Whenever guys think about using minoxidil for beard growth, they wonder if the beard is permanent. As well, people that are against minoxidil usage use that as reasoning as to why you shouldn’t use it. They say that you’ll need to use it for life because “it will fall out” if you don’t.
In this article we’ll cover this aspect of using minox and why you shouldn’t worry about your beard falling out. Because it is indeed permanent, with a certain requirement.
Articles to read:
- How Many Times Per Day Should I Apply Minoxidil (for Beard Growth)?
- How Long Do I Have to Apply Minoxidil to Grow a Full Beard?
Why some people believe minoxidil needs to be used for life
When you’re balding and need to use minoxidil to maintain your hair, you need to use it for life. This is because your genetics are working against you; balding is a lifelong, ongoing process as DHT attacks your hair follicles. The DHT floods the follicles, causing your hair to thin and slowly fall out over time.
Minoxidil maintains your hair growth, it does not stop you from balding. This is why minoxidil needs to be used for life for those that are genetically predisposed to balding and have started to thin out on their scalps.
That is why people think that minoxidil needs to be used for life. Simply because it’s the way that it works for balding individuals.
Why a “minoxidil beard” is permanent
Minoxidil beard is quoted in that way because, in a way, it’s a little silly to call one’s beard a minoxidil beard. Once your beard is terminal, it is like any other man’s beard. This term is misleading because it implies that minoxidil is needed to maintain the beard.
With facial hair, you are using minoxidil to essentially unlock your genetic potential. You are not lacking a beard because your face is balding… you are lacking a beard due to those genetics not being expressed.
So, when you use minoxidil for more facial hair growth, that growth (under the condition that the hair is terminal) is permanent. The follicles on your face are not being attacked by DHT in the way it is on the scalp. In fact, DHT is what fuels your beard growth.
Why your facial hair must be terminal to be permanent
Without the hair being terminal, there’s a good chance that it will eventually go away. When hair is maturated enough to be terminal, it sticks around because it is rooted much more deeply into your follicles. This provides more nutrients, oxygen, and androgens that are carried by the blood.
Vellus hair is much closer to the surface and is not receiving what it needs to be terminal. It is not connected to a sebaceous gland. That’s where the minoxidil helps, by opening potassium channels and getting those vital nutrients to the hair. This eventually maturates the hair, and once maturated it can fend for itself without the help of minox.
Scientific literature has shown that secondary hair (body- and facial-hair) is permanent. You can really only get rid of it by using potent anti-androgens. And even then, you have to proactively use it to keep the hair at bay. Another way to get rid of the hair is through sessions of laser hair surgery. You might be surprised to learn, however, that guys that have lasered away their facial hair have regrown the hair by using minoxidil. That’s how potent minoxidil can be.
Shaving means absolutely nothing — the hair grows back
A large amount of people tend to ask you to shave your beard to see if it really grows back after you’ve finished using minoxidil. They believe that once you shave, the beard you gained with minoxidil will no longer exist.
It’s a bit of a silly notion, since shaving means absolutely nothing when it comes to hair. Cutting the hair does not affect the follicle that grows it. A person with a large beard, that used minoxidil to grow it, grows it in the same way as a person that can grow a beard naturally. The hair grows from the follicle, inside of the skin. It does not grow magically from the ends or tips of the hair. When cutting the hair down to the skin with a razor, the hair will still grow out from the follicle, where it is created.
While this section feels a little strange to add to the article, it needs to be here because of the very large minority that don’t understand how hair works. Just like shaving does not increase facial hair density or quickness of growth, it also does not kill terminal hair in any way.
As you’ve read, scalp hair and facial hair are not the same. Minoxidil works to maintain in one instance, while helping to maturate in another. This is why your “minox beard” is permanent.
And, while we generally say that the hair must be terminal to stick around, that’s not true for everyone. There are plenty of guys that have used minoxidil for a short time, grew vellus, and then were able to let their genetics take over. In this case they simply needed a kickstart.
This route is not recommended because it’s a coin toss. But what isn’t a coin toss is that your beard is permanent so long as it’s terminal.
Looking to use minoxidil to improve your beard? Be sure to check out the Minox Beard FAQ on the wiki.