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Minoxidil for beard growth – How it works

If you haven’t been able to grow the beard that you want, you’re not alone. So many men have trouble either growing a beard in the first place or with getting the thick, full facial hair that they long for. Thanks to the hair growth stimulator, Minoxidil, you may be able to get the beard of your dreams.

Minoxidil has well been regarded as a way to grow hair on the head, and as a topical method to reduce the amount of hair that is lost. Thicker, fuller hair is possible based on the many satisfied users. However, there has been some question as to whether or not this product can also stimulate hair growth on the face to produce a nice, full beard. There have been some studies to show that this is quite possible. In addition, many users achieve great results with consistent application of minoxidil, with triggered beard growth for a sexy, manly appeal. So if you’re having trouble growing that beard or would just like a way to get thicker and fuller results, read on to find out how.

Minoxidil and Stimulation of the Growth of Facial Hair

You might be wondering how Minoxidil could work on facial hair when it was designed to work to stimulate regular hair growth on the top of the head. Well, this product wasn’t even originally designed to stimulate hair growth at all. Minoxidil was first used as a blood pressure medication. As a potent vasodilator, this medication works by relaxing the inner lining of the walls of blood vessels. When the lining of the blood vessel walls are relaxed, it expands the inside of these vessels, making it easier for blood to flow through them, and thus reducing the amount of pressure that is required to push blood through the blood vessels.

Decreasing blood pressure is all well and good for those who are at risk due to increased blood pressure, but you’re probably wondering how that has anything to do with growing hair. Many patients taking Minoxidil found that they experienced a curious side effect while using this medication. This side effect happens to be an increase in hair growth. This lead to researchers studying the effects of Minoxidil specifically to hair growth, and the rest is history. Because this medication is found to be quite effective at preventing hair loss and even to help to regrow hair from follicles that had not produced hair in a while, it stands to reason that Minoxidil might just provide the same benefits for facial hair.

Does Minoxidil Work for Beard Growth?

If you’ve ever desperately wanted to find a way to get your beard to grow out the way that you want, you’d probably try just about anything that might give you that shot. In fact, many of you probably have tried some really weird tricks, often to no avail. Well, even though Minoxidil has not been approved for use on the face, that hasn’t really stopped some guys from trying this product out to see if it could help. Some of these guys have had absolutely amazing results. This word of mouth has spread like wildfire, in part due to the ease of access of information via the internet, and now men everywhere are trying this product with satisfying results. In fact, research studies have been completed and have shown that Minoxidil really can help to grow more hair on the face, allowing the hair to grow longer, fuller, and thicker.

What the Research Says

A research study was actually done comparing a 3% Minoxidil solution with a placebo to determine the efficacy and safety of using Minoxidil for beard growth. Both groups of men applied the solution twice a day for four months. After that time, those who were using the Minoxidil 3% actually showed significantly more hair growth than those who were using the placebo treatment. The results of this study were published in The Journal of Dermatology in August 2016.

How Does it Work?

When applied topically, Minoxidil has been shown to increase blood flow to the areas of the skin where it has been applied. That might not seem like a big thing, but apparently this also stimulates the hair follicles. Similar to the way that orally taken Minoxidil can increase the diameter of blood vessels, topical application of this product can increase the diameter of hair follicles. This helps the follicles to produce hair strands that are up to 12% wider. While 12% might not seem like a lot, it can really make a difference for those guys who are growing in a wispy, wimpy, or patchy beard. Imagine each hair of your beard taking up more space in width. You can add that up for a thicker-looking beard.

In addition to larger hair follicles and wider hair strands, Minoxidil can also prolong the growing phase of facial hair. While you might think quite frequently about what you can do to produce more facial hair, you might not give much thought to how the hair follicles work. During the growing phase of hair, called the anagen stage, continual blood supply to the follicle nourishes each strand of hair, allowing it to grow long and lush. Apparently, Minoxidil can increase the length of time that the hair follicle remains in the anagen stage, helping you to get a longer beard over time. During the second phase, or catagen stage, the hair detached from the follicle and no longer receives nourishment. During the third phase, or telogen stage, the follicle rests, waiting for the hair within to fall out. During the final phase, called the exogen stage, hairs are shed to await new hair growth to begin again. Every hair follicle goes through this cycle of hair growth through shedding. Using a topical Minoxidil solution can extend the anogen phase, which is what really helps your beard to grow in nice and full and ready to stroke.

Will Minoxidil Help Every Man’s Beard to Grow?

So now that you’ve learned about the ability of Minoxidil to help users to grow a thicker, longer, and fuller beard, you probably want to rush right out and go buy yourself a supply. Before you do, you may want to know more about any potential downside that could be there. It is important for you to note that like any other product, Minoxidil does not provide the same results for everyone. While many guys swear by the stuff, others are not so impressed. However, you can just take a look at some of the before and after beard pictures that you might find all over the internet to decide for yourself if trying Minoxidil to get that beard every dude will envy will be worth it or not.

Some Things You Just Cannot Control

While everyone is unique, meaning that results can vary from person to person, there is another reason as to why Minoxidil might not help you to get that glorious beard. This is due to genetics. You see, you can only grow hair out of a hair follicle. No matter how much Minoxidil you apply to your face, if there are not hair follicles in a certain area, no hair will be able to grow there. So while Minoxidil can help your hair to grow from a follicle and cause that hair to be wider in diameter, it cannot create hair follicles in smooth areas where none of these follicles are present. This is a very major caveat that many individuals do not take the time to consider. If you use this product for six months to a year and still cannot grow facial hair, you may not have the necessary follicles to get the results that you are looking for.

How to Use Minoxidil to Get Awesome Facial Hair

Minoxidil is available in different strengths. There are also different formulas available. You can get Minoxidil in a solution or as a foam. There seems to be a general consensus that for those who want to grow a better beard with Minoxidil, the foam formula is preferred in the 5% strength. Before you get over-excited and start slathering the stuff all over, you want to use the product properly.

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Men's Rogaine Extra Strength 5% Minoxidil Topical Solution for Hair Loss and Hair Regrowth, Topical Treatment for Thinning Hair, 3-Month Supply
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Men's Rogaine 5% Minoxidil Foam for Hair Loss and Hair Regrowth, Topical Treatment for Thinning Hair, 3-Month Supply
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Cleanse Face

Wash and dry your face before application. It is important to begin with a clean slate when using any topical medication that is to be applied to the skin. Because Minoxidil can be harsh to the skin, you may wish to use a gentle cleanser or at least on that is pH balanced. If you begin to develop acne as a result of using this product, you may wish to speak with a pharmacist or your physician to determine if you should switch facial cleansers or stop using the Minoxidil.

Apply Minoxidil

Use 1 mL of solution or a half a capful of foam. Carefully spread the product over the area where you wish to grow more facial hair. Be sure to gently, yet thoroughly, rub in all of the product. Let it sit on your face for at least four hours to obtain the full absorption potential of this product. You can even keep Minoxidil on your face overnight, just be sure to wait at least four hours before doing anything else to your face. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly when you are through to prevent transfer of the product to unwanted areas. Sara Wasserbauer, MD, a hair restoration surgeon in California, warns that Minoxidil can help to increase hair growth wherever it is used. Washing residual product from our hands can also reduce potential side effects that might occur from use. If you like, you can put on gloves before applying Minoxidil to avoid these problems.

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Remove Product

After Minoxidil has been left to sit on your face for at least four hours, you can rinse it off. You may decide to wash it off, especially if you find that it irritates your skin a little. Because you might end up washing your face twice for each application of Minoxidil, a gentle cleanser could make a huge difference to keep your skin healthy.

Finishing Touches

If you notice any dryness, flaking, or itching, you can apply a moisturizer at this point. Make sure that you use a product that is designed for the face, including for any potential skin problems you might encounter.

Frequency of Use

When you first begin to use Minoxidil to grow out that fabulous beard, you may want to begin by applying the product once a day. Once you find out if you are able to tolerate Minoxidil, you can increase the application to the recommended twice a day. It is important to be patient when using Minoxidil. It can take up to four months before you really notice any difference. To keep on getting results, or to keep enjoying your results once you’ve achieved your dream beard, you will have to keep using the product. If you quit using Minoxidil, your hair will resume its normal growth and shed cycle, and you could lose all of the progress you have made in just a few months. Ouch. So it is important that you do not stop using Minoxidil if you get frustrated with the slow results. It is also equally important that you do not get overconfident in your new bushy beard to the point that you think you may not need the product anymore.

Ways that You Might Improve Results

There are a couple of tips that men have shared to improve the effects of topical Minoxidil application when trying to get that thick, long beard.

Derma Roller

Some men find that they get better results by using a derma roller before or after applying the solution or foam. A derma roller has very fine, short needles that penetrate the skin, allowing topical products to reach down into the skin more readily. At least that is the theory behind it. Whether or not you choose to use one of these skincare extras is completely up to you. However, if you notice a bit of improvement but are not getting the results you had hoped, it may not hurt to use some type of tool to help get the product deeper into the skin.

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Keep It Neat

Trim your beard on a regular basis. While this might seem counter-intuitive, trimming the beard can help strengthen the follicle to improve the growth of facial hair. It also helps to keep individual hairs more even, providing a fuller look without thin and wispy strands sticking out. A trimmed beard also makes it easier to get the Minoxidil to reach the skin’s surface more readily during application.

Moisturize

If you notice any drying of your skin, you might want to use a lotion or oil that is specifically designed for beards and the facial area. These products are designed to nourish the skin without hindering the growth of facial hair. Dry skin can cause flaking and sloughing off of skin cells. This can lead to clogged pores, breakouts, and increased oil production. This can also block hair follicles, reducing hair growth, and you certainly do not want to do anything that might hinder your progress. Additionally, you may wish to use a beard oil to keep your hairs healthy, strong, and looking great.

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Potential Side Effects of Using Minoxidil to Grow a Beard

As with any type of medication, there is always a possibility that you may experience some type of unwanted side effects. Although this product is applied topically to initiate beard growth, some of the product can absorb into the body through the skin. Risk of side effects is increased if you use more than the recommended amount of product or if you use it too frequently.

Skin Issues

Perhaps the most commonly reported side effect with topical Minoxidil use is that of dry, itchy skin. Skin shedding and redness is also possible. Typically, this can be remedied with the use of a lotion or oil that is designed specifically to be used on the face or with a beard. If you must use some other type of product to combat dryness, you should try to wait for four hours after application of Minoxidil to give the hair growth product time to work. However, if you experience a rash, stinging, or burning after using this product, you may want to stop using it until after you have talked with your physician.

Other Side Effects

Although very little Minoxidil is absorbed through the skin, you might experience headaches, dizziness, or changes in your vision when using this product. Especially during the first few weeks of use, you might retain more fluid, resulting in bloating. While unattractive, bloating will typically subside with continued use of Minoxidil. You could also gain weight while using this product, in part because Minoxidil appears to increase hunger. You might also notice chest pains or an irregular heart rate. Difficulty sleeping has also been noted for some users. Diarrhea and nausea have also been reported. Any of these symptoms could be a sign that you are having a serious negative reaction, so you should stop using this product.

Excess Hair

There is the risk that you could grow hair in other areas beside your beard region. While this more commonly occurs if you touch another area with the Minoxidil still on your hands, there is a slight risk of getting hairier on other areas of your body when you use this product. Undesired hair can be shaved or waxed off, if you like. If it’s especially troublesome, you may wish to stop using Minoxidil.

Written by Robert B. Brown

Dermatologist. Researcher. Writer. There are only two things more important than my beard in life; My wife and my two kids. I'm a guy full of surprise. If you don't hear me talk about my hair or beard, it's probably because I am watching the UFC.

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