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Topic location: Forum home » Beard Forums » Minoxidil Beard
Cemmos Team
Cemmos May 18 '16

This topic will serve as a catch-all for the most frequently asked questions about minoxidil.


UPDATE: We've created a new Beard Wiki! Check out beardwiki.com/faq for an in-depth FAQ of the minoxidil beard journey. The below is still relevant, and is a much shorter read than the Beard Wiki FAQ.

What is Minoxidil?

This question and much more can be answered in the guide to growing your beard with minoxidil.


How to use Minox:

- Apply up to 1ml 2x per day, keeping both applications as wide apart as you can. Something like 8-12 hours after your first application should be good.
- Use the dropper to spread the solution across your face, use a couple of fingers to rub it into your skin. Wash hands well after applying.
- After the minox has been applied and roughly four hours have passed, you can wash your face and apply a moisturizer. This is important, especially after being consistent for a few weeks or months, as the face can become very dry without proper hydration.


Can I use minox less than twice per day?

Many guys see results using less than even 1ml per day, with one application. A good way to get used to minoxidil is to start out with 0.5ml and work your way up as weeks pass, so that you might avoid common side effects like headache or feeling tired.


Should I shave or trim while on minox?

Either will be perfectly fine and is good so that the solution can get into your skin. But having a beard is also fine and you'll see progress either way. The most efficient thing to do is to trim with no guard down to the skin. If you're using minox as an already-bearded guy, many opt to not trim at all. For those that start off with little facial hair, it's best to stay neat during the process and then grow the beard out once it looks full enough to start rocking.


Which brand of minoxidil should I buy?

Any brand without included DHT blockers will get the job done. Many choose to buy Kirkland Signature because it's fairly cheap and 6 months will cost roughly 25 USD. Equate (Walmart brand), CVS Pharmacy minoxidil, and Up & Up (Target brand) are all the same as Kirkland, down to where the supply comes from. It's simply repackaged and sold via different companies. Anecdotally, Rogaine is said to be of a higher quality, but no real evidence shows this.


Foam or Liquid Minoxidil? Which is better? 

This is really up to debate, and many feel that liquid is better for results due to the propylene glycol within it. On the other hand, that very same PPG is the reason some people have irritation or allergic reactions, and this is why the foam version came about. From what we've seen, both will get the job done. The most important aspects are making sure it's 5% minoxidil, and that you apply consistently over a long period of time. Patience is key.


How long will it take to see results?

Like much of the minoxidil journey, this varies from person to person. Some see little vellus hair sprout within the first couple of weeks, whereas some don't see anything for a couple of months. The general rule of thumb is to be patient for at least 3 months before deciding that nothing is happening. Vellus is very hard to see and good lighting conditions are needed. If you see results prior to 3 months, that's great, make sure you keep staying consistent with your applications.


Are minoxidil beards permanent? Will I lose my beard if I stop using minox?

The minoxidil journey doesn't last for a life time. You only use MXD for as long as it takes for the new hair to reach maturation (terminal stage). This is when the hair is thick and coarse. If you don't use minoxidil long enough for this to happen, you may see the hair fall out over time, although you will keep any of the hair that you previously had, so there's no risk in that regard.


Hair falling out is certainly a myth that can be contributed to hair loss on the scalp when stopping minoxidil. When one starts balding due to genetics, they are actively balding for the rest of their lives; minoxidil does not reverse or stop this process, it simply forces hair to grow and maintains that growing hair. When stopping MXD, the person then balds as much as they would have had they never even used minoxidil. Comparing head hair with androgenic hair is a very bad correlation to make as they are not the same thing other than the fact that they're both labeled as hair.


How long does it take for vellus to go terminal?

There's no answer to this and it comes down to "as long as it takes." Most guys will need over 6 months, although we have seen many go for as short as that and have terminal hair that they hadn't previously had. Expect at least about 12 months before considering that most of your beard has gone terminal. This is just a general time frame and is not applicable for everything. Gauge your own results as time goes by.


I've heard about shedding during minoxidil. How does this work?

Shedding is a natural process and we go through it all the time, whether on minoxidil or not. However, with MXD we may experience periods of what can be perceived as drastic shedding. Like with all shedding, the hair will grow back. Shedding can occur either on the face or the scalp. As minoxidil goes systemic into the blood stream, this is why you may experience hair shedding from your head even if you're applying it to your face.


For more information about shedding, watch this short video:



Does minoxidil make you sensitive to the sun (photosensitivity)?

In studies, it seems that less than 1% of people have reported sun sensitivity from minoxidil. This doesn't mean it can't happen, however, and it's recommended that you avoid the sun when possible while minoxidil is applied. Very few people from the Facebook group The Minox Beard Spot have reported any sort of sensitivity after applying and being in the sun.


Does the extra body hair from systemic absorption of minoxidil go away?

Yes and no. From what we've seen, it does increase most guys' body hair and the amount of increase is down to the underlying genetics. We've seen that, for many guys, the body hair gained from minox starts to go away even while still on minoxidil, during the later months. After stopping, much of the body hair goes away as well. Keep in mind, however, that it is very likely that you will end up with more body hair than you started with (and of course never less).


My left and right side are not the same with growth, what can I do?
Keep applying and don't worry about it. Even guys that never needed minoxidil to grow a beard have uneven growth and/or patterns on each side. Humans are not proportionate and having differences between your left and right side is natural. This simply seems more pronounced for those that could never grow hair on their cheeks before, because hair is rapidly coming in (and not at the same rate on each side). As more hair starts coming out and maturing, it will become less and less noticeable. Like with the journey as a whole, it takes patience. Keep applying, shave or trim if you want to, and stay patient.


I'll edit this FAQ as more questions come in, feel free to ask and post below as well. Most information can be found in the article I linked, but this is probably much easier to read and is less lengthy.

edited by Cemmos Nov 18 '17
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Pedro
Pedro Jun 27 '16
I didnt knew which topic i should ask this, but what you guys think about bimatoprost? And using it with minoxidil (not at the same time).


Thanks in advance!

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Cemmos Team
Cemmos Jun 27 '16

Quote from Pedro I didnt knew which topic i should ask this, but what you guys think about bimatoprost? And using it with minoxidil (not at the same time).


Thanks in advance!


I've come across a few guys using it, they've mentioned it's been helping but I haven't heard much from them lately. In theory, the stuff seems like it'd be helpful.
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Pedro
Pedro Jun 27 '16
Yeah, I have read that it helps a lot, I even know a guy that is using and loving it, but I dont know if I have to use it with minoxidil, or if I have to wait until the minoxidil treatment has finished. But I´ll definetely buy it, just dont know when. And I also dont know if bimatoprost hinders minoxidil gains when used at the same day.


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Cemmos Team
Cemmos Jun 27 '16
They shouldn't conflict, but one thing is that it'd be hard to tell which is actually making you progress. Using them at different times (i.e. finish minox, then use bimatoprost) would allow us to see that easier. But it's not always about knowing which is working, sometimes we just want those gains!
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RobertHea
RobertHea Feb 21 '17
Hi guys,

  I just got my shipment of Kirkland's minoxidil in yesterday but had concerns in regards to the side effects dealing with lowering blood pressure and irregular heart beats. It's a bit scary to hear about that kind of stuff. Just wanted to know you guys thoughts on those two effects. I checked my blood pressure to see where it is in the event that it does losers it. 

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Cemmos Team
Cemmos Feb 21 '17

Quote from RobertHea Hi guys,

  I just got my shipment of Kirkland's minoxidil in yesterday but had concerns in regards to the side effects dealing with lowering blood pressure and irregular heart beats. It's a bit scary to hear about that kind of stuff. Just wanted to know you guys thoughts on those two effects. I checked my blood pressure to see where it is in the event that it does losers it. 

While I do like to stress that these things can happen for the sake of transparency, I honestly wouldn't worry about it. I've used minox for about 21/22 months and the only thing I've experienced were a couple of headaches that were easily fixed with some caffeine + acetaminophen. They weren't migraines either, just regular headaches.


A lot of guys that I talk to mention they only ever get the dryness/flaky skin side effect; that's the vast majority, although there are some that mention they get the rapid heartbeat, which can be caused by a sudden spike in lowering of blood pressure. That goes away usually within a few minutes or half an hour if you experience it. 

edited by Cemmos Feb 21 '17
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RobertHea
RobertHea Feb 21 '17
Thanks
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Cquan
Cquan Apr 10 '17
hi guys, im new with minoxidil. do i need to wash my face ( after 4 hours with minoxidil ) before i put on lotion for the dryness? thanks
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Cemmos Team
Cemmos Apr 10 '17

Quote from Cquan hi guys, im new with minoxidil. do i need to wash my face ( after 4 hours with minoxidil ) before i put on lotion for the dryness? thanks
You don't need to, but it's best to have your face rinsed or washed prior to applying a moisturizer. Should help remove any residue and seal in moisture better that way.
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Cemmos Team
Cemmos Apr 14 '17
FAQ has been updated with four more commonly asked questions. If anyone else has any questions, feel free to ask them in here. If it's something that's asked a lot, the question/answer will also be updated in the first post.
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CMoore
CMoore May 10 '17
Hi guys, hope this is the right place to ask.


I am 5 months into using Minoxidil now, after 1 month I had a huge amount of new growth which continued until the around 3 month mark, but since then I have not noticed any new growth. I am still left with a few small areas which have had no growth at all, is there any chance they will fill in or is new growth unlikely at this point?


Also I am going on vacation soon, would taking 10 days off Minoxidil have any significant impact? I have been using 2 x 1ml a day from the beginning.


Thanks

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Bkemper
Bkemper Jun 13 '17
Been using minox for a while now (almost a year) I thought there was no hope for me as I have terrible beard genetics and even a year ago my face would look like joe dirt if I tried to grow a beard. Best I could do was a patchy chin puff lol. Now I have a full beard and when people hear that I had issues they don't believe me. I get compliments all the time. Hope this info helps. Don't give up. I did have the embarrassing patchy phase while waiting for it all to fill out but just stick to it. Trust me. I'll  try finding a before pic as well. 
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Bkemper
Bkemper Jun 13 '17
Everything​ has possible side effects but as far as minox, I have been using daily and can say I have had no side effects other than dry skin. But if you use an oil or balm (4 hours after minox) it helps a lot. I use oil with a wood comb and boar hair brush. Almost no dry skin anymore. And I cut my hair shorter and after a cut I use oil on my head to help with the dry skin after a cut. 
Quote from RobertHea Hi guys,

  I just got my shipment of Kirkland's minoxidil in yesterday but had concerns in regards to the side effects dealing with lowering blood pressure and irregular heart beats. It's a bit scary to hear about that kind of stuff. Just wanted to know you guys thoughts on those two effects. I checked my blood pressure to see where it is in the event that it does losers it. 


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G2
G2 Aug 21 '17
Hi, bearded

I am planning to use minox + Biotin thanks for the contributions in this rich forum i will share the results 

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G2
G2 Aug 21 '17
Hi bearded

I apply coffee oil mixed with natural coconut oil to my beard every time I have just showered, it helps a lot to hydrate my beard, Is a good tip for whoever wants to moisturize the beard,But I have a concern, considering that I intend to start applying minoxodil, will coconut oil and coffee not change the composition of minoxodil?

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Cemmos Team
Cemmos Aug 22 '17

Quote from G2 Hi bearded

I apply coffee oil mixed with natural coconut oil to my beard every time I have just showered, it helps a lot to hydrate my beard, Is a good tip for whoever wants to moisturize the beard,But I have a concern, considering that I intend to start applying minoxodil, will coconut oil and coffee not change the composition of minoxodil?

Topical caffeine and coconut oil are considered anti-androgenic, which are good for those that are balding on the scalp, but not so good for trying to improve beard growth. Should make fine moisturizers as you mentioned though. A couple of resources as to why DHT blockers are not good for beards:


 - Why We Shouldn't Use Scalp-Related Products to Grow Our Beards

 - Understanding the Importance of DHT for Health and Beard Growth


That's not to say minoxidil won't work while using these. Minox is powerful stuff, so you'll likely see progress regardless of using DHT blockers. So to answer your question, no, they won't change the composition of minoxidil or how it works. But they may slow progress depending on how they interact with you.


Ingesting caffeine is good for testosterone and DHT, however. Things work differently sometimes, depending on whether it's oral or topical application.

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Darko
Darko Oct 6 '17

hello guys, thanks to cemmos for having allowed me to join the group, my english is bad so be patient with me.


I am 27 years old and have taken finasteride for 7 years because I started to lose some hair on my head. I have developed a thick beard but have a little round circle on my cheeks where it does not grow any hair , it gets a bit more hair every year but slowly, will minoxidil help me at all?if I apply it to my cheeks?


I'm thinking of just aplicating minoxidil on the 2 round circles on the cheeks, what do you think?

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itsworking
itsworking Oct 6 '17
Darko: As long as there's hair follicles under the skin, minoxidil is likely to help. You could give it a try and report back with results! :)
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Darko
Darko Oct 6 '17

Quote from itsworking Darko: As long as there's hair follicles under the skin, minoxidil is likely to help. You could give it a try and report back with results! :)
absolutly, thank u itsworking :)
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