Why is my beard patchy? What causes patchy beard?
If that’s what you’re wondering, we’ll help you learn why.
Is this another how to grow a beard guide that blames your genetics and leaves you feeling doomed?
READ ALSO: Castor oil for beard
But this also ISN’T one of those articles that promise you majestic beard growth from some random beard oil either.
Boys go after six packs.
Men go after beards.
Legends go after both.
We’re just kidding, your health should be your number 1 priority, and that includes the desire to stay fit.
That said, we can’t sugarcoat the apparent fact that well-groomed beards are all the rage these days.
Well, long and luscious beards have been a symbol of beauty and masculinity since ancient times, but they seem to have gotten a sudden rise in popularity in the past decade or so.
Having a thick and finely groomed beard is given the same, if not, more important than having a muscular body.
It makes you feel and look manly and gives an instant boost to your self-esteem and confidence.
Women are easily attracted to men with a well-groomed beard.
Unfortunately, though, not all men can grow a beard (don’t get discouraged just yet).
We’re not talking about having some peach fuzz on the side of your cheeks; we’re talking about something like this:
Or even this:
Or how about this dude below, we highly doubt he’s ever used a beard oil or even heard of one.
Your genetics largely influences the length, thickness, and color of your beard hair just like how your hair color and eye color is.
So as much as you’re sick of hearing this everywhere on the beard planet, the truth is your beard hair growth is primarily connected to your genes.
So what, are you doomed with no beard because of your genetics?
Have you tried growing out your beard for at least six months – 1 year with the help of some of the tips and remedies from here or from anywhere reliable?
Then you still have a chance my friend.
You’re about to learn A-Z of everything you need to know about growing your beard from scratch and how to maintain it.
So sit back and take notes until you’re ready to get started with your beard growth journey.
Does shaving help your beard grow faster?
The most commonly asked question when it comes to beard growth: Does shaving help to grow a beard?
No matter how many articles and beard experts on YouTube tell you that it doesn’t, there’s that little rebel inside you that wants to disagree.
It’s completely understandable because your facial hair DOES appear thicker when it grows back right after shaving.
Three reasons why your beard might appear thicker or grow faster when you shave:
- The different stages of the hair growth cycle
Due to the different phases of hair growth (we’ll talk about that in a bit), your beard hair, just like your scalp hair, will hairs varying in lengths and thickness.
This is because the hairs in the shedding phase of the growth will weaken and shed at some point while the hairs at the growth phase will grow and appear fresh.
When you shave your beard, the hairs that pop out from your beard follicles will appear thicker at first because they’re all even and because the strands were chopped off from the middle of the hair shaft.
- Puberty and hormonal spike
Testosterone level is at its peak during and right after puberty, so when you shave during your young adulthood years, your beard appears to grow back faster because it’s already in the growing phase whether you shave or not.
This is why you’ll come across two types of shaving boys: Those who have some beard after shaving and those who hardly have any hairs even after shaving a gazillion times.
- Diagonal hair shaft after shaving
When you shave, you’re not getting rid of the hair from its follicle, and you’re only removing it from its shaft in a diagonal angle.
So when the hair continues to grow from the root, the diagonal shape of the hair shaft from shaving your beard will pop out first, resulting in your facial hair to appear thicker.
Bottom line: It is a delusion when you think about it or else there will be no bald men if hair grows back faster or thicker after shaving.
Most girls shave multiple times a week so can you imagine their state if this myth was true?
Moreover, a research paper by Maurer M et al. (2016) states that male skin tends to heal slower and to develop hyperinflammatory pigmentation.
It also talks about the consequences of shaving on male skin. Therefore if anything, shaving is more likely to damage the skin from your beard hair grows.
Why Is My Beard Patchy?: Beard Facts
Read this part if you’re really in the mood to learn some of the basic science behind beard growth if not just skip to the next part.
Androgens are the male sex hormones responsible for creating and maintaining your primary and secondary sexual characteristics (1).
Androgens cause all the changes you experience as a male after puberty and they’re also present in females, but usually at a lower level.
The three major androgens in males are:
- Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)
As far as hair growth and loss are concerned, DHT is the primary androgen we’re going to focus on.
DHT is a metabolite of testosterone. It’s more potent and binds strongly to the androgen receptors.
There’s a strong correlation between DHT and hair loss.
For instance, research reveals that eunuchoidal patients with the androgen-insensitivity syndrome and 5 alpha-reductase deficiency do not go bald because of the lack of DHT (2).
Enough with the androgens, how does this all link to beard growth?
You’re going to have a love and hate relationship with DHT after reading this:
Although DHT causes hair loss, it can help grow your beard.
It can sometimes stimulate beard growth and simultaneously speed up hair loss in some men (3), which explains why you see bald men with super thick and healthy beards.
So how exactly does DHT help grow your beard?
Dermal papillae are tiny connective organs located right beneath the epidermis (first layer of the skin), and it has two main roles (7):
- To connect the epidermis to the dermis.
- To provide oxygen and nutrients to the epidermis, including the hair follicles.
The volume and shape of dermal papillae play a vital role in the size and shape of your hairs.
5 alpha-reductase is the enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
This means that DHT strengthens the dermal papillae cells in your beard while simultaneously weakening the DP in your scalp.
The right at which it does this varies and largely depends on your genes, but DHT is pretty much why beard hair grows faster in men.
The frontal scalp hair is usually the first one that gets hit from DHT.
BOTTOMLINE: DHT, the potent metabolite of testosterone can help grow your beard and also simultaneously cause scalp hair loss in some men.
How to Grow a Beard: Step by Step
STEP 1: Exfoliate your beard skin.
You might end up neglecting the skin underneath your beard when you first start growing facial hair.
You’d scrub the skin above your cheek hairs, forehead, and everywhere else but the one that your beard is growing on.
If you don’t get into the habit of regularly exfoliating the skin underneath your beard hairs, the dead skin cells may end up building up over the beard hair follicles and result in damaged hair follicles, ingrown hairs, and dandruff.
The buildup of dead skin cells and dirt can also contribute to an itchy beard.
Gently brush your beard hair for a couple of minutes before getting into the shower. This will help bring any dead skin cells, dirt, and dandruff to the surface of your beard so you can easily wash it off.
Next, use a high-quality beard shampoo to wash your beard.
IMPORTANT: Wash your beard once or twice a week, not every day.
STEP 2: Moisturize.
If you don’t moisturize the skin underneath your beard, it will become dry and prone to dandruff.
It’s important to keep it hydrated to keep your beard hair follicles well nourished.
Beard oil is the best way to moisturize your beard hairs and the skin underneath.
What to do: Invest in a good quality beard oil like the Ranger’s organic beard oil. It has nothing too fancy and only 2 organic ingredients: Jojoba oil and Moroccan Argan oil. This beard oil is fragrance-free and vegan-friendly.
So buy a good quality beard oil and moisturize your beard with a couple drops every morning and night. It will nourish your beard hair follicles and prevent the beard skin from drying out and itching.
STEP 3: Take your vitamins.
Vitamins are not magic potions that make your beard hairs grow and we’d be lying if we ever said such thing.
However, some vitamins like Vitamin D, B12, Biotin, and Niacin have been proven to help with hair growth.
For instance, here’s a 2017 research paper evaluating the cases of 18 patients who used biotin for poor hair and nail growth (9). It states that all of them showed clinical improvement after receiving biotin.
What to do: Some vitamins have proven hair growth benefits and there’s no harm in adding them to your diet if you want to. Consider taking biotin and/or Vitamin D, and B12 supplements for their added health benefits.
STEP 4: Patience.
You may have been bored of hearing this one, but without patience, you will never be able to grow a thick and healthy beard.
Since beard growth relies mostly on your genetics, some people may grow a full beard within 6 months -1 year and others may need to give it a couple more years.
What to do: Take care of everything you can do to enhance your beard growth and be patient.
Wait at least 3-6 months before getting your first trim after attempting to grow your beard.
However, you can get your neck hairs shaved off so your beard grows nicely.
Why Is My Beard Patchy Guide FAQ
Can everyone grow a beard?
Unfortunately no. Some men might never grow a beard due to their lack of sensitivity to DHT- the hormone that plays a major part in inducing beard growth.
Also, as discussed earlier, your genetics play a huge impact on your beard growth. If your dad and granddad were able to grow a thick beard without the use of any fancy products then you most likely will too.
Some products can help enhance beard growth in their own ways, but even then it might not work for all.
Don’t give up before you try though.
And by trying, you really have to give the beard its own time to grow.
It may take weeks, months, or some years but it will come if you’re meant to have it.
How can a teenager grow facial hair faster?
Certainly not by shaving.
Understand that some teenagers and young men have low-zero facial hair until they reach their late 20s or 30s.
Beard growth advances with age but if you really want to do something about it, start taking good care of your skin.
Eat healthy food and take your vitamins. Cleanse your face daily with a mild cleanser and exfoliate once or twice a week.
Keep your face moisturized with a good moisturizer to suit your skin type.
What age does a full beard grow?
This again boils down to your genes.
Some men can grow a full-blown beard within a year and for others, it may take several years.
That said, if you leave it alone for a year and nurture your beard with some good beard oil and do your part to take care of it, you will be able to see how fast and how much your beard grows in a year.
You should be able to get a rough idea of your potential beard growth pattern by your late 20s or 30s.
Both younger and older men can grow long beards so age doesn’t really matter.
If anything, beard growth seems to get better as you grow older.
How do I soften my beard?
Avoid using hair shampoo on your beard and buy a good beard shampoo, comb, and beard balm.
Exfoliate your beard gently once or twice a week. Apply a good quality beard oil and beard balm every day.
Comb your beard using a beard brush or comb.
How fast does facial hair grow per day?
It varies from person to person but on average, it’s said to be about half an inch per month.
Is coconut oil good for your beard?
Yes, cold pressed coconut oil can help strengthen your beard hair follicles, making them softer and shiner.
What age do you start growing facial hair?
Normally a few years after puberty or adolescence.
How often do you wash your beard?
Wash it once or twice a week with beard shampoo and conditioner.
Do beards stop growing?
Your beard hair, like the hairs on your scalp, will go through a cycle of growing, falling off, and renewing so it will not stop growing. However, the length of your beard hair might stop after it has reached its ‘terminal length’.
Terminal length varies. You might only be able to grow a 5-inch beard even if you’ve been growing it for years whereas your friend might be able to grow an eight-inch beard within a year.
How long will it take me to grow a beard?
It may take anywhere between 3-6 months to 6 years or more to grow a full beard. It largely depends on your genetics although you can help speed up the process by taking good care of your beard.
What is the hair on your chin called?
The hair growing on your chin (not the cheeks) is called a goatee.
Can you use hair shampoo on your beard?
The hair on your head and face are different. Regular hair shampoo may be a bit too strong for your beard and strip away its moisture, contributing to dry beard hair and split ends.
Beard shampoo is gentle and doesn’t contain harsh chemicals so it’s much safer for your beard.
Why is my beard so dry?
Dead skin can sometimes get stuck between your beard hair follicles and contribute to dry beard hairs, dandruff, and ingrown hairs.
Gently exfoliate using a beard wash and apply beard oil and balm to soften it.
- Do testosterone levels affect beard growth?
DHT, the metabolite of Testosterone contributes to beard growth and it’s the same hormone that causes male pattern hair loss.
Do testosterone boosters help you grow a beard?
It may make some difference if you’re low on Testosterone, to begin with.
It’s not a magic beard growth booster. It’s more about how sensitive your beard hair follicles are to the DHT you have there.
Can you use Rogaine to grow a beard?
Rogaine, also known as Minoxidil has been proven to help grow hair in those who suffer from androgenic alopecia. However, you’ve to continue using it in order to maintain the results.
You may lose the hairs gained from Minoxidil after stopping the treatment.
You can take it for the first six months of your beard growth journey and continue with other products that help enhance beard growth such as beard oil.
How do I moisturize my skin under my beard?
Use a high-quality beard oil to moisturize your beard in the morning and night, every day.
How much does it cost to get a beard transplant?
Beard transplant procedure can cost up to $7000 or more.
Do beard implants work?
Yes, it works. You’ll have to sacrifice some of the hairs from your scalp for it but it works.
How much does a man’s beard grow in a month?
There’s no one size fits all answer for this question. It really depends on your genetics and how fast your beard decides to grow.
What are your best tips on how to grow a beard?
Share your wealth of knowledge with us in the comments below.