Beard genetics are hit and miss.
Between my brothers, we both have patchy and full beards represented.
If you are on the thinner or patchier side and looking to grow a nice thick beard, then it makes sense to definitely check out some of the options out there.
One of the most popular ones out there besides Vitabeard, Beard Grow XL, or just general Biotin is Minoxidil – or sometimes generally referred to as Rogaine (Minoxidil is the active ingredient in Rogaine). Here is our in-depth review of the top options to grow a beard.
Before I hop into the technical side of minoxidil and using it on your beard, here were a few people that saw great results by applying Minoxidil regularly on their beard:
The one thing that all of the above guys have in common is that they were using Minoxidil on their beards.
The best part,of course, as you read it is they actually did see results.
Minoxidil has been scientifically proven that it can in some instances spur follicle growth for some men.
In addition to the science to back it up, the FDA has approved minoxidil for hair growth.
What are the Side Effects of Minoxidil?
As with many over-the-counter drugs, minoxidil does, of course, have some side effects.
According to drugs.com, some of the more prevalent side effects may include a fast or irregular heartbeat, some weight gain, redness of skin, itching, irritation, and a few others.
Below, I will try and combat some of the side effects that men may experience, such as itching.
As a disclaimer, I am NOT a doctor, so please read the instructions carefully and consult with your family physician should you have any questions at all about introducing minoxidil to spur on additional beard growth.
Beard and Minoxidil Application: Is it Really That Tough?
Applying minoxidil isn’t a two-day operation.
In fact, it’s not even a two-month operation.
When applying minoxidil, you shouldn’t be discouraged after a couple of weeks of application. From all the research gathered – most men tend to experience major milestones in growth after about 6 to 9 months.
This isn’t peach fuzz type of growth – this was for an actual beard.
So when taking the plunge to using minoxidil on your face, you have to stick with it to make sure it’s worthwhile.
To help accelerate your growth, though, to try and shorten this cycle, there are a few things you can do that might be able to help.
First and foremost, the type of minoxidil you purchase will make a huge difference.
Minoxidil largely comes in two varieties – 2% and 5% (dubbed extra strength). If you are looking to try and grow that thicker beard a bit faster, you will want to pick up the 5% version of minoxidil.
As a heads up, you can save a few bucks and opt for the generic version as opposed to the branded version of Rogaine. If you compare the active ingredients between both products – you will see they both contain 5% minoxidil.
Once you make the purchase, you are going to want to read the instructions and apply it twice daily to your face–once in the morning and once at night.
When applying minoxidil, you will want to make sure you rub it into your beard starting with the roots and working your way to the tips.
It’s extremely important that you get to the skin and roots of your hair as it, of course, will need to absorb into your skin in order to grow out that thick beard.
Here was a video from BasikAli Coe documenting his beard growth while using minoxidil:
Here is a link to the product he mentions into the video.
In Some Instances General Shedding May Occur
Whether you are applying minoxidil to your head or your face, your body may begin to shed hairs as it prepares for future hair growth.
As mentioned earlier, this is a several month long operation so you can’t get discouraged after a couple of weeks when you first witness shedding and conclude that it’s not working at all.
Shedding is a completely natural process when applying minoxidil for the first time.
To further bolster this point, on Rogaine’s website it says the following:
If you notice your beard shedding a bit, it may be the hair follicles just resetting themselves to the ‘growth phase’.
Maintaining Your Beard Properly While Using Minoxidil
If you are starting to have a beard grow in…congratulations! This is a huge step for you!
Here are a few maintenance tips that you ought to know about growing a beard.
As you grow a beard, one of the first things you may notice (and this may be more prevalent when also using minoxidil) is the prevalence of beardruff.
What’s beardruff, you might be wondering?
Simply put, it’s dandruff for your beard.
However, this can easily be nixed if you are using the proper beard tools.
First off, you don’t want to use an anti-dandruff shampoo like Head and Shoulders for your beard.
Your beard is in a delicate state as it grows in with the use of minoxidil.
Instead of using a shampoo that is designed for your hair, you may want to consider a beard wash that is specifically designed for your face.
Whatever you do, though, don’t use a bar of soap on your face as more often than not this will further dry out the skin making beardruff even more prevalent.
When using beard wash, you typically want to use it about once or twice a week – don’t overdo it.
But here’s the deal:
Beard wash is only a small part of the equation.
If there is one product that you should be using to treat beardruff, it’s this:
If this is the first time you have ever heard of beard oil, check this out:
Beard oil is by and far one of the best things you can use to not only treat beardruff, but to make your beard appear healthy and soft.
Beard oil is typically made up of two primary ingredients: carrier oils and essential oils.
Carrier oils are the base of the beard oil that makes up about 95-99% of the solution.
Since this is likely your first time ever using beard oil, be sure to check out an unscented beard oil like this one that contains just jojoba and argan carrier oils.
They are the closest oils to the natural oils that your skin produces and will likely be very effective in treating beardruff.
If your beard is getting longer and you are feeling adventurous, beard oil can smell really great and you may want to try a few of the scented ones out there.
So how do you go about applying beard oil?
You’re going to want to pour about a dime-sized amount into the palm of your hand, rub them together, and then spread it into your beard.
You’re also going to want to start from the skin/roots first and work your way down the beard.
This way you’re giving the nutrients of the oil at the base of the roots, just like watering a plant.
You should notice within a couple of days that your skin will be well-nourished and totally nix any more beardruff.
You’ll be wondering why every guy doesn’t do this! Make sure you tell your friends of the benefits!
Ok, great! So, we talked about the benefits of beard oil. What about actually buying this stuff?
Buying vs Making Homemade Beard Oil
So you are finally going to have a great full beard come in.
As the benefits of beard oil are HUGE, you are now at a junction:
Buy vs Build (i.e. craft your own)
You see, beard oil by itself can get a bit pricier. In some cases, it’s about $15 to $20 bucks for a single ounce.
Now, I’m going to assume you will have a lighter beard to start with (because why else would you be here reading this :-)), and a single bottle of premade will be the best to start with.
We recently created a guide of the best beard oils that you should check out. There we have an exhaustive review of the top brands and compare them head to head.
Here’s the deal:
With great time and care, you’re going to find yourself burning through beard oil at a quick rate.
So this is where a homemade beard oil may be a huge benefit for you. You see, once you craft your own, you will be able to do it at a fraction of the cost.
When crafting your very own beard oil, it’s insanely easy to do!
In fact, you only need a few tools as well as a few carrier oils (your base oil) and a few essential oils and that’s it!
No, PhD in chemistry required!
If you want to know more, I invite you to check out our full write-up on how to make your own beard oil recipe.
Other Steps You Can Take While Applying Minoxidil to Help Your Beard Growth Thicker
You should definitely take it a bit easy!
Stress can be a major factor that can prohibit beard growth.
The same holds true when you are also trying to grow it a bit thicker as well.
Step 1: Load up on proteins.
When growing a beard, your body thrives on proteins. In fact, hair follicles are among the fastest growing cells in our body.
On average, your hair grows at a rate of .5 inches a month (that’s 1.27cm for my readers who have adopted the metric system).
So what types of proteins will work best when growing out this killer beard of yours?
You are going to want to double down on the following foods:
- Peanut Butter
Well, I know you’re probably thinking, “Man that’s all dinners” (well, except for peanut butter…well, maybe not)…
For your snacks, toss back the following:
- Nuts (Almonds, Walnuts, Pistachios, Cashews, and Peanuts)
- Greek Yogurt
When you double down with the proteins, you may notice that you are going to be clipping your nails a bit more.
This is because just like hair follicles, nails are also cells that produce extraordinarily quick! The last thing you want is to be having long fingernails and being held back in a promotion!
Another pro-tip to counteract the increase in calories is that you’ll want to hit the gym.
There are three HUGE reasons why you need to do this.
You need to destress; even though things could be going well for you, stress is one of the key factors that stunt hair loss.
So if you hit the gym it’s a great outlet for you to put away the daily grind.
With the uptick in calories you may be consuming from the influx of protein, you’re going to want to make sure you counteract that by working on that waistline.
While growing out a killer beard is important, make sure you don’t overdo it with the protein:
So as a quick overview, one of the reasons minoxidil works so well is because it increases blood flow to the area applied. In this case, you will be mixing up your beard and minoxidil together!
When you are applying this to your face to grow out your beard, exercising is a TERRIFIC added benefit in also increasing blood flow to the rest of your body.
What I am trying to say is that when you hit the gym, stick to the cardio section as you will be getting that beard growth in two ways: blood flow benefits and the minoxidil.
You NEED to make sure you get a solid eight hours of sleep a night.
This honestly is probably the toughest part for most guys to stick with.
If you’re like me you are LUCKY to get that much. Honestly, I have that problem for two reasons:
First: I have an unbelievable son that is just over a year old and has trouble sleeping through the night so we love to hang out together!
I mean who doesn’t love watching Elmo’s song at 2 in the morning?!
Second: I am always willing to learn and try new things all the time such as this blog! I LOVE writing for you guys. And it’s my goal week after week to deliver some of the best content on the web to you all!
But seriously, if you are having a tough time growing a beard, make sure you get the eight hours of sleep! It’s going to help big time!
If I can do the other steps, then you should definitely be able to hopefully see some uptick in beard growth!
Knowledge is Power
So now you know the tips to growing a thicker beard with minoxidil (aka Rogaine). Of course, with anything medical related or any sort of conditions, you seriously need to check out with your doctor if you feel there may be any sort of risks associated with its use.