If you’re suffering from patchy beard syndrome, you’re not alone. Not everyone can grow a full beard — including James Franco and Matthew McConaughey. The inability to grow a full beard doesn’t make you any less of a man. In fact, a lot of your hair trouble may stem from a genetic predisposition, so patches aren’t anything to be ashamed of.
However, if you’re still chasing after a thick, illustrious beard, there are a few things you can do to nix patches or at least cover them up.
1. Patience Is a Virtue
At this point, you’ve probably tried and failed to grow in those patchy areas. However, most men don’t realize that there are multiple stages to beard growth. During the first few weeks, hair on your cheek areas tends to grow slower than the follicles on the rest of your face. Therefore, you might have to wait a few months before taking a trimmer to your mane. By then, it might be full enough that you don’t need an alternative solution.
2. Destressing Is Key
If your beard is still growing in patchy, consider your life circumstances. Is your current situation stressing you out? Prolonged terms of significant stress can push large numbers of hair follicles into a resting phase where they stop growing. Over the next few months, these hairs may suddenly fall out, leaving you with bald spots. Therefore, it’s important to destress often to promote healthy hair growth.
3. Some Foods Boost Testosterone
Sure, testosterone is great for muscle growth and sperm production, but did you know that this hormone is also great for hair growth? That’s right. Testosterone can, indeed, help you grow a full beard. Luckily, you can boost your T levels with vitamin D and zinc, which are precursors for making the hormone. Take supplements or fill up on foods like tuna, eggs, oysters and beans to increase your daily dose of these essential nutrients.
4. Better Sleep Can Increase Growth
While you sleep, your body releases melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone that regulates circadian rhythm and increases hair growth. If you don’t get enough sleep, your hair will receive less melatonin and may become more prone to falling out. Luckily, there’s no such thing as getting too much sleep when it comes to keeping your hair in good health, so catch some more z’s and watch your bristles become a full beard.
5. Peppermint Oil Is Powerful
Various studies have also shown peppermint oil to be a promising growth stimulator. When applied to the skin, menthol compounds in the oil increase blood flow and potentially thicken and accelerate growth. Some researchers have also found peppermint oil to exhibit anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties, which can also promote healthy skin and hair.
6. Minoxidil Works On Beards
If you’re looking for medical-grade assistance, Minoxidil can significantly boost beard growth in just a few months. Better yet, users experienced only mild adverse effects, making this drug a safe and effective treatment for patchy beards. There are many brands of Minoxidil available, including Rogaine and generic brands like Equate and Kirkland. Apply the solution twice daily for the fastest results.
7. Needles Are Your Friend
A derma roller may also help fill in patches, especially if you use it along with Rogaine or a similar topical solution. These tiny face rollers cause micro-punctures in your skin to potentially activate dormant follicles and stimulate hair growth. Remember to only microneedle once or twice a week and roll in the proper directions to avoid damage or scar tissue formation.
8. Beard Dye Might Help
Some men struggle to grow their beard in one solid color. Subsequently, the lighter portions make their mane look patchy. If you find yourself in a similar predicament, beard dye might help. Choose a shade that matches your darker hairs and look for brands with natural ingredients to avoid an allergic reaction.
9. Growing It Out Is An Option
Sometimes, simply growing your beard out and keeping it long can be enough to cover your patches. Of course, this option will take some time, dedication and quality beard care products. However, the resulting lumberjack beard will be more than worth the effort.
Visit Your Doctor… Or Barber
If you’ve tried every trick in the book and still can’t manage to fill in those patches, talk to your doctor. They may be able to diagnose your dilemma or offer solutions you hadn’t considered.
On the other hand, if one of the suggestions above does work for you, celebrate by booking an appointment with your barber. Instead of trimming your facial hair on your own, let a professional do the work. They can define the shape of your beard to match your face and jawline.