Do you want to find the single most potent solution to triggering new growth of facial hair on areas you never thought even had follicles before?
If you answered yes, you’re certainly not alone.
Millions of men with sluggish beard growth rates are desperately searching for that silver bullet which would trigger beard growth on their faces, and unfortunately, large amounts of them end up as victims of the “beard pill” industry…
…Which peddles poor-quality kitchen-sink multivitamins to men looking to find something that would help their beards grow faster naturally.
If only, would they know about minoxidil (Rogaine), the prescription-free hair-loss drug, that can be straight up labeled as medication for beard and mustache growth.
Yes, that’s right. There are thousands of men who have used Rogaine for beard growth, hundreds of them documenting their journey, posting rogaine before and after pictures, month by month.
Men using Rogaine for facial hair growth started years ago at a place called Jeff’s Beard Board (used to be the first minoxidil beard forum) and has continued on Reddit, where there is an active subreddit called r/MinoxBeards.
And even if the anecdotal evidence isn’t enough, there’s even a clinical study which looked at Rogaine for beard growth purposes specifically, finding that indeed, it was massively effective at stimulating the growth of NEW facial hair1.
After studying the topic of stimulating beard growth for couple years now, I’ve compiled you this massive minoxidil review, so you know exactly what the hype is about, and why this stuff is 100x better than any of those ridiculous beard pills.
We go over the possible side effects, methods of supercharging its effects, what the stuff is about, and the mechanism of how minox works to trigger beard growth.
Of course, I will also showcase you some of the most impressive minoxidil before after results, and what is the best Rogaine/minox using beard routine for whisker gains.
So buckle up and let’s get at it. ↓
Table of Contents
- What are Rogaine and Minoxidil?
- How Does Minoxidil Work Exactly?
- Can Rogaine be Applied to Face for Beard Growth?
- Rogaine Beard Before and After Proof
- What Brand of Minoxidil to Use and How?
- Minoxidil Side Effects for Facial Hair
- How to Apply Minoxidil on Face
- What Sort of Results Should I Expect?
- How to Supercharge the Results of Beard Minoxidil
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Infographic Version of this Post
What are Rogaine and Minoxidil?
In 1950, The Upjohn company (currently known as Pfizer) started experimenting with oral potassium channel openers to treat ulcers.
After years of studies, they noticed that the potassium channel opener they formulated did not cure ulcers, but instead acted as a potent vasodilator.
Their compound lowered blood pressure, improved circulation, and enlarged blood vessels.
Upjohn then picked the most promising of the 200+ formulations, named it Minoxidil, and eventually received permission from FDA, to further experiment with the compound to treat people with high blood pressure.
After this, Dr. Charles A. Chidsey from the University of Colorado was ordered to run human trials on Minoxidil to see how effective it was at reducing blood pressure, much to his surprise, he noticed that the compound had a “side effect” of rapidly increasing hair growth all-around the body.
Puzzled by this, he contacted his fellow researchers and asked if it would be possible to turn this drug into a topical liquid and test as a medication for hair loss or male-pattern baldness.
After years of further experiments, the Upjohn company had proven without a shade of doubt that topical their formulation could be used to regrow hair in men.
With their new-found proof, Upjohn started producing the drug in a topical solution branded as Rogaine.
Rogaine was later was made prescription-free by the FDA since Upjohn had amassed so much safety data from their years of trials with the compound. This gave many men easy access to the drug.
Other brands of minoxidil exist too, such as the Kirkland 5% solution which works just as well, it’s just not as popular as Rogaine, which was the first and original to appear on the market.
How Does Minoxidil Work Exactly?
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.
Since the androgenic hormones; testosterone and DHT fuel beard growth and the transformation from thin unnoticeable vellus hairs into thick terminal hairs, using this drug to supply more androgens to the roots of the beard hairs, is likely one of the reasons it’s so effective.
Minoxidil, through a process called hyperpolarization of the cell membrane, also causes increased hair follicle size, larger hair shaft diameter, and encourages the facial hair to move from resting phase to the active anagen beard growth stage.
This enhanced shifting from the resting phase to the growth phase is also behind what is called “the minoxidil shedding phase”, where the old thin hairs drop out of the skin “tubes” to be replaced by a new, stronger hair shaft.
To understand minoxidil shedding phase; look at the image below, you are not “losing” the hairs, the follicles simply shift into new – stronger and thicker – anagen phase. ↓
What makes Rogaine different from many other hair-loss products is that it’s not hormonal.
Finasteride and other DHT-blocking scalp hair-loss medications can reduce beard growth by blocking dihydrotestosterone (the master hormone behind facial – but NOT scalp – hair growth).
Minoxidil (Rogaine), on the other hand, works topically by stimulating circulation and has no suppressive effects on hormones such as testosterone or DHT…
…Other than the fact that enhanced circulation will supply more of them to the follicles and androgen receptors, which is exactly what you want if the goal is beard growth.
Can Rogaine be Applied to Face for Beard Growth?
“Can I really use Rogaine on my face” is the big question that many patchy and non-bearded men are desperately seeking answers to.
Can you literally buy some minox, 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 bushier with Rogaine).
This drug will, regardless of where you put it, slowly stimulate the 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 (before you were even born, you had follicle structure for full beard), for some men they are just not active and don’t produce that thick terminal hair.
(Have you ever asked yourself why Asian men struggle to grow good beards? It has to do with their genetics. That population – along with native Americans – have more androgen receptor copies, causing less-sensitivity towards hormones overall).
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 and in the process, helps to activate some dormant androgen receptors.
“So seriously, can I use minox or rogaine on my beard?”
Yes. Although it’s sold to be used for scalp-hair loss, thousands of men have gone and tested it on their facial hair area, with auspicious results, posting stellar minoxidil beard progress pictures (more proof about those below).
There’s even a clinical study from Thailand, which proved that 3% liquid solution of the drug was able to significantly increase new beard growth when applied to face1, so the evidence is not all anecdotal.
Rogaine Beard Before and After Proof
At this point, you’re probably still skeptical about this and questioning whether there is any proof that minoxidil/rogaine can be used on the face.
Which is good, being a healthy skeptic saves you from much trouble in life.
However; there are hundreds of before/after pictures from all around the World where men have gone and tested if Rogaine, Kirkland, or other brands of minox could cause facial hair growth.
I have looked around on several forums and websites, 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.
There’s a high chance that you can grow a full-beard with minox even to almost entirely hairless face.
Here are some impressive Rogaine before after pics and results:
What Brand of Minoxidil to Use and How?
Rogaine is twice as expensive due to being the “original brand”.
Regardless, they both have 5% of the active drug 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.
It’s down to your preference. Foam is often better for guys who have really sensitive skin and/or get reactions from the carrier agent (propylene glycol) but with that being said, most men attest to the topical liquid solution being slightly more effective.
However, be extra careful that the solution you buy doesn’t have any DHT-blockers or other “hair growth boosters” in there. Although lowering DHT may help on scalp hair, it will reverse the hair growth on your beard area, as the facial hair is hormonal hair and needs testosterone and DHT to grow.
For example, there’s a product called “Hair Restoration Laboratories Ultra”, which looks like 5% minoxidil, but in reality is also chock-full of DHT blockers like azelaic acid and saw palmetto! You want more dihydrotestosterone for the beard, not less.
Minoxidil Side Effects for Facial Hair
Minoxidil was first used as a drug for lowering blood pressure
Because of this, it can when absorbed through the skin, cause some symptoms related to lower blood pressure.
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) is meager.
Harmless side effects that can occur on higher dosages include:
- Swelling of ankles
However, discontinue use and tell your doctor if you get any of these:
- Chest pain or palpitations
Generally speaking, minoxidil is one of the more safer drugs, which is why even the FDA has ruled it to be prescription-free, and available from any market or online.
How to Apply Minoxidil on Face
The use is rather simple, and not messy at all if you do it right. This is the best minoxidil beard routine to follow:
Wash your face and if you can; exfoliate the beard area, this helps the pores retain more of the active ingredients and the number of dead skin cells blocking the hair follicles. If you have some beard already, brushing the beard is a good way to exfoliate the skin underneath.
If your face dries easily, I suggest you use dexpanthenol moisturizer after the face washing.
Suck in 1ml of minoxidil to the dropper that is usually inside the cap. In most cases, there is a line indicating the correct amount (in mine it’s roughly at the middle of the dropper).
Then slowly drip the solution all over your facial hair area, and either apply with your fingers or the dropper to spread it across the facial hair area in circular motion.
Much debate rages online about how long you should keep minoxidil on your face.
I’d say leave the Rogaine to the face for at least 4-hours. According to Ferry et al. this is the average time it takes to absorb 75% or more to the hair follicle2.
Wash your face, dry, and use a moisturizer, this is especially important if you are prone to getting dry skin, as minoxidil WILL dry up the skin as the carrier liquid is similar to alcohol.
I recommend using dexpanthenol cream before and after the use.
What Sort of Results Should I Expect?
Most people don’t see any significant changes in the first month or two. And most of the results showing before the three-month mark tend to be only increased amount of thin vellus hairs on your beard area.
Somewhere during 3-6 months in people report relatively significant changes, and they keep saying these to still occur even after a year of continuous use.
After a year and two months, people continue to report new hairs popping up on the upper cheeks, chin, and upper lip from minoxidil use.
What if I quit using Rogaine or Kirkland, does minoxidil beard fall off?
No. There have been many people who grew full minox beard, then stopped using minoxidil, shaved, and still grew the beard just as well.
It appears that the minoxidil beard is indeed permanent for the majority of the guys using, provided that they use it long enough to convert their thin vellus hairs into thick androgenic terminal hairs before quitting.
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 the fact is that you will not lose the hairs gained from Rogaine.
Here’s a video from an inspiring Youtuber who covered his full journey with minoxidil, I highly suggest you subscribe to his channel
(and no this is not me although we seem to share the same first name).
How to Supercharge the Results of Beard Minoxidil
Not many people know this, but you can easily supercharge the results you get from Minoxidil.
Of course, diet is essential, and you may want to take a look at this article of beard foods to add some DHT and T boosting foods to your beard growing arsenal.
Then there are the fundamental lifestyle factors such as; sleeping enough, limiting stress, eating enough calories, not hammering down alcohol, staying at low body fat, and lifting heavy weights.
Not to mention the three magic bullets that pair perfectly with minoxidil:
- Dexpanthenol cream which dissolves sebum and creates a super hydrant absorbent surface to the facial hair area. Use it 10 minutes before applying minoxidil, and again after 4+ hours when you wash it away.
- Dermaroller which can be used occasionally on the face to cause small punctures, which the body then rushes to repair with fresh nutrient and hormone-rich blood, as well as increased collagen protein and keratin delivery to the beard follicles.
- High-quality Multivitamin the single best supplement for your beard is a multivitamin. Forget the poor-quality “beard supplements” like Vitabeard or Beardilizer which are nothing more than 2$ worth poor quality supplements with a massive price tag. Instead get the Thorne Research 2-per day multi that is chock-full of well-absorbing nutrients for a fraction of the price.
Add these tricks to your minoxidil beard routine, and I can guarantee that you will be growing massive amounts of new beard in no time (well, in 6-12 months more likely).
Frequently Asked Questions
“How long do I need to use minoxidil on my face to get a beard?”
Most users report that there are only light “vellus hairs” that can be seen in the first 1-3 months, which then gradually start turning darker and thicker terminal hairs.
After 6-12 months of continuous use, most Rogaine beard brothers report significant results, often complete full beards.
“Can you shave while using minoxidil?”
You can, and it might make the application much more comfortable and less messy. However, you don’t have to necessarily. There are people who both shaved and did not, and both camps claiming good effects.
“Will the facial hair fall off if I stop applying minoxidil/rogaine?”
No. The rate of new beard growth slowly seizes, and the hair shaft diameter is reduced slightly, but almost all of the new facial hair gained from minoxidil will stay on your face for years after discontinuing use.
It seems that once the hair follicle and androgen receptors of the face are properly activated, the hormonal feedback loop keeps the beard gains alive even without the influx of more minoxidil.
In other words, the minoxidil facial hair growth is likely permanent (which is why you should be careful to only use it on spots you really want the hair to grow on!)
“How often do I have to use minoxidil on my face to grow a beard?”
1ml once per day is enough, but 1ml twice per day is better and will likely get you faster results.
Some users report putting on minoxidil even three or up to four times per day, but since the drug was initially created to be a vasodilator, I would highly advise that you don’t play around with it and stick to 1-2 times per day.
“How long should you keep minoxidil on the face?”
According to one scientific trial, 75% or more of the minoxidil will be absorbed into the hair follicle within 4-hours, this seems to be generally recommended as the optimal time.
Infographic Version of this Post
Conclusion on Minoxidil (Rogaine) and Beard Growth
Minoxidil is perhaps the most effective beard product to boost the growth of new facial hair whiskers.
If you have a patchy beard, it’s one of your best methods of fixing that. And if you can’t grow a beard at all, minoxidil is – after beard transplants – the most effective method.
It has been clinically proven to work on the scalp, but anecdotal evidence from years of people using it on forums has confirmed 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.