Many men and even barbers believe that shaving beard hair can help increase the rate of beard hair growth. But is it true?
Most people are stuck with a dilemma when it comes to their beard growth. There are lot many myths about when it comes to growing beard hair and taking care of it. This article will bust one of the popular myths- that shaving can increase beard growth.
What is Responsible for Beard Growth?
Beard grows differently for every male. The main determining factors for full and fast beard hair growth are genetics and hormones. Other than these, lifestyle and habits can also affect the growth of a beard.
The rate of beard growth is dependent upon the amount of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) hormone produced by the body upon the action of the enzyme alpha-5 reductase to convert testosterone into DHT. Thus, low levels of testosterone or DHT can significantly affect beard growth. Other than this hormone, genes also play an important role. Some genes may result in a patchy or sparse beard while some may make the person more prone to grow a fuller beard. 
Does Shaving Help In Growing A Beard Faster Than Before?
No. It is an entirely century-old myth, a misconception of lot many people that shaving can help quickly grow a beard even though a scientific study in 1928 completely debunked the myth that facial hair grows faster after shaving. Many people still reiterate it as a fact or even swear on it, unaware that it is very far from reality. This myth may have shown up from the fact that after shaving the beard hair, the regrown hair is usually different from the earlier usual pattern of hair growth.
So, in reality, when a beard is trimmed, it has a coarse and blunt tip. Initially, when there is regrowth of the beard, men notice a rough, thick base and not the thinner, softer part of beard hair which will later grow back if allowed. Furthermore, the new beard hair aftershave seems to be much darker than earlier. This is mainly because of the thickness of beard hair. It could even be due to not yet exposure of newly grown hair to the factors such as sunlight, air, water, soaps, shaving creams, etc. Men who are fair-skinned may notice a much darker shade of their new beard hair. This is all because of the contrast in skin and hair color of the person and has nothing to do with the shaving process. 
What are the Factors That Affect How Fast A Beard Grows?
Although shaving is not scientifically proven to help increase beard growth. One must be aware of the factors that affect the beard growth rate to choose ways that allow them to have faster, natural beard growth. These includes:
- Diet: Hair follicles are mostly composed of keratin protein. Thus adding protein sources to the daily diet can help men maintain a shiny beard that has grown back faster.
- Multivitamins: Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E help in beard growth. The most common vitamin that is known to increase the rate of beard growth is biotin (a B complex protein). Most beard supplements have this as their key ingredient.
- Type of Razor: The technique used by men to shave their beard can also affect the growth rate of the beard. Whether a person shaves daily or once a week is based on how low the beard is being cut. The overall growth of the beard is not affected. It has been noted that men who shave with a cartridge razor having a multi-blade design will have beards grow after long. This is because shaving with such a razor pulls the beard hair slightly up and cuts them. Whereas, shaving done with an electric razor does not give a close cut as other razors do. As a result, it may seem to most people that their beard hair is growing faster.
- Exercising: Regular exercises can improve blood circulation which could further have an impact on how fast or slow beard hair grows. 
Some Tips To Encourage Beard Growth Naturally And Faster
Those men who are seeking natural ways to grow their beard may have sacrificed their potential and amazing beard hair with the hope that shaving would help them grow their beard faster at some point in their lives. Well, not to blame them, this myth sounds so convincing that many men fall for it. But now as most men are aware of the facts of beard growth, let’s learn about some of the ways that can help men grow beards faster.
- Drink plenty of water– Water is essential for fuller and faster beard growth.
- Eat a healthy diet– A healthy and nutritious diet must incorporate appropriate vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, zinc, and beta-carotene to help the beard grow. Other than it must include iron-rich foods, healthy fats, lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
- Take supplements– A person may take multivitamin supplements containing iron and zinc too if their diet is lacking them to help in beard growth.
- Stop smoking– Smoking cigarettes can hamper blood circulation to hair follicles, thereby causing slower than normal beard growth.
- Keep beard hair clean– Wash the beard with a shampoo and conditioner to keep it dirt and oil-free and make the beard softer and healthier, which could help the beard grow faster.
- Clean and exfoliate face– Daily wash face with a gentle cleanser and exfoliate it once a week to avoid the build-up of dead skin cells that could plug hair follicles and impede beard growth.
- Manage stress– Men who take a lot of stress are not able to have smooth and good beard growth as their body starts producing a lot of cortisol that prevents beard growth. By regular exercising and taking proper sleep, men can manage their stress and at the same time allows the damaged cells to repair themselves and encourage beard growth. [1, 2, 3]