I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but beards have become more and more popular over the past few years which has lead to a realisation for many men; they have patchy facial hair.
For some, they can grow that Zach Galifianakis-esque big old bushy beard, others, well, they sprout a Keanu Reeves patchy piece – but why is this?
Well, it’s all down to hormones apparently.
According to The Beard Coach:
Beard hair growth, unlike the growth of head hair or other facial hair, like eyelashes, depends on compounds called androgens.
Androgens are responsible for what are considered masculine features.
The most famous androgen being testosterone, of course – that and dihydrotestosterone.
Obviously testosterone is known for that transition from boy to man, but as adults, it keeps your ‘muscles firm and useful and keeps your sex drive at a normal level. It is also beard food’, writes The Beard Coach.
The more sensitive you are to testosterone, the ‘thicker the beard’.
The Beard Coach continues:
Inside each of your follicles is a structure called the dermal papilla. The dermal papillae are kind of like the ‘brains’ of your hair follicles.
The ones in your beard follicles respond to the messages that your androgens send and cause the surrounding parts of the hair follicles (called the hair matrix) to do their thing and make some damn beard hair.
Guess what androgen tells the beard hair follicles to activate the hair matrix? Yep, testosterone.
If you have a patchy beard and you don’t like it, GQ have some tips for you.
Firstly they advise on letting it grow for a bit longer than usual:
The next time you feel the urge to clean shave your stubble, don’t. Give yourself at least a month. It’ll be hard. It’ll be itchy. But there’s no other way to reach your mug-rug potential than by letting your face run free.
Once you’ve let your follicles spread their wings, assess the situation. Tidy up your neck and shape your jawline. If everything is satisfactory, congratulations, you have a beard.
GQ brushed (pun fully intended) on the subject of trying supplements to make the beard hair grow but told their readers ‘honestly, don’t bother’.
The science behind most supplements is dicey, and the results are inconsistent. Biotin has been a go-to remedy for hair loss and guys hoping to fill out their beards, but there’s no data to actually confirm that it works.
Besides, biotin is found naturally in foods such as eggs, carrots, and milk, so you’re better off focusing on maintaining a well-balanced diet to promote healthy hair growth.
Good advice there GQ.
What about simply bushing it then? They ask readers to ‘hear them out’ on this one.
They advise on using a comb to control the ‘direction of the growth’ filling in the patches. Oh, and you’re not supposed to shampoo it too much either apparently.
So there it is, happy growing!