Your beard says a lot about you. When you choose to grow facial hair, you imagine that hair will be thick, healthy, and impressive. You want it to represent the best version of you.
Many men don’t end up with the beard they desire. One of the most common beard issues I encounter is thin or missing cheek hair.
Although there is no secret to grow a beard on your cheeks, you still have choices. You can do something about this annoying problem.
Growing a beard is a commitment. It requires months of time. Don’t waste all that time on a beard that you end up shaving off.
That’s why I made this list of the top five tips to growing cheek hair. With my help, you’ll own a beard you’re proud of. Here’s how.
Have You Waited Long Enough?
You may think you’re doomed. The beard gods have shunned your face and there’s no hope. But ask yourself one question: how long have you been growing your beard?
Be honest. There’s no one here but us.
The simple answer may be that you haven’t waited long enough.
Beard hair grows about 1/2 inch every month. But that’s the average. Individual men’s experiences with beard growth vary wildly. Everyone is different.
The truth is that you may take double the time. If you haven’t grown a beard before, you could require triple the average.
Plus, hair grows at different speeds. Your cheek hair may just need more time than your chin, sideburns and neck.
Some men report taking upwards of two or three months to grow an inch of facial hair.
If you haven’t waited a minimum of three months, I’d temper my expectations. My general recommendation is to let a beard grow upwards of six months before worrying too much.
Be Realistic with Your Expectations
A major side effect of our global society is that we compare ourselves to millions of other men every day. We forget to consider the vast differences that exist between every human being.
Two factors decide 80% of your beard possibilities: Age and Genetics.
How Old are You?
If you’re under the age of 18, stop worrying. You need to wait the beard out.
Although some teens sprout a massive beard in their freshman year, you could be on the opposite end of the spectrum.
Take me for example. I had no facial hair until my 20s, long after college.
My advice: Don’t try any products or obsess over your beard until you’re out of high school. There’s plenty of time yet to sport a beard later in life. Your beard will fill out as you get older.
Your beard potential arrives in your 30s. If you’re in your 30s or beyond, now is the time to act.
Consider Family History
When setting your beard expectations, you need to consider your family history. Or what we in the modern age call genetics.
Talk to your parents and grandparents and ask them who grew the thickest beards in the family. Also, peruse old family photos and count the deceased relatives with facial hair.
If you come from a family where no male has ever had more than a few strands of cheek hair, the odds are against you.
Check Your Health
When your beard morphs into your sole focus, life can fall by the wayside. I get it. But like it or not, you’re obsessing. That’s not good.
Obsession leads to stress. Stress leads to illnesses. Some of these illnesses can cause beard hair to fall out prematurely.
Alopecia barbae is a well documented form of scalp alopecia. It’s triggered by stress. If you notice round patches of your cheek hair fall out, then you should see a doctor.
Don’t forget how much the rest of your life affects your hair, too. A balanced, healthy lifestyle will go a long way to filling out that cheek hair.
Researches have linked vitamin deficiency to poor quality hair. So eat more vegetables, at least one serving with every meal.
You could do worse than cutting out processed foods while you’re at it.
Studies have shown that foods high in fats and hydrogenated oils (like fried chicken or french fries) produce more DHT in your body. DHT signals hair follicles to shed hair.
If you’re rounding to the age of 30, get yourself to a doctor. I don’t want to alarm but sometimes the real answer rests in a larger health problem.
Routine physicals are part of normal adult life. Once a man reaches his 30s, he needs to visit a doctor once every two years. Call your doctor and book a physical.
Beard Growth Products
The one question I get asked more than any other is this: Do beard growth oils and pills work?
The answer is… complicated. Here’s why.
Products that claim to increase facial hair growth come in two forms, beard vitamins and beard growth pills or serums.
Although both can affect your cheek hair, neither of them works as advertised.
Beard growth pills are basically vitamins supplements. You pay a premium for these vitamins because they advertise special beard benefits.
The truth is that they’re no different than any other multivitamin. Anyone who claims they work wonders are under the influence of the placebo effect.
You may see a slight improvement in your beard, but that’s only because you were deficient in these vitamins. These products are useless if you eat healthily and take a multivitamin.
Beard Growth Serums
Beard growth serums or foams claim they can stimulate your body to grow more beard hair. This includes those missing cheek hairs you’re worried about.
These Rogaine-like products can indeed signal your body to grow more hair. The active ingredient in hair growth products (Minoxidil) stimulates blood vessels to grow more hair.
However, the hairs die off if you don’t continue to use the stuff. The moment you stop spending the money those hairs will fall out.
The bottom line is beard growth serums aren’t worth the money. They may help you achieve a false sense of progress, but they’re snake oil.
If All Else Fails, Re-Think Your Beard
A beard isn’t just the traditional lumberjack look. It’s many styles for many different men.
Just because you can’t grow a beard on your cheeks doesn’t mean a trendy beard isn’t within your reach.
I’ve compiled my top five favorite beard styles for the man who cannot, under any routine, treatment, or effort grow beard hair on their cheeks.
With the following styles, you’ll want a good beard trimmer.
Chin Strap Beard
Easy to grow and maintain, the chin strap is perfect for the man who can’t grow cheek hair. There are many great versions of the chin strap beard. So, you have several options to choose from depending on your head shape and complexion.
The Gunslinger Beard
This style combines the less-popular handlebar mustache with an angular sideburn. If you have dark features and a prominent jawline, then I’d seriously consider this option.
If you’re the contemplative type, consider a well-groomed goatee. I think this style suites a round face, and anyone sporting the bald head look. Remember to clean up your face every few days. A scruffy face can throw off an otherwise stellar goatee.
Van Dyke Beard
Some men can grow mustache and chin hair but for whatever reason can’t grow cheek hair. For that individual, I recommend the awesome and unusual Van Dyke. Square or round head, doesn’t matter. I think red or grey beards work best with this style.
The mustache gets a lot of flak. I don’t understand it. There are literally dozens of variations on the mustache, so don’t cut this one out unless you try it. Many men end up loving the mustache once they let go of their prejudices and rock it for a month or two.
Be Proud of Who You Are
Hopefully, my 5 tips cleared up what can and cannot stimulate your cheek hair. Even if you can’t grow cheek hair, there are still plenty of beard options.
Everyone wants to improve who they are. That’s okay. It’s human. But there’s a difference between improvement and wish fulfillment. A great beard is the one that you can grow well.
The best thing you can do for your beard is be realistic. Don’t inflate your beard into something it isn’t. You’ll add more stress to an already stressful situation.
With the right mindset and a little creativity, you can turn this situation into something special.