I see this question commonly posted on Reddit and on beard forums. In fact, the phrase “minoxidil beard” is searched over 19,500 times per month according to Google (or “rogaine for beard”, with over 1,600 searches per month). Recently I started growing my beard out from a clean-shaven face and noticed that I have some patches right above my jaw line, between my sideburns and my chin that just don’t grow hair.
I have multiple vellus hairs, but nothing that I would consider “beard hair”. I began researching around the internet to find out if Rogaine beards were common, and it appears that quite a few people have tried it successfully (see this forum thread). Now, I do want to say that even though Rogaine does appear to work for some peoples beards, that it’s not been clinically tested and Rogaine does not promote their product for beard or facial hair growth officially.
I will be starting to test out Minoxidil to grow in my patches, but I always recommend you speak to your doctor first before you try it out yourself. I’ll be opting to start with 5% rather than 2% since I see that most commonly used. In the meantime, I wanted to do a write up of the most common questions I see related to this topic as well as give you my best answers that I can fine around the net from conducting research.
How Does Minoxidil Actually Work?
Minoxidil is actually the active ingredient in Rogaine, so many times you’ll see people refer to it by the active ingredient. Just know that they are basically one in the same, except one is the branded version while the other is the generic version. Something you might find interesting as well is that Minoxidil was not meant to be used as a hair growth stimulant, in fact its first use was to treat high blood pressure. Doctors noticed that people taking it developed excessive hair growth, and that’s how it became to be used for what it is today.
Minoxidil works by widening the hair follicle allowing thicker hair to grow. The current mechanism of action is not actually known at this point in time.
Does Minoxidil/Rogaine Work For Beards And Facial Hair?
Yes, for some people it definitely does. As you will see below (I’ve posted pictures found around the net), it has helped thicken as well as fill in beard patches from some people. Others have seen minimal results. One thing that is important to note is that Minoxidil can only stimulate hair growth where follicles actually exist. If you have patches where no follicles exist, then it will not help you in growing your desired beard.
2% vs 5% Minoxidil For Beard
Minoxidil is dose dependent, so the higher the concentration the more effective it will be. It’s important to note that using 5% versus 2% will not necessarily give you faster hair growth results, but it will cause an increase in hair growth as well as being thicker. If you decide to move forward with 5%, make sure to watch for side effects because you have a higher chance of experiencing them than if you used 2%.
How Long Does It Take To See Beard Growth?
Some users have noted seeing vellus hairs in as little as 2-3 weeks, however most people don’t notice results until 3-6 months usage. It’s all about patience. You can also use our other beard growth tips alongside your Minoxidil usage for increased success.
Should I use Foam or Liquid Minoxidil?
Either will work. Some users prefer to use the foam so that they can more clearly see where they are applying. The foam is a bit easier to apply because it doesn’t run like the liquid will. Either way, you should see results as long as you follow the proper application process.
What Are Minoxidil Side Effects?
Side effects are definitely something you want to watch out for. A beard is not worth sacrificing your health in my opinion. Here are a list of side effects that I’ve seen reported around the internet: heart palpitations, nausea, dry skin (due to alcohol based carrier), increase in unwanted hair (arms, body, etc), fluid retention (if you experience this contact your Dr immediately).
Will I See Hair Grow Elsewhere If Using Rogaine On My Face?
It is possible to experience systemic hair growth. If it is unwanted, stop the treatment. If it’s tolerable, continue usage.
Should I Stay Clean Shaven Or Let My Beard Grow During Usage?
That’s entirely up to you. The main thing to keep in mind is that you need the Minoxidil to stay applied for at least 4 hours before washing, shaving, etc. This will provide enough time for your skin to absorb it.
Where Can I Buy Minoxidil?
You can buy it from a variety of places in person or online. We have Amazon Prime, so we typically purchase through Amazon. Other places include Walmart, Target, Costco, and most major places that sell personal care products.