Working with a patchy beard

Beards, at times, can be frustrating. From the occasional itch, to bad beard days, to their tendency to save food for later, your beard always seems to have something up it's sleeve.

However, one of the biggest grievances that the beard community as a whole seems to deal with, is the dreaded beard patchiness. Each guy is different, but for those who feel that their beard is less-than-awesome, having that fact pointed out to them can be a touchy point. But; there are a few things to bear in mind the next time you feel like shaving it all off.

Types of Patchiness

If you were to ask me; there are essentially 3 types of patchy beards, each coming with it's own challenges and realities. The most common, and easiest to remedy, is what I'll call Early Patchiness. Most guys who are self conscious about patches in their beard have only been at it for a few weeks, and are under the assumption that a month after putting the razor down, their face will be graced with a full, luscious beard. 


But the reality is that beards grow in at their own pace, and if you can keep at it for a few more weeks, your beard will continue to fill in and develop. What looks like patchiness now may completely disappear in a few weeks. Also, keep in mind that you are most likely your own worst critic. The thin patches that you spend your morning agonizing over in the mirror may not even be noticeable to passers-by. More often than not, they notice the beard that is there, versus the beard that isn't.

Second, we have the Infinite Patchiness. This is more than likely a result of genetics, and if you've been at it for a few months, with no signs of your beard filling in, odds are that it won't, at least right at this moment. Age can play a big factor in this type of patchiness, so keep in mind that those stubborn patches that you have in your early 20's, could disappear in your 30's.

There are also a few things that you can do to help deal with Infinite Patchiness if you don't want to wait. Firstly, if you beard is longer, you can often style or brush your beard into place where the shorter parts are covered over by longer hairs. This works well if the patchiness is on your cheeks.

Another option would be to trim your beard closer, which can help to make patches less obvious and blend them with the rest of your face. Some people do experience some itchiness with a shorter beard, so products like Beard Oils can work wonders.


The final type of patchiness is probably just in your head, and has more to do with your expectations than with your actual beard. It's rare to have your beard grow in perfectly even from top to bottom, so having a bit of patience and accepting the uniqueness of your beard goes a long way.

Things you can do to help

First, the biggest part about working with a patchy beard is in your head. Don't sweat it too much - it's all a part of the experience. However, there are a few simple changes that you can make in your daily routine to help boost your beard.

Firstly, get enough sleep and eat well. For your body, a glorious beard is extra, cherry-on-top stuff.. If you don't take care of the basics, you're setting yourself up for failure. So eat a balanced diet, and get your 8 hours. This sets you up for growing a better beard more than most.

Also, adding weights to your workout routine, if you haven't already, is a great way to boost your testosterone naturally. Low rep, high weight exercises are best here.


Finally, having some examples of guys rocking patchy beards can also go a long way. Look at how guys like James Franco, Johnny Depp and Reanu Reeves work with their patchy facial hair. They always seem to make it work, and odds are, you can as well.


Products to fight patchiness

If you do a bit of research into patchiness (or any kind of baldness, really) there are plenty of products on the market to help out with the 'problem'. In the bearding community, the most common product that people use to help fight patchiness is Minoxodil.

Minodoxil is different than some products that actually affect the hormones involved with baldness, and works by increasing blood flow and nutrients to the hair follicles. The results can vary, but expect them to be fairly mild. A second thing to consider with drugs like Minodoxil is that they are usually not intended for use on the face. Your face has much higher blood flow than your scalp, which can cause the drug to be absorbed into the blood stream at a much higher rate than intended. This can lead to side affects like higher blood pressure, and hair growing where you don't want it.

My advice on treatments for hair growth, especially on your face, would be to consider it a last-resort type of remedy. There are plenty of actions that you can take that are side-effect free. Most of the ones that I mentioned above will actually benefit your overall. health.

Final thoughts

The biggest piece of advice that I can offer for patchiness, is not to sweat it more than it's worth. Each beard is going to be different, and the patchiness that you anguish over, probably isn't as big a deal as you think. Give you beard some time and space to grow, and more often that not, it will surprise you with how it grows and fills itself in. If you're impatient, take the time to make small changes to your lifestyle to help your beard along, and consider the side effects of drugs, should you choose to use them

If you have any tips or tricks that have worked for you, we'd love to hear about them in the comments below!



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