Having a bushy hipster beard has become a trend nowadays. For some people, growing beard requires a lot more than just letting it grow naturally. Minoxidil, being the no. 1 hair regrowth product, is used by many people to grow a beard. Many articles recommend Kirkland or Rogaine minoxidil for this purpose. Are they really the best minoxidil for beard growth? I would say 'no'. This blog will explain why.
Minoxidil works for facial hair without any doubt
Minoxidil was approved by the FDA to treat hair loss nearly 3 decades ago(1). You can read minoxidil frequently asked questions if you want to know more about it.
People have used minoxidil off-label for beard growth just since it was used for hair regrowth.
The population of people using minoxidil to enhance beard skyrocketed in recent years. Currently there are Facebook and Reddit minoxidil beard discussion groups that have tens of thousands of members, and there are thousands of before-and-after photos that clearly demonstrate how well it works.
If you think it about it, minoxidil can revitalize dormant hair follicles and reverse the hair loss course, and it makes sense that it can help grow hair from the follicles on the face.
In reality, it works effectively to grow hair just about anywhere with hair follicles. If you are on the fence, there is a clinical trial conducted in Thailand showing that 3% minoxidil is effective for facial hair growth around the beard area (2).
Kirkland and Rogaine minoxidil are good option, but not the best
Rogaine is the first minoxidil hair regrowth product approved by the FDA. It is unquestionably the biggest name out there.
Kirkland is generic to Rogaine. It is exactly the same as Rogaine minoxidil but at a lower price. There are some other generic brands such as Walmart's Equate, Target's UP&UP. Walgreen and CVS have their own brands too. One brand that is overlooked by almost everyone is Amazon's brand Basic Care minoxidil.
Among all the minoxidil brands, the cheapest one is not Kirkland. It is actually Amazon's Basic Care Minoxidil. I am surprised to see that all articles out there recommend Kirkland, but not a single one ever talks about Amazon's brand. It is definitely not because Amazon's brand is not trustable, right? Kirkland and Amazon's minoxidil products are not only the same in the formula. They are even made by the same manufacturer. You can read more about Basic Care minoxidil.
The only reason I can think of is that Amazon's brand is relatively new and most bloggers write their articles by spinning other's work without doing any research.
If you want to go with minoxidil with the lowest price, you should definitely use Amazon's Basic Care minoxidil.
But if you want to have a better quality of minoxidil with less side effect and is much more user-friendly, keep reading...
So, what are the side effects?
If you do a quick online search for minoxidil side effects, you will see minoxidil has a rather long list of side effects that sound very scary.
The good news is that all of them are very rare. Minoxidil is very safe in general. That is why it has been offered as an OTC product for a few decades now.
The most common side effect is skin irritation such as itchy scalp and red skin caused by propylene glycol (often abbreviated as PG).
Since the facial skin is much gentler than the scalp, many people have skin breakouts when using minoxidil on their faces.
Also, the minoxidil products mentioned above are very greasy, taking very long time, 3 to 4 hours, at minimum, to dry.
In addition, all minoxidil products have alcohol, which may cause skin dryness as well. Thus applying a good moisturizer or oil will help control skin dryness.
There are also less common systemic side effects, which you can read the complete list here.
So what is the best minoxidil for beard growth?
The minoxidil products mentioned above all have the same formula, which is 5% minoxidil dissolved in a delivery vehicle consisting of 50% propylene glycol, 30% alcohol and 20% water.
You probably noticed that the largest portion of the ingredient is propylene glycol, which is known to cause skin irritation.
It is estimated that 10% to 20% of users are allergic to propylene glycol and develop skin breakout when using regular minoxidil such as Kirkland and Rogaine.
Even if you are not allergic to propylene glycol, you will for sure find it very inconvenient to use the product because it is very greasy and takes a very long time (4 hours at a minimum) to dry.
By now you probably already know the best minoxidil for beard growth is the one that is free of propylene glycol, not greasy and dries fast.
Is such a product available? Yes. Essengen-5 NO PG Fast Dry was made available by our team after many years of research. It is compounded without any propylene glycol. It dries in a few minutes, and it is not greasy at all.
I know what you are thinking. It sounds very skeptical because Essengen-NO PG Fast Dry happens to be one of the products we offer and there are not many people talking out the product.
Well, as mentioned above, Amazon's Basic Care minoxidil is such a great product, have you ever heard anyone talking about it? All people just talk about Kirkland Minoxidil or Rogaine.
Sometimes people tend to repeat what others said and not to think out of the box.
The Rogaine formulation and the other generic brands were developed more than 30 years ago. It was never been updated.
30 years is a long time. When Rogaine was developed, the primary goal is to ensure it works. 30 years later, what we ask is probably more than just it works: we want it to have fewer side effects, and better usability, particularly for a product used on the face instead of on the scalp.
Essengen-NO PG Fast Dry costs more than Rogaine or Kirkland, and you can give it a try to see if it is worth the money. You can request a free product here: https://www.minoxidilmax.com/free-minoxidil-hair-regrowth-product.
The free product is completely free, all you need to do is pay a $7 shipping fee if you live in the USA. No, you don't need to sign up for any product subscription program to get the free product.
If you have more any questions about using minoxidil to grow beard, keep reading...
How do I apply the minoxidil on my face?
1.Wash your face with soap or plain water and towel dry it before doing the next step. No need to wait until your skin is completely dry. But there should be no water drops. Studies have shown that dampen skin helps in the absorption of minoxidil products.
2.Take up to 1ml of the liquid using a dropper* (You don't have use 1 ml. For some people, 0.5 mL or even less may be sufficient).
3.Start to apply drops of the liquid on your face wherever you want to grow a beard by slowly emptying out the dropper. You can use the tip of the dropper to spread the solution to avoid dripping. Try your best to deliver the solution on your skin not on your beard.
4.You can also gently rub the solution on your skin with your fingers to help the absorption.
5.Lastly, wash your hands thoroughly using soap and water
How many times a day should I use minoxidil?
Minoxidil for hair regrowth is recommended to use be used twice a day, once in the morning and the other time in the evening.
Should you do the same when using minoxidil to grow your beard? If you want to the grow your beard as fast you can, it is best to use two times a day.
However, applying the minoxidil solution on the face before you head to work in the morning may not be feasible for everybody. If that is the case, it is okay to use it once a day in the evening.
If you want to use it once day and still have the maximum result, you may consider extra high strength minoxidil product.
Conclusion: You can use once a day or twice a day based on your schedule. You will expect to see results faster if you use it twice a day.
5%, 2%, 10% minoxidil, which is the best to grow beard?
5% minoxidil is what most people use, and it should be the first choice if you never tried any minoxidil before. However, if you get side effects such as dizziness or heart palpitation, you can try 2% minoxidil such as Lipogaine for women, Rogaine for women. You can also stick with 5% but just use less frequently (doing once a day instead of two times a day) or less dosage (0.5 ml per application instead of 1 ml).
How long should I use minoxidil to grow my beard fully?
The response rates and results are different for different individuals. Some quick responders start to see results very quickly like in a time frame of 1 to 2 months. Some may need 4 months or longer to notice some change.
Hair does not grow overnight. It takes most people about 12 months to maximize the results. Some people may need 2 years to complete the journey.
Patience and consistency is the key to success.
How long should I keep Minoxidil on the face before I can wash it off?
Due to the greasiness of the regular minoxidil like Kirkland or Amazon's, people want to wash it off the face as soon as possible. But you do need to give it enough time to be absorbed otherwise you waste a lot of juice.
You can wash it off 3 hours after the application. If you use Essengen-5 NO PG Fast Dry, because it is not greasy and dries quickly, you won't feel the need to wash it off at all.
Will minoxidil work for me?
Minoxidil works for almost everyone, whether you are Caucasian, Asian, African or Hispanic men, no matter if you have thin, patchy or no beard at all.
It works so well that it can work on females too. One of the main reason women is generally recommended to use 2% rather than 5% is that the latter is more likely to have side effects such as facial hair on women.
You have no beard at all? No worry. I have seen many people grow a full beard from nothing. Do not expect everyone will have a beard like James Harden though.
Try minoxidil for at least 4 months to see how it works for you. If there is no change at all after four months. It means it just does not work for you, unfortunately.
Do I need to continue use minoxidil to keep my beard?
No. You don't need to continue to use minoxidil for a beard, which is different from using it as hair loss product in which continuous use is required to maintain the minox hair.
Once your beard is satisfactory, you can stop it, or you can taper it as a lot of people do.
Most people won't lose their minox beard. However, some people did report losing ground gradually after 1 or 2 years of minoxidil break.
Thus it is probably a good practice to use the minoxidil one or two times a week after the beard is fully grown.
Why do I lose beard after I start minoxidil?
Minoxidil shedding is a well-known phenomenon, i.e., people see increased hair loss when they started minoxidil to treat hair loss. It mostly occurs in the first month.
Some people reported similar observations when using minoxidil to grow beard. Please be advised that the lost beard is vellus hair (peach fuzz), which will never grow into terminal hair (mature hair). They need to get out of the follicle to make room for the terminal hair.
Not everyone loses facial hair in the process. Actually, most people don't.
Can I trim my beard before I finish the minox journey?
It is really up to you. Some people think trimming helps the beard turn into terminal hair. There is no definitive evidence to support this.
Can I use minoxidil if I am 16 years old?
Although there is no recommended age for using Minoxidil, it is still undesirable to use it before 18 years.
Beard hair grows during the period of puberty and even beyond in men.
This age starts at approximately 16 years of age and continues till 20 to 22 years (3).
Some people even continue to grow a beard in their 30s. So, as early as 18, a good idea is to let your hair grow on their own until you are physically mature.
How much minoxidil should I use in each application?
The standard dosage is 1 ml per application. All liquid minoxidil product comes with a graduated dropper that has 1 ml and 0.5 ml markings. Please keep in mind that it is not strictly necessary to apply 1 ml of minoxidil.
Just apply enough to cover the area where you want to grow a beard with a thin film of the solution. Some people have enough with 0.5ml or 0.25 ml per application.
Does higher strength of minoxidil grow beard faster?
Hair growth is dosage-dependent. 5% minoxidil grows hair much faster than 2%.
As aforementioned, the extra high strength of minoxidil allows one to use it once a day and still achieve result fast enough.
Is DHT blocker really bad for facial hair?
In theory, DHT is beneficial for the beard. Thus you do not want to block it. Surprisingly we do have customers who used our Dualgen-15 that has 15% minoxidil and natural DHT blockers azelaic acid to grow a beard and receive very good results.
Do I need to use a dermal roller?
You don't. A dermal roller may help you see results faster. But if minoxidil alone does not work for you, adding derma roller won't work either.
What is my option if I don't want to use minoxidil?
There are numerous beard products online that claim to grow a beard. Some products may have some merits in which they may make your beard healthier and grow faster. But none of them will help you grow a beard from nothing like minoxidil. There is one non-minoxidil product that worthy trying is Maxx Beard. It has an array of very good natural ingredients consisting of Biotin, Niacin, Emu Oil, Saw Palmetto Extract, Argan Oil, He Shou Wu, Castor. It has a lot of unaltered before and after photos that show it works.
Minoxidil does work for beard growth. The cheapest minoxidil option is Amazon's Basic Care minoxidil, which has the same formula as Kirkland and Rogaine minoxidil but with lower price. Regular minoxidil has the issues with taking too long to dry and being too grease and sometimes cause skin breakout. Essengen-5 NO PG Fast Dry is a professionally formulated minoxidil product. It is very gentle to the skin, dries super-fast and non-grease.
1.Shin HS, Won CH, Lee SH, Kwon OS, Kim KH, Eun HC. Efficacy of 5% minoxidil versus combined 5% minoxidil and 0.01% tretinoin for male pattern hair loss. American journal of clinical dermatology. 2007 Oct 1;8(5):285-90.
2.Ingprasert, S. , Tanglertsampan, C. , Tangphianphan, N. and Reanmanee, C. (2016), Efficacy and safety of minoxidil 3% lotion for beard enhancement: A randomized, double‐masked, placebo‐controlled study. J Dermatol, 43: 968-969. doi:10.1111/1346-8138.13312
3.Moller H. The accelerated development of youth: Beard growth as a biological marker. Comparative Studies in Society and History. 1987 Oct;29(4):748-62.
4.Baden HP, Kubilus J. Effect of minoxidil on cultured keratinocytes. Journal of investigative dermatology. 1983 Dec 1;81(6):558-60.
5.Olsen EA, Weiner MS, Amara IA, Delong ER. Five-year follow-up of men with androgenetic alopecia treated with topical minoxidil. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 1990 Apr 1;22(4):643-6.
6.Franz TJ. Percutaneous absorption of minoxidil in man. Archives of dermatology. 1985 Feb 1;121(2):203-6.
7.Demay MB, MacDonald PN, Skorija K, Dowd DR, Cianferotti L, Cox M. Role of the vitamin D receptor in hair follicle biology. The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology. 2007 Mar 1;103(3-5):344-6.
8.Lin, X., Meng, X., & Song, Z. (2019). Vitamin D and alopecia areata: possible roles in pathogenesis and potential implications for therapy. American journal of translational research, 11(9), 5285–5300.
9.Reddy, G. S., and K.-Y. Tserng, 1989. Calcitroic acid, end product of renal metabolism of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 through C-24 oxidation pathway. Biochemistry 28:1763–1769
10.Vanderveen EE, Ellis CN, Kang S, Case P, Headington JT, Voorhees JJ, Swanson NA. Topical minoxidil for hair regrowth. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 1984 Sep 1;11(3):416-21.
11.Chandran NS, Oranje AP. Minoxidil 5% solution for topical treatment of loose anagen hair syndrome. Pediatric dermatology. 2014 May;31(3):389-90.
12.Georgala S, Befon A, Maniatopoulou E, Georgala C. Topical use of minoxidil in children and systemic side effects. Dermatology. 2006 Dec 1;214(1):101.
Tugain 10 for Hair Loss and Beard Growth
Top 10 Best Hair Loss Shampoos