Tag Archive for: facial hair loss

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Beard Hair Loss

Woo hoo! You got an enthusiastic “yes,” and your date is tonight. It’s time to get spiffy. So you pull out your razor, glance in the mirror, and just as you begin to lather up, you notice something strange. A tiny little circle where your beard hair is missing. Is that a bald spot? Was that there yesterday? Will my date notice? Will the hair grow back? Whoa, stop for a minute. Here’s the deal. Beard hair loss can often be treated, but the process takes time and requires a dermatologist’s supervision. Although you shouldn’t panic, you should seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent further beard loss. Here’s what else you should know and why you shouldn’t ignore beard hair loss.  

Why is My Beard Hair Falling Out?

Let’s start with the basics. It’s important to understand why your facial hair is falling out. Most of the time, facial hair loss is due to an autoimmune condition called Alopecia Barbae.  The condition occurs when your body attacks your hair follicles, causing small, circular patches of hair loss. Alopecia Barbae is usually seen along your jawline, but it can affect any part of your beard. Hair loss can be isolated to one patchy area, or it can be widespread. 

If you’ve heard that having one autoimmune disease predisposes you to more, that’s true in this case. The same autoimmune disease that causes Alopecia Areata, which causes patchy round circles of hair loss on your head, causes Alopecia Barbae. People who have Alopecia Areata are more likely to experience Alopecia Barbae. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you will see hair loss on both your head and beard. You can get one without the other. The condition is unpredictable, which can make management extremely frustrating. Having thyroid disease, diabetes, lupus, or psoriasis can also make you more susceptible to beard hair loss.  

Did I Miss the Symptoms of Alopecia Barbae?

How is it possible that you had a full beard yesterday and today you’re finding bald spots? Did you miss something? Could you have prevented the beard loss? Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to predict Alopecia Barbae. As a non-scarring form of Alopecia, there isn’t any redness, itching, or inflammation waving a red flag. There isn’t a way to know what’s to come until your bald patches appear.

Will My Beard Grow Back?

Yes, the hair on your beard may grow back. Alopecia Barbae is non-scarring, meaning that your hair follicles aren’t permanently damaged. Hair can regrow, sometimes spontaneously. Other times, treatment is required. To help boost hair growth all around, you can try to incorporate a hair supplement into your hair care routine. 

How Do Dermatologists Diagnose Alopecia Barbae?

Diagnosing Alopecia Barbae takes experience and skill. You definitely shouldn’t ignore beard hair loss. The condition’s distinguishing traits require a dermatoscope or biopsy to see. The first are small hairs that look like exclamation marks. They are wider on top than on the bottom near the hair follicle. Your dermatologist will also look carefully around the bald patch for signs of short vellus hairs. Vellus hairs tend to have a grayish-whitish color and a fluffy texture. Your dermatologist may also see small hairs that break off just underneath the skin. The hairs may look like small black, white, or yellow dots. 

Happy Head custom hair loss treatments are made for you and your unique hair loss condition and pattern. We base this formula off of your unique responses to our questionnaire and your consultation with your dedicated board-certified dermatologist. You shouldn't ignore beard hair loss when you have solutions to keep it.

What Treatment Options are Available?

If your beard doesn’t regrow on its own, your dermatologist can offer treatment options to help jump-start the process. No treatments are FDA approved, however, dermatologists commonly prescribe medications off-label. Treatment typically focuses on simultaneously calming the immune system and stimulating growth, so you may find yourself using multiple medications at the same time. Because everyone’s body chemistry differs, it may take some experimenting to determine the right mix of medications for you. 

Topical or Injected Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids are often used as a first-line approach to suppress your body’s immune system. It may take time for your body to calm down, so be prepared for treatments to be spread over a few months.

Topical or Oral Minoxidil

You may be familiar with Minoxidil for regrowing the hair on your head. Minoxidil can also be safely used to stimulate beard growth. The treatment is often combined with corticosteroids and is a fast, easy, and accessible option for many men.

Platelet-rich Plasma

Platelet-rich plasma treatments have been in the spotlight for many different applications ranging from sports treatments to hair loss therapy. During a PRP treatment, platelets are extracted from your blood, concentrated, and reinjected to stimulate growth. While PRP gets mixed results for other applications, research indicates that PRP therapy produces promising results for treating beard loss. (01)

JAK Inhibitors

Exciting breakthroughs have been made in the past few years using JAK inhibitors to stimulate hair growth among people with severe cases of Alopecia Areata. JAK inhibitors are immune-modulating medications that inhibit the enzymes responsible for causing your body to attack itself. Topical treatments or oral pills are prescribed based on a patient’s needs. At Happy Head, we create custom topical hair loss treatments that are made just for you and your particular hair loss needs. 


Anthralin, a topical medication prescribed to treat psoriasis is being used off-label to treat Alopecia Barbae. Although not much research has been conducted on the effectiveness of facial hair, findings indicate that the medication shows promise in treating Alopecia Areata. (02)


Diphencyprone has been used since the 70s to treat Alopecia Areata. Like Antralin, there’s limited research on the medication’s use for Alopecia Barbae, but it has demonstrated efficacy in treating Alopecia Areata. It is not unusual for dermatologists to prescribe the medication off-label to patients experiencing severe beard hair loss. 

What Else Can Cause Beard Hair Loss?

Keep in mind that neither Alopecia Areata nor Alopecia Barbae is common. A very small percentage of the population is affected. Some men are never able to grow a full beard. For them, sparse facial hair is normal. Stress, medications, poor diet, hormonal imbalances, and other factors can cause beard hair loss. So, before you assume the worst, check in with your dermatologist. There may be an easy fix to get your beard back into shape. 

What You Can Do About Beard Hair Loss (Besides Panic)

Beard hair loss is aesthetic, and fortunately, it doesn’t affect your overall health. That said, any alopecia can affect your self-esteem and confidence. While you wait for your hair to grow back, temporary fixes to camouflage the bald spots in your beard can make you feel better. While a close shave may not be your ultimate goal, it can bridge the gap until your hair grows back. Depending upon the size of the bald spot(s) you may also be able to use a little hair cover-up powder. Some creative guys have also found success experimenting with a fine point liquid eyeliner pen in a color that matches their hair. 

Stressed about patches in your beard? Don’t have a dermatologist? Can’t get an appointment for months? Happy Head has board-certified dermatologists licensed in every state who can advise you on your beard hair loss as well as scalp hair loss. Simply complete a brief questionnaire to learn whether you are a candidate for our topical Minoxidil or other hair loss treatments that can help regrow facial hair. We can even customize a formula just for you. You shouldn’t ignore beard hair loss when you can find a solution that’s easy to add to your daily routine. 


(01) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7193229/

(02) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3314718/


Is Losing Facial Hair Normal?

There are countless options for getting rid of facial hair.  You can wax, tweeze, shave, thread, and even have laser hair removal.  Within minutes, you can get the clean, smooth look you want.  But what can you do if you lose hair in your eyelashes, eyebrows, mustache, or beard?  Finding a bald spot on your face is just as alarming as finding one on your head.  Not to mention that it can be a little challenging to cover up. 

However, neither men nor women often talk about losing facial hair, making a lot of people wonder if facial hair loss is even normal.  Is it?  Why does facial hair loss happen?  What can you do if your eyelashes are sparse or your eyebrows or beard are missing patches of hair?  Whether you’re male or female, we’re here to fill you in.  

How Much Facial Hair Loss is Typical?

Facial hair sheds during the hair growth cycle the same way the hair on your head falls out.   So losing a few whiskers or eyelashes when you wash your face is normal.  It just means those hairs were in the resting phase of the cycle.  You shouldn’t look any different when those hairs are missing.  Losing more than a few hairs and seeing a bald patch is a different story.  If that happens, it’s time to visit your dermatologist.

Alopecia Can Cause Bald Spots in Your mustache or Beard

Alopecia can affect more than just your scalp; it can also affect your facial hair.  You can get alopecia in your beard or mustache for a few different reasons. These include:

  • Ringworm infections
  • Telogen effluvium 
  • Chemotherapy treatment
  • Alopecia

In most cases, hair loss in the beard area is not permanent.  Ringworm infections typically resolve with anti-fungal medications.  If you’re unfamiliar with telogen effluvium, it’s hair loss caused by sudden stress.  Anxiety, a high fever from Covid or other illnesses, hospitalization, and other stressful events can trigger telogen effluvium.  It’s usually temporary.  Hair will grow back within six months to a year.  

Alopecia Barbae is Often Treated with Minoxidil and Cortisone Injections

Another reason why men can lose facial hair is due to alopecia barbae.   Alopecia barbae is a form of alopecia areata that affects the beard.  Like alopecia areata, alopecia barbae is an autoimmune condition where your body attacks your hair follicles, causing small circular patches.  Men who have alopecia areata may be more likely to get alopecia barbae.  Hair often spontaneously regrows; however, the condition can flare up from time to time.  Alopecia barbae is often treated with cortisone injections and topical minoxidil.  

Although the exact cause of alopecia barbae is unknown, genetics may be a factor.  Men with allergies, asthma, and other autoimmune diseases are more likely to be affected.  Once you have one autoimmune disease, it’s possible to get others.  

Because of the alopecia barbae’s unpredictable nature, men are often caught by surprise when they see bald patches.  Some men who have the condition report that their skin sometimes feels itchy and painful before their hair falls out.  The skin visible through the patches can be either smooth or rough.  Redness and inflammation can be present in bald spots as well.  Some also report that the hair that grows back in around the bald spot has a different texture than their other hair.  The hairs sometimes grow narrower at the bottom, also known as exclamation mark hairs.

Loss of Eyebrows and Eyelashes is Common Among Both Men and Women

Madarosis is the name of the condition that causes men and women to lose all or some of their eyelash and eyebrow hair.   The hair loss isn’t always symmetrical.  Madarosis can affect just one eye.  

Madarosis can be scarring or non-scarring, just like alopecia.  Scarring means inflammation blocks the hair follicles so new hair cannot emerge.  Scarring doesn’t occur immediately.  It happens over time.  Non-scarring means that the hair enters the resting phase of the growth cycle early, but the follicle remains functional.  

If you notice bald spots in your eyebrows or gaps in your lashes, it’s best to visit a dermatologist as soon as possible.  There are many possible explanations for madarosis, including:

  • Alopecia areata
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Thyroid disease
  • Infections
  • Medications

Early diagnosis and treatment will give you the best possible results. 

Eyelash and Eyebrow Regrowth Products are More Readily Available Than In the Past

Thanks to research, medications that help regrow facial hair are now available.  If your eyelashes or eyebrows are thinning, you may be a candidate for bimatoprost, the main ingredient in Latisse and LumiganBimatoprost is a glaucoma medication that is FDA approved to help grow eyelashes and eyebrows.   The medication was originally developed to treat glaucoma.  During trials, ophthalmologists noticed that bimatoprost had the side effect of increased eyelash hair. Bimatoprost has been studied over time, and research studies indicate that the medication is highly effective (01) in stimulating growth.  

Minoxidil Can Be Used on Facial Hair Too

Minoxidil, typically used on the scalp, is safe to use on your face.  As a vasodilator, minoxidil brings more oxygen to the hair follicles, making them wider so new hair can emerge.  Minoxidil is sold over-the-counter.  However, we recommend that you consult with a dermatologist who is a hair specialist before beginning treatment for your eyebrows, beard, or mustache.  If you discontinue use, any new growth could be lost, so you will want to have a licensed professional guiding you and monitoring your progress.  

Natural-looking Options Exist to Make Eyebrows and Eyelashes Appear Thicker

If medications aren’t an option for you, many temporary and permanent solutions are now available to cover up your face’s sparse, thinning, or bald areas.  Manufacturers have made false eyelashes so realistic that it’s often difficult to tell when people are wearing them.  Tattoo options such as microblading have become mainstream.  People like the natural look.  Make-up can go a long way if you don’t want to go the permanent route.  It’s amazing what a little dark brown eye pencil can fill in.  

Selecting ways to fill in facial hair is a very personal decision.  While some people are comfortable with make-up, others prefer a permanent solution, so they don’t have to reapply daily.  The key is to do what makes you feel the most comfortable.  

What to Do if You Think You’re Losing Facial Hair

If your beard or eyebrows look a little sparse, options exist to make you feel and look better.  As with scalp hair loss treatments, FDA-approved and prescription medications are the strongest, most effective way to go. If you choose this route, you’ll need a board-certified dermatologist to help you with a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.  If you don’t have access to a dermatologist and have questions regarding your facial hair loss, feel free to contact us.  We can point you in the right direction.  Plus, we’re putting the finishing touches on some new prescription-strength facial hair loss products.  We can let you know as soon as they’re ready.  


(01) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6054329/