Men come to us with all sorts of reasons for going with a clean shaven or "stubble only" look. Some say that their beards come in itchy, while others say they can’t have them for work. Some (like myself) shave once a year because they lose patience with beard grooming. The most common reason we hear, though? Dudes aren't happy with the patchy beard that they're experiencing.
Is it annoying that certain areas on our faces tend to grow less hair than others? Of course, but beard patchiness has way more factors than that. Unfortunately, scientists haven’t yet developed a reliable way to suddenly have a thicker beard, although plenty have tried over the years. Patches in your beard are just a result of your genetic makeup and your physiology. Everyone has thinner parts of their beard - some are more noticeable than others and some know how to groom around them, but no one has perfectly even growth from their head down their neck.
Our recommendation is always going to be embracing yourself: be proud of your beard and work with what you have! There are a few things you can do to help groom your patchy beard, but embracing your look and being confident with what you've got is going to pull that all together. Here are some realities to remember when working with your beard patches:
Your Beard Needs Time To Fill In
The very first complaint from guys with supposedly "patchy" beards usually comes up after only a month of letting their beards grow in. We can all relate to a false vision of thick, long-bearded glory appearing four weeks after putting down the razor, but in reality, beards take a lot longer to appear "full".
Just because your beard doesn’t fill in uniformly after a few weeks doesn’t mean these big patches are gonna stick around. That’s the thing with beards: the longer they get, the more equally distributed they appear. We aren’t saying that the process of letting your beard grow out won’t come with some awkward moments, but if you can take those in stride and simply let your beard keep on growing, your facial hair will appear much fuller after less time than you might expect.
You Notice It More Than Anyone Else
Like each supposed flaw of the self that we notice, beard patchiness is significantly more apparent to the beardsman than to onlookers. Similar to thinning hair or embarrassing scars, the beholder spends much more time looking at, acknowledging, and thinking about beard patchiness than anyone else does. Onlookers will notice you have a beard and won't likely give it a second thought. As with so many things in life, handling supposed beard patchiness is all about confidence and not dwelling on things that you simply can’t control.
Beardbrand believes that being the best version of yourself comes from within and that only you get to dictate what the best version of yourself is. Discovering and honing the best version of yourself comes naturally when you learn to focus only on what you can control.
Beards Fill In As You Age
Many of us first give facial hair a try in college - with varying degrees of success. Some of us might give it a go and still have a wispy or unsatisfactory beard 6 months in. Similarly, the same could happen to a 25-year-old just starting the beardsman journey. Everyone has different genetics, and those are not in our control.
However, regardless of age, one important thing to keep in mind about your beard is that almost every man’s facial hair will become denser as he ages. Just because you struggle growing a full beard at 20 doesn’t mean that will be the case when you’re 30. This blogger (me) has had facial hair since he was 15, but it didn't amp up in density and thickness until his mid-20s.
The important thing here is to simply stay the course and keep your chin held high. Let time do the heavy lifting and before you know it, your growth will be denser and easier to work with.
No One’s Beard Grows In Uniformly
Even for those of us with dense facial hair, we still hesitate on growing a beard for fear of uneven growth. It doesn’t matter who you are; there isn’t a single beard out there that naturally grows in perfect uniformity from cheek to jawline. If you think there is such a thing as a perfect beard with uniform growth, go ahead and put this idea to rest - save yourself the stress and disappointment.
This is why we have beards trimmers and electric clippers: to help even out unruly segments of our facial hair to achieve the epic (or dapper) looks we want for ourselves. As we always like to say here at Beardbrand, don’t let fear deter you. The only way you’ll know how your beard grows is if you give it enough time to test density and length. From there, adapt to the most consistent features of your beard (such as a mustache gap, or a beard wave). It's time to make peace with every part of your beard that makes it unique. Then keep on growing.
For Those With Infinite Patchiness - Go Shorter
We understand that there are some cases of beard patchiness that will never ever be remedied (see: Franco, James). However, that doesn’t mean that you need to opt for the completely shaven look, either. Although we don’t suggest this to many, the best way to combat persistent beard patchiness is to simply opt for a shorter length of facial hair, going as far as what many simply consider “scruff.”
Much like baldness, patchiness is much less noticeable when your facial hair is already at a short length. The short length gives the patches a bit more definition and unique character, without seeming like a shaving incident in the middle of your grown-in cheek.