How to Fix a Patchy Beard | 5 Proven Ways
Want thicker, fuller facial hair? Of course you do.
We’ll give it to you straight – the natural fullness of your facial hair is determined almost entirely by two factors alone: your age and your genetics. According to Cleveland Clinic Dermatologist John Anthony, MD, a man’s facial hair can continue to gain in thickness and coarseness until the age of 30. If you’re under that age, it may just be a waiting game. Beyond waiting for your hair to fill in with time, facial hair’s color, density, and texture are largely determined genetically. While you may not have been gifted with naturally dense, luscious facial hair, you can absolutely maximize what you have, and we’ll tell you how.
Five Steps to Your Best Beard and Mustache
Give It a Grow
The first step towards growing great facial hair is to let it grow. We recommend aiming for one inch of growth so you can see your beard and mustache in their fullest states with enough length to style them. Since facial hair grows at a rate of 0.3 mm to 0.5 mm per day, growing your beard to a full inch long will likely take between two and three months. This stage is largely hands-off, but if you want to maximize your beard’s potential, a beard roller can be a great tool for promoting growth. Beard rollers are microneedling tools crafted for the contours of the jaw. Microneedling spurs hair growth by stimulating stem cells, activating important growth factors, and drawing greater amounts of blood to the surface of your skin, increasing the circulation of nutrients necessary for hair growth. Interested? The Activating Beard Roller in Supply’s Beard Growth Set is our top pick.
Shape It Up
Once your beard has grown long enough, it’s time to clean up the edges and create the frame of what you’ll be working with. Beard shape is a personal preference, but our suggestion is to define your neckline by keeping a close shave on the neck up to where it meets the base of your jaw. We also like the effect of added fullness that accompanies keeping the hair high along the cheeks while maintaining the definition of the line. This step can be accomplished with a traditional razor or a close-cutting trimmer – we like Supply’s Single Edge Pro razor. A safety razor with an adjustable dial, this tool is just as great for trimming away overgrown hairs as it is for getting a skin-close shave.
Clean and Prep
After the edges of your beard are defined, the next step is to give it a wash. Using a shampoo formulated specifically for beards is important because you don’t want to strip your facial hair of all its oils, leaving it dry, coarse, and prone to causing itchiness. Similarly, make sure you condition the hair after cleansing it to replenish any moisture that may have been depleted. Our favorite Beard Shampoo and Conditioner come from Blu Atlas. Gentle and loaded with hydrating oils, they’ll leave your hair soft, shiny, and free of frizz.
Style That Scruff
Like conditioning, beard and mustache styling products can leave your facial hair softer and smoother, but because you don’t immediately rinse them out, they give you more control of the hair. When your goal is the appearance of thicker, fuller hair, control over where those hairs are placed is key. Beard styling products come in a few different mediums, but the best are oils, balms, and gels.
Beard oils are best for softening hairs and adding shine, but they provide the least control for shaping. If your biggest beard concerns are eliminating itch and adding a sheen, we highly recommend the Blu Atlas Beard Oil as the final step in your beard routine.
Looking for a product to tame frizz and flyaways while keeping your hair supple and flexible? Supply’s Styling Beard Balm may be the one for you. It’ll give you much more hold than a beard oil while also providing much needed hydration to your hair.
Full, thick beards are incompatible with visible patchiness, so if you’re looking to maneuver your hair to cover and hide patches, you’ll need a product with maximum hold, and our Brow & Beard Gel Comb is the best you can buy. This strong-holding gel comes with a brush applicator designed to help you lock your hair into place right where you want it without leaving it feeling stiff or sticky.
Optimize Your Health
If you are in your mid-twenties or older and struggling to grow facial hair, it may be a good idea to speak with your doctor about checking your testosterone levels. Low testosterone can not only stunt hair growth but can also negatively impact other important bodily structures and processes like bone density, fertility, memory, and mental health. So, if you’re concerned about your testosterone levels, speak to your physician - it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Eating a diversified diet rich in vitamins and minerals can maximize your ability to grow a full, dense beard and mustache by preventing vitamin and mineral, protein, and caloric deficiencies that may contribute to hair loss and thinning. Hair loss spurred by deficiencies may be improved by supplementing the deficient property, but this should always be done under the care of an experienced physician, as over-supplementation of certain nutrients may cause even greater hair loss.
While stress may make you want to pull your hair out, it can also make it fall out or halt its growth. Studies indicate that stress can trigger neuroendocrine-immune changes that can dampen your immune system and prompt the body to stop hair growth. We know minimizing stress is easier said than done, but if you’re serious about growing the best beard you can, it could be worth a try.
Not everyone can be blessed with a beard like Dumbledore, but luckily, you don’t have to be. With the steps we laid out above, even a scraggly, patchy beard can be made to look its fullest and densest – it’s all about working with what you have and finding what works best for you.