Growing a thick, full beard is the dream for a lot of men out there. It adds poise and masculinity to your look, helping you to seem capable and confident no matter what the situation. It’s no wonder, either — with so many movie stars and musicians rocking facial hair, the beard is practically impossible to miss in today’s pop culture landscape.
However, not everybody’s able to grow the kind of full, even beard that they’d like to. There’s nothing much you can do about it, either: a large part of the way your beard will eventually look has to do with your genetics. But that doesn’t mean your beard journey needs to stop before it even gets going. There are plenty of ways to make a patchy beard look just as stylish and sexy as an even beard. As facial hair styles evolve, we’re seeing more and more people embrace the unique aesthetic appeal that patchy beards can create.
In the following article we’ll be going over the best beard styles for patchy beards. We’ll also briefly touch on how to take care of a patchy beard, letting you know what to look out for as you go about trying to cultivate some of the styles below.
While it’s not quite the same as a goatee, which includes hair growth on the upper lip, the chin beard can be a straightforward, no-fuss style you can use to make the most out of a patchy beard. This is best for men whose beards are very patchy, as it’ll involve keeping the rest of your face shaved right down to the skin.
It can also be a good way to make the most of your chin’s natural bone structure, too. If you have a rounder face, a chin beard will create a natural resting place for the eye, helping to add more edges to your features. On the other hand, if your face is already quite angular, the chin beard will further emphasize that aspect of the way you look. Because it involves practically no other facial hair growth, the chin beard is easy to pair with a lot of different looks. Longer, curly hair in particular tends to work well with a chin beard, while a more closely-shaven buzz cut or something similar will also do the trick.
Rather than trying to work around the patchiness of your facial hair growth, it’s also possible to simply embrace the way your hair grows and own it. This is particularly popular among Hollywood movie stars like Ryan Gosling, whose beards don’t grow in to be full or thick, but who nevertheless pull off a sleek, confident look. It’ll likely take some adjusting to, but by the time you’ve been wearing your beard at its resting state of patchiness for a while you’ll be used to the way it looks.
Of course, just because your beard is patchy doesn’t mean you can neglect beard care. That means shampoo once or twice a week (or more if you’re used to hitting the gym or exercising strenuously), as well as the regular application of beard oil, in order to keep your beard hairs soft and nice-smelling. It’s particularly important to remember to trim the beard, which will help keep the natural unevenness under as much control as possible. Don’t be afraid to let it grow out a little on your neck, either; it’ll look quite natural when seen in the context of your face as a whole.
Halfway between having a short beard and being clean-shaven, stubble has been one of the most popular stylistic choices for men since time immemorial. Effectively working as a style that doesn’t need any styling, stubble tells the world that you want to look good, but you’ve just got too much on your plate to spend excessive amounts of time grooming yourself.
Stubble can be accomplished with nothing more complicated than a basic pair of clippers, and as beard styles for patchy beards go, it’s about as low maintenance as it gets.
Don’t worry too much about how even the stubble itself actually is. You’re not aiming for a completely smooth, fully filled-in face of stubble anyway. Rather, make sure to give the entire area a good going-over with a razor everyday or every other day so that the overall look of the style is kept consistent.
Allow your stubble to grow on your cheeks, upper lip, chin, and jaw, while taking care to ensure that it doesn’t extend too far down on your neck. An easy way to keep the line steady is to put your index and middle fingers together and run them along the bottom of your jawline. The bottom of your index finger is the absolute furthest your stubble should go, otherwise you risk looking a little too wild for comfort.
If anybody tells you that there’s no good beard style for men with patchy beards, all you need to do is show them a photo of Johnny Depp and let his goatee do the talking. The A-lister is responsible for making this style of beard as mainstream as it is, but it all came about as a result of the fact that his facial hair would only ever grow in patchily. The goatee itself is simple to pull off, but you do need to keep a close eye on it, or you might just end up looking messy.
Allow the hair on your chin, below your lower lip, and on your upper lip to grow out. Don’t worry too much about trying to keep it all closely-cropped or stubbled; the entire point of this look is for the natural patchiness to add a degree of edge to your look.
You don’t want the hairs getting too long and curly — particularly not if they’re starting to look more like a cloud than a beard — but it’s okay to give it about an inch or so on the chin. As for the rest of your face, it’s up to you. Depp himself often allows some of his facial hair to grow in on his cheeks, but that look may not be for everybody, and you can’t go wrong with keeping everything else clean-shaven.
Being unable to grow a thick and full beard doesn’t always translate to being unable to grow a thick and full mustache. Because it sits right in the middle of your face, an extensive and well cared-for mustache can add volume to your facial hair and give the impression of more regular growth than there actually is. It can also add a real pop to your look if your facial hair is a slightly different colour to the hair on the top of your head, which will help to distract from the patchiness of the growth around the cheeks.
It’s recommended that while you allow the mustache area to grow out, you try to keep the rest of the beard more or less under control. This should give you the best of both worlds: the sheer size and depth of a full mustache takes a lot of the pressure off of your cheeks. Let the rest of the beard grow, but be conscious of keeping it slightly shorter than the mustache itself — you’d be amazed just how full even the patchiest of beards can look when this style is well executed.
The chin strap has been a favourite style in street culture for decades, now, and it’s not hard to see why. Adding a distinctly masculine touch to an otherwise clean-shaven face, by maintaining a “strap” of hair along your jawline and chin you’ll be drawing attention to the natural angles of your face. This contributes to an overall impression of manliness, and it can be pulled off even if your beard doesn’t grow evenly on your cheeks.
Maintenance is straightforward — just make sure to regularly clip the edges so that the line of hair stays along your jaw and doesn’t stray upwards towards your cheeks and the middle of your face. Any hair on your neck at all is a no-no, so trim away with abandon below your chin and jaw. The chin strap can be combined with either a full mustache or a five o’clock shadow to add an extra layer of edge to the impression you’ll be giving off.
Given that patchy beards stem from your body’s inherent hormone balance, there’s not a whole lot you can do to improve the distribution of your facial hair. However, that doesn’t mean that you should neglect your beard’s health completely. There are a few simple steps you can follow that’ll help you to keep your facial hair looking as fresh and attractive as possible.
As with any beard, it’s important to keep it as clean as possible, in order to add softness and volume to the follicles, as well as keeping them shiny and even. This is just as important when it comes to a patchy beard, and perhaps even more so, since by taking care of your hair you’ll be getting the most out of whichever beard style you’ve decided to go with.
Warm water is the best way to wash your beard; make sure you give it a rinse with warm water at least once a day. Shampoo should only be used once or twice a week — take care to use a beard-friendly brand of shampoo that won’t do your follicles any damage.
Trimming a patchy beard has its upsides and downsides compared to a more full growth. On one hand, you’ve got less hair to worry about keeping even; on the other hand, it’s harder to maintain a consistent cut throughout the growth.
In order to trim your patchy beard properly, make sure that you brush it out against the grain before reaching for the scissors. This will cause your hair to stand on end, and it’ll give you a better chance of judging how the changes you make will affect the overall look.
Beard oil is a vital part of any bearded man’s grooming kit, no matter what kind of facial hair they’re trying to grow. By adding beard oil into your beard care routine, you’ll be helping to keep your patchy beard look healthy and lustrous all day long.
The best beard oils are made from natural ingredients, so they won’t be too taxing on your skin and hair follicles. Check out Urban Beard’s range of beard oils if you’re looking for inspiration — we only work with the highest-quality products made from the best ingredients, so you can rest assured that your beard will be well taken care of.
The best beard styles for a patchy beard are listed above, but there’s always room for a little inspiration when it comes to facial hair. If there’s one particular look you’re fond of, why not try putting your own spin on it and seeing what happens? After all, you just might be able to hit on a new look that could be unique to you.
Don’t forget to maintain your beard, no matter how patchy it is or which style you’ve decided to go for. Every beard, patchy or not, has the potential to look great (if maintained properly) or decidedly subpar (if left to its own devices and not cared for at all). Give yourself the best chance of making a statement with even the patchiest of beards by remembering to use shampoo and beard oil, as well as trimming regularly.
Do you have a personal favourite patchy beard style that you didn’t see on the list above? Drop it to us down below in the comments, or get in touch with us and tell us all about it. We’re always looking for new ways to help men learn how to grow beards properly.
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