Most beards grow about half an inch per month, which means that the average beard can grow about 6 inches per year. Men begin to grow beards as they enter puberty, and their beards will continue to grow throughout their lives. Some men display full beards as young as 18 years old while many others struggle to grow a beard until their 30’s or later . Essential oils can help beard growth, but they are not a one-time solution. Various factors affect beard growth, including exercise, diet, hormones, and genetics .
When you exercise, the blood flow throughout your body improves. This can stimulate your beard’s hair follicles to help it grow. Cleansing and moisturizing your face and beard remove dead skin cells around the hair follicles, which can positively influence your beard’s appearance and may encourage growth. Different nutrients in your diet can also affect your beard’s growth rate. Zinc can increase testosterone levels, so including it in your diet may help promote beard growth. 
Although many men are able to manage their lifestyle habits, they may still struggle to produce a full beard due to their hormones and genetic inheritance. Testosterone is a hormone that controls facial hair growth, so a lower level of testosterone can negatively impact how your beard grows. Genetics are the largest factor to consider when looking at beard growth, and you can inherit genes from both your mother’s and father’s families. A doctor can sometimes treat low testosterone that is a result of your genetics. Ultimately, your genes determine how much facial hair you develop and how well your beard grows . If your genes and hormones are relatively normal for beard growth but you still notice your beard does not grow as well as you want, then essential oils may be able to help.
Essential oils can promote beard growth by nourishing the hair follicles and skin around your beard. Your beard can appear fuller if you use oils to keep it soft and moisturized . Some people have allergies or skin reactions to certain substances, so it is best to only use essential oils that you are not allergic to. You can also test different oils to find the best one for your beard and skin type.
How Do Beards Grow?
It is important to understand how beards grow in order to care for them properly. The hair on your face has a different texture than the hair on your head, so it needs oils to deeply penetrate the hair follicles. As your testosterone manages your body’s ability to grow facial hair, your beard hair cycles through three life stages. Parts of your beard will always be in one of these three stages.
The anagen phase is the growing phase of facial hair, and it controls the overall length of your beard. Beard hair that does not grow very long has a shorter anagen phase while longer beards have a longer anagen phase . The anagen phase varies from man to man and usually lasts about a month long. Genetics plays the most important role in determining its length. Aging also affects the anagen phase and your hair’s strength . It is important to nourish your beard as you grow older to keep it strong and healthy. Many beard products strive to promote the anagen phase in order to keep beard hair growing.
After the anagen phase, beard hair transitions through the catagen phase over the course of two to three weeks. During this phase, beard hair finishes growing. It reduces the number of nutrients it receives by stopping its blood supply .
The telogen phase is the last part of a hair’s life when it becomes inactive. This is when the beard hair rests and lasts about three months before a new hair follicle replaces it. A new hair will start its anagen phase and push out the hair in the telogen phase. 
Essential Oils to Help Beard Growth
Essential oils can help beards by providing nutrients to encourage hair follicle growth. Although there is not a lot of large-scale data on beard growth supplements, some small studies have shown hair growth improvement using essential oils. I have collected the best essential oils to help with beard growth below.
Peppermint oil is a great choice because it smells fresh and minty and can promote beard growth. The best kind of peppermint oil for beard growth is “Mentha Piperita.” A study on mice showed that peppermint oil can stimulate new hair follicle growth and increase the size and density of the hair. The peppermint oil in the study increased blood circulation and a hormone inside the hair follicles to promote growth . The effects on humans are not as well known, but peppermint essential oil is still a fantastic choice for beard growth since it can also heighten your alertness through its scent.
A different study involving mice revealed that lavender essential oil can increase the number of hair follicles while also deepening the follicle’s depth. The hair also thickened during that test , which means that lavender oil can potentially create new beard growth and increase the beard’s thickness. Lavender also has relaxation properties, which make it an excellent choice for beard oil.
Rosemary essential oil is popular for its medicinal properties, but a scientific study uncovered its possible use as a hair loss solution. This study looked at patients with androgenetic alopecia, which is a common form of hair loss that usually ends in M-shaped pattern baldness. During this trial study, scientists found that rosemary oil considerably increased the hair count of the patients after six months of use .
Carrier Oils to Help Beard Growth
Carrier oils are oils applied directly to your skin and commonly mixed with essential oils. Essential oils, like the ones mentioned above, can cause skin irritation because they are highly concentrated. Peppermint can even cause burns if you apply too much directly to your skin. Think about vanilla extract. You only use a little bit of the extract when cooking or baking because it is highly concentrated, and a small amount can go a long way. Essential oils are the same, so you need to dilute them with a carrier oil. The best carrier oils act as a vehicle for your essential oils while still providing a moisturizing base to keep your beard and skin healthy. I have found the best carrier oils to use with essential oils to help beard growth below.
You can use coconut oil on its own or as a carrier for the other essential oils. There is not much research supporting its ability to increase beard growth, but coconut oil is commonly used to soften and protect hair. When your beard and skin are clean and moisturized, your hair follicles are able to grow more evenly. Coconut essential oil can also moisturize your skin, heal irritated skin, and may decrease hair split ends . Ultimately, coconut oil is best as a beard carrier oil mixed with other essential oils to protect and hydrate your skin and beard.
Jojoba oil is another carrier oil that acts as a hair and skin moisturizer. Although research does not support jojoba oil as a stand-alone product to promote beard growth, it is a wonderful carrier oil to use alongside other essential oils. It may keep beard hair from breaking, which helps your beard stay strong and hearty, and it can heal dandruff and skin dryness  to provide a healthy canvas for your beard to grow on.
How to Use Essential Oils for a Beard
You need to dilute essential oils before applying them to your beard and skin, otherwise, they can cause serious skin irritation. You can use a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or jojoba oil, to dilute other essential oils so you can safely apply them to your beard. This is a wonderful way to experiment with different oils and find what works best for you, and you can customize the scent of your beard.
Most essential oils come with a dropper top, but if they do not, you can easily find one at any local store. It is best to use only one dropper per oil to reduce the chances of contaminating your oils.
Take a few drops of your chosen essential oil and mix it with your carrier oil. Consider how long and thick your beard is to determine how much beard oil you need to cover your entire beard. Once you have the right amount of beard oil, place a few drops in your hand and massage it into your beard. You can always apply more, so it is best to only use a little at a time.
You can use beard oil any time of the day, but it is usually most effective after you shower because your pores are open. After you have finished applying your beard oil, make sure to tightly close all the caps and clean any droppers that are not a part of the essential oil bottle. .
Your overall health, testosterone, and genetics affect your beard growth. Although your genetics are the largest factor in your beard’s ability to grow, essential oils can help keep your skin healthy to promote beard growth. Essential oils can moisturize your hair follicles and make your beard appear fuller. If you are looking for a way to amp up your beard’s volume, try some peppermint oil, lavender oil, or rosemary oil mixed into coconut oil or jojoba oil to create your own specialized beard oil.