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What to Do About a Patchy Beard

Photo by Conor LaRocque

Many patchiness-related articles offer to “fix” your beard, as if the spotty state of your facial hair is a personal failing. But it’s not. Think of it instead as an opportunity to encourage beard development so that it can reach its full potential. Getting to that point can take a great deal of time and energy, but if you’re committed to your quest for a fuller-looking beard, we have some helpful strategies.


Cause & Disconnect 

What’s responsible for a patchy beard, anyway? Hair grows at different rates depending on the area (cheeks especially are often the no-man’s land of beard growth). The most important factor is the genetic hand you’ve been dealt. This may seem lousy at first, but you can still boast a respectable facial hair style if you play your cards right. You may not be able to will new hairs into existence, but you can strengthen the ones you currently have by adopting healthy habits.


This Just In 

Physical exercise is good for you. It generates blood flow and testosterone, which is connected to hair growth. Stay hydrated and think about your diet. Packing in the protein is recommended, as are Biotin-rich foods such as eggs, dairy and avocados.


Let It Grow 

An important step toward a better beard is to know what you’re working with. In order to do so, you have to grow it out. Give it a month and this will allow you to get a more accurate sense of which areas are truly patchy and which simply needed time to flourish. The waiting game requires patience and willpower, but if you become self-conscious about the scruffy unsightliness, try not to compare your own beard with others. If strangers or friends approach you and remark on the appearance, keep riding it out, it's your beard's best bet in the long-run.

If you can't stand the unruly hairs while growing it out, there are some items you can pick up that will help shape any beard. A beard brush, for one, lets you control hair direction and artfully fill in any gaps. Applying a beard oil will also give your beard “hold” and make it appear intentional instead of lazy or haphazard. Such solutions are not to be confused with beard growth oils (or supplements) which aren’t necessarily healthy -- It’s an unwarranted investment with dubious results.


Itches Get Stitches

You’re also bound to run into some itchiness during the growth period, in which case fight back with a beard balm. Beard lotions not only calm itchiness but also moisturize the underlying skin to cut out beardruff and have a healthy interaction with your beard.

whisker saucer


Shape Up 

If patchiness remains after the one-month mark, then it could be time to consider a bit of trimming and finesse. If your beard is scraggly at the edges, you can creatively shape along the jawline and cheeks so your look is clean and symmetrical. If patchy perpetrators are located in the meatier parts of the beard, consider shortening the entire beard to a happy medium between full-on and stubble-length. This will reduce the prominence of patchy parts.

This article was written and appeared on Grooming Lounge and our Founder, Mike Gilman, were quoted a lot, so we borrowed the article. Giving them credit -- hope it's OK.

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