a size or two. If you have a few flyaway hairs when you’re done, you can use a scissor to even it out.
For the mustache, comb your hair down down over the lip and remove the guard to trim anything that hangs over onto the lip.
4. Healthy Living, Healthy Beard
Hair growth, whether it’s on your head, body or face, is largely dependent on diet, sleep, and other factors, too. Your beard is heavily influenced by your intake of Vitamins B5, B3, and B9, which means a diet of lean meats, nuts, egg yolks, milk, and plenty of leafy greens. If you’re seriously committed, there are also supplements and vitamins specific for facial hair growth.