Did you know that lot of us guys spend a good deal of time paying attention to and caring for our beards? We work hard to grow them out. Plus, we apply products to them that make them softer and healthier. But, sometimes, it seems like no matter what we’re doing right, we are losing our beard hair at an alarming rate. Beard loss, is it actually happening?
Few things can upset a bearded man as much as feeling like all of his growing-out efforts are being sabotaged by the loss of hair. It’s important to know that men lose about 20-30 individual beard hairs a day. This is simply a normal part of the follicles’ cycle. Those beard hairs are replenished with new ones to maintain overall beard health. So, seeing some stray strands from time to time, especially after washing or brushing, is not any cause for concern.
Now, there are also certain reasons why a man may actually begin losing beard hair at a faster rate, and/or without any new hair coming in to take its place. Beard loss is a real thing. It’s caused by specific factors that, luckily, all have solutions.
One surprisingly common culprit is a skin allergy, or an exposure to a harsh chemical in a facial product. When the skin is exposed to an allergen or a strong chemical like alcohol or sodium lauryl sulfate, it can react harshly, causing dryness, flaking and inflammation that directly prevents the follicles from growing hair. The damage caused by this reaction can also weaken the follicles, causing beard hairs to drop. It’s not unusual for severe or reoccurring reactions to cause bald patches on the face.
The Solution: Skip the harsh products, along with products that are heavily fragranced, and opt for all-natural formulas that come from Don Juan Pomade. These products are free of the most common allergens, and do not contain harsh chemicals that can negatively impact your beard or your skin.
Sometimes, there is an actual infection of the skin or follicles that’s causing the hair to fall out. Bacterial and fungal infections can occur due to systemic issues like digestive inflammation. Or, can result from topical exposure to a pathogen through touching your face, sleeping on a dirty pillowcase, or wearing a dirty face mask. Our skin is always exposed to fungus and bacteria. So, it’s not surprising that topical infections can occur from time to time.
Other signs of an infection are:
The Solution: Seek out the help of a dermatologist. They can determine the nature of the infection and rule out other potential contributing factors. Your dermatologist can prescribe a topical medication that can clear up the infection.
Alopecia is an autoimmune condition that causes the immune system to attack hair follicles. Thus, causing hair loss that can be localized or throughout the body. It’s believed to be influenced by genetics. Alopecia tends to occur gradually, so it may start out with some minor bald patches on your beard, but eventually there is almost always a complete loss of hair. If you are also losing hair in other areas of your body, it’s likely that you have alopecia.
The Solution: Alopecia is a medical condition that requires a doctor’s guidance to treat. There is no cure for alopecia, but some people have had success slowing down the process with certain medications and lifestyle changes.
There may be an underlying health issue responsible for your beard loss, as all kinds of internal factors can influence the function of the hair follicles. It’s actually quite common for stress to lead to hair loss. Why? It’s due to inflammation caused by severe stress can influence the health of the follicles. Also, a lack of certain nutrients can lead to beard loss as the follicles rely on a plethora of nutrients to remain active. And, certain diseases can cause beard loss, along with certain medications.
The Solution: If you suspect that your beard loss is the result of an underlying health issue, it’s critical that you seek treatment from your doctor, as only they can determine the cause of the issue and develop a safe and effective treatment plan. It may be a simple matter of upping your vegetable intake or taking a medication to address an imbalance in the body.
Beard growth is controlled by dihydrotestosterone, a hormone that’s a byproduct of testosterone. If you have low testosterone levels, you won’t produce adequate DHT. And, therefore, won’t be able to maintain a healthy beard. Another sign of low testosterone is slow beard growth and uneven growth resulting in a patchy appearance. Low testosterone can cause all kinds of systemic issues including thyroid dysfunction and mood disorders.
The Solution: If you think that low testosterone is the culprit, the only way to know for sure is to see a doctor who can refer you to an endocrinologist. An endocrinologist can test your testosterone and DHT levels and determine if they are playing a role in your beard. They can also tell you how to increase these levels to get your beard. Not to mention, your overall health, back on track as well.
Eczema is a relatively common skin condition that is inflammatory in nature, causing the skin to flake off and peel due to rapid skin cell die-off. It can also cause the skin to itch. Eczema can occur due to underlying immune system problems and digestive problems.
The Solution: Again, see a dermatologist who can diagnose the condition and provide a medication that can treat it. Usually, eczema is treated with a topical solution that minimizes inflammation.
It’s normal to lose some beard hairs each day, but if you feel like you’re losing more than what’s considered normal, follow your gut, and consider one of the above culprits. It’s also a good idea to visit a doctor as often, beard loss is a sign of an underlying issue. Ultimately, there are many solutions to beard loss that are easy to maintain so that you can once again enjoy a healthy and full beard.