Some of you are familiar with that pain of a patchy beard — those pesky bald spots in your facial hair. Growing a full and healthy beard is a lot more difficult than it looks. Fortunately, there are many beard growth products that can help with even the patchiest of beards.
Despite this, the fact remains that products alone are insufficient for quality facial hair growth. Any man looking for a good-looking scruff must be willing to adjust their lifestyle to keep their beards nice and healthy.
What Causes a Patchy Beard?
More often than not, patchy beards are the product of your genes. Genetics affects the color, length, and thickness of facial hair. Because of this, we owe it to our heritage for our overall ability (or inability) to grow a full beard.
Testosterone, a hormone associated with masculinity, plays a large part in facial hair growth. Hormonal imbalance, as well as insufficient levels of testosterone, is a huge factor when it comes to the patchiness of beards.
However, there are also certain conditions people can develop that lead to the patchiness of their beards. For instance, Alopecia Barbae is a health condition that causes patchy hair loss in your beard. It occurs when your autoimmune system mistakenly targets healthy cells in your body like hair follicles. The exact cause for alopecia barbae is unknown, though the condition is commonly attributed to high levels of stress, as well as one’s genetics.
Rounding out a patchy beard also requires time. On average, it takes someone two to four months to develop a full beard, and even then, a person’s age plays a huge factor. Men under the age of 25 have yet to reach their full beard-growing potential. A large majority of people begin to experience a spike in facial hair growth between the ages of 25 and 35.
With the causes of patchy facial hair identified and out of the way, let’s delve into the steps a man can take to either fix or prevent this patchiness entirely.
How to Fix Your Patchy Beard in 4 Steps
1. Adjust Your Lifestyle
Balanced diets, regular exercise, and consistent sleeping schedules all factor into healthy beard growth. Stress, a lack of exercise, and an unhealthy diet all contribute towards the trend of beard patchiness as they all tamper with the flow of nutrients throughout the body. Staying hydrated and getting enough rest also contributes to healthy blood flow.
One of the biggest killers of facial hair is actually salt. Salt is excreted from the body through our pores, and because of this, it usually emerges near hair follicles. This damages and kills beard hairs. Cutting down on salt can alleviate such complications.
As for food to look after, meals rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals are necessary for people looking to grow out their beards. Protein in particular plays a large part in the creation of testosterone. While exercise and good sleeping habits can boost testosterone, eating food provides your body with the building blocks it needs to put to use. With that said, it’s advisable to eat copious amounts of meat, dairy, and eggs to get the protein necessary for healthy facial hair.
However, if ever you’re unable to get enough nutrients from your day-to-day meals, then biotin supplements can come in handy. Biotin is one of the most effective vitamins in terms of keratin growth. These supplements can strengthen both hair and fingernails.
2. Buy a Derma Roller
Derma rollers are curious gadgets that contain hundreds of tiny needles designed to pierce the outer layers of skin on your face. Don’t be alarmed — the process isn’t anywhere near as painful as it sounds. Still, that doesn’t mean it’s entirely painless. Derma rollers trigger the production of collagen by puncturing the skin, stimulating facial hair growth by activating dormant hair follicles.
Collagen is a type of protein made up of amino acids, and this protein is used by hair follicle cells to produce keratin. The minor trauma to the skin inflicted by derma rollers helps with beard growth by boosting the flow of nutrient-rich blood to the parts of one’s face that have been needled. The circulation of blood plays a large role in improving the development and growth of facial hair. Applying the needles onto the bald spots of your facial hair should stimulate the hair follicles, and with enough time, your patchy beard will even itself out.
Caution is advised. Take note that derma rollers still pierce through the outer layers of skin. Improper use of derma rollers could lead to some redness and irritation. Applying too much force may cause some minor bleeding. Also, remember to wash your skin and your beard before using your derma roller to minimize the risk of infection.
Get a Beard Growth Kit on Amazon! The Raffin Beard Growth Kit comes with a derma roller and comb, along with beard oil, mustache balm, and a beard roller.
3. Resist the Urge to Shave
Men are often tempted to shave off all their facial hair if the beard turns out patchy. In truth, the last thing a patchy beard needs is shaving and trimming. Despite popular beliefs, shaving your beard doesn’t actually make it stronger, nor does it make it grow any faster. You’re better off growing it out — even if it means having to endure an ugly patchy beard for weeks or even months.
You must be patient if you want to fix a patchy beard. Even if parts of your beard never fully develop, it is possible to nurture the rest of your facial hair. The non-patchy areas will become fuller and thicker, and once they have grown enough, it is possible to comb and shape them in a way that covers up the patches and bald spots.
4. Use Beard Balms and Practice Good Skincare
More often than not, beard balms are packed with substances that lead to moist and healthy skin, both of which facilitate the growth and development of facial hair. Having moist skin is a huge factor in beard growth as the dryness could lead to itching, making beards rough and prickly. They can also make beards look thicker and healthier, not to mention significantly easier to style.
Through the use of beard balms, men can tame wilder scruffs while keeping their skin healthy and moist. And again, with the help of the added volume and some careful grooming, men can even style their beards in a way that covers up the patchy spots in their facial hair.
Of course, it’s important to exercise restraint. Applying too much beard balm comes at the risk of making a beard look greasy and wet. Similarly, it’s a good practice to keep your face clean. This can be achieved with the help of exfoliants and face wash. Dirt, oil, and dead skin cells can potentially clog up hair follicles which prevents beard growth or worse — cause ingrown hairs.
8 Tips for Growing the Perfect Scruff
At the end of the day, fixing patchy beards and encouraging healthy facial hair growth go hand in hand. There are many adjustments beard enthusiasts must make to their lifestyles in order to keep their scruff healthy and strong while maintaining that rugged look. Any beard, no matter how patchy, can be styled and maintained in a way that makes it look good.
Here’s some advice on how to grow out the perfect beard.
1. Sleep Well
An often-overlooked cause of poor beard growth, or growth in general, is poor sleeping habits. Sleep deprivation and inconsistent sleeping schedules lower the release of testosterone and Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body. These hormones directly affect the speed at which your beard grows.
You’ll have to give yourself at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night to increase both the quality of your facial hair and the speed at which it grows. If your body doesn’t have enough time to rest and recuperate after a long and stressful day, your beard will struggle to develop.
2. Avoid Stressing Yourself Out
The production of cortisol in the human body is affected by stress. The more stressed you are, the more cortisol you produce. Now you might be wondering: what exactly is cortisol?
Cortisol is a hormone directly attributed to the growth and development of the human body. Since stress produces cortisol, having too much of it could potentially reduce the levels of testosterone in the blood. This then weakens the immune system and stunts the body’s growth processes —beard growth included.
Increased levels of stress also hamper the distribution of nutrients throughout your body. A man’s beard growth can be directly impacted by this and struggle to develop as a result. In order to grow a healthy set of facial hair, people must avoid stressing themselves out through overworking or not getting enough rest.
3. Drink Lots of Water
Water helps push nutrients around the body, transporting oxygen through the blood to various cells and tissues — hair follicles included. It’s strongly recommended for men to drink 15 to 16 cups of water per day. Staying hydrated also keeps your skin moist, which in turn softens facial hair. Dry skin means rougher, pricklier beards which can make it more difficult to grow one out comfortably.
Drinking water also helps you fill your stomach, making you get full faster and eat less. This can help with weight loss, which in turn prevents obesity. Being overweight is another factor that can affect the growth of facial hair as obesity is linked to lower levels of testosterone production.
At the end of the day, hair follicles are a part of your body just like any other, which means they’ll need a steady supply of water and nutrients like everything else.
4. Take Care of Your Skin
Following the same principles as preventing patchy beards, maintaining a good skincare routine works wonders for encouraging beard growth. Moisturization in particular is necessary for people with acne or oily skin. This is where beard balms come in, often containing shea butter —a substance packed with vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin F — which moisturizes dry and damaged facial hair, as well as the skin beneath it.
Exfoliation is another necessary skincare technique when it comes to beard growth. The cleansing of dead skin cells, dirt, oil, and other gunk from the face prevents the development of ingrown hairs and acne.
5. Avoid Vices
Blood circulation helps distribute nutrients and encourage growth all throughout the body. As it so happens, smoking reduces blood circulation, which then decreases the capillary blood flow to the root of your beard hairs.
This doesn’t just slow the growth and development rate of your facial hair, but every part of the body. Similarly, the consumption of alcohol leads to dehydration, and dehydration also tampers with blood circulation.
The healthier you are and the more vices you avoid, the more likely it is you’ll develop a strong set of facial hair.
6. Use Supplements
Though it’s possible to get all the nutrients necessary for effective beard growth through a healthy balanced diet, there will be some cases where supplements could come in handy. Those with dietary restrictions, or those who don’t get enough nutrients from the food they eat on a day-to-day basis, will be able to get their fix of vitamins and minerals with the help of dietary supplements.
These nutrients are necessary for beard growth. Vitamins A, B5, C, and E all offer massive health benefits. Vitamin A increases the production of sebum for your skin, hydrating it to encourage hair growth. Vitamin B5, on the other hand, helps with metabolism by converting the food you eat into energy for growth.
Finally, both Vitamins C and E are effective antioxidants that ward off free radicals — unstable atoms in the body that damage cells. These free radicals can tamper with hair growth, making antioxidants crucial to those eager to grow their beard out.
There are also supplements for minerals like iron, magnesium, and potassium. Iron in particular is one of the most important minerals in terms of hair growth. Iron helps with the production of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen throughout the body. In fact, hair loss is a common symptom of iron deficiency which means healthy amounts of iron in the body is necessary for beard and hair growth.
Potassium and magnesium both promote hair growth by increasing DHT and testosterone within your body. These are both essential for the growth and maintenance of a thick and healthy beard.
7. Work Out
Testosterone plays a huge role in developing and growing facial hair. Exercises that revolve heavily around muscles such as weightlifting also have the ability to boost testosterone and DHT levels in the body, helping with beard growth immensely. The same applies to cardio exercises such as walking, jogging, and cycling. Unlike weight training, cardio exercises help with the circulation of blood throughout your body. This means that nutrient-rich blood flows more frequently to your face, nourishing hair follicles and encouraging them to grow.
It’s also possible to overwork yourself. Training too much or not giving yourself enough time to recover from a workout session means a dip in testosterone and DHT levels. This hampers the growth of not only your muscles but your facial hair as well.
8. Give it Time
Beard growth isn’t something that happens overnight. At the end of the day, beard growth is genetic, and the speed at which a person can develop a beard will vary from person to person. As mentioned previously, it takes someone on average two to four months to grow a full beard — and this is assuming they have the genes required to grow a full beard in the first place.
What Comes Next?
Ultimately, patching up a patchy beard is a process that takes time. It is only facilitated by following a healthy lifestyle, complete with regular exercise, a balanced diet, and a consistent sleep schedule. Fortunately, there are many products that can encourage beard growth and assist with the styling of patchy beards. Derma rollers and beard balms, for instance, stimulate the growth of facial hair.
Once your beard has fully developed, it’s time to style your beard in a way that suits you.