Okay, so you’ve probably heard about Minoxidil, that magic substance that grows hair on parts of the body- head, face and other areas I wouldn’t approve of. No? If you haven’t let me introduce you to Minoxidil.
One fact though, is that Minoxidil is the key ingredient in Rogaine, a product that is approved for regrowing hair loss due to male pattern baldness. This product is specifically designed to help stimulate hair follicles and revive them. This means that it can be used on facial hair as lots of men who’ve used it on their beard have given positive reviews.
It is interesting to note that Minoxidil was not designed as a hair growth stimulant. Rather, it was used to treat high blood pressure. However, doctors noticed it had an unexpected side effect: the patients who used it developed excessive hair growth, and that’s how it became what’s used for today
So, in 1988, the FDA approved it to be a hair-growth product and everything is bottled up in a container. They called it Rogaine, and it has been Rogaine since then.
However, note that Rogaine is the same as Minoxidil. Actually, Minoxidil is the generic version of Rogaine. Rogaine is the brand name. And there are other products that contain Minoxidil and aren’t named Rogaine.
Well, does Rogaine work?
Of course it does. It works by expanding the hair follicle which allows for thicker hair to grow. Applying Rogaine will help completely stop hair loss in its tracks, and even cause additional growth of new hair in areas where it is applied. For many users seeking a magic potion, Minoxidil isn’t a “fairy godfather”. It can take as little as 2-3 weeks, or three to six months before seeing results.
Rather, using it requires patience as you may not see results for weeks, or even months. In other words, you need to be patient in order to ensure that you get the best possible results. However, apart from employing various methods to get quick and possible results, your hair growth might also be determined by the brand of Minoxidil you purchase.
How Minoxidil works
Minoxidil is different from other hair-loss products- it works hormonally, not tropically. It’s been said that it works via the immune system by controlling the prostaglandin synthase-1 enzyme. Basically, it works by stimulating blood flow to the hair follicles.
Hair grows through 3 phases- Anagen, Catagen and Telogen, as illustrated in the diagram above. A short-lived Anagen phase is what leads to hair issues like male pattern baldness.
Minoxidil regrows hairs that suffer from balding in the vertex area, stimulating the follicles and reviving them.
Why isn’t Minoxidil given much publicity like other hair growth products?
This is an important question because, despite series of testimonies from men who’ve developed a bad-ass beard courtesy of Minoxidil, it is not the rave on the market when it comes to facial hair growth.
At the moment, there have been no clinical trials with Rogaine used on a man’s face, which is why in the United States, it is not approved by the FDA . However, that doesn’t mean you should avoid using Minoxidil .There are some reported side effects none of which are life-threatening or damaging.
But, before using the drug, make sure you consult your doctor to seek his advice- that’s if you’re having second thoughts.
Types of Minoxidil
Choosing the type of Minoxidil to use is an important part of your beard growth strategy. You can use the liquid or the foam version.
Minoxidil liquid is the 5% version for men and many guys have reported seeing great results using 0.5ml once per day. If you are skeptical, you can apply it twice in a day. There’s also a 2% version for women which should be used twice daily on their head. The good thing is that it’s relatively affordable than the foam version.
It’s not difficult to apply, and as long as you rub it in a little on the skin where you want hair growth, and leave it for four hours, you are game. The only flaw detected in this version is that you will experience dryness, which can easily remedied by staying hydrated. Some people complained that it is slightly greasier on hair though.
Directions for using Minoxidil Liquid:
- First, wash your face with a plain water or soap meant for the face.
- Measure out 1ml with the include dropper.
- Next, put small drops onto your face(only in the beard area), until the applicator is emptied.
- With two fingers or the dropper itself, rub the solution by applying a bit of pressure.
- Finally, wash your hands thoroughly with soap.
Minoxidil Foam is the commonly known version of Minoxidil for hair loss treatment. It dries two times faster than the liquid version and costs a little more. You can regard the money as for the time saved up for drying, and it’s worth it.
Directors for using Minoxidil Foam: It’s a similar method, just like that for the liquid version.
- Start by washing your face thoroughly.
- Ensure you rinse your hands with cold water as the foam will melt if your hands are warm
- Next tip the can upside down so that its head is pointing towards the ground.
- Pour the foam onto your fingers until its equivalent to about 1ml.
- Using the other cold hand take some of the foam and apply it to the beard area.
- Repeat until you’ve touched all your beard areas.
- And lastly, do not forget to wash thoroughly. You don’t want the substance getting into your mouth accidentally.
Please note that when applying Minoxidil, you need to rub it deeply into your beard and leave it for four hours. The amount of foam you use must be strictly personal, don’t put on too much or your beards will start to itch. You can try it twice daily, at 8 to 12 hours intervals. You can also rinse or wash your face afterwards, or leave it at night before retiring to bed.
Start a hydration routine if dryness sets in. Drink a lot of water and use beard oil to ameliorate the itchiness and flaky skin.
Is Rogaine Difficult to Apply?
Basically, Rogaine isn’t difficult to apply than a beard shampoo or conditioner. The basic thing you need is patience.
Although Rogaine can grow hair on just about any part of your body – head, face, chest, arms, and eyebrows, it can only stimulate hair growth where follicles actually exist. If you have patches where no follicles exist, Rogaine can’t make hair grow there.
According to beard specialists and health experts, you should use Rogaine for at least six months to start seeing results. Better still, you can use it for a whole year to get real long term results. If you stopped using it after a while when your beards start appearing, they’ll become stunted. So, use it for a longer period until your beards are fully matured.
Where Can I Buy Rogaine?
You can purchase it from variety of places either in person or online. You can purchase it online from Amazon, Walmart, Target, Costco, and other major places that sell personal care items. Rogaine comes in two brands-the Rogaine brand itself and the Kirkland brand.
Rogaine isn’t perfect. You might experience these side effects after using it, so be prepared.
Shedding: don’t be alarmed if you experience some hair shedding after using Rogaine. It is normal: it’s your body’s way of preparing to grow future hairs. Just know that shedding is a completely natural occurrence when you use Rogaine for the first time.
Dry skin: dryness, coupled with itchiness or irritation sometimes, is inevitable when you use Rogaine. The key is to stay hydrated. Make sure you drink lots of water and apply some face lotion.
Lower blood pressure: Minoxidil was originally created to cure high blood pressure, so this is shouldn’t surprise you. Don’t use it as a replacement for the regular blood pressure medicines prescribed by your physician though.
Weight gain: There’s no strong evidence to prove such. However, some users have reported it as a possible side effect of using Minoxidil.
Vellus hair: When Rogaine starts its magic, you may observe thin white hairs on your cheek. No qualms, you aren’t growing into an old man. Those hairs are called vellus hairs and they grow in all areas of the body. Eventually, they’ll develop into thicker, darker long lasting hair on your chin and cheek.
And finally, you might experience fast or irregular heartbeat and fluid retention. If you experience fluid retention, contact your doctor immediately.
There are other brands of Minoxidil though. Kirkland Signature is common, because it costs $25 and you can use it for half a year. The other Brand is the Rogaine itself which is currently made in Israel, and sold in Europe and CVS Pharmacy. Other brands around the world are Mintop, Alopexy, Tru Gain, Foligain P5, and more.
However, any brand with 5% Minoxidil is great, just don’t try any substance with DHT inhibitors included with Minoxidil. DHT is a by-product of testosterone and also aids beard growth.
Rogaine speaks for itself. Clinically, Minoxidil has been proven to work on your scalp and give you the beard of your dreams. However, if there isn’t any hair follicle, Rogaine won’t help you. Just as mentioned above, it’s not a magic potion either. You still need to take care of your beard in ways. There’s no proper way of grooming your beard than being hygienic.