The average man has 30,000 beard hairs on his face, and each one is doing its own thing. Some grow fast, some grow slow, and some grow all curly and weird. Additionally, beard hair behaves differently depending on where on your face it sprouts from.

Let’s break it down. Facial hair grows in 5 different areas:

The mustache - the hair above the upper lip.
The soul patch, flavor savor, or jazz dot - the patch of hair directly underneath the bottom lip.
The goatee - the hair on the front of the chin, above the jawline, and expanding to the cheeks.
The side-burns or mutton-chops - the hair on the cheeks above the jawline.
The neck - everything that grows below the jawline.

Facial hair grows differently in each of the five growth areas, and rarely grows in a way that is even and uniform. This becomes especially noticeable around two to six weeks of beard growth when the hair has gone from mere stubble to the beginnings of a beard. It’s natural for a beard to be patchy and disconnected at this point.

Growth patterns differ from person to person and are highly subjective to a person’s age and genetics. Additionally, the hair that grows in each of these areas has its own unique terminal length, which again varies from person to person. This is why some men can grow long handlebar mustaches while others can’t, or why some men have soul patches that are the entire width of the bottom lip, and some don’t.

The majority of the bulk and shape of a beard actually comes from hair that grows on the neck. Typically, neck hair has the longest terminal length of all five growth areas and has a tendency to grow a little bit faster than the rest of your beard.

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