This is the 2nd part of The Mod Cabin's Growing a Beard guide. This post assumes you have grown your facial hair out for at least four weeks. If you are just beginning to grow your facial hair or considering whether to grow a beard, please see Growing a Beard Part 1. Once you have grown out your facial hair for at least four weeks, return to this post.
Now that you have some facial hair to work with and are past the itchy stage, you may or may not notice you have some patchy areas. Facial hair, unlike the hair on your head, is androgenic hair; the body hair that grows on both men & women after they reach puberty. If you don't have the right combination of testosterone, dihydrotestosterone and 5-alpha-reductase, you may have some patchy areas. Fear not; this does not mean you are lacking testosterone, you are more likely low on 5-alpha-reductase. Unfortunately, as of now there are no medicines to help with this to my knowledge.
This does not mean you cannot grow an awesome beard! There are a couple different ways to approach the patchy issue. If you have a generally thick beard you can just continue to grow it and after awhile your facial hair will outgrow the patches. Even if you don't have thick facial hair you can still continue to grow your beard out and then consult a beard style guide like Hudson's Facial Hair Style Guide and choose a style that works around your patches. If your facial hair is patchy around your cheeks, but thick around your chin, you may want to go with a Brett Beard; which covers your chin while stretching back along your jawline to your ears.
Regardless of what style you choose, the important thing to remember is to be patient, drink plenty of water, get plenty of protein and stay healthy. Your beard is bound to go through awkward stages as it grows. You may be tempted to trim part of it. In most cases this is a bad idea. Your facial hair is just like the hair on your head in the sense that given time to grow, most problems will fix themselves. Be patient. There are a lot of factors out of your control that can affect how your beard looks from day to day; humidity, temperature, your level of hydration etc.
If your beard has grown in nice, but you are having a hard time keeping it shaped evenly, I recommend using a medium hold pomade like The Mod Cabin's Sweetheart Beard Balm
After washing your beard with a natural shaving soap like The Mod Cabin's Birch Tar Soap, let it dry. Once dry, scrape some beard wax out with the back of your thumbnail and rub it in between your hands, then rub it into your beard and shape as desired. This should help you keep your beard shaped nicely.
In the next post, we'll get more into shaping, trimming and maintaining your beard over the long haul.