It’s a fashion statement. It’s a lifestyle. It’s the final milestone for many a’males quest for manhood. It’s growing a beard.
Unfortunately, however, growing a beard isn’t always as easy for some as it is for others. Some are cursed with genes that produce patchy beard.
When you’ve got your heart set on growing an impressive bushy beard, regardless of your motivation behind it it’s heartbreaking to look at yourself in the mirror a couple of weeks on and see massive gaps where hair should be.
It isn’t the end of the road, however. Although not all beards are born equal. For every Chuck Norris beard out there, there are also hundreds of sad-looking Keanu Reeves stubble patches. If you find yourself on the patchier end of the facial hair scale, don’t give up hope. As your hormones advance, growing a beard will actually get easier the older you get. That doesn’t mean you’re going to get a badass beard overnight, but it does mean that you should definitely persevere. For the meantime, work with what you’ve got and show a bit of determination.
Grow it Out
If you’re already upset about the lack of hair on your face, the chances are that you’ve never given your beard the chance to show its true colours. More often than not, first-time growers will see those patches pop up and completely give up hope, when in fact, very few men can grow equally-dispersed facial hair straight away. Growing a beard is about dedication and commitment, so give it time.
Give this a go – next time you look in the mirror and feel the urge to dive for the razor, don’t do it. Instead, step away and give it another week before checking back in. One useful motivational device I’ve found is a day tracker app for my phone. By downloading this and setting the day you stopped shaving or the day you’re next going to trim, you have a reminder of your progress that slaps you in the face every time you unlock your phone. Trust me, it’s super useful.
First things first – when growing a beard, you need to give yourself at least a month before touching that razor. It’ll be tough. It’ll take commitment. And by God, it’ll be really damn itchy. Regardless of these points though, you need to stick with it. After you’ve given your beard a month to flex its hairy muscles, take a look in that mirror and see if you need to tidy up. If it’s looking scruffy, now’s the time to tidy up that jaw and cheek line. Just make sure you don’t do it before.
Keep it Brushed
This might sound strange for a patchy beard, but stick with me and hear me out here. I’m not saying that you should spend 20 minutes running a brush through your beard before bed, but you should definitely keep it under control. Regardless of whether you’ve got an unruly beard or not, brushing will keep your beard in check and even influence the direction of growth.
If you’re looking to cover up those patches, brush against the grain to develop a fuller, bushier effect overall. If you’re brushing your beard regularly, make sure you invest in some conditioner or beard oil. This will make sure that you don’t damage the underlying skin by going too hard. If you’re looking to buy a beard brush, make sure you avoid plastic and metal as core materials. Although they can look pretty cool, they can also scratch away at your skin and cause beardruff.
Since that’s one of the main things that you’re trying to avoid, you should definitely invest in a wooden beard comb with 100% boar bristle. This will be firm enough to fight its way through stubborn hairs, but also gentle enough to not upset your skin.
Beard Supplements – Worth it or Not?
Beard supplements have become really popular over the past few years, so I’ve written quite a lot about them. There are mixed opinions on whether they’re worth it or not, and my overall opinion is this:
If you can already grow a fairly decent beard, supplements such as Beard Grow XL and Biotin will make it grow fuller and faster. If you’ve been running the same no-shave pencil mustache for 6 months, however, they’re not going to help you out too much. The controversy from these supplements stems from the fact that they claim to guarantee beard growth. Sadly, this simply isn’t true. Beard supplements like Beard XL definitely help to promote growth, but they aren’t a magical cure for a baby-smooth face.
When using a beard supplement, you should also manage your expectations. No supplement, no matter how well marketed or highly-priced, is going to give you a beard overnight. If you’ve got your heart set on using a supplement, I say go for it. Just make sure that you leave it a good 3 weeks before judging its effects.
As well as that, on top of potentially helping your beard growth, these supplements are basically a nuclear bomb of vitamins. Even if they don’t help your hair growth too much (which they should, even if only slightly), you’re going to reap some fantastic health benefits overall. You’ll feel more awake, more alert, and your skin will probably look brighter as well.
Facial Hair Transplants
Probably worth avoiding this one, dude. Unless Keanu Reeves is reading – you’ve got the money for it man, go for it. P.S., well done for beating Will Smith to the Neo role in The Matrix.
Embrace the Patchiness
Whilst you’re on your quest for developing a full-on beard, you might as well embrace the patchiness. Depending on what style you settle for, a patchy beard can actually end up looking quite good. Many men struggle with growing facial hair around the neck and cheek areas. If you’re one of those dudes, a goatee + neckline beard might actually work quite well for you. If in doubt, pop into your local barbers/beard stylists and ask them for their opinion.
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