Have you ever wondered if Minoxidil works on beards? I know I have. In this article, we’re breaking down what Minoxidil is, if it works for beard growth, and if so, is it safe to use on your face?
What is Minoxidil?
Minoxidil is an FDA approved, over the counter drug for treating certain types of hair loss in both men and women. While it is not fully understood how Minoxidil promotes hair growth, we do know that when it is used on the scalp, the hair growth is not permanent and growth is lost after you stop taking Minoxidil. It is important to note that Minoxidil does not create new hair follicles. It can awaken follicles that are dormant but it will not cause your body to create new hair follicles.
While the effects of Minox on the scalp and hair growth are well documented, until recently, there have been no formal medical studies addressing minox and beard growth. We’ve reviewed the study and consulted several doctors about the impact of Minoxidil and what we learned is a bit surprising...
Does Minoxidil promote beard growth?
According to a study published in the Japanese Dermatological Association’s Journal of Dermatology, the short answer is yes, but…
The study found that while Minoxidil did increase hair count in the test subjects, it did not increase the diameter of the hairs. Furthermore, it made no indication of minox transitioning vellus hairs into terminal hairs. It noted that the majority of hair growth was in the form of non-terminal hair growth.
Does Minoxidil transition vellus hairs into terminal hairs?
While many bloggers say yes, there are no medical studies supporting this claim. We do know that it makes non-terminal hairs appear darker and stronger which could lead some to believe they now have terminal hairs.
What causes vellus hairs to transition into terminal hairs?
Hormones. This transition begins at puberty but it is not instantaneous. Hairs are still transitioning well into your early 30s. Minoxidil is not a hormone. It is very possible that some of the new, thicker non-terminal hairs naturally transition into terminal hairs during treatment leaving some men to think that minoxidil caused the transition when in reality it was the beard’s natural progression. If you’d like to learn more about the beard growth cycle, check out this blog.
Is minoxidil safe to use on the beard?
According to the study, the researchers believe that it is safe to use minoxidil for beard enhancement. That being said, there are known side effects (a common side effect being dry, flaky skin which can easily be addressed with a specialized moisturizer) and you should consult your doctor before starting minoxidil.
Will my minoxidil beard gains last?
We know that when treatment is stopped for baldness, the gains are lost. To date, there is no scientific research showing that minoxidil beards will last indefinitely after treatment is stopped.
The reality is that beards take time. Most men don’t reach their full beard potential until their mid-30s. Minoxidil is an appealing option for guys looking to grow a fuller beard. Before starting a minoxidil regimen, it is important to consult a medical professional. There can be side effects and there are still many unknowns about how minox works in regards to beard growth. If you’re under the age of 20 and considering using minoxidil/Rogaine for beard growth, I’d wait.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended to be fun and informative. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have medical questions, always contact your health care provider.