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Patchy Beard Causes, Signs, Treatment, and Prevention for Men

Many men struggle with facial hair. For some, uneven and patchy beard can cause significant self-esteem issues. Most men cannot grow a full beard, and some struggle to grow facial hair at all.

If this is a struggle for you, you are not alone.

What Is a Patchy Beard?

Man facing reflection in mirror while touching thin facial hair

A patchy beard is facial hair that has grown in uneven spots on the face. This is very common. There are many causes and potential solutions to help a beard grow.

Why Is My Beard Patchy?

Beards can be patchy for many reasons. Some of those reasons are genetics passed down from parents, the varying level of hormones in the body, a lack of a healthy lifestyle, stress, and missing vitamins crucial to hair growth.

Age

Most males begin to develop facial hair around age 13, depending on puberty. Commonly, men do not develop total beard growth until age 25-35, which is when patchy beards can be most prevalent.

Age is a very common factor when it comes to having a patchy beard. Older men tend to have lower testosterone levels and greater stress levels.

Genetics

Genetics plays a significant role in patchy facial hair. If your father or grandfather had a hard time growing beards or grew a patchy beard, then chances are you will too.

When genetics plays a factor in your patchy beard, you’re also likely to experience a lack of hair on your head or other body parts. If you think genetics are causing you beard patches and wish to see a doctor, be sure to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist.

Poor Diet

A poor diet can also cause patchy facial hair. Eating sodium-rich foods and lots of grains, rice, and corn can cause a patchy beard. These foods are also rich in salt and zinc.

A good solution is to drink water and eat more vitamin-rich and healthy foods such as a sweet potato or a bag of sunflower seeds.

Stress

Stressed man sitting at a computer with his head in his hands

Patchy beards can also be stress-related. Stress is never good for the body and plays an essential role in the strength of the hair on your beard.

High stress can induce Alopecia Aerata, when the immune system starts to attack the hair follicles, mainly on your head and face. This can cause premature bald spots and graying.

Reducing stress is a prime factor in strengthening your beard hair and preventing patchy growth.

Fungal Infection

A fungal infection could be the cause of a patchy beard. Fungi can cause “beard ringworm,” which causes beard growth to stunt and patchiness to occur.

Ring work on mans wrist agaist black background

Some causes of fungus in beards include shaving with a non-clean razor and re-using a non-clean towel or washcloth.

The treatment for fungus and beard ringworm is usually topical solutions. These topical solutions are antifungal creams. Two common antifungal creams are clotrimazole cream or 2% ketoconazole lotion.

To prevent fungal infections in beards, wash your beard with a beard or facial wash and water and use a clean razor.

Hormonal Imbalances

Patches on your beard can be widespread due to hormonal imbalances. These imbalances cause thinner spots and uneven growth. This is because testosterone levels are a primary factor in developing a full beard.

Hormonal imbalances are greatly affected by diet, lack of exercise, and stress. To help regulate hormones, make sure to eat a healthy diet, try doing cardio, and reduce stressors.

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia in a beard - bottom half of a mans face with a bald patch on his chin

Alopecia Areata is a stress-induced disorder that causes the immune system to attack the hair. This stunts and reduces hair growth, causing patchy areas within the beard.

Alopecia is one of the most common hair disorders affecting, on average, 7 million people a year. If you think you may have Alopecia Areata, visit a dermatologist as soon as possible and ask about treatments.

How to Fix a Patchy Beard

There are many different approaches to fixing a patchy beard. Approaching the issue with several solutions is most effective. A healthy lifestyle, diet, and a good beard care regimen are all crucial aspects of a comprehensive solution. Fixing a patchy beard will take a lot of time, effort, and rest to ensure a good quality beard with profound growth and shine.

Raise Testosterone Levels

You can try to boost testosterone levels to induce beard growth and achieve a fuller appearance. Do this by minimizing stress, taking the correct and specific vitamins, and getting high-quality sleep. All of these solutions are proven to help your beard grow.

Reduce Stress

You will also need to reduce stress levels to get a thicker and less patchy beard.

You can try following a healthy diet and doing more physical activity to reduce stress. Stress causes patchy beards inducing Alopecia Aerata and causing the hair follicles to attack your immune system.

To reduce stress, you can also try meditation. According to science, meditation has countless proven benefits for both the mind and the body. Another way to reduce stress is to find and minimize your stressors. Limiting your stressors will be highly beneficial in fixing your patchy beard.

Clean Up the Lines

Relaxed man lying back in a barber chair getting his beard lined up

Cleaning up the lines on your beard will produce a much fuller look. It will seem as though you have a luscious beard with thick non-patchy growth.

To clean up the lines of your beard means to take a straight razor and follow your cheekbone line or jawline to define the overall shape of your beard and determine where there are patches. The edges of your beard create a dense and thick look, reducing the look of patchiness on your beard.

Exercise

Exercise can promote the growth of your beard by increasing your testosterone and decreasing stress in just a few weeks. Weekly exercise will produce a fuller beard as long as you are capable of growing facial hair.

Some exercises include strength training and cardio. According to science, doing cardio and strength training spikes testosterone levels for up to a week after exercising, which will be beneficial to fixing your patchy beard and increasing growth.

Improve Sleep

Top view of a sleeping man laying in a bed with dark blue sheets and blanket

Improving your sleep can balance your testosterone levels and, with luck, make beard growth much easier to obtain. Getting enough rest each night will be beneficial to not only your mind but your body and hair.

Getting plenty of rest should be one of your first steps when growing a beard. 7-8 hours of sleep is average required to experience benefits.

Keep Your Beard Stubbly

To keep your beard stubbly, you must shave every few weeks and apply beard oils to ensure beard growth and a thicker-looking beard. Your beard hairs will produce natural oils just in case you do not have access to facial oil.

Diet

seemingly happy man holding bowl of salad and smiling at the camera against a brick room background

Diet dramatically influences all aspects of life, including hair growth. A healthy and balanced diet should be a top priority when attempting to grow thick facial hair or reduce patches. There are many great additions to your diet that can help. 

Alfalfa sprouts

Alfalfa sprouts can spike testosterone levels in the body to promote growth and strengthen beard hair. If you want to try alfalfa sprouts, you can soak them overnight in fresh water and eat them in the morning with your breakfast or at lunch.

Broccoli

Broccoli is excellent for beard growth and the skin underneath the beard because it is rich in vitamins. Up to one cup of broccoli a day is all the vitamin C you need, which is suitable for the patches on your beard and growth. 

Broccoli also adds calcium to your diet, which is proven to strengthen the follicles of your hair and bestow a shine upon your beard.

Coffee

joyful man holding a cup of coffee in one hand and a book in the other against a dark black/gray background

Coffee can increase testosterone and kickstart your facial follicles to ensure non-patchy beards and thick hair. Drinking coffee is sometimes a cause of boosted energy and an elevation in mood. Coffee also contains highly effective benefits and provides many nutrients to your diet.

You can also use the grounds topically. If you choose to use coffee topically, put it on your beard and leave it on overnight. In just 24 hours, you may notice a newfound shine.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is potent in vitamin E, which stimulates your beard to grow and acts as beard oil. A quality olive oil can be ingested but is most beneficial when applied topically. It has fantastic benefits while being used in both ways. It can also act as oil for all hair on the body, including head hair.

Pomegranate Juice

Pomegranate juice acts as a thickening serum for beard hair and reduces the chances of patches on your beard. According to a study, drinking 1-2 cups of pomegranate juice daily will significantly affect your beard’s growth and allow your beard time to develop more fully.

For anyone with patchy beards, pomegranate juice is a healthy fix.

Patchy Beard Styles

Side profile of a man using an electric razor on his beard

You can also choose to style your beard in a way that minimizes the appearance of patches.

The Chin Strap

The Chin Strap is a patchy beard style that was very popular in the early 2000s. The patches of beard hair follow around the jawline connecting at the chin, forming a goatee.

The Goatee

The goatee is a well-known style of beard, primarily used to hide patches and make them not noticeable. It was an effortless style for men who wanted to grow beards quickly but had patchy beards.

The 5 O’Clock Shadow

Man looking directly while shaving face with electric razor

The 5 o’clock Shadow is a beard that requires a shave. This style leads all around the face with short stubble and clean lines. If the patches are too noticeable, you can always fill the bald spots in with an eyebrow pencil.

Beard Products for Fixing Patchy Beard

Countless products on the market claim to promote growth and fix patchy beards. When choosing a product, read the reviews, check the ingredients, and research the product well beforehand.

Patchy beard growth may also cause dry skin, an important consideration when choosing skincare options. Skin that becomes dry can build up dead skin cells underneath your beard, worsening the problem and potentially causing acne. To reduce dry skin or dead skin cells under your beard, try including specific vitamins such as vitamin c and vitamin d in your diet.

Beard and Face Wash

Beard and face washes are essential when having a beard. A quality beard and face wash will prevent fungal infections and prevent pimples and boils. Key ingredients include castor oil and salicylic acid. Castor oil is vital for moisturization. Salicylic acid proves profound cleansing benefits.

Topicals Creams

Topical creams are popular in the beard community. Studies have shown that they help improve hair elasticity, allowing your beard hair to resist stretching and tension.

Beard Oil

side profile of a mans face while dripping beard oil into his facial hair

To fix a patchy beard, you can use either beard balm, beard oils, or a combination to produce hair growth on the patchy spots of the beard. Your hair type also affects the kinds of oil you need to use.

You should apply your beard oil after every wash to ensure moisturization, shine, and growth.

Beard Brush

A beard brush is essential in keeping a neat-looking beard. Just as you brush the hair on your head, you will need to brush the hair on your beard. Beard brushes also help keep the beard thick and clean, and you will surely notice a big difference after purchasing one.

There are hard and soft-bristled brushes. Soft-bristled brushes are recommended for anyone with sensitive skin and a thin beard. A hard bristle brush is recommended for more experienced and thicker beards.

a mans partial face from nose to chin with hand holding thick beard against black background

Overall, there are many ways you can help your beard grow. Some practices that can potentially reduce the beard’s patchiness include oiling the skin underneath the beard, which can stimulate hair growth. Many alternative beard styles work great for men who experience uneven beard growth. A vitamin-rich, well-rounded diet, including white meat, could prove beneficial.

Beard patches are common, occurring on over 7 million people. One important thing when having beard patches is seeing a dermatologist for treatments. There are various causes of beard patches but many solutions for all people.

Beard care is one of the most important things you can do for your beard. Always make sure to wash your beard and make sure to use oils and creams to guarantee no beard patchiness.

Patchy Beard FAQ

What Helps With Facial Hair Growth?

To help facial hair grow and reduce patches, you will need to exercise, eat healthier, and get better sleep. Patchiness in beards is never good but has so many fixes. To grow facial hair in all areas of your face, be sure to eat a proper and healthy diet that includes all essential vitamins and minerals.

Why Won’t My Facial Hair Grow?

Your facial hair might not be growing due to a lack of blood flow or specific vitamins in your diet. You can exercise or use a derma roller to strengthen blood flow and circulation. Derma rollers strengthen the follicles in the beard and produce beard hair.

Beard growth is ultimately up to your genetics. It is a good idea to have a discussion with your doctor about not being able to grow a beard and come up with solutions that would be best for you and your beard.

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