Losing Beard Hairs, is it Normal?

Photo Credit: John Abraham

I know for most of us, the thought of losing precious beard hair is quite frightening. I for one, am likely to hold a small memorial service if a particularly long hair has fallen. We see them when we shower, we see them when we brush or comb our beards and even when we apply our beard oil. Sometimes I believe my sink is growing a beard.

But you might be astonished at how remarkably common it is, here’s why…

Normal Beard Growth Cycle

Your hair goes through a three stage growth cycle; beards are no different in that regard. To put it simply, your beard hair goes through a growing phase (Anagen Phase), a dormant transition phase (Catagen Phase) and a shedding phase (Telogen Phase). The anagen phase last about two years on average, while the catagen and telegen phase are much shorter. Each hair is at different intervals of the growth cycle at all times, or else your entire beard would fall off and you have to keep starting over again. That would be traumatizing!

But not to worry!

After a beard hair has lost the good fight, the follicle will remain active for about 3 months and there will a brand new shiny hair coming right behind it! The process then repeats. It’s very normal to lose an average of 20–30 beard hairs a day (obviously some more than others). I know, that sounds like A LOT, but the average face has about 30,000 beard hairs.

Ok, can I prevent it?

Not entirely, but there are some things we can do to help the growing stage last a little bit longer. It’s important to understand that each hair has a predetermined lifespan, so your extra efforts will aid the beard hair in reaching its maximum genetic growth potential, but won’t exceed it.

When trying to optimize the life span of your beloved face fuzz, it’s important to remember that a healthy mind, body and skin produce healthy beard hair.

Yes, I said mind. It’s imperative to try to limit stress as much as possible. Stress is a proven killer of not only beard hair, but all hair. It can impede growth and even cause premature beard loss. Try to make time for leisure activities and try to stay physically active. Exercise greatly reduces stress levels and can really help ease the mind.

Which leads me to the next point, a healthy body…

Being more active will not only reduce stress levels, but it will lead to a healthier body as well. Make sure you are taking in the proper nutrients and drinking plenty of water. You’d be surprised how much making healthier choices will jumpstart beard growth. Let’s face it, what better reason to get into shape? All of these changes will also help lead to healthy skin!

Healthy skin produces healthy hair…

To improve skin health, it’s important to stay well hydrated and make sure you’re getting all the vitamins and nutrients you need, but that’s only part of the equation. It’s vital to take care of the skin itself as well. We can do this through keeping it clean and well moisturized. When washing your beard, be sure to use a gentle beard wash that won’t strip all of your natural oils from the hair and skin. Also, try not to over wash it. A general rule of thumb is about once or twice a week, but obviously if your lifestyle calls for more, by all means. You’ll also want to use a good quality beard oil after your daily shower. One that contains natural, unrefined oils such as jojoba oil, sweet almond oil and apricot kernel oil. Keeping all of this in mind will help you create a healthy and optimal beard growing environment.

A few closing thoughts

Of course all of this is for normal beard hair loss, if you notice that your beard is losing far more than 20–30 hairs a day, coming out in patches or clearly getting visibly thinner and wispier, it may be wise to seek a medical opinion to see if there’s another cause. But more than likely, there’s nothing to worry about, you’re just experiencing plain ordinary beard hair loss. Do what you can to keep yourself and your beard healthy and let nature take care of the rest.

Thanks so much for reading! Feel free to leave your thoughts as well.

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Until next time, you bring the beard, I’ll bring the booze!