You’ve grown the beard of your dreams. You’ve done everything right from brushing it and using specially formulated beard shampoos to beard balm.
Yet, you find a sudden bald spot in your beard.
If your beard were otherwise healthy then suddenly it starts to exhibit signs of facial hair loss, then you may be dealing with alopecia beard or barbae.
What is alopecia beard? Is there anything you can do about it?
In this article I will define exactly what it is so you can determine if that is your problem. And if it turns out to be alopecia, then I will also add some advice on alopecia beard treatments to get your beard back.
Your beard will be forever different, but you can fight back so don’t give up if you find yourself with a balding beard.
What is Alopecia Barbae?
Nobody knows how it starts, but alopecia, whether it is barbae, areata or totalis, is an autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks its hair causing it to fall out in patches. It treats the hair as a foreign body and gets rid of it as it would a virus or even a transplanted organ.
Genetics probably play a role, so if you have parents or grandparents with alopecia or other autoimmune diseases, such as hypothyroidism, multiple sclerosis or celiac, then you have a higher chances of developing it too.
Some viruses or medications can also trigger it and even stress can play a part.
What are the signs that you have Alopecia Barbae?
You’ll generally see a small patch around the size of a coin that seems innocent but bewildering. What doesn’t happen is that you lose facial hair from all parts of your beard. The hair loss is at first concentrated in that one area.
As time passes, the circle could get wider, or you may see other small coin sized patched develop.
Eventually, these bald spots could overlap and wipe out most of your beard leaving it not only patchy but very unevenly bald.
You may find your bead itchy in these spots just before the hair begins to fall out and continue to itch as the hair falls out.
Some men report redness and a beard rash as the beard begins to bald.
How to know for sure that this is why your beard is balding?
The symptoms of other conditions can also be mistaken for alopecia beard, so you have to do a little investigative work to make sure of what you are dealing with.
For instance, you may have a fungal or bacterial infection which could cause your beard to begin balding in patches.
Some types of infections which affect the beard are:
- Tinea versicolor
- Seborrheic dermatitis
If this is the case then you need to do an alopecia beard treatment that will eliminate the infection and start regrowing your hair. Some natural beard treatments can be using a beard oil like a castor oil based one to treat skin infections.
If you suspect that your infection is bacterial because you have yellow, waxy flakes of skin that appear in your beard which would indicate seborrheic dermatitis, then a shampoo with Ketoconazole 1% like Nizoral from Amazon.com will help eliminate that.
Any tea tree oil based beard oil or beard balm will also do quick work on any kind of bacteria or fungal infection you may believe you have so try one of these from Amazon.com to start your beard treatment.
If you still have beard rash and bald spots after having used some bead treatments then chances are that you have to see a dermatologist.
What are some Alopecia Barbae treatments?
Unfortunately, there is no miracle cure or beard treatment. Especially since doctors will likely not really know what caused your alopecia beard.
The best way to deal with it is free therapy. It’s called waiting. Yes, it may actually just start growing back on its own. Try out the treatments and products I recommended and if nothing works then just try waiting to see if the problem resolves itself.
If you have tried the alopecia beard treatments and waited to see what would happen but it didn’t go away or got worse, you’ll need to see your doctor.
If they feel that the condition is genetic and don’t see any other treatments that will work, you will likely be prescribed some steroids.
If it is autoimmune, then the immune system needs to be suppressed. This is where the steroid helps.
The initial treatments will likely be a topical cream steroid to start by calming any inflammation caused by beard rash. If it doesn’t clear up and start growing facial hair back in the bald spot then your doctor will move you to either an injection or oral steroid.
If this is indeed an autoimmune issue then, unfortunately, the hair will probably fall out again once the alopecia beard treatment has stopped. It is likely you will need to continue treatments for some time.
Can you treat alopecia barbae yourself?
So, what happens if you don’t have an autoimmune condition causing your alopecia beard?
There are a number of things you can try at home that may bring your beard back to glory.
Here are the various possible causes of alopecia beard and a corresponding beard treatment that may work:
It’s no secret that stress leads to hair loss. When you see signs of sudden bald spots on your head and beard then this is a sure sign that you’re dealing with alopecia as male pattern baldness is much different.
If you notice the bald spots occurring during a particularly stressful period then you may want to try some remedies to deal with the stress. Once you are feeling a crisis has passed you may see your hair come back.
Many essential oils have calming properties so smelling them will send signals to the brain to settle down.
If you do this enough you may find yourself feeling much less stressed.
There are many ways to enjoy the effects of essential oils. You can diffuse the aroma throughout your home or office with an essential oil diffuser from Amazon.com. You put the oils into the diffuser and enjoy the scent throughout your day.
Add some oils to your bath like chamomile, lavender or ylang-ylang and feel your mood lifted. Don’t worry this is not just for the ladies. The effects of aromatherapy can work for anybody.
Pumping your system full of adrenaline can really beat back stress from your life. Lift some weights, go rock climbing, go for a run. Just do anything that will get the blood pumping quickly and take your mind off of your problems.
Not only will you get a boost of adrenaline into your blood, but you will sleep better and your muscles will relax after a good workout.
If you have access to a sauna after you’ve exercised then that works even better. Again, get the muscles relaxed and you will feel less tense and a sauna or hot tub is the best way to do that after working out.
Another byproduct of aromatherapy and working out is that you will sleep better and reduce stress that way.
Set up some bedtime habits that will clear your mind before bed so you don’t dwell on your problems. A white noise machine from Amazon.com can really help with this as it creates some soothing sounds while you settle into bed.
Get at least 8 hours of sleep per night and your stress will melt away. Not only that, but you are also helping your beard grow naturally by getting enough rest anyway.
One of the best ways to clear your mind and to center yourself is through meditation and yoga.
With yoga you can get the blood flowing which will bring endorphins similar to what happens during sex to your body. This will release a lot of tension and bring your mind back to less stressful thoughts.
Meditation is a wonderful way to decompress from the days events. With a white noise machine you can clear your mind for 30 minutes or so a day to stay sane and stable while you wait for the crisis to pass.
Peppermint Beard Oil
Peppermint essential oil has been shown in recent studies to work as well as Minoxidil when regrowing hairless patches of beard.
If you don’t have a beard rash then you can try some beard oil that contains a large dose of peppermint oil. Avoid using it if you do have a beard rash as it can be quite harsh on skin that is inflamed and sensitive from a skin condition.
The invigorating menthol oil will increase the blood flow to the affected area and bring many nutrients with it to the struggling roots.
If you don’t have much faith in natural alopecia beard treatment remedies then instead of peppermint oil, you may want to try Minoxidil.
Even though minoxidil is proven to regrow hair, there is no clear consensus if it will work for alopecia beard or areata.
If you’re not sure if it is actually alopecia causing your hairless spots on your beard, then I would definitely try it as there isn’t much to lose.
You will need to be patient for a few months to really see the effects take place, however.
If you have a beard rash, however, you shouldn’t try this out. Wait until it passes and then you can start.
A recent study showed that people suffering from alopecia had low levels of zinc, to the point where it could be considered a deficiency.
Since zinc is vital for the body to maintain a healthy immune system, this could very well be the best option to regrow your bald spots.
It is also a vital component for hair follicle function. If you suspect that you may have a zinc deficiency, then try a beard growth supplement high in zinc like this one from Amazon.com.
Your immune system is tied to your gut so the healthier your insides are, the healthier your outside will also be.
You should make sure you are getting probiotics in your system. Eat lots of yogurt and other naturally fermented foods like sauerkraut and kombucha. This will replenish the good bacteria you need in your digestive system.
If you feel like you still aren’t getting enough then try a supplement from Amazon.com. These pills are easier to take than making sure you have time to eat fermented foods several times per day.
How long does it take to go away?
Assuming that everything goes well with these alopecia beard treatments, then you should see some hair regrowth starting in around 4 to 6 weeks.
Be warned, though, that it will take months for it to look back to normal in most cases. The hair that initially grows in will be thin and wispy and it will take some time to start growing back to be healthy and thick.
If you then use some beard oils that strengthen your facial hair then this weaker new hair will eventually grow in stronger.
If you do find that your hairless spots on your beard are alopecia then I hope these ideas on alopecia beard treatments prove helpful. If not then your doctor will definitely be able to bring your beard back to its natural look.
Don’t lose hope, even if the bald spots grow and your beard starts looking very bare.
Eventually you will get it back, it will just take time and effort. If you still get beard rashes then make sure you go to your doctor if you haven’t already.
If you have any concerns or questions about your beard health then let me know by leaving a comment in the box below. I am here to help!