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Alopecia Barbae: How to treat beard loss

Alopecia Barbae: How to treat beard loss
25 February 2021
2-minute read

A receding hairline, patchy hair and diffuse thinning - when it comes to balding, those three are the holy trinity. However, your head isn’t the only place your hair can start jumping ship. Many men struggle with an auto-immune condition called alopecia barbae, which actively damages hair follicles in your beard. Noticing some thinning in your moustache, beard or sideburns? We’ve got together a lowdown on alopecia barbae and how we successfully treat it.

What is alopecia barbae?

If you’re spotting bald patches in your beard, you may be suffering from alopecia barbae. As a form of alopecia areata, alopecia barbae specifically targets the hair follicles in your facial hair and causes thinning and balding. In contrast to male pattern baldness, which is very common among men, alopecia barbae does not follow a pattern. Those suffering from the condition may notice small bald spots, around the size of a coin, on their chin, upper lip, cheeks and around the neck.

While it is rare, some cases of alopecia barbae can damage entire beards and cause the loss of all facial hair. However, in most examples, the condition will only be noticeable in small patches. The symptoms aren’t always permanent either - alopecia barbae can come and go over a period of several years.

What causes alopecia barbae?

The science isn’t settled on why alopecia barbae occurs. Various studies show that people with auto-immune diseases are more likely to develop the condition, as well as a variety of genetic factors inherited from parents. Like most hair loss, it’s also likely that stress, anxiety and depression play an important role in the development of the condition. Alopecia barbae doesn’t discriminate based on age either - if you’re old enough to grow a beard, you’re old enough to develop bald spots in your beard.

Alopecia barbae treatment

The best way to solve your beard hair loss? Beard hair loss remedies. While alopecia barbae is rare, there is still treatment available that can make a huge difference. 

Minoxidil, part of the Sons treatment programme, is a medication that increases the amount of blood flowing to your hair follicles. This supplies follicles with more nutrients and stimulates further beard growth. Within our treatment plans, minoxidil is used daily in the form of a topical solution. While this may be a slow process, the effects can make a drastic difference to your beard. 

In some rare cases, surgical hair transplants are performed to combat alopecia barbae. While this may turn out to be an expensive option, the results can be natural looking and ultimately resolve severe cases.

Like all types of hair loss, alopecia barbae isn’t pleasant. We understand the mental toll that both hair and beard loss can have on mental health, which is one of the fundamental reasons we started Sons. If you’re interested in solving your hair loss issues, have a browse through our proven treatment plans and find a solution that suits you.

All of our blog articles are reviewed by our Medical Director before publication.