What is minoxidil?
Minoxidil is a hair loss treatment that is available for over-the-counter purchase and through prescription, depending on the product. The drug was originally developed as a treatment for health conditions related to high blood pressure, such as hypertension, but was discovered to be an effective treatment for certain types of hair loss. Studies have found that it’s effective in treating androgenetic alopecia, and other hair loss conditions.
How does minoxidil work?
Further research is needed to understand how exactly minoxidil stimulates hair growth, but it’s said to help reverse the hair loss process by increasing the size of the hair follicles, improving blood flow around the follicles. Minoxidil also works by influencing certain phases of the hair strand’s life cycle to either shorten or advance its onset. Our hair follicle’s life cycle comes in three stages: anagen (growth), catagen (maturity), and telogen (rest). When using topical treatments like minoxidil lotion, the drug encourages the telogen phase to shorten, thereby allowing the anagen phase to progress and grow new hair.
Because of minoxidil’s effect on the life cycle of hair, some shedding may be expected. However, it’s not a universal side effect, and it’s possible to use minoxidil without ever experiencing any hair shedding.
How much does minoxidil cost?
If you are wanting a pharmacy grade treatment, the price of a 180 mL 5% minoxidil solution can be around $79, worth three months of use. If however you would like a doctor prescribed treatment, personalised to your hair loss situation, this can cost from $29 a month.
What are the minoxidil side effects for beard growth?
There are some known side effects when using topical minoxidil for hair loss, though the risks are typically low based on extensive research. However, to be safe, it’s good to be informed of such adverse reactions so that we can immediately inform our Mosh doctor should they occur.
The possible side effects of topical minoxidil include:
- Reddened/irritated skin
- Scalp itchiness
- Dry skin, mild dermatitis, and more rarely allergic contact dermatitis (either from propylene glycol in liquid product or minoxidil)
Stop your minoxidil treatment immediately and call your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms or any other unexpected reactions not included in the list above.
How do I apply minoxidil for beard growth?
Similar to how minoxidil works on your scalp, the topical application of minoxidil for facial hair works by shortening the resting phase of hair growth and lengthening the overall growth phase of the hair.
Since minoxidil is typically used to improve blood flow, when used topically, it can stimulate hair growth and introduce essential nutrients that support healthy hair. When applying minoxidil to facial hair, you should ensure that your face has been cleaned and dried thoroughly for topical application around the beard area. Typically, when using liquid minoxidil and a dropper, you can apply 1 mL to the beard area and let it sit on your face for at least four hours.
Instructions differ depending on your unique situation, but it is usually recommended you apply minoxidil twice daily throughout your treatment period of several months to stimulate facial hair regrowth.
It is essential to realise there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead of relying on assumptions, consult a doctor at Mosh, who will advise you on your hair loss concerns and, if necessary, provide remedies that suit your individual needs.
How long should I leave minoxidil on my beard?
To maximise the effect of minoxidil beard products, it’s typically left to sit for four hours as it takes this much time to attain at least 75% absorption on the skin.
With Mosh, you can seek advice from one of our many Australian doctors without dealing with the hassles of having to physically visit a clinic. Our telehealth platform links you to a network of AHPRA-registered doctors who can offer evidence-based recommendations to assist with facial hair regrowth for men.
Is it okay to shave while using minoxidil?
While you can shave while using minoxidil beard hair growth products, you should only do so before you apply minoxidil to your face or at least four hours after you’ve applied minoxidil to your facial area. Otherwise, you would be washing the medication off and hampering your beard regrowth progress.
Are there alternative treatments to minoxidil?
There are over-the-counter products available here at Mosh that can complement minoxidil treatments, such as supplemental vitamins. By nourishing your body with essential nutrients, hair follicles may be encouraged to strengthen as they grow back. These vitamins also encourage healthier skin, including the scalp.
Other alternative treatments include hair transplants, laser treatments, or other pharmaceutical treatments such as DHT blockers. DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, is an androgen involved in the development of hair, especially in males undergoing puberty. However, DHT can also interfere with the growth of hair follicles in adults.
Mosh’s advice is to consult your doctor first before switching from minoxidil to another treatment, whether or not it is a medical alternative. This is to minimise possible adverse reactions resulting from a sudden change in treatment.
Mosh – a dedicated men’s health platform
We’re not just all about loss of hair or male pattern baldness treatments. Here at Mosh, we aim to make personal health and self-care simpler and more convenient. It’s why we focus on online consultations – you may speak to your doctor at the scheduled times most preferable to you instead of the other way around.
Mosh advises on various personal health concerns, such as weight loss, hair loss, mental health, skincare, and even erectile dysfunction. We can also help you speak with someone for mental health counselling, as well as get you on track with a doctor for weight loss plans. If you have a personal health concern, speak with us about how we can help.
If you’re interested in one-on-one counselling or a prescription product, feel free to discuss it with us. Fill out our short online questionnaire, and we’ll arrange an online consultation for your health concerns with one of our doctors for the soonest available schedule.
Your health and fitness are essential for a well-rounded and happier perspective. Let us help you find the balance between the two – speak with a Mosh doctor today.