The Art of Tracking Beard Growth
We are all voyagers on a different leg of the same journey: The quest of the beard. Some men seem to be well ahead of the rest, pioneers of a furry frontier. Others’ beards have lagged behind, slower to advance or perhaps simply impeded by false starts. And many more are still at a nascent stage of bearded greatness, only just beginning the adventure.
Some men will bravely embrace Yeard growth and beyond, while others prefer a more modest approach. We’ve written extensively about what you need to know as you embark upon growing a beard, there’s one critical detail that can be overlooked: What you need to do to track your growth.
Recording a journey is an essential part of being a pioneer! Where would history be without the journals of Louis and Clark? The diaries of Marco Polo? Robert Falcon Scott’s South Pole expedition logs? Like those great explorers of yore, we beard pioneers are as wise as we are adventurous, and there’s plenty we can do besides simply watching our facial hair grow.
The visual diary
Unlike Lewis and Clark, we live in the 21st century. That means all of us have access to an array of high-powered cameras, maybe in your laptops or even in your phones. So make use of them!
The idea here is to track your beard growth with a visual record. As you embark upon new growth, commemorate the occasion by taking a picture each day. Day zero the ideal place to start logging this type of transformation.
Ideally, you’ll want to set yourself up in the same position everyday, in the same area, with consistent lighting. Of course, this can be difficult if you travel a lot or work irregular hours. If you really want to be serious about charting your journey—and you should be!—keep those needs in mind as you plan your routine, building some flexibility into your travel or work schedule to allow you to take consistent pictures regardless of where you are or what time it is.
Maintaining a consistent style for your photography will result in an excellent time-lapse sequence once you’ve made it a few months into your quest—or even a few years! Once you’re satisfied with the record of your journey, for however long you want to document your growth, you can share it with friends and family, or even grace the world with your impressive quest by posting the results to YouTube or social media. It can be fun to watch your beard advance steadily ahead even as your clothes and hairstyle cycle through rapid changes. Fashion is fleeting, but a great beard is like a mighty oak tree: Powerful, steady, and unyielding.
Charting your growth
Maybe you’re taking the conservative approach and simply want to see how long your beard will grow in a few months’ time. Break out the ruler, pen and paper. We could all do with some empirical crowd-sourced evidence of how long beards grow on average. Is it half an inch a month? More? Less? It depends on your individual genetic makeup and a whole myriad of health and stress factors, of course—but how does that work for you?
This is your chance to be a mythbuster. Many men believe that shaving their beards will help it grow back faster and thicker. The thought usually stems from the fact that closely cropped hair blends to make it look thicker. But those same thin spots and lackluster growth patterns will persist a few weeks down the line. Measuring your beard once a month or every few weeks will help you determine your average growth rate.
This can be fun and can be helpful to answer someone on how long on average it takes to grow and what can be done to speed it up in the process. The art of tracking your beard allows you to take a proactive and fun approach to beard growing.
The Novelty Method
Perhaps you’re not into data-driven tracking of your beard’s growth. You don’t feel like taking a picture of yourself everyday, and sitting down with a pencil and paper is more work than you’d like to put in. You’re just looking for a general idea of your beard’s length, and you don’t want to take it too seriously. Well, you needn’t look any further than the cottage industry of the novelty beard chart T-shirt.
You’ve probably seen these shirts pop up around the internet. A simple black-and-white shirt printed with multiple tick-marks, each with its own whimsical label. The line drawn just below the neck of your shirt is marked for “manly” beards, while the indicator all the way at the bottom reads “wizard.” In-between are listings for the beard lengths of hippies, rednecks, lumberjacks, and so on.
Is it silly? Of course it is, but that’s the point. With that said, it’ll still help you track your beard progress. And isn’t it more fun to say, “I have the beard of a Civil War general!” than, “I have 5.5 inches of whiskers”?
Changing your style along the way
The last thing you want to be is boring and ordinary. After all, why else would you grow a beard if not to forge your own distinct identity?
So consider taking a more advanced journey by switching up your beard style from time to time. The beard growth adventure isn’t just about achieving epic length! Consider putting some of that effort into exploring the way different styles of beards and mustaches complement your face. Not everyone has the genes for a full mountain-man look, and that’s OK. The beard welcomes all, and there’s no need to settle for a single look when there are so many options available.
Our Beard Growth products can supplement what nature has given you. Want to keep it simple with a goatee or even a soul patch? You can find plenty of pop culture inspirations for your efforts—men who wear modest beards with the confidence of a Grizzly Adams.
Wherever your journey takes you, you a have a wide realm of possibilities ahead of you. There are more exotic variants to experiment with, too! Dare you venture into the realm of beard braids? Beard buns? Will you put our Beard Wax to use and get styling? Ladies have always had the luxury of styling their long hair, and there’s no reason men can do the same with their beards.
Beard self-expression has been around as long as, well, beards. Curled beards, elaborate ringlets, it goes on and on. Jump out of your bearded comfort zone along the way. It’ll make the growth and tracking experience that more interesting.