Minoxidil is the over-the-counter scalp hair loss medication (most commonly known as Rogaine) that stimulates the new growth of hair and prevents hair loss.
The question that many men wonder is; Can rogaine and other generic minoxidil brands be used on face to grow beard faster? In other words, can you really just go and apply minox on facial area and grow hair there, and are there side effects for doing so?
You’ll learn all of that in this ultimate guide to minoxidil use for facial hair:
What are Rogaine and Minoxidil?
There are other minoxidil brands too such as Kirkland, which works just as well, it’s just not as popular as Rogaine, since Rogaine was the first and original to appear on the market (for this reason it’s much more expensive than generic minoxidil brands).
The way minoxidil was found to be effective for boosting hair growth, was found by accident, as the drug was tested orally as a blood pressure lowering medication, and the researchers noted a side-effect of increased hair growth all-around the body…
…This eventually led to more research on topical minoxidil solutions and eventually a brand called Rogaine was released to the market, containing a liquid solution with a mix of 2-5% minoxidil and a carrier agent; propylene glycol.
How Does Minoxidil Work?
To the date it hasn’t been known for sure what is the actual mechanism of action behind the effectiveness of minoxidil.
The only things proven are that it’s a potassium channel opener which can stimulate blood circulation in the hair follicles and thus naturally bring more hormones and nutrients into the root of the hair to make it grow faster and thicker.
What makes minoxidil different from many other hair-loss products is that it’s not hormonal. Whereas finasteride and other DHT-blocking hair loss medications can actually reduce beard growth by blocking dihydrotestosterone (the master hormone behind facial – but not scalp – hair growth), minoxidil works topically by stimulating circulation and has no effects on hormones such as testosterone or DHT…
…Which is good because those two hormones are responsible of beard growth in the first place, and lowering them would result in weaker beard growth (which is why if you’re losing scalp-hair you might not want to take any DHT-blockers).
Does Minoxidil Grow Beard when Applied to Face?
This is the big question that many patchy and non-bearded men are desperately seeking answers for.
Can you literally just buy some minoxidil, apply it to the facial area, and over-time grow a beard in spots that it wasn’t growing before?
The answer is a resounding; yes.
The actual active ingredient of the “hair-loss drug” doesn’t care whether you apply it to your scalp, chest, arms,facial hair or even eyebrows (yes, some people make their eyebrows more bushier with minox).
Minoxidil will, regardless of where you put it, slowly stimulate growth of new hair on any area of the skin where there are hair follicles…
…And we do have hair follicles all-around our face, for some men they are just not active and don’t produce that thick terminal hair, minoxidil – by causing significantly higher amounts of hormones and nutrients to be delivered to the follicles – stimulates these previously non-existent hair deposits to become alive again.
I have looked around on several forums and websites for people who have used minoxidil, and in nearly all cases, people report that minoxidil after use of 1-6 months has resulted in significant growth of new facial hair, as well as thickening of the existing hairs.
Here are two impressive before and after pics, aka. minoxidil before and after beard results:
Are there any Side-Effects to Minoxidil Use?
Since minoxidil was first used as a drug for lowering blood pressure, it can, when absorbed through the skin, cause some symptoms related to lower blood pressure.
However these symptoms are often exaggerated by companies selling beard vitamins and other “beard growth boosters” in order to steer people away from minox and into using their own oils and whatnot…
…In reality, when you use recommended dosages of minoxidil 1-2 times a day to such small area as the chin and cheeks, the change of getting any noticeable side-effects (except beard growth ;)) are very low. The only real side-effect I have personally noted after using minox twice per day for 14 months has been occasional drying of the skin which can be relieved by using some facial moisturizer (that, and my beard went from weak and patchy to full and mighty).
What Brand of Minoxidil to Use and How?
This is simply because they are the exact same stuff, but rogaine is twice as expensive due to being the “original brand”.
Regardless, they both have 5% of minoxidil in the same propylene glycol carrier agent. Kirkland brand is just cheaper and works just as well.
The recommended usage of minoxidil is 1-2ml twice per day to the area where you want to increase hair growth. For beard growing purposes use 2ml in the morning and 2ml in the evening.
After applying minoxidil it’s recommended that you do not wash your face for the following 4-hours to let the solution absorb and work its magic in the hair follicles.
NOTE: To prevent drying of the skin, moisturize your face with dexpanthenol cream 5-10 minutes before applying the minox. This prevents dry flaky skin and also improves the absorption of minox.
How Long to Use and What Happens When You Stop?
Most people don’t see any significant changes in the first month or two, but somewhere during 3-6 months people report fairly significant changes and they keep reporting these to still occur even after year of continuous use.
After a year and two months, I still see new hairs popping up on the upper cheeks from minoxidil use.
But what if I quit using Rogaine or Kirkland, will my beard fall off?
No. There have been many people who used minox to grow full beards, then stopped using minox, shaved, and still grew the beard just as well.
Once you’ve activated the hair follicles to grow terminal hair, that will not magically stop even if you’d stop using the minoxidil solution. The speed of the hair growth might slightly slow down, and the rate of NEW hair on the face might slowly seize, but fact is that you will not lose the hairs gained from minox.
Minoxidil is perhaps the most effective beard product to stimulate new growth of facial hair and fix patchy beards.
It has been clinically proven to work on scalp, but anecdotal evidence from years of people using it on forums has proven that it also works on the face and is relatively safe to use.
The best type of minoxidil to use is Kirkland (or Rogaine but it’s the same stuff, only more expensive), for better absorption and prevention of dry skin, it’s recommended to use dexpanthenol cream before applying the solution.