Every man goes through a patchy beard phase during the first 4 weeks of growth.
But, what happens if it’s not just a phase? What if you’re one of those guys whose beard stays with those weird, bald patches all over your face?
Finding beard patches and bald spots is one of the most demoralizing and disappointing feelings a man can have. It’s the no. 1 reason why most men give up, throw the glove in the ring and decide to just shave everything off.
Keep that razor away from your facial hair! We bring you proven methods to fix patchy beard growth in no time and grow a thick, full mane you’ve always wanted.
Table Of Contents
- Why Bald Spots In Beard Happen
- How to Deal With Bald Spots In Beard
Why Bald Spots In Beard Happen
There are so many things that may cause a patchy beard, some that can be fixed and others that you just have to live with like genetics. Some men tend to have more hair follicles than others.
Because of that, such men can grow dense as well as full beards without relying on beard growth regimes. If you have finer, thinner hair on top of your head, for instance, your beard will likely take the same route.
This is what genetics does and there is nothing you can do to correct that. Testosterone comes into play when it comes to beard growth and hair follicles tend to be sensitive to both hormone fluctuations and levels. If you have noticed that you have a thin beard and one growing in patches, you need to check with your doctor to rule out any medical conditions.
The most important thing you need to note however, is that just because your beard is thin, it doesn’t mean that you have low testosterone levels. Here are a few reasons why you may experience patchy facial hair growth;
The common belief in the past was that beard and hair growth genes were passed down from the side of the mother, but scientific proof says otherwise in that you can inherit these genes from either side.
If men from either your father or mother’s side can grow a thick beard, the chances are that you too can. If their beards grow in patches, then so will yours.
The thing about genetics is that it is very little you can do about it. If you have a beard that is light-colored or fine, patches on it will be more noticeable and in some cases, if the genes are that strong, those patches may never fill with hair.
When it comes to genetics, you need to know that you are not alone. The sensitivity of your hair follicles to the male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is what plays a role in the growth of facial hair.
If your body produces so much DHT, it tends to build up in the hair follicles, which stops your facial hair from growing the right way, leading to patchy parts.
Age plays a significant role in determining how thick of a beard you are going to have. Most men start developing facial hair when they hit puberty.
During that time, the beard tends to grow in patches because it is continuing to grow. If you just started growing your beard, whether, in your 20s or younger, the chances are that the hair will not be full and thick.
Giving it time to grow is the only thing that can help it grow well and the patches to fill up. If you keep shaving your beard when it starts growing, you are never going to achieve the desired thickness that you want.
In very rare cases, beard patchiness can be a result of underlying medical conditions like Alopecia Areata.
Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune condition that causes the body’s immune system to attack its own cells, in this case, hair follicles. When that happens, hair falls out, creating round patches that can either be noticeable or unnoticeable.
The condition mainly affects hair on the head, but it can affect any other area where hair grows, including eyebrows and the face. The condition can develop slowly and continue to recur years later between instances. It can also result in total hair loss, a condition called alopecia Universalis, preventing hair from ever growing back again.
If hair does grow back, it can fall out again, but this varies from one person to another. Currently, there is no cure for areata, but there are treatments that can help the hair to grow back and prevent future hair loss.
It’s only a very small percentage of the population who suffer from this condition and in some people, the condition can clear on its own.
Low Levels of Beard Growth Hormones
Facial hair is called androgenic hair, which simply means that the hair grows in response to the male hormones dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and testosterone.
If you have low levels of these hormones, then the chances are that you will not have a thick beard or it may grow in patches. On the other side, if the levels of testosterone and DHT are high, there is faster facial hair growth and not to mention, the beard tends to grow thicker.
Poor Sensitivity to Androgen Receptors
Genetics plays a very big role in determining the presence of androgen receptors in the body. Androgens are usually a group of hormones that include testosterone that regulates sexual development as well as the male secondary characteristics that are related to sex.
The popular belief has always been that testosterone alone is responsible for hair growth. Genetics is what determines how much testosterone you get to produce, but whether you grow any facial hair and how thick it is going to be is highly reliant on androgen receptors in the hair follicles.
The more androgen receptors you have, therefore; the more testosterone is deposited in the hair follicles, which stimulates growth.
With this in mind, you may have high levels of testosterone, but if there aren’t enough androgen receptors, all that testosterone is of no use, and facial hair growth becomes a problem.
At the same time, you may have the right amount of androgen receptors in the body, but if you have poor sensitivity to them due to your genetic makeup, facial hair growth tends to be patchy.
Lifestyle (Stress, Poor Diet, Lack of Exercise or Sleep)
A deficiency in minerals and vitamins, low sleep duration, poor sleep quality, stress, and absence of a balanced diet can wreck your hormone production.
In such a case, the endocrine system starts to shut down, and when that happens, the first things to go tend to be the two important reproductive hormones; DHT and testosterone, which happens to be the hormones that regulate beard growth as well as density.
How to Deal With Bald Spots In Beard
One of the most important things for men when they start growing a beard is instant gratification. Most men at this stage expect their beards to grow full and thick fast, but that is not always the case.
A majority of men tend to grow patchy beards that can be noticeable or unnoticeable but either way annoying. No man can grow a thick Viking beard overnight.
Beard growth takes time, dedication to the right grooming practices, and good genes. Fortunately, there are certain measures you can take to deal with a patchy beard.
The absolute best way to help you beard hair fill in is by leading a healthy lifestyle.
Jim White, a registered dietician and spokesman for the American Dietetic Association, explains that “The condition of your facial hair directly corresponds to the health of your body.”
He went on to explain that “the same nutrients that have a positive effect on our heart and other major organs also benefit our skin and hair.”
To keep your beard healthy, make sure you’re eating well and exercising daily. Maintaining your overall health helps increase your blood flow and testosterone.
Healthy levels of testosterone will encourage hair growth throughout your body, including your face, leading to a healthier beard. Ensure that you’re getting the right vitamins in your body to encourage healthy hair growth. Food that promotes beard growth is rich in:
Beards are made up of keratin, a kind of protein made up of amino acids. The human body cannot produce amino acids on its own and instead takes them from other animals and organisms rich in protein.
Without protein, your body doesn’t have the resources to make your beard at all. Eat fish, lean meats, poultry, and eggs.
Vitamin A and Beta A Carotene
These vitamins are for repairing skin tissue and allowing for better hair growth. These vitamins help men around the world grow beards faster. Eat egg yolks, carrots, kale, and spinach.
Vitamin C and E
They produce sebum, natural oil that moisturizes and lubricates hair to create a fuller thicker beard. Eat spinach, sunflower seeds, and citrus fruits.
Vitamins B6, B12 and Biotin Supplements
Promote new skin and hair growth and prevent hair loss from stress with these vitamins. Eat fish, eggs, poultry, and legumes.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These fatty acids promote overall hair growth and prevent hair from becoming dry and brittle. Eat walnuts, flaxseed oil, and fatty fish (like salmon). Regularly sleeping well and getting in your 8 hours of sleep will also encourage testosterone increases.
In fact, this article by the University of Chicago Medical Center found that sleeping less than 5 hours a night can lead to a 15% decrease in your testosterone levels.
Losing out as sleep can also increase a hormone that causes stress (cortisol) the next day, leading to damaged hair follicles.
There are a few more general lifestyle tips that can help you get your dream beard:
- Limit your alcohol intake. Sorry, gents, but getting drunk at the bar every night with coworkers is a quick way to stress out and dehydrate your entire body, including your facial hair.
- Drink lots of water every day. A hydrated body can send more moisture to help healthy and thick beard growth.
- Reduce stress. Stress can make your beard dry and thin. If you lead a stressful life, try to release your stress through exercising, yoga, or meditation.
- Be nice to your beard. Make sure you take care of the beard you do have. Keep your beard clean and moisturized with beard oil to support healthy hair that will appear lustrous and thick.
Keeping a healthy beard will prevent bald spots. If you find your beard itchy or full of beard dandruff, start taking these measures preventatively.
Beardoholic Premium Beard Oil has proven results in fighting all these beard problems effectively, in addition to making your facial hair healthier, stronger and fuller while fixing bald spots with ease.
Give It Time
Make sure you give your beard time to grow out. Not all of your hair grows at the same rate; your patchiness may be transient as parts of your beard may still be growing out.
If you can grow out the rest of your hair long and brush it well, the voluminous look of an otherwise healthy and full beard can cover up the patchy spots.
If you keep your beard short, the unkempt stubble style can disguise your patchy spots. If your patchy spots are just short rather than completely barren of hair, you can try to even it all out to the length your patchy spots are stubbornly stuck at.
Originally, Minoxidil was used in the treatment of high blood pressure. One of the side effects, however, of the drug was excessive hair growth in the early users.
In 1988, the FDA approved Minoxidil to be used as a hair growth product and was marketed under the brand name Rogaine. With time, it started being used to stimulate even beard growth. But how does Minoxidil work?
Simply put, the drug acts as a potassium channel opener that stimulates the circulation of blood in the hair follicles. This improved blood circulation is what causes hair to grow, which in turn enables nutrients and hormones to reach the roots of the hair.
Additionally, Minoxidil has been shown to stimulate the production of an enzyme known as prostaglandin through the immune system. Research has it that hair loss is a result of malfunctioning of the immune system. Minoxidil has also been proven to prolong the anagen hair growth phase.
While the debate still lingers about the effectiveness of Minoxidil to stimulate hair growth, a majority of men swear by its effectiveness, so it’s worth trying if your beard grows in patches.
Micro-needling is a technique that is commonly used to stimulate facial hair growth. It can also be used to remove fine lines, wrinkles, stretch marks, and for facial rejuvenation in women.
Additionally, it is used to reduce acne scars, alopecia, Rosacea, and, most importantly, hair loss. How does the technique work?
Derma rolling therapy works through the use of a derma roller device, which is typically a handheld device that has a cylindrical shaped roller that has tiny needles.
The device works by punching small micro scoping holes into the skin. This causes the body to think that there is an injury in that area and it sends hormones to repair the injury.
This stimulates repair pathways that help induce growth factors that end up stimulating the production of collagen and elastin. The process also helps to improve circulation that makes it easy for collagen, keratin, and elastin to get to the damaged areas.
Collagen and elastin are important components of facial hair. If the blood circulation is improved, there is natural beard growth.
Men who have used derma rolling therapy report that the treatment helps improve scalp as well as facial hair growth and some have even reported that the process is much more effective if you combine it with Minoxidil.
The main concern when using derma rollers is knowing what size of needles works best. Generally, the recommended needle size is 0.5mm. It is also important that you get a titanium derma roller rather than the stainless steel ones because titanium is much more durable.
Since the skin on the face is not as thick as in other areas of the body, a 0.5mm to 1mm microneedle will work. The length is enough to penetrate deep into your hair follicles, stimulating keratin and collagen production and improved blood circulation.
Dyeing the Beard
Darker beards tend to look much thicker even when you have a patchy beard. If you have a light beard, a quick beard filling solution will dye your beard a shade or two darker.
One other benefit that you will reap from coloring the beard is that the non-pigmented vellus hairs will get the color as well, which will make your beard look denser even if it’s patchy.
If you are considering dying your beard, go with a color that is as close to your natural hair color as possible and ensure that you experiment with temporary coloring first before moving on to future coloring to determine what works for you and what doesn’t.
One brand that you can use to experiment is Blackbeard original since the colors tend to be temporary lasting for about 12 to 24 hours and they come in a brush-in tube that makes it easy to control the depth of the color.
Trimming the Beard Evenly
If you have a patchy beard, trimming, and sculpting, it can make it appear fuller. What you need to do is to trim down the patchy sections into an even length, which makes the beard look cleaner as well as denser.
After that, follow that up by shaping the neckline into a sharp, clean angle, just a few inches below the jawline. This helps create a visual image of a less patchy beard since you will have more density on the neck.
This type of trimming is something that you can do at home without needing to visit a barbershop, but if you are not sure about it, just have a professional do it for you.
Any experienced barber will know how to make a patchy beard look fuller and when they are done, you can be trimming the edges to maintain the look.
If nothing seems to work for you, then you might want to consider beard implants. Implants work for men who have struggled to grow full and healthy beards all their life which has led to a spike in beard implants in recent years.
The most common method that is applied in beard implantation involves taking some hairs from the head – roots and everything and implanting them surgically on the bare patches. The procedure can take several hours but only requires local anesthesia.
After the procedure, the implanted hair tends to fall out in a few weeks but grows back stronger since the roots are developing.
The main advantage of a beard transplant is that you get to explain the kind of beard that you want, helping the surgeon implant it any way you want. On the downside, the procedure is very expensive and can cost you between $3,000 to $7,000.
Studies have it that a patchy beard can result from hormone deficiency and because of that hormone therapy is recommended, which is done through hormonal creams, pills as well as injections.
If it is determined that your hair roots are hormone-resistant, then your doctor can prescribe hormone treatments to enhance the effects that the hormones have on both the hair follicles and the roots.
Generally, hormone therapy is not as effective as a beard transplant and poses certain health risks that you need to be aware of before you go for the treatment.
Why do I have It?
First, if you have a patchy beard, you don’t have to beat yourself about it. There are a lot of factors that can lead to uneven beard growth. This could be something as simple as the food you are eating to hormonal imbalances and stress. There are fungal infections that have also been linked to hair loss, especially facial hair as well as autoimmune and dental conditions.
If your beard has always grown in patches, then your genes are to blame and there is nothing you can do about that. However, if your beard has suddenly moved from a nice dense, full beard to having patchy spots, then you want to have that checked out by a professional to rule out any underlying medical conditions that could graduate to more serious conditions.
How long does it take for a patchy beard to fill in?
After filling in patchy spots, your beard should begin taking shape in about four to six weeks, but this depends on the method you used to fill patchy spots. Peppermint oil, for instance, works faster than Minoxidil, so that’s something to consider.
However, at the end of the day, the patchy spots should become less noticeable and the beard will become softer as long as you continue conditioning it. In addition to proper care and maintenance routine, you can then incorporate basic grooming like brushing.
Also, clean the neckline, jawline, mustache, and the cheeks. If you are a beginner, you might want to have a professional do it considering that you have invested not only time but money to fill the patchy spots.
A trained stylist will know what to do and they will also show you how you can put those finishing touches on the look that you are going for. Don’t forget to ask your barber what you can do for the beard to continue growing in the right way, seeing that such a person will be in a better position to help you overcome some of the beard-growing problems that you may be experiencing.
Does shaving increase beard growth?
Shaving your beard does not, in any way, stimulate beard growth. Sometimes shaving can give that illusion that your hair is growing back at a faster rate since the new hair tends to be darker because it has not been exposed to the sun. The hair will also feel and appear sharper, making you think that that is a result of shaving.
Does Minoxidil really work for a patchy beard?
Yes. Minoxidil does help some people grow a thick beard and fill in a patchy beard. However, there are some people who have seen minimal results after using Minoxidil.
How to make the best of it?
If you have a patchy beard, it doesn’t mean that it has to stay like that forever. There are things you can do to improve the appearance of your patchy beard.
The first thing you can do is to let your beard grow freely. Most of us don’t give our beards the opportunity to flourish. After two weeks, when the patches become noticeable, we use the razor. If you don’t let your beard grow, you will always have a patchy beard.
The best thing to do is to let your beard grow freely for not less than a month. This will you’re your follicles the opportunity to spread.
Even a healthy and big beard can be ruined by a small patchy spot. Bald spots and patchiness in your beard are one of the ways your body tries to tell you to exercise more and cut back on the junk food.
Patchy areas can be a nuisance for anyone and you may want to shave the entire beard off in frustration.
There are so many things that cause patchy beards from genetics, autoimmune conditions, not having a healthy diet, not getting enough rest, to hormonal imbalances.
If your patchiness is as a result of genes, then you are better off owning it and taking measures like trimming the beard because other solutions like micro-needling will not work.
At the end of the day, if you have a patchy beard regardless of the cause, the best thing you can do is to accept yourself as you are and own it.