A patchy beard is one that has thin or bare spots mixed in with normal hair growth. There are many different types of beards, and some show patches more than others. A patchy beard can sometimes be made thicker by cutting or trimming the beard into a particular beard shape, shaving and letting the hair re-grow or by using medications designed to promote hair growth. A beard transplant, which involves transplanting hairs onto the face, is also a permanent solution for a patchy beard that some men may wish to consider.
Growing a beard is not something everyone can do successfully. Some men have naturally thick hair that grows on their faces, while others may only get thin coverage. There also are men who have both thick and thin coverage and cannot grow a beard that offers full coverage. One or more patches of thin hair can mar the look of the beard. When a patchy beard is seen as a distraction from a person's looks, a number of things can be done to minimize the patchiness.
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The method that often offers the best guarantee of filling in a patchy beard is a beard transplant. Done much like a hair transplant, the procedure comes with side effects, such as soreness and the possibility of infection. Additionally, a transplant will not work in every case. People who suffer with alopecia areata, which simply means facial hair loss, will typically have one or more bald or thin patches in their facial hair. These cases can usually not be corrected even with a transplant because the disease itself would destroy the newly implanted hairs.
Beard problems not related to alopecia can usually be corrected with a transplant. This type of procedure is not something every man wants to do, however. Other options include doctor-prescribed medications that can help promote new beard growth. Choosing from beard styles that minimize the bald patches and draw the eye elsewhere can also be a good choice.
A patchy beard may look less uneven if the hairs are shorter rather than longer. A thick beard typically draws more notice than a thin one, so it is only natural for fewer people to notice the patchiness of a thin beard. If the beard appears patchy simply because of lighter patches of hair, dye might help give the beard a more uniform color and disguise the lighter patches.
A first beard or a thin and uneven one may also benefit from being shaved off. The hair, contrary to the popular notion, will not grow faster after it is cut or shaved. It can, however, grow back in at different angles and in new places, filling in a patchy beard and giving the face a more even appearance.