Beard hair loss… three words that can strike terror into the heart of any noble beardsman.
No dude wants to cultivate his dream beard only to see it start thinning and balding. Not even a tiny bit. Talk about a jolt to the old confidence.
Just to be clear, we’re not talking about when a new beard grows out patchy and uneven. We mean when well-established beard hairs start actually disappearing from your face, which totally sucks.
There are many possible reasons for this kind of beard shedding - ranging from a shift in the hair growth cycle to medical issues - and we’ll show you that there’s plenty you can do about it, in most cases.
Let’s get into the possible causes of beard hair loss and see if we can help you out, bro.
Before you panic that your beard is going to fall out completely…
If you’re noticing a few extra hairs in your beard brush, or if your beard hair loss is very minor, it’s possible that your hair growth cycle is the culprit. After 3 to 6 months, a hair reaches the end of the “resting” phase of growth (called the telogen phase) before it gets pushed out of the follicle and a new hair replaces it after a few months.
Once a beard is well established, this happens almost every day. If this is what’s happening for you, it’s natural and you’re not actually losing hair. About 10% of your whiskers would be in the resting phase at any given time.
But if you’re noticing excessive hair loss, there may be other forces at work.
If you use a comb on your beard, stop now! It will pull hairs out like crazy by getting caught in tangles, knots and snags. A comb does nothing to help smooth out your beard.
If you’re using a beard brush, great. Just go easy. Caress your whiskers gently, smoothly and rhythmically. Aggressively reefing the brush through your beard can put huge stress on hairs, weaken them, break them, and pull them out. Finding a few hairs in your brush is normal, but if the numbers are increasing and you’re noticing pain when you brush, ease up. Also use more beard oil, perhaps even some beard moisturizer, to condition and nourish the hairs.
As for washing your beard, always use a premium quality beard wash made with gentle, nourishing ingredients. And wash about 3 times a week. Never use soap or body wash or head shampoo on your beard because they will dry out the hairs and make them brittle, while drying your skin to flakes and weakening follicles.
And leave the blow dryer and straightening iron alone. Heavy heat weakens beard strands.
If you’re not getting enough B vitamins, vitamin D, vitamin E, zinc, vitamin A and magnesium, that can affect follicles in a negative way and bring about some beard shedding. So, for starters, avoid weird fad diets because they can cause nutrient deficiencies (unless a medical professional has told you otherwise, of course). Be sure you eat well and consider a good multivitamin.
If that doesn’t turn around your beard hair loss, then something else is causing it.
Prolonged stress can wreak havoc on your health - including your beard hair health.
High stress levels cause you to produce excessive amounts of the hormone cortisol. And too much cortisol will screw up your whiskers’ growth phases, mess with the health of follicles, and screw up your levels of other important hormones like testosterone.
Find some ways to ease that stress, bro. Whether you find zen while doing yoga at the park, or like to release stress by throwing axes at wood, do your thing …and do it often!
Your beard will thank you. So will your physical and mental health.
Facial hair doesn’t grow at all without a certain level of testosterone in the body. That’s why men grow beards after puberty and women don’t.
Beard hair loss could possibly be due to your own levels of testosterone dropping.
How do you know you have low T? See your doctor and get tested.
This one isn’t so common, but it happens, for sure. Alopecia barbae is caused by an autoimmune disorder that makes affected cells attack hair follicles on the face.
Your beard will develop small bare patches, usually circular in shape and near/on the jawline. (On rare occasions, the entire beard falls out.) Treating this condition is not easy, but also not impossible. Some people find beard alopecia affects them for life, while others have periodic outbreaks.
What causes alopecia barbae is a mystery. The most common treatments for alopecia barbae are corticosteroids and a medication called Propecia. Both of these are prescription only and, yes, you should see your healthcare professional for guidance.
Some people also get positive results from applying Minoxidil (brand name: Rogaine) to their beard. But don’t use this stuff to make your healthy beard grow more - it’s not a magic wand that eliminates all problems.
If you develop some beard hair loss, it’s not the end of the world - or your beard. Just don’t be your own expert. See your doctor and/or dermatologist to figure out what’s causing your beard shedding.
Ultimately, you may need to make a few changes to your diet, up your vitamin intake, lower stress levels, and switch up your beard care routine. It’s possible you may also need to look at hormonal issues with your doctor.
One thing will remain constant and that’s your need to maintain impeccable grooming of your beard and face. Daily gentle care can go a long way to nipping some beard hair loss problems in the bud before they get a chance to run riot.
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