Photo of El Rubio with alopecia barbae

Does El Rubio Have Alopecia?

In Educate by El Rubio10 Comments

Alopecia Barbae: Patchy Beard Loss

I used to wear a goatee, but for the last year it’s just been the mustache, so I didn’t notice anything at first. However, when I wouldn’t shave for a few days, I started to see little round patches where no hair was growing. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had developed a condition called alopecia barbae.

Recognizing Alopecia Barbae

I’ve never been a guy who can grow a full beard, but my facial hair has always grown evenly around my neck and jawline. Why were these bald patches appearing suddenly? And why were they perfectly round?

I would simply shave the problem away, but after a few shave cycles it seemed like more of these patches were appearing, then as time passed some appeared to be merging into larger, oval-shaped patches. Finally recognizing something was going on, I looked into it.

Paraphrasing from a useful article on Healthline:

Alopecia barbae is a specific form of alopecia areata that affects the beard. Usually, it comes on suddenly and you begin losing beard hair in small circular patches, often along the jawline, though you may lose all of your beard hair. The hair loss can be isolated to your beard, or it can occur in other places, such as your scalp or face.

Bald patches occur in small circular patches about the size of a quarter. As more hair is lost, these circles will sometimes begin to overlap. Hair around the edges of these patches may also be white. Usually, the visible skin is smooth, though it can be rough.

After reading this I felt pretty certain I was dealing with alopecia barbae, but I figured I should get a medical opinion.

After doing an e-visit with Kaiser, where I submitted photographs and described my symptoms, the dermatologist confirmed I had likely developed alopecia areata.

Understanding Alopecia Barbae

With an approach to understanding, and being thoughtful of the real challenges faced by adults and children with more severe forms of alopecia—including the children who receive hair replacements from our charity partners at Children With Hair Loss—El Rubio reflects on his experience with alopecia barbae.

The Next World Record Attempt


In 2019 we broke the Guinness World Records title for the most hair donated to charity in 24 hours. We challenge you to break a new world record with us in 2024.

Who’s Growing To Donate?

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Measure 12

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Measure 14

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I’d love to hear about your experience with alopecia in the comments.