Minoxidil, the active ingredient for Rogaine, is put to the test by us. Here’s what you should know about Rogaine for beard growth before your try it.
If you’re considering using Rogaine for your beard, this post contains info that should help you decide. In case you’re unfamiliar, Rogaine is a popular hair restoration product manufactured by Pfizer and introduced in 1988 as a prescription drug. It is now sold over-the-counter specifically to restore head-hair growth for men who are balding.
If you’re thinking of applying Rogaine to your beard, I totally understand. I’ve been dealing with a patchy beard my entire adult life, and finally decided to do something about it. That’s why I investigated Rogaine and looked into the pros and cons of using it on my face. I figured there are lots of other guys out there thinking about doing the same thing, so I decided to write this post and share the results of my research.
Is Rogaine safe to use on your face to promote facial hair growth? Does it work? Are there any serious side effects? Those are great questions. Read on to learn the answers and see if Rogaine makes sense for you to use on your face.
Here are 31 facts you should know about using Rogaine for beards:
- The Rogaine story. The active ingredient in Rogaine is the drug minoxidil. (1)
Although Rogaine was introduced in 1988 as prescription only, minoxidil had already been approved by the FDA and sold as a drug for treating high blood pressure. (2)
Blood pressure patients taking minoxidil began reporting new hair growth in areas of their head that were balding. But the oral pill also caused unwanted hair growth in other parts of the body. This spurred more research and led to the introduction of the topical cream, Rogaine.
A few years after its introduction, in 1995, the FDA approved Rogaine to be sold without a prescription. Soon afterwards the amount of minoxidil in Rogaine was increased from 2% to 5%.
The manufacturer says Rogaine cream should be applied directly to the scalp. If used topically this way it supposedly will not affect other parts of the body, as the blood pressure pill did.
To learn more, check out The History of Rogaine on HairSolution.com, a website dedicated to hair loss prevention and treatment.
- Rogaine really does work on the scalp. Studies have shown that Rogaine reduces the amount of head-hair follicle shrinkage. And it causes already shrunken follicles to grow normal sized hair strands. (3)
Also, it causes currently growing head-hair to continue in the growth phase long after hair normally pauses. This results in a head of thicker, fuller hair.
For more information about the efficacy of Rogaine, check out this comprehensive Study of Minoxidil undertaken by www.Examine.com. One of their conclusions is that it doesn’t work for everyone.
- Rogaine is not approved for the face or anyplace else but the head. To date neither the FDA nor Pfizer have approved Rogaine to be used as a facial-hair growth enhancement product. Or, for that matter, approved it for use on any other part of the body except the head. (4)
Does that mean you shouldn’t use it on your face? Well, the fact is many guys are already using it for beard enhancement. But to be safe, you should gather as many facts as possible before you decide to put this stuff on your face.
What are the side effects of Rogaine?
You may experience some or all of the following unwanted side effects when using Rogaine. (5) There may also be face-specific side effects in addition to these.
- Cardiovascular issues. You may experience heart palpitations, fast or irregular heartbeat, or shortness of breath.
- Reversal of hair gain. Discontinuing the use of Rogaine will result in a reversal of any hair growth gains. You must continue to use Rogaine to enjoy the benefits. Hair loss will start up again within a few months after treatment is stopped.
- Acne. When using Rogaine your face may become more susceptible to outbreaks of acne.
- Weight gain. You may notice that you put on some weight when using Rogaine.
- Bloating of the stomach or a feeling of fullness might be experienced with Rogaine.
- Flushing or redness of skin. Minoxidil has been known to cause skin redness or flushing.
- Swelling (edema). Swelling of feet and/or lower legs (edema) can be expected to occur if you decide not to take a diuretic while taking Rogaine.
- Shedding of hair. When using Rogaine you may notice that sometimes general shedding may occur when you first start using it.
For more information about the side effects of Rogaine, click here to read the full report.
What are the instructions for using Rogaine?
Following are the very specific instructions from Rogaine about the proper way to apply their product. (6)
- Don’t apply to other body areas. The instructions from Rogaine are clear about not applying the product to other areas of your body.
But, as noted, men have been using it on their faces to facilitate beard growth without FDA or Pfizer approval. Keep reading to learn the results.
- Don’t apply to damaged skin. Do not use on damaged or sunburned skin, or skin that is cut, scraped, infected or irritated. Doing so can cause the minoxidil to be absorbed by your body, resulting in potentially serious side effects.
- Keep away from eyes. Avoid getting the medication in your eyes. If this occurs, rinse your eyes with large amounts of cool water. Nobody likes hairy eyeballs.
- Clean up afterwards. Wash hands thoroughly after application.
- Hair re-grow times. After starting Rogaine there may be some hair loss as new hair follicles prepare to grow. It can take up to 4-6 months for new hair to grow back.
- Be patient. If you’re like most people, you will have to use this medication daily for at least 4 months before you start to see real benefits. And remember, you will have to use it for as long as you want to continue your hair growth. If you don’t see results after 5 or 6 months you should probably discontinue because it is not working for you.
- Don’t be afraid to seek help. If you start to see adverse reactions, like those noted in this article, or any others, be sure to report this to a doctor.
Click this link for more information about how to use Rogaine.
Does Rogaine work on beards?
That’s the big question and the purpose of this blog. You might be surprised when you read the answer below.
The following are facts and findings taken from a recent research study titled, Efficacy and safety of minoxidil 3% lotion for beard enhancement: A randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled study. The study results were published in The Journal of Dermatology, Japanese Dermatological Association.
Here are the salient facts of the study: (7)
- Study’s aim. The aim of the study was to compare the effectiveness and safety of minoxidil (Rogaine) 3% with a placebo in men trying to grow beard hair.
- Subject profile. Forty-eight men, from 20 to 60 years old, who desired beard enhancement were enrolled in the study.
- Amount of minoxidil used in the study. Patients were instructed to put 0.5 mL of topical minoxidil on their chins and jaw lines twice each day.
- Patients’ beards were photographed and scored. Patients’ beards were photographed, reviewed and compared for effectiveness every 4 weeks.
- Doctors evaluated the patients’ beard photos. Three doctors evaluated the photos and ranked them on a scale of 7 points. The changes in hair counts and diameter from baseline were measured.
- Patients were asked to assess their own beards. Their self-assessments were surveyed on the 16th week using the same 7-point scale as the photographic score.
- Results at week 16 (4 months). By the 16th week, the global photographic score in the minoxidil group was much higher than that in the placebo group. It indicated that the change in hair count from original baseline increased significantly in the Rogaine/minoxidil patients compared with the patients on a placebo.
- Higher patient self-assessment. The Rogaine/minoxidil patients’ self-ranking was significantly higher than the self-ranking of the placebo group.
- Only mild adverse reactions. The adverse reactions were mild at most and not significantly different between the two groups.
- Superior minoxidil results compared to the placebo group. minoxidil lotion was superior to a placebo for beard enhancement based on the global photographic scores, patients’ self-assessments, and amount of measured growth.
- Study’s final conclusions – Rogaine works for beard growth. The concluding results of the study showed that the Rogaine/minoxidil 3% lotion is effective and safe for beard enhancement. In addition, Rogaine does not appear to cause serious adverse reactions. For more information about this study, please review these notations and summary.
- Researchers still not positive how Rogaine works. Researchers are still not sure why using Rogaine works in promoting hair growth, although theories abound. (8)
YouTube video of man using Rogaine for beard enhancement
- See real-life results of using Rogaine for beard growth. What do the effects of Rogaine/minoxidil look like in promoting real-life beard growth? In this YouTube video, Josh demonstrates his beard growth using minoxidil over a 6-month period. To save time, skip to 5:27 on the video to see his time-lapse 6-month transformation.
I hope you have enjoyed this list. And I sincerely hope this post has given you enough information to help you make an informed decision about using Rogaine for your beard. I have found this information invaluable in making my own decision to use Rogaine to help thicken my beard.
Please let me know what you think of this post in the comments. And if you liked what you’ve just read, be sure to share it with your friends.