Should You Use Minoxidil for Beard and Hair Growth?
As a certified trichologist, I field tons of questions daily from men looking for solutions to their hair loss problems. And not surprisingly, a lot of guys want to know about the medication minoxidil. So without further ado, let’s talk about everything you need to know about minoxidil, from how it works to its possible side effects.
What is minoxidil, and how does it work?
Minoxidil is a topical medication used to treat hair loss. Studies suggest that minoxidil works by shortening the telogen phase (the part of the hair growth cycle when the follicle is “resting” and hair is shedding) and extending the anagen phase (when hair is actively growing).
Can I use minoxidil for my facial hair?
Short answer: yes, you can. Many people have used it on both their scalps and faces, and they have seen results.
Does minoxidil come with any harmful side effects?
Like all medications, minoxidil has primary effects and side effects. So before you make any decisions with your dermatologist, make sure you know exactly what to look out for. According to this study, some possible reactions are:
Depending on the formulation, you may experience some skin irritation at the area you apply the medication. This is the most common reaction.
Some minoxidil users (of the spray and foam formulations) develop a rash and/or experience a mild burning sensation. Many believe that the culprit is propylene glycol, which is an ingredient in some forms of minoxidil.
Like I mentioned, minoxidil works by taking your hair from telogen to anagen — from shedding to growth. And it takes it through this cycle pretty rapidly. That’s why many users will see rapid shedding at the get-go. It sounds counterintuitive, but hair loss is actually quite common when using minoxidil. For more information, I recommend checking out this study.
If you decide to use minoxidil, make sure to carefully follow your dermatologist’s instructions. Some side-effects of excessive minoxidil use include:
- chest pains,
- blurred or altered vision,
- numbness of the face,
- swelling of the face and hands and feet,
- rapid weight gain.
Again, make sure you always consult your dermatologist if you’re thinking about minoxidil, and be totally transparent with them about any side effects you’re experiencing.
Minoxidil is very effective for some people, but because it is a medication, you should be aware of all of the possible side effects. And with that, I’m here to give you the information that empowers you to make your own decision.
Have you ever tried minoxidil? If so, what was your experience like? Leave a comment below, and don’t forget to let me know what other topics you’d like to see.