Many a man strives to grow a thick, luscious, lumberjack beard at some point in their life. Even men who typically prefer to rock a clean-shaven look can be motivated to grow out their scruff. Some of these men might start to grow a beard for the first time only to find, much to their dismay, that their hair has little patchy spots of uneven growth.
Not all men can grow thick, even facial hair on the first try. That patchy scruff can be a frustrating start when you’re trying to grow out a full beard. Fear not–this stage is short-lived, and you have options at your disposal if you want to move through the patchy phase at a bit higher of a pace.
What Causes Patchy Beards?
You may be comforted to know that your patchy beard has nothing to do with your personal hygiene or lifestyle. Uneven beard growth is usually a result of factors totally outside of your control.
Sometimes it’s just genetics. If none of the other men in your family has a beard, there may be a common reason that no one has opted to try to grow one yet. Your genetics determine the thickness and density of your facial hair, so if you have little uneven spots every time you try to grow a beard, then this is likely something you’ve inherited from your patriarchs.
Medical conditions, exacerbated by periods of stress, could be to blame. The most common example is alopecia barbae, an autoimmune disease that causes your body to attack your hair follicles and induce hair loss. This subset of alopecia is specific to your beard area and commonly manifests as small, circular patches of hair loss near the jawline. If you see these patches pop up in the regions that you’ve grown facial hair before, or if you start seeing more patches during periods of physical or emotional stress, you may be experiencing alopecia barbae.
You may simply need to give your beard more time to grow. It’s not uncommon for new facial hair growth to be patchy the first few times you try to grow it out. If you always shave your scruff right away because you’re frustrated by its uneven appearance, you’re probably not giving your hair the time it needs to grow in more densely. Those patchy areas may go away all on their own as your beard comes in.How Can I Fix My Patchy Beard?
If you’ve noticed that your attempts at growing facial hair are patchy and uneven, you probably want to blow through that phase of the growth process as fast as possible. Though there’s no such thing as an overnight fix, you do have a few options to speed through this rough patch.
Stick With Growing It Out
You’re likely to see some patchiness in the early stages of attempting to grow a beard so, before you try anything else, buckle down and stay the course. Your beard will likely fill out more as you give it more time to grow. But even if your patchy spots are here to stay, they’ll become less noticeable as you grow your hair out.
Even if you’d ideally like to keep your beard cropped shorter, growing it out for a while can help you to see which way the hair grows and which patches may be there to stay. Understanding how your beard grows can help you decide on the best way to trim and style it.
This can feel like a painful process, especially if you’re self-conscious of your patches, so try not to make it worse by comparing your new scruff to bushier beards that are already fully grown out. Those guys may very well have patchy spots that you can’t see underneath the longer layers of hair. So stick with it!
Keep Your Lines Clean
One of the reasons men feel self-conscious about having a patchy beard is that it can look unkempt and sloppy. Keeping the rest of your beard well-trimmed and cleaned up will make sure that you still look polished, even if your beard is a little patchy.
- Keep your sideburns trimmed and blended into the rest of your hair.
- Establish clear borders for your beard, especially at your cheeks but also at your jawline and lips.
- Trim and style your beard with a comb and beard oil to present a polished look.
These styling tips obviously won’t make your patches disappear altogether. But keeping the rest of your beard clean and trimmed will ensure that you still look put together even if your beard isn’t fully grown in.
Condition That Beard
Dry, wiry, wily facial hair can make any patchy spots you have stand out more by refusing to lie flat or style effectively. Using a beard oil or balm will keep the beard conditioned and clean from the ends down to the roots, softening your hair and making it easier to tame and style.
Heavier conditioning products with more holding power will also help you style your beard to hide any patchy spots you can’t grow out. As a bonus, many beard balms and oils contain natural ingredients like shea butter that will nourish your facial hair and keep it healthy and full while you wait out your patchy spots.
If you’re embarrassed by your patchy beard and looking for a way to fix it, remember that this is a common problem with a handful of easy solutions. With some patience, your hair is likely to grow fuller with time; if it doesn’t, you can simply style your beard to keep a polished style despite any patchiness you still have.
Taking care of your beard and styling it with care will help you fix those patches (even if not overnight) and adopt a much more holistic grooming routine.