Most men can grow some beard, but only a small percentage, can pull off facial hair that grows all over their face, and the hardest spot to cover with a beard? The cheeks.
What is it about the cheek area that makes it so darned hard to grow hair on? Moreover, are there any proven methods to grow more facial hair on the cheeks?
The answer to the first question is simple; the circulation in your cheeks is far less of what goes into your chin and upper lip, this causes less of the beard growth hormones (testosterone and DHT) to go there
The limited supply of blood also reduces the sensitivity of the androgen receptors in the beard follicles of the cheek area.
The answer to the second question – whether it’s possible to stimulate beard growth naturally on cheeks – is simply; yes, indeed it is.
Table of Contents
Infographic: 4 Tips & Tricks to Get More Beard on Cheeks
What Causes Facial Hair to Really Grow?
Before we jump into the natural methods of covering your cheeks with facial hair, let’s take a quick look into the science of beard growth.
The process of going from clean-cheeks into a thick beard is an incredibly complex mess of hormones and has to do with a few genes and something called the human androgen receptor.
First things first; understand that you already have the follicles to sprout full beard on your cheeks. Everyone has – even women – they develop in the womb when you were a 5-month old fetus.
Next, let’s learn the hormonal cascade that makes beard strands pop out of those follicles.
Everything starts from a brain substrate called the hypothalamus when it releases a signaling hormone; Gonadotropin-releasing Hormone (GnRH).
GnRH then makes its short way to another brain substrate called the pituitary gland, where it stimulates the release of the gonadotropins; luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
From there through the spinal network of veins, these two hormones travel down to the testicles, where FSH begins its work with sperm production, and LH goes to the testicular Leydig cells to begin the process of creating the master male hormone; testoterone.
The Leydig cells produce testosterone by converting cholesterol into the androgen, which is then released into the bloodstream in a pulsatile manner. Some of this testosterone converts into an even more potent androgen called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This happens when testosterone is reduced down by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase.
However, before either of these hormones can have any effect on your facial hair follicles, they need to enter the DNA, and for this to occur, they need to bind to something called the human androgen receptor (AR).
Your tissues are littered with androgen receptors, and the hair follicles on your cheeks are no exception.
If your androgen receptors are sensitive enough to bind DHT and T from the bloodstream, then these hormones will stimulate beard growth if either the levels of T and DHT are low, or the androgen receptors are not sensitive enough to receive the hormonal signals, then beard cannot physically grow on you.
I know that was a mouthful and probably overly technical for some readers, but its crucial that you understand that before we move into the four methods of stimulating hair growth on cheeks.
1. Micro-Needling to Grow More Beard on Cheeks
As said above, one of the key reasons you can’t grow a thick beard on the cheeks has to do with poor circulation in the area.
Then take the roller and every 1-2 days go through your facial hair area – especially the cheeks – and roll away like there’s no tomorrow.
What the micro-needler does, is that it punctures tiny holes into the surface of the skin, which signals the body that there are wounds, which then rapidly boosts circulation of the area, forcing in collagen and rich-blood with hormones (T & DHT) and nutrients.
This all is partly anecdotal, although there’s a study where it was tested on scalp hair, with promising results.
Microneedling is the step one of the process, it helps mostly with the poor circulation of the cheeks, and should over time, bring more and more hormones to the androgen receptors there, forcing new growth.
I’m talking about Rogaine, the prescription-free hair follicle activator drug.
Everyone knows it works to force dormant scalp hair follicles to pump out more hair, but not many realize that the same exact mechanism also works on the face.
I have seen little over 200 before-and-after pictures of guys who have used minoxidil to grow full beards, especially stimulating the lacking cheek growth.
Here’s a couple of them:
Not only the anecdotal before and afters + testimonials, but there’s also a study, which used minoxidil 3% vs. a placebo liquid on 48 male subjects for 16-weeks.
After the trial was over, the men who had used the real minoxidil solution had almost 5x more hair on the test areas in their face than the men who had used the fake placebo solution – and get this; most men who have grown beards with it, say that the biggest growth comes after 3-6 months of use.
⇓ Below are some popular minoxidil solutions. ⇓
3. Increase Testosterone and DHT Naturally
Testosterone and DHT are the primary androgens that trigger facial hair growth.
You need to get them on your cheeks to grow more facial hair there naturally, and one way to do so is to force your body into producing more and more of these critical androgens.
But how do you do that?
Well, luckily my work for the past five years has been researching and building one of the largest men’s health & hormone websites (with almost 15-million article views by now), so I can possibly help you with this.
Here are the low-hanging fruits:
Sleep more and sleep often. On average, each hour of sleep yields 15% more testosterone for the following day. Humans are the only species that delay sleep, it’s vital for your health and for your hormones, so please, just get more of it.
Fix your diet. You need to eat enough calories to support steroidogenesis, and you also need enough carbohydrate as this is crucial for testosterone production (partly because the GnRH neurons rely on glucose). Here’s a good overview of how much and what to eat to boost T & DHT.
Increase DHT by boosting the levels of 5-a reductase; the enzyme that converts testosterone into it. Some effective ways I’ve found include eating sorghum, drinking more coffee, reducing body fat, higher carb intake, and nicotine (yes, this is likely why smokers have higher DHT).
There’s plenty of other stuff, like explosive exercise for one, but it would take a book or two to get to the bottom of this. I suggest you to head on to my article of ways to boost T & DHT for beard growth to learn more. I’ve also co-authored few books about the subject which can be found here or here.
4. Androgen Receptor Stimulation
To grow more beard naturally in the cheek area, you need to not only have a high level of androgens, but the androgens need to be able to enter DNA.
To achieve this, we are going to stimulate the androgen receptor (AR) and increase their sensitivity.
There’s a limited amount of research available on the subject. However, some natural methods to increase the sensitivity and density of AR have been discovered.
Certain compounds exist that can increase cAMP molecule in the body, which results in elevated AR sensitivity through activation of an enzyme protein kinase A.
Then there’s a supplement by the name of Mucuna Pruriens, which contains a dopamine precursor called levodopa (L-Dopa). According to two cell-culture studies, this L-Dopa can serve as androgen receptor co-activator protein in the body.
Explosive resistance training where you use big multi-joint movements to achieve massive amounts of muscle stimulation in a short period of time is one of the most well-known methods of stimulating androgen receptors.
Did you know: The reason why most Asian and Native American males struggle to grow full-beards has to do with their genetic structure having – on average – more androgen receptor copies than Caucasian males have, which causes the Asian and Native American AR to be less sensitive for DHT and T.
Conclusion on Cheek Beard Growth
I’m sure you weren’t expecting this article to be this detailed and long since most “boost beard growth” posts on the internet are vague and just promote some scammy “growth oils”.
But anyways, I hope you learned how to grow more beard on cheeks naturally.