Growing beard hair may sound like a simple task (particularly to naive beardless onlookers) but it’s not always a smooth process for everyone.
While some people strike it lucky in the genetic lottery with effortless beard growth, others struggle to transform their patchy beard into gloriously thick facial hair.
Unsurprisingly, this is why the beard growing supplements market has exploded in popularity.
Aspiring beard growers now have access to a seemingly infinite amount of pills, tablets, and capsules - all claiming to accelerate beard growth and produce healthier hair.
But which beard growth supplement is actually going to deliver results? Will beard growth vitamins work for you? And how do you know which beard products to trust?
Let’s take a closer look at the world of beard growth products, and explain how you can navigate these waters to find the right supplements for your face.
Are beard growth supplements safe?
Most high-quality beard growth supplements are perfectly safe to consume in recommended amounts, particularly if you’re buying from a trusted brand. However, it’s still very important to understand the different ingredients and vitamins that you’ll often find in these products.
For example, biotin (vitamin B7) supplements are one of the most popular beard growth products available on the market. Biotin plays several important roles in your body, including metabolizing protein, carbs, and fats for energy.
But we’re not interested in metabolizing food products.
We’re interested in growing badass beards.
Biotin contributes to the production of keratin, which helps to stimulate hair growth. Although data is limited on beard growth specifically, some studies suggest that biotin improves hair thickness, particularly for individuals with a vitamin deficiency.
For the vast majority of people, biotin is a very safe supplement when taken in recommended doses. Always remember to double-check the ingredients in your beard growth products so that you can purchase them with confidence.
The potential risks of beard growth supplements
Assessing the ingredients included in hair growth supplements isn’t just about figuring out which products will give you a thicker beard.
It’s also about understanding the potential risks associated with different vitamins and formulas.
The vast majority of beard growth products won’t contain anything particularly dangerous or harmful, but that doesn’t mean that certain ingredients won’t cause complications.
Biotin, for instance, has some minor side effects that are important to note. Biotin supplementation can disrupt certain lab tests, as well as interfere with specific medications.
Many vitamin supplements can also cause a range of side effects, from stomach pain to nausea. This is particularly true if you’re ingesting too much of a single vitamin - although vitamin supplements can be healthy, that doesn’t mean you should go overboard.
Although these side effects are unlikely to affect the majority of bearded customers, they’re still worth noting before you embark on the journey for superior hair growth.
What about minoxidil for beard growth?
If you’ve been scouring the hairiest corners of the internet for beard growth supplements, you’ve probably come across minoxidil - a popular hair loss remedy. Although some anecdotal reports suggest that minoxidil boosts facial hair growth, there is no clinical evidence to support this claim.
Minoxidil is an over-the-counter treatment that is designed to reduce hair loss rather than promoting hair growth. Minoxidil is designed to expand your blood vessels and make your hair follicles larger, which encourages healthy hair that doesn’t fall out quickly.
It’s also been primarily tested for the hair follicles on your head, rather than the ones on your face, so it’s not proven to enhance beard growth.
However, some budding beard-growers do claim to have seen positive results with minoxidil:
As always, you should approach with caution. Minoxidil certainly isn’t a wonder drug for beard growth, and it also comes with a few potential side effects that should be considered.
Do testosterone boosters help beard growth?
Testosterone is a key building block for beard growth. As a result, you might assume that testosterone boosters will enhance your facial hair - but this is only true for men with clinically low testosterone. At this point, it’s important to look at the connection between testosterone and beard hair.
It’s true that testosterone is hugely important in healthy hair growth - but that doesn’t mean you can artificially increase your testosterone levels to unlock infinite beard hair.
If your testosterone levels are in the normal range for your age, you’re unlikely to see any beard growth benefits from testosterone boosters. DHT is also a byproduct of testosterone, and both of these hormones will ultimately influence the thickness of your beard and the speed at which your facial hair grows.
Your genetic makeup dictates your ability to achieve new hair growth, and testosterone boosters are only useful if you have a significant hormone deficiency.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t give your face the best chance of sprouting a luscious beard. Lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet and regular exercise can help to increase testosterone, which can naturally promote hair growth.
Do beard growth supplements work? The Mission Beard verdict
Beard supplements can aid beard growth and deliver positive results - as long as you’re purchasing products with quality ingredients. Popular vitamins like biotin are more likely to improve overall beard health, but there are also a few additional factors to consider when you’re shopping around.
Be sure to check the detailed ingredients of any new beard growth product, particularly the quantity of any vitamins included. Look at clinical evidence whenever possible so that you can set realistic expectations for supplements.
(And always remember that there is no miracle solution for a fuller beard. While some supplements can encourage hair growth, it mostly comes down to genetics.)
In saying that, bear in mind that supplements aren’t the only way (or even the most effective way) to encourage beard growth.
A nutrient-rich diet, consistent exercise routine, and healthy sleep pattern can all work wonders for your whiskers. Products like beard oil can also keep your beard clean and healthy, which can consistently contribute to better growth.
Supplements can be helpful, but they’re just one piece of the wider beard growth puzzle.