Have you ever looked in the mirror and though your beard looked a little straggly or patchy? Perhaps the hair looks a little wispy or there are noticeable gaps in your thick, luscious hair? If this is the case, you want to know how to fix a patchy beard and that’s exactly what I explore below.
Join me as I delve into the nuances of beard growth and patchiness and look at why patchiness exists, if it can be fixed, and what you can do to grow out your thin follicles into a thick, masterful mane of manliness.
Patchy Beards: Understanding the Problem
Before looking at how to fix a patchy beard, you need to understand why this happens and there are a number of contributing factors to beard growth including:
- Insufficient growth time.
- Lifestyle choices.
- Hair health.
Like the hair on your head, facial hair growth is largely dictated by genetics. Take a look at your dad, can he grow a full and thick beard or has his beard always looked wispy and patchy? Chances are, that whichever it is, you will also take the same route.
Oftentimes, we simply aren’t giving our beards enough time to grow in properly! Don’t expect patchiness to grow out after a few weeks as in most instances, achieving a full beard takes longer than this. Exercise patience and wait for at least a month to see how your beard actually grows.
As you will see below, your lifestyle choices also impact hair health and hair growth and thus effect your ability to overcome patchiness.
Fix 1: Undertake a Proper Beard Care Routine
Hair health is key to growth and defeating patchiness and there are some simple things you can do to create a proper beard care routine. You have to be disciplined with it and I have integrated my beard care routine as part of my morning pre-breakfast ritual. This includes:
- Shampoo your beard using specialized products.
- Comb your beard to train its growth.
- Use beard oils for protection and to boost hair health.
When I’m in the shower, I wash my hair on alternate days and at the same time I was my facial hair. You can use standard shampoos, but you may also want to look for specialized beard shampoo as it can contain minerals and nutrients that help your skin and facial hair.
After drying off, I comb my beard in the style that I want as this helps train the growth direction and just makes your beard look neater. I then finish off with a spritz of aftershave and by massaging some beard oil into my facial hair. Beard oils help protect your hair and give it a boost of oils and nutrients to keep it healthy and encourage growth.
Fix 2: Sort Your Diet and Supplements for Beard Growth
Like the hair on our head, beard hair needs a balanced influx of minerals, vitamins, and nutrients to remain healthy and encourage growth. Therefore, having a balanced diet is one of the main factors when looking at how to fix a patchy beard. Do away with the takeaways and fast food and try to maintain a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables.
You can also consider a biotin supplement as part of your diet. Biotin is a thing our body forms naturally that helps with hair and fingernail growth and strength. You should get plenty of it naturally if you have a balanced diet, but there is no harm in keeping your biotin production topped up with supplements.
Fix 3: Take a Look at Your Lifestyle for Growth-Blocking Factors
Not only can we try and encourage beard growth to reduce patchiness, but we can also look at factors in our life that could be blocking growth and keeping our beards looking wispy.
A balanced, healthy lifestyle is key to hair growth and not only that, but you should feel better in yourself too. The following are some lifestyle factors to consider when looking at how to fix a patchy beard:
Have you ever heard of Telogen Effluvium? If not, you need too – this is a type of hair loss caused by stress and it could contribute to patchiness in your beard. In general, stress is not great for facial hair growth, and if you can’t seem to get rid of your wispy growth, maybe it’s time to take a look at your stress levels?
Take a look at your work, homelife, family life, and social life. Is any one of them particularly stressful and can you do anything to reduce those levels? Not only will stress reduction help with a patchy beard, but you will feel much better and relaxed in yourself.
Staying fit and healthy is great for your body in general and you will be able to tackle your day with renewed vigour. However, exercise can also help boost hair growth and cover patchiness.
A key factor in hair growth is our testosterone levels and things like weight training help boost these. Anything where you need to work multiple muscle groups like press ups, deadlifts, rows, and overhead presses can give you a nice test boost to help overcome a patchy beard.
I don’t want to be a party pooper and I believe everyone should have fun and enjoy themselves, but it’s a known fact that excess smoking and alcohol consumption can affect hair growth and quality. Both smoking and alcohol consumption can reduce blood flow to our hair which affects growth.
They can also cause facial hair to become brittle and dull so any existing patchiness will simply be amplified as your hair loses its lustre and thickness. If you are a heavy smoker and/or drinker, perhaps you could consider cutting back to improve your hair health and wellbeing?
Fix 4: Master the Art of Beard Styling
If you’ve done all of the above and still can’t seem to get an epic thick beard, perhaps it’s time to admit defeat and consider beard styling?
Mastering the art of beard styling can help mask patchiness, but you can also choose a different beard style that suits your facial structure and beard growing abilities better. The following are some popular beard types to consider:
- 5 o’clock shadow
- Full beard
The chinstrap is a reliable choice if you have patchy beard growth on your cheeks. This beard is typically cut slightly above the jawline in a neat line progressing across the bottom of your chin and joining to your sideburns. You can join this up with a goatee and moustache if you want.
If you struggle with patchy growth in multiple places, why not try the 5 o’clock shadow? This is essentially a stubble beard that is shaven incredibly close – i.e. to what you would look like at 5 o’clock in the morning without shaving!
The goatee is nice and simple – you have a moustache that joins down to a neat and tidy beard on your chin. This is great if you suffer from patchiness on your cheeks and jawline.
If you can grow beard hair thick and fast, the full beard becomes a viable option. This glorious mane of hair includes a full complement of cheek and jaw hair and you can grow it as long as you want.
I see many people simply letting their facial hair grow without any intervention of styling and this is a surefire way to keep your beard looking patchy. Oftentimes patchiness is worsened when facial hair is untrained and grows out at non-ideal angles.
You can overcome this using a beard comb and combing your beard downwards. By combing your beard daily and using things like beard oil, you can change the direction of growth and help mask patchiness.
Patience and Persistence is Key in Overcoming Beard Patchiness
When looking at how to fix a patchy beard I want you to also consider patience and the beard-growing process. I see many men expecting amazing results after only a few weeks or a month and this isn’t always the case.
The truth is patchiness may not fully disappear until two to three months of beard growth and it’s not until then that you can truly see the extent of your beard growing abilities. Having a proper beard care routine, improving your diet, and having a healthy lifestyle will help, but so will patience.
Let your beard grow, give it the minerals, nutrients, and care it needs, but also give it time. You may simply need a few extra weeks of growth for the patchiness to disappear or to have enough thick beard hair to style it appropriately.
Patchy Beard FAQs
Facial hair grows where it grows and there isn’t any way to change this. So, if you have better growth on one side of your face, this may always be the case. You can encourage beard growth though by having a balanced diet, maintaining a proper beard care regime, and having a healthy lifestyle.
Most people assume that their beard is fully grown after around 30 days which is false. You have to let your beard grow out for around 120 days to see the extent of the growth and whether the patchiness fades. A beard may start out patchy but grow in properly over time.
Biotin is one of the best-known beard growth supplements. This is a natural substance that our body produces and it helps to strengthen our fingernails and hair. Studies have shown that taking biotin supplements can imbibe beard growth which in turn can help reduce patchiness.
This depends on your genetics, ability to grow hair, and hair follicle placement. Some people naturally have a denser concentration of hair follicles on their face while others will never be able to grow a non-patchy beard. Diet, exercise, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help improve beard growth and reduce patchiness though.