Minoxidil for Beard Growth (2020 Updated): EVERYTHING You Need To Know!
Our skincare brand is live!
After five years of writing research articles on Simple Skincare Science, we have developed our own products based on the content written around this site. To place an order simply go to Malezia.com, or follow us on instagram for updates! We hope you have a great day 🙂
Can’t grow a beard? This is THE ONLY GUIDE you’ll ever need to change that because today we’re covering all the science on how to grow a beard using minoxidil (the active ingredient inside rogaine)! 😀
(Kirkland 5% Minoxidil Liquid)
You’re probably thinking, “what?? Minoxidil beards? Is that even possible?!?” O_o
Yes! Yes it is. And we now have empirical evidence / scholarly research to support this claim (more about that in a bit). Let’s get right into it! Here’s a list of everything we will be discussing.
Note: if you just came here for the before and after pictures, click here.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is Minoxidil (Rogaine)?
- 2 How Does Minoxidil Work?
- 3 Minoxidil for Beard Growth.
- 4 Minoxidil Side Effects.
- 5 How to Use Minoxidil for Beard Growth.
- 6 How to Double Your Minoxidil Beard Growth!
- 7 What Can I Expect? When Will I See Results?
- 8 Minoxidil Beard Before and Afters.
- 9 Where to Buy Minoxidil.
- 10 Want to Subscribe for Updates?
What Is Minoxidil (Rogaine)?
Minoxidil is an antihypertensive vasodilator medication, or uh…. more simply put, a blood pressure medication. However, as blind luck would have it, two clinical studies in the early 70s discovered it had the unwanted side effect of excess hair growth. (1, 2)
And viola! A new awesome medication for balding people sprang into existence. Naturally, when the FDA saw how much money was involved, they approved it as a hair loss treatment, it hit the market in 1988, and the rest was history. (3)
To this day minoxidil remains the only FDA approved medication for treatment of androgenetic alopecia (better known as male or female pattern baldness). (4, 5)
How Does Minoxidil Work?
Interestingly enough, its mechanisms of action aren’t fully understood yet. Taken orally it widens small arteries to increase blood flow, and applied topically it seemingly widens hair follicles and prolongs the anagen stage of hair growth.
As a quick refresher, there are three different stages of human hair growth — the anagen, catagen, and telogen phase. (6)
- The anagen phase is known as the “growth stage.” The longer the hair stays in this phase, the more new hair fibers are created.
- The catagen phase is known as the “transitional phase.” In other words, when the baby hairs that are not yet permanent get pushed out to make way for stronger and more dense hair. These baby hairs as known as “vellus hair,” and the permanent hair that replaces them is known as “terminal hair.”
- The telogen phase is known as the “resting phase.” That is, the period of time when any given hair follicle is just chillin’. About 10-15% of all hair is in this phase. (7)
Minoxidil for Beard Growth.
Alrighty, now for the fun stuff. As you may know, minoxidil isn’t intended for face use (at least as of right now). However, that hasn’t stopped hundreds of thousands of men around the world from using it to grow some seriously killer beards!
Click here for some before and afters.
For years, it was simply word of mouth and internet strangers talking about their anecdotal experiences over at the jefffsbeardboard forum. Growing facial with minoxidil even became colloquially known as the “Rogaine Experiment.” However, we now have our first scientific study that proves it works! (8)
To quickly summarize it for everybody:
48 men, between the ages of 20 to 60 were told to either apply a placebo or 3% minoxidil cream for beard growth twice daily for 16 weeks (four months). By the end of the study the minoxidil group saw statistically significant results, and patients were reportedly very satisfied with their progress. The side effects were super mild and weren’t considered statistically different from the group that did not apply minoxidil.
Interestingly enough, the researchers also found it was an effective treatment for eyebrow hypotrichosis (thin or receding eyebrows). So ladies, if you’re reading this — yes, you can use minoxidil or rogaine to get them brows on fleek!
As for how it works to promote facial hair, your guess is as good as mine. The exact mechanism is still unclear, but minoxidil is undoubtedly an effective and safe treatment for beard enhancement.
Minoxidil Side Effects.
Like most medications out there nowadays there is a slew of “potential” side effects. Ever see those crazy commercials advertising some new drug that has a dozen side effects? Well, this is no exception. The most likely side effects are dry or flakey skin and minor temporary hair shedding. Less common side effects include:
- Increased Appetite
- Sleep Disturbances (Trouble Sleeping)
- Heart Palpitations
- Bloating (Water Retention)
And last but not least — extra hair growth! HA. It may seem funny, but if minoxidil goes systemic it’s not uncommon to grow more hair in the arms, legs, and around the eyebrows.
If you do end up experiencing any adverse effects from using minoxidil STOP using it!
But all in all, these are some pretty innocuous side effects so you shouldn’t be worrying about it too much. However, here’s a big FAT DISCLAIMER:
I am not a medical professional. You should consult with your doctor first before trying minoxidil as a beard growth supplement. I am not liable for any adverse side effects you may experience, or what you choose to do with your personal life. I am simply relaying this information to everyone for educational purposes.
How to Use Minoxidil for Beard Growth.
Time for the meaty part of this post! Follow these steps precisely to mitigate any unwanted side effects and grow a glorious beard. Do all the following steps once or twice daily.
Cleanse your face with a gentle pH balanced cleanser.
The reason we use pH balanced cleansers instead of generic bar soap is to reduce irritation. Minoxidil contains 50% propylene glycol and 30% alcohol (ethanol), both of which are irritating to the skin. (9)
We want to ensure we’re maintaining the integrity of our moisture barrier, acid mantle, and skin microbiome — all of which play an important role in overall skin health and preventing the onset of diseases like acne, eczema, seborrheic dermatitis etc.
pH balanced cleansers will go a long way in preventing any further irritation that minoxidil might cause by keeping the skin’s pH at a healthy equilibrium.
As far as pH balanced cleansers go, you have a lot of options to choose from. My two favorites are Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser and CeraVe Foaming.
Related reading: Why the pH of Skin and Products Are Crucially Important.
Apply 1 mL of liquid minoxidil to the beard area.
Luckily, there is a meniscus line on the dropper dispenser to help you apply the right amount.
Some people like to apply minoxidil using the dropper, others simply use their fingers to spread it across the face. Either way is fine. Just make sure you’re using 1 mL.
If you’re using minoxidil foam, use half a capful for the whole beard area.
Leave the minoxidil on your face for 4 hours.
Research has shown it takes approximately 4 hours to achieve 75% absorption or higher. (10) So if you want the full beardifying effects of minoxidil, you’re gonna have to leave it on your face for this long.
The absolute minimum amount of time you can leave it on and still get results is 1 hour. However, this will only result in approximately 50% absorption or less, so keep that in mind.
As an aside, some people leave minoxidil on overnight. This is fine too. It’s completely up to you what to do. Just keep the golden 4 hour rule in mind.
After 4 hours, wash your face or rinse with water.
Again, this may not apply to you depending on whether you decide to leave it on overnight. But if you’re applying it twice daily, you’ll want to rinse or wash your face after 4 hours to prevent any further drying of the skin.
Moisturize! Yes, this is important.
Like I mentioned earlier, the propylene glycol and alcohol content in minoxidil is inherently irritating and could disrupt the moisture barrier. You want to be replenishing the damage minoxidil does with a high quality moisturizer. Make sure to apply moisturizer AFTER minoxidil has dried (approximately 4 hours).
You should be looking for a moisturizer that has skin identical ingredients like ceramides, cholesterol, or hyaluronic acid. These ingredients all aid in skin recovery, strengthen barrier function, and provide a lot of hydration.
In my humble opinion, the CeraVe moisturizers are the best for this purpose.
My favorite is CeraVe Cream. It’s good for all skin types, has a cosmetically elegant and isn’t noticeable on the skin at all. If you’re the kind of person that hates the feeling of lotions, you’ll love this stuff! My full review can be found here.
Related reading: Cerave Moisturizer Buyer’s Guide: Top 4 Picks.
- Wash your face. Preferably with a pH balanced cleanser.
- Apply 1 mL of liquid minoxidil to the beard area. If you’re using minoxidil foam, use a half a capful.
- Leave it on for 4 hours.
- Wash or rinse your face again.
Do all these steps one to two times daily! If you skin is easily irritated, use it only once. Don’t worry, you can use minoxidil once a day and still get good results (example included in the minoxidil before and after section). Some have even had success applying it once every other day.
How to Double Your Minoxidil Beard Growth!
Yes, the results of minoxidil can be enhanced! You’ll need to do four things: avoid potent DHT inhibitors, increase collagen production, use L-carnitine L-tartrate (LCLT) and 10% minoxidil. Let’s break it down.
In case you don’t know, DHT (dihydrotestosterone) is the hormone that causes androgeneic alopecia (male or female pattern baldness). However, this same hormone is what actually causes beard growth!
Why is this important? Because more often than not, people use products designated for the scalp on their beards thinking it will have similar benefits.
Example: “Hey, this shampoo says it’s good for hair loss! I bet if I use it on my beard I’ll turn into a werewolf! :D”
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
To simply things, think of it like this:
- DHT = bad for hair on the head (scalp).
- DHT = good for hair on the face (beards)
Make sense? Good.
So make sure you’re avoiding anything that will negatively effect facial hair growth. Here are some examples of common and potent DHT blockers you should stay away from.
- Azelaic Acid
- Coconut Oil
As an aside, MCT oil a.k.a caprylic/capric triglycerides is fine because it doesn’t contain lauric acid. Note: this is NOT the same as fractionated coconut oil! For more information on which oils are good for beard growth, check out this blog post.
- Copper Peptides
- Emu Oil
- Lavender Oil
- Pumpkin Seed Oil
- Rosemary Oil
- Saw Palmetto
- Tea Tree Oil
And here are two things that promote DHT meaning they are good for beard growth.
In addition to that, many many people on their minoxidil beard journeys swear by using Jamaican Black Castor Oil (read the reviews to see what I mean).
Alternatively, you can try a Jojoba oil and peppermint oil mix. The type of peppermint oil you use is important! You need “mentha piperita” — this is the kind that studies have shown promotes hair growth. (13) The one I linked above is the right kind.
The way you make this oil mixture is extremely important. Peppermint oil, like many other essential oils, are caustic and may burn the skin. To learn how to make a peppermint/jojoba oil mixture the right way, watch this video. (Click the photo)
By the way, you should consider subscribing to this guy’s channel. He regularly puts out AWESOME and informative videos about the whole minoxidil beard topic. In my humble opinion, the value and insight he provides is unmatched on this subject.
Related reading: Beard Growth Products: The Ones That Work According to SCIENCE
Increase Collagen Production
The idea that increasing collagen production helps with beard growth comes from this study.
To summarize it, researchers wanted to see whether the addition of a 0.5 mm derma roller enhances the results of minoxidil. They found that it helps produce hair significantly faster than using minoxidil by itself.
If you don’t know what a dermaroller is, check out my guide about microneedling. I go into depth about the science, what it is, the benefits, how to use it properly, include before and afters etc.
Just make sure that if you’re going to use a dermaroller to enhance the effects of minoxidil that it’s one with 0.25 to 0.5 mm needles like this one.
You can use it up to three times a week (start slowly), and DO NOT apply minoxidil for at least 24 hours AFTER rolling.
Other topical ingredients that increase collagen production include niacinamide, vitamin c (ascorbic acid), and epidermal growth factors. Here’s a list of products that include these.
|Niacinamide||CeraVe Moisturizing Facial Lotion PM (Full Review Here); Mad Hippie Face Cream with Anti Wrinkle Peptide Complex; EltaMD AM Therapy Moisturizer|
|Epidermal Growth Factor (Human Ogliopeptide-1)||Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence (My Holy Grail). Full review here.|
|Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)||Dr Brenner Vitamin C Serum; Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum; Timeless Vitamin C Serum; Skinceuticals C E Ferulic; Nufountain C20 + Ferulic Serum|
L-carnitine L-tartrate (LCLT)
LCLT is dietary supplement commonly used to reduce oxidative stress in the body. There’s some preliminary evidence showing it’s good for aging, blood vessel health, increasing insulin sensitivity, as well as reducing neurological decline and chronic fatigue. (14)
More importantly, 3 studies have found it promotes hair growth by increasing androgenic receptor sensitivity! (15, 16, 17) This is particularly good because it means DHT (what causes facial hair growth) can be utilized more effectively in the body.
There have been many anecdotal reports of people mixing LCLT powder with liquid minoxidil and having increased gains vs using minoxidil alone.
Note: the in vivo study above used a 2% application of LCLT. To mimic this, simply add 1/4 teaspoon of 100% LCLT powder into your liquid minoxidil solution (60 ml) and shake it until it’s dissolved!
Last but not least, you might be able to double your minoxidil beard growth by increasing the concentration. One study found that there was a dose dependent relationship between hair growth and minoxidil. (19) As of late, several people on the minox beard spot have been reporting great success doing this!
The two most popular brands are Mintop 10% Liquid and Tugain 10% Foam.
What Can I Expect? When Will I See Results?
This isn’t an overnight kind of thing. You can realistically expect to see results within 3 to 6 months. However, continued use delivers better results.
The recommended minimum treatment period is 6 months, but most people generally aim for the one year mark. By then, significant progress is made and usually all the hairs have gone terminal.
Of course, not everyone is the same. Some people see results very quickly (e.g. 2 weeks), while others require several months. Just be patient and persistent and the beard will come in. By the 3 month mark, it should be pretty clear whether it’s working for you or not.
And yes, the results are permanent. Just make sure all the hairs have gone terminal first, or you risk losing a lot of gains.
Minoxidil Beard Before and Afters.
You gotta give credit where credit is due.
Without the courage of this guy, many people today wouldn’t even know you can use minoxidil for facial hair growth. His name is Basik Ali. He’s the founder of the minoxidil beard spot on Facebook, which has since turned into a website that can be found here: http://www.theminoxbeardspot.com/
He has a series of videos documenting his journey throughout a year of applying minoxidil on his face once a day.
And to help keep you even more motivated, here’s a video compilation someone made of 100 guys who all grew beards using minoxidil! Most of these guys are actually from the minox beard spot facebook group.
EDIT: the original video was deleted, but here is a version someone re-uploaded.
Where to Buy Minoxidil.
Check for discounts on Amazon!
You can get a 6 month supply of minoxidil on amazon for pretty cheap. As a side note, you don’t have to opt out for the more expensive brands like Rogain.
All 5% minoxidil products contain the same ingredients (50% propylene glycol, 30% alcohol, water, and 5% minoxidil). The kirkland brand will do just fine, and is what most people use because of its cost effectiveness.
However, if you’re skin is particularly dry or irritated easily then you might want to opt out for the Minoxidil Foam (see price on amazon). This is far more gentler on the skin and doesn’t cause nearly as much dryness — the only cavet being that it’s slightly more expensive.
Some people even like to use the foam during the day because it dries more quickly (meaning you won’t have a wet face at work or school), and the liquid at night. Either way, foam or liquid is fine. Both will do the job and provide the same results.
Welp, that does it for this guide. Hope you’ve enjoyed it! With daily application and a little patience you’ll be enjoying your new minoxidil beard in no time! 😉
Tell your beardless friends about how they can finally achieve their dreams! Share this!
Hey, thanks for the article.
I have been using Minox for about 3 months, maybe a little less, and I’m seeing very good results. Prior, I had almost no hair on my cheeks and now I’m seeing the beginning of a full beard. However, in between the hairs on the bald patches, I can’t even see tiny hairs. Are they just too small to see at this point and will potentially appear as they get thicker, or could that mean I’m actually bald there and can’t grow hair no matter what?
Have you done any investigation into the evidence that minoxidil is toxic to cats? This is the main reason I have been avoiding using minoxidil myself, as I have two cats and don’t want to risk their health. I was surprised to see that this post didn’t mention it at all, as it’s highly dangerous for cats and they can develop symptoms from exposure to very small amounts. I appreciate the work you’ve done putting together this post (and your many others!) and I feel like addressing this would help make this guide more comprehensive.
Hi, thank you for the informative post! I’m a woman though & I use it on my sparse eyebrows & it works wonderfully. I have one question, you mentioned that the results are permanent once the hairs have turned terminal. This might be a stupid question but does that also mean it will grow back if you shave it?
Can I sleep on my cheek ??!or this will damage results!
I am a women and am interested in using this method to thicken my naturally thin and blonde eyebrows. I assume the amount applied would be much less for eyebrows than beard. Any ideas how much? Also do you have any idea if doing this will darken/thicken existing eyebrow hair? Any other tips would be greatly appreciated.
Just wondering how much can azelaic acid affect the beard growth?
I have some acne in my jaw which I was planning of getting rid using azelaic acid. And afyer, use minoxidil to grow a beard. But I don’t want to affect the effect of minoxidil by using the acid..
What do you think?
Hi, can i shave during the growth process? I want to have a full beard, but i work in a ship, and during work we’re not allowed to grow beards. So my plan is to keep using minoxidil (I started one week ago, I’m on vacation now) during work, but shaving every day. What do you think about this?
Great article! One question.. Just to be sure.. After it turns terminal, let s say , after a year, i can stop taking it and the beard will remain? And how is the shedding phase? Alot of people see their hair falling even when it got terminal. And another one , if the hair doesnt turn terminal , and my beard fall, and i dont take minoxidil anymore.. In time my natural beard will keep growing?
Wow! wonderful post. Congratulations!
Hey buddy, starting my Minox-journey soon, I also ordered a dermaroller and will take creatine and boron. The thing that bothers me: When I use all that and the dermaroller on my whole face (not just the beard area) will this turn me into Chewbacca? xD
Thanks in advance.
It is true that minoxidil on beard will not work to 40+ yrs old man?
I have a skincare routine consisting of a cleanser (Cerave Hydrating Facial Cleanser), toner (Thayer’s Alcohol Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner) exfoliants (The Ordinary AHA + BHA Peeling Solution, Paulas Choice 2% BHA Liquid, Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay), serums (Vitamin C, The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, COSRX Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence) and moisturizer (Khiels Ultra Facial Cream, Cerave PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion). My question is can I still use these products with minoxidil? & instead of waiting four hours, can I apply minoxidil after I cleanse, wait a few mins until the minoxidil dries and then do the rest of my skincare routine? I’d really like to continue my skincare routine along with minoxidil, any feedback will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
I didn’t see anything on this post about this so I’m going to ask. If you use monxidil on your face, it won’t make you lose hair on your head will it?
Thanks for the post. I’ve bookmarked this article since I think it’s the most thorough I’ve found.
Just one question – Others have written to use up to 2 ml per application (i.e. 2 ml in the morning and 2 ml at night). Do you think using more than 1 ml would speed up the results?
Hi. I just wanna ask where I’ll put minoxidil in my routine. I have vitamin c serum and snail bee essence. Do I put minoxidil after applying those? Thank you!
Hey there, thanks for this page and the info you provide. Much appreciated! Quick question for you…this page http://beardresource.com/coconut-oil-beard-growth/ directly contradicts some of the assertions you have made about coconut oil being bad for beard growth on minox. You both conclude it is a DHT blocker, yet the resource I provided claims that the benefits of the testosterone increase more than compensates for any DHT blocking that may occur.
Do you agree with that? Do you have any supporting science/studies that confirm your position? Or should I just keep using my minox and coconut oil, because I find it to be a VERY powerful moisturizer. Frankly, I don’t want to stop using it, yet at the same time I don’t want to compromise my future gains. I’m only on week 3 of my minox journey, so I want to get this right!
Thanks a lot bro!!
I subscribed to “that guy’s awesome channel”
Beard on brother!
I readed that increasing dht is helping to grow a beard.
But dht is causing for male pattern baldness…
So the people suffering from hairloss they have to use dht blockers like finasteride etc..
So, how they can grow a beard using minox??
Are they not supposed to use minox ??
So coconut oil is bad? Ive researched alot about that oil and I know it does not promote hair growth but it does have a lot of benefits such as being a good conditioner, moisturizer, etc. I just never thought it would prevent facial hair growth so I would just like a bit more insight as to why that is
I thought Copper Peptides could also assist in facial hair growth? I’ve been doing the minox 2x a day and apply copper peptide in between and leave it on for 3-4 hours. I then wash it off when I bath at night and apply my second minox. Only been on this program a month a week. Not much has changed yet but I vae notice additional hair growth on my sideburns and the vellus hairs appear to get longer. Should I stop the Copper Peptide?