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Can I Use Minoxidil For Beard Growth?

By April 21, 2022May 17th, 2022Hair

Yes, but there’s a few conditions…

The use of minoxidil for facial hair such as beards, mustaches, and eyebrows is not the intended use. Unfortunately, there was a lack of sufficient research, so FDA approval has not been received. However, recent studies support the use

of minoxidil to enhance facial hair, especially the beard. There are even case reports of success stories of minoxidil when used for beard growth. 

What Is Minoxidil?

Minoxidil, sold under the brand name Rogaine, was initially introduced as an antihypertensive. However, one of the noted side effects was excessive hair growth which led to its further development into a medication for treating hair loss disorders. 

How Does Minoxidil Work?

Minoxidil’s mechanism of action is vasodilation of blood vessels around the hair follicle, hence, pumping the follicle with the necessary proteins during the anagen phase to promote hair growth. Since the hair growth cycle is considerably shorter for facial hair, it requires more proteins in a short

period. Therefore, a shorter hair growth cycle benefits from the vasodilation caused by minoxidil. This is the mechanism of action hypothesized to be the reason behind enhanced facial hair growth using minoxidil.

Efficacy and safety of minoxidil 3% lotion for beard enhancement: a randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled study

Ingprasert et al. show that using 3 percent minoxidil solution (MS) resulted in beard enhancement with minimal side effects compared to the placebo group. For 16 weeks, the interventional group was instructed to use 0.5ml of the 3 percent MS twice daily.

Marked changes were observed in the hair count, patient’s self-assessment from baseline, and global photographic scores, indicating increased efficacy of MS in enhancing beard growth.

The primary concern with using minoxidil for facial growth was not the efficacy but the product’s safety. This randomized clinical trial provided the necessary evidence to ensure the safety of minoxidil for facial hair, along with the efficacy of the medication. 

Successful Use of Minoxidil to Promote Facial Hair Growth in an Adolescent Transgender Male

In a recently published case report, Pang et al. discussed the safe use of minoxidil to enhance facial growth in a transgender male. In this case, the patient could not start testosterone therapy but wanted to avoid being misgendered. Based on the doctor’s recommendations, 1ml of 5 percent minoxidil lotion was applied twice daily, to the patient’s lower face, for three months to enhance beard growth and reduce misgendering.

For the first three months, minoxidil lotion was used as a stand-alone, resulting in a five-o-clock shadow. The results were then

enhanced by testosterone therapy initiated at three months. After two months of combined therapy, the patient had significant hair growth that resembled a beard. 

The only adverse effect reported by the patient, in this case, was excessive dry skin; however, not enough to warrant discontinuing the treatment plan. It is important to note that further data-driven studies need to be performed for the FDA to approve the use of minoxidil for facial hair growth. 

Citations

Suchonwanit, P., Thammarucha, S., & Leerunyakul, K. (2019). Minoxidil and its use in hair disorders: a review. Drug design, development and therapy, 13, 2777–2786.
Ingprasert S, Tanglertsampan C, Tangphianphan N, Reanmanee C. Efficacy and safety of minoxidil 3% lotion for beard enhancement: a randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled study. J Dermatol. 2016;43(8):968–969
Pang, K. C., Nguyen, T. P., & Upreti, R. (2021). Case Report: Successful Use of Minoxidil to Promote Facial Hair Growth in an Adolescent Transgender Male. Frontiers in endocrinology, 12, 725269.