Excellent facial hair as a teenager can be difficult to come by. Very few teenagers have facial hair that makes them look more mature and attractive. However, there are ways you can grow more facial hair despite your young age.
As a teenager, you can grow more facial hair by cleansing and moisturizing your face properly, getting enough rest, eating the right amount of carbs and proteins, making sure you take vitamins and minerals like Magnesium, Zinc, and Vitamin D.
Facial hair is a pretty important aspect of growing into a man for a young teen. Some people view it as a signifier of masculinity and attractiveness, and in many cases, facial hair does make a man more attractive. Unfortunately, some teens struggle with growing facial hair due to several reasons we will discuss later on. While some teens can sport nearly a full beard at 17, it’s not very common.
Of course, facial hair on a teenager is by no means the only way to be attractive. You can easily make do with a clean-shaven look if you know the right way to pull it off. But facial hair can do wonders to make you look more mature and put you in a league above your peers. However, if you do find yourself wanting a full beard, but you barely have wisps of facial hair on your face, it might not just be the right time yet. Facial growth development carries on until your 20s, and this is the period when you’re most likely to grow into your full facial hair potential. This reason could also be why we think of facial hair as a more mature characteristic. The point is, if you’re still a teen and you feel like you don’t have much facial hair, don’t worry too much. You could very well have a full beard in a few years or so.
What Influences Facial Hair Growth in Teenagers?
For the most part, it is genes and hormones that predetermine facial hair growth in teens and at any age in life. However, other external factors, such as your lifestyle habits and diet, can mediate the extent of facial hair growth.
Your facial hair when you are 15 or 16 is by no means a sure indication of what your facial hair will look like when you’re in your 20s or 30s. In fact, for most people, it’s only a shadow of what their facial hair will look like in the future. The most reliable indication of what your facial hair will look like after development is the people in your family. If you have uncles, grandfathers, or other relatives that have plenty of facial hair, then chances are, you’ll also have abundant facial hair in the future. The same is true for families who have difficulty growing facial hair.
However, it’s not 100% accurate, and you still have your own unique patterns of growth. Even if your relatives generally have trouble with hair growth, you could have no trouble with it at all. Genetics, as a determinant of facial hair growth, makes the whole process challenging to manipulate. It’s not something that you can easily change.
Second, are the hormones. The hormones you have in your body are responsible for your facial hair growth, specifically dihydrotestosterone or DHT. Your genes are responsible for your sensitivity and ability to produce DHT, so genetics and hormones go hand in hand.
In essence, you need DHT, or your body needs to respond to DHT to produce facial hair. People can have variable amounts of DHT, and bodies respond to DHT differently, which is why some people might grow more facial hair than others. The process of DHT creation involves testosterone and an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. A certain percentage of your testosterone gets converted into DHT through the 5AR enzyme. This production of DHT is responsible for many of the sexual characteristics in men, including facial hair.
However, the body’s interaction with DHT is not as straightforward as you might expect. While it does help stimulate facial hair growth, DHT is also the largest cause for male pattern hair loss (a problem that plagues many men even in their 30s). So DHT isn’t just this hormone that you can increase, and then it will solve all of your problems for you. Like many bodily processes, DHT is a hormone involved in more than just one bodily function.
The food you eat is also a significant determinant of facial hair growth. Note that this doesn’t mean that you should eat a lot of a certain type of food, and then you’ll grow facial hair. It’s just that your diet heavily influences how your body works, and to an extent, it even mediates your hormones. Foods can increase your testosterone levels if you’re deficient in certain nutrients. Although the issue with testosterone-boosting food is that the increase won’t necessarily all turn to DHT.
Your goal with diet is to make sure you’re getting all the necessary vitamins and micronutrients.
4. Lifestyle Habits
The way you live your life also comes into play when talking about facial hair growth. As a growing teen, your body needs to refuel as much as possible to keep up with all the teen years’ growth and development. You will need to get proper sleep at the right times to keep your body in tip-top shape. You will also need to get a sufficient amount of exercise. Try to live as healthy as possible and avoid vices such as smoking, alcohol, caffeine, weed, etc. That way, you’ll be able to maximize your body’s growth, and you can capitalize on it.
Changing your diet and your lifestyle isn’t going to produce insane results for you. Keep that in mind and manage your expectations regarding facial hair growth. As previously indicated, the factors that mediate facial hair growth are mostly out of your control. The more you focus on the things you can actively change, the better it will be for you.
When Is a Reasonable Time to Grow Facial Hair as a Teenager?
If you are reading this article, you are probably wondering if it’s normal that you aren’t growing much facial hair or why some kids in your grade seem to be growing more facial hair than you are currently. But you have to take a look at your situation realistically. There is a large variety of ages when facial hair starts to grow. It can come as early as 12 for some people or in the late teens for some. The point is that you will have a difficult time if you continuously compare yourself to those the same age as you.
If you come from a family of men who have plenty of facial hair, you’re probably expecting some growth soon. But even if you don’t grow facial hair that well at 16, there’s still plenty of chance that you might grow more once you reach adulthood. You have to wait until the ages of 23-25 before deciding “I can’t grow facial hair.”
How to Grow More Facial Hair as a Teenager
There’s no one way that you can magically grow facial hair as a teen. No matter how desperately you want your facial hair to grow when you’re still a teenager, the reality is that it can be difficult to do so without going to extreme lengths. Still, it’s not a hopeless case. There are ways that you can improve the facial hair that you have as a teen. However, most of them might be more for just building on what you already have than growing more in different areas.
Before all that, you should know that for the most part, the best choice you have is to wait until you are older and the maximum potential of your beard has set in. Waiting is honestly your best bet at getting the amount of facial hair you’ve always wanted. The rest of this list will help take care of what you have currently and make sure you are on the proper growth path. Make sure that you don’t lose out on proper development is key. But other than that, there is no magical solution for you to grow more facial hair.
1. Cleanse and Exfoliate Properly
Properly caring for your skin is one of the most important changes you can make to your routine. It will not only benefit you in terms of facial hair growth, but it also helps your skin stay healthy. When you’re a teen, you are specifically prone to certain skin problems like acne. If you take good care of your skin, you build a good foundation for your facial hair to grow. Exfoliating helps promote collagen, which is the framework that your hair grows in.
You should invest in good skincare products that suit your skin type, and not just some random thing you decided to pick up at the drugstore. Make sure to use products that you have researched thoroughly.
2. Get Enough Sleep
Proper sleep is underrated. People go on and on about the benefits of getting proper sleep in many aspects of living, but it also improves your capacity to grow facial hair. Of course, proper sleep doesn’t have a very direct link to growing facial hair. For example, getting enough sleep won’t increase your DHT levels somehow unless you’re constantly sleep-deprived. However, getting enough sleep will help your body be healthy and go through its normal bodily processes.
As a teenager, you are still going through plenty of changes that require you to be healthy for you to develop properly. It would be best if you aimed to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night, give or take an hour. People have different individual sleep preferences, so if you are the type who feels like 8 hours is too much, then go for 7. But don’t go any lower than that as much as possible.
3. Reduce/Manage Your Stress Levels
Being in your teens can be a challenging time; there’s little doubt about that. Regardless, you should try to manage your stress as much as you possibly can. If you’re stressed, you run the risk of several health issues. On top of that, people who have high stress levels usually have lower levels of testosterone.
4. Take Daily Vitamins
There are two ways that you can get enough vitamins in a day. It’s either you consume food with the necessary vitamins and minerals, or you take supplements for them. Both are great, but if you can, try incorporating the right foods into your diet. This way, you are avoiding processed foods and also getting the right nutrients for your body. If you don’t have the time or resources to eat specific foods every day, then a daily multivitamin will work as well. The following are some of the most important vitamins and minerals that you should look out for.
- Vitamin D: According to this study by Pilz et al. (2011), vitamin D can boost men’s testosterone levels. Some vitamin D food sources are salmon and other fatty fish, egg yolks, and red meat. You can also get vitamin D from sun exposure, but make sure not to overexpose yourself since the sun ages your skin. Most people don’t get enough vitamin D, and it’s not available in a large variety of food, so vitamin D supplements are also an excellent option.
- Magnesium: Magnesium is a mineral that you can find in many leafy greens, such as spinach and kale. You’ll also find this mineral in nuts and whole grains. Some studies are indicating that magnesium can help boost testosterone levels in men. For example, Cinar et al., 2011 tested the testosterone levels of men after rest and exhaustion. The study results indicate that magnesium supplements can increase testosterone levels, with the increase being higher in active individuals than in those with sedentary lifestyles.
- Zinc: Much like magnesium, zinc can also potentially increase levels of testosterone in the body. Brilla & Conte (2000) looked into this, and their research results point to zinc raising testosterone levels. However, zinc may not increase testosterone levels further if you are already getting enough of the mineral. Common sources of zinc are red meat and nuts.
5. Eat a Balanced Diet
Besides getting your vitamins in, you should also make sure that you are getting the right amount of protein. However, don’t overdo it on the protein, as men who have a high-protein diet have low levels of DHT and testosterone. Just make sure that you are getting what your body needs to function properly.
Another way you can grow more facial hair is by eating carbohydrates. Studies indicate that men on a high-carb diet have higher testosterone levels than those on a low-carb diet. Carbs can counteract cortisol, which is a hormone that works inversely with testosterone. Meaning, high levels of cortisol will result in low levels of testosterone.
Overall though, make sure that you are eating a balanced diet. Be careful with any extreme diet plans or fads, as these could potentially throw off your hormone levels. For example, keto is a great diet for health and longevity, but it reduces your free testosterone levels.
6. Take Care of What Facial Hair You Have
The most important thing you can probably do right now is to take care of the facial hair currently growing on your face. In many cases, facial hair growth comes in certain areas and builds slowly over time. The first appearance of facial hair is usually on the upper lip, and then some hairs will appear on the chin.
Once you have some facial hair, it is in your best interest to care for it the best way that you can. Don’t think that your facial hair is just something you can leave without maintenance because it doesn’t work that way. Like every aspect of your aesthetic, your facial hair is an opportunity for you to style yourself and craft a different look. Teenagers often overlook the value of taking time and effort to do something with their facial hair, so be sure to do this.
Proper facial hair maintenance can come in the form of cleansing properly and including facial hair care in your routine. Of course, this includes trimming your facial hair accordingly and managing it depending on the style that you are going for.
Many of the items on this list gear towards making sure that you are generally healthy or increasing your testosterone levels. While this seems like generic advice and is things that you should already be doing, many teenagers don’t do these things. When you’re a teen, it can be easy to get distracted by all of the changing things in your life. With that, it can be a challenge to focus on your overall wellness. If you are already doing these things, then that’s great for you! You are well on your way to having the beard you’ve always wanted. But if you’re not doing these things yet, make sure to give them a try.
Of course, these tips might not affect your facial hair in ways that are immediately noticeable since genetics and hormones largely control how much facial hair you grow. Even if the changes are marginal, the improvement of your health and wellbeing will be worth making those changes.
Can a Teenager Use Minoxidil?
Minoxidil is one of the most common methods to improve facial hair growth and balding in men.
Minoxidil is not advisable for use for those who are below 18. If you are still a teen and you are looking at minoxidil as one of your options, it might not be the best choice for you. As a teenager, you still have a lot of room for growth. Minoxidil has some reported side effects that you are better off avoiding entirely.
If you consider that your facial hair right now is not what it’s going to look like in a couple of years, now is not the best time to go all out on the changes you want to make. Sure, minoxidil might be one of the best options for you once you are in your late 20s or early 30s. But in your teens, it isn’t necessary to take such drastic measures.
A Better Alternative to Beard Growth as a Teen
If, after doing all of the things suggested above, you still don’t have facial hair or you feel like you don’t have enough, the best thing you can do is wait. There are only two ways that it can go for you. Either you don’t have the genes to produce facial hair for a full beard, or that you’re just young and still need some time to grow into your facial hair. If you’re in the former category, don’t worry about it too much. Facial hair can be a great way to improve masculinity and make you look more mature, but sporting a clean-shaven look can be just as effective if you do it right.
Instead, you should take advantage of your formative years and focus on mewing. Mewing is essentially perfect oral posture, which is something most people don’t have. It consists of keeping the tongue on the roof of the mouth, lips closed, and molars lightly touching. The power of mewing is that it should be done 24/7, and this has the power to change your bones over time. Adult bones remodel at a rate of 10% per year. In teens, this is going to be higher since you’re still going through puberty.
If you can’t grow a beard, then get really good at mewing to improve your jawline. Beards only serve to make your jaw look better, but if your jaw is already amazing, then you don’t really need a beard and might even be better off without one. Plus, you’ll look even better when your facial hair does finally come in.