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Does Minoxidil Work for Beard Growth? What You Should Know and Potential Side Effects

Minoxidil works for head hair, but what about beards? Learn more about using Minoxidil for growing your beard and what to expect.

Read on

It’s not a stretch to see where this question developed from. Minoxidil has been a hair growth mainstay for decades, it is FDA-approved for use in male and female pattern hair loss, and is conveniently available over the counter.

So, if Minoxidil can do a pretty good job of increasing the growth of hair on your head, can it also work to help boost the growth and density of beard hair?

Below, we will cover what Minoxidil is, its potential mechanism on hair growth, if it works for beards, what you should know before using it, and the potential side effects of using Minoxidil for beard growth.

What is Minoxidil?

Minoxidil was initially used in tablet form as a high blood pressure medication, but during the trials, it was noted that patients were reporting increased hair growth and density. This realization led to the development of what is now commonly referred to as Rogaine, which is the brand name of Minoxidil-containing topical hair growth products. 

You can also find Minoxidil in generic topical medications, or blended together with other hair loss medications, as in our prescription topical Finasteride and Dutasteride formulas.

When Minoxidil is used on the scalp it can help stimulate new growth in some people. The mechanism behind just how Minoxidil works is not fully understood, but we do know that it works as a vasodilator, meaning that it can open up the vessels and allow improved blood flow. This improved blood flow may mean more oxygen and nutrients are nourishing the hair follicles, allowing for healthier hair growth.

Learn More: Is Minoxidil a DHT Blocker? How Minoxidil Increases Hair Growth

Does Minoxidil work for improving beard growth?

Logically, it makes sense that something that improves the hair growth on your head should also improve the hair growth on your face. But, let’s review the studies on the topic.

There is very little research done on Minoxidil for beards specifically, but one small-scale study was conducted in 2016.

In this placebo-controlled double-blind study, 48 men were randomized to apply either 0.5ml of a 3% Minoxidil solution or a placebo solution to their beard area twice daily for 16 weeks. The men were followed up with every 4 weeks and the results were determined by photographic assessment. At the end of 16 weeks, the men in the Minoxidil group showed that the photographic assessment score and the mean hair counts were significantly improved as compared to the control group. The side effects reported in this study included dry skin, redness, and itching on the application site.

As mentioned above, this is a small study, so more robust trials would need to be conducted to confirm these findings. But, this study seems like a positive start.

What should you know before using Minoxidil on your beard?

If you are considering using Minoxidil on your beard there are a few things that you should know. 

  1. This would be considered an off-label use of Minoxidil, as it is currently only FDA-approved for use on the scalp for hair loss on the head.
  2. You should speak with your doctor before using this medication, as it may not be safe for use in everyone, including men with heart conditions, or who are prone to low blood pressure. Even though this is a topical medication, small amounts may get into systemic circulation and have full-body effects.
  3. This is considered a long-term medication, and stopping the product will likely lead to any hair (or beard) improvements to revert back to their state from before treatment.
  4. Results for improvements take time, and it may take months before improvements can be noticed.
  5. Application is important, and imprecise application may lead to unwanted hair growth on other parts of the face, including the high cheeks, neck, back, or the tip of the nose.
  6. Leave the medication on for at least 4 hours to allow the active ingredients to absorb. Wash your face and beard area the next morning, or after 4 hours. Apply moisturizer after washing your face to help counteract any drying effects, and wear sunscreen during the day.

What are the potential side effects of using Minoxidil for beards?

Some of the potential side effects of using Minoxidil for beard growth are likely going to be similar to using Minoxidil on your scalp. The side effects may include:

  • Redness
  • Dryness
  • Itching
  • Acne on the face
  • Irritation of the skin
  • Change in hair color or texture
  • Unwanted hair growth on areas it came into contact with

Less likely but more severe side effects may occur if too much of the medication gets into circulation, or if you have a condition that does not work well with this medication.

More severe but uncommon side effects may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Swollen feet and hands
  • Chest pain
  • Low sexual desire
  • Weight loss

Also Read: Where To Buy Minoxidil? Over the Counter and Prescription Options

Minoxidil for beard growth: Bottom Line

Minoxidil for use on the beard is an off-label use of Minoxidil. But, since this is an easily accessible over-the-counter medication, it is likely that some people may try it for beard growth.

More research needs to be done to confirm the benefits of using Minoxidil for beard growth, and identifying any side effects during its use. But, one small-scale study reported beard improvements when using 3% minoxidil twice daily for 16 weeks.

Minoxidil is not without side effects, and you may experience facial irritation, redness, itchiness, dry skin, unwanted hair growth, or a change in the color or texture of your beard hairs.

Talk to your doctor before trying Minoxidil off-label for beard growth, as this medication may be dangerous for you if you have certain conditions including heart problems.

Strut Health prescription hair loss treatments online

Here at Strut Health, we carry prescription customized medications for hair growth. We offer oral and topical formulations including Minoxidil mixed with Finasteride or Dutasteride for use on the scalp.

If you are interested in seeing if our hair loss medications are a good fit for you, you can have a free online questionnaire-based consultation with our U.S. licensed doctors today.

If You are a good fit for treatment, your medication can be shipped to your front door with our free shipping. If you have any concerns or questions during your treatment, our staff and doctor are available for free unlimited follow-ups.

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