Minoxidil beard growth guide

Ever wondered why you can’t grow a beard? Or more importantly, what you can do in order to grow facial hair? Then look no further. This comprehensive FAQ about minoxidil will answer all your questions.

The following minoxidil beard guide will show you what minoxidil is, what its utility is in current hair restoration/regrowing, and how we can use it in order to grow a luscious full beard!

Let’s get started, then. Firstly, let us take a look at what affects beard growth and why some people can’t seem to grow a beard.

 

Why can't I grow a beard?

Let’s answer the question, ‘Why can’t I grow a beard?’ Not being able to grow a beard can have various reasons. Let me list the most common ones down below.

  1. Genetics

    Like a lot of things in life, it comes down to genetics, to the “luck of the draw.” Genetics can be the main reason why you can’t grow a beard, seeing as genetics and beard growth are directly correlated.

    Some people can smoke two packs of cigarettes a day and live a healthy life up to the blessed age of 100. However, these guys are very few in between, and I would certainly not recommend anyone trying it out just because some rare individuals can do so.

    The same can be said about beard growth. Your genetics will primarily determine whether you have it in you to grow a beard or not.

    Genetics are passed from generation to generation. Thus, by default, you get your genetics from your parents, and they from their parents before them. If your dad and grandfather can grow a full beard (or god forbid, your mother or grandmother) then chances are you will be able to do so as well. If you are a man, that is.

    When we are talking about the genetics of beard growth, we are talking about androgens. Androgens are a group of hormones who are responsible for the typical masculine traits men experience during/after puberty. These androgens typically deepen the voice of men during puberty, as well as allowing them to grow body/facial hair.

    The enzyme 5-alpha reductase converts the androgen hormone testosterone into a different hormone, which we call dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

    When DHT binds to the receptors of your hair follicles, it stimulates the growth of facial hair. However, even though DHT works stimulating for beard growth, it inhibits the growth of hair on one’s head.

    It should be noted that the potency of the effect of DHT is not only determined by the amount of DHT, but also by the hair follicles’ sensitivity to the DHT present. This sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone is largely determined by one’s genetics. This means that it will be hard to grow a beard if it’s not in your genes. However, there are some things we can do to optimize our genetics.

  2. Age

    Young adult men often have a harder time growing a beard than older adult men.

    This comes as no surprise, since men generally experience increased beard growth/density until around the age of 30, and sometimes even beyond that.

    This means that it’s very hard to know at what age your beard will be fully grown, or at what age you will start growing a beard for that matter.

    In some cultures, the full beard is looked at as a signal of maturity and wisdom. This might be related due to the fact that younger men often have trouble growing a thick, full beard.

  3. Ethnicity

    A person’s race can have a profound effect on their ability to grow facial hair or, rather, to the amount of facial hair they can genetically grow.

    Let us take facial hair patterns by ethnicity, for example. Studies have shown that people from Mediterranean countries tend to be able to grow a thicker, fuller beard compared to people from different regions. Keep in mind that these are averages, so outliers can and should be expected.

    Chinese men have been reported to generally have less facial hair growth compared to their Caucasian peers. It has been noted that the beard growth of Chinese men tend to concentrate around the mouth, while Caucasian men generally have their facial hair located on the chin, neck, and cheeks.

    These are just a couple of examples of how beards can be different by ethnicity.

  4. Low testosterone levels

    Low testosterone is not ideal for beard growth.

    Low testosterone levels are rather unusual, unless you are a man who’s already at an advanced age.

    However, it is entirely possible to be a young man, in his 20’s or 30’s suffering from low testosterone. And it’s impossible to grow a beard without testosterone because testosterone and beard growth go hand in hand.

    People with low testosterone levels will produce less androgens and DHT and therefore, there will be less masculinizing androgens present in the body.

    This means that low T levels can potentially impact one’s ability to grow facial hair. For this to happen, however, your testosterone levels have to be clinically low.

    Low testosterone symptoms include:

    – Low sex drive
    – Erectile disfunction
    – Fatigue
    – Irritability
    – Frequent mood changes
    – Trouble building muscle mass
    – Increased amount of body fat

    Take note that more testosterone does not necessarily mean more facial hair. As the hair follicles’ receptors ultimately decide if the testerone is converted into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which decides if you can grow a beard or not.

  5. Alopecia areata

    Alopecia areata is classified as an autoimmune condition. This means that the immune system attacks its own body. In this case, the immune system attacks one’s hair follicles.

    Allopecia areata can cause the hair of the afflicted person to fall out in patches. Be it the hair on your head, or the hair of your beard.

    No cure has been established yet for alopecia areata. But there are several treatment options available, such as:

    – Minoxidil
    – Dithranol
    – Phototherapy
    – Oral immunosuppressants
    – Topical immunotherapy
    – Corticosteroid creams
    – Cortisone tablets
    – Steroid injections

    Important to always remember is that just because you can’t grow a beard does not mean that you are any less of a man than those who can! A man is not just defined by physicality, but also by personality.

 

What affects beard growth

As previously mentioned, a lot of things affect beard growth at the same time.

The most important one being your genetics, but age, ethnicity, your testosterone levels and autoimmune conditions such as alopecia areata can also play an important factor.

Important to note is that genetics and lifestyle interact. You need to optimize your lifestyle to make the most of your genetics.

To shortly summarize what affects beard growth:

  • Genetics
  • Age
  • Ethnicity
  • Testosterone levels
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Lifestyle

What is minoxidil

Minoxidil (2,4-diamino-6-piperidinopyrimidine 3-oxide) was originally used orally as a blood pressure medication. Its primary use was thus for treatment of patients with high blood pressure when it was administered as oral medication.

This means that minoxidil is an antihypertensive vasodilator which is used to treat hypertension.

Over the years, it has been found that minoxidil is also effective for preventing hair loss, but more importantly, for growing back hair when minoxidil is administered topically in foam or liquid form.

 

Minoxidil formula

Minoxidil molecular formula:

C9H15N5O

Minoxidil chemical structure:

 

What does minoxidil do

Oral minoxidil can be used as an antihypertensive vasodilator in order to treat hypertension for people suffering from high blood pressure, while topical minoxidil is used to treat male pattern baldness.

What minoxidil does to hair

Let’s find out what minoxidil does to hair.

Topical minoxidil, be it as foam or liquid, is used in order to treat male pattern baldness, but also female pattern baldness.

What does minoxidil do to healthy hair

Minoxidil does not harm healthy hair. It is FDA approved and can even be applied when no hair loss is present.

As a matter of fact, the earlier one starts using topical minoxidil in foam or liquid form, the more effective it is at maintaining/regrowing hair.

Thus, since minoxidil does not harm healthy hair, it can even make sense to apply minoxidil as a preventive measure against hair loss.

 

How does minoxidil work

On to answering the next question then, “minoxidil how it works.

To briefly summarize, minoxidil works due to:

  • Increases blood flow
  • Speeds up hair growth, quicker hair growth phase
  • Increases size and thickness of hair follicles

Its mechanism of action is not well-established. Scalp sulfotransferase changes minoxidil into minoxidil sulfate, the active form of the molecule. Variations between individuals in sulfotransferase activity may be the cause of the discrepancy in minoxidil efficiency.”[1]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482378/ 

How does minoxidil work?

Minoxidil works by improving the blood flow to the topical are where the minoxidil is applied.

Since minoxidil is a vasodilator, it widens the blood vessels. This in turn leads to delivering more oxygen rich blood to the hair follicles where the minoxidil is applied.

Not only that, it also helps to increase the size and thickness of the hair follicles.

Topical minoxidil helps to speed up the phases of hair growth. It accomplishes this due to shortening the resting stage of hair growth (telogen stage) and helps to stay in the hair growth stage (anagen stage) longer.

Minoxidil appears to act on the potassium channels of vascular smooth muscles and hair follicles, which may induce the following effects:

  • Stimulation of the microcirculation near the hair follicles by inducing arteriolar vasodilation, which may cause hair growth
  • Induction of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression increases vascularization around the hair follicles, thus contributing to hair growth.
  • Activation of the prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase one which stimulates hair growth   
  • Inhibition of androgen effects on the androgen-sensitive hair follicles
  • Direct stimulation of the hair follicles: Minoxidil may act as an ‘epidermal growth factor’ on matrix cells delaying their aging, thus prolonging the duration of the anagen phase via the activation of the beta-catenin pathway  

Minoxidil has been demonstrated to possess anti-fibrotic properties secondary to its effect on collagen synthesis.[2]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482378/

Minoxidil has several effects which may promote hair growth:

  1. Prolongation of the kenagen phase (latent period of the hair cycle-the time between the shedding of telogen hair and the onset of the next anagen). It has been suggested that minoxidil has a key role in cell proliferation as potassium channel activity is required for moving to the G1 phase of the cell cycle from the latent post telogen phase.

  2. Action on smooth muscles of the peripheral artery – It opens the potassium channels leading to hyperpolarization of the cell membrane and inhibits calcium entry thus leading to hair growth.

  3. Minoxidil also causes a delay in the hydrolysis of cAMP through inhibition of phosphodiesterase, thus resulting in vasodilatory action[6,14] [Figure 1].[3]https://cosmoderma.org/role-of-low-dose-oral-minoxidil-in-the-treatment-of-hair-loss-a-review/

 

Is minoxidil good for beard growth?

On to perhaps the most important question, “is minoxidil good for beard growth,”

Studies have shown that minoxidil slows or halts hair loss and promotes hair regrowth in both men and women, at both 2% and 5% formulations.

The 5% formulation is generally more effective. Positive response to minoxidil therapy (reduced hair loss and/or hair regrowth) has been reported in various studies as less than 50% to more than 80% –possibly owing to genetic variation in study recipients. Any positive response is lost if minoxidil therapy is discontinued.

This is what another study had to say about minoxidil being good for beard growth:

Topical minoxidil has been employed to stimulate hair growth on eyebrows and beard growth

Compared to placebo, minoxidil was superior in enhancing beard growth, with only mild adverse effects. Statistically significant differences in global photographic scores, hair count, and patients’ self-assessment from baseline with twice daily application of 0.5 mL of 3% MS group were detected when compared to the placebo group[4]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6691938/

It should be noted that the positive response of minoxidil is lost only in regard to scalp hair if discontinued.

Beard gains are permanent IF the hairs have reached their final, anagen stage.

 

Is minoxidil FDA approved for beard growth?

FDA stands for food and drug administration.

Minoxidil FDA approved?

Both the 2% and 5% minoxidil are FDA approved for use on the scalp to combat male and female pattern baldness, but not anywhere else on the body.

But just because it isn’t FDA approved to use it for beard growth, doesn’t mean that it is dangerous either. It simply means that there haven’t been enough studies and, as a result, data to show conclusive evidence that it is indeed safe for both short and long term use for beard growth.

The FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by ensuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, and medical devices; and by ensuring the safety of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation.

While oral minoxidil is not FDA-approved for hair loss, clinical trials have displayed effectiveness using oral minoxidil at various doses (0.25 to 2.5 mg daily).”

the topical formulation is currently the only drug approved for treatment of male and female pattern hair loss.[5]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482378/

Are Kirkland and Rogaine FDA approved?

All minoxidil brands including Rogaine and Kirkland are FDA approved for use on the scalp.

 

Is minoxidil safe for beard growth?

Let us review what the literature has to say about the safety of using minoxidil for beard growth.

Is minoxidil safe for beard enhancement? Literature review

Currently, not a lot of studies have been performed about the safety of rubbing topical minoxidil on the face for beard enhancement.

Yet, the following studies, countless other anecdotes being told by previous topical minoxidil users, myself included, state that using topical minoxidil for beard enhancement is safe and effective in most cases while reporting only minimal side effects.

This particular study is favorable and concludes the following:

Side-effects were evaluated by detailed history
and physical examination. The adverse reactions were mild and not statistically significantly different between groups.

In conclusion, minoxidil 3% lotion is effective and safe for beard enhancement.”[6]https://limmerhtc.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/jde13312.pdf

To be fair, it should be noted that the study had only 48 participants, and 46 finished the study. More studies with a larger amount of participants are needed to confirm the safety of minoxidil for beard enhancement.

I personally noted only very mild adverse effects when using topical minoxidil for beard growth, like dried out skin (when taking liquid minoxidil.)

Another study expressing its approval states the following:

Hundred patients with AA classified into five groups of 20 treated with: Group I, latanoprost 0.1% lotion; Group II, minoxidil 5% lotion; Group III, betamethasone valerate 0.1% solution; Group IV, combination of latanoprost lotion and betamethasone valerate solution and Group V, a vehicle lotion control group.

Latanoprost, minoxidil and betamethasone valerate are effective and safe in the treatment of patchy AA.

Again, too low of a testing population to be conclusive, but at least it says something about the safety of minoxidil for beard growth.

Is minoxidil safe for beard growth?

So is minoxidil safe for beard growth?

At first glance, it sure seems like it, although more evidence needs to be gathered in order to be conclusive.

From personal experience, I’ve had minimal side effects like some slight dried out skin when using the liquid minoxidil that subsided when I switched to minoxidil foam. What I can say is that it certainly worked.

Is Rogaine safe for beard

Rogaine is a brand of minoxidil foam and liquid. Just like every minoxidil brand, it is not FDA approved for use on the face in order to grow a beard. However, just because it is not FDA approved does not mean it is necessarily unsafe. 

There is simply not enough conclusive evidence to deem Rogaine safe for beard growth. But as shown in the previous studies, anecdotes and my own personal experience with the product, it is certainly looking like it’s safe to use for beard growth.

Keep in mind that minoxidil foam and liquid like Rogaine and Kirkland and all other minoxidil brands are FDA approved and are deemed safe to use for male and female pattern baldness.

Is minoxidil safe for long term use?

Is it safe to use minoxidil long term?

Minoxidil is an FDA approved product that’s generally considered safe for long term use.

The only exceptions are if the minoxidil negatively interacts with certain medications, which to be honest is rare, and in people with preexisting heart diseases.

It should be noted that if you can tolerate the drug for a couple of months without problems, then you will most likely be able to tolerate it your whole lifetime.

Of course, one shouldn’t use more than the approved dosages. As this could lead to overdosing, which can potentially be very dangerous.

Is Rogaine safe to use long term?

We know now that it’s safe to use minoxidil long term. But is Rogaine safe for long term use?

Rogaine is a brand of minoxidil. As such, it is also safe to use Rogaine long term.

The same rules apply to Rogaine as those to general minoxidil. Since Rogaine makes 2% products and 5% products, the 5% strength products might generate more side effects than lower strength products do. But even those side effects are generally very mild and rarely dangerous.

Is minoxidil safe for long term use? Studies

We know that systematic absorption is higher in oral minoxidil than with topical minoxidil solution. This has been shown in multiple studies. This also means that more negative side effects will occur in oral minoxidil than in the topical products.

Thus, it is not unreasonable to take a look at the safety of long term oral minoxidil use. Because if this is deemed to be safe, then topical minoxidil usage will most likely also be safe. (Due to less systematic absorption being involved.)

For the sake of being accurate, we will also take a look at the safety of just topical applied minoxidil.

The following study examined the long-term effects of minoxidil in the treatment of malignant hypertension in chronic renal failure. The mean follow-up time was 20 months. This is what they reasoned in the end.

After 20 months of therapy, all have now had a favorable response, with a mean reduction in MABP of 48 mm Hg, and with no adverse cardiac disturbances.

In addition, the patients with mild azotemia had an improvement in renal function as determined by a reduction in serum creatinine.

PRA (peripheral renin activity) rose with the addition of minoxidil despite therapeutic concentration of serum propranolol and a reduction in MABP and heart rate.

It is concluded that minoxidil is a safe, fast, and effective agent to achieve rapid and sustained control of MABP in malignant hypertensive states associated with chronic renal insufficiency.[7]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/789412/

Another study examining the long-term treatment of severe hypertension with minoxidil also reached the conclusion that minoxidil seems to be safe over long periods of time. Although they noted that there were some potential, although few side effects. The patients were given 2.5 to 40 mg/d of minoxidil for periods of 2 to 29 months.[8]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/603847/

This is what they found out:

Blood pressure was controlled satisfactorily in all patients. In two patients the hypertension became partially resistant after 1 year of treatment.

The main side effects were sodium retention, tachycardia and hirsutism.

Renal function remained stable or improved and hemodialysis was discontinued in two patients.

Minoxidil is a remarkably potent hypotensive with relatively few side effects and seems particularly advantageous in patients with chronic renal failure.

A more recent study was published researching the safety of low-dose oral minoxidil for hair loss. The study included 1404 patients. This is their statement:

Low dose oral minoxidil (LDOM) has a good safety profile as a treatment for hair loss.

Systemic adverse effects were infrequent and only 1.7% of patients discontinued treatment owing to adverse effects.

Conclusion

So is it safe to use minoxidil long term?

Yes, minoxidil is safe for long term usage. At least in most cases.

Monitor your side effects, especially for the first few months. If you’ve got no negative side effects by then, chances are large that you can take it for your remaining life if you want to do so.

The only things you should really watch out for is if you’ve got any preexisting heart diseases or if there are negative interactions with other drugs, as this could possibly be very dangerous. But it should be noted that these instances are rare.

 

Is a minoxidil beard permanent

If a minoxidil beard is permanent depends on if the hairs are vellus or terminal hairs.

Minoxidil beard gains are permanent if the small, barely visible light colored hairs, which is what we call vellus hairs, make it to the terminal phase, which produces thicker, longer, stronger and darker hairs. If this is the case, they are there to stay.

However, if the topical minoxidil is ended prematurely, when the beard hairs, or at least some of them are still vellus hairs then one should expect to lose their beard over time since the hairs are not yet terminal.

It is normal for some hair shedding to occur, as this is part of the natural process for both hair on the scalp and beard hair as well, even if the hairs are terminal.

When the hair follicles and androgen receptors have been triggered and activated properly, then  our natural hormonal functions will not recede and thus, keep our beard gains alive. Our hair follicles on the beard remain active even when we decide to discontinue topical minoxidil. Be it minoxidil foam or minoxidil liquid.[9]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK546248/

Minoxidil beard shedding

Even though minoxidil beard gains are permanent if, and only if the vellus hairs have transitioned into terminal hairs, one can still experience slight beard shedding. Vellus hairs will not be permanent and fall out if topical minoxidil use is discontinued.

Beard shedding, or hair shedding on every body part that has hair for that matter, is a natural occurring process.

Why does minoxidil cause shedding

Minoxidil’s works by affecting the hair growth cycle. In particular, affecting the anagen (growth) phase. Since minoxidil speeds up the hair growth process, it means that hair shedding happens faster as well.

The hair growth cycle goes as followed:

  • Anagen phase
  • Catagen phase
  • Telogen phase
  • Exogen phase

When hair shedding occurs, it means that those particular hairs are going through the natural hair growth cycle. Which includes the exogen phase, causing beard shedding to happen.

The hairs that have been shed will be replaced by either vellus or terminal hairs, depending on whether the hairs were vellus or terminal hairs before the shedding occurred.[10]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK546248/

To summarize, minoxidil beard hair shedding is completely normal and nothing to worry about.

how to apply minoxidil for beard growth

The following steps will teach you how to apply minoxidil to a beard:

  1. Cleanse your face

    The first step in how to apply minoxidil to your face is to clean your face before applying topical minox.


    Cleanse your face before applying minoxidil. Ideally with a gentle pH cleanser and if not, with simply water.

    We prefer taking a gentle pH cleanser or water because we want to maintain the integrity of our natural moisture barrier, skin microbiome and acid mantle.

  2. Apply 1ml of minoxidil foam or liquid to your beard area

    The following tips will teach you how to apply minoxidil foam to a beard and how to apply minoxidil liquid to a beard.

    Minoxidil foam comes in a spray bottle. It is applied by directly spraying it on the beard, or by spraying it in the cup for measurement, and then applying it with the index and ring finger. Minoxidil liquid comes in a dropper dispenser and is applied with either the fingers, or with the dropper.

    For minoxidil foam, 1ml of foam is equal to about 1/2 cap of minoxidil. For liquid minoxidil, this is about 25 drops, but the 1ml is often indicated on the dropper dispenser.

    Some people prefer to apply the minoxidil to the beard area with the dispenser, and some prefer using the fingers. Either way is fine. I personally like applying the minoxidil with my fingers because I feel like I’ve got more control that way.

  3. Wash your hands

    Wash your hands to get rid of the leftover minoxidil residue.

    Minoxidil is harmful to pets and can be harmful for humans when accidentally rubbing it in the eyes, or when women rub it on their faces. We wouldn’t want women to start growing a beard, do we?

  4. Leave the minoxidil on for at least 4 hours

    Studies have shown that, give or take, 75% of the minoxidil is absorbed after 4 hours. This means that I would advise you to leave it on for at least 4 hours in order to get most of the benefits of the product.[11]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2395092/

    The absolute minimum you should leave the topical minoxidil on your face is 1 hour. As research has shown that about 50% is absorbed after 1 hour.[12]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2395092/

    It is also an option to keep the minoxidil on for a whole day or night. It certainly won’t be harmful. Me personally, I try to leave it on for as long as possible, while making sure I have time to moisturize my skin in between.

  5. Wash your face if you desire

    If you want to, you can choose to rinse your face of any remaining topical minoxidil.

    It won’t be harmful for yourself if you leave it on and decide not to wash your face. But it can potentially be harmful or disadvantageous for your pet and/or partner if some of the residue would get on her face.

  6. Moisturize

    Minoxidil, and especially the liquid form can cause skin irritation, drying out your skin, leaving rash or scaly changes to the applied area behind.

    The reason why minoxidil can cause skin irritation is because of the alcohol content, and the propylene glycol that’s present in the minoxidil. This means that it is innately irritating to our skin.

    Of course, these negative effects are different for every individual, and side effects of applying minoxidil are generally very mild and non-harmful. Although, a dried out skin or skin rashes can still be unsightly and considered undesirable by many.

As you can see, learning how to apply minoxidil to a beard is not hard and is easy to learn.

Even more so, by following the previous steps, you’ll be sure that you make no mistakes.

Knowing how to apply minoxidil for beard growth is important in your quest to grow a luscious beard!

How much minoxidil to apply to my beard?

How much minoxidil to apply

One should apply about 1ml of topical minoxidil foam or liquid each time one applies minoxidil.[13]https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/minoxidil-topical-route/precautions/drg-20068750?p=1

That’s roughly equal to 1/2 cap of minoxidil foam or 25 drops of liquid minoxidil.

This means that if you apply minoxidil twice daily, you would use about 2ml total.

For reference, one bottle of minoxidil should last for about a month. Give or take a few days.

Where to apply minoxidil

One should aim to apply just enough minoxidil like Rogaine to cover the desired area. For beard growth, this means possibly applying minoxidil to the cheeks, chin, underneath the chin and the mustache, depending on where you are lacking beard growth.

 

How many times should I apply minoxidil

Minoxidil uptake is about 50% after an hour and 75% after 4 hours.”[14]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482378/

How many times a day should I use minoxidil?


Based on the above research, I would suggest applying topical minoxidil two times daily.

Although, people have also reported positive results with just applying minoxidil once. This does not mean that applying minoxidil only one time each day is optimal, however.

To summarize, based on the current research, applying minoxidil two times a day is the most optimal frequency for efficiency.[15]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482378/

Is applying minoxidil once a day enough?

Can I apply minoxidil once a day?

It is perfectly fine to use minoxidil just once a day. You will still get great results applying once daily.

A lot of people, especially women who are more weary of possible side effects, apply only once daily and notice very good results. Some people even remark getting the same results as they would apply twice a day.

Is applying minoxidil once a day enough or not?

So can we apply minoxidil once a day to get the best results?

Well, it’s complicated. The truth is rarely black or white. To get the best results, it is generally agreed upon that you should apply minoxidil twice daily.

The following study confirms that the absorption of topical minoxidil was more or less 50% complete by 1 hour, and greater than 75% by 4 hours. This means that topical minoxidil gets absorbed rather rapidly through the skin.

Absorption was approximately 50% complete by 1 h and greater than 75% complete by 4 h.

This suggests that minoxidil absorption from the vehicle into skin occurs rapidly relative to diffusion through skin.[16]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2395092/

Another study confirms that the half life of topical minoxidil is about 4.2 hours.[17]https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/minoxidil

However, some other studies say that the half life of topical minoxidil is about 22 hours. If this is indeed the case, then theoretically, applying once or twice daily would make little to no difference.

Can I use minoxidil 2% once a day?

It should be pointed out that Rogaine specifically states in their FAQ that the 2% minoxidil topical solution for women should be applied twice daily.

This product should be used twice daily, every day.

To be effective, it is important to apply the product directly to your scalp and not to your hair so that it can easily get to your hair follicles to help regrow your hair.

Still, applying minoxidil 2% topical solution only once a day can still yield considerable results.

Can I use minoxidil 5% once a day?

Rogaine notes that the 5% minoxidil topical aerosol for women should only be applied once daily.

This is probably due to the increased strength of the 5% product and, thus, the increased risk for negative side effects such as growing unwanted body hair in women.

This is what Rogaine had to say about the 5% minoxidil topical aerosol product:

This product should be used once daily, every day.

To be effective, it is important to apply the product directly to your scalp and not to your hair so that it can easily get to your hair follicles to help regrow your hair.[18]https://www.rogaine.com/faq.html

Rogaine Canada states that men should use 5% Rogaine foam twice daily

Use only the recommended dosage of half a capful twice a day.[19]https://www.rogaine.ca/mens-rogaine/how-to-use-rogaine-for-men-foam

Largely speaking, applying minoxidil once a day is enough to get noticeable results.

Still, even the supplier sometimes recommends applying twice daily, which seems to indicate some form of benefit from applying more than just once a day.

Is applying Rogaine once a day enough?

The same rules apply to Rogaine than to every generic brand of minoxidil. It is by and large considered the most optimal practice to apply minoxidil twice daily.

It should be noted that Rogaine specifically states on their website that the 5% minoxidil topical aerosol for women should be applied just once daily. Possibly to reduce the chance for annoying side effects such as the growth of unwanted body hair.

Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that applying Rogaine once a day doesn’t yield excellent results.

Conclusion

Applying minoxidil once a day will get you great results most of the time.

Some people notice little difference between applying just once, and twice a day.

Applying Rogaine once a day or two times daily depends on the strength of the product, and if it’s designed for women or not.

Evidence is not conclusive about if it’s better to apply once or twice daily. If you do decide to apply twice daily, then leave at least 4 hours between your first time applying in order to give your skin the necessary time to absorb the product and to reduce the risk for side effects.

How long should I keep the minoxidil on my face

How long does it take for minoxidil to dry

As noted above, minoxidil uptake is about 75% after 4 hours.

To make the most out of it, I would recommend keeping the topical minoxidil on your face for at least 4 hours, and 6 hours if possible for optimal results.

It’s not an exact science, but keeping the minoxidil on your face for at least an hour is the bare minimum to see decent results. Washing and rinsing off the minoxidil immediately after applying it to your face will lead to virtually no results.

 

Can you leave minoxidil on overnight?

An important question that regularly pops up is, “can I apply minoxidil overnight?”

Yes, you can leave minoxidil on overnight. It has been established that it is best to leave minoxidil on your scalp or face if you’re using it for the growth of facial hair for at least 4 hours. Preferably even longer, with 8 hours being ideal. Since 8 hours of sleep is a sound night sleep pattern that most people should aim for to lead a healthy life.

This makes it perfect to leave minoxidil on overnight. As a matter of fact, applying minoxidil twice daily is considered the most effective way of administration. That’s why it is generally recommended to apply minoxidil at night, or at least shortly before going to bed, and in the morning.

However, I would recommend applying minoxidil to the scalp or face a few hours before going to bed since the applied minoxidil can rub off on your bed pillow. This is especially important for women who use minoxidil to regrow lost hairs, since the rubbed of minoxidil on the bed pillow can consequently rub off on the face.

This will most likely not be significant enough to experience serious growth of body hair in unwanted places, but in some rare cases there might be hyper responders to the minoxidil which might cause the growth of facial hair. Quite obviously, women don’t want that to happen.

Nevertheless, before doing so, make sure you can tolerate the drug for extended periods of time. Ideally, the first time you use minoxidil should be for a shorter amount of time to figure out if you get any unwanted side effects or not. Although most people experience no or insignificant side effects.

Can I apply Rogaine at night?

The same rule apply to Rogaine as to any generic minoxidil brand since Rogaine is a trade name of minoxidil.

This means that Applying Rogaine at night, or shortly before going to bed is recommended. Ideally, one applies the Rogaine at night and in the morning for maximum effectiveness.

Conclusion

Leaving minoxidil overnight is a good idea to get the full effect of this popular hair growth drug.

Just make sure that you can tolerate the minoxidil well enough without any serious side effects. Furthermore, I would make sure to apply the minoxidil a few hours before going to bed, so it doesn’t rub off, or at least not as much on your bed pillow. This is especially important for women who wish to prevent hair growth in unwanted places.

 

Minoxidil liquid vs foam differences

Minoxidil liquid vs foam

Let us talk about minoxidil liquid vs foam differences for a second. Since there are some important differences and thus, utility between the two. Even though in general they do and work the same.

The foam preparation does not use propylene glycol as a solvent. Propylene glycol has a greasy feeling and is a common skin irritant, which makes the foam an attractive alternative to the solution for some patients.

At present, the foam preparations are a 5% concentration- for both men and women.”[20]http://ishrs.org/patients/treatment-for-hair-loss/medications/minoxidil/

I can say from personal experience that minoxidil liquid dried out my skin like crazy, even though I never had rashes or any other side effects. With minoxidil foam, I get absolutely zero dried out skin or any other side effects for that matter.

What I noticed is that people online generally say that minoxidil foam dries out their skin less than minoxidil liquid does. Although some people tolerate the liquid form better than others without any of the side effects.

Why does minoxidil liquid dry out the skin?

Minoxidil liquid often dries out the skin more than foam, due to using propylene glycol as a solvent. Propylene glycol is a common skin irritant which can lead to more side effects such as skin rashes and dried out skin.

That’s why in terms of side effects, I consider the foam superior to the solution. I would especially recommend the foam over the liquid if you are someone who has sensitive skin and/or has had skin problems in the past.

Liquid can be applied with the dropper, foam with the fingers

Liquid can be applied with either the dropper or with the fingers, foam can only be applied with the fingers.

From personal experience, I have to say that applying with the fingers was always easier and more accurate than applying with a dropper. When using the fingers, just make sure to rinse your hands in order to cleanse any residue that remains on the fingers after applying.

Is minoxidil foam better than liquid

In regard to minoxidil foam or liquid being better than one another, I wouldn’t say that either one is superior to the other. Both do exactly the same thing, it’s just that one generally has more annoying, although small side effects than the other.
 
Both will work just fine to grow beard hair, or regrow hair on the scalp for that matter.
 

Difference between 2 and 5% minoxidil

The main difference between 2 and 5% minoxidil is the strength. The 2 and 5% minoxidil formula are solutions of a different strength.

Generally, 2% minoxidil is the recommended dose for women, while the 5% solution is generally used by men.

 

Minoxidil studies: 2 vs 5% minoxidil

2 vs 5% minoxidil

 

Studies have shown that 5% minoxidil is more effective than 2% minoxidil in treating alopecia. [21]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482378/[22]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15034503/[23]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12196747/

Clinical response to minoxidil is more pronounced if the onset of alopecia is within five years (mainly in young adults), and the hair follicles are not deeply miniaturized.”[24]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482378/

In the following 48 week double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, the objective was to compare the 2% topical minoxidil with the 5% topical minoxidil in men with androgenetic alopecia (AGA).[25]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12196747/

3 groups were made. 1 group received the 5% topical minoxidil, the second group received the 2% minoxidil and the last group was the placebo group. A total of 393 men participated. 157 men with AGA applied 5% topical minoxidil solution, 158 men applied 2% topical minoxidil and finally, 78 men applied the placebo solution. All groups applied twice daily. The effectiveness was measured by hair counts on the scalp area and investigator assessments of change in scalp coverage and benefit of treatment.

They concluded the following:

In men with AGA, 5% topical minoxidil was clearly superior to 2% topical minoxidil and placebo in increasing hair regrowth, and the magnitude of its effect was marked (45% more hair regrowth than 2% topical minoxidil at week 48).

Men who used 5% topical minoxidil also had an earlier response to treatment than those who used 2% topical minoxidil.

Psychosocial perceptions of hair loss in men with AGA were also improved. Topical minoxidil (5% and 2%) was well tolerated by the men in this trial without evidence of systemic effects[26]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12196747/

In this study, a 48 week, double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial was performed in order to compare the safety and effectiveness of 2% topical minoxidil and 5% topical minoxidil. Important to note is that it was in the treatment of female pattern hair loss and, thus, not on males or specifically for beard growth.[27]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15034503/

3 groups were made. 1 group of women got the 5% solution, another group the 2% solution and the last group was the placebo group. 153 women between the age of 18-49 with female pattern hair loss applied the 5% topical minoxidil, while 154 women applied 2% topical minoxidil. One group was a placebo group of 74 women. All groups applied topical minoxidil twice daily. Changes in nonvellus hairs were counted at week 48. Furthermore, patient and investigator assessment of change in scalp coverage was also measured at week 48

This is what they concluded.

5% topical minoxidil was superior to placebo on each of the 3 primary efficacy end points: promoting hair growth as measured by change in nonvellus hair count and patient/investigator assessments of hair growth and scalp coverage.

Application of 2% topical minoxidil was superior to placebo for assessments of nonvellus hair counts and investigator assessment of hair growth/scalp coverage at week 48; differences in patient assessment of hair growth at week 48 were not significantly different from placebo.

At week 48, the 5% topical minoxidil group demonstrated statistical superiority over the 2% topical minoxidil group in the patient assessment of treatment benefit. Both concentrations of topical minoxidil were well tolerated by the women in this trial without evidence of systemic adverse effects.

An increased occurrence of pruritus, local irritation, and hypertrichosis was observed with 5% topical minoxidil versus 2% topical minoxidil and placebo.[28]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15034503/

In the last study, a comparison was made between applying minoxidil topical solution 2% twice daily and 5% minoxidil topical foam once a day in women with androgenetic alopecia.

This is what they found out:

Once-daily 5% MTF is noninferior and as effective for stimulating hair growth as twice-daily 2% MTS in women with androgenetic alopecia and is associated with several aesthetic and practical advantages.

Minoxidil 2 percent vs 5 percent which one is better?

Finally, let us conclude and answer the 2 vs 5% minoxidil effectiveness question.

With the current research in mind, we can conclude that 5% minoxidil is superior to 2% minoxidil in regard to hair growth or regrowth and thus, also beard growth.

Although both the 2 percent and the 5 percent solution are effective at promoting hair growth/regrowth. It’s just that the 5% topical solution is superior to the 2% solution if you care about effectiveness and the most “bang for your buck”.

 

How long before minoxidil works?

Let us answer the question, “when will minoxidil start working”?

The initial effects of minoxidil occur after approximately eight weeks of treatment, and maximal effects take place after four months.[29]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482378/

Although many people, myself included, have reported maximal effectiveness when applied for up to one to two years. It could be that the author means that the dose is maximum effective from the 4-month mark and onwards.

The following study says the following:

In clinical trials of various formulations, results have varied. Improved hair growth occurred after four to six months of therapy; twice-daily application seems to be indicated.[30]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3311578/

How long before minoxidil starts working?

So when does minoxidil start working? Well, it should be noted that minoxidil starts working much earlier than before 4 months. Minoxidil starts working immediately from the point you start using minoxidil.

However, results take time. And thus, it might take a while after you start seeing noticeable results. This can be explained due to the time it takes for the hair follicles to get back to the anagen hair growth phase.

Take note that you may experience more hair shedding int he first couple of weeks of starting your topical minoxidil treatment. Don’t be alarmed as this is part of the natural hair growth cycle. This simply means that the new hairs are growing in and are pushing out the old hairs to make room for the new ones.

How long before minoxidil works and you see results?

As for how long before Rogaine works, or any other minoxidil brand for that matter, as a general guideline, you should see some significant results in 4 to 6 months of minoxidil usage.

Differences between the use of minoxidil for hair growth and beard growth

In both cases, topical minoxidil is used, although minoxidil for head hair growth is quite obviously put on the scalp. For beard growth, minoxidil is put on the chin, underneath the chin and on the cheek area.

The biggest differences are the following:

  • Using minoxidil on the scalp for hair growth must be maintained indefinitely, minoxidil for beard growth can be discontinued after a period of time.

    Minoxidil for hair growth must be continued indefinitely, or hair loss will still occur.

    Minoxidil for beard growth can theoretically be stopped when the hairs are in the terminal phase without losing the gains/progress.

    Be mindful though, beard whiskers that are still vellus hairs (fine, thin and light colored hairs) and thus, have not yet reached the terminal phase will be lost over time.

  • Minoxidil is FDA approved for use on the scalp but is not FDA approved for the use on the face.

    Minoxidil is not FDA approved for use on the chin, underneath the chin or on the cheeks.

    In other words, minoxidil is not FDA approved for beard growth.

Conclusion:

Topical minoxidil is used in the growth of facial hair, as well as for growing or regrowing scalp hair.

Use of minoxidil must be continued for the regrowth of hair on the head, or the gains will be lost over time. Once the beard hairs are in the terminal phase, progression will not be lost.

Keep in mind though that the beard whiskers that are still vellus hairs will shed when minoxidil use is discontinued.

Does minoxidil cause unwanted body hair

It depends. Topical minoxidil generally does not promote hair growth in other areas whereas oral minoxidil can potentially promote unwanted hair growth.

Does topical minoxidil cause unwanted hair growth?

When minoxidil is applied topically, it should not promote hair growth in other areas. Most of the minoxidil will be absorbed in the place it is applied to. Of course, some of the minoxidil will reach the bloodstream and thus, course through the body, although it will generally not be enough to create hair growth in unwanted places.

Caution should be taken to rinse and cleanse the hands after applying minoxidil foam or liquid. As residue of the product on the hands can promote hair growth on the fingers.

So we can conclude that theoretically, topical minoxidil should only promote hair growth in the applied areas.

Does oral minoxidil cause unwanted hair growth?

Oral minoxidil, on the other hand, enters the bloodstream much quicker and is not applied to a specific targeted area.

It circulates in our bloodstream throughout the entire body and thus, may promote unwanted hair growth in areas such as the hands, face, ears, chest, feet,..

Conclusion

To conclude, minoxidil unwanted body hair may be a possibility when oral minoxidil is taken. It shouldn’t happen with topical minoxidil as less minox enters the bloodstream.

 

Can women use minoxidil

Minoxidil is the only FDA approved drug that can be used to treat female pattern baldness. Both the 2% topical solution, and recently the 5% topical foam solution, are FDA approved to combat hair loss.

So yes, it is safe for both men and women to use topical minoxidil on the scalp to promote hair growth on the head and potentially even reverse the hair loss on the scalp.

What is female pattern hair loss (FPHL)?

Female pattern hair loss (FPHL) is a nonscarring, progressive thinning of the hair with a gentle drop-off in the number of hair follicles, particularly in the central, frontal and parietal parts of the scalp. This is caused by a process that’s known as follicular miniaturization or follicular shrinking.

It should be noted that the frontal hairline is often times spared, or the follicular miniaturization is not as bad when compared with male pattern baldness.

What causes female pattern hair loss (FPHL)

After researching what the science has to say about what causes female pattern hair loss, this is what I found out:

The cause of female pattern hair loss (FPHL) is complex and includes multiple factor such as genetics, hormones, inflammation and environmental causes such as a poor diet and poor sleep schedule.

The follow study shows the efficacy of 5% topical minoxidil foam applied once daily for the treatment of female pattern hair loss (FPHL) in multiple phase III clinical trials.

The study noticed a significant change in the target area hair count from baseline compared to the placebo group.

Similar changes in hair count were noted for both the 5% foam and the 2% minoxidil solution, being applied twice daily. Thus, it established a noninferiority of the 5% foam in comparison with the 2% minoxidil solution applied twice daily.

This study shows that the five percent minoxidil foam formula is a viable and additional treatment option for ladies with women pattern baldness.

 

Is minoxidil dangerous for pets

Is minoxidil dangerous for pets?

Topical minoxidil is toxic for pets, while oral minoxidil enters the bloodstream and thus, is not as toxic or harmful to animals. Keep in mind though that even oral minoxidil can be toxic to pets because of the secretion of sweat, although the oral dose is a lot smaller than the topical dose of minoxidil. This means that oral minoxidil is most likely a bit less toxic to pets.

On a side note, a question that gets asked a lot is the following: “is rogaine dangerous for pets?” Yes, rogaine is harmful for pets as it is a brand of minoxidil. Thus, the above applies to rogaine and all other minoxidil brands as well.

Is minoxidil toxic to dogs?

Yes, minoxidil is toxic to dogs.

As a matter of fact, one of the studies examining toxicity in pets determined that they found the pharmacologic basis of the cardiovascular toxicity of minoxidil in dogs:

the cardiovascular toxicity of MNX in dogs is not caused by a direct toxic effect of MNX on the heart but apparently is related to the exaggerated pharmacologic/profound hemodynamic effects it elicits in the dog. [31]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7501961/

Is minoxidil toxic to cats?

Minoxidil is not only toxic to dogs, but it is also toxic to cats because they lack a specific enzyme to break down the chemicals present in minoxidil. That’s why one should be careful when applying topical minoxidil to him/herself and always make sure to wash their hands.

The following study determines the toxicosis in dogs and cats. 211 cats and dogs with topical minoxidil exposure were noted and consequently reviewed from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Animal Poison Control Center database.

87 cases with clinical signs of toxicosis (62 cats, 25 dogs), case narratives were evaluated and tagged for exposure-related circumstances. They concluded the following:

Clinical signs occurred in dogs and cats even with low exposure amounts, such as drops or licks.

In patients that developed clinical signs, most developed moderate or major illness (56.0% dogs, 59.7% cats).

Death occurred in 8/62 (12.9%) cats that developed clinical signs after the pet owner’s minoxidil use.

Pet owners should be educated on the risk of dog and cat toxicosis from accidental minoxidil exposure.[32]https://meridian.allenpress.com/jaaha/article-abstract/57/5/225/469181/Topical-Minoxidil-Exposures-and-Toxicoses-in-Dogs?redirectedFrom=fulltext

The following study discusses the clinical presentation and necropsy findings of 2 cats after topical administration of a minoxidil solution. Both cases were identified from the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) file. They concluded the following:

Both cats were presented with lethargy and dyspnea within 36 hours of exposure.

The cats were hypothermic, and had pulmonary edema and pleural effusion present on thoracic radiography. Both cats died despite supportive care.

Necropsy of both cats confirmed pleural effusion and pulmonary edema and indicated cardiac compromise.[33]https://www.researchgate.net/publication/230231557_Suspected_toxicosis_after_topical_administration_of_minoxidil_in_2_cats

Conclusion

Minoxidil is harmful and dangerous for pets. Both dogs and cats alike.

That is why everyone should carefully wash their hands after applying the topical minoxidil, because we frequently use our hands to pet our cat, dog or other pet.

Not only that, we also use our hands to put food in the bowl for our pet, so we must make sure no residual minoxidil liquid or foam remains on our hands.

 

Can women use men rogaine?

Does rogaine work for women?

It should be noted that rogaine for men does indeed work for women.

The main difference between men’s rogaine and women’s rogaine lies in the %. Or in other words, the strength of the product.

Are men’s and women’s rogaine the same?

No, men’s and women’s rogaine or not the same.

There are some small differences in the strength of the product, which is depicted in %.

Difference between rogaine for men and women

Rogaine, which is the brand name of common minoxidil has a foam and solution formulation for both men and women.

The rogaine version for men features both a 5% foam and a 5%solution. Women’s rogaine on the other hand presents a 5% foam and a 2% solution.

The men’s 5% solution is the strongest and, thus, also the most effective due to the inclusion of propylene glycol.

What is propylene glycol?

Propylene glycol is an active ingredient that helps to penetrate the scalp or other areas where the solution is applied more easily. This increases the effectiveness of the product.

Other products might be slightly less efficient because they don’t incorporate the propylene glycol in their minoxidil.

Appliance difference between rogaine for men and women

Instructions for the men and women products differ slightly on the label. Men’s 5% foam and 5% solution are both recommended to use twice daily. The 2% women’s solution should also be used twice daily, while the 5% minoxidil foam is suggested to be applied only once daily.

While the 5% solution may be stronger than the foam, it is also generally considered to be more irritating to the scalp. This means that there are generally more side effects with the 5% solution. Especially since some people are more sensitive to the added propylene glycol. This may cause common although typically harmless side effects such as redness, itching, burning, irritation, and flaking of the skin.

If this is the case, then people should consider switching to the 5% foam or the 2% solution. This is typically enough to resolve or greatly lessen the annoying side effects of minoxidil usage.

Now let’s finally answer the main question of today. Can women use men rogaine?

Can women use men rogaine or not?

There’s no reason why women can’t use men’s rogaine.

The FDA recently raised the approved dose of Rogaine for women from 2% to 5% Minoxidil.

This means that women can indeed use men rogaine to combat hair loss.

The Men’s Rogaine extra strength formula is 5% foam and a 5% solution as well. The 5% dosage was previously only FDA approved for men. But, like I said before, the approved dose for women has been raised to 5%. This means that it is now also considered safe for women to use men’s rogaine.

Conclusion

It is safe for women to use men’s rogaine.

The main difference between men’s rogaine vs women’s rogaine is the strength of the product, as the percentage for the men’s topical solution is higher than for the women’s product.

Keep in mind that the higher strength products will generally deliver more potent results. The only disadvantage is that the higher the % of the product the more potential there is for annoying, albeit largely harmless side-effects.

 

Can men use women's rogaine?

Can men use women rogaine or not?

So can men use womens rogaine? Or is it dangerous?

The answer is a resounding yes. Men can use women rogain without any worries or losing sleep over it.

The main difference between men and women’s rogaine is the strength of the topical solution.

Women’s rogaine solution is 2% and men’s rogaine solution is 5% with added propylene glycol that makes the absorption of the product easier and thus more effective.

The main disadvantage of the lower strength women’s rogaine  solution could be that the results one can attain would be slightly worse than the higher strength men’s minoxidil solution can.

Let us look at the other differences between men and women rogaine.

Difference between men and women rogaine

Now that we know that guys can use women’s rogaine, we should take a look at the main differences between the male and female versions of the product.

Rogaine, which is the brand name of common minoxidil has a foam and solution formulation for both men and women.

The rogaine version for men features both a 5% foam and a 5%solution. Women’s rogaine on the other hand presents a 5% foam and a 2% solution.

The men’s 5% solution is the strongest and, thus, also the most effective due to the inclusion of propylene glycol.

What is propylene glycol?

Propylene glycol is an active ingredient that helps to penetrate the scalp or other areas where the solution is applied more easily. This increases the effectiveness of the product.

Other products might be slightly less efficient because they don’t incorporate the propylene glycol in their minoxidil.

Appliance difference between rogaine for men and women

Instructions for the men and women products differ slightly on the label. Men’s 5% foam and 5% solution are both recommended to use twice daily. The 2% women’s solution should also be used twice daily, while the 5% minoxidil foam is suggested to be applied only once daily.

While the 5% solution may be stronger than the foam, it is also generally considered to be more irritating to the scalp. This means that there are generally more side effects with the 5% solution. Especially since some people are more sensitive to the added propylene glycol. This may cause common although typically harmless side effects such as redness, itching, burning, irritation, and flaking of the skin.

If this is the case, then people should consider switching to the 5% foam or the 2% solution. This is typically enough to resolve or greatly lessen the annoying side effects of minoxidil usage.

Now let’s finally answer the main question of today. Can women use men rogaine?

Price

Another difference between rogaine for men vs rogaine for men would be the price.

Rogaine for women has consistently been priced higher than the male version. This means that a lot of females have been looking at the male product of rogaine as an alternative, rather than vice versa.

This is not surprising, and it is actually a great alternative option. We know that the foam formula is basically exactly the same for both men and women. The topical solution of women’s rogaine however is of a lower strength and without propylene glycol.

Final takeaway

So can men use women rogaine? They can indeed. It is considered safe for men to use women’s rogaine.

The main disadvantage would be that the women’s rogaine solution is only 2% strength without added propylene glycol compared to the men’s rogaine 5% solution with included propylene glycol.

This could mean that the women’s rogaine is less effective and that you could possibly get worse results than you would get with a higher strength minoxidil. But, it would probably be much more affordable.

 

What do I do if I missed a dose of minoxidil?

What do I do when I forgot to apply minoxidil?

Let me explain what you should do when you forgot to apply minoxidil.

Let me start off by saying that missing one dose of your topical minoxidil appliance is not the end of the world.

If possible, you should apply a missed dose of minoxidil as fast as possible.

If there is not at least 4 hours between applying the missed doses and your next planned dose, then you should just skip the dose.

So to summarize, apply the missed minoxidil dose as fast as possible if possible, if not possible due to circumstances or because it is almost time for your next appliance, don’t fret it and just skip it altogether. You won’t suddenly lose all your gains just because you missed one dose.

What happens if I miss a dose of minoxidil?

Technically speaking, your body for oral minoxidil and your skin for topical minoxidil reaches and keeps maximum saturation when you keep fatefully applying your doses of minoxidil every day.

When you skip a dose of minoxidil, there’s technically speaking less minoxidil circulating in your body and skin. Thus, this will lead to diminishing results the longer you decide to skip doses.

Missing one dose or day of minoxidil is not as bad as it might seem at first. You won’t suddenly lose all your hair or beard gains. When minoxidil is not applied for a longer period of time, you will start to lose the hairs you’ve regrown on your scalp. No matter if they’re velus hairs or permanent ones!

When discontinuing minoxidil on one’s face for beard growth, the velus hairs will be lost over time, while the hairs in the permanent stage will be maintained.

How many days can you skip rogaine?

Skipping rogaine for a day is not the end of the world. However, each day that you forgot to apply minoxidil will lessen the amount of minoxidil circulating in that target area.

Thus, when topical minoxidil appliance is skipped for multiple weeks, velus hairs will start to fall out while the hairs in the terminal phase will stay. Again, this is only the case for beard hairs!

For hair growth or regrowth, the use of topical minoxidil must be continued in order to not lose the progress/gains made. Skipping one or a few days occasionally will not be that impactful, though.

Conclusion

It isn’t a disaster if you skip a single dose or a day of minoxidil appliance. In fact, chances are large that it would have very little negative immediate and long-term effects.

However, the longer one decides to discontinue minoxidil doses, the less minoxidil will be circulating in the body or skin and thus, hair growth will be lost or in the best case in regard to beard growth, maintained.

 

How often should I wash my hair while using Rogaine for hair growth?

Should I wash off minoxidil?

Generally speaking, yes, you should wash off minoxidil as this will prevent substance build up and limit side effects.

Of course, not washing your hair once in a while after applying minoxidil is not the end of the world either. However, regularly washing your hair and rinsing the minoxidil is advised.

Can I wash my hair when using minoxidil?

You can wash your hair when using minoxidil, just not immediately or a short while after appliance.

Do not use shampoo to wash your hair for at least 4 hours after applying minoxidil to your scalp. Likewise, don’t rinse your face for at least 4 hours after using minoxidil on your face for facial hair growth.

How often should I wash my hair when using minoxidil?

It is best to wash your hair every day when using minoxidil to minimize the possible annoying side effects of minoxidil. The most common ones being itching, scalp burning, flaking, and redness.

Leaving the ingredients of the minoxidil on your scalp or face can cause irritant contact dermatitis. Which is basically skin irritation that can produce itching, red skin, and a burning, stinging sensation. One can avoid contracting irritant contact dermatitis by avoiding minoxidil buildup. Avoiding Rogaine buildup is accomplished by washing the scalp frequently and at regular intervals.

How often should I wash my hair while using Rogaine on my scalp?

Since Rogaine is a brand of minoxidil, the same rules apply in regard to washing your hair as previously said.

To shortly summarize, it is best to wash your hair daily when using minoxidil to reduce residue build up and to minimize possible side effects.

Is it necessary to wash hair after minoxidil usage?

It is not necessary to wash hair after minoxidil usage, but it is highly recommended.

Again, washing your hair cleanses your scalp from minoxidil residue build up. This decreases the risk for annoying side effects such as flaking, scaling and itching.

What shampoo to use with minoxidil?

Every shampoo can be used together with minoxidil (as long as you don’t wash your hair shortly after you apply it, as this will also wash away the minoxidil solution.) But, it is useful to use a shampoo that helps you control dandruff, scaling and flaking which are common although harmless side effects of minoxidil usage.

Not to mention that it’s helpful to use a shampoo that promotes hair growth and will help to reduce hair loss.

Ketoconazole shampoo is such a shampoo since it promotes hair growth and eliminates dandruff, which is a common side effect from minoxidil usage.

Final note

Remember to wash your hair frequently when applying minoxidil, preferably daily. Just make sure not to wash your hair immediately to 4 hours after applying minoxidil.

 

Ketoconazole shampoo and minoxidil usage

Ketoconazole shampoo can be used like any other generic shampoo to wash your hair and to help you get rid of the minoxidil ingredients stuck on your hair/scalp.

What is ketoconazole shampoo?

Ketoconazole is an efficacious ingredient that adheres to your hair’s natural protein to eliminate dandruff, and is also used to treat fungal infections impacting the scalp.

Ketoconazole is available in both a cream and shampoo version that has to be applied to the skin.

The ketoconazole cream is typically prescribed for appliance once a day for 2 to 6 weeks.

It can be purchased over the counter and is usually advised to be used every three to four days for up to 8 weeks. Remember to always listen to your doctor’s instructions about how often to use ketoconazole shampoo or cream.

Advantages of Ketoconazole shampoo

  • Promotes hair growth and helps reduce hair loss.
  • Eliminates or helps keep dandruff in check.
  • Reduces itching, redness, flaking and scaling of the skin.

Using ketoconazole shampoo to combat hair loss is something that you should talk through with your doctor and that you should only use with their consent.

How to use ketoconazole shampoo for hair loss

For hair growth/reducing hair loss usage, apply the shampoo to wet hair. Massage until a lather starts to form. Let the product soak into your scalp for at least 5 minutes before rinsing off.

After rinsing the shampoo, dry your hair like usual.

How to use ketoconazole shampoo to wash your hair

If you want to use the shampoo to treat the scalp and to reduce the negative side effects of minoxidil, simply dilute the shampoo with water and apply the shampoo on the scalp.

Massage until a lather starts to form. Let the product soak into your scalp for a short time before rinsing off. After rinsing the shampoo, dry your hair like usual.

Different types of ketoconazole shampoo to combat hair loss

Various types of ketoconazole shampoo to combat hair loss exist.

Some can be purchased over the counter without a prescription, and some require a prescription by a doctor.

If you want to use ketoconazole shampoo for hair loss, however, the 2% or more ketoconazole will be more efficient than the lower percentages products. However, the 2% strength or more wares require a doctor prescription to get the product.

Where to buy ketoconazole shampoo?

If you’re just starting out or if you don’t want to go through the hassle of getting a prescription, one can always try over the counter ketoconazole shampoos containing one percent of ketoconazole. It is available in online web stores, supermarkets, and your local pharmacy.

How to use topical minoxidil solution and ketoconazole shampoo together?

Using topical minoxidil solution and ketoconazole shampoo together is something that’s perfectly doable.

As a reminder, like we said in the beginning of the post, you shouldn’t wash your hair or scalp for at least 4 hours after applying minoxidil to your scalp. Thus, your options are either washing your hair before applying minoxidil, or a couple of hours after applying minoxidil.

I would recommend washing your hair with the ketoconazole shampoo, letting it soak for at least 5 minutes before rinsing it off, and then drying your hair. Afterwards, apply 1 ml of minoxidil to your scalp.

Don’t apply minoxidil and ketoconazole shampoo at the same time

It is not recommended to apply minoxidil and ketoconazole shampoo at the same time, as the ketoconazole will interfere with the minoxidil absorption and wash it away.

When in doubt, consult with your doctor or dermatologist to find the right dosage and to find the treatment that’s best suited to your goals and overall health.

Conclusion

Any shampoo can be used in combination with minoxidil.

But the best shampoo will help to reduce the negative albeit often harmless negative effects from minoxidil usage while simultaneously promoting hair growth.

Ketoconazole shampoo, among many others is such a shampoo. It can also be found as a cream.

The 1% version is available for over the counter purchase, but if you want the most effective product which is the 2% strength or higher, you’ll need a prescription from your doctor, dermatologist, or general practitioner.

 

Does minoxidil affect testosterone

Minoxidil effect on testosterone

The current research suspects that minoxidil has no effect on testosterone, although the evidence is not conclusive.

The medicine Finasteride, which is used to treat male pattern baldness, works by inhibiting the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

Minoxidil works as a vasodilator. It widens the blood vessels, which will in turn lead to delivering more oxygen rich blood to the hair follicles where the minoxidil is applied.

Unlike Finasteride, which treats male pattern baldness (MPB) by inhibiting the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), Minoxidil works as a vasodilator. It widens the blood vessels in the area of application, to increase the local flow of blood, oxygen, and nutrients. As such, it leaves your hormones well alone.[34]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3406044/

In 1987, a study was performed to test for a possible relation between minoxidil and testosterone levels by looking at the potential anti-androgenic effect of topical minoxidil solution.

The study concluded that they found no anti-androgenic effects in the topical minoxidil. And thus, suggests that minoxidil does not influence our hormones.[35]https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/article-abstract/547872

However, another study performed in 2014 depicts a slightly different story. Instead of looking at the impact of minoxidil on testosterone levels, it looked at the possibility of the drug impacting our androgen receptors.

Androgen receptors are proteins found within male reproductive tissue, such as the prostate, that bind androgens like testosterone and DHT. These hormones would not become active without our androgen receptors.

The study showed no increases or decreases in testosterone, but it showed instead that minoxidil may potentially suppress the functions of our androgen receptors.

As such, there might be a possible link between minoxidil and our hormones.[36]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4039155/

A third and last study looked at the relation between minoxidil and hormone activity. The following study analyzed the connection between minoxidil and testosterone metabolism. They found that the 5alpha-reductase was slightly increased by minoxidil, but not to a significant degree. Testosterone levels were once again not affected by the drug.[37]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10098703/

Do minoxidil and testosterone interact?

It seems like minoxidil and testosterone do not interact with one another. Although it has been shown in at least one study that minoxidil interacts with the androgen receptors.

But don’t worry, minoxidil has not been shown to affect testosterone. Minoxidil thus far has shown neither an increase in testosterone levels nor a decrease in testosterone levels. As such, the minoxidil brands like Rogaine have shown no negative side effects on testosterone levels and can be safely used by both men and women.

 

Does minoxidil affect fertility?

Minoxidil effect on male fertility

Topical minoxidil solutions have shown no adverse effect on male fertility so far, but it may cause sexual dysfunction in some rare cases. Minoxidil has shown no negative side effects on sperm.

Minoxidil is an anti-androgen (or anti-testosterone) molecule. Since it is applied on the scalp for hair loss, it doesn’t affect other parts of the body. This means that it doesn’t affect male fertility.
 

Although, finasteride (Proscar, Propecia) which is another popular medicine to combat male pattern baldness has been shown to negatively impact male fertility.

Minoxidil side effects sexually

So does minoxidil have sexual side effects?

There might be a correlation between minoxidil and erectile dysfunction. Although the evidence is certainly not conclusive, and it is only reported in rare cases.

One study suggests that minoxidil might cause erectile dysfunction.

The study suggests that after ruling out organic and psychogenic causes of the man’s erectile dysfunction and decreased libido, the topical minoxidil 5% was the cause of the patient’s clinical problem. And thus, the 5% minoxidil solution should be considered as a cause of unexplained erectile dysfunction and decrease in libido.

Overall, most people who apply topical minoxidil have not reported many sexual side effects.

Is using topical minoxidil during pregnancy safe?

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for their use during pregnancy. There are five possible categories. Categories A, B, C, D, and X are currently used to sort the potential risks to an unborn baby when taking a medication/drug during pregnancy.

Topical minoxidil is listed as FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is unknown if topical minoxidil will harm an unborn baby or not.

That’s why it is not advised for women to use minoxidil during pregnancy or when breastfeeding their baby. This is because it is currently also not known if minoxidil can be transferred to the baby when giving breast milk or not. Thus, it could potentially hurt a nursing baby.[38]https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/d03203a1

It must be noted that there are currently no adequate or well-controlled studies in humans. More high-quality studies in humans are necessary in order to reach a well-informed consensus.

Another study evaluated if topical minoxidil solution while pregnant was safe for female use by evaluating pregnancy outcomes.

They concluded the following:

TMS is a safe and effective treatment for androgenetic alopecia (AGA). There is no apparent increased risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Another particular study examined clinical reports submitted to the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) from 2004 to 2014. 

They found that finasteride was considerable more likely to produce reproductive toxicity compared to minoxidil.[39]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5347675/

One case report suggests that topical minoxidil may cause fetal malformation.

The 28-year-old women in question applied 2% topical minoxidil daily because of female related baldness. After a routine ultrasound test at the 22 week of her pregnancy, the test showed considerable heart, brain and vascular deformities of the fetus. Pregnancy was interrupted as a result.[40]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14745922/

Conclusion

The current research shows no correlation between minoxidil and female fertility. However, for safety measures, females should not use topical minoxidil during pregnancy or when breastfeeding.

Minoxidil has not shown to affect male fertility. Although in rare cases, topical minoxidil might be a contributor to erectile dysfunction. If this is the case, discontinuing the topical minoxidil use should alleviate and eliminate the problem.

 

Minoxidil half life

Let us talk about the half life of minoxidil then.

Topical minoxidil half life

The half-life of topical minoxidil averaged 22 hours, compared to 1.49 hours for the oral formulation. Minoxidil and its metabolites are excreted almost entirely in the urine (97%), with a very minor degree of elimination via the faeces (3%).

Renal clearance of minoxidil and minoxidil glucuronide calculated from oral data averaged 261 mL/min and 290 mL/min, respectively.

Following cessation of dosing, approximately 95% of topically applied minoxidil will be eliminated within four days.[41]https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/5082/smpc

Another study suggests that oral minoxidil reaches its peak plasma levels in about 1 hour. It suggests that the half-life of minoxidil is about 2.77-4.2 hours. [42]https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/4201#section=ATC-Code

It should be noted that the topical minoxidil solution is poorly absorbed through the skin (percutaneous absorption) with an average <2% of the applied dose.[43]https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/chemistry/minoxidil

Since we are talking about using topical minoxidil for beard growth, the average half-life of topical minoxidil on the face will be about 22 hours.[44]https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/5082/smpc

Bernstein’s medical center, which is specialized in hair restoration also suggests that topical minoxidil has a half-life of 22 hours in the skin[45]https://www.bernsteinmedical.com/medical-treatment/rogaine-minoxidil/

Even though it has a half-life of about 22 hours, it should be noted that Johnson & Johnson, which is the company that makes Rogaine specifically states that topical minoxidil is less efficacious if it is only applied topically once a day. It should also be mentioned that there is only a small amount of systematic absorption when the minoxidil is applied topically.

Oral minoxidil half life

As noted in the studies above, the half life of oral minoxidil is about 1.49 hours. Another study said that the oral minoxidil half life is between 2.77 and 4.2 hours.

Conclusion

Minoxidil half life is different for the oral formula and topical solution. The half life of minoxidil in regard to the topical formula is much longer when compared to the oral minoxidil’s half life.

This can possibly be attributed due to the larger/faster amount of systematic absorption and, thus, clearance of the oral minoxidil solution when compared to the topical formula.

 

How to store minoxidil?

How to store minoxidil at home

  • Store minoxidil in a closed container at room temperature at home, which is between 20 and 25 degrees C. (This translates to 68 and 77 degrees F.)
  • Make sure that the place where you stash the medication is dry.
  • Keep the product away from heat, moisture, and direct sunlight as some minoxidil can be flammable.
  • Keep the product from freezing and freezing temperatures as well.[46]https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/minoxidil-topical-route/proper-use/drg-20068750
  • Since minoxidil is deemed an unsafe product for children, it should be kept well out of reach for children and kids in order to prevent them from accidentally using the product.
  • Like with other medication, one should not keep any expired minoxidil around, never mind using it.
  • Throw away any unused drugs. Don’t flush the product down the toilet or drain unless specifically told to do so. Ask your local pharmacist what the most appropriate way is to dispose of the drug. Some areas offer take-back programs for drugs.[47]https://www.drugs.com/cdi/rogaine-minoxidil-topical-foam.html

This is how to store minoxidil of any brand. Keep in mind that the ideal minoxidil storage temperature is at room temperature, which is between 20 and 25 degrees C. (Between 68 and 77 degrees F.)

Minoxidil shelf life

The minoxidil shelf life depends a bit on the brand of minoxidil you’re using, because different brands use slightly different formula’s. That being said, they largely act and produce the same effects.

Rogaine mentions on their FAQ that the shelf life of minoxidil (Rogaine foam in this specific case) is 2 years, with the shelf life of the Rogaine solution being 3 years.[48]https://www.rogaine.com/faq.html

By and large, most medication can be stored safely for a few years depending on the temperature, humidity, and light it is exposed to.

This does mean that there is indeed a minoxidil expiration date and that minoxidil does expire.

Best minoxidil storage temperature

The best minoxidil temperature at home is between 20 and 25 degrees C. This translates to 68 and 77 degrees F.

Degradation of chemical substances will speed up if you decide to store minoxidil at a higher temperature than room temperature. That’s why it’s not recommended to store minoxidil above room temperature.

It should also be noted that minoxidil should not be kept at freezing temperatures. That’s why you shouldn’t store minoxidil in your freezer, for example. The main reason is that minoxidil isn’t very stable in cold temperatures. Thus, it will probably become ineffective, or at the very least, less effective.

Is expired minoxidil safe to use?

No, expired minoxidil is not safe for usage anymore and thus, should be exposed of.

Minoxidil contains preservatives that will only last for a fixed period of time.

The use of expired minoxidil contains a number of increased health risks, such as:

  • Higher risk of side effects (flaking of the skin, rash, redness,..)
  • Less effectiveness of the product (The solution is likely to become increasingly weaker over time after it’s expired. So it may not work as well or not at all depending on how long the minoxidil has been expired.)
  • Increased risk of hair fall resuming because the product becomes increasingly weaker and, thus, less effective.

Does expired minoxidil still work?

So, is it ok to use expired minoxidil?

Well, it should be mentioned that drugmakers tend to be extremely conservative with expiration dates.

This means that minoxidil can potentially be used for a while after expiration. Nevertheless, I still wouldn’t recommend doing so. In my opinion, it’s not worth the perils. Use at your own risk!

Conclusion

Knowing how to store minoxidil is vital to keep the product efficient, and to extend the minoxidil shelf life, since minoxidil can indeed expire.

Expired minoxidil shouldn’t be used, since it can cause health risks such as a higher risk of side effects, and the product becoming less effective over time.

 

Possible minoxidil side effects

Let us review what the side effects of minoxidil can be.

Although minoxidil is generally very well tolerated, there are the occasional rare possible minoxidil side effects that can occur for some people, such as:

Less common and non-dangerous side effects

  • Scalp itching[49]https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a689003.html
  • Hair shedding because the telogen phase of hair growth is shortened
  • Skin irritation: discomfort, burning sensation and/or erythema
  • Scaly changes of the applied area: irritation or exacerbation of seborrheic dermatitis
  • Isolated pruritus
  • Generalized or localized hypertrichosis: This can occur with both the topical and oral minoxidil. It is however more common with the oral form and 5% than the 2% minoxidil because there is more systematic absorption. Research has suggested that hypertrichosis is related to minoxidil’s prolongation of the anagen phase.
  • Allergic contact dermatitis: Pruritus, eczematous skin reaction and erythema. Propylene glycol and minoxidil are two major allergens in allergic contact dermatitis. There is also minoxidil foam that lacks propylene glycol, which can be a viable option if an allergic reaction happens[50]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482378/
  • Minoxidil may make your skin sensitive to sunlight. Avoid unneeded or prolonged exposure to sunlight. Make sure to wear protective sunscreen, glasses, and clothing depending on where you applied the topical minoxidil solution.
  • Skin flushing

Rare side effects that are a sign of too much minoxidil being absorbed in the body (too much systematic absorption)

Remember to always immediately go to an emergency care center or to call 911 in case of severe side effect. In other words, seek immediate professional help if any of the following symptoms arise:

  • Chest pain
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Difficulty breathing (especially when lying down)
  • swelling of the face, ankles, hands, or stomach[51]https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/minoxidil-topical-route/precautions/drg-20068750?p=1
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Tingling feeling or numbness of the face, hands and/or feet
  • Headache
  • lightheadedness
  • Blurry vision
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Fainting
  • Severe skin irritation

Conclusion

Now that we know what the side effects of using minoxidil can possibly be, it is up to everyone personally to weigh things up properly in order to figure out if using minoxidil is worth it or not.

However, I would briefly like to note again that minoxidil is by and large very well endured and that the side effects are generally very mild.

In regard to the questions “what are the minoxidil side effects for men and minoxidil for women side effects”, the possible side effects of minoxidil are the same for both men and women. This is due to the fact that they use the same amount of minoxidil and the same strength.

 

Who should not use minoxidil?

Topical minoxidil contraindications

Possible contraindications against using topical minoxidil are:

  • Women who are pregnant

     

    It is unsure if minoxidil is harmful to the unborn child. However, there’s very little systematic absorption when minoxidil is applied topically.

    Oral minoxidil will have a much higher systematic absorption rate and thus, it can be assumed to be potentially much more harmful to the unborn, still developing child.

    Personally, if possible, I wouldn’t advise using it during pregnancy. Better to be safe than sorry. If you are going to use it anyway, then the topical formula is your safest bet.

  • Women who are breastfeeding their children

    Again, since systematic absorption of minoxidil is a thing, much more so for oral minoxidil than topical minoxidil, it is potentially dangerous when breastfeeding a baby because it is possible to pass it on to the infant.

    Adults are fully developed both physically and emotionally and are larger, and thus, can generally handle larger doses of minoxidil without problems. With little children, who are still in development and much smaller, we don’t know how much minoxidil they can handle, or if they can handle any trace of the drug at all.

    Thus, just to be safe, women are best off to stop minoxidil during the full-time period that they are breastfeeding. Although the risks of topical minoxidil will in this regard be much smaller than with oral minoxidil due to, again, less systematic absorption in the case of topical minoxidil.

  • People with a history of hypersensitivity to minoxidil or certain components

     

    Some people are hypersensitive to certain elements of minoxidil or component that are present in minoxidil such as, for example, propylene glycol[52]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482378/

Systemic minoxidil, also commonly called oral minoxidil, is a potent vasodilator with the potential to produce hypotension and reflex tachycardia. In some rare cases, serious complications may occur.

Oral minoxidil contraindications

Oral minoxidil is also relatively contraindicated in patients who are pregnant, are breastfeeding and/or have a hypersensitivity to minoxidil or certain components and who are suffering from:

  • Cardiac disease (including angina, coronary artery disease, recent or acute myocardial infarction)

     

    Since oral minoxidil was historically used to treat hypertension, it lowers the blood pressure. Topical minoxidil has not been shown to do so due to less systematic absorption. In some cases, minoxidil might cause a faster heartbeat, which may lead to myocardial problems such as erythema in some cases.

  • Cerebrovascular diseases

     

    In uncommon cases, a reflex increase in heart rate and decrease in blood pressure can worsen these already pre-existing conditions.

  • Patients with coronary insufficiency to avoid the risk of reflex tachycardia and angina exacerbation

     

    Minoxidil may cause pericardial effusion, which occasionally may progress to cardiac tamponade. Tachycardia as a result of reflex sympathetic activation may account for ECG changes.[53]https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/minoxidil

    Oral minoxidil should be reserved for patients suffering from hypertension who do not respond adequately to peak therapeutic doses of a diuretic

    In experiments with animals, minoxidil has been shown to potentially induce several types of myocardial lesions as well as other adverse cardiac effects. Although the evidence is certainly not conclusive and more studies need to be done to confirm these suspicions.[54]https://www.pdr.net/drug-summary/Minoxidil-minoxidil-774

Conclusion

As we can see, in some specific cases and rare instances, there can be contraindications of minoxidil use. In particular oral minoxidil contraindications, since there is more systematic absorption with oral use than is the case with topical minoxidil.

That’s not to say that the possible negative effects of minoxidil are necessarily harmful or strongly scientifically validated to be dangerous. But, it is possible that minoxidil can have dangerous side effects, and thus, minoxidil contraindications include those people with certain pre-existing conditions and risk profiles.

We don’t know if minoxidil can be unsafe for an unborn child, or if it is harmful to a small child when breastfeeding. But, in those cases, I would advise caution. And it is better to be safe than sorry in my humble opinion.

 

What happens if I minoxidil overdose? Minoxidil overdose symptoms and what to do

Approved minoxidil dosage

Before we get into what the minoxidil overdose symptoms are and what to do if you experience a minoxidil overdose, let us talk about the approved dosage for both the topical and oral solution.

The approved topical minoxidil dosage for adults are as follows:

  • The usual adult topical minoxidil dose is applying 1 mL twice a day to the affected scalp areas. This is more or less two times half a capful. The maximum recommended dosage is 2 mL.

The following dosages are recommended for oral minoxidil(tablets):

  • Adults who are over 12 years of age can take between 5 and 40 milligrams as a single dose or in divided dosages.

Now we know what the normal dosage looks like, we can also tell when we experience an overdose of minoxidil. Let’s take a look at the symptoms of minoxidil overdosing and what one should do when going through an overdose.

Minoxidil overdose symptoms

Since minoxidil was originally used to treat hypertension, a severe overdose will most likely cause a profound hypotension along with a multitude of other symptoms such as:

  • Severe hypotension
  • Tachycardia
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) changes
  • Depressed mental state are also possible indicators.[55]Kikuchi S, Fujita Y, Onodera M, Fujino Y, Inoue Y. Prolonged hypotension induced by ingesting a topical minoxidil solution: Analysis of minoxidil and its metabolites. Acute Med Surg 2016;3:384-7.[56]Katzung BG, Masters SB, Trevor AJ. Basic & Clinical Pharmacology. 12th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.; 2012. p. 181.  Back to cited text no. 2[57]Nagar R. Rabbit syndrome because of topical minoxidil foam. Dermatol Ther 2015;28:112-3.

If you are suffering from an intense hypotension and suspect you might have overdosed, please seek help immediately for your own safety.

What should you do if you minoxidil overdose?

An overdose of topical minoxidil does not happen often and is not dangerous most of the time.

Call the emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line in order to seek help immediately if you or somebody else happens to overdose by accidentally swallowing the drug.

What happens if I overdose of minoxidil?

The following study describes the largest reported ingestion of minoxidil and the first reported overdose of the Rogaine extra strength 5% solution. They concluded the following:

After ingesting 3 g of the Rogaine Extra Strength preparation, toxicity manifested as profound hypotension, requiring vasopressor support, intubation, prolonged tachycardia, and fluid overload with pleural effusions, requiring several days of therapy with furosemide.[58]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10584592/

Another study described A 52-year-old man who ingested 60 ml of 2 percent topical minoxidil solution. They described the following results:

A 52-year-old man ingested 60 ml of 2 percent topical minoxidil solution resulting in severe hypotension and tachycardia.

He was resuscitated with intravenously administered crystalloid solution and treated with intravenously administered dopamine, resulting in a partial hemodynamic improvement.

Further treatment with intravenously administered phenylephrine infusion resulted in resolution of hypotension. The patient suffered a non-Q-wave myocardial infarction as a result of the ingestion. The toxicity of this increasingly common preparation is profound.[59]https://journal.chestnet.org/article/S0012-3692(15)41847-1/pdf

It should be noted that both are cases of severe overdosage. But it also shows that it can potentially be very dangerous if the medication is misused.

What will most likely happen if you experience a minoxidil overdose

What will most likely happen if you overdose minoxidil is that you experience severe hypotension and tachycardia that may or may not require intubation, vasopressor support and other medical interventions.

Rogaine overdose

Since Rogaine is a brand of minoxidil, a Rogaine overdose will look exactly the same as any other overdose of minoxidil. This also means experiencing the same minoxidil overdose symptoms and the same possible necessary medical interventions being needed.

Rogaine is a fine brand, but that doesn’t mean that the chances of misusing the drug are any lower. Please keep yourself to the recommended dosages to prevent overdosing from happening.

Final note

Minoxidil overdosage is rare and in most cases not life endagering. Still, like with any drug, precautions should be taken and the medication should be handled with care and the essential seriousness.

If you happen to overdose, don’t panic. Light overdosage will by and large not be dangerous and might not even lead to symptoms.

If you do happen to experience symptoms such as hypotension and tachycardia while suspecting yourself or others from overdosage, proceed to seek immediate help from the emergency medical attention center or by calling the poison help line.

 

Minoxidil interactions with other drugs

Topical minoxidil interactions with other drugs

Topical minoxidil is generally not associated with any major systematic drug interactions (those taken by mouth or intravenously) since there is less systematic absorption of topical minoxidil (less absorption into the whole body rather than just the applied area). Oral minoxidil has a much higher systematic absorption rate in comparison.

There are however some drugs that are known to have moderately clinically significant interaction with topical minoxidil. This means that combining topical minoxidil and the following drugs should be avoided if possible. But, it can be used under certain circumstances. Always consult with your doctor before starting topical minoxidil treatment in these cases.

A

  • Alfuzosin
  • Alprostadil
  • Ambrisentan
  • Amyl nitrite
  • Avanafil

B

  • Bosentan

C

  • Cyclandelate
  • Deserpidine

D

  • Doxazosin

E

  • Epoprostenol
  • Ethaverine

G

  • Guanadrel
  • Guanethidine

H

  • Hydralazine

I

  • Iloprost
  • Isosorbide
  • Isosorbide dinitrate
  • isosorbide mononitrate
  • Isoxsuprine

M

  • Mecamylamine

N

  • Nesiritide
  • Nitroglycerin

P

  • Papaverine
  • Prazosin

R

  • Rauwolfia serpentina
  • Reserpine

S

  • Sapropterin
  • Selexipag
  • Sildenafil
  • Silodosin

T

  • Tadalafil
  • Tamsulosin
  • Terazosin
  • Treprostinil

V

  • Vardenafil
  • Verteporfin

Oral minoxidil interactions with other drugs

Oral minoxidil is known to interact with the antihypertensive drug guanethidine. Taking them together can lead to severe hypotension (low blood pressure), leading in some cases to extreme dizziness, blurry vision, nausea, confusion, and fainting. The drugs should not be taken together. Ideally, guanethidine should be stopped before minoxidil is started.

The following medications are known to interact with minoxidil and are highly clinically significant. This means that combining oral minoxidil with the following drugs should be avoided at all times.

G

  • Guanadrel
  • Guanethidine

T

  • Tizanidine

Minoxidil disease interactions

The following diseases are highly clinically significant interactions with minoxidil. As such, they should be avoided at all cost.[60]https://www.drugs.com/disease-interactions/minoxidil-topical.html

  • Fluid retention/congestive heart failure
  • Arrhythmias
  • ischemic heart disease
  • Pheochromocytoma

The following disease has a moderate clinically significant interaction with minoxidil. Combinations should be avoided if possible. But can be used under certain circumstances. Always consult with your doctor when considering topical minoxidil in these specific cases.

  • Renal failure/dialysis

The following medications are known to interact with minoxidil and are moderately clinically significant. This means that combinations should be avoided if possible. But they can be combined under certain circumstances. Again, consult a professional before hopping on topical minoxidil.

A

  • Aldesleukin
  • Alfentanil
  • Alprazolam
  • Amifostine
  • Amisulpride
  • Amitriptyline
  • Amoxapine
  • Apomorphine
  • Apraclonidine ophthalmic
  • Arginine
  • Aripiprazole
  • Asenapine
  • Avanafil
B
  • Baclofen
  • Betamethasone
  • Brexpiprazole
  • Brimonidine ophthalmic
  • Brimonidine topical
  • Budesonide
  • Buprenorphine
  • Bupropion
  • Buspirone
  • Butabarbital
  • Butorphanol
C
  • Cabergoline
  • Canagliflozin
  • Cannabis
  • Cariprazine
  • Carisoprodol
  • Chloral hydrate
  • Chlordiazepoxide
  • Chlorpromazine
  • Citrulline
  • Clobazam
  • Clomipramine
  • Clonazepam
  • Clorazepate
  • Clozapine
  • Codeine
  • Corticorelin
  • Corticotropin
  • Cortisone
  • Cosyntropin
  • Cyclobenzaprine
D
  • Dapagliflozin
  • Deflazacort
  • Dexamethasone
  • Dexmedetomidine
  • Diazepam
  • Dimenhydrinate
  • Diphenhydramine
  • Doxepin
  • Doxepin topical
  • Dronabinol
E
  • Empagliflozin
  • Epoprostenol
  • Ertugliflozin
F
  • Fenoldopam
  • Fentanyl
  • Fludrocortisone
  • Fluphenazine
  • Flurazepam
  • Furazolidone
G
  • Guanfacine
H
  • Haloperidol
  • Heroin
  • Hydrocodone
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Hydromorphone
  • Hydroxyzine
I
  • Iloperidone
  • Iloprost
  • Imipramine
  • Isocarboxazid
L
  • Levodopa
  • Licorice
  • Linezolid
  • Lithium
  • Lofexidine
  • Lorazepam
  • Loxapine
  • Lumateperone
  • Lurasidone
M
  • Maprotiline
  • Maraviroc
  • Meperidine
  • Meprobamate
  • Mesoridazine
  • Methadone
  • Methdilazine
  • Methocarbamol
  • Methotrimeprazine
  • Methylprednisolone
  • Midazolam
  • Minoxidil topical
  • Mirtazapine
  • Molindone
  • Morphine
N
  • Nabilone
  • Nalbuphine
  • Nefazodone
  • Nesiritide
O
  • Olanzapine
  • Oliceridine
  • Olopatadine nasal
  • Opium
  • Orphenadrine
  • Oxazepam
  • Oxycodone
  • Ozanimod
P
  • Paliperidone
  • Paraldehyde
  • Pentazocine
  • Pentoxifylline
  • Perphenazine
  • Phenelzine
  • Phenobarbital
  • Prednisolone
  • Prednisone
  • Procarbazine
  • Prochlorperazine
  • Promazine
  • Promethazine
  • Propiomazine
  • Propoxyphene
  • Pyrilamine
Q
  • Quetiapine
R
  • Rasagiline
  • Remimazolam
  • Riociguat
  • Risperidone
S
  • Safinamide
  • Sapropterin
  • Secobarbital
  • Selegiline
  • Selexipag
  • Sildenafil
  • Sodium nitrite
  • Sodium oxybate
T
  • Temazepam
  • Tetrabenazine
  • Thiethylperazine
  • Thioridazine
  • Thiothixene
  • Tranylcypromine
  • Trazodone
  • Treprostinil
  • Triamcinolone
  • Trifluoperazine
  • Triflupromazine
  • Trimeprazine
  • Trimipramine
V
  • Vardenafil
  • Vericiguat
  • Verteporfin
Z
  • Zaleplon
  • Ziprasidone
  • Zolpidem

The following medications interact only mildly with minoxidil and are minimally clinically significant. Thus, it is advised to monitor side effects, but it is generally considered safe.

G
  • Garlic
T
  • Tadalafil

Rogaine interactions with other drugs

Since the above are minoxidil interactions with other drugs, it also means that these are rogaine interactions with other drugs, since rogaine is a brand of minoxidil.

This also means that topical rogaine interactions will generally be much milder than oral rogaine interactions with medication combinations are, due to less systematic absorption.

Finasteride and minoxidil combination

The following study with level of evidence III deems the combination of finasteride and minoxidil to be safe for use for androgenetic alopecia (AGA). It also deems minoxidil combined with finasteride to be more effective than just monotherapy with only finasteride or minoxidil.[61]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32166351/

Another study with oral finasteride and topical minoxidil concluded that finasteride is superior to 5% minoxidil, while the combined medication showed the best efficacy. They also concluded that adverse reactions were rare (finasteride, 1.8%; minoxidil, 6.1%), and disappeared right after drug withdrawal.[62]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26031764/

Another randomized, double-blind controlled study of the efficacy and safety of topical solution of 0.25% finasteride admixed with 3% minoxidil vs. 3% minoxidil solution in the treatment of male androgenetic alopecia concluded the following:

Treatment with topical solution of 0.25% finasteride admixed with 3% minoxidil was significantly superior to 3% minoxidil solution for promoting hair growth in male androgenetic alopecia, and well tolerated.)[63]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29972712/

Finasteride side effects

Although those results of finasteride and minoxidil combination seem promising at first, caution should still be taken since finasteride could have some rare, although significant side effects.

This study reviewed the clinical studies of continual sexual and nonsexual harmful effects associated with finasteride in younger men who took the medication for treatment of male pattern hair loss. It found out the following:

Persistent adverse effects of finasteride in younger men include erectile dysfunction, low libido, lack of orgasms, depression, and decreased alcohol consumption.

One study has found lower levels of several neurosteroids in this population.

Out of the various persistent side effects, erectile dysfunction and decreased alcohol consumption have been the most studied in animal models. Further research is needed on who is susceptible to the persistent adverse side effects of finasteride and on the underlying mechanisms of the medication. Irwig MS. Persistent sexual and non-sexual adverse effects of finasteride in younger men. Sex Med Rev 2014;2:24-35.

Is the rogaine finasteride combination safe?

Again, there are plenty of minoxidil interactions with other drugs. As such, it has been shown that finasteride and minoxidil combined are very effective to treat male and female pattern baldness.

This also means that the rogaine finasteride combination would probably be more effective than just monotherapy with topical minoxidil. But, there are more known severe side effects associated with finasteride. As such, monotherapy with just topical minoxidil would be my recommendation.

In non-responsive patients, it can be considered to combine minoxidil with finasteride as another viable treatment option. Always consult your doctor before starting treatment with finasteride!

Topical minoxidil is generally very well tolerated and is considered safe in most cases. However, in some rare specific cases even topical minoxidil might interact with some drugs and could cause harm to the vulnerable people suffering from certain diseases.

Due to the increased systematic absorption rate of oral minoxidil, it more heavily interacts with certain drugs. As such, one should be very careful of combining certain drugs and consult a doctor when in doubt!

Conclusion

Be mindful that combining minoxidil and finasteride is a very effective treatment for hair growth, but that finasteride is known to create certain side effects in some cases. Again, always confer with a professional before starting with finasteride as your treatment.

 

Where can I buy minoxidil

Can I buy minoxidil over the counter without a prescription?

Yes, both the liquid form and foam of topical minoxidil can be bought over the counter and, thus, do not need a prescription. Oral minoxidil on the other hand does require a prescription by a doctor or healthcare professional.

Topical minoxidil has been available for over the counter purchase and use since the ’90’s. Neither the 2% nor the 5% topical minoxidil solution requires a prescription.

Where can I buy minoxidil?

Topical minoxidil can be bought over the counter at:

  • Multiple street pharmacies
  • Multiple online web shops such as AliExpress and Amazon.

Oral minoxidil can be bought at a high grade street pharmacy, but you do need a prescription by a doctor.

Can you buy topical minoxidil online?

Yes, topical minoxidil is available for online purchase without a prescription.

Still, it is wise to consult with a healthcare professional before starting treatment with topical minoxidil liquid or foam.

Where can I buy topical minoxidil?

Since topical minoxidil is available for purchase over the counter, it is available from many high street pharmacies and online web shops.

Popular websites such as Amazon and AliExpress also often sell different minoxidil brands.

Where can I buy oral minoxidil?

You can buy oral minoxidil at a street pharmacy, but only if you have a prescription written by a doctor or healthcare professional.

Where can I buy rogaine?

Since rogaine is a brand of minoxidil, rogaine is available for purchase at multiple street pharmacies and online web shops.

The same rules of buying minoxidil still apply to rogaine. Topical rogaine foam and liquid are available for purchase over the counter at a street pharmacy or online web shop, while you will need a prescription if you want to purchase oral minoxidil.

Conclusion

Remember that even though you can buy the topical minoxidil solution without a prescription in a pharmacy or simply online, there are still some possible, albeit rare side effects. When in doubt, consult your healthcare professional whether it’s safe for personal use or not.

 

Minoxidil price

What is the cost of minoxidil?

The cost of minoxidil topical solution 5% is around $27 for a supply of 60 milliliters, depending on the pharmacy you visit. Prices are for cash paying customers only and are not valid with insurance plans.

This minoxidil topical price guide is based on using the Drugs.com discount card which is accepted at most U.S. pharmacies.[64]https://www.drugs.com/price-guide/minoxidil-topical

Minoxidil topical Solution price

 
The price of 5% minoxidil topical solution
is about $29.27 for 60 milliliters
 
AmountPer unitPrice
60 milliliters

$0.45 or

0,40

$27.14 or

24,06
120 (2 x 60 milliliters)

$0.33 or

€0,29

$39.40 or

€34,93
180 (3 x 60 milliliters)

$0.15 or

€0,13

$27.87 or

€24,71

Minoxidil foam price

The 2% minoxidil topical foam price is around $18 or €15.95 for 60 milliliters
 

Minoxidil 5% topical foam costs approximately $25.78 which is 22.85 euros for 60 grams

Minoxidil liquid price

The 2% minoxidil topical liquid solution price is around $18 or €15.95 for 60 milliliters
 

The minoxidil 5% topical liquid solution costs approximately $25.78 which is 22.85 euros for 60 grams

Important

Important to note is that prices may vary due to shortages, special sales, outlets, different kind of brands and other unknown variables.

The price for 5% minoxidil is higher than the price for 2% minoxidil. This is true for both the foam and liquid solution.

The minoxidil foam price and minoxidil liquid price generally don’t differ much. The foam can sometimes be just a tad more expensive than the liquid. Although the differences are usually negligible.

 

Top minoxidil brands

Best generic minoxidil brands

Let us take a look at the top minoxidil brands, then. A whole variety of different minoxidil brands exist, such as:

United states brand names

  • Rogaine
  • Mens rogaine
  • Rogaine for men extra strength
  • Womens rogaine

Canadian brand names

  • Kirkland Signature Minoxidil
  • Minox
  • Hairgro
  • Med minoxidil
  • Hair regrowth treatment
  • Gen-minoxidil
  • Apo-gain[65]https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/minoxidil-topical-route/description/drg-20068750

Best minoxidil brands

All minoxidil brands are good brands with few individual differences in effectiveness between them. As such, it’s hard to pick the best minoxidil brand, as it’s down to personal preferences. It should be noted that there is no single top minoxidil brand.

A good minoxidil brand should be:

  • Effective
  • Easy to apply
  • Contain as few side effects as possible.

Some minoxidil brands contain more alcohol and propylene glycol, which commonly leads to more minor side effects such as skin irritation. Potentially causing flaking and itching of the skin as a result.

If this is the case, go with minoxidil foam since it does not contain propylene glycol, or go with an alcohol free minoxidil solution.

A few of the most well known minoxidil brands are:

  • Kirkland minoxidil
  • Rogaine minoxidil
    – Mens rogaine
    – Womens rogaine

Best minoxidil for beard growth

The best minoxidil brand for beard growth is the one that does the job well. And just about any generic minoxidil brand will do that just fine.

I will recommend using the minoxidil foam instead of the liquid due to the liquid potentially drying out the skin more. That’s not to say that minoxidil liquid is ineffective, however. Since both minoxidil liquid and foam are effective at promoting beard growth.

It should be specified that all minoxidil brands are FDA approved by default.

Best alcohol free minoxidil

A lot of the minoxidil top brands have alcohol free minoxidil solutions and foam. A couple examples are:

  • Oaknet hair growth topical solution alcohol free.
  • Folliboost 5% topical solution alcohol free.
  • AnaSure minoxidil 5% alcohol free.
  • Kirkland minoxidil 5% extra strength for men topical solution alcohol free.
  • Men’s rogaine 5% minoxidil foam alcohol free.
  • Amazon Basic Care Minoxidil Topical Solution 5 Percent, Hair Regrowth Treatment for Men alcohol free.
  • Women’s Rogaine 5% Minoxidil Foam alcohol free.
  • Regoxidine Men’s 5% Minoxidil Foam alcohol free.
  • Keeps Minoxidil Topical Aerosol Foam 5% alcohol free.
  • Hims minoxidil 5% extra strength hair regrowth treatment alcohol free.

Important to note is that the drying and flaking of the skin is probably caused by propylene glycol. This is a water-soluble alcohol that’s often used in topical medications. Propylene glycol is not present in minoxidil foam, which is why the foam generally causes fewer skin problems than the liquid version.

However, it is also possible to find alcohol free liquid minoxidil solutions if that is your preferred choice of appliance.

Final note

Again, keep in mind that all minoxidil brands are FDA approved since the Food and Drug Administration is responsible for protecting the public health by ensuring the safety, efficacy, and security of humans by controlling and regulating drugs and medical devices.

There is no single best generic minoxidil brand, as this is subjective and up to individual preferences. A good minoxidil brand should be payable, effective, easy to apply and should provide as few side effects as possible.

 

Different ways to promote beard growth

Like mentioned before, your genetics can’t be changed, but they can be optimized with a healthy lifestyle and conscious health choices.

There are a multitude of different ways to promote beard growth, and these following lifestyle changes can help to reach and maximize your genetic facial hair potential:

  • Sleep more

    Sleep and beard growth are connected, even though a lot of us don’t realize it.

    It is a myth that sleeping on your face negatively affects beard growth. There is absolutely no evidence for that claim. However, it is possible that your facial hair grows faster on one side of your face than the other. As a matter of fact, getting enough sleep promotes beard growth.

    Most people don’t get nearly enough sleep. Aim for around 8 hours of sleep as a general guideline, since your body repairs itself when sleeping and resting.

    However, it is true that the amount of sleep one needs depends on your age. And older people generally require less sleep than younger folks.

    Not to mention that a lot of testosterone and growth hormones get released during your deep sleep. It has been scientifically shown that being severely sleep-deprived causes a massive loss of testosterone levels, in some cases cutting it in half or more.

    Keep in mind that while alcohol makes it easier to sleep in, it will severely disturb your deep rem sleep, making you wake up in the middle of the night. This means you’ll get less deep sleep which is detrimental to your overall health, testosterone levels and thus, to your beard gains.

  • Reduce stress

    Stress can negatively affect your beard growth.

    Stress, and particularly chronic stressors, can cause facial hair loss, hair loss on the scalp and other body areas as well. That’s why it’s not unreasonable to assume that it can also lead to beard hair loss and reduced beard fullness.

    Try to minimize stress by reducing or eliminating ruminating and negative thoughts entirely. A handy tip in this instance would be not to worry about the things you can’t change, and to take action to shift and control the things that are under your voluntarily control.

    The answer to the question “does stress make your beard grow faster” is a resounding no. In fact, facial hair grows much slower when stressed! This is due to the fact that our body produces cortisol when we are stressed, which is our stress hormone. This production of cortisol crashes our hormone levels, which crashes our facial hair growth.

  • Eating healthy

    Diet is an important factor in facial hair growth.

    Our body is like an engine. Fuel it with good, clean foods, and it will run smoothly without any problems.

    Eating a well-balanced and varied diet is the key in order to get in sufficient macro and micronutrients.

    Macro and micronutrients deficiencies can negatively impact hair growth, not to mention our general health. Thus, eating healthy and beard growth can be intertwined.

    Try to eat a large variety of different foods like meat, vegetables, and fruits in order to make sure you’re eating a well-adjusted diet.

  • Avoid drugs and alcohol

    Drugs and alcohol can most certainly influence facial hair growth.

    Substances such as drugs and alcohol have been shown to have a negative effect on your testosterone levels if used in abundance. Alcohol in particular has shown a negative effect on beard growth. Smoking can have a negative effect on your health, as well as on your skin.

    While alcohol is also a drug, and potentially a very dangerous one, it is most certainly one that’s generally socially accepted and often seen as one of the safer drugs by the public, although statistics tell otherwise.

    Try to be mindful when drinking. Try to keep alcohol consumption down and drink in moderation. Make sure you’re not drinking daily and when you do drink on occasion, make sure to stop on time.

  • Have patience

    Sometimes, the answer is as simple as just being patient and waiting for your genetics to kick in and age to lend a helping hand. As age is typically a positive promotor of beard growth.

    It is extremely hard to say at what age you will be capable of growing a beard. You might still be young. Maybe a teenager or in your early 20s. Your genetics might have decided that your beard fills in at a later stage in your life. Some people can grow a thick full beard at age 15 while others can only do so at age 40. Everyone is built different (no pun intended).

    No matter if you’re trying to grow a beard by simply getting older or if you’re trying to do so by other means like using minoxidil or a dermaroller, patience is always key. Don’t expect immediate results, not even with minoxidil.

    But consistency is key in order to grow a beard, not to mention accomplishing anything of worth in life.

  • Use a dermaroller

    Yes, there is such as a thing as a dermaroller beard. And it is scientifically proven that derma rollers work effectively to promote facial hair growth.[66]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3746236/

    Microneedling is a dermatological procedure that’s minimally invasive. It works by rolling fine needles over the skin in order to puncture the stratum corneum.

    This therapy is practiced in order to induce collagen formation, neovascularization, and growth factor production of the topically treated area(s).[67]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29194786/

    Studies have shown that a combination of microneedling and using minoxidil have produced the best results in regard to promoting hair growth. Thus, logically, a combination of microneedling and minoxidil is best to promote facial hair growth as well.

    So instead of simply using minoxidil, consider using a dermaroller for beard growth.

  • Use tretinoïne in combination with minoxidil

    sulfotransferase changes minoxidil into minoxidil sulfate, the active form of the molecule. Tretinoïne can cause more sulfotransferase activity and, as a result, cause the minoxidil to work better and more efficiently.

    One particular study said the following about using topical tretinoin for hair growth:

Topical all-trans-retinoic acid (tretinoin) alone and in combination with 0.5% minoxidil has been tested for the promotion of hair growth in 56 subjects with androgenetic alopecia.

After 1 year, the combination of topical tretinoin with 0.5% minoxidil resulted in terminal hair regrowth in 66% of the subjects studied.

Tretinoin was shown to stimulate some hair regrowth in approximately 58% of the subjects studied.[68]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3771854/

Conclusion

There are a large variety of different ways to promote beard growth other than just applying minoxidil.

Using a derma roller for beard growth in particular has shown promising effects to promote facial hair growth. And even though derma rolling your beard can be very effective, a combination of preferably all the above factors will be your best bet to grow a thick and full beard.

 

Minoxidil beard supplements

Why minoxidil can be bad for the skin

There are two key factors why minoxidil can contribute to a poor or less than optimal skin health. These two are:

  • Poor collagen production and synthesis.
  • Alcohol preservatives that dry out the skin.

Minoxidil inhibits lysyl hydroxylase expression, a critical enzyme in collagen production and collagen synthesis. Not only that, it stops fibroblasts from proliferating. Or, in simpler terms, from dividing. This means people using minoxidil to grow a beard or to increase their hair count will have a smaller fibroblast cell count. Furthermore, minoxidil often contains alcohol to preserve the minoxidil longer and to maintain its texture. But, alcohol can cause a dry and flaky skin.

However, it is currently unknown how much it impacts collagen production and thus, how much harm it causes to the skin.

What’s the function of collagen? Well basically, collagen keeps our skin elastic and firm.

A lack or lessening of collagen means a paler skin tone, dark circles around the eyes because your bones are showing through, forehead wrinkles, frizzier/darker hair, bushier looking eyebrows, and thinner eyelashes. Keep in mind that you will have little to no collagen in your skin at all when using minoxidil, but the elastin in the skin will be normal, so you won’t suddenly look 20 years older.

Minoxidil skin irritation

Furthermore, minoxidil can potentially cause skin irritation other than decreasing your overall skin health.

Minoxidil can cause red skin due to drying it out, especially when used on a sensitive skin. Minoxidil can thus cause a dry skin that gets flaky in extreme cases.

Collagen loss is one of the main reasons for wrinkles as part of the aging process. Collagen helps with hair growth and hair regeneration since it is a natural antioxidant. It helps to promote healthy hair, which of course starts from the inside.

Minoxidil supplements

Since minoxidil inhibits collagen production, you can and should use a vitamin C serum, tretinoin and collagen supplements to increase skin cell turnover. Not to mention that it will make the alcohol in the minoxidil dry out your skin less severly. Of course, it’s also possible to use alcohol free minoxidil as a healthier alternative for your skin.

Making sure to apply sunscreen when going out in the sun for prolonged periods of time is important as well to protect your skin and to prevent skin cancer such as melanomas.

Essential to note is that the negative side effects on the skin will end when you quit using minoxidil. Once the minoxidil has cleared out of your system, then your collagen production will increase again and the alcohol preservative will stop drying out your skin.

Conclusion

Although it is currently unknown how much damage minoxidil can cause to one’s skin, it is still advised to use collagen supplements, vitamin C, and tretinoin as precautionary methods in order to keep the skin healthy.

From personal experience, my skin didn’t age at all from years of minoxidil use. I didn’t even use any supplements and my skin stayed young, elastic and wrinkle free. Still, it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially if you are worried about possible side effects.

 

Why microneedling for beard growth is effective

What is a dermaroller?

A dermaroller is a skin care device used to perform derma rolling or microneedling. It is made out of a handle and a dermaroller head. There are a multitude of dermaroller heads with different needle lengths. The needle length and, thus, which head you choose is dependent on your goal for microneedling.

This particular practice helps regenerate the skin, treat acne scarring, and reduce signs of aging.

Does dermarolling work for beard growth?

Yes, there is such as a thing as a dermaroller beard. And it is scientifically proven that derma rollers work effectively to promote facial hair growth.[69]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3746236/

What does a dermaroller do?

Microneedling is a dermatological procedure that’s minimally invasive. It works by rolling fine needles over the skin in order to puncture the stratum corneum.

That’s why microneedling for beard growth is effective. This therapy is practiced in order to induce collagen formation, neovascularization, and growth factor production of the topically treated area(s).[70]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29194786/

When derma rolling, the following three things occur:

  • the skin releases components that stimulate growth
  • New blood vessels are formed in the skin
  • the skin creates more collagen

Studies have shown that a combination of microneedling and using minoxidil have produced the best results in regard to promoting hair growth. Thus, logically, a combination of microneedling and minoxidil is best to promote facial hair growth as well.

So instead of simply using minoxidil, consider using a dermaroller for beard growth.

What makes a good dermaroller?

Three main things that a good derma roller should possess are:

  1. Needle material
  2. Replaceable heads
  3. Needle length
  • Needle material

    The needle material should be either titanium or stainless steel. Titanium is the best since it is stronger and therefore will last longer. Not to mention that the needles won’t bend, so the needles will be precise instead of potentially making wounds and scars due to being bent!

  • Replaceable heads

    Replaceable heads are great if you’re eco-conscious and, thus, can simply replace the head instead of needing to throw the whole thing away. Simply place a new head on the handle once the needles become dull or bent. Not only is it eco-friendly, it will save you some money as well along the way.

  • Needle length

    The needle length of your dermaroller is important to ensure your safety as well as its effectivity for your specific skin desires.

It is generally recommended that you stay between 0.2 and 1 mm of needle length for usage at home, as these needle lengths are reckoned safe for beginners and home usage.

Dermaroller needle lengths

Differences between the needle lengths of dermarollers are plenty. And the length of the needle you best use depends on two things.

  • The thickness of the skin of the body area you want to dermaroll
  • The goal you want to accomplish rolling

There are 0.2 mm, 0.25 mm, 0.5 mm, 0.75 mm, 1.0 mm, 1.5 mm, 2.0 mm, 2.5 mm, and 3 mm micro derma rollers.

Differences between dermaroller needle lengths

The differences between different needle lengths depend on the goal of micro needling.

0.5 mm needle length is the bare minimum to stimulate collagen synthesis in our skin. That’s why needles below 0.5 mm are not considered for anti aging purposes.

In order to reduce scars and wrinkles, at least 0.5 mm of needle length is needed. Depending on the deepness of the scars, a larger needle length is appropriate, such as 1.0 mm or even 1.5 mm and above.

The desired needle length for anti aging purposes will be different from the best needle length to remove deep scars.

Consider using longer needles if you’re going to be rolling over body areas where the skin is thicker, such as the back, stomach, or thighs. As short needles will not penetrate the skin in those areas sufficiently.

When treating body areas with thinner skin such as your face and neck, choosing a 0.5 mm dermaroller will be more appropriate. As a longer needle length can induce more pain and bleeding.

In general, longer needle lengths such as the 2.00 mm, 2.5 mm and longer dermarollers are not suggested for usage at home due to being capable of inducing scars and potentially being dangerous for certain body parts.

That’s why 1.5 mm is generally considered the largest needle length that’s safe for usage at home.

Which directions to dermaroll in?

The directions you should dermaroll in are simple. You should roll both horizantally and vertically.

Although some guides propose rolling diagonally in both directions as well, there are some that say that this might cause skin damage and even small scars. As such, it is better to be safe than sorry in my opinion. That means I wouldn’t do it.

First, roll ten times horizontally over the beard area and then ten times vertically. Make sure to roll over each spot where you wish to promote facial hair growth.

Best dermaroller needle length for beard growth

1.5 mm needle length is already too large for facial hair growth, as the skin under your beard is not that thick and is even thinner than your scalp skin.

That’s why you should consider using a 0.5-0.75 mm dermaroller when microneedling your face in order to promote facial hair growth.

The following needle length guide can help you choose the appropriate needle length for your goal(s).

Needle size/Indication0,2 mm0,25 mm0,5 mm0,75 mm1,0 mm1,5 mm2,0 mm2,5 mm
Hair regrowth/regeneration
Fine lines
Wrinkles/anti aging
Open pores
Pigmentation marks
Acne scars
Light scars
Cellulite
Stretch marks
Deep scars

Best dermaroller for beard growth

The best dermaroller for facial hair growth is the one that does the job safely. This means preferably needles made out of stainless steel or titanium since they’re more durable and bend less easy. A needle length from 0.2 mm up to 1.0 mm will suffice to induce beard growth.

It’s not necessary to get a fancy, very expensive dermaroller. Nor do you need to get one of a well known brand unless you want to or if you trust the brand name, because more well known products often cost more, regardless if they’re better or not. Selecting a dermaroller with a replaceable head can help reduce the long term costs due to easier replacement of the head instead of the handle as well. Not to mention that it helps produce less waste and thus helps nature as a result as well.

How often to dermaroll your beard?

This depends on the needle length. The larger the needle, the more damage is done to the skin and thus, the more time is needed in order to repair the skin.

Always let your skin rest and repair itself before dermarolling again!

As a general rule:

  • If it’s a small 0.25 mm needle, then you can dermaroll daily.
  • If it’s a slightly larger 0.5 mm dermaroller, then micro needle twice a week.
  • For 0.75 mm needle length, consider dermarolling just once each week in order to be safe and to give the skin ample time to repair itself.

So, how often should you dermaroll your beard? About 1-2 times a week if you use a 0.5 mm beard roller.

Conclusion

There are a large variety of different ways to promote beard growth other than just applying minoxidil. And it is proven that derma rolling and beard growth are positively linked with one another.

So yes, a micro needle roller, also called a beard growth roller, does indeed work to increase facial hair!

Using a beard roller for beard growth has shown promising effects to promote facial hair growth. And even though derma rolling your beard can be very effective, a combination of preferably all the above factors will be your best bet to grow a thick and full beard.

 

What determines beard hair color?

One’s beard hair color, as is the case with any hair on the body, is determined by the amount of melanin in the hardened cells of the hair.

What does melanin mean?

Melanin is a pigment that’s present in our hair, but also in our skin. A copious amount of one particular kind of melanin, called eumelanin gives people black or brown hair. An abundance of another pigment called pheomelanin, gives people red hair.

Important to note is that melanin also influences and basically determines our skin color. In addition, it will also influence a man’s beard tint.

Hair colorAmount of melanin present and type
BlackLarge amount of eumelanin
BrownModerate amount of eumelanin
BlondVery little eumelanin
RedMostly pheomelanin with a little eumelanin

The amount of melanin present varies from individual to individual and is subject to change as one gets older.

What determines pigment?

Hair color is influenced by two different kinds of pigment:

  1. Eumelanin

    Eumelanin has the biggest influence. It is a black pigment.

  2. Phenomelanin

    Phenomelanin is a yellow or red pigment.

What determines hair color?

Hair color is determined by three factors that are influenced by pigments:

  1. Amount of pigment present
  2. Amount of eumalanin or phenomelanin present

    The more eumelanin a person has, the darker their hair will be.

    Eumelanin is made out of melanocytes, which are cells that give the hair their particular color. Not just their hair, but it also determines their skin color.

    For this reason, light haired people often have a lighter skin tone, while dark haired individuals often possess a darker skin tone.

    Phenomelanin is passed down via a gene called allele. This gene is exclusive to European-Americans. If one of the parents has these alleles, then it is probable that these alleles will be passed down. Nevertheless, if a substantial amount of eumelanin is present, this will be shown more than the phenomelanin.

  3. How close the melanin granules are together

Parental influence on hair color

Our parents play an important role in our expressed hair color.

Each parent hands out 4 hair-color genes, for a combined eight genes.

Eumelanin genes are not recessive or dominant. Rather, a eumelanin gene is either “on” or “off.” For example, using the representative letter “E,” a large E will be an “on” gene, while a lowercase e will be an “off” gene. The mom contributes EEee while the dad contributes EEEE. The result for the child will be EEEEEEee, meaning a child will have dark hair. The more “on” E genes a child receives, the darker the resulting hair color will be and the tighter the granules will be packed together.

Hair color genes are additive instead of dominant or recessive. This means that a child will not necessarily have the same hair color than their parents. As a matter of fact, their hair color might differ wildly.

However, parents with really light or extremely dark hair likely carry many “off” or “on” hair-color genes.

Thus, we can conclude that hair color, or facial hair color for that matter, is influenced by our parental genes.

Typically, the amount of melanin hair follicles can produce decreases when a person gets older. When people get older, more air often gets trapped inside the hair. When this happens, the hair loses its color and turn white. Depending on one’s original hair color and the number of white hairs that grows, one’s scalp hair then turns gray or possibly white.[71]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK546248/ This is also the reason someone can get a gray beard, or why one’s beard can turn white when becoming older.

Conclusion

Our facial hair color as well as our skin color is determined by the amount of melanin in the hardened cells of our hair and skin.

Our parents play an important role in our expressed hair and skin color. As our hair color genes are additive instead of dominant or recessive.

Whatever your hair and skin tone is, own it. There is no such thing as one being better than the other. One of the beauty’s in life is that no two persons are the same, and that each individual has their own unique features.

 

Does insurance cover minoxidil?

Next, let me answer a simple question, “does insurance cover minoxidil” and if so, does insurance cover rogaine minoxidil?

I dug up some answers that might be of use to you.

Does insurance cover rogaine?

Topical minoxidil such as rogaine is not covered by insurance.

However, in some instances, insurance may cover the use of oral minoxidil since it is also used as an oral antihypertensive drug/medicine.

But since the topical version is preferred for hair regrowth and growing out facial hair, it is highly unlikely that your insurance will cover your minoxidil use for aesthetic purposes.

 

What is minoxidil shedding and is shedding beard hair normal?

What is minoxidil hair shedding?

Minoxidil specifically works on the telogen phase of hair growth, meaning your hair stays less long in the resting phase which will thus lead the hair entering the exogen phase at a faster pace. The exogen phase is where the shedding occurs. This also means that it is normal to experience increased and faster hair shedding and beard shedding than normal.

Is minoxidil shedding normal?

Minoxidil shedding is completely normal and can even be a sign that your minoxidil usage is working as intended.

Oral minoxidil can lead to more minoxidil hair shedding than topical minoxidil since more of the solution is absorbed in the body instead of just in the skin. In other words, there’s much more systematic absorption with oral minoxidil.

Minoxidil accelerates the different stages of hair growth which means you can return to the anagen phase, which is the growth phase, faster than without the usage of minoxidil.

Is beard hair shedding normal?

Shedding beard hair is also a common occurrence since facial hair constitutes as hair. Thus, this too is normal. Especially when using minoxidil.

Stages of hair growth cycle

There are 4 stages of a hair growth cycle, these are:

  1. Anagen phase
  2. Catagen phase
  3. Telogen phase
  4. Exogen phase

To understand hair and the minoxidil shedding phase more clearly, let me explain what the four stages of hair growth are:

  • Anagen phase

    The anagen phase of hair growth is the growth phase of the hair. Since it is the first stage of hair growth, this also implies that it is the start of facial hair growth.

    It is the longest phase, taking up between 3 and 5 years, even for the hair up your scalp. Although, this stage may last even longer for some people, as everyone’s biological makeup is different.

    Obviously, it would be a weird and ugly sight to behold if your eyebrows and, god forbid, your pubic hair would continue growing for that long. Thus, the length of the anagen phase depends on the place of your body where the hair is growing.

    Since your hairs are growing in the anagen stage, your hair follicles will continue to push the hair out of your skin until they reach the end of their lifecycle and fall out or until they’re cut off by shaving or cutting the hair.

  • Catagen phase

    The catagen phase of hair growth can be considered the transition phase.

    The catagen stage starts after the anagen phase has ended.

    It doesn’t last nearly as long as the anagen phase does, only lasting for about ten days before entering the next stage.

    The hair comes loose from the bottom of the hair follicle, but remains there for the last and final days of hair growth.

    A small percentage of the hairs on your head are alternately present in the catagen phase. Thus, it is also true that new hairs are continuously sprouting and growing out, starting the different hair growth phases all over again.

  • Telogen phase

    The telogen phase of hair growth is the resting phase of the hair.

    Again, a small percentage of your hairs are currently in this stage of hair growth and will continue to do so alternately for the rest of your life.

    In the telogen phase, new hairs don’t start to grow, but they don’t fall out either. New hairs start to form in the hair follicles that have recently been cut off in the catagen phase. But this is unnoticeable to the bare eye.

    It is the precursor to the shedding phase.

  • Exogen phase

    The exogen phase of hair growth is the shedding stage. Unlike the telogen phase, the exogen stage and consequently the hair shedding can be visible to our bare eyes. It can be considered an extension of the telogen phase.

    During this phase, hair is actually and actively shed from the scalp and other body areas. Washing ourselves and brushing our hair can help to get rid of the cast off hair at an increased rate.

    This phase can last between two and five months. But, again, this can take longer and shorter for some individuals. New hairs will start growing in the hair follicles when the old hair has reached its terminal phase and therefore, falls out.

Conclusion

Minoxidil causes our hair to go through the life cycle of hair much faster than normal.

As such, beard hair shedding and rogaine shedding is perfectly normal and even desirable since it shows the minoxidil is working as intended.

Normally, the hair shedding isn’t noticeable on our scalp since we’ve got on average 100 000 hairs on our scalp. If you have patchy facial hair, however, the beard shedding can be more noticeable.

The main takeaway is that minoxidil shedding is normal, and that taking the product simply means we go to the hair growth phases at an accelerated rate than we normally would.

 

Tretinoin for beard growth

What is tretinoin?

Tretinoin is commonly referred to as retinoic acid. This is the general name for man-made vitamin A. Or in other words, the synthetic version of vitamin A. It is a prescription based topical solution that gets applied in the form of a gel or cream.

What does tretinoin do?

Tretinoin works by aggravating the skin. As a result, the skin response is to divide the skin faster and hence die faster. This makes it so new and healthy skin cells replace older skin cells. To summarize, tretinoin works by speeding up the life cycle of our skin cells.

Do you need a prescription for tretinoin?

Yes, you do in fact require a prescription for tretinoin.

Tretinoin is a prescription based medication, meaning that a health care professional such as your general practitioner needs to prescribe you the medicine in order to be able to get access to the medication.

You can buy tretinoin online at a pharmaceutical company or at your local pharmaceutical shop.

Does tretinoin work to promote facial hair growth?

It is suggested by science that tretinoin can work to promote facial hair growth by boosting and regulating cell proliferation and differentiation in the epithelium. It can also help to promote vascular proliferation. These components are important to promote hair growth and, thus, also beard growth.

The following study researching the useage of topical all-trans-retinoic acid (tretinoin) alone and in combination with 0.5% minoxidil that has been tested for the promotion of hair growth in 56 subjects with androgenetic alopecia concluded the following:

After 1 year, the combination of topical tretinoin with 0.5% minoxidil resulted in terminal hair regrowth in 66% of the subjects studied.

Tretinoin was shown to stimulate some hair regrowth in approximately 58% of the subjects studied.[72]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3771854/

Another study analyzed the effect of topical tretinoin on follicular sulfotransferase. They came to the following conclusion:

in our cohort, 43% of subjects initially predicted to be nonresponders to minoxidil were converted to responders following 5 days of topical tretinoin application[73]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30974011/

What is tretinoin’s half life?

The half life of tretinoin is about 0.5–2 hours.

Tretinoin that is applied locally, typically gets absorbed between 1-31%.[74]https://go.drugbank.com/drugs/DB00755

Tretinoin serum vs tretinoin cream

Both can work great to promote hair growth and to treat stretch marks and other small skin problems.

However, tretinoin serum has the advantage containing higher concentrations of active ingredients. Thus, being more effective. Tretinoin serum is also thinner and lighter than tretinoin cream. This means that the serum has an easier time penetrating the skin than the cream version does. As a result, the serum will be absorbed better and more quickly.

However, the cream version has an essential advantage as well. Tretinoin cream actually creates a skin barrier that works to prevent moisture loss, providing hydration to the skin in the process.

I would conclude that both the cream and serum have their own individual strengths and disadvantages. But it mostly comes down to personal preference which one you prefer and decide to use.

Tretinoin cost

Prices of medication varies greatly depending on where you’re buying it from. However, on average, you can expect to pay the following prices for tretinoin cream:

  • 0.025% tretinoin: $25 to $100 per 20g tube, or $50 to $200 per 45g tube.

  • 0.05% tretinoin: $30 to $120 per 20g tube, or $60 to $220 per 45g tube.

  • 0.1% tretinoin: $35 to $130 per 20g tube, or $65 to $255 per 45g tube.

The following prices give a rough estimation for generic tretinoin gel:

  • 0.01% tretinoin: $25 to $80 per 15g tube, or $50 to $200 per 45g tube.

  • 0.025% tretinoin: $25 to $80 per 15g tube, or $50 to $210 per 45g tube.

  • 0.05% tretinoin: $75 to $400+ per 45g tube.[75]https://www.forhims.com/blog/tretinoin-price

Different tretinoin strengths

Medications typically come in different kinds of strentgh. As such, tretinoin is no exception.

Tretinoin comes in 0.025%, 0.5% and 0.1% strength. One can expect the stronger gels and creams to be priced a little higher than the lower-strength creations. But the difference in price is mostly negligible.

Conclusion

Tretinoin cream and serum can help for hair growth. Thus, tretinoin can also help you to grow a beard.

Not to mention that it can help you to get rid of small acne scars and stretch marks as well. So if you want to keep your skin youthful and bright, you should most definitely consider using tretinoin for your daily general skin care ritual.

 

Final note

Hopefully, this guide thought you something new about minoxidil, beards, and the utility minoxidil can have in regard to growing a beard and hair in general.

If you have any questions or info that you would like to share or be added to the guide, then please comment down below!

 

References

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