I've always been blessed with a strong, virile beard. I have to admit that it feels good to look after it, knowing that with my beard I both look and feel more masculine and potent. Even my missus can't stop herself from subconsciously winding her fingers through it as we sit and watch movies and stuff.
But then, I've always been particularly lucky with my facial hair. The beard runs strong in my family. But I've got a friend who never was so blessed. He was always lagging behind, from Movembers to the time we all grew Freddie Mercury moustaches for a boy's holiday.
Until last year. When he came striding into the bar for our regular monthly meet up sporting a beard thicker and more impressive than anything he'd ever seen before. Once we'd finished taking the piss out of him (you have to, right? It's a manly tradition to insult your mates) we asked him what he'd done to grow such a fine specimen of manliness.
He told us the answer was simple. Just like anything else in life, if you look after your beard and give it the things it needs to grow strong, it thrives. And the key to that, especially if you're follically challenged, is a solid beard vitamin.
Even though I'd never heard of them, seeing what they'd done to his facial hair I was convinced. So, being the responsible beardsman, I went on the hunt to find out everything about beard vitamins I could. And the results were astounding. But first, for the impatient amongst us, lets talk about the best beard vitamin on the market right now.
The best beard vitamin in 2017
When it comes to beard growth, this is our number one formula of choice. For a start, it's made from entirely natural, effective ingredients. Only the best things go in this, and there's no artificial crap that's not going to do anything, or worse, actually inhibit your beard growth!
In terms of active ingredients, it contains everything you might want. There's 100% or more of the recommended daily amounts of vitamins A, B complex, C, and E, as well as a healthy chunk of inositol and a truly massive dose of biotin, which is the single greatest compound for beard and hair health there is.
You get a 30 day supply, and most men taking this start seeing noticeable results at about the 3rd week, so that's enough to try it out for sure. Bear in mind that, depending on your beard and your hair type, it could take more or less time to start working, so don't go into this expecting your beard length to double overnight. It's a supplement after all. That's like drinking a protein shake, then not going to the gym and expecting to get huge muscles. You've still got to look after your beard.
But if you do, and if you take this vitamin, you're on the right track to getting the thicker, less patchy, shiny, healthy, luscious looking beard of your dreams.
So, lets start at the beginning. What are beard vitamins, and how do they work?
Beard vitamins are vitamins. But for your beard.
I know, I'm hilarious. But really, beard vitamins are supplements that you take to give your body everything that it needs to grow a thicker, stronger, healthier, better looking beard.
There's a huge variety of products, which we'll get into later. Right now, to answer this question in detail, we're gonna have to get technical. Our bodies are incredibly complicated pieces of machinery, and even something as simple as a hair takes multiple biological processes that need dozens of chemicals and hormones coursing through your body in the right amount.
Because we're so amazing, (well, I am) our bodies can generally self regulate these hormones and keep everything at the level it needs to be to keep everything running right.
But that doesn't mean you can't optimise. After all, if you've ever been down the gym, you know the huge difference a few supplements can make to your routine, recovery and growth.
Using beard vitamins is exactly like that. You can probably grow a beard already. But can you grow your best beard? By that I mean, grow a thick, luscious beard, double fast. One that will make men jealous and women weak at the knees just to gaze upon it?
I bet I've got your interest now, right? Read on to find out what beard vitamins can do for you, and what to look for when you're buying them.
What vitamins does your beard actually need?
There's a huge range of arcane and mystical ingredients packed into most vitamins, and beard vitamins are no exception. Understanding that ingredients list is almost impossible without outside help. Good thing we're here to make it easy on you.
When you're buying your beard vitamins, the things you should be looking for are, specifically...
Vitamin B7, or Biotin.
You've probably heard of this one. It's proudly emblazoned across anything that's supposed to be good for hair growth. When it comes to beard growth, this is the big one.
There's a reason. Vitamin B7 is the vitamin responsible for keratin production, and hair is almost entirely keratin. Whilst there isn't strict scientific evidence linking biotin to beard growth, per se, a lack of B7 is specifically linked to hair thinning and hair loss. Conversely, more biotin intake means more keratin production, so more and stronger hair and nails.
Those in the know recommend taking 2.5mg of biotin daily to help strengthen your hair and beard. But don't worry about overdoing it. Vitamin B7 is water soluble, and passes out of the body if you take any extra over what you need. Whilst there are side effects for massive overdoses, you'd have to get real heavy handed in order to see them.
If you do end up taking too much biotin in your quest for the perfect facial hair, you can expect to see skin rashes, digestive upsets, vitamin deficiencies and sometimes even kidney issues. So be careful out there, boys. A beard isn't worth all this business, so stay smart.
Vitamin D and Iron
Low vitamin D and iron levels are directly linked to hair loss, so if your beard is thin or patchy, or you've noticed that your beard is getting a little, well, less than it used to be, it could be that this is a problem for you.
Vitamin A keeps your hair strong, flexible and healthy. Low levels of vitamin A slows your production of sebum, which is the natural oil your body produces to keep your hair thick and lustrous.
Vitamin E is responsible for huge amounts of things in the body, so it obviously has an effect on healthy beard growth. Specifically, vitamin E is great for blood circulation, and when you're working on growing a new and thick beard, your body will be shifting more blood through the vessels of your face than it's used to, so this is really important.
Vitamin B5, or Pantothenic acid, is another vitamin key in preventing hair loss. It does this by keeping hair follicles, those little organs that produce and maintain each individual hair, healthy. It's also regularly prescribed as an alternative treatment for regular hair loss, so it's going to have a double bonus if you're getting a little thin on top as well as looking for a thicker beard.
B12, or inositol, is another part of the vitamin B complex that's great for overall beard health, as well as being good for the skin, eyes and other organs.
Calcium is huge when it comes to testosterone production, and testosterone is pretty damn major when it comes to hair growth, both beardwise and on your head. Calcium is also linked to hair loss, and a patchy, balding beard is never fun.
There's also a list of lesser compounds which are important to look out for. The majority of these contribute to testosterone, specifically dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, which is a specific contributor to hair growth in men. These compounds include...
- K vitamins
So apart from all of these vitamins, what should I look for when I'm buying these things?
Because there's a huge variety of products out there, the list of possible things you might want to consider is also pretty big. When you're buying a beard vitamin, look at the list below and decide how much each one matters to you.
- Individual vitamin dosages
Depending on your current case, you might want a different balance of vitamins than other gentlemen. For example, if you're of the vegetarian persuasion, then you're probably going to want a vitamin that's higher in iron to compensate. If you work outside, then vitamin D might not matter so much to you as you're likely to get enough from the sun. It's worth taking a minute and thinking about exactly what you want from your supplement before buying it.
- Natural ingredients
In our opinion, the best beard supplements are all natural. Our bodies are designed to run off of natural nutrients, and anything extra or artificial could affect us in ways that we might not want. If in doubt, play it safe and buy all natural.
- Cost effectiveness
Since beard products can sometimes be pricey, and we can't all be multimillionaires, it's worth looking at how many capsules and how long the product you're buying is going to last. However, don't ever be afraid to spend a little more on quality. After all, you get what you pay for right?
Can I not just take a multivitamin?
Because a multivalent contributes to overall health, and hair growth, strength and thickness is a function of being healthy and strong, then a multivitamin will help your beard grow a little bit.
But when you take a multivitamin, beard growth is just a secondary effect. Multivitamins don't tend to contain any of the compounds we talked about earlier, and even if they do, it's probably not going to be at the levels of concentration you need for maximum growth.
When we say beard growth vitamins, what we're talking about here are specific, targeted and effective beard growing formulas. Fertiliser for your face. By all means, take a multivitamin, or keep taking one if you're already doing so, but for the thickest, most lustrous man mane possible, you're going to need a specific beard growth vitamin.
My beard is patchy. Can beard vitamins fix that?
A lot of how your beard is going to look comes down to genetics. Genetics affect your hair follicles, hair density, even individual hair weight, all of which will change how your beard is going to look and feel.
On the upside, there are multiple ways to stimulate beard growth and fire up the parts of your face that aren't doing so hot, but they all include getting more beard stimulating vitamins and minerals into your body.
You can do this with diet, but the best and by far most efficient way is by spiking your vitamin levels with a good beard vitamin. It's going to deliver the most effective, concentrated dose of vitamins all at the perfect balance to kick start dormant hair follicles, thicken up lean hairs and fill in patchy beards, fast.
In our opinion, the single best thing you can do for a thin, patchy beard is to take a hit of beard vitamins. Try it. You'll thank us later.
You just mentioned diet? Can food play a part in how well my beard grows?
Hell yeah. Like we said at the start of the article, everything in our bodies requires the correct nutrients and compounds to function, and our beards are no exception.
If you aren't getting the right mix of vitamins from your diet, your body isn't going to get what it needs to create a thick and healthy beard. It's more than that, though. If you're malnourished, even just a little bit, then your body literally won't let you grow a beard.
Think about what happens to people who are ill, or getting major therapy that attacks their body. They start to lose their hair. There's a specific reason for this.
See, when your body doesn't have what it needs to work properly, it starts to break down non-essential parts of the body. Like hair. We don't technically need hair, and it's made from proteins and other nutrients that are really damn useful.
So when you don't have enough of this stuff, what do you think is the first to go?
Long story short, there are foods that are really good to eat when it comes to beard growth. The best ones are:
Eggs are great, as much as people wail and whine about fats and cholesterols. Screw that. A healthy dose of cholesterols, when taken on top of a balanced diet, is converted straight into testosterone. Eggs are also heavy on the biotin, as well as a bunch of other essential vitamins and minerals. Plus they taste amazing and can be eaten a million ways, with every meal. I know a guy who eats steak and eggs every day. He's massive, and his facial hair is epic. Coincidence?
Fish is good for you anyway, but tuna specifically has high levels of potassium, magnesium and B vitamins, all of which are awesome for a growing beard.
Another fish! Sardines are saturated with B12 vitamins, which is recommended for overall beard health, as well as being a great snack in general.
Rich in biotin! Which if you've been paying attention you'll know is number when it comes to beards! In fact, just a handful of raw peanuts contains pretty much your daily needs. So make like a monkey, and grab those nutcrackers.
Spinach is beast. You should be eating as much of it as you can pack down anyway, but the iron in spinach is great for blood flow, and the vitamins A, C and beta carotene are huge for follicle health.
- Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are really high in zinc, which is awesome for men anyway 'cause it stimulates testosterone growth, but zinc is also a major contributor when it comes to hair loss and thin hair, too. (Quick test. Look at your nails. See any white spots? Zinc deficiency.)
Cinnamon's packed full of antioxidants, which is great for blood flow in the face and stimulating follicle growth
Movember is coming and I'm panicking! What can I do to grow the fastest, thickest beard possible?
A'ight. We're going to lay it out for you clean, so pay attention.
- Step 1: Start up a good beard care routine. Your beard will love you for it. Not only will it help growth by stimulating the area, but a clean and happy beard looks so much better. And when you've got a length to be envied, that's grabbing everyone's attention, you're going to want it to look as good as possible. If you're unsure where to start, we've got an awesome, comprehensive guide on starting a beard care routine that you can find right here.
- Step 2: Eat a healthy, balanced diet rich in everything we've listed. You're going to want to be eating as well as possible, with a plate full of lean meats, leafy veg and fish.
- Step 3: Get a good night's sleep. Sleep is when our body regenerates itself, and it's when our hair grows the most. That means late nights and wild parties actually cut into your beard growing power. Try to get the recommended 8 hours of restful sleep a night. Your beard will thank you.
- Step 4: Take the best beard vitamin supplement you can get your hands on. Nothing else on Earth delivers the same intensity of beard positive vitamins and nutrients as a dedicated beard supplement, and personal studies have shown the efficacy of the things. It's literally a nitro boost for your beard.
Lets be honest, if you're a responsible beardsman, you're probably already doing steps one, two and three. If that's the case, then all you need to do is grab a beard vitamin and roll it into your regular supplement routine.
I'm so secure in my statement that if you haven't noticed the difference in just a few weeks, I'll eat my own beard.
What about that Rogaine stuff? Minoxidil? Can that fill in a patchy beard?
Short answer. It does.
Long answer. Minoxidil works by dilating the blood vessels to increase blood flow in the areas you apply it to. This means your blood delivers more nutrients to that area of the body, which in turn means there's more building blocks for your body to transform into cells.
That's why it increases hair growth and fights hair loss. A lot of hair loss, especially genetic hair loss, comes from low blood flow in these areas. So slapping it on your face will open up all the blood vessels and cause more and thicker hair to grow.
The downside. Minoxidil only works whilst you keep using it. As soon as you stop, the blood vessels shrink and everything goes back to how it was. If you're willing to go the rest of your life using a product on your face, then more power to you, man. If you aren't, then so it goes.
The choice is always up to you. If this is a sacrifice you're willing to make, it's no doubt incredibly effective.
Beard vitamins sound amazing? But what about the side effects? Am I going to end up with hairy palms or something?
The good thing about most vitamins is that, unless you completely go ridiculous with dosing, there aren't any bad side effects. The majority of vitamins used in beard supplements are water soluble, which means your body just passes out the excess whenever you pee.
What this does mean is that it's not worth taking more than the recommended amount, because anything extra will just be filtered straight out of your body and wasted.
So always stay within recommended dosage.
What about testosterone? I've heard that affects beard growth?
It does. And it plays a pretty damn big effect. Testosterone, especially DHT, one form of testosterone, is the specific hormone that controls how fast our hair grows, how thick it is and how healthy it is when it's grown.
On top of this, testosterone is one of the key hormones in the body that affects pretty much the entire running. We all know that test is the man hormone, and that a lack of it can have hugely debilitating effects on guys. Lack of testosterone literally makes you less manly. Lack of muscle mass, changes in personality, and problems with hair loss.
However, testosterone can sometimes cause hair loss, so bear in mind it's not a one stop cure all.
When it comes to beard growth, testosterone isn't something to worry about. The things that increase your testosterone will have a beneficial effect on your beard growth anyway, so just carry on doing what you're doing, follow our guide, and it all generally works out.
After all this, if you still want to increase your testosterone, there's a wealth of information out there. If you want a quick start guide, follow these three steps
- Exercise, specifically lifting weights, and follow it up with some good restful sleep
- Eat a healthy diet, high in proteins and good fats. Meat, fish and eggs are all great
- Minimise stress and get out in the sun. Stress kills testosterone, vitamin D helps it out
If you are worried about having low testosterone, then make sure you go to your doctor, as it's a problem that can easily be fixed with lifestyle changes, or possibly even testosterone therapy.
I know what I should do. Is there anything I shouldn't do?
There are. As many a man has grown his beard to heretofore unheard of lengths, they're found themselves slipping into bad habits, invariably without thinking about it.
The first of these is to touch and stroke it all the time. Now, I understand this one. After all, that's your pride and joy, and like anything else you love, you want to caress and fondle it every chance you have. It's completely natural. But the more you touch it, especially if you're one of these guys that likes to wind his fingers through his beard, the more you're contributing to hair weakness.
Keep at it and you'll notice more and more hair falling out, because you've weakened the foundations. Pretty soon if you keep it up, you'll be barer than a babies bottom.
The second problem is overwashing. Whilst this isn't quite so bad as tugging your hair out, when you wash your hair too much, or wash it with the wrong product, you're flushing all of the beneficial oils out of your beard. These oils naturally moisturise and protect your beard, so make sure that you only wash your beard a couple of times a week, with a quality beard shampoo or beard wash.
The last thing you might do is overcomb. Now, this isn't overcombing throughout the day. I'm not suggesting you walk around with a beard comb positioned in your jacket pocket like a jaunty little pocket square that you whip out every few minutes. Though that would be legitimately amazing.
I'm talking about overcombing when you comb your beard out after it's been washed, or first thing in the morning. Your beard knows what it wants. It knows where it needs to be. And you can't convince it in one night to lie flat if it's naturally wild.
Your beard is its own beast, and it needs taming. Coax it with the comb. Guide it, gently, like a horse you're trying to break in. This is your project. Your pride and joy. You've got the rest of your life to polish and perfect it. So relax, my man. You've already done the hard work. Just give it a few runs through and stride through life confident in the fact that you've already got a major advantage over all those poor beardless souls, even if your beard is a big ol' bush.
So where do I get this stuff?
Most large pharmacies will stock some sort of beard vitamin, even if it's just a man positive product. However, beard care products are still pretty niche and underground. Not everyone appreciates the appeal of a thick and lustrous mane, after all.
The single best place to grab any sort of beard products is online. The selection is going to be so much wider, you can check all the reviews to make sure that what you're buying is legit, and you can double back to knowledgeable sources (cough, Major Beard;) to see what the professionals think about what you're buying.
Honestly, out of every site, Amazon is usually the first port and call. It's immense, the selection is unparalleled, and anything you order can be on your doorstep the next morning in just a couple of clicks. All for less than you'd pay pretty much anywhere else.
So now you know all about beard vitamins and I'm sure you're itching to grab some. Remember, our number one pick is at the top of this review, but if you're looking for a more in depth look, click on our beard vitamin review below to get the full low down.