Thick, dense, beautiful beards. Certain men are blessed as they are able to grow the coveted and popular lumberjack beard while sadly some are not. We often hear the frustrations of clients around the salon of some gentlemen who simply can’t grow facial hair. Luckily, there are some services as well as lifestyle changes that may assist this issue.
Beards have always been associated with male dominance. Some cultures correlate facial hair with prestige, power, and wealth. Today, while some of those stereotypes may still exist, beards have become a staple of men’s fashion and provides an avenue for men to create a style that is unique to them. Beards have become more common in the workplace and they have become more accepted socially as well as by the media. In fact, there is also data that demonstrates that women prefer bearded men over non bearded men.
While many men experience frustration with patchy beard growth, there are some options available that may assist with growing a thicker beard. However, before we begin discussing solutions to this problem, let us first explain the physiology of beard growth so that there is a firm understanding of how this process occurs.
Physiology of beard growth:
As mentioned above, thick beard growth is not achievable by all men which leaves the appearance of patchy beard growth. Before we discuss some potential solutions to patchy facial hair, let’s explain the physiology of beard growth so that we can understand the factors involved.
Beard growth typically begins around age 12-14 as puberty begins and the physical transition from boy to man begins. As puberty begins, so does the natural production of androgen. Androgen is a group of hormones that is increased during this period of male growth. Androgen is responsible for giving men male traits such as sexual characteristics including pubic, body, and facial hair.
Additionally, another important hormone in the role of beard growth is testosterone. Testosterone is converted to another hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Once DHT is formed, beard growth is stimulated as it binds to a receptor in the hair follicle. Although the presence of DHT is a positive factor in regard to facial hair growth (we want it present for beard growth), it is a negative presence on the scalp and can be a contributing factor to male pattern baldness and actually create hair loss on the scalp.
Genetics is another factor in beard growth. Mom and Dad help determine the number of hair follicles that are present in the skin on the face as well as binding sensitivity at the follicle level (more on that later). The more hair follicles that are preset, the thicker and fuller the beard has the opportunity to become. Clearly, thick beard growth is not possible if hair follicles are not present. This is also a factor for patchy facial hair.
Patchy beard causes:
As previously mentioned, gentlemen who desire a thick, dense beard but can only grow a patchy beard often experience a sense of frustration. Patchy facial hair is often a bi product of simple genetics which we can’t change. However, there are some factors that can cause patchy facial hair as well that are easily controllable by gentlemen. Quite simply, if men focus and commit to certain diet and lifestyle changes, they may notice changes in patchy beard growth and achieve the dense, thick beard they desire. Let’s take a look at these factors.
Genetics: We discussed the conversion of the hormone testosterone to dihydrotestosterone by 5-alpha reductase through a group of hormones called androgens which give men masculine traits such as beard growth and beard thickness. The hair follicles located in the face bind to DHT and hair growth is stimulated. However, the sensitivity of the hair follicle to DHT dictates beard growth. Low sensitivity to DHT is a reflection of genetics. Also for thick, dense beards growth to be achieved a man must have an ample amount of hair follicles present in the skin on the face. This is inherited from our mother and father and is also a case of simple genetics.
Age: Men will experience that their beard will continue to thicken and grow until at least the age of 30.
Diet: Foods that contain zinc can be beneficial for testosterone levels in the body.
Stress: Stress is bad for the body. Stress assists in the production of cortisol and can restrict blood flow which can negatively impact beard growth.
Sleep: Proper sleep is vital to not only beard growth but to overall health. Lack of sleep can negatively impact testosterone levels in the body as they are released as men sleep. Lack of sleep also means less time for the body to recover.
Exercise: Exercise increases natural testosterone production. Remember, testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone which binds to receptors located in the hair follicle which results in beard growth.
Recommendations on how to manage or improve a patchy beard:
As men age into their late 20’s, it is common for facial hair to continue to become thicker and fuller. For those gentlemen who do not experience this, it recommended that men implement simple practices including changing lifestyle habits.
Exfoliation: Exfoliation removes dead skin cells and presents the foundation for the growth of new skin cells. Exfoliation also removes dead skin cells that can clog the hair follicle. Clogged hair follicles present ingrown hairs and make it difficult for new hair to grow. Men should exfoliate their face at home at least once per week.
Diet: Foods that men consume provide nutrients to their body. It is recommended that men who experience patchy facial hair and desire thick beard growth consume less sugar as well as foods that contain a high salt content. It is recommended that men should eat more:
*Foods rich in Vitamin D
Exercise: Proper exercise naturally increases testosterone production. It is recommended that adults should exercise for up to 300 minutes per week with moderate intensity.
Let it Grow: Men who suffer from patchy facial hair often cave to the urge of shaving their beard and the growth gains they have achieved due to the lack of growth on certain areas of the face. Resist this urge. Be patient and let it grow. Beard hair, like other hair on the body grows in different directions. Once the beard grows and the hair is long enough, some of the patch spots of the beard can be covered up or even combed over. Also, remember that hair grows in cycles. The cycles of hair growth are:
Anagen phase: Growth phase of hair
Catagen phase: Resting phase of hair
Telogen phase: Fall out or shedding phase of hair
Once enough of these cycles become cyclical, it is possible for some of the patches to disappear over time.
Beard Therapy service: A service for men who have patchy beard growth that has shown the ability to increase beard growth.
Beard Therapy physiology and how it may help patchy facial hair
Beard Therapy is a service offered at Men’s Den, Inc., A Fine Salon & Spa for Gentlemen that has shown the ability to be advantageous for beard growth in some men. Beard Therapy is a nonsurgical option for men with patchy facial hair as it has shown the ability for some men to grow thicker, denser, fuller beards. Let us learn why this may be possible.
The Beard Therapy service utilizes an implement called a high frequency comb. A high frequency comb has the ability to achieve new (vellus) hair growth by using electrical energy through the formation of ozone from oxygen. The high frequency current is located in the comb of the glass (pictured below).
High Frequency Comb
The formation of ozone from the high frequency comb has the ability to:
*Improve blood circulation to the hair follicles located on the face. Improved blood flow creates the delivery on nutrients and oxygen to the follicles.
*Provides exfoliation to the skin on the face. Exfoliation can assist with the creation of new skin cells or the regeneration of skin cells.
*Prevents beard dandruff and itchy skin.
*May assist in beard growth due to the stimulation of hair follicles located in the epidermal layer of the skin. Stimulation of hair follicles can assist in growing new (vellus) hair. High frequency has the ability to synthesize keratinocyte growth factor which is essential for the growth of new hair. Data has shown that after exposure to high frequency current there is an increase in the regulation of Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 which induces the growth of the hair follicle located in the skin.
Beard Therapy is a cutting-edge beard service that has had positive effects on beard growth. Although we have seen positive results for beard growth, it should be noted due to the uniqueness of genetic makeup every individual; is different and therefor may experience different results.
Beard Therapy service:
Client receiving Beard Therapy service
The Beard Therapy service at Men’s Den, Inc. is conducted by our highly trained and qualified staff. The service begins with an in-depth consultation so that we are able to determine any issues or frustrations clients are experiencing so that we may give recommendations to meet your needs. The Beard Therapy service allows men who have patchy facial hair as well as men who have thick beards the opportunity to cleanse and moisturize the skin, exfoliate the skin, and offers the potential to grow a thicker beard all why they relax. The steps below are involved in the Beard Therapy service at Men’s Den, Inc.
Step 1- The clients face is cleansed and his beard is massaged and shampooed. Remember, clean is good. Growth is not possible in a dirty or infected area.
Step 2- A high frequency comb is used on the clients face and beard. The comb is repeatedly taken over the beard and exposed skin. This repeated motion results in exfoliation, moisturization, and unclogging of the hair follicles.
Step 3- The skin and beard of the client is conditioned. Moisturized and conditioned skin is imperative for proper beard growth as well as healthy skin.
Step 4- Relax! A warm towel is placed over the clients face and beard. Enjoy the quiet serenity and escape the pressures of life for a short time.
Step 5- Clients face and beard is rinsed to remove the conditioning agent.
Step 6- Dry the face and beard of the client.
Step 7- Finish the Beard Therapy service using an application of a beard oil or beard balm. We recommend a Speakeasy Brand beard care product that will assist is keeping the skin both clean and moisture.
As we can see, many of the keys to creating hair growth at the follicle level are targeted in this one service including cleansing, moisturizing, exfoliating, as well as stimulation through high frequency.
Although patchy facial hair can be frustrating for many men there are possible non surgical solutions for the problem but it does require a commitment. Genetics does play a big role in answering the question of why some men can achieve full, thick, dense beards and some can’t. Hormones such as testosterone and the conversion to DHT and the sensitivity to binding at the hair follicle level is a major factor in beard growth for men. Lack of sleep, a poor diet, and physical inactivity also play a role in healthy beard growth.
Beard Therapy may be an option for some men with patchy facial hair that may allow them to grow thick, dense facial hair. The Beard Therapy Service uses high frequency technology to exfoliate, moisturize, improve blood and nutrient flow, as well as clean the hair follicle that may assist in beard growth. The Beard Therapy service is available at Men’s Den, Inc., A Fine Salon & Spa for Gentlemen. The staff who performs the service is highly trained and skilled at caring for men’s beards. If you are frustrated by patchy facial hair, please visit mensdeninc.com or call 260-739-7081 to schedule your appointment today.