Beards have never been out of style and they have been a staple of masculinity since the beginning of time. The average man’s beard grows 5.5 inches per year. However, sometimes it seems like you just can’t get it to grow right. Patchiness and lack of hair can cause major blows to self-confidence.

If your beard or mustache has you feeling down in the dumps, you’re probably wondering what’s going on. You’re not alone! Keep reading to find out what causes patchy facial hair and how you can fix it!

What Causes Patchy Facial Hair?

There are a variety of causes for patchy facial hair. Everyone is different and it helps to narrow down the cause so that you can find the most successful treatment options.

Genetic Makeup

Sadly, no one has control over their genetics. Look at those in your family. Does your father, grandfather, brother, or uncle have a big lush beard or just some stubble? This will be a good indicator as to if you are blessed with amazing beard-growing genes.

Genetics can play a role in how many hair follicles you have that allow hair growth. Although, this isn’t an exact science since everyone has their own growth cycle and specifications.

Hair Growth Cycles

The hair growth cycle has three phases:

  1. Anagen: The growth phase where most hair is growing at a given time. Hairs spend years in this phase.
  2. Catagen: Growth slows in this phase as the hair follicles shrink.
  3. Telogen: Hair growth stops and detaches from the follicle. A new hair begins growth and pushes the old one out.

Hair growth cycles are different for everyone. It might be possible that your bald spot or patchiness is due to inactive hair follicles.


Facial hair growth usually starts around puberty and by 16 you’ve likely noticed a little fuzz. However, you probably aren’t able to grow a full-on beard at this point. It’s possible that you won’t be able to grow the fullest beard until your mid to late twenties.

Hormone Imbalance

Hormonal imbalances may be the cause of your troubles. Depending on the amount of testosterone you are producing, your beard might be affected. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a byproduct of testosterone. It is activated by the oil glands in hair follicles. This can affect how fast your beard grows and if it isn’t responding in certain areas.

Alopecia Barbae

Alopecia barbae is a special form of alopecia areata that impacts your beard. It is an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss. Your body’s immune system attacks healthy cells as a mistake. In this case, it attacks your hair follicles. It normally happens suddenly and you begin to lose patches of hair.

Spot Baldness

One of the most common skin diseases is spot baldness. It might be related to stress, medication, or even tooth ailments. This is a chronic inflammatory reaction in which hair growth ceases in certain areas. It prevents hair from growing back properly and usually lasts from telogen to a new anagen phase in the growth cycle.

Scarring Alopecia

These bald or patchy spots are from traumatic incidents like cuts or burns. These damages cause harm to hair follicles and create scarring. This prevents hair from growing back.


This is another form of inflammation around the skin follicles. It is caused by a bacterial infection. There is a treatment for this specific skin problem.


If you are already taking or recently started taking any medications, this could impact your beard growth. Certain side effects might cause a lack of hair growth on the face and head. Do not stop taking these medications without consulting your doctor.

How to Fix Patchy Facial Hair

Depending on the root cause of your patchiness, there are steps to take that can help treat this. Find the following possible options and consult with a doctor for further help.

Proper Grooming

Treat your beard well and you might just get the results you are looking for! There are many ways to make sure your beard is receiving the best treatment. Exfoliation is a great place to start. Removing dead skin cells that can potentially clog pores can do wonders for your skin and hair.

Apply beard oil or moisturizer to nourish the skin following exfoliation. Massaging this in will help keep your hair softer, more groomed, and stimulate the hair follicles.

Brush your beard to further create a groomed look and stimulation of the follicles.


Eat a healthy diet that your hair is getting the nutrients it needs. Vitamins, minerals, and proteins are all important aspects of a healthy life and a healthy beard. Plus, make sure you are staying hydrated!


Overall, a healthy lifestyle might add a little more fluff to your scruff. When you exercise more, you increase testosterone levels. This is important for the growth of your beard. In addition, more exercise means better rest and less stress. Both of which can take you a long way in your beard growth journey.


As mentioned, some medications may be causing your lack of beard growth but you should never stop taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

Some medications can be used to stimulate facial hair growth. Minoxidil is one medication that people often use to enhance their beards but it may not work for everyone and requires consistent use over long periods.


If you feel like you’re not getting the most nutrients from your diet, there are vitamins to help facial hair growth. These supplements can help add a variety of important beard building nutrients such as vitamin a, c, and b. This also includes Biotin, a popular supplement for promoting hair growth.

Grow It

Simply growing your beard long may help to bulk it up. The less opportunity to see those patchy spots, the better. It’s sort of like having a comb-over but for your face and less noticeable.

Disguise It

If your hair is already light, try dyeing it to make it look a bit fuller. Adding in a little eyebrow pencil never hurt anyone either.


This is sort of a last resort option. Transplants can be costly, painful, and ineffective. However, if you feel that all options have been exhausted, you might look into this.

Don’t Let Patchy Facial Hair Get You Down

Don’t let patchy facial hair get you down. There are plenty of guys out there in the same boat. However, you do have options, and don’t be afraid to explore treatments!

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