How to Style a Patchy Beard

beard man


Everyone’s facial hair grows in a bit differently. Some guys are able to grow lush, full beards that look great. They can turn these into Viking beards and often times their beards look better kept than their actual hair. However, if you’re like a larger portion of the public, your facial hair might come in as patches. It might be thick in some areas and thin or not existent in others. You want to grow a beard, but it just doesn’t have the same effect that the guys with the lush full beards have. That doesn’t mean you should ditch the idea of a beard. You can still grow one out and have a great-looking beard. You just need to alter the look a bit!

Having a patchy beard is like having thinning hair, a receding hairline or the peak of a more obvious window. There are some looks you can pull off and there are some you can’t. Ultimately, it comes down to working with what you have and making the best of you. 

What Is a Patchy Beard?

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A patchy beard is exactly what the name suggests. It comes in patchy. Usually, it is a bit thicker around the base of the chin and thins out as it pushes up the cheekbone, but everyone is a bit different. The way your beard hair grows in is different from that of someone else. A patchy beard, if you just let everything grow out, isn’t a great look. It’s the male pattern baldness look for on the face. Most guys don’t style to be balding or thinning on the top of their head, so you shouldn’t choose to be bald with your beard.

While there isn’t a lot you can do in terms of how your hair grows (you can talk to your doctor about some medications or there are hair growth supplements, but these are generally not designed to work with beard growth) you can choose how you style your beard. When done right, a patchy beard will look great. It’s all about reducing the appearance on the thinner, patchier area of the beard and increasing the appearance on the thicker area of hair.

How to Style a Beard?

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First, look at where your hair is, or at least most of your hair. If you’re like most guys who have patchy beards, you will have it thicker around the chin and jaw bone of your face. The thinner hair is then at the top. You might have patchiness around the corner of the jaw and the sideburns might not come in all that much. However your beard is growing, let it grow for a few days so you can stand back and take in exactly where it is thicker.

First, let’s say you want a full beard and you don’t really care about it is patchy. All the power to you. When this is the case you will need to grow it out longer. The longer hair will appear thicker although it will also emphasize some patchy areas of the hair. With a patchy beard, it is even more important to take proper care. This means using beard oil to smooth it out and prevent it from looking wispy and out of control. This will give it a more refined look.

Now, if you’d rather work with the thicker area and focus on these parts, there are a few different options available to you. First, you can go with the chin strap beard. This is where you keep the hair around your jawline and chin, then shave the rest of it. So look at where the patchy parts of the beard come in and shave away all of this up. This will probably leave you with a strap of beard running around your face.

 If you have a harder, more angled face, look to keep a thinner chin strap. You can also have your mustache grow down into a goatee if you’d like to add more of an appearance of a larger beard. If you have a rounder face, you can let the area around your neck grow. This will give you a fuller looking beard and it will help improve the shape of your face. Then as it grows, keep the area around your jaws tighter and let the hair around your jaw grow out. This gives you more of an angle you might want.

Perhaps you don’t like the way you look with the chin strap or you still want to at least give the appearance of the full beard. You can do that, it’ll just take more work. So first, start with the chin strap and let this grow. Then, with the higher up area that is a patch, trim this down, so it’s a day or two of stubble. Fade that area between the thicker hair and the patchy hair. This gives you a great contrast of the thicker beard on the bottom and it maintains everything with a thin, unified and trim look on top. You’ll have the visual of a full beard but the top portion, where it is usually patchy, will be unified, which gives it a better look.

One of the aspects of the patchy beard some don’t like is thicker and thinner spots dotted all over. By maintaining this thinner level you’ll hide the patchy aspects while rocking some of the best facial hair of your friends and at the office.  

How to Maintain a Beard?

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In order to maintain a patchy beard, there are a few different steps you need to follow, depending on the exact look you decided to go with. No matter the beard cut, always invest in quality beard oil. This keeps it smooth and prevents it from taking on the wired look. If you’re dating or married to someone they will thank you for it as it will feel softer to the touch (and they won’t be able to stop touching your face).

Now, if you’re going with the chin strap you want to make sure and keep the area around the chin strap shaved and trim. This becomes even more important the thinner your chin strap is. A razor works well with this and allows you to remove any of the overgrowths while maintaining the lines. Also, as stated earlier, if you let your chin strap grow out when rocking a thicker version, let the chin grow longer and fade cut back to the jawline to give you a squared off look.

If you go with the trim on top of the chin strap, you’ll want to keep all of this nice and tight. It requires more work so you’ll want to invest in a beard trimmer. Keep your beard relatively the same length and trim down the patchy area every few days (or whenever it shows the patchy aspect). You can let the bottom portion of the beard grow out if you want. Just know this makes it more difficult to have a faded look running from the chin strap through the trimmed down patchy area. You may need to accept it won’t fade and instead, just keep the top portion trimmed down and the bottom portion longer.

However you decide to grow out your patchy beard, just know that proper maintenance is important. In fact, it may be more important for you than to someone who can grow a thicker beard. It’s the same way as someone who has thinner hair than someone who has a thick head of hair. It takes more maintenance and focus from the person with thinner hair to style and keep it looking good than for someone who can just grow it out. As long as you’re willing and able to put in the work, you’ll be good to go and you’ll still have some of the best facial hair around.


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Not everyone grows beards the same. There are some who are able to rock the full Viking beard or grow just about anything they might like however they like. But others may not have the same luck and the hair grows in a bit patchy. That’s perfectly fine, there are still great options available for you! You just need to determine what looks best for you and what kind of look you’re interested in maintaining.

With a patchy beard, you can let it grow out, taking proper care of it with your favorite beard oil and keep it trimmed up using a quality beard trimmer. Or, you can shoot for a chin strap beard or something that combines a chin strap with trimmed hair on top. Whatever you decide to do, just take great care of it and you can find a look that works for you!

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