Why Can’t I Grow A Full Beard?

Men’s beards have happened to become quite fashionable over the past few years. Like all other human features, there is a great variation in beard growth from one man to the next. Some men grow extremely dense beards over the entire lower face, whereas others may have fine growth that can be rather sparse. Although the quality and density of a man’s beard growth are largely genetic and pre-determined, there are some medical reasons for the lack of fullness in a man’s beard. Changes in one’s beard growth over time can even be an indicator of a general health concern.

A proper diet is always a key component in maintaining good health, and a thinning beard can point to dietary deficiencies such as low protein intake or low iron. This type of beard loss is both preventable and treatable by following or resuming a healthy and well-balanced diet. If low iron levels are suspected, a simple blood test can be ordered to check iron storage levels. If the hair loss is dietary, beard growth
will improve slowly over a few months after dietary correction. Auto-immune conditions can also result in
loss of beard growth. If the hair loss is in well-defined circular or oval patches, it is usually a condition called alopecia areata. In this case, the immune system is suppressing the beard growth for unknown reasons, or in some cases due to thyroid irregularities. Alopecia areata is rather common in the dermatology clinic and is treatable with topical and injectable medications. Bloodwork may also be checked to rule out thyroid disease. Beard regrowth may take several months, but most beards will respond to treatment. Lastly, certain rashes that can affect the face can cause beard loss. These include seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, and lupus of the skin. The rashes usually need to be rather advanced to result in beard loss, and once the rash has cleared the whiskers will generally regenerate.

In cases where a medical reason for beard thinning is not found, genetics are usually to blame. Just as with treatment for genetic hair loss on our scalps, topical and oral treatment options are available to enhance beard growth. Minoxidil is a topical solution that has been available over-the-counter for many years. It stimulates hair growth wherever it is applied and is safe to apply to the beard area. Additionally, skinfo® stocks Viviscal™ Professional Tablets ($60, 60 tablets). These are supplements containing Aminomar Marine Complex as well as several vitamins which nourish the hair follicles and encourage stronger and healthier hair growth. Viviscal™ tablets should be taken twice daily with food and can improve hair growth alone, or in combination with topical minoxidil.