What is Minoxidil/Rogaine?
Please remember that age genetics and nutrition all have an important role in beard growth. The number one thing a quality beard needs is time.
Minoxidil is an FDA approved over the counter drug for treating certain types of hair and works for both men and women. There is not a true understanding mechanism in which minoxidil helps with hair growth but what we do know is the treatment is a vasodilator which in short means it widens the blood vessels to deliver more oxygen-rich blood to the skin and the hair follicles. Minoxidil also helps by increasing the size of hair follicles which in turn helps you grow thicker longer hair. If that were not enough the topical also shortens the resting (telogen) phase of hair hair growth which in short means your hair stays in the growth (anagen) phase longer.
We have found that Minoxidil has well documented studies showing it works well for standard hair growth we have been able to find no studies addressing if or how Minoxidil affects beard growth. That being said there is a ton of anecdotal evidence that lets us believe that it will help beard growth similar to how it affects regular hair growth.
Does Minoxidil help beard growth?
Like most things this is an interesting question. We found a study published in the Japanese Dermatological Association’s Journal of Dermatology, that basically said yes it does. But the answer is not as clear cut as one would hope.
The study showed that Minoxidil did in face increase hair count in the subjects it did not increase the the thickness of the hair. On top of that it did not indicate if minoxidil make any not if Minoxidil will help vellus hairs to transition to terminal hairs. It did however note that the majority of hair growth was in the form of non-terminal hair growth.
What is the difference between Vellus and Terminal hair?
I referred to the different hair types above when I proofed this I realized many of our readers may not understand the difference between Vellus and Terminal hair so here goes.
Your body hair is going to change over your lifetime and as you become older up to your 30s when talking about beard hair. Vellus hair or better known of us peach fuzz transitions to thicker Terminal hair certain parts of your body during puberty and as you age further.
Your terminal hair is considerably different then your vellus hair in that it becomes longer and stronger. That is why we men go from peach fuzz to a patchy beard and eventually to the ability to grow a mustache and a beard.
These are some areas our body may convert the vellus hairs to terminal hairs.
- pubic area
- beard mustache.
This change at puberty results in an increase in androgen (a hormone the body produces). Both men and women produce androgen but in most cases men's production is considerably higher. That is why men usually have more terminal hairs then women.
Is Minoxidil safe to use on your beard.
Well like any sort of medical product this is a yes not question. The Japanese study noted that it was safe and that the number one noted side effect was dry flaky skin which could be treated with a moisturizer. We always suggest checking with your doctor before using a product like this.
Now that being said here is the list of possible side effects for minoxidil.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- Itching or skin rash (continued)
- Acne at site of application
- burning of scalp
- facial hair growth
- increased hair loss
- inflammation or soreness at root of hair
- reddened skin
- swelling of face
These are the signs and symptoms of absorbing too much Minoxidil into your system
- Blurred vision or other changes in vision
- chest pain
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- numbness or tingling of hands, feet, or face
- swelling of face, hands, feet, or lower legs
- weight gain (rapid)
Will the gains I make using minoxidil last?
Well there really isn't any studies to answer this specific question but we do know that when the treatments were stopped with balding patients that the gains are soon lost.
We believe that this is a very interesting product and the evidence does lead us to believe that it may help. That being said please remember that a beard takes a while to grow. It is dependent on genetics, nutrition and age We also know a man will not reach his full beard potential until he is in his mid thirties.
There are side effects noted above and there are a lot of unknowns when it comes to the use of minoxidil and beard growth but to be honest after doing this research I am much more likely to try it then I thought.
Hope this helps. Please leave a comment if I missed something or you would like to see something else.