What Should You Do If You Grow A Patchy Beard

As a culture, we talk about shaving as a kind of rite of passage. Young men watch for the first signs of stubble, excited to try their hand at shaping facial hair. What many don’t realize, though, is that while some men easily grow thick, bushy beards, others will never grow more than a light covering of patchy hair. This is largely genetic, which means that if you only grow sparse facial hair, waiting for it to grow out won’t help. You need other solutions.

If you’re frustrated by your beard’s patchy appearance, learning to care for and style it can make it look a lot better – but you also need to know when to give up and just shave it all away. Some men will always look best clean-shaven, and there’s no shame in that.

Keep It Short

One of the simplest ways to deal with a patchy beard is to keep your facial hair super short. If you’re constantly rocking a five o’clock shadow, no one is going to be able to judge, or even discern, the patchiness because everyone’s facial hair looks similar when first growing in.

The main challenge with keeping your facial hair very short is that it will require constant maintenance, like shaving it regularly to keep it looking neat. You’ll also want to be mindful of your skin health, since your beard won’t provide much coverage. This is easier if you have the right tools; using a safety razor can prevent irritation, and some men also find that using an alum block after shaving helps prevent unsightly razor burn.

Choose Heavier Products

While some men do very little to maintain their beards, those with longer beards generally comb them and use some amount of styling products – and you can, too. In fact, if you have longer facial hair that still looks patchy, using a beard balm can nourish your hair and enhance your beard’s appearance. Stronger styling products can also help you gather stray hairs into the overall form of your beard, and that will make it look fuller.

Artificial Options

While proper beard care is generally the best way to make your beard look fuller, there are also artificial options that some men find useful. In particular, there are dye and mascara-style products that can make your beard look thicker. These are only temporary solutions, especially if you have a shorter beard, but using beard dye or mascara can help you discern what the best style for your beard might be, whether it’s worth growing it out, and other questions.

When To Ditch The Beard

How do you know if your beard is just too patchy to be worth your energy? Styling experts say it takes at least a month of growing out your beard to get a real sense of how your hair grows in, so it’s important not to give up too quickly. Looking at others’ beard styles can also help you make a decision about your facial hair – you may be surprised to realize that bearded icon Jason Momoa actually has some patchy areas in his beard, as do many other celebrities. Sometimes the secret to dealing with a patchy beard is just being confident.

There’s no shame in going beardless or in having a thinner beard, as long as it’s well-maintained. A thin beard with sharp grooming lines, that’s regularly combed and treated with appropriate products, can look great. Facial hair growth patterns are largely genetic, so you can’t will yourself to grow a thicker beard, but you can teach yourself the skills to maintain the beard you do have.

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