If you’re like most men, you have probably spent considerable time imagining what you'd look like with a beard before you actually decided to grow one. But you can’t know what you don’t know, and you never know how a beard will grow until you try. In fact, the reality is that you could indeed grow that full beard that you’ve seen all over TV and social media; or you could experience patchiness on your growth journey – which is what we want to touch on today.
A beard can be patchy for many reasons, so understanding what’s behind your patchiness is critical to being able to do something about it. So, are you ready to dive in? Read on to discover why patchy beards occur in the first place and the steps you can take to best position yourself for ultimate beard growth.
Six Reasons Why Your Beard Is Patchy
Whether you've had a beard for a long time or are just experimenting with the style, a patchy beard can be frustrating. It’s even more frustrating when you don’t know the reason why your beard is patchy in the first place. Patchy beards are more common than you might think, and they happen for a variety of reasons:
- Your beard might have finished growing naturally. Similar to the hair on your head, your beard has a growth cycle of one to two to six years. Consequently, your hair will go through a specific stage of growth, rest at that length, and then fall out. The process then restarts. That is the course of nature, so don’t be alarmed if you fall into this category.
- You are grooming too aggressively. While combing or brushing, it can be tempting for some to try to re-shape their beard by pulling forcefully at the hair follicles. This can weaken or even rip out your facial hair. This is also true for men with neurotic tendencies of toying with their beards and, in particular, their mustaches. Pull too much, too often, and just like that – a patch appears!
- Your hair is responding to your diet. For the body to produce healthy hair, it needs specific vitamins and nutrients. Your beard relies on vitamin A, vitamin K2, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. B vitamins also have a crucial role in synthesizing collagen and carotene, among other things. Beta carotene promotes cell renewal, which can lessen the effects of hair thinning. It also encourages the formation and maintenance of your scalp's epidermis and hair follicles, the root of healthy hair. If you don't get the nutrients your hair requires, it will lose moisture and shine and can potentially cause a patchy beard.
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- Your hair is responding to your stress and lifestyle. Stress is one of the main factors affecting our body's overall health. Your patchy beard is no exception and can reflect poor mental and physical health caused by frequent over-stress. Your way of life may also play a significant role in the hair loss in your beard. Bad eating habits, such as consuming a lot of sodium, might also hinder beard growth and cause patchiness. This is also true for a lack of exercise. Your body produces more testosterone when you exercise, a hormone essential for promoting hair growth.
- Your testosterone level has decreased. Some potential causes of facial hair patchiness are a little beyond our control. A drop in testosterone, as an example, is one of these. Your testosterone levels start to decline as you age. Some men begin to decline more quickly than others, but most men’s testosterone levels start to decline gradually around the age of 25. This reduction can make your beard appear thinner and cause patchiness. A good diet, exercise, and reducing stress can all help the body produce more Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and testosterone, but in the end, if you're having more severe issues, you should see your doctor.
- You have alopecia areata (AA). If you start to grow entirely bald spots in your beard, you may have what is commonly called alopecia areata (or simply alopecia). Alopecia occurs when your immune system attacks your hair follicles. It can be brought on by genetics, severe stress, hormonal changes, or be a sign of aging. Alopecia is frequently thought to harm the head or the chest, but it also affects men's beards. The hair follicles are attacked by an inflammation of cells, which actually stops them from growing any hair at all. If you suspect you may have AA, you should visit your doctor.
10 Ways to Fix Your Patchy Beard; Position Yourself For Ultimate Beard Growth
Once you've discovered what may be at the root of your patchy beard problems, you can start to address how to overcome them. There may be a single solution that takes care of everything, or several working together to get the job done. Fixing a patchy beard takes time and patience, but selecting the methods that make the most sense for you will give you the best chance at growing a healthy beard that looks good, feels good, and turns the heads of all the right people.
1. Brush & Comb Your Beard
This may seem like a simple fix that’s too good to be true, but it actually works. Your beard will look and feel better after a good grooming session. Bald spots may also benefit from it. Invest in a beard brush if you’re going for a full-looking beard. Brushing your beard adds volume, and increased volume can make bald areas appear less noticeable.
Brushing your beard also promotes blood flow. Your blood flow is stimulated when you brush, encouraging new hair growth by triggering the hair follicles. Brushing your beard should be a regular part of your maintenance routine.
A word of caution – don’t overdo it! Brushing your beard too vigorously can make things worse rather than better. A light brushing is most effective. Also, keep in mind that you should only use a beard brush if there is enough hair to brush. You risk harming your chin and hair follicles if you use a brush on hair that is too short.
2. Use Beard Balm and Beard Oils
The best companion for a bearded man is a good beard oil. They are crucial in eradicating patchiness and uneven areas on your beard. Most beard oils, like our Zenore Beard Oil, contain essential oils that are also excellent for your skin.
You will recall that the hair follicle is where hair growth begins. Promoting that initial growth is crucial to treating a patchy beard. You must have a solid, healthy base before your beard can start to fill in. Beard oil boosts skin health and beard hair growth.
Beard oils that contain essential oils can make combing and brushing your beard more manageable, depending on the length of your beard. They provide anti-microbial qualities and aid in clearing your skin of microorganisms that can impede hair growth.
Don’t confuse beard oils with beard balms. They are very different. Beard balm is used to style your beard and keep the hairs in place. Patchy sections of your beard can be disguised by properly positioning it with beard balm.
3. Take Supplements & Vitamins For Hair Growth
Few studies focus exclusively on supplements and how they influence beard development. However, there are a ton of studies on the effects of supplements on general hair growth.
While we’ve already mentioned how genetics significantly influence the overall health of your hair, supplements may improve the process of hair growth. Many nutrients stimulate your hair follicles for hair growth, including Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, and Biotin. Additionally, hair growth supplements help maximize and extend the anagen phase of hair growth. This is the stage of hair growth when hair is actively growing. It lasts, on average, three to five years. Many over-the-counter hair supplements help hair growth during this phase.
Sebum also plays a crucial role in hair growth. Your body naturally produces this hydrating oil, and we all know how important hydration is to our skin and hair! If you ensure your diet contains adequate amounts of vitamins C and E, your body will produce enough sebum to promote hair growth and cover beard patches.
Beta Carotene and Vitamin A are also excellent for beard patches. They repair damaged skin tissue where patches have occurred, which is the first step in solving beard patchiness.
Omega-3 fatty acids also support the growth of your hair. They prevent your hair from becoming brittle and dry and ultimately stop it from drying or falling out. If you prefer your omega-3 fatty acids as real food, eat plenty of salmon, walnuts, and flaxseed oil. They are just a few of the foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids.
4. Consider Hormone Therapy
Your beard may be patchy as a result of hormone deficiencies. This kind of therapy can be administered through pills, injections, or lotions. Any such therapies must come at the recommendation and oversight of a doctor, so before choosing this path, you should conduct your own research. There may be potential side effects, as with any medical procedure.
5. Add A Holistic Approach
It takes time and persistence to treat a patchy beard problem, so incorporating a holistic approach to solving it makes a lot of sense. Keep in mind that a variety of factors, including genetics, food, and general health, can also lead to bald spots and patches in your beard. Exercising, maintaining a healthy diet, monitoring your stress levels, and getting plenty of rest will only add to your effort of getting rid of beard patchiness.
6. Grow That Beard Out!
If you haven’t tried simply stepping away from the razor for a while and letting nature take its beardy course, you may be missing the most straightforward cure for a patchy beard. Yes, there will be an awkward month or two where your beard will seem as if someone has taped on large sections of hair to your face, but it's a practical method to growing a thick beard.
7. Trim It Up
Even beard experts will tell you that some patches are acceptable, but the contrast can be lessened by trimming your beard. This is especially true if your patches fall in the middle of your cheek. To produce angles that flatter the face, shave to the level of gaps high on your cheek or low on your throat. The five o'clock shadow is the length you're aiming for. When your beard is neither too long nor too short, a balance can be reached that effectively hides your patches and makes your beard appear even fuller.
8. Take Advantage Of Sharp Edges
This method of beard shaving is all about creating contrast. If you let your sideburns and neckline grow out, you'll simply make those patchy spots look even more desolate. Cutting them back and giving them sharp edges is a much better approach.
To accomplish this, you must first cut the hair, then use a razor to trim the skin as high as your patchy fuzz will allow on your cheekbones and beneath your Adam's apple. In essence, it's a high-definition exercise that may give the appearance of a more angular bone structure.
9. Use The Magic of Make-Up
It's time to accept that some patchy beard fixes cannot be fixed using traditional methods, although one could easily argue that using makeup to improve your appearance is the oldest trick in the book. If nothing else seems to correct your beard patches, it's time to disguise them instead. You can use an eyebrow pencil to add shading or go over any minor gaps. Of course, you don't want to look like a clown or a mime, so be sure to get one that complements the color of your beard.
10. Go With The Flow By Choosing A Patchy Beard Style
If everything else fails, there are several alternatives for beard styles that accommodate spotty growth, so you can always try them out. One such example is the balbo, a style embraced by millionaire sex symbol and superhero, Iron Man. This three-element style avoids the regions typically affected by spotty growth. It includes a chinstrap, a soul patch, and a mustache.
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Patchy beard problems have been around since the beginning of beard time. While fixing a patchy beard can be frustrating, knowing the cause of your patchiness is the first step to addressing the problem. Remember that the fix that works for you may not necessarily be the perfect solution for someone else. But rest assured that, no matter your circumstances, a little knowledge can make even the roughest of beard problems disappear over time.