If you want to grow that Viking-like lush and full beard, you should try using minoxidil for beard. Read on to know how it works, how you should use it, and whether it’s safe!
Guys, we all know how important a beard is to you! Having facial hair is like the ultimate symbol of masculinity for some men.
But what if you can’t get your facial hair to grow? No worries. I’ve got the right stuff for you.
The solution to your beard issues is Minoxidil.
You’ve probably heard of minoxidil as a hair regrowth solution for men with male pattern baldness and hair loss issues.
But it works just as well for facial hair if you use it right.
So what exactly is minoxidil, and how does it work? Let’s find out!
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What Is Minoxidil?
Minoxidil is a medication that was originally used as a treatment for patients suffering from hypertension. Its chemical formula is 2,4-diamino-6-piperidinopyrimidine 3-oxide.
In simple terms, it’s a vasodilator or a type of medication that dilates blood vessels increasing blood flow.
This increased blood flow to the hair follicles is what boosts new hair growth.
Minoxidil is available over-the-counter in the form of oral tablets and topical products like foams and creams.
You might have heard of the brand names under which minoxidil is sold like Rogaine or Kirkland.
And before you ask, yes. Minoxidil is FDA-approved and has been for over 3 decades now. So it’s completely safe to use.
Top Minoxidil For Beard 2021
There is a lot of debate on which is the best Minoxidil for beard – Kirkland, Rogaine, Tugain, Folligain, or any other brand.
But the truth is, almost all of these OTC minoxidil brands have the same chief ingredient – Minoxidil in 5 percent concentration.
Also, there are some people who claim that liquid minoxidil is better than foam ones in terms of effectiveness. But this isn’t really true.
In fact, if you have very sensitive skin then foam-based minoxidil is better for using on your face than the liquid ones as the latter contains an alcohol and propylene glycol base.
Another thing to keep in mind is that other hair-growth ingredients like saw palmetto (DHT blockers) and azelaic acid do not really work on facial hair as they do on the hair on your head.
So there’s no need to go out of your way to get a minoxidil solution with these ingredients in it.
Basically, you can pick the best minoxidil for beard depending on what’s easy to get your hands on. For people living in the US, you might find that Kirkland is more easily available than others.
While people living in the UK and other parts of Europe find Rogaine easily.
There are also several brands of minoxidil for beards on Amazon.com. You can find them all easily below.
Kirkland Signature Minoxidil Foam
Men’s Rogaine Extra Strength 5% Minoxidil Topical Solution
Amazon Basic Care Minoxidil Topical Solution
How Minoxidil Helps Grow Hair
So before we get into how minoxidil helps hair grow, we first need to understand how hair grows in the first place.
The follicles on our scalp (and in this case the skin), have a life cycle consisting of four important phases. These are:
- Anagen phase: This is the growth phase where new hair strands start growing. It’s the longest phase and 90 percent of hair grows during this phase.
- Catagen phase: About 5 percent of the total hair on your beards are in this phase. Here the hair follicles start to shrink and prepare to go into the resting phase.
- Telogen phase: A total of 10-15 percent of our hair are in this stage. Here the hair doesn’t grow like in the anagen phase, but it doesn’t shed either. So it’s called the “resting” phase.
- Exogen phase: This is the phase where the hair starts shedding. On average, a person loses upto 50-100 strands per day easily.
So now that you know how hair grows, let me tell you how minoxidil helps hair growth.
Minoxidil is a vasodilator, so it increases blood flow to the hair follicles by dilating the blood vessels leading to them.
This increased blood flow nourishes the hair follicles by providing them with extra nutrients.
Also, minoxidil is also known the shorten the time between the telogen and anagen phases in the hair growth cycle.
So the hair follicles that have entered the resting stage, shed the old hair faster and grow near hair sooner.
This makes you grow a “fuller” and “thicker” beard in addition to making your facial hair grow faster.
Accordion to this one study in Thailand about the use of Minoxidil in hair disorders:
- Minoxidil was effective in increasing hair growth when compared to a placebo
- It helps increase the levels of the hormone prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) which is known to help hair growth
- Using minoxidil helps increase the potassium channels near your facial hair
- Using minoxidil regularly can help regenerate new blood vessels in a process called angiogenesis
So we can safely conclude that using minoxidil for beard hair growth actually works.
How To Use Minoxidil On A Beard
Step 1: Cleanse your face and beard thoroughly with a mild cleanser
The first step is to cleanse your face so that any dirt or excess oil is washed off and doesn’t interfere with the absorption of minoxidil.
You can wash your face with good old-fashioned soap and water and leave it at that.
Or you can choose a cleanser and beard wash of your choice. Just make sure these aren’t too harsh and are pH balanced.
Step 2: Apply the recommended amount to your face
The recommended amount of minoxidil for daily use is 1ml.
If you’re using liquid Minoxidil, you can use a stopper to add the solution to your face. Usually, brands like Rogaine come with a stopper.
But if you’re using the foam version of minoxidil you can use the cap given to get 1ml out and apply it using your fingers.
I suggest massaging the solution in until completely absorbed.
Also, minoxidil gets absorbed better if on damp skin (damp not wet, make sure you’re face is completely free of water droplets). So use it right after cleansing.
Step 4: Wait for the minoxidil to get absorbed
According to certain studies, the absorption of topical minoxidil can take anywhere from one hour to five hours.
So you should leave your face alone for this time. You can even apply minoxidil overnight if possible.
Step 4: Wash your face
Most minoxidil solutions come with base ingredients like propylene glycol and alcohol that can dry your skin.
So it’s suggested you wash the minoxidil off after 4 hours. If you’re keeping it overnight, wash your face the first thing in the morning.
Step 5: Apply a moisturizer
To prevent the minoxidil applications from making your skin dry, use a hydrating moisturizer on your face after you wash off the minoxidil.
Look at moisturizers with ingredients like jojoba oil, hyaluronic acid, shea butter, etc.
Side Effects Of Using Minoxidil
Like every other product, there are certain side effects to using minoxidil. Even if you’re using the very best minoxidil for beard growth.
Sometimes, these side effects are due to other ingredients that are present in the solution and not the minoxidil itself.
- If you use a minoxidil brand with propylene glycol it can lead to redness and irritation in sensitive skin
- Sometimes, sensitive skin can break out due to minoxidil with this ingredient
- If the solution is alcohol-based it can dry your skin
- When applied the minoxidil can take time to get absorbed and your skin appears greasy and sticky during this time
Increased hair shedding
It might sound unbelievable but yes, minoxidil can increase hair shedding. But don’t worry these aren’t healthy hair.
Minoxidil shortens the time between the telogen and the next anagen phase. So all the hair follicles in the resting stage, shed this old hair quickly and start to prepare to grow new strands.
If minoxidil gets into your systemic circulation, then chances are it can increase body hair growth. But the chances of this is low, especially if you’re using topical minoxidil.
Health Issues (Very uncommon)
These side effects are seen when a person has a lot of minoxidil in their bloodstream. The chances of these problems occurring when you’re taking a topical solution are almost negligible.
- As minoxidil alters potassium channels, it can lead to increased water retention, giving you a bloated look
- Minoxidil is a vasodilator, which means the increased blood circulation can cause heart palpitations
- Due to the same reason, it can also cause dizziness as blood pressure increases
Using Minoxidil Beard: Before And After
So if you were wondering if you can use minoxidil on your beard, you now have your answer.
The best minoxidil for beard is which doesn’t contain other ingredients like alcohol that can irritate the sensitive skin on your face.
You need to give minoxidil time like any other medicine to work. So wait for a few weeks to see actual facial hair growth.