Beard growth patterns explained

Beard growth patterns explained

Take a walk on any city street and chances are you'll see a few men with long, flowing beards. It seems like these men can grow out their beards just by thinking about it. A five o'clock shadow quickly grows into a thin mustache and beard and then, a few days later, a lumberjack is born.

While some men have no trouble at all cultivating a garden of hair beneath their noses, many others run into a stumbling block. For some, beards grow in patchy and uneven. For others, their hair seems to swirl as if tossed by a tempest. Why does this happen? And more importantly – is there anything that can be done about it?

Why do some men have patchy beards?

Beard hair and the hair that grows atop a man's head are quite similar, but react to hormones differently. Specifically, when a man's body converts the hormone testosterone into a more powerful hormone known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT), beard hair growth gets stimulated. According to Harvard Medical School, the opposite happens to head hair: the introduction of DHT may lead to male-pattern baldness.

It should be noted that each individual reacts differently to DHT and there are many other factors at play.

Men with patchy beards may have lower levels of DHT, which also makes them less likely to go bald – but there's no guarantee.

Beard hair can grow in a number of directions, making shaving difficult.Beard hair can grow in a number of directions, making shaving difficult.

Does all beard hair grow in the same direction?

For other men, their beard hair comes in strong, but in the wrong direction. Hair on the upper cheek may grown in at an angle or even in a circular pattern, while hair on the chin angles straight down. This not only makes maintaining the beard difficult, but can also make shaving more painful.

To ease your shaving experience, it's helpful to map your beard, notes the wet shaving blog The Close Shave. To do so, allow your beard to grow for several days, then take a picture of your face with your chin raised. Print out the picture and draw arrows to indicate which direction your hair grows. To make shaving easier, gently draw the blade across the hairs in the direction they face. This can prevent severe razor burn.

What are the benefits of a beard transplant?

If your facial hair is patchy but you'd still like to grow a flowing beard, consider a beard transplant. Using hair from the back of your scalp, Dr. Marotta can help you achieve a more masculine, confident look.

Dr. Marotta is a dual board certified facial plastic surgeon. He is committed to delivering the best experience possible to his clients. Schedule a consultation today to see how Dr. Marotta and his team can help you decide if a beard transplant is right for you.