Can’t Stop Picking Beard Hair

Having too much unwanted facial hair is often a source of embarrassment or insecurity for men and women alike; however, many people experience an irresistible urge to pick their beard hair to the point of baldness. In some cases, people might even be unaware of the extent to which they are compulsively plucking their hair. Over time, this can cause permanent damage not only to the facial hair, but also to the skin. Thus, it is important to understand what causes ‘beard picking’ and how it can be effectively managed.

Although beard picking is commonly associated with anxiety, it is thought to have various influences, spanning from psychological factors to skin-related conditions such as dermatillomania, a condition characterized by the pathological picking at one’s skin. According to experts, it is difficult to identify why some individuals engage well over others, as there is no set answer. Some might draw satisfaction from the mechanical feeling of plucking the hairs, or the temporary relief from stress and anxiety.

No matter the underlying cause, repeated excessive plucking can result in bald patches and lead to other secondary effects. It can cause infection, discoloration, scarring and inflammation – a challenge for skin maintenance. According to Dr. M. Kagermeier, a Dermatologist based in Houston, “If the patient routinely plucks the follicles in their beard, they could be in danger of developing alopecia, a medical condition in which the body’s immune system attacks and destroys hair follicles, resulting in hair loss.”

Thus, it is advisable to seek medical advice and/or therapy when dealing with this kind of compulsive behavior. Many individuals opt to use topical products and medications; however, these should be prescribed by a doctor and not used as a solution to this condition. In more extreme cases, specific types of psychotherapy – such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – can be employed in order to address the root causes of the disorder. This approach aims to help the individual identify any problematic beliefs and behaviors, nurturing a healthier response to situations, scenarios and sources of anxiety.

For those looking for a more natural approach, mindfulness strategies and relaxation techniques can also provide beneficial results, as they can help to raise awareness of the habit, encouraging acceptance and understanding. This, in addition to focusing on positive self-talk and negative emotion management, could be an effective way to cope with this disorder. Additionally, behavioral strategies such as discouraging nose and beard touching, or delaying the response until it passes, might also be useful methods.

External Triggers

External triggers, such as stress or boredom, are considered to be two of the primary reasons why some people tend to pick at their beard hair. Managing these triggers through mindful practices is an important part of treating the issue. For instance, one could practice deep-breathing exercises to relax the body and mind and use distraction techniques to focus on other activities.

Ultimately, it is vital to recognize the importance of professional help if the problem persists. Further diagnostic investigations can be done to identify the underlying factors; this could include a physical examination and detailed questioning about lifestyle and past experiences. All of this, in combination with psychological and medical interventions, can help individuals feel empowered and break the habit of excessive beard picking.

Inconspicuous Nature

Part of the problem with being unable to stop picking beard hair is that it is a very inconspicuous activity. While some people will openly admit to having the urge to pick their beard or have bald patches due to their behavior, others do an excellent job of disguising the bald patches or wear a hat or scarf to make them less noticeable.

That being said, picking beard hair has far-reaching consequences – both mental and physical. Not only can it cause a great deal of embarrassment and insecurities, but it can also lead to hair loss and damage to the skin. Additionally, it can cause one to become socially isolated as they become accustomed to hiding their bald spots.

Therefore, it is important to take care of one’s skin and psychological health, both of which can suffer due to compulsive beard picking. Seeking professional help and adopting cognitive strategies to manage the urge can be beneficial for long-term results.

Social Support

Social support from family and friends can be an incredibly effective tool when tackling this condition. It serves as a reminder of why one should refrain from picking their beard. Additionally, it provides an encouraging environment which helps to push individuals to get better and remain focused on their goal.

This show of solidarity is invaluable for those that struggle with severe beard picking as it reminds them that they are not alone and that there is support available whenever they need it. Therefore, involving the support of family and friends can provide another layer of assistance and hopefully, prevent a relapse in this compulsive behavior.


Although it is encouraged to practice coping methods without the use of medication, there are certain medications available which are beneficial for those with chronic or severe beard-picking disorder. These can act as a means of referring to impulsive behavior, reducing skin-pulling episodes and managing anxiety levels.

Thus, treatment is more likely to be successful if medications and psychological strategies are used in combination. In other words, treating both the physical and mental aspects of the disorder, while forming healthy habits and being mindful of one’s behavior, can drastically improve the condition.

Positive Outlook

Finally, it is essential to remind oneself of the importance of looking on the bright side and maintaining a positive attitude when attempting to address this issue. Retraining one’s emotions and focusing on the goal can be a powerful tool in governing one’s behavior; it is vital to keep an optimistic perspective and focus on the positive changes that have been achieved so far.

Creating new positive habits, whether through exercise, outdoor activities or even journaling, can be an effective way to shift one’s focus away from the behavior. In fact, talking to experts, friends and family about the difficulties experienced can be empowering and is invaluable for managing this condition.

Theresa Norton is an award-winning author and blog writer who specializes in the art and science of manly beards. Her articles cover topics such as styling, shaping, maintaining, and even growing beards. With her extensive knowledge on facial hair, Theresa has helped countless guys to look their best and feel confident in their daily lives. She loves researching the history of beards, exploring new trends, sharing insightful tips, and writing about her own experiences.

Leave a Comment