Growing out a beard is something that can take time and patience, as you figure out what length and styles work best for you. But whether you’ve had your beard for years, or are trying out the look for the first time, you may find that you have areas where your facial hair isn’t as thick or even. In a recent video on the Beardbrand channel, grooming expert Greg Berzinsky offers six possible explanations for why you might have a patchy beard.
The first reason is that your beard may have reached the end of its natural growth period. “Just like your head, your beard has a cycle of anywhere from one to two to six years,” Berzinsky explains. “Which means your hair will grow through a particular phase, it’ll then rest at that length, your terminal length, and then they will fall out. That’s the natural cycle. At that point, it starts again.” If this is the cause, then don’t worry: it tends to resolve itself in a matter of months.
The second potential issue is that you are over-combing or aggressively styling your beard, tugging at the follicles which can weaken them and even pull them out. “This also pertains to people who have nervous habits of playing with their beards and playing with their mustaches in particular,” adds Berzinsky.
Thirdly, diet could be a factor. “There are many things you need in your body for the production of healthy hair,” he says. “Zinc, magnesium, calcium, Vitamin A, K2, Vitamin E. One of the most important is B vitamins in the production of carotene and collagen… If you are not getting these vitamins, you are not getting nutrients to the hair shaft.”
Something else which can affect the health of your hair is stress. “Stress is one of the number one things that contributes to the general health of our body,” says Berzinsky.
There are other factors which could be leading to thinning facial hair, however, that are a little further out of our control. One of these is a decrease in testosterone. “Over time, your testosterone levels begin to drop,” he says. “Some guys drop sooner than others, but most men will continue to drop incrementally starting around 25 years of age… That reduction can actually contribute to thinness in your beard.” He adds that exercise, alleviating stress, and a healthy diet can all work to boost the production of DHT and testosterone in the body, but that ultimately if you’re experiencing this you should consult with a doctor.
Finally, if you are starting to develop patches in your beard that are completely bald, Berzinsky says it’s possible that you have alopecia. “Alopecia is often thought of in the head, or you see it on the chest, but it actually affects men on their beards,” he says. “An inflammation of cells attack the hair follicles and actually prevent them from growing at all… This is once again an area where you should go see your medical professional.”
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