How to Fix a Patchy Beard (And Why It’s Like That in the First Place)

Alex Cutler

As you’ll know if you’ve read any other of our articles about patchy beards, you’re part of an elite crew. Members of this posse include Keanu Reeves, James Franco and yours truly - me. So, if you're trying to figure out how to fix a patchy beard, look no further.

Pull your coat on, jump in and for God’s sake, strap up - you’re about to find out.

Cause ‘n’ Effect

They say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The fact of the matter is that a patchy beard isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It certainly doesn’t mean that you don’t have healthy hair growth. But we get it - patchy beards can be frustrating.

As always at Mission Beard, step one to patching this problem up is getting the science. So without further ado, let’s learn about the reasons that your facial hair growth isn’t quite even.

There are lots of things which can cause a patchy or uneven beard. We’ve split the culprits into two groups - your genetics and hormones one one side, and your lifestyle on the other. Like the venn diagrams you learnt about at school though, there might be some crossover. Let’s see.

Biology 101

Like many matters of hair, your genetics can play a part. A lesser man might make a beard based pun about this being “hereditary” - hilarious. If you’ve clocked patchy beards on the other guys in your family then you’ve probably made this connection already. Don’t worry Sherlock - there’s still things you can do to help.

Hormones also tend to throw their cards into the ring when it comes to matters of hair. If you’re not a full-bearded Zeus, it could be down to your DHT testosterone levels.

Here’s the lowdown. DHT is the sex hormone that contributes to hair growth. It’s derived from testosterone, which means that dudes with more testosterone tend to end up with more DHT and better beards. If you’re more sensitive to these hormones, you’ll grow a beard earlier in your life. Having lower levels could be the reason for your patchy beard.

Story of your life

Finally, your health, hygiene and lifestyle could be affecting how evenly your beard hair grows across your face.

As your scruffy author already mentioned, there’s quite a bit of an overlap in the causes of patchiness. A lot of the time, making good lifestyle choices will improve your physiology - in turn giving you a better beard. For example, getting enough sleep will boost your testosterone levels, as most testosterone is produced during REM sleep.

Not getting your fill of vitamins (or indeed, not eating enough generally) can also be a stumbling block for your face-foliage, as can neglecting to care for your skin properly.

Even being stressed could affect how your beard grows. Which can become a bit of a catch 22 situation if having a patchy beard stresses you out.

You shouldn’t take a patchy beard personally. Quite the opposite bro - with a bit of work you can learn to rock that thing! However, whether your patchiness is due to nature or nurture, if you’re dead set on growing a fuller, thicker beard, these steps will help you out…

The Main Event: How to Fix a Patchy Beard

Okay - so we’ve learnt the causes of a patchy beard. Or skipped half of this blog and come straight here. No judgement if you skimmed over the science, boys. Let’s learn how to combat that patchiness.

Get your squat on

Sure, our testosterone levels and how sensitive we are to them are genetic. However, there are natural ways to boost your testosterone - which in turn boosts your DHT and helps you grow a full beard.

A medically proven way to do this naturally is to work out - specifically, resistance training like weightlifting will boost your testosterone. Disclaimer though: it isn’t guaranteed to turn you into a testosterone-fuelled macho man. Working out is most effective for those guys whose testosterone levels are naturally on the border between low and normal.

Weight-lifting and working out regularly has other effects as well. Hitting the gym will definitely help you sleep better, which is another effective way to boost testosterone. It’s also a stress relief, which certainly won’t do your cheek carpet any harm - stress can lead to hair loss.

Remember - behind every healthy beard is a healthy man. Literally and proverbially.

Care for your Beard

Proper beard grooming routines don’t just keep it looking good. Ohhhh no! Proper beard care will maximize the chances of you sprouting beard hair where currently there is none.

Blocked hair follicles can be a big part of the problem. If you have patches of thin, baby-like hair in your beard, using beard balm (and one of our recommended oils) to keep it hydrated and healthy is more likely to thicken it up than shaving it and starting again. Brushing your beard with a specific beard comb or brush will also remove dead skin.

Quick fact check for you: shaving your beard makes the hairs appear thicker when they grow back, but in fact it’s just because the ends are blunter. Try to embrace the no shave life instead!

If you’re suffering from bald spots and patches in your facial hair, stimulating growth is a different ball game - obviously beard oil alone won’t cut it! You’re better off checking out products known as derma rollers to help stimulate new growth by awakening dormant hair follicles and kick-starting collagen production.

Eat Right

A healthy diet will make a world of difference to any hair growth. Ideally, you’ll want to get your essential vits and mins from a balanced, varied diet. Here’s what ya need:

Vitamin A / Beta-carotene The crafty cat behind healthy skin, vitamin A is responsible for repairing skin tissue. You should want radiant skin anyway (you handsome thing) but it’s doubly important if you’re growing a beard. Chomping on some sweet potatoes, spinach and carrots will do the trick.
Vitamins C and E This little dudes are gold dust for your face - they produce sebum, which lubricates your facial skin and hair. Getting your fill of sunflower seeds, almonds or broccoli will sort you out.
Protein Essential for healthy hair growth of any kind. Chicken, fish, eggs, nuts… Bonus points if it helps your new workout routine we discussed, right?
Omega 3 Or more specifically, Omega 3 fatty acids. This nutrient will protect your cell membranes and boost your hair growth. It makes for stronger, less brittle hair - walnuts and salmon are both good sources. That alone isn’t a good meal plan though.

Let it Grow, Bro!

Ah, the Mission Beard mantra - how sweetly it rolls off the tongue! One way you could learn to love your patchy beard is by ditching the beard trimmer for a while and simply letting it grow out. There’s plenty of beard styles for guys with patchy growth, and plenty of dudes who rock them.

In our experience, the best way tools for fixing a patchy beard are time, hygiene and a healthy lifestyle. In the meantime, embrace the patch - find a style that suits you and just own it man!


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