Beard Growth with Minoxidil

Published June 8th, 2021 by Chris Riley
Fact Checked by
Jacqueline Hensler
Medically Reviewed:
Dr. Angel Rivera

Beards are all the rage these days. But, if you’ve ever tried to grow a beard and found it difficult or impossible, there may be an answer: minoxidil. Minoxidil is a medication originally designed as a blood pressure medicine that was later discovered to help stimulate hair regrowth. Find out more about minoxidil, how it works, whether it’s an effective treatment for growing a beard, side effects, and more. 

What is minoxidil?

Minoxidil is a medication that has been proven to help hair growth by increasing blood flow to the hair follicles in your scalp. It’s most commonly available as a liquid topical solution or foam which you apply directly on top of any areas where you are experiencing baldness or hair loss. Minoxidil is also available in tablet form if the topical solution is not well tolerated. 

How does minoxidil work?

The active ingredient in minoxidil is called minoxidil sulfate which works by dilating and widening the blood vessels in your scalp. As blood vessels enlarge, more oxygenated blood comes into contact with tissues and cells, resulting in improved cell production and new hair follicles. The result is a stimulation in growth of new hairs and an appearance of denser, thicker hair. 

Does minoxidil work on beards?

Research is limited on whether minoxidil works effectively to enhance facial hair growth. One study showed promising results to be safe and effective for beard enhancement. Observationally, some men have reported a thicker-looking beard after using minoxidil. The reason is not fully understood, but could be due to the increased blood flow and oxygenation of tissues and cells leading to stronger skin elasticity.

If you are thinking of using minoxidil for beard growth, it's important to follow instructions to experience optimal results. Application of the topical solution for beards varies and may need to be adjusted. Typically, you apply minoxidil once a day after washing your face (since washing removes all natural oils from your skin) before putting anything else on your skin. Leave the solution on your face for at least four hours. 

Medication Product Features Buy Now
The Pill Free Rx - Award Winner
Topical Finasteride & Minoxidil Spray | Hims
Topical Finasteride & Minoxidil Spray | Hims

If a pill feels like an overwhelming way to treat male pattern hair loss, this spray could be for you. Emerging evidence suggests it can help regrow hair and prevent further hair loss with a lower risk of sexual side effects compared to finasteride pills.

 

Buy NowRead Review
Your Custom Kit
Hair Power Pack | Hims
Hair Power Pack | Hims

You came here for something that really works, and that’s finasteride. It’s been shown to effectively help hair regrowth in about 85 percent of men who take it over a span of three to four months. You’ll also get a chance to upgrade your plan with products to support fuller hair. Win-win.

 

Buy NowRead Review
The Pill - Top Seller
Finasteride | Hims
Finasteride | Hims

More hair...this is the pill for that. It treats male pattern baldness, at the crown and in the middle of the scalp. You’ll see thicker hair and slower hair loss with regular use.

 

Buy NowRead Review
Regrowth Made Easy
Minoxidil Foam | Hims
Minoxidil Foam | Hims

Look and feel your best with thicker, fuller hair—thanks to this FDA-approved minoxidil foam. It’s clinically proven to regrow hair in 3-6 months, no pills required.

 

Buy NowRead Review
The Drops
Minoxidil 5% | Hims
Minoxidil 5% | Hims

This 5% topical solution for men, used once or twice a day, can treat hair loss by promoting new hair growth of lost hair. Hair today, hair tomorrow. Plenty of hair for grabbing, twirling and such.

 

Buy NowRead Review

For some individuals, you may need to apply two times or more per day since minoxidil absorbs into your skin quickly and doesn't have any protective oils or lotions. In other instances, you may only need to apply minoxidil as little as twice per week for facial hair growth. Experiment with application doses until you find what works best – anything between a few hours to several times a week. Consult your doctor before applying to any part of your body other than the one prescribed. 

Minoxidil solution should be applied to clean, dry skin on your face or neck just after washing or shaving (or both). Wash hands immediately after application.  

Minoxidil is best used with other beard growth products such as facial hair waxes and conditioners for men who want to maintain a neat beard, or for those who want to grow a very long beard. 

The solution may make your skin dryer at first, but usually goes away by following a regular skincare routine.

Do minoxidil side effects include facial hair growth?

Minoxidil is an FDA-approved hair-growth drug and serious side effects are rare, but may occur. Common side effects when applied to the scalp may include scalp irritation, dryness, or rash, particularly for men with sensitive skin. These side effects may be similar when the solution is applied to the face for beard growth.  Consult a doctor before continuing usage if you experience adverse reactions like itching or burning.

Is there any risk involved in applying minoxidil topical solution daily for beard growth?

Unwanted facial hair growth in places you don’t want is the biggest risk involved in applying minoxidil solution. Be careful not to drip the solution or touch other areas of your face where you do not want hair to grow, such as the nose.

What are the side effects of minoxidil? 

The most common side effects you may experience when using minoxidil is irritation and itching on the area where the solution has been applied. Other symptoms may include nausea and dizziness. Although uncommon, minoxidil can cause contact dermatitis. Minoxidil may also cause hair to grow where it was not previously present, which is known as hypertrichosis and can be embarrassing or uncomfortable for some men. 

Many people do not experience any of these side effects at all or they are only mildly uncomfortable. It is also possible to reduce the likelihood of experiencing side effects by limiting use to once a day, applying it sparingly, waiting one hour before rinsing off with water after application on the beard area (so that the minoxidil absorbs into the skin), and washing hands thoroughly after application.

In very rare cases, some individuals may experience shortness of breath (bronchospasm) or swelling around the mouth which could be life threatening. Please seek emergency medical assistance should this happen. 

If you have any questions about side effects, please consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication. 

Who should take minoxidil for beard growth?

Minoxidil can be used by all healthy men for beard growth, after consulting with your doctor.  

Transgender men can use minoxidil but should consult with their doctor first about usage and side effects. 

Summary

There have been encouraging studies that show minoxidil does help with hair loss and hair regrowth. Although there have been fewer studies of the effects of minoxidil use for beard growth, encouraging anecdotal evidence does support the use of minoxidil for the face. Minoxidil is a safe medication to take if cleared by your doctor. 

Sources: 

Mayo Clinic 

Efficacy and safety of minoxidil 3% lotion for beard enhancement

Minoxidil and its just in hair disorders: a review 

Relationship between contact time of applied dose and percutaneous absorption of minoxidil from a topical solution

Instant Offer from a USA Rx Partner

Put drug prices & coupons in your pocket!

We'll text you a link to download our free Android or iPhone app