Heal Your Patchy Beard


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    Of the over 1,000 comments this blog has, the #1 one I get is, “How do I fix a patchy beard”? Needless to say, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this one and have come up with a pretty good solution. In short:

    But before we get down to the nitty-gritty, let’s take a brief moment to understand why beards get patchy.

    Why is My Beard Patchy?

    Photo of a man with a patchy beard.
    Source: Dan Phiffer. Creative Commons License.

    Your beard is patchy because of your genetic makeup. Some men just have a harder time growing thick beards. You never see photos of Native Americans from the 1800s with beards, for the same reasons you rarely see ancient Chinese or Japanese art depicting men with full beards. (Aside from the stylish Fu Manchu, I’m sure). There is nothing unhealthy or bad about this, of course. That’s just the way some of us men were made, and we can thank our ancestors for that. For insight into why some races of men evolved beards, and others did not, see my article on why men have beards to begin with.

    A photo of native americans without beards.

    So, if you come from a lineage that does not grow thick beards, you will likely have a hard time growing them too. Sometimes men with genes that are beard-friendly also have a hard time growing beards. Sometimes men with thick beards will have one or two stubborn bald patches that just won’t grow.

    These issues are also due to genetics. All the follicles you will ever have on your face were given to you in the womb. You will never grow new beard follicles, as we learned in my recent interview with beard transplant specialist Dr. Alan Bauman. So, one explanation is that you have fewer hair follicles in your patchy places. The only way to get new hair to grow in them would be to get a beard transplant.

    Finally, your follicles may have failed to sprout, even if you have beard-friendly genes and an even follicle distribution. This could be due to many reasons:

    1. You could be too young. Beards start growing after men hit puberty. They start growing in thin around age 17, and get thicker in your 20s. You should have a nice thick beard by age 25, if you can grow one. If you are within that age range and you have a thin beard, or it is patchy, you may just need to grow into your beard.
    2. You could be unhealthy. Dr. Alan Bauman says that stress and an unhealthy diet can hinder strong beard growth. To grow an epic beard, you need to consume plenty of natural protein. If you are a vegan, vegetarian, or you eat poorly, then you may be short on protein.
    3. Your body may have damaged beard follicles, due to excess styling, weather damage, or low testosterone. If you think this is the case, consider taking a good testosterone booster supplement, or adopting a testosterone-friendly health regimen. A doctor can tell you if you have low testosterone (which is normal with age).

    The Vitamins

    If your beard doesn’t grow because you’re unhealthy, try taking beard growth vitamins. Here is the cocktail that works best:

    A photo of vitabeard beard vitamins

    • Beard growth multivitamin: This beard growth vitamin contains the minerals and protein necessary to kick-start your dormant beard follicles and produce new growth.

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    protien-supplement

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    A photo of Biotin.

    • Biotin: Biotin is a natural material our bodies use to make hair thick, strong, and vibrant. Taking biotin prevents split ends, brittle hair, and strengthens the roots. It can also jump-start your dormant follicles that have just failed to flip over into growth mode.

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    testosterone-for-beards

     

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    The Grooming

    If your beard is brittle and damaged, the only medicine is a quality beard conditioner that heals existing strands, and strengthens new strands as they form. The key is to find a conditioner that can be easily absorbed by your follicles and absorbed by living strands.

    Photo of the beard oil conditioning kit.

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    Photo of medium hold beard wax.

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    Beardsly Ultra Beard Conditioner

     

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    It’s also important to trim split-ends, as part of your morning grooming ritual. Split ends can grow until they shatter the hair. They can also slow beard growth, so nip them off when you catch them.

    The Growth Cream

    There are some who have healthy diets, are long past puberty, have excellent testosterone levels, have an impeccable morning grooming ritual, and still can’t grow a beard. If this describes you, then your only option (aside from a beard transplant) is to use a minoxidil cream to force your follicles to start growing. Minoxidil is a natural substance that forces your follicles to grow. If your follicles are dormant, but otherwise healthy, then it will cause them to burst forth with glorious new strands!

    The only drawback of taking minoxidil is that you have to use it forever. If you stop, your new beard hairs will eventually fall out and not grow back. (This doesn’t happen to beard hair that existed before you started the treatment, by the way).

    lipogaine

    One of the most popular brands for growing a beard on patchy bald spots is Lipogaine. It has over 400 positive reviews on amazon, and works for both head hair and beards.

    grow-a-beard-now-shopping-button

    The Beard Growth Shampoo

    Beard growth shampoo is a final tool in the bearded man’s arsenal to getting rid of a patchy beard. Beard growth shampoo thickens an existing beard by making beard hair healthier, thicker, and longer. It prevents existing hair from falling out prematurely, and helps hair grow faster and thicker by dissolving and sweeping away caked-up sebum from around the follicle.

    Niacin is one of the main ingredients in beard growth shampoo. It works by dilating the capillaries around hair follicles, allowing them to absorb more nutrients from the blood. When used hand-in-hand with a minoxidil treatment like Lipogaine, beard growth shampoo can fix a patchy beard and make your whole beard look thicker.

    See my article on beard growth shampoos for my selection of favorite shampoos.

    beard-growth-shampoo-volume

    The Pura d’or beard growth shampoo is the best-selling hair loss prevention product on Amazon, and is my favorite growth-boosting shampoo. It has retained this title since 2012. It has over 1,630 positive reviews. This shampoo, dubbed “brown & blue”, focuses on hair volume and sebum scrubbing. It is a thick shampoo that prevents further hair loss, and makes existing beards look thicker.

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    The Transplant

    Finally, if all else fails, you can get a beard transplant. It works by taking a healthy follicle, say, from your back or head, and moving it to your chin via surgery. The operation leaves no scars and has a quick recovery time, but at $10 per follicle transplant, it can get expensive. This is a good solution for men who have only small patches to fill, or men who are super rich. Read more about beard transplants in my article here.

    So there you have it gentlemen; everything you need to know about fixing your patchy beard. If you have any other questions, do ask me in the comments below.



    Fix Your Beard With These Top Items


    Fix Your Beard With These Top Items


    Fix Your Beard With These Top Items


    Fix Your Beard With These Top Items

    About the Author

    Brandon M. Dennis
    Greetings, fellow beardsmen! I'm a beard health expert and journalist working out of Seattle, Washington. I'm also an author, marketer, and story-teller. Read my swashbuckling fantasy sea adventure novel, The Tale of Cloran Hastings, and click my name to learn more about me. Enjoy the site!
    Brandon M. Dennis

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    Comments

    1. Mr. Dennis,
      I’ve found your site very informative and helpful while growing my first beard. That being said, and with all due respect, I have to disagree with your frequent advice about protein consumption.

      Most people with the time to access beard information via a computer have 1st world problems and incomes. While malnutrition may be a problem for first worlders, protein deficiency is extremely rare, even amongst vegetarian and vegans.

      Unlike carbohydrates and fats our bodies can not store protein. This means that whatever or bodies can’t use as it’s digested must be eliminated. Excess protein consumption results in urea, high nitrogen, and other by products that must pass out of our bodies, but first pass through the kidneys and liver. These organs, over the course of a life time, may not appreciate this extra work and revolt in the form of some disease, pain, or malfunction.

      For this reason I’d suggest that if you want to recommend protein you might want to suggest small frequent doses of it from healthy sources as opposed to infrequent (2-4x/day) high protein meals.

      Again, it’s very unlikely that anyone reading your blog, except maybe those with eating disorders, will be deficient in protein. The opposite is much more likely.

      I hope you can take this constructively. Thanks and keep up the great work.

      Horton

      • Thanks Horton, I appreciate your comments. I always suggest people go to their doctor before taking any vitamin or medication, including over-the-counter stuff, and that includes protein supplements. If a man has enough protein, then there is no need to eat any more.

        That said, I actually disagree with your assumption that first-world inhabitants have plenty of protein. I know friends who have diets low in protein, and whose doctors told them to take protein supplements. Men who live of fast food, doughnuts, and gas station snacks tend to eat lots of sugar, salt, and carbohydrate, but little protein. In fact, the whole health food industry had, until recently, recommended high carbohydrate, high natural sugar diets, with very little room left for protein in any form, but fish and chicken.

        Red meat, and healthy fats, are therefore missing in many men’s diets. Granted, if you eat a lot of hamburgers and hotdogs, or if you have a healthy steak or chicken breast for dinner every night, then you’re all set on protein. But if you don’t, then it can help your body–and your beard–to take protein supplements.

        • I have found that even though I am a meat and patato man with lots of protein. I do take in enough to keep my body up but not enough to do anything requiring extra protein. So there for trying to promote extra hair or muscle growth an increase in protein is necessary along with other foods and supplements that help your body brake it down and use it toward growth instead of passing through your body as waist.

    2. Mr Dennis,
      Not looking to argue about this but the vast majority of first worlders eat meat and or dairy which more than satisfies protein needs. This is no assumption.

      Almost all foods contain some protein, even the worst, and will combine with others to make a complete protein.

      The more recent fad diets I’ve heard of have been high protein/ no (low) carb. In fact I don’t know of many others since the Atkins diet… he died prematurely by the way. “Health food” advocates usually advocate “nutrient dense” foods in favor of carbohydrate dense foods.

      Men living on “gas station snacks” will be more likely to be lacking in most nutrients and vitamins… even the ones that consume adequate protein will likely lack nutrients vitamins and minerals.

      As to doctors recommending protein, what tests were done to determine a patient had inadequate protein in their diet? Do you know how much nutrition education the typical general practitioner receives during their long and arduous education? Next to none.

      • Dr. Atkins died, at the age of 72, after slipping on some ice and cracking his head open. At first glance, one might read your comment and conclude that you’re inferring that his death was somehow related to his advocacy of protein-rich diets. I’m sure you would agree with me that to do so would be irresponsible. Honest people don’t distort the truth in order to prove a point.

        Thanks for sharing your point of view. Let me share some other sources with my readers, so they can get a larger view of the issue to better make their own decisions.

        Protein activates hair follicle growth, inhibits fat growth, and protects against balding – The University Herald

        Wikipedia says that only extreme protein intake, in excess of 200 grams a day, can damage your body over time. The protein supplement I recommend here, beef gelatin capsules, only contains 550 milligrams or protein (which is .55 grams). A recommended serving is 4 capsules, making each serving only 2.2 grams or protein. Thus, it would take 400 capsules–or 2 bottles worth–each day to damage your body.

        Web MB recommends that adult men consume 56 grams of protein each day (or around 80 grams if you are an athlete or are dieting). Wikipedia demonstrates that vegetarians must eat much more than normal if they want to get enough protein.

        Let’s see how much food you’d have to eat to exceed 200 grams of protein and harm your body:

        -6.6 chicken breasts
        -9.5 T-bone steaks
        -8 big macs
        -22 servings of lasagna with meat sauce

        …and so on. You mentioned earlier that protein was found in almost every food. That’s very true, but there are some foods, like bananas and lettuce, that have so little protein that people who eat them often, or who are dieting using them, can easily not take in enough protein.

        It is very hard to “overdose” on protein and damage your body, and even harder to overdose using the protein supplements I recommend. While I agree with you that most first-world inhabitants eat enough protein, there are many people who don’t, for any number of reasons, and these people may want to grow beards too. The simple truth is that protein aids in beard hair growth, and so making sure you hit your daily recommended dose is important for growing beards.

        As I always say here, I suggest readers ask their doctors or nutritionists before they start taking any kind of supplements. That said, the likelihood of harming your body by taking the recommended dose of protein supplements is next to none.

    3. Hi,
      Great site! I love it. I’ve wanted to grow a beard for years, but up until recently (like in the last 6 months &I’m 31yrs old)I’ve always had extremely patchy growth over my face….. It’s thin in some spots but not patchy, my family has a history of baldness but it seems the more hair I loose on my head the more I grow on my face?. A mate of mine who’s always had similar growth to me tried it out and has managed to grow a fairly decent beard over roughly 6 weeks, so needless to say I’ve become inspired ha ha. Anyway, I’m rambling…. My question is, do some hair foil also take longer to sprout than others? I’m 2.5 weeks in and it seems as though I’m getting more and more sprouting through at different lengths? Is this normal? Should I expect more undergrowth?

      Thanks
      Nick?

      • Completely normal Nick. Every man’s beard hair grows at different speeds, and every follicle on your chin will also grow at different rates. Some hairs grow slow, others grow fast.

        It’s also normal to have a bald head and a full beard. The type of testosterone that kills head hair does not kill chin hair. If you want to make sure lack of testosterone is not the culprit, consider using a testosterone booster, or begin a testosterone-boosting health regimen.

        Keep at it mate!

        • Tim romero says:

          Hello beard master.
          I’m Tim. N like this fellow up here I read I have some similiar issues. I have a thin and I mean thin beard with my left side patchy. It’s frustrating since my right thin side has connected but still thin. My left side is not connected. I’m 30 and have a face of a 25 year old. I’m not complaining just when I get carded. Ugh! I just want it all to connect and look my age. What do you first recommend beard master. I’m looking at all your products and it’s a bit overwhelming where to start. I want something there. I’m not asking for the grizzly bear beard no offense. Just a strong connection thick all the way around.
          Help.

    4. Hi what kind of pill should I use for growing facial hair…in fact I have zero facial hair

    5. Hi, would you recommend me shaving before I start taking Vitaveard or do you think i should just keep my bad patchy beard and see if it fills it in? Thanks

    6. Patchybeardwoe says:

      Hey there. The strange thing with my beard is that it is patchy due to trimming. I used to try and trim it down to stubble length, but wherever I went too close in this effort, my hair does not grow back! This means it is patchy on my face but thick on my chin, with a nice square shaped bald patch on my neck in one place! No ones ever heard of this before, can you cast any light on thus?

    7. I’ve read that DHT actually promotes hair loss and beard GROWTH. And that is why our beards grow faster in the summer, because vitamin d causes an increase in testosterone. I’ve read this same statement from posts of random trainers to accredited doctors. What are your thoughts on this?

      P.S. And in regard to the protein debacle, yes protein is deficient in most vegans and vegetarians due to lack of essential amino acids that can only be found in animal fats. They must put together complimentary proteins e.i. beans and rice, in order to TRY to create the closest possible match, which is why the soy bean is so popular as it is the ONLY non animal that provides those kinds of aminos.

    8. Hey Brandon, great website. I have 2 questions. Ok, here it goes. I suffer from patchiness around my cheek area. I’m 25 years old and have been shaving for about 6 years. My neck, mustache and chin grow dense and fast but my cheek and sideburn area still haven’t caught up. There are several individual hairs here and there but that’s it. I don’t know what to do. I am currently on my first week of Minoxidil, treating the cheek area.

      My first question is, how long should I use Minoxidil to treat the cheek area? Second question, should I allow nature to run its course and let whatever hair I have grow out? I continuously monitor my growth but I’ve been discouraged with my current results. Thanks again for your time. Cheers.

      • Great questions. If you’re using minoxidil, then you’re already one step ahead of the game. You need to use it forever to enjoy the benefits. You can use beard growth vitamins as a great companion to the minoxidil.

        I have found that the longer you let your beard grow, the more it covers up patchy areas and the better it looks. Just put your razor and trimmer in a closet for a while and let your chin do its work.

        Happy bearding!

    9. Hey I’ve grown a full beard in the past that was thick and healthy and now when I try to grow it back out I have a big bald spot in the middle of my chin. Why do think it did that? Thanks

    10. So… Ive been growing my beard for about 3 years with a trim every few months or so (lady accepts the beard not the yeard) but… randomly i find some beard hairs falling out… are my hair follicles weak? or is it normal?

      P.S. Going to start making my own beard oils and balms thanks to this site!

    11. I keep my beard trimmed at anywhere from 5-7mm for work. I’ve got some light patching in my cheek area and one small patch one side of my jaw line. My beard is fairly thick by the sideburns, right-side jawline, chin and mustache, but the left-side jawline and both cheeks are very thin. Would applying Lipogaine and the beard shampoo be worth a try for the money seeing as I keep my beard so short? I already take a pretty good multi-vitamin for weigh lifting that has a lot of the properties of beard vitamins.

    12. Alex Mitchell says:

      Hello there. Love the article and site! I’m 18 and have been growing my beard for about 10 months, it is about 5 inches long and curly. Lately I’ve been getting dry skin and dandruff underneath my beard. I shampoo and condition it daily but the problem just started. I’m thinking it’s because of the cold weather drying my skin out. Is there any advice you can give me to eliminate this problem?
      Thanks

    13. John Schoolcraft says:

      Hello! I am 19 soon to be 20 and my beard is fairly even besides along the very middle of my chin where it is almost bare besides small hairs, I was wondering if this kind of thing is natural and if I should just wait till I’m closer to the 25 year old mark to worry. Would love to hear a reply, the article was very imformitive. :)

    14. Hey Brandon,

      I am considering to buy lipogaine as I got a patchy beard. However I live in Indonesia and I am going to buy the products from France.

      A single lipogaine product of 60 ml / 2 oz will cost me about 40 euros and I am considering to buy 3 of them.

      What would you consider the minimum quantity to have some ‘beard improvement’ ?

      Regards
      Joe

    15. Hey Brandon,

      I recently came across your site and have found it hugely useful and entertaining. You’ve inspired me to start making my own beard balm!

      This post particularly resonated with me because though my beard is naturally full, I’ve had temporary patches/holes during stressful times.

      Some background on my hair in general: my head hair has been going grey and balding since I was around 18 years old. But I’ve had a very thick beard since I was 16. I’ve always had complete coverage with no patches (I’m lucky, I know). I started noticing grey in my beard around age 21, something that apparently phases other people far more than it phases me (I quite like it). Currently, at 28, what’s left of my head hair is around 60% grey and my beard is around 50% grey.

      I’ve noticed that during the most stressful times in my life, huge holes in my beard developed along my jawbone (around 2cm in diameter), down to bare “clean-shaven” skin. This happened three times that I can remember, and always in one of two spots on my face. The holes never lasted more than a month, and filled themselves in without the help of any product. The interesting thing is that the holes have always permanently filled in with nearly pure white hair.

      My super-early onset of grey hair (which yes, now includes most of my body) probably makes my case somewhat unique, but it strikes me as more than a coincidence that the only times I’ve had holes in my beard were during periods of stress, and that they always filled in with totally white hair. Have you heard of anything like this before?

      Thanks again for the awesome site!

      • Yes, stress and big life changes can do that. My beard went gray when I changed careers and my wife gave birth to our second child–in the same month. Now I have a huge gray spot on my chin.

    16. Sonny St John says:

      Sonny

      Mr Dennis,
      I am 44 years old and have always had problems with my hit and miss beard. 4 years ago l was diagnosed with MS and understand that with time there is progressive nerve damage. I have tried for many years even before my diagnosis to grow a full crop with no success. Do you have any suggestions or ideas that may help with my lazy follicles? Thank you for you time.
      Sonny

    17. md mamun says:

      i am mamun my no have beard.somting have beard i need spots nanather side beard pls help me

    18. Hi, I can grow a beard, but its only on neck and under my chin. I cant get a moustache to grow or any hair on my cheeks. Will any of these products fix that?

    19. How would I know if I just don’t have hair follicles and would need a transplant?

      • A dermatologist can tell you. Or, take a look at your face with a magnifying glass (in a mirror). If you see small, thin, wispy hairs, then you do have follicles–they just have not blossomed into beard producing follicles yet.

    20. Hi Brandon,

      Nice website. When I started growing my beard, it had caused my some irritation by not being use to having facial hair before. when my beard had become long, due to my irritation I had pulled some hair follicles out from an area. I have noticed that this area doesn’t grow any hair since then (there has been no regrowth), this has caused a small patch which ruins the beard somewhat. Would using Lipogaine or another product you suggest help regrow these hair follicles?

      I would rather avoid a hair transplant if I can use chemicals to regrow hair, my hair regrows pretty quickly its just I think I pulled out the hair follicles in the area which means there is no growth. Also if I did use lipogaine (say if it did work, would I have to continue using it or if the hair regrows during the patch I don’t need to use it anymore)?

    21. Hey great site! I would just like to point out another possibility on having a patchy beard. My problem was chicken pox. When I was in the infant stage, the chicken pox on my face, especially around my mouth and chin scarred the area. Mixed with drool, as babies do, it wasn’t a great sight. The result is that I cannot grow hair, at all, on my chin or near the bottom of my bottom lip. And the stache is also very patchy. Just thought I should point that out. Thanks for all the advice.

    22. Hi great man . Really love this article . I’m 24 years old and still my face dont give a thick beard look . I just have very thin beard on my face and bit more on my mustache and below my chin . I recently founded a pachy beard on 2 spots on my cheek and right below the mustache end. My testrosterone levels are good and i do take good diet always .
      First question is at this age should i take lipogaine ? Is it a best thing to boost my focciles? As , i dont want to use it forever.
      Second , which is the best cure for me rather than beard transplant? (Bcoz , i have low hair growth on my body too) I really love to grow a thick beard all around. I always trim by beard every week even it grows a little bit to get thick beard . Please help me out . Thanks in advance

    23. Cole L Goble says:

      Mr.Dennis my Name is Cole and I am 16 I have been shaving since I was 12 or 13 and through those years growing a full beard is tough when you can’t get hair to go certain spot like below my upper lip the sides of my mouth and down the middle of my chin. I don’t know what to do my dad says to keep shaving it but it doesn’t grow. Could you possibly give me a suggestion

      Thank You

      Cole Goble

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