How to Fix a Patchy Beard

So you’ve decided to grow a beard! After seeing other men proudly displaying their dense, majestic beards, you’re looking forward to getting yours. But instead of getting a lion’s mane of facial hair, your beard grows in all…patchy. What’s a fellow to do in this case?

Grow it or stubble it.

These may be your two simplest options. According to GQ, sometimes, beards just need a little time to grow out properly. And if that doesn’t work, you may want to consider keeping it trimmed to a stubble. The advantage of rocking a stubble is that you can “get away” with having patches of thicker and thinner hair growth.

How long does it take to grow a beard? According to WebMD, teenage guys may be able to grow a beard fully in two or three months. Other lifestyle websites have quoted two months to six years, depending on your length preferences.

Everyone is different, so just try to be patient.

Groom it.

Hair is dead cells, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make our dead cells look good with a little bit of grooming. I suggest using beard oil and beard balm to help enhance the look of your beard. By battling itchiness and taming your facial hairs to grow in the right direction, these products can make your hair look healthier as well as more comfortable for the bearded guy.

Don’t have fancy beard products? Just brush your beard with a little bit of water! Brush it down so that it looks neat, tidy, and even.

Supplement it.

No, I’m not talking about putting your beard on steroids, but some guys have found that Rogaine® (minoxidil) works for beard growth. Do check in with your doctor first, though, to make sure the benefits outweigh the risks because minoxidil has not been FDA-approved for stimulating beard growth.

Dye it.

According to GQ, “If all else fails: dye it.” Sometimes, the patchy look of your beard may be because of differences in hair color. Older men, especially, may have grey or white patches of hair that make their beard look uneven. So, a simple solution to this is to simply dye your beard. The trick here is to choose a natural color that matches you and looks good on you. For the love of god, don’t rock a neon blue beard with brown hair.

Why do I have a thin beard or can’t grow a beard?

While we have your attention, it may be useful to discuss the reasons behind having such a patchy or thin beard. Or, maybe you can barely grow a beard at all.

There are a few possibilities why this is so. However, before you freak out about possibly having a medical condition that makes your beard grow badly, don’t. Talk to a doctor first!


Just like height, some guys have bushier beards than others and some guys are taller or shorter than others. These characteristics are passed down to you through your genes. It doesn’t necessarily mean your beard will look like your dad’s; it just means somewhere along your family tree there were guys with your beard growth pattern.

Alopecia areata

Alopecia areata is a hair loss condition that makes you lose round patches of hair on your scalp and beard. It is an autoimmune disorder, meaning your own immune system is mistakenly attacking your hair follicles. Usually, this is a genetic condition and can be seen in males, females, and children. Sometimes, alopecia areata can be triggered by stress.


Contrary to popular belief, having a thick beard doesn’t necessarily mean you have a lot of testosterone flowing through your veins. It’s true that facial hair is regulated by testosterone, but the thickness of hair growth is actually due to how your body and your testosterone interact. Most healthy guys have a similar level of testosterone.

No, shaving won’t make your beard grow back thicker.

This is another common myth. While ladies may worry that shaving their legs means hairier legs, guys may be excited to shave their beards more in hopes that it’ll grow back thicker than before. This is actually an optical illusion: your hair follicles are thicker at the base, so when you cut off a hair, you only see the thicker base and it appears as if your hair is growing back thicker.

Can’t grow a beard? That’s okay!

If you’ve tried all these methods and have gotten a clean bill of health from your doctor, and you still have no satisfactory beard, that’s okay! Some guys are just not bearded people and that’s fine.

People often see men with beards as older, more aggressive, and stronger, according to a BBC article. While this may sound great in ancient times when you had to scare off enemy tribes, guys today may prefer a more approachable, clean-shaven look that helps them win business clients.

The same article also mentions that women aren’t really that into beards. So, we may not have evolved beards to attract mates. And today, you’re unlikely to meet a woman who will judge men’s attractiveness solely on beards because, well, having a stable job and maybe a good sense of humor is often more important for modern homo sapiens. So it’s unlikely that being clean-shaven will make you lose out on potential mates.

Guys come in all different shapes, sizes, and hairy patterns. Your beard (or lack thereof) is what makes you unique, so embrace it!

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