“I’m trying to grow a beard. At first, it seemed like it was happening but now it’s basically stopped. How can I speed things along?”
Sam via Instagram.
However, mother nature can be cruel, and it’s during these formative years when natural production of the hormone peaks, which can cut the road to an impressive thatch of facial hair short.
Of course, a few years later whiskers (OK, wispy bum fluff, then whiskers) start to sprout out of chins and top lips, and some are able to join the ranks of the bearded. Yet others (like Sam) suffer slow, patchy growth – or no growth at all.
The short answer to ‘how can I turn into a caveman overnight?’ is you can’t. It’s just genetics. But there are a few hacks that can help make the most of what facial furniture you have.
The most important component is the same as what affects the quality of your sex life: what you put in your mouth (no, not like that). Water, along with a diet rich in B vitamins, vitamin C, zinc, iron and omega-3 gives hair the nourishment it needs to grow.
Also, as we know with the hair on top of our head, high amounts of stress can stunt hair growth and even trigger conditions that lead to hair loss. The fix is getting plenty of sleep, working out to release stress (which helpfully boosts testosterone) and making time to relax.
And just like the scruff on our scalp, in order to grow long and strong, a beard needs to be shown some love. Washing it with a dedicated shampoo once or twice a week and brushing it to even areas out helps stimulate the skin underneath, aiding growth and producing a thicker, fuller appearance.
Lastly, if the only thing standing between you and this final manhood milestone is a few patches, there is the, albeit pricey, option of a beard transplant (which have trebled in the last two years), or you could learn to work with it. Consult a barber when next in the chair to discuss which style and length they think would help conceal the crop circles.
Beyond that, you could cling on to the hope that ‘peak beard’ is actually thing, that soon the nightmare will be over and the likes of Tom Hardy, David Beckham and Bradley Cooper will return to being baby faced. Let us know how that goes.