Growing beard on the cheeks is notoriously difficult.
Alongside with the beards underlip area, the cheeks are the slowest to fill in and even many of the guys who can grow impressive chin beards and mustache, typically struggle to add hairs on their upper cheek area.
Why does that happen and how can you fix your patchy cheek growth, will all be answered in detail right here in this article.
We have included below the seven best methods for growing more beard on the cheeks, as well as all the scientific and anecdotal evidence that exists about each step.
I’ll have to warn you that this is not your usual “drink more water and be healthy” type of beard growth boosting article you can find online. Instead it contains some of the most underground methods you probably haven’t ever even heard about.
Let’s add some more facial hair on those cheeks then.
What Controls the Beard Growth on the Cheeks
Facial hair is a type of hair called “the androgenic hair“, which means that it grows in response to hormonal stimulation.
The beard that grows on the cheeks, is also mostly controlled by the androgenic hormones, as it too is androgenic hair.
Of course, you also need good circulation, nutrients, energy, and so on – but the androgenic hormones (testosterone and DHT) and the receptors which bind them from the blood are the key drivers of androgenic hair growth.
Even if you would have your nutrition habits spot on, your vitamin and mineral levels in check, and your circulation to the cheeks would be as good as it can be, that would not be enough if your hormone levels are low or if your body can’t properly utilize them from the bloodstream.
This is the reason why facial hair, chest hair, arm hair, leg hair, and pubic hair will all start to grow after you’ve hit puberty, as that’s when your androgenic hormones will spike up and your body becomes more sensitive towards their actions.
These are all the factors that control facial hair growth on the cheeks:
- Levels of testosterone (T) and dihydrotestosterone (DHT)
- Sensitivity of the bodily androgen receptors towards T & DHT
- Genetics (Eastern Asian men especially have hard time growing beard)
- Circulation to the face
NOTE: Most people (including many experts) will say that beard growth is regulated by your genetics and that’s all there is to it. While that’s true, it’s not the full answer as it often is the genetics that control all of the other variables (the hormone levels, receptor sensitivity, circulation, etc).
Why Can’t I Grow Beard on the Cheeks?
If you can’t grow a beard at all, then the logical answer would be that your hormone levels must be low and the receptors in the face that uptake the hormones from the blood would not be sensitive enough.
However, if you have some beard growth on your face but it only grows in patches on the cheek area, then most likely your hormone levels are fine and the receptors also appear to be doing their job.
So then why doesn’t beard grow on the cheeks?
Most likely it’s due to poor nutrition habits, your age, weak circulation in the cheek area, or just unknown genetic factors. Your hormones can also be involved, but it’s not the most likely culprit if you can grow beard well in other areas of the face.
Can You Really Even Boost Cheek Beard Growth?
In short, yes. You can boost the beard growth on your cheeks.
Some of the methods for doing that are the boring tricks everyone knows like sleeping more, being old enough, eating a nutritious diet, and exercising…
But there are also some lesser-known methods of improving the beard growth in your cheek area such as using Minoxidil, Beard rollers, and applying peppermint oil to the face.
It used to be said for many years that if you can’t grow a beard, then you just can’t grow a beard and that’s the end of story.
But the internet has fundamentally changed things, and particularly in the last ten or so years, men have found more and more ways to improve beard growth on the cheeks (and elsewhere on the face).
The biggest thing of course was that in online forums men eventually started seeing if the hair loss drug minoxidil would work on their beards, and to surprise of many, it did.
Now there are subreddits with tens of thousands of people and FaceBook groups with nearly 60,000 members actively boosting their beard growth with Minoxidil (I talk about these bit more below).
These same “natural beard growth” pioneers are the ones that also found the research about Derma Rollers and how the use of one could stimulate the hair follicles, and the studies about peppermint oil, etc.
We will be discussing all of these and more below when we actually get to the point where I explain all of the ways to improve cheek beard growth step by step.
Best Methods of Growing More Beard on the Cheeks
1. Use Rogaine (Minoxidil)
I’m sure most men are already familiar with Minoxidil (Rogaine)
This over the counter hair loss drug is the most used hair growth activator with hundreds of studies supporting its use on the scalp.
What many men don’t know is that Minoxidil works just as well on your facial hair, chest hair, and even on the eyebrows.
There’s scientific research to prove that and there are thousands of anecdotal reports and before-afters on various online forums and Facebook. I have also tested it personally and with hand on my heart I can vouch for its effectiveness.
(The most commonly used brands of Minoxidil men use for beard growth purposes are the original 5% Rogaine and the generic 5% Kirkland – The only key difference between them is the price).
The way Minoxidil boost the beard growth is partly known and partly unknown, but at least we know that it works through:
- Stimulation of circulation.
- Formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis).
- Modulation of the prostaglandins.
- And through increasing the actual size of the hair follicles.
Minoxidil doesn’t appear to impact the beard growing hormones in any way, so its functionality is completely separate from that.
Here’s a good video showing a lot of the before-afters (from Basik Ali, one of the early adopters of using Minox on the beard):
Here are some anecdotal before-afters you can find online in mere minutes, showing improved cheek beard growth after using Minoxidil:
Now the thing with Minoxidil is that there are some potential side effects (even though it’s sold over the counter) and you really don’t want to just carelessly apply it.
So before you use Minoxidil to improve the beard growth on your cheeks, make sure to consult with your doctor and educate yourself about how to use it safely.
Here are some helpful links for that:
- Minoxidil Side Effects & Safety Information – Drugs.Com
- Minoxidil for Beard: Activate NEW Growth (Scientifically Proven)
- Reddit’s r/MinoxBeard
- The Minox Beard Spot on FaceBook
2. Try Using Derma Roller on the Cheeks
Those who frequently use Minoxidil on their beards, also tend to use the Derma Roller on their off-days.
The idea is to roll around your face with this handle filled with tiny micro-needles. As the needles punctuate the skin, the body responds by shuttling in more blood and nutrients to repair the damage – it’s claimed that this stimulates the facial hair follicles indirectly on your cheeks and everywhere else you decide to use it on.
While there isn’t quite as good scientific support for it (except for one study where it did dramatically improve scalp-hair regrowth), it’s still getting high-praises by most of the guys who use them.
Personally I’ve used a Derma Roller on my beard from time to time, and I’ve found it to be helpful for boosting the growth on many of the patchy problem areas, especially in the hard-to-grow beards underlip and on the upper cheeks which never seemed to come in for me.
We do have a big guide on how to use a beard roller here, but if you want the quick details, you should aim for a needle length of 0.5 to 0.75mm (something like this) and use it 1-2 times per week but not never on succeeding days (so that the skin can rest and heal).
Is it the secret weapon for filling patchy cheeks?
I think it’s one of them, especially if you combine it with the use of Minoxidil. Though I’ve never seen a clear before-after of someone using only the Derma Roller, all of them had Minox in combination.
3. Apply 3% Peppermint Oil Dilution to the Cheeks
In a study by Young et al. the researchers applied four different solutions to the shaved skin of mice and monitored them for four weeks to see how it would impact their hair follicles and fur growth.
The substances tested were:
- Salt water solution
- Pure jojoba oil
- Minoxidil 3% solution
- Peppermint oil diluted down to 3%
What happened was that the salt water and jojoba had negligible effects on the growth of the fur and on the follicles, and as expected Minoxidil did stimulate the growth by 55%.
But then there was the big surprise which was the peppermint oil, it performed even better than Minoxidil and skyrocketed the growth of the fur by 92%.
The researchers suggest that this was due to the fact that peppermint oil directly increased the levels of IGF-1 growth hormone inside the hair follicle.
So, will you get results like this as a human and on your cheeks?
Yes, say the guys who have actively used it as part of their Minoxidil beard journeys (there are thousands of them by now). And we don’t know, says the fact that there currently are zero human studies looking at how peppermint oil affects facial hair growth.
Is it worth a shot to try peppermint oil for beard growth?
I think so. It’s quite inexpensive and so far the only oil that actually has SOME evidence behind it as a legitimate beard growth oil. You really don’t lose anything by applying some to your cheeks.
How to make the 3% peppermint oil solution similar to used in the mice study:
- Take an empty 1 oz dropper bottle.
- Put in approximately 18 drops of pure peppermint oil.
- Fill the rest of the bottle with carrier oil (jojoba oil for example).
- The volume of the full 1 oz bottle is 600 drops, so 18 drops is 3% of that.
You can also do this the “proper” way by using a 100ml bottle and then with pipette taking 3ml of peppermint essential oil and mixing that into 97ml of carrier oil, which gives out a 3% dilution.
NOTE: Under no circumstance should you use pure peppermint oil directly on the cheeks. It’s incredibly potent and will burn the skin. Stick to the 3% dilution or don’t use any at all would be my recommendation.
4. Get Your Hormones Checked (Testosterone & DHT)
Like I already said numerous times in this article; your facial hair growth is regulated by the androgenic hormones, primarily testosterone and dihydrotestosterone.
These hormones so powerfully stimulate facial hair growth, that even when women who undergo hormone therapy as part of female-to-male sex change, can see their beard growth kick in quite fast.
So if you feel like your beard grows in patchy on the cheeks – or doesn’t grow at all – then getting your hormone levels checked would be a good thing to do.
Testing hormone levels fast and easy nowadays. You can either discuss with a doctor or book a time from any testing clinic which are widespread around the World, especially in the US.
If it’s found that your levels are low, then you should definitely work to increase those in order to improve your ability to grow beard on the cheeks (and since it would improve your quality of life in so many other ways as well).
It’s also possible to boost your levels naturally by sleeping more, lifting weights, eating in a certain way, and many many other things… If you’re interested, I wrote about some of the methods in our post about testosterone and beard growth.
5. Some Supplements May Provide a Slight Benefit
There’s a handful of supplements that may slightly help you grow more beard on your cheeks.
And no, I’m not talking about the flashy “beard vitamins” you see all over the internet.
Just regular supplements like:
- Multivitamin, which fills the gaps missing in your nutrition and thus indirectly helps to boost the beard growth through many different mechanisms.
- Carnitine, which shifts more hair follicles into the anagen growth phase and makes the androgen receptors more receptive towards hormones.
- And many others which we talk much more in-depth in our full guide to the best beard growth supplements.
6. Make Sure You’re Not Deficient in Key Beard Nutrients
Your body uses energy to sprout out facial hair from the follicles, and same goes for the beard growing hormones that it produces.
On top of this, your body uses vitamins and minerals as critical co-factors between its numerous processes, many which directly contribute to the beard growing on your cheeks.
If you drop your energy intake (calories) too low and your vitamin and mineral intake is not good, then you are surely going to back-pedal your natural beard growing abilities.
This happens directly as it hampers the bodily functions that actually produce the hair that spews out from the follicle, and indirectly as it hampers your ability to produce the hormones needed for facial hair growth.
A body that doesn’t meet its energy requirements will eventually start conserving energy by down-regulating the processes that are not vital for survival; and sadly facial hair growth is one of the unnecessary ones.
Bottom line: Eating enough and getting the right vitamins and minerals every day is an important part of the puzzle if you want to maximize your ability to grow beard on the cheeks. Focus on vitamins A, D, E and the minerals zinc, magnesium, iodine, selenium, and copper especially. Also check out our post on best beard growth foods.
7. Try Letting Your Beard Just Grow Out Properly
If you are 100% sure that you can’t grow facial hair on the cheeks, you can just skip this step because if the hairs just won’t ever come in, it’s pointless to wait around doing nothing.
It takes time to grow a beard and considering that the cheek hairs are notorious for being some of the slowest to grow, you really can’t say “I can’t grow beard on my cheeks” before you’ve actually given it some time.
Of course, you can get a good estimate of what your beard coverage will be even during the first few weeks of facial hair growth – but you still can’t see some of the hairs, especially on the upper cheeks, which are “sleeper hairs” and come in later on.
So my boring last step to boosting your beard growth on the cheeks, is to just give your beard some time to kick in.
Don’t start judging a beard that’s still on the awkward beard growth phase.
If you want to fix your patchy cheeks, then this article was hopefully the “silver bullet” for learning exactly what you need to know.
In summary, you want to be trying out minoxidil on the cheeks, a beard roller, peppermint oil in 3% dilution, optimizing your beard hormones, focusing on getting the right nutrients, considering supplements, and you really should just let your beard grow out to see if your cheeks fill in later on.
There’s plenty of evidence to support all of the above steps, and when you stick to doing them, you can grow more beard on the cheeks. It will take several months to see the difference, but it will happen.
If you don’t want to take my word for it, you can head to places like Reddit’s r/minoxbeards or FaceBook’s Minox Beard Spot to ask the thousands of guys there how it’s going for them.