You finally did it. You’re growing your beard out, and you’re excited to have that full, luscious mane of hair on your face. But when you look in the mirror, you see the scariest, most horrible sight imaginable. Your beard is patchy!
Ok, we might be exaggerating a little bit, but a lot of guys struggle with patchy beards, and it can be a source of self-conscious, frustrated feelings.
If you can relate at all, then we’re happy to tell you that help is at hand. Today, we’re going to teach you how to fix a patchy beard.
A few things to note about patchy beards
We’re going to talk about ideas and solutions to help you deal with a patchy beard in a minute. Before all of that, we need to get a few things out of the way.
First off, you shouldn’t feel weird or out of sorts if your beard has a patchy phase. That’s absolutely normal, and to prove it to you, we’re going to throw a beloved celebrity under the bus.
Have you ever seen some celebs? They can be attractive guys, but have you really paid attention to some of their beards? They’re patchy. Despite that, these it-guys rocks the beards. The point here is that patchiness in a beard is normal and nothing to worry about. Still, if you want to make your beard look as good as possible, we do have some useful tips.
How do you deal with patchiness?
Hopefully, you’re feeling less self-conscious about your beard. But either way, we promised to help you think about how to deal with patchiness, and we’re going to deliver. In the sections below, you’ll see specific tips that relate directly to growing or styling your beard in ways that avoid the worst kinds of patchiness.
Grow it long
The key to overcoming patchiness is patience. For the vast majority of beards, patchy spots will disappear when the beard is long enough. For the average guy, this can take up to 90 days of uninterrupted growth, so it’s not always a quick journey. But, growth is still the answer.
In fact, any time you see a guy who gives you beard envy, he is probably just someone who was patient through the patchy phase of his own beard. Very, very few guys can grow a lush beard from day one. Somewhere between the low shadow and the full mountain man, there was uneven growth. It’s just a part of human nature.
The thing is, what are you supposed to do about the patchy spots while you’re waiting for the beard to get longer? We don’t all have the raw good looks and charisma of Keanu Reeves, after all.
All of the tips below are intended to help you get your beard to a longer state so that it won’t remain patchy forever. Some help your beard grow faster. Others help you cover the patches. Ultimately, there’s really one goal here. Grow the beard enough so that the patchiness doesn’t matter.
Promote good health
If you’re healthier, your beard will grow faster and fuller. That’s pretty basic science. So, let’s look at the things you can directly control that will help beard health.
First, you want to work on diet and exercise. You don’t have to win a triathlon to grow a lush beard, but good general health goes a long way. If you exercise regularly, that’s good for testosterone production, which directly affects beard growth. Also, your beard needs nutrients, so eating a generic good diet with fruits and vegetables goes a long way.
There are also things you can do specifically to promote the health of your beard. For instance, you can wash it and condition it with specialized products. A good beard shampoo is going to be designed to help you clean foreign substances from your beard without stripping too much oil (stripping the oil too hard can embrittle the beard and slow growth). Meanwhile, a good conditioner can directly infuse nutrients into your face and beard, heavily supplementing the hard work of your good diet.
While you’re waiting for the patches to grow in (or for other areas to grow enough to cover the patches), you’ll want some options on how to keep from looking like a doofus. We got you.
It’s all about style, and you have so many options that we can’t consolidate them all into a single idea or small list.
The gist is that you want to play with your facial hair style until you find something that feels good. As the hair grows, you can transition the style and embrace your glorious beard as it starts to fill out properly.
Whatever style you pick, beard oil and beard balm are your friends. You can use either to help you style the beard, and the concept is simple. Brush or comb the beard regularly, and you’ll see exactly what you can and can’t cover and what your best options really are.
If you want to take a more advanced approach, then you can trim your hair according to the patchiness. The general rule is that patchy spots usually just grow slower than other spots. Assuming this is true, then you can trim the long hairs down to the slower growing hairs, and that keeps things consistent and attractive.
To do this, you’ll want to use the adjustments on your beard trimmer (have we plugged The Beard Hedger™ yet?). While the patchy spots are super low, trim your beard a little bit today. Trim it with a longer setting in a few days and so on so that you get more even growth in the early stages.
When your beard outgrows this method, switch to scissors. Comb your beard away from your face, and trim the long hairs so that they’re more in line with slower growth. You can keep doing this forever, and your beard will end up growing much more evenly.
Now, if you have some patches that just plain don’t grow facial hair, then you want to invert the approach. Grow the longer hair as fast as you can, and eventually, it will just cover up those patchy spots.
Work with healthcare experts
Lastly, we need to consider special cases that do arise. We already mentioned diet and exercise, but there are other things related to your health that can impact your beard, and these might push you in the direction of a doctor.
The first thing we want to mention is stress. Stress can really mess with the hormones that control hair growth. So, try to manage any stress that is weighing on you. You might even need to make some serious life changes in order to get your stress under control.
Now, you shouldn’t quit your job, move to a new country, assume a new name, and take up dog psychology, all to grow a fuller beard. But, you shouldn’t ignore stress either. Take the steps you need to get your stress under control for the sake of your heart and your loved ones. Once you do, your beard will probably look better as a side-effect, which is always nice.
Stress aside, something else to consider is skin conditions. There are too many to list them all, but among the most common are fungal infections. Fungal infections can seriously hamper beard growth, so if you notice unusual itchiness, discoloration, or burning sensations anywhere on your face, talk to your doctor about it. They might need to treat an infection, and that treatment could impact beard growth.
Lastly, we want to bring up hormones in general. While stress can impact your hormones, there are more direct illnesses and conditions that can do this too. Most notably, thyroid issues can throw your hormones all out of whack. In general, you should get blood work done at a physical every year, and your doctor can catch hormone issues as they emerge. If you’re a little behind on annual physicals or blood work, consider scheduling that checkup. It’s important for your health, and it could mess with your beard, too.
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