Rogaine is a popular hair growth product that can be purchased over the counter. It is primarily used to stimulate hair growth on the head. But the active ingredient of Rogaine, minoxidil, is known to improve hair growth on other areas of the body, including a beard. While a user may see improvements in beard growth by applying minoxidil, it is not advised that you do so.
Minoxidil can be purchased over the counter under different names in the form as a lotion or foam. According to the Mayo Clinic, the way minoxidil works is unknown. Apply the topical minoxidil to a completely dry scalp in the areas needing treatment. An applicator is typically provided for assistance. Hair cannot be shampooed for four hours after applying minoxidil. It is applied two times a day, typically in the morning after a shower and the evening before bed.
If you stop using minoxidil, the regrown hair will most likely be lost, and the user will not see any more hair growth. Be aware that a fall in blood pressure can occur, fluid may be retained or the heart rate can increase. A user with high blood pressure or heart problems should see his doctor before deciding to use minoxidil. Hair loss may still continue for two weeks when a user first starts applying topical minoxidil.
A common side effect of minoxidil is itching at the scalp or a skin rash. Other rare side-effects include acne at application site, burning of the scalp, facial hair growth, increased hair loss, inflammation or soreness at the root of hair, reddened skin, swelling of face and hives. If too much minoxidil is absorbed into the body, other side-effects include blurred vision, chest pain, headaches, dizziness, fainting, fast heartbeat, numbness or tingling of hands, feet or face, and rapid weight gain.
Studies have shown that minoxidil works for both men and women. Twenty-seven U.S. medical centres conducted tests with more than 2,000 patients with male-pattern baldness who used minoxidil for one year. Sixteen per cent had no hair regrowth, 36 per cent had minimal regrowth and 48 per cent saw moderate to dense regrowth. When women were tested on the effectiveness of minoxidil, two out of three reported some hair regrowth.
The Mayo Clinic advises against applying minoxidil to any other parts of the body except on the head because the chances of it absorbing through the skin are much higher. Absorbing minoxidil through the skin may affect the heart and blood vessels negatively. It has not been tested or marketed for facial growth and is therefore not suggested for that purpose. The Mayo Clinic cautions users to avoid putting minoxidil anywhere else except the scalp, claiming that it may cause unwanted facial hair if it's accidentally applied to the face. This suggests that beard growth may be possible if applied, but the procedure is unstudied and inconclusive.