Minoxidil has been helping thousands of men grow fuller beards for just about as long as it’s been around. “Can everybody grow a beard with minoxidil?” is one of the most common questions that’s asked. That, and the statement that everyone can grow a beard with minoxidil tends to be thrown around. In this article we’ll talk a little bit about why minoxidil helps so many people with their facial hair, as well as who it helps.
Minoxidil was first used to treat high blood pressure, and a side effect was discovered: more facial and body hair grew. This is when scientists hypothesized that it may be helpful for those suffering from androgenic alopecia. They also found that lowering the percentage and/or daily dosage for women was best to combat excess facial hair.
Even after four decades of the drug being around, the science behind minoxidil isn’t entirely fleshed out. While we have the gist of how it helps grow fuller beards, we don’t have it past a scientific hypothesis.
A couple of the ways in which minoxidil helps includes:
- Opening of potassium channels, which provides more nutrients and oxygen to the follicles
- Being a vasodilator (widening of blood vessels) minoxidil helps to increase blood flow to the follicles. Blood is what carries DHT, nutrients, and oxygen.
While I firmly believe minoxidil can improve everyone’s facial hair, it might not help everyone grow a full beard. I’ve yet to see anyone not get more facial hair with minox when it’s applied to the face. Every person has had at least a few hairs sprout, so in that sense, minoxidil works to improve everyone’s facial hair — but that doesn’t mean we can all grow full beards with it.
The biggest thing is going to lie with your genetics: if you don’t have the hair follicles to grow the hair, you literally cannot grow the hair. And even with the hair follicles there, not all of them may end up becoming active.
Minoxidil does not “beat” genetics, it works with your genetics. There are various factors in why you may have the underlying genetics to grow a beard, but simply can’t. One big reason is our environment. With soil degradation many years and the lack of restoration of it, nutrients in crops are not what they used to be. As well, animals that eat this vegetation and crop are also affected. We generally don’t take the time to “revive” and care for the soil because it cuts into production and is more costly, which leads to less capital and less food overall. Over generations, this does have an effect on genetics and how they’re expressed. There can also be reasons beyond environment, but this is another topic altogether.
Another reason is due, again, to genetics and how your body metabolizes minoxidil. If your body does not catalyze the drug into its active form of minoxidil sulfate (via sulfotransferase), it won’t have the positive effects we’re looking for. This is commonly known as minoxidil resistance.
In conclusion, minoxidil is a great tool for many thousands of people. From East Asian men who are not known for having full beards, to transitioning men who are using testosterone treatments to make the full jump. Even guys that have used laser hair surgery have re-grew their facial hair using minoxidil!
Minoxidil may not work for everyone to grow a full beard, but it very well does work for everyone to improve their beards in some way. And the only way of knowing whether it works for you or not is to try it; we can’t decipher simply based off pictures or your family genetics (although having beards in the family is a great sign that it will work).
Ready to find out if your beard will improve? Dive into our Minox Beard FAQ on the wiki for a thorough review of how to do it. As well, you might want to know the side effects of minoxidil and how to deal with them before starting your journey.