While many of the factors that govern beard growth are completely beyond one's control, there are a variety of steps that one can take to try to grow a beard. One of the most important and most often overlooked aspects of encouraging beard growth is commitment — giving up too early is a very common source of failure when trying to grow a beard. Most of the other methods used to encourage beard growth are supported only by anecdotal evidence. Such methods include exercise, biotin supplements, and frequent shaving, though empirical support for these methods is largely nonexistent and even anecdotal accounts often conflict with each other.
The most important part of encouraging beard growth is commitment to growing a beard. There are many challenges on the path to growing a full beard, particularly for the first time, and giving up because of any of them will result in failure to grow a beard. Growing a beard can cause significant irritation and itchiness on the face, for example, but this passes over time, so perseverance is essential. During the first days or even weeks of growing a beard, one's facial hair may appear patchy and uneven, with hair growing thickly in some areas and not at all in others. Over time, as the facial hair grows in more densely, this should pass as well.
Another of the challenges to beard growth is predominantly social and can, again, be overcome through perseverance. People may frequently ask the individual attempting to grow a beard if he is, in fact, trying to grow a beard or if he forgot to shave. Others may insist that the beard grower looked better without a beard. The decision to grow a beard is personal and should not be greatly influenced by others, so it is best to ignore the naysayers. The best way to overcome all of these issues is to set a minimum time, perhaps two months, in which one does not shave at all for any reason.
There are a variety of other methods that might encourage beard growth. For example, some anecdotal evidence suggests biotin supplements taken daily may promote hair and nail growth. Frequent exercise might also promote beard growth because of increased blood flow through the body and because of an increase in testosterone levels. Many also claim that frequent shaving may encourage one's beard to grow, though no conclusive scientific evidence for this claim exists.