What to Do About Your Patchy Beard

Having a patchy beard is not the end of the world.

But, we get it—your patchwork beard isn’t shaping up to look like one of those thick, burly beards you see all over the internet, and it has you wondering what you can do to take your beard from struggling to strong.

The reality is that your beard growing ability is determined by your genetics, and there really isn’t all that much you can do about that—short of becoming a walking science experiment.

That said, there are some tried and true tactics to help your beard grow to its full potential, and we cover them all in this blog.

So if your patchy beard has you feeling less than confident, give this blog a read and Keep on Growing.

HOW TO FIX A PATCHY BEARD

  1. Give your beard 90-120 days to grow.
  2. Boost your beard growth naturally through proper diet, exercise, and sleep.
  3. Take a biotin supplement if you aren’t getting enough through your diet.
  4. Use a boar’s hair Beard Brush to direct longer beard hair over thinner spots.
  5. Get a beard trim that accentuates the strong parts of your beard.
  6. Beware of patchy beard scams.
  7. If all else fails, grow what you can and incorporate it into your style.

GIVE YOUR PATCHY BEARD TIME TO GROW

The number one thing you can do for your patchy beard is to give it time. And when it comes to beard growth, there are two elements of time to consider—your age and how long you’ve been letting your beard grow.

How old are you?
If you are under the age of 25, you most likely haven’t hit your peak beard growing ability yet. Males begin to develop facial hair around age 13, but the most abundant and fastest growth occurs between 25 and 35. Sure, there was that one kid who had a full beard in high school, but he’s the exception, not the rule. In other words—if you’re under 25, give your beard time to mature.

How long have you been growing your beard?
30 days is not enough time to judge your beard. You need to let your beard grow for 90 to 120 days to see what you’re really working with.

This is a big one.

Many men call it quits on their beard after a single month because it looks patchy and sparse. But for many men, if they gave it more time, their beards would fill in enough to cover up any patches or bald spots.

To show you what we mean, below are a couple of before and after patchy beard examples that were submitted to Beardbrand:

Example 1 - Giorgos

A before and after photo of a man whose beard went from patchy to full

On the left, Giorgos is likely around two to four weeks of beard growth and has some visible patches on the cheek. His beard doesn’t quite connect at the chin and his sideburns. Conversely, the photo on the right shows Giorgos at around 12 to 16 weeks of beard growth. The beard hair is long enough and thick enough to cover up the patchiness seen at the one-month mark.

Example 2 - Dries

A before and after photo of a man whose beard went from patchy to full

On the left, Dries looks to also be at around two to four weeks of growth. The hair on the cheeks is pretty sparse and looks much thinner than the rest. On the right, Dries is likely somewhere between 120 and 180 days of beard growth, and there’s no visible patchiness—just a thick, full spade-shaped beard.

The takeaway
Your patchy beard needs time to fill in. Let your beard grow for 90–120 days before deciding that your beard is too patchy.

WHAT TO DO IF TIME DOESN’T FIX YOUR PATCHY BEARD

Unfortunately, time and beard length won’t solve everyone’s patchy beard.

This is the case for Beardbrand’s own Sylvester Louis (Sly), who has what we would truly define as a patchy beard.

In the photos below, Sly is around 100 days of growth. The beard hair is thin, and the density isn’t there on the cheeks to provide full coverage.

The rest of this blog will be dedicated to guys with beards like Sylvester’s.

Example 3 - Sylvester Louis

Front and profile photo showing a man whose beard is still patchy even after letting it grow

BOOST YOUR BEARD GROWTH NATURALLY

As we mentioned, your beard growth is determined by genetics, but there are things that you can do that help your beard grow to its full potential.

Of course, if you’re already in tip-top shape, getting over eight hours of sleep a night, and eating a diet that Tom Brady would be proud of, skip over this section—your beard is already growing at its full potential.

Exercise

Exercise—weight-training specifically—helps to boost testosterone levels. Big, functional, compound movements that recruit multiple muscle groups are the most effective. Pushups, pull-ups, squats, deadlifts, rows, and chest and overhead presses are all great. If you’re new to weightlifting, spend some time with a trainer or coach. Bad form will slow your results and lead to injuries. If you’ve been sedentary, consult with a doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen.

Diet

A well-rounded diet that’s full of protein, vitamins, and minerals helps sustain your beard while enabling it to maximize its growth potential. Hair consists of protein, so ensuring that you get enough in your diet is essential. A lack of protein can make whisker strands brittle and weak. B, C, and D vitamins, as well as zinc and iron, also help keep your beard healthy and growing steadily.

Biotin

Biotin has been shown to help strengthen hair and fingernails, and taking it as a supplement has been shown to improve hair growth. Chances are, you’re likely already getting enough biotin through your diet, and if that’s the case, adding a supplemental dose won’t offer much. But if your diet lacks biotin, adding it as a supplement can help your beard grow to its full capabilities.

Sleep

Getting a full eight hours of sleep each night improves the quality of your beard, as well as the growth rate. The body’s temperature lowers during sleep, leading to increased blood circulation—including circulation to hair follicles and roots. The more nutrients that can reach the hair follicle and their roots, the better.

Stress

Stress can change the growth rate of both beard and scalp hair because it weakens the immune system—and a weakened immune system means less hair growth.

HOW TO MAKE YOUR PATCHY BEARD LOOK THICKER

Alright, you’ve given your beard a few months and have done everything mentioned above to help your beard grow to its full potential. At this point, there are some techniques that you can use to help your patchy beard look more thick and full.

Get a pro beard trim

Head to your barber and let them know that you’re working on growing a beard. Your barber can help define your cheek and neckline, and getting your beard hairs to a more uniform length can help accentuate the areas where your beard is more full. You may still have some patches in your beard, but getting rid of those flyaways and hairs growing in different directions will make a big difference, and can help give the appearance of a fuller beard.

Brush it

A Beard Brush can help your beard hair lay in a more uniform direction—which, when long enough, can help you cover up some of those patchy areas. We find that beard hair responds better to 100% boar’s hair bristles over nylon or synthetic bristles. Add a small amount of a medium hold product like Styling Balm and then brush the hair into place. The Styling Balm will help keep your beard hair locked in throughout the day.

Boar’s hair is also great for exfoliating your skin, which addresses beard dandruff, irritated skin, and clogged pores. The bristles also increase circulation to the skin through its gentle massage—and healthier skin means healthier beard hair.

Hit it with some Sea Salt Spray

If your beard hair is straight and fine, you can give it a little more volume using a product like Beardbrand Sea Salt Spray. You know how a day of swimming in the ocean makes your hair a little more wavy? Sea Salt Spray does the same thing, and that added waviness in your beard can help it look more full.

Beardbrand Sea Salt Spray is infused with kaolinite clay, which removes excess dirt and oil from your beard and skin without stripping away your natural oils. It contains aloe, which moisturizes the beard and skin while providing a little hold. And it’s loaded with Dead Sea Salt (yeah, legit salt from the Dead Sea), which is packed with minerals that nourish your facial follicles and give beards a boost in texture, helping to provide a thicker and more full appearance.

Check out the video below to see it in action:


BE WARY OF PATCHY BEARD SCAMS

There is no shortage of businesses looking to take advantage of your insecurities about your patchy beard. We’ve seen all of the same advertisements, Instagram videos, and YouTube videos as you. Always do your research before buying anything that claims it will quickly give you a thick, luscious beard.

Do beard growth pills or oils work?

Products that claim to give you a dense, full beard unlike anything you’ve been capable of growing are the equivalent of penis enlargement pills. These products don’t have any science or testing to back up their claims.

Any company that claims their oil or balm increases your hair growth rate or the density of your beard is straight-up lying to you. There’s no evidence supporting the notion that you can trigger more facial hair growth with a topical, over the counter oil or balm.

Beard Oils and Balms can condition your beard, soften your skin, and help with your beard’s appearance, but they won’t change your beard’s genetic disposition.

Does minoxidil work for beard growth?

Minoxidil is the active ingredient in Rogaine, and one of the biggest emerging trends is men using it on their faces in hopes of increasing their beard growth. Some men claim that it absolutely worked for them and helped them grow a less patchy beard. Other men have reported not having much luck with it.

In all of the examples we have seen, it’s hard to tell if the difference in beard growth is due to minoxidil or the beard being allowed to grow for more time. It’s hard to say, and we don’t have an answer at this time.

You should do plenty of research if you are thinking about going the minoxidil route, and it has been known to cause side effects such as headaches and increased heart rate. Our advice would be to consult with your doctor before using it.

What about derma rollers?

Another emerging trend is men using derma rollers to stimulate increased beard growth. Derma rollers work on the principle of micro-needling, where you are creating low-level trauma on the skin that requires increased blood flow and collagen production at the site of the puncture. There is some evidence that derma rollers help reduce visible scars and wrinkles, but only small studies have been done. The belief is that the increased blood flow and college production could also prompt better hair growth.

Some men use a derma roller and minoxidil to work the minoxidil further into the skin. We haven’t seen enough evidence to indicate that this is an effective beard boosting tacting. As with minoxidil, you should consult with a doctor or dermatologist before poking too many holes in your face.

GROW TO EMBRACE YOUR PATCHY BEARD

In our opinion, the best thing you can do with your patchy beard is to learn to embrace it. Grow what you can and accentuate the areas of your beard that are more thick and full. That might mean rocking your beard in all its patchy glory or rocking just a mustache or disconnected goatee.

Take a page from Sylvester Louis (pictured below) and learn to incorporate your facial hair into your style—you’ll never go wrong.

A man with a cool patchy beard, dressed in a black shirt, black leather jacket, black fedora, and black sunglasses.

THE WRAP UP

Have questions about your patchy beard? Shoot us a message at [email protected], or Text "STYLE" to 512-879-3297 for a free personalized consultation. We’ll be happy to help you out.

Keep on Growing.

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Eric Bandholz, Founder