Minoxidil, known by its popular brand name Rogaine, is nowadays widely used by men to increase the hair growth on their head and face. Minoxidil originally is an antihypertensive vasodilator which was used as hypertension medicine but was later discontinued because of its side effect. The side effect was hair growth almost everywhere on the body. Initially, it was taken orally, but now for hair and beard growth, it is used as a topical solution.
Minoxidil helps in regrowth of hair for men suffering from balding. It stimulates the hair follicles, revive them and thus helps in regrowth of hair. Minoxidil is also used to stimulate beard hair follicles and help those who have patchy or no beard. But it should be regularly used for longstanding benefits because if the treatment is once stopped; the baldness will start again.
Types of Minoxidil:
Minoxidil comes in two forms; Liquid Minoxidil and Foam Minoxidil. Liquid Minoxidil is the basic form of application, whereas foam is the advanced form. The liquid version is cheaper than the foam one, but the downside is that it ‘s hard to apply and it takes the time to dry than the foam Minoxidil.
How to apply minoxidil:
Before using the product, first thoroughly study about how to apply it correctly for best results.
2% vs 5% Minoxidil for Beard:
Liquid Minoxidil is usually used in two concentrations: 2% and 5%. 2% is a lighter and weaker dose while 5% is a stronger dose. The higher the dose, stronger will be its effect. 2% solution is suitable for women to apply on their scalp, while 5% solution is better for men. But the 5% concentrated dose does not guarantee faster hair growth; it will improve the speed and thickness of the hair.
If you are using foam minoxidil, then follow these steps for proper application:
Don’t panic while using it and thinking that you might be doing it the wrong way. All you have to focus is on the application of this product on the skin and gently rubbing it. Apply Minoxidil twice a day and repeat after a minimum of 8 to 12 hours of gap. Leave it there for at least 4 – hours for proper results. After that, you can rinse your face, and if you find dry or flaky skin you can also apply a moisturizer or lotion. Some people prefer to not rinse it off till the next application, and it is also perfectly fine. Also, it can be applied at night before going to sleep. Just apply it and let it dry and then go to sleep.
Applying 1ml is no hard and fast rule. Some people have also reported great results by applying just 0.5ml per day. It all depends on the user’s skin and how it will respond to the drug.
You can also trim and shave your beard while using Minoxidil. It also helps in the solution properly reaching your skin and would not be absorbed by the hair. But that does not mean you must have to shave or trim, do whatever suits you.
How Long to Use Minoxidil For Proper Results?
The Minoxidil treatment will take six months to two years to give you desired results. Everyone’s skin responds differently to it, and you will have to decide according to the outcome when to stop using it. You can stop using it once you reach your desired beard length and are satisfied with it.
When you are satisfied and want to discontinue it, it’s better not to stop using it at once. Rather slowly stop it by applying intermittently like on alternate days and then once a week and then stop.
Patience is a key, you won’t see results overnight, and you do have to wait. You have to be patient, not only with the results but also about the consistency in its application as for almost two years you have to apply it twice a day on your face. Some people get disheartened with the slow speed of the treatment. Others get irritated because of the long hectic application and often end up leaving it midway. But remember everything takes time and effort and so does this. The appearance of tiny vellus hair will tell the user that they are on their way to get a heavy beard.
Why is Minoxidil Not Recommended?
The common reason behind people not recommending Minoxidil is that it is not clinically tested and proven as a beard and hair growth remedy. The fear of the unknown prevents people from giving it a try. In the US it is also not approved by the FDA because of which people are hesitant about using it and stop others who are already using it. FDA does not approve it does not mean rejected by FDA as being harmful. If anyone wants to use Minoxidil for the face, you must first get a recommendation from a doctor and then apply.
Side Effects of Minoxidil:
Minoxidil is a drug, and like all other drugs, it also has its side effects. It’s a normal drug and not a miracle solution which does have its downside.
Dryness is a common side effect experienced by several users and to counter it you need to keep hydrated by drinking more water and applying moisturizing lotion on the face.
As it’s known that Minoxidil was originally used to treat high blood pressure, so regular use of it causing low blood pressure is not unusual. So, keep a check on your blood pressure from time to time. Also, don’t mix it with your regular anti-hypertension medicines and only use the ones prescribed by the physician.
Temporary hair shedding related to Minoxidil is thought of as balding by some, it is not. It lasts for 1 – 2 months of using Minoxidil and is because of the new hair coming out which push the older weak ones to make their way.
Some users have also reported weight gain because of over eating caused by Minoxidil usage. Though it sounds weird, it can be a possible outcome, so be aware and check your dietary habits.
Some people also get disturbed by the extra hair growth and stop using Minoxidil. Excess hair growth is usually in the form of tiny hairs on the body, extra arm and leg hair and hair around the eyebrows.
When you are using Minoxidil, try not to focus much on the side effects and also do not worry about them much.
Kirkland Signature is one of the widely used brands because of the price and quantity it offers. It provides six months of Minoxidil supply in less than $30 approximately 25 USD. It is easily available at the local Costco in the US and Canada, and can also be ordered online.
Rogaine provides half the amount of solution in double the price. Rogaine is manufactured by Regaine in Europe, CVS Pharmacy, etc.
Other brands offering Minoxidil solution are; Mintop, Alopexy, Tru Gain, Foligain P5, etc. Brand matters less; all you have to focus is that the solution is 5% minoxidil which is needed for desired results.
Minoxidil sounds like an amazing drug for the cure of baldness and beard hair growth, and there are several pieces of evidence available about its effectiveness as people have recorded their experiences.
It also has its side effects which you should consider and before applying do not forget to consult a doctor about its possible side effects on your skin. If properly applied according to the guidelines, it can bring amazing results to you.