Beards have always been in vogue, and with trends like No Shave November, the popularity of beards only keeps rising. It’s only natural for you to want to grow a beard when you see your favorite celebrities flaunting them. While everyone might not follow trends, some might just like how a beard shapes their face or relieve themselves of the burden of shaving every day. Regardless of the reasons, not everyone is satisfied with the quality of their facial hair or is able to grow a full beard. This is where Minoxidil steps in, it is a prescribed medication for stimulating hair growth and is growing in popularity. Here’s everything you should know about it.
What is Minoxidil?
Minoxidil, under the brand name Rogaine, is an FDA-approved drug used to stimulate hair growth among men and women suffering from baldness. Minoxidil is a popular hair-growth remedy plan. Rather than helping you grow new hair, Minoxidil works on treating the hair you still have and strengthening it. While it is primarily used to treat hair loss and regrow hair, some people assert its works as a beard growth solution too. Due to its rising popularity, it is known as an off-label drug for the enhancement of beard growth.
How does Minoxidil work?
Minoxidil is an effective way of encouraging hair growth. It works by providing enough blood and oxygen to your hair follicles, helping them grow stronger. Minoxidil focuses on vasodilation. For those who are unaware of what vasodilation is, we got you. Vasodilation is the process of widening your blood vessels. By expanding the blood vessels near your scalp, it helps the follicles grow bigger in size to feed the growth. This makes your hair grow thicker in size, giving you a fuller look.
Can I use Minoxidil for beard growth?
Can medication that is specifically made for your scalp work on your face too? Some users had a positive experience, while some had a decent one. In the case of Minoxidil, there are tons of unaltered before and after pictures on the internet for reference. However, we recommend consulting your doctor before using it.
Which Minoxidil is best for beard growth?
Rogaine’s Minoxidil works the best for beard growth with a 5% concentration. However, its generic version Kirkland is also very promising as a more affordable option. Both these brands are readily available at medical stores. These may not be insured, so it is better to check whether these drugs fall under your insurance’s preferred drug list.
How effective is Minoxidil for beard growth?
The efficacy of Minoxidil in enhancing beard growth still requires a lot of research. But, research conducted in 2016 by the Journal of Dermatology showed Minoxidil performed better than a placebo. It showed growth in hair count. However, much research hasn’t been conducted in this area, and one study is hardly reliable. But many users reported a positive response, stating that Minoxidil helps in growing a beard.
How much Minoxidil to use for growing a fuller beard?
Minoxidil is available in foam and solution. However, Minoxidil foam has shown increased delivery of the active ingredient to the affected area and was easily absorbed by the skin with less irritation. The foam is also more convenient to use because it dries quickly and doesn’t spread to the bordering region.
How to use Minoxidil?
You can successfully use Minoxidil by following these steps
- Get Minoxidil or its generic medication with a concentration of 3% or more.
- Clean and pat dry the area where you wish to apply the solution or foam.
- If you are using a solution, use 1 ml or approx. 20 drops and apply the solution evenly to the affected area
- If you are using foam, use half a capful and rub gently on the affected area. Leave it for four hours, then wash and rinse.
- Repeat this twice a day
What happens if you stop using Minoxidil on your beard?
Minoxidil works as a hair growth enhancer as long as you keep up with medication. If you quit the use of Minoxidil, you can expect to lose your progress as blood flow decreases to the hair follicles. Termination of the course at any time will lead to progressive hair loss within 12 to 24 weeks.
Is Minoxidil suitable for everyone?
Minoxidil is generally safe for everyone above 18 years to use. But we recommend consulting your doctor first if you have any of these conditions
- People with sensitive skin or a skin condition
- People suffering from high blood pressure
- People with organ damage
It is always safe to do a patch test first to check for any allergies or irregularities.
Dosing is different for different patients. Consult your doctor for your appropriate dose. Here we give you the information on a standard dose. Do not change your dosage without your doctor’s order.
- Minoxidil solution: One ml of the solution twice a day
- Minoxidil foam: Half a capful of the foam twice a day
Minoxidil is available in foam and a solution. Pick the one that suits you the best.
Regular visits to your doctor are essential to see if the medication is working. In case you experience any side effects, even if they are mild, report them to your doctor. After starting the course, wait for two weeks to start noticing a difference. If the medication is not working for you, check with your doctor.
Before using any medication, it is always better to weigh the risks first. As no drug is 100% safe, Minoxidil also has some side effects. Here are a few side effects of Minoxidil
Common side effects
- Skin burn/rash
- Rare side effects
- Hair loss
- Burning of scalp
- Swollen face
Side effects caused by overdosing
- Chest pain
- Blurred vision
- Weight gain
- Low sexual desire
If you experience any of these side effects, report them to your doctor immediately.
Minoxidil is an amazing option if you are looking for enhancement of facial growth. Before starting the course, consult your doctor first. Use the drug responsibly, but in case of any side effects, contact your doctor immediately.
- Suchonwanit P, Thammarucha S, Leerunyakul K. Minoxidil and its use in hair disorders: a review. Drug Des Devel Ther. 2019 Aug 9;13:2777-2786. doi: 10.2147/DDDT.S214907. Erratum in: Drug Des Devel Ther. 2020 Feb 10;14:575. PMID: 31496654; PMCID: PMC6691938. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6691938/
- Minoxidil topical: Uses, side effects, interactions, pictures, warnings & dosing (no date) WebMD. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-3503/minoxidil-topical/details