A lot of men sit alone and wonder for hours on end how to make stubble look thicker. A sporadic, thin-looking stubble beard can look weak and even unkempt.
The problem is, people always jump to attribute facial hair thickness to genetics. Although this is partially correct, there are multiple things you can do to make your stubble look thicker without having to amend your DNA.
The thickness of the hair follicles does play a role in how thick stubble looks, and there’s not a whole lot that can be done about it. But it’s not the only factor at play.
Grooming habits, hair length, and color are just a few factors within our control that we can use to make our facial hair look more virile.
Let’s talk through them one-by-one. Say goodbye to patchy, and hello to plush.
By the way, if you’re interested, also take a look at this article listing my most recommended stubble trimming and grooming products of the year.
8 Ways To Make Stubble Look Thicker
1. Change your stubble style
It’s no secret that certain areas of a beard generally grow thicker than others. The hair on the cheeks is notorious for sprouting thinner than that on the chin and mustache.
This unfortunate discrepancy is exactly that – unfortunate. But, it’s pretty simple to fix without overcomplicating it.
If patchy cheek stubble is getting you down, why not shave it off? There are plenty of styles that remove the need for cheek stubble completely.
The most recognizable would be the goatee, of course. Goatees are characterized by hair on the chin but not on the cheeks. Must I say more?
If you don’t want to remove all of the cheek stubble, try dropping the cheek line a little to see if that makes a difference.
Another common issue men have is patchy growth in the space adjacent to the corners of the mouth, connecting the mustache to the chin beard.
Why not adopt the stubble Van Dyke? In this disconnected goatee variant, the mustache is completely detached from the chin beard anyway. Simple.
Other solutions could be the stubble without a mustache for a patchy mustache, or the hardline chinstrap for patchiness pretty much everywhere.
Stubble is fun. Experiment.
2. Grow it out or trim it down
This almost certainly looks contradictory at first glance, but hear me out.
Men who want to learn how to make their stubble thicker can generally be categorized into two groups. Those with one or two frustrating patches, and those with patchy-looking stubble everywhere.
If you have one or two frustrating patches, my advice would be to try growing the stubble out a little longer than you’re used to.
One possibility could be that the bare patches may just need a little longer to grow and fill out, and you’ve been trimming and shaving prematurely up until now. Another one is that you may be able to cover up a little patch here or there if your facial hair was just that little bit longer.
This is less likely to work if you have general and widespread patchiness to your stubble.
In these circumstances try trimming it down short. It often makes it look more evenly distributed.
There’s usually a sweet spot where the stubble looks thickest, and it’s your job to find it through trial and error.
3. Keratin Hair Fibers
These are commercially available little fibers that cling to the hair shafts making the follicles look thicker and stronger. They’re usually of vegetal origin and are infused with vitamins.
The great thing about them is that they’re quite cheap and also simple to apply. Once they’re on, they’re quite resilient and able to withstand external pressures such as wind and rain.
But just like any other product, they do wash off when you shower.
Toppik is one of the larger brands in this market if you’d like to try it out. Click here to find out more about it on
Sure, essentially it is “camouflage”, as some of you may argue. But does that matter? It’s a great option for people who just want a denser-looking beard on special occasions.
Whipping out these hair fibers now and then could be ideal for men looking to make their stubble look thicker, fast.
4. Stubble dye
Another great option for men looking for a quick fix. Remember, hair color does play a role in how thick a beard looks. Darker stubble can look not only thicker, but also more evenly distributed.
Beard hairs very famously grow in colors which may seem at odds with our scalp hair. The reason behind this is beyond me, but it’s true. Our stubble can consist of a variety of different colored hairs.
Grey hairs or light-colored hairs lying immediately next to darker colored hairs can make stubble look patchier.
Dyeing that stubble to a more uniform color can make stubble look thicker, and also more youthful.
We’ve got a whole tutorial on how to dye stubble you can check out. A couple of key points – remember to go for a dye a couple of shades lighter than you might initially desire.
It’s very common for men to overestimate how dark they want their facial hair. Stubble that’s too dark can look very obvious and unnatural.
Also, remember to use a dye specifically designed for beard hair. Beard hair is a different texture to scalp hair, and facial skin is more sensitive than our scalp. The dye we use should be mindful of that.
Just For Men (that classic dyeing brand) make a good one for mustaches and beards. Click here to check it out on
Remember to take your scalp hair into account when choosing the color. Choosing one which is completely different could have a very jarring and unusual effect.
5. Beard oil
No tutorial on how to make stubble look thicker would be complete without this glorious addition.
Beard oils are life. They consist of essential oils such as argan oil and jojoba oil which thoroughly nourish the hair shafts and also moisturize the underlying skin.
It can give stubble a nice, slick shine and a lustrous appearance. This makes it look thicker and more uniform.
People often ask whether stubble really warrants the use of beard oil. My answer is always yes. Yes, it does. It can make it look better, smell better, and feel softer.
This little ninja trick may have some of you scratching your heads in disbelief. But it’s true.
Many stubbled men are already deploying this secret weapon with great effect. It’s very simple and again, pretty inexpensive.
Using appropriately colored mascara, brush gently across the patchy areas of your stubble. The darkening effect can make it look instantly thicker. It’s pretty neat.
It may not be suitable for very patchy stubble style=”font-weight: 400;”>. But if you’ve got a few patches here or there that need tending to, give it a go.
7. Brush it
This is particularly important for heavy stubble. Running a brush through those hairs could have a subtle yet very significant impact on how thick that stubble looks.
There may be hairs that have clumped together, or lie in different directions. Running a brush through it could un-clump those hairs, and also make them lie straighter.
This makes the stubble look thicker, and also more uniform.
In addition to this, brushing the stubble could help those longer hairs cover up the bare patches.
Doing this first thing in the morning should become an essential part of your grooming routine. Brushing it immediately after using beard oil is a great way to distribute it evenly throughout your stubble.
Get yourself an affordable, yet high-quality wooden brush with boar bristles. It’ll come in extremely useful during your facial hair journey, and is also an exceptionally cool thing to own.
I’ve listed my favorite boar bristle beard brush in this article.
8. Wash it properly
Funnily enough, I’ve saved the simplest trick till last. Some might say this goes without saying, but you’d be surprised how often it’s neglected.
Again, this is more important for medium and heavy stubble. For those men with hair that lies thoroughly within the short beard category (>5mm in length), it’s crucial.
At this point, it’s important to note that this doesn’t just mean splashing cold water on those bristles every morning. This isn’t enough.
It means using a beard wash and even beard conditioner to really give that stubble a good clean.
A proper wash can un-clump those stubble hairs. Greasy stubble looks thinner, flatter, and lifeless. Washed stubble, therefore, looks thicker and more uniform.
There you have it. 8 little tips on how to make stubble look thicker. It’s unlikely that all of these will work for your stubble. But it’s highly likely that some of them will, so try them out and see how it goes.
Thin-looking facial hair can really get a man down on his facial hair journey. It’s important to know that many, many men face this issue.
Because of this, there has already been a lot of trial and error attempting to fix it.
You’re fortunate enough to have access to the path carved out by these bearded men before you. Make the most of it.
Do you have any tips or tricks on how to make stubble look thicker? If so, leave a comment down below!
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.