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9 All-Natural Ways To Fix a Patchy Beard
Dr Kieran Dayah (GMC)
Medically reviewed by
Dr Kieran Dayah (GMC)
Updated on April 29, 2024

More than half of British men (54%) sport facial hair today, up from 37% in 2011[1]. So it is not surprising that there is growing interest regarding how you can fix a patchy beard. And there is also a growing industry of medications, therapies and cosmetics that promise to give you the facial hair of your dreams. However, just like not all hair growth products for men work, not all beard treatments are scientifically proven to be effective.

Your beard can say a lot about you and it can affect the way you see yourself and others’ impression of who you are [2]. So if it is sparse, you may need some help to stimulate its growth. But what if you prefer to start with a healthy, natural approach that carries a limited risk of unwanted side effects? Fortunately, there are several things you can do to fix the bald spots in your beard without medications or chemical-based products. And if all else fails, you may still be a good candidate for a beard transplant that can solve your facial hair struggles forever.

Keep reading this article to find out all you need to know about:

  • Why your beard may be patchy
  • How to fix your sparse, patchy beard through natural means
  • Examples of styles that can help you mask a patchy beard
  • What to do if natural means don’t improve your beard density
Table of Contents

Why might your beard be sparse and patchy?

Some of the most common causes of beard hair loss or sparse facial hair growth are innate and difficult to control. Others can be influenced by the right beard grooming practices and lifestyle changes. Here are the top reasons why you may be growing a patchy beard [3][4][5]:

  • Age – it can be natural for a young man to be still unable to grow facial hair. In fact, many will only reach their full beard potential around 25 or even in their early 30s.  
  • Genetics – Your beard growth rate, density, thickness and colour are largely inherited. While there are things you can do to optimize your beard growth process, there is a strong genetic component to the top beard fullness that you can hope to achieve naturally.   
  • Hormones – The same male hormones that cause hair loss in male pattern baldness, testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT), actively support beard growth. The level of androgens in your blood and your beard hair follicle sensitivity to them play a major role in your facial hair development.  
  • Beard alopecia – this form of alopecia areata known as alopecia barbae is autoimmune, meaning your white blood cells are attacking your hair follicles. It produces smooth, circular bald spots in your beard. 
  • Skin conditions – yeast infections of the scalp, such as dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis, can also extend to your beard, as can other common scalp problems such as psoriasis. They can cause beard or hair shedding in the affected area. 
  • Psychological conditions – excessive stress and anxiety can cause hair loss through a type of alopecia called telogen effluvium. The diffuse thinning it produces can also affect your beard. 

The best natural ways to fix your patchy beard

Bearded man recommending a healthy diet

1. Eat well and drink even better

You may have heard many times that you are what you eat. This can also apply to your facial hair. Making sure your diet is well-balanced provides all the nutrients your beard needs to grow and thrive. Getting enough vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, iron, zinc or selenium can help keep your strands full, shiny and happy. However, vitamin deficiencies can cause hair loss on your scalp as well as your face. As a rule of thumb, the best diet for healthy hair can usually also help your beard density. 

Moreover, a well-hydrated complexion is very important to growing a healthy, happy beard. So drink plenty of water and reduce your intake of caffeine and alcohol, as they can lead to dehydration. 

Man grooming his facial hair

2. Use the best beard grooming practices

Cleaning and moisturising your beard regularly, untangling it patiently and brushing it gently can be very important in maintaining its health and good condition. Furthermore, trimming it at regular intervals can prevent an unkempt appearance and the development of split ends.

But it is also healthy to avoid a number of common facial hair styling mistakes. For example, overexposure to the sun, frequent blow-drying or heat-styling can damage the hair on your head and on your chin alike by drying it out and making it brittle. So can overusing harsh chemicals, such as bleach or dye that can cause hair loss. Finally, tying your beard tightly in knots or braids can put pressure on your hair follicles, causing traction alopecia. So, looser beard styles can make for fuller growth. 

Man scratching his beard

3. Reduce beard area itching naturally

If you have symptoms of dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis in your beard area, it can be itchy, flaky, tender and unpleasant. Moreover, the constant scratching can make your strands break off. The good news is that you can use natural antifungals to treat these yeast infections. Solutions containing honey and aloe vera can help soothe your symptoms due to their natural antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties.

Studies have found that an aloe vera emulsion reduced skin itchiness and scaling in 58% of patients and a 5% tea tree oil shampoo yielded a 41% improvement in mild and moderate dandruff symptoms in comparison with a placebo [7].

Man applying oil to his beard

4. Keep your facial hair nourished with beard oils

There are currently no studies to show whether essential oils for hair growth retain their properties when applied to beards. However, many of them contain an abundance of fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins and other nutrients that any type of hair needs. So there can be inherent benefits in trying blends such as pumpkin seed oil for hair or blackseed oil for hair. Moreover, some have specific beneficial properties (e.g. peppermint oil for hair contains menthol, which can cool your beard area and soothe itching and irritation [8]).

Applying hair growth oils to your beard can keep it moisturised and nourished. This is because just like you want to avoid dry, brittle hair that breaks off easily on your head, you also want to keep your beard strands strong, hydrated and healthy. 

However, you may want to steer clear of rosemary oil for beard growth, because even though it is as good as Minoxidil at regrowing scalp hair, some of its components are natural DHT blockers. This means it could hinder your beard growth, like Finasteride or Dutasteride (although more research is needed to show its effect on facial hair).

Composite image of various beard styles

5. Find the most flattering style for your beard 

There are so many trendy beard styles to choose from that almost everyone can find an option that emphasises the areas with fuller facial hair while masking patchy spots. Here are a few examples:

Man with a goatee and moustache
  • A goatee and a moustache can mask sparse beard growth on your cheeks 
Man with a Verdi style beard
  • A Verdi style can disguise bald patches on your upper chin
Man with mutton chops beard style
  • Mutton chops work well for men who can’t grow facial hair on their cheeks and central chin
Man with a brett beard style
  • A brett beard can do wonders for men who only have full hair on their lower face
Senior man working out in the gym

6. Start a work-out routine

Working out is healthy for your mind and body alike. It releases feel-good chemicals (endorphins) and has been shown to slightly raise your testosterone levels, especially if you are more advanced in age and have been previously sedentary [6]. Moreover, in time, it can improve your circulation, which can help increase blood flow to your beard follicles.  

Man meditating outdoors

7. Find ways to lower the stress in your life

Meditating, doing yoga, immersing yourself in a creative hobby, or spending relaxing evenings out with good friends can all help reduce stress levels. This can have a positive effect on your hair as well as your beard, as it can help keep telogen effluvium away.

If you are experiencing constant anxiety or often have a hard time relaxing and disconnecting, therapy can help you overcome these problems and improve your mental and physical well-being.

Hands breaking cigarette in half

8. Reduce smoking

Smoking can cause hair loss from your head and beard through several mechanisms. Firstly, nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, which means it can reduce blood flow to your beard follicles, starving them of oxygen and nutrients. Secondly, it can cause low-grade inflammation throughout your body. Finally, it can increase oxidative stress, which can damage your facial hair. Therefore, reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke in a day or quitting entirely can have a significant positive effect on your overall health and that of your beard.

And yes, in case you are wondering, vaping may cause hair loss as well if you are using e-liquid that contains nicotine. However, it is not believed to have the same detrimental impact as regular smoking, so switching to vaping may be a good alternative for your beard (and the rest of your body alongside it). 

Man looking at his razor, hesitating to shave

9. Do nothing at all

As counterproductive as it may sound, sometimes, inaction is the best form of action. Don’t give in to the growing anxiety you may experience as your beard first comes in – it is likely not its final form. Many men tend to give up on growing a beard after a few weeks of seeing only sparse, patchy stubble. And some lend their ear to the hair loss myth that shaving your beard will make it grow thicker

In fact, the opposite may be true. It can take quite long to grow a full beard, you may need to grow it out for about 3 months before it is considered long enough to trim into shape. But once your beard reaches a greater length, its texture will often mask the initial sparse or thinning spots, appearing fuller and more appealing. So put down your razor, power through the awkward beard stages and allow your facial hair time to grow. 

Patient before and after getting a beard transplant
Patient before and after getting a beard transplant

What to do when natural remedies are not enough

Sometimes, styling tips and home remedies can only get you so far. If you are experiencing a condition such as alopecia barbae, have a significant hormonal imbalance or a genetic predisposition towards very sparse facial hair, you will need more substantial assistance. If you have tried everything and your beard is still coming in patchy, it is a good idea to book a consultation with a trichologist. 

They will perform all the necessary tests and provide you with an accurate diagnosis, as well as treatment recommendations tailored entirely to your needs and condition. They may also refer you to other specialists, such as an endocrinologist if they suspect a testosterone deficit or a thyroid disorder that can cause hair loss

Depending on your condition, treatments recommended by the hair specialist may involve medication (e.g. topical Minoxidil, steroid creams or steroid injections), but there are also alternative options. Therapies that have been proven to work for your hair, such as dermarolling for hair growth, PRP hair treatments or red light therapy for hair growth may also work for your beard (although more evidence is needed to demonstrate this). 

Furthermore, you may be a good candidate for a beard transplant, which normally involves a safe, simple, one-time intervention that can solve your beard problems forever. That is because just like a hair transplant is permanent, you can enjoy the results of your facial hair restoration surgery for decades to come.

Beard transplants look natural, and the best hair transplant clinics in the UK have excellent success rates for this procedure. If you are interested to find out more, our world-class surgeons are always here to walk you through the process and answer all of your questions.

9 All-Natural Ways To Fix a Patchy Beard, Wimpole Clinic

Dr Kieran Dayah (GMC)
Medically reviewed by Dr Kieran Dayah (GMC)Updated on April 29, 2024
The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.

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