THIS THREAD HAS BEEN PERMANENTLY CLOSED.
For more info, see this final post.
Summary FAQ: Experiences with Minoxidil
(this is a draft, with information for pages 1-60 of the original thread, so far)
This is a partial summary of discussions in the "Rogaine Experiment" thread at
The discussion began on January 21, 2003, and has continued for over four years. The resulting thread runs over 270 pages.
This article is only a summary of other readers' opinions and statements. I have had no personal experience with minoxidil, so the opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect my views. None of the opinions expressed here have been verified. This document should not be treated as reliable information on its own, or as medical advice.
Some of the statements appearing here have been paraphrased or otherwise summarized, so they will not always reflect the exact original words of the participants; if in some case the paraphrase doesn't reflect the original statement clearly enough, please report any mistakes to me via the website's "message" feature, and I'll do my best to correct them.
* What is minoxidil?
Minoxidil is a generic medication used for hair regrowth. It was originally developed for treating hypertension (high blood pressure), and prescribed under the name Loniten. Patients taking the drug orally discovered that -- as a side effect -- it promoted hair growth over the whole body. Research demonstrated that if applied topically to the scalp, as a creme or liquid, it would still grow hair for most people. In the US, over-the-counter versions contain 2% or 5% minoxidil.
* What is Rogaine?
Rogaine is the US trade name for minoxidil sold by the Upjohn pharmaceutical company.
* What is Regaine?
Regaine is a trade name for minoxidil sold in Europe by the Upjohn pharmaceutical company.
* Is minoxidil intended for use on the face?
No. The US FDA has approved minoxidil only for use on the scalp, and the product directions instruct users to apply it only there. If you apply the product to the face, which has better blood circulation than the scalp, the likelihood increases that minoxidil will find its way into your bloodstream and be circulated to the whole body. The risk of side effects increases.
* How does minoxidil promote body hair when you apply it to your face?
See the previous answer. If minoxidil enters your system, it can (and probably will) promote hair growth on the whole body.
* What are some sources for buying minoxidil?
US readers mentioned the following stores:
Costco ("Kirkland" brand)
Wal-Mart ("Equate" brand)
Most US drugstores sell minoxidil; drugstores frequently offer the product at a discount price as part of their sales promotions.
* Did users report any hair growth? After how long?
(1/21/03): used product for 8 months; got "decent results"
(2/17/03): after four weeks, lots of new growth
(2/23/03): at 16 days, slight increase in vellus hair
(4/01/03): "much more growth than I thought"
(4/18/03): "new growth all over my face", made existing slow-growing hair thicker
(3/21/03): after two weeks, some vellus hair growth
(4/18/03): after six weeks, a lot of new vellus hair under the lower lip
(5/08/03): after two months, "I practically have a full beard now, except 35% of the hairs are vellus"
(5/16/03): at two months, starting with a face "smooth as silk": "I now have hair everywhere on my face", 80% of them vellus.
(5/18/03): after three weeks, "considerable hair growth" on bare parts of face
(6/04/03): after two weeks, can't see growth, but can feel it with fingertips
(6/10/03): after three weeks, vellus hairs are getting darker; some new chest and leg hair
(6/19/03): after four weeks, vellus hairs and light-colored hairs are becoming darker; areas where hair fell out after starting minoxidil are regrowing
(7/03/03): no news at six weeks
(7/09/03): week 7: the hairs are definitely coming in better than before.
(7/30/03): weeks 8-10: I went for four days without shaving to see what was growing. I need more color, but the pattern of growth is great. I am pleased.
(6/20-21/03): after two weeks, hair is fuller on my chin; new dark hair on upper lip
(6/26/03): after three weeks, a few new vellus hairs
(7/24/03): I see some new vellus hairs! They are filling in the gap in my sideburns and some big patches.
(7/08/03) after one week: I have tried on many occasions to grow a beard and have been unsuccessful, I am very surprised how good that my fur is coming in. I am 32.5 years old.
(7/30/03): (after one month): I cannot say I have seen any new growth yet but what I do have is growing faster and thicker.
(8/24/03): (after two months): What I had before is much thicker and I have to shave every day now because it grows so thick and fast. Before I could get away with every two days.
(8/23/03): i was using it on my beard area for the 1 week period, and a few little hairs started sprouting on my face. i didnt think anything of it but it has been about 3 weeks after i stopped and i was shocked to find that in the 3 week period many vellus hairs have appeared all over where i applied this stuff
(09/11/03): It has helped me in decreasing hair loss due to stress at work and I feel made my beard fuller with new growth.
(09/20/03): at 45 days: I now have this soft, black, thin hair all over my face. It is the most incredible thing I have seen (not to mention, my forearm hair as filled in and my chest hair (previously all vellus) seems to be darkening up (I wipe excess Minoxidil there at the end of the application). My guess is that if I didn't shave for a week, I would have the equivalent of a full face of hair and I am certain, over time, and with continued use, the hair will graduate to the adult stage. I now have this hair in the pipes b/w my mustache and goatee as well as a good amount on both sides of my cheeks-- it is more noticeable on my right side as this was the "weaker" side to begin with. My sideburns have doubled in width and length (and of course, don't forget, the sideburns extends laterally to under my eyes, a real bummer).
(09/28/03): My mustache and goatee areas, while not appearing more dense, appear to grow slower, thicker, and fuller and have a more dense feel to them. Also, my sideburns continue to impress me.... The hair there is much more dense and appears to be halfway between the vellus and adult stage-- I surmise if I grow them out for 2-3 weeks, I could possibly approach the full sideburn look. The hair across my cheeks continues to come in a decent pattern.... This is still in the early development stage... the hair is black, soft and fine, but certainly noticeable. Also, I was pleasant surprised to see the hair under by chin and on my neck is now filling in with black, soft hair. I had some there to begin with and hoepfully it will continue to mature so I can have a nice area to edge/shape.
(10/08/03): at 64 days: the soft, fine hairs are starting to thicken up a bit to the point that they now have helped even up my shadow at the 12 hour mark after shaving. Also, I have noticed that these hairs, when shaved, feel bristly on my face but are not yet to the point that my other, more adult/developed hairs are. I am continually impressed by the progress.
(10/15/03): at 70 days: after 12-16 hours, I now feel rough all over my face.
(10/30/03): at 84 days: My facial hair continues to develop at a good pace. I have grown sideburns (the 1970s kind-- right down to the bottom of my ear lobe and have allowed them to grow wide as they grow longer). I am quite happy with this. It really is not the style anymore, but I have waited 15 years to do this. They are still not as dense as I'd like them to be, but they are full, dark and plentiful. Also, they have only been growing for 9 days. The reaction from people is mixed (you either love them or hate them) but the truth is they look like a real man's sideburns..... My cheek hair continues to evolve as does my under the chin/neck hair. When I didn't shave for 5 days, many of my friends told me the beard looked good (that is to say I have almost complete coverage, even if it is not yet all adult hair)
(11/13/03): day 93: It has been 23 days since I grew the 70s style lamb-chop sideburns and I am trimming them with a "3" guard every 2-3 days. They have gotten more dense and darker and I have gotten comments like "Hey Elvis!" and "Nice chops!"... My cheek hair is still a bit light
(12/12/03): day 123: I took a 17 day hiatus from shaving and results are very good.... I had pretty full coverage and a nicely shaped beard under the jawline and chin, full mustache and enough hair on my face to make it look decent. The connectors were very fine and vellus (but black) and the cheek hair was also fine, but more developed than the connectors. Everyone I saw had a comment/compliment
(04/04/04): at day 241: It has almost been eight full months and the results (for both me and my twin) have been remarkable. That being said, we have both decided that we are *way* too critical of our own beards and we probably would never be satisfied until our beards approached wookie status. For now, we have coverage over our entire face and neck but not to the wookie density we would like... all in all, however, we can each grow a decent beard even if it isn't as dense as we would like. The pipe hair is there, but light, as well as on the middle of our cheeks. For the most part, all of our hair is dark, but still not as mature as our mustache hair (which we have had since 16 years old).
The development has been amazing. My brother is currently sporting a nice trim beard in a low cut style as he wasn't satisfied with the cheek development. It looks great and he gets a lot of compliments.
(10/01/03): I've now been using the 2% solution for 3 weeks. ... stubble appears to be growing in faster and is more robust. I especially noticed this after I shaved with a razor (most days I use clippers).
(10/14/03): at 34 days: plenty of new vellus hairs on my cheeks (the mid-upper parts were pretty bare). I have also noticed some new vellus hairs seeking to expand the thin sideburns that I wear down to the bottom of my ears. I have not, however, noticed any on my chin or connecting the chin whiskers to the moustache.
(11/13/03): I now have a bunch of new growth on my cheeks. In fact, my girlfriend even commented on this at about day 50. She said, "I think your getting new facial hair."
(11/18/03): at day 65, I went friday-sunday without shaving, and my girlfriend made several comments about my beard "getting thicker."
(12/23/03): approx. day 100: My progress continues to improve. The vellus hairs on my cheeks are becoming darker & more coarse/adult. I have received comments from friends and family now as well.
The temple hair has not gotten much worse--it's still just a handful of hairs that I can easily hide by shaving or plucking every week and a half or so. My girlfriend also tells me that I'm developing some back hair (I can't really notice it). I'm also sprouting new chest hairs-- bear in mind that I apply only to my face.
(02/06/04): I have noticed very little progress on the two sides of my goatee [and my connectors]. In the last month or so, however, I have noticed that one side of my mustache is growing down toward my chin substantially further than the other side.
(10/16/03): at one week: Nothing major to report other then some really tiny vellus hairs in my "target area", they are really hard to see but they are there! Also it seems that the hair on my chest is a little darker.
(10/25/03): at two weeks: some more vellus hairs at the end of my moustache and mixed in with my existing sideburns. Lots of vellus hairs on my chest.
(11/08/03): at one month: The vellus hairs [on my cheek] are starting to get longer and darken. The sideburns themselves seem to be thickening. Hair on my chest is still in the vellus stage, though darker then the rest. It seems there is some vellus hairs on my biceps and below my eyes, no big deal.
(12/18/03): at 2.5 months, my sideburns are starting to darken to connect to my mustache at the bottom but there still are vellus hairs at the top which are longer. As for hair elsewhere, on my forehead there are light hairs that lead up to my hairline from my eyebrows but nothing noticeable yet. What I have really noticed is that hair on the tops of my hands and on my arms (especially on the underside) are becoming really thick and dark. There is more hairs on my chest and stomach too that are darkening.
(10/17/03): at four months: soon after I began using [minoxidil] I sprouted new facial hairs in the cheek area. Man was I excited! All skepticisms went out the window after that. I am now into my fourth bottle and am very pleased with the results.
(10/23/03): I used walmart brand to help connect my goatee and it worked great
(10/29/03): at one week, on my side burns i see a few new hairs. on my chest nothing. around my nipples and around pecks i see about 10 hairs on each side this is suprising to me. also very dry skin peeling.
(10/28/03): at two months... two applications each day at least four times a week. Status: I have some good growth coming in around my lips.. Lots of light hairs.. It also appears cheeks have some coming in too... Nothing on sideburns or neck area. Have been using on top of forehead, have receding hair line, no results..
(10/28/03): After four weeks I've seen a tiny [possible] increase in fluff on the centres of my cheeks (about a square cm's worth) and the fluff that fades to nothing from where most people have side-burns seems to have extended slightly. I can hardly see this stuff
(01/11/04): after some four months now, I have not had much success in terms of beard growth, but in recent weeks my nose has become very itchy, and upon closer inspection I have discovered that I have developed some protruding nasal hairs.
(11/17/03): at three weeks, have not seen much in the way of new hairs in the goatee area. It appears that my beard growth is accelerating a bit. Anything else I feel is just my imagination for now.
(12/13/03): After 7 weeks of Minoxidil 5%, my chin hair now reaches the soul patch, and my mustache extends slightly more downward around my mouth. There are some pipe hairs, but not directly down from my stache, where I want them to be, and the skin there is baby smooth, so I may not have follicles there after all. So far, any increase has been minor. Other than the usual dryness and flakiness, I've seen no problems. There was a slight increase in eyebrow hairs....
(1/26/04): I've been on Minoxidil 5% for over 3 months now (started 10/17), and I've grown out my goatee as much as it will grow. I still don't have any noticable hairs on the sides of my soul patch, but I am noticing more peach fuzz there. The pipes are very slim, not nearly as full as I'd like them to be.
(11/28/03): at four months: I have been using the 5% minoxidil pretty regularly since mid July on my face and chest. Over the last month I have noticed an explosion of vellus hair on my face, chest, arms, shoulders, stomach, butt and back. It looks stubbly, just like I was hairy, shaved it and now it is regrowing.
(12/12/03): I used minox. 5% about 4 months ago for about 1 week. I noticed an increase in the speed at which my hair grows, but also noticed new hair growth as well. I noticed a few new adult hairs under my eyes and some vellus hair above my eyebrows (not what I was shooting for, but ok) I also noticed some new adult hair growth on my cheeks.
TomG69er (18 y.o.):
(12/27/03): at 13 days: i actually have noticed that the hair that i do have has been growing a little faster than it usually does when i go without shaving.
(02/28/04): day 76: What started out as being peach fuzz not even noticeable to see has now turned into thick black hair. I actually have a five a clock shadow now and for the first time ever i am able to grow sideburns in about two weeks.
(1/22/04): I began my own experiment exactly 6 weeks ago. Here's some background history.
I am a 39-yo Asian, so typically I don't really have much facial hairs. Just a thin pencil-line patchy stache and some sorry-ass chin furs. 3-4 pipe hairs on each sides. Take into consideration that I am only applying the generic minoxidil (5% from Longs) to my stache and chin region, nowhere else. I apply thickly though, and currently still on my second bottles.
First 2 weeks, not much difference. A little dryness that makes it look like I have been in the sun too long, and just flaking around my upper lips and chin areas. This is resolved easily after 4 hrs of application with some oil-free moisturizer. Occasionally, I would apply my leftover Retin-A(0.05% cream) before I apply the minoxidil. I am also a capsule of Biotin a day during this 6 weeks. Hoping this would boost the growth.
3 - 4 weeks. Though stache is growing faster, there is no observable new growth, not even vellus hairs. In fact, some hairs seem to have fallen off since my stache became more patchy. Was beginning to wonder if perhaps this experiment is doomed from the start for me.
4 - 6 weeks. Things are beginning to happen really fast. Lots of soft, transparent hairs growing on my chest. The little chest hairs I always have are growing long and fast too. I seem to be getting more new hairs on my legs and arms. I also notice 2-3 new hairs beginning to appear on both my eyebrows. Now this is the exciting part!!! The patchy part of my stache is filling in nicely. Hardly notice any bald spots now. In fact, I can easily see with my naked eyes that I have very tiny new hairs growing along the upper edge of my stache. Also more hairs growing from the edge of the nostril to meet the rest of my stache, thus making it appear thicker. I also observed new hair growth between the hairs of my stache. If this carries on, my stache will probably become denser. I now have like approximately 20 pipe hairs growing on each sides: YAY! (fingers crossed!) More hairs appearing on my chin too, even the formation of a seemingly decent soul patch with the appearance of tiny dark hair follicles (used to be like only 4 hairs there). Hopefully this experiment will work for me. Well, sorry if this is too long, just want to share my 2 cents. Will update more frequently if people are interested. Thanks.
(02/14/04): day 28: I really am getting quick results on this stuff. I hope I dont reach a plateau early on, but Im on my 28th day of this experiment and I am getting few but new hair growing on previously barren parts of my face.
(02/29/04): at day 41: experiment goin well, here are my side effects though: increased hair on my chest, shoulders, back. Real bad itchyness if i miss dosages. was away from home yesterday without minox' and now my face is really itchy!!!!!!
(03/12/04): at day 60: i had a rapid appearance of hair (not in dramatic amounts though) at first, and am now getting slow and steady progress, as well as my [acne] spots clearing up. I am definitely gonna keep this up for a long while, and have grown accustomed to the twice daily applications so much its just part of my normal routine, no extra hassle at all.
(04/02/04): at day 70: im still getting a steady increase in facial hair... even though i must admit i must be using less than the reccomended dose, as a bottle lasts me well over 30 days. Cheeks are getting hairy now, which im actually finding kinda strange, lol, im just not used to it yet!
(04/17/04): at day 91: Cheeks are still for the most part very "young" in appearence, but Im pleased how everything else is coming on. I'm swamped in vellus and thin black hairs in my cheeks, where before there was nada.
(02/18/04): at five months: Results up to now seem promising (much noticable vellus hair) but not complete (in terms of terminal-adult hair). No side effects, except from the common dry skin, have been appeared. And also a little more hair on my fingers (good thing) and some in my ears (bad thing).
(03/02/04): at one week, Nothing much happening now, only redness and a lot of hope. :-)
I am 30 y.o., mixed and have very little facial hair (very juvenile moustache and some on my chin, scattered hairs on my cheeks...that's it) I know I have to wait for at least 6 months to see results.
(03/09/04): After 2 weeks I am noticing a few more vellus on my moustache area, eyebrows and cheeks. Nothing dramatic. Hairs feel coarser. May be it is just me. Some vellus growing thicker on hands where it was very fine, also, nothing dramatic.
Smooth on chest and abdomen. Happy trail is getting too happy and expanding a little. Fuzzy vellus though. It doesn't bother me.
(03/09/04): I notice more small vellus hair pretty much everywhere, at about 3 days without shaving.
* What is vellus hair?
Vellus hair is short, fine, and soft hair that grows over most parts of the body, usually less than 2 mm in length. Fully developed ("terminal") hair is generally longer, coarser, thicker, and darker. For more information about hair development, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hair_follicle.
* Did users report any unwanted side effects?
experienced dry skin in cold weather
some users get a slight general increase in body hair
very dry and itchy skin
growth of unwanted body hair, including upper cheeks and eyebrow growth
at three weeks, loss of vellus hair
at two weeks, loss of existing hair
Swollen ankles (A caution from FuzzyKen: minox instructions warn people with fluid retention NOT to use the product; please discontinue it and contact your MD to determine the cause of the swelling.)
Glands in my neck did become swollen, so I lay off the Rogaine for a day or two until they got back to normal. I will reduce my dose, to keep things on the level...
i [only] used minoxidil for one week on my head and beard area because it made my scalp peel really bad and i actually lost a good number of hairs on my scalp because of minoxidil and i dont think they'll be comin back anytime soon.
(09/15/03): It itches. I try to ignore it and apply moisturizer inbetween applications.
(09/20/03): at 45 days: Curious George is right. I have noticed alot of "systemic" hair growth in places I really don't want it.... I have taken to shaving laterally from my eyes and also underneath them on a once per week basis. In a week's time, the growth there is substantial, the hair is black, but, thankfully, soft and thin. In a normal conversation, one might think I am a hairy person, or I just have very dark skin there, but it is noticeable. Also, I have taken to shaving my temple areas as my natural hairline is "growing" toward my eyebrows there as well. Additionally, my forehead is covered in the same soft, thin, black hair (thankfully, not very dense)
(10/02/03): my wife wants me to stop the product now as the hair under my eyes, on my temples, and even on my forehead has grown in and given me the "fuzzy" look if I don't clean it up every week. The hair is black, soft, fine and gives me a fuzzy feel. It is not what I wanted, but I am continuing the experiment because I have noticed very good results in my beard line... however, if I don't shave for a week (and I wille experience this in mid-October), my beard won't be perfect... I am now growing hair from underneath my eyes to right below my Adam's apple. Of course, if I don't shave the hair on my forehead for one week, my natural hairline disappears into all the fuzziness.
(10/08/03): Also, my trapezius area (top of the shoulders) and b/w my shoulder blades continues to grow hair and it is getting more dense and more dark and now is noticeable at about 3-4 feet away (a real turn-off for my wife),
(11/13/03): at day 93: the light hair on my forehead and under my eyes is noticeable without shaving it every week. My forehead hair covers just about the entire forehead, but it is soft, black, and fine, so you need to get within 2 feet of me to notice it. The "under the eye" hair is much more dense and dark and I have been shaving it everyday and refuse to let it grow in. A clean shave there doesn't result in a shadow like the rest of my face, so it certainly less prominent there than the regular beard line.
(12/12/03): at 135 days: On the unwanted hair side-- I took a look at the pix that another user posted recently regarding unwanted temple/ under-eye hair and I can say that if I didn't shave mine, it would be just like that and perhaps more dense. However, shaving it is no real problem and the "cost" of this side effect doesn't outweigh the benefit of having facial hair.
I have noticed another area of unwanted hair.... My wife noticed about a week ago when I got out of the shower that I had alot of hair on my low back and buttocks. .... It is not painful nor is it a hygiene or health concern (I ran it by a dermatologist friend), but certainly a side effect.
(01/07/04): at day 154: My twin bro and I are now in day 16 of growing our twinbeards and have only trimmed the neckline by our Adam's apples and the area lateral to our sideburns and under our eyes, else we grow fuzzy, fine dark hair and it makes us look a bit weird.
On the side effects side, I haven't seen anything new other than my hands and lower forearms increasing in darkness and density. A new co-worker remarked to me today that she has never seen anything like it. My arms are still lighter than my wookie father's, but I enjoy the new hair.
(10/16/03): at day 34: I have noticed some hair next to my eyes (on my temples). The hair runs perpendicular to my eyebrows. It is not very noticeable, and I plucked out the 8-10 hairs on each side without a problem.
(10/30/03): I started using [minoxidil] about a month ago and I'm now on my second bottle. I apply it religiously twice a day morning and night, using a paint brush over the chin and upper lip only. I had been painting it all over the beard area, however [minoxidil] will go systemic over time and painting my whole face is a waste.... The only effects I have noticed so far is dry skin on my chin and upper lip and increased acne.
(11/01/03): I too had to quit the minoxidil, because my lower lip started swelling, and when I applied it to my chest, I had some chest pain later on in the day. [See further details under the next question.]
(01/11/04): after four months: I have not had much success in terms of beard growth, but in recent weeks my nose has become very itchy, and upon closer inspection I have discovered that I have developed some protruding nasal hairs. These were definitely never there before.
(02/09/04): I was able to use it for about two weeks before the irritation got to be too much and I had to discontinue. My upper lip was actually cracking and bleeding by the end. During those two weeks I noticed no growth.
Several months later I decided to try again, but it was even more irritating. After just one application it was extremely painful, like my lip was being burned, and my skin flaked all over the place for days and was, embarrassingly, bright red. However, several days later I actually noticed a few small hairs that I could shave away.
A few weeks later I tried again, this time first rubbing a copious amount of moisturizer in. However, it did not help and even one application was too painful to repeat. Also it was extremely obvious that I was doing something because my lip was bright red for two days, and people asked me what was going on. Again, however, there appeared a few more hairs several days later.
This all seems very odd, hairs coming in after just a few applications, but I can't argue with what I saw. I would like to continue with the minoxidil and see what happens, but my skin just can't seem to take it at all.
* When and why did participants stop using minoxidil?
when body hair grew: he did not want that
stopped using a custom-made minoxidil/Retin-A combination after two days due to skin irritation and redness; later he restarted on minoxidil only
(10/31/03): Just wanted to inform you that I have quit the minoxidil experiment because my skin couldn't take the alcohol carrier. My skin swelled up and got red and I also got a lot of acne. It looked and felt terrible so that's it for me.
(11/01/03): I too had to quit the minoxidil, because my lower lip started swelling, and when I applied it to my chest, I had some chest pain later on in the day. Unfortunately, that was it for me
(FuzzyKen responded: The swelling lip and the chest pains are two totally different things. The swelling would indicate an allergy and the chest pains a drug reaction possibly. If the swelling appeared about 20-30 minutes after the application it is definite....Though the percentage of actual reactions are very low, do not take chances. There is no way to be absolutely certain that this was a drug reaction or allergy to minoxidil, but, I myself certainly would not take the chance. DO NOT GET NEAR THIS STUFF!)
(03/09/04): after two weeks:
Attention: Today I've been having palpitations and weird feeling on my chest.... I've read about the 2dary effects and it includes chest pain and rapid heartbeat. I checked 3 times today and it is 60 beats/sec. Which is good for a 30 y.o.. But I know the palpitations are there. I am gonna stop and ask my doctor.
* Is it safe to start using minoxidil before age 18?
(7/07/03): The problem with the use of minoxidil is not a numbers game per se, but is more that many of our younger readers are not willing to give nature a chance first. At age 16 not having hair covered pecs and a full beard is normal for most young men.... The use of minoxidil at a young age could mask some other underlying endocrine or dermatological problem which could be dealt with in another or better way by an MD.
(10/18/03): There are numerous reasons that a person who has not completed puberty should not use minoxidil. The first one is that when a person who is too young uses this product improperly, it does two things, it creates an artificial smoke screen which may mask some other cause of the lack of development. It also prevents one from knowing truly what they were destined to get or even really get a good idea. If their is nothing going on by the early to mid twenties, then the odds are greatly diminishing by that time that something IS going to take place. It is possible, but the likelihood is reduced with each year that passes. If a person makes the personal choice to use this route, I would like personally to see them in AT LEAST in their early to mid twenties.
* Are there more serious side effects to watch for?
FuzzyKen (1/21/03): yes, this drug was originally a blood-pressure drug for serious cases, and it can have dangerous side effects, especially if overused. See the warnings in the product literature.
(8/03/03): For those applying to other than the scalp:
1.) Weigh yourself every day and look for a quick weight gain of maybe 3-5 pounds.
2.) Look for a tight feeling around your ankles or pants that suddenly fit tight around the waist.
3.) Look for any symptoms of shortness of breath.
4.) Be very aware about changes or light headedness after sudden exertion such as getting up from a chair. If you feel a little dizzy for a few second the drug may have lowered your blood pressure. BE CAREFUL!
* Did new hair remain after participants stopped using the product?
stopped for 6 months; his new hair continued to grow
four weeks after stopping, still has all the new growth
jonchu (05/16/04): I've used rogaine on a 2 week daily application regime. i noticed that this sort of 'loads up' and fills in the patches i have at some parts of my 'goatee'.
However, after a few months after the last application of rogaine, the patches reappear. I've done the test again and the same results apply. What is the explanation of this?
I always thought once rogaine has stimulated the dormant follicles, they remain active for life? Does this mean i have to apply rogaine or refrain from shaving to maintain that area?
I used minoxidil 5% for three months (2 times). After that i didn't apply for around 3 months. During this time whatever i gained, gradualy gone.
* Did participants offer advice about how to apply the product?
cleanse and moisturize facial skin regularly;
leave the skin untouched for four hours after applying minoxidil;
schedule application times far apart (early morning/late night);
avoid applying to eyebrows
apply a moisturizer 30 min before minoxidil,
avoid eyebrows (the skin is very sensitive),
use a daily face wash/scrub
(7/19/03): exercise, eat healthy, drink water, take a multivitamin.
(09/26/03): if you want to have extra hair grow only on your face, then only use the 2%. Because the higher the minoxidil percentage, like 5%, then the more minoxidil that will get into your blood stream and flow to other areas of your body. I also suggest that you shave right before you put the minoxidil on your face. You know how you put on aftershave after you shave and it burns because of the alcohol? I would probably use an electric shaver, the kind that pulls the hair up and cuts it so that the hair falls down below the skin surface level, so that more minoxidil will get to the root of the hair.
(09/30/03): With respect to the application process, I am pretty careful around my lips, but invariably I lick them throughout the day and have ingested some minoxidil (or at the very least, the alcohol carrier) over the 1 1/2 months. I have not grown any hair on my tongue (sorry, couldn't resist, but I shouldn't poke fun, as I thought with my luck I would end up with no beard and join the circus as the Hairy Tongue Act). I find that by liberally applying chapstick to my lips (actually, vaseline might work better) b/4 minoxidil application, I help to create a barrier to the minoxidil penetration. Also, when my lips are moist, I am much less likely to lick them.
(05/17/04): 1.) Splash hot water - as hot as you can tolerate onto your face. Do this thoroughly.
2.) Lather shaving cream all over and shave.
3.) Wash the shaving cream off thoroughly. Make sure that there's no sticky cream residue remaining.
4. Splash hot water AGAIN all over your face. I do it for 30 seconds or so...enough that I can be certain that the pores are clean and open.
5.) Dry your face with a towel - make sure it is 100% dry. Try and follow step 6 while your face is still nice and warm.
6.) Using the dropper, measure out the 1 ml and evenly apply all over your face (or perhaps just in the regions that you wish to thicken...but this is what I've been doing).
Repeat steps with second dose in the evening.
* How long should men expect to use the product, at a minimum?
PatrickQ (1/23/03): six months
FuzzyKen (1/23/03): six months; it takes at least 90 days to get an idea of whether the product will work at all for an individual.
* What other products did participants discuss?
Retin-A (2/17/03-2/22/03, 11/26/03)
B vitamins, including B5 and Biotin (7/09-10/03)
Shen Min (7/10/03)
accutane (11/26/03) (for acne)
* Does minoxidil work by suppressing testosterone or DHT?
FuzzyKen (2/24/03): No.
* Should I hold off trying minoxidil while I'm also using Accutane and Retin-A?
FuzzyKen (11/27/03): I really would take some time with this one and wait until you are past the use of all of the other chemical agents. If you have to wait six months, it is really in your case worth the wait, you would be better off. The combination of the other agents with minoxidil may cause problems, when without them there would be none.
* Could stimulating hair follicles with minoxidil cause some of your facial hair to turn grey earlier than it normally would?
FuzzyKen (12/07/03): The color change that signifies aging is not in and of itself related to the stimulation of follicles. Remember the only difference between using minoxidil on the top of your head and on your beard is where you apply it. I have never heard of anyone turning gray from using it on their head. In scalp use, the idea here is to prevent follicles from shutting down and also to stimulate growth in dormant follicles as well. We all have a percentage of dormant follicles on our scalp too.
* Is it ok to use an oily substance to moisturise the skin such as petroleum jelly (Vaseline) or could this affect the results?
Minoxodil solution is a rather strange stuff. The drug itself is a rather "oily" or slimy substance once the alcohol is removed from the picture. The best way to use the product to me has always been to use the pump sprayer according to directions. I suspect originally that the alcohol additive was placed in the product to make it more compatible with this spray device, and to assist in penetration of the normal dead skin found on one's scalp. The oily substance alone would require a difference spray orifice and would not tend to measure as accurately.
Use of a heavy petroleum based product such as Vaseline would not be a good idea. The main reason for this is that you are going to seal yourself and block your pores so that even the minoxidil will have a hard time getting in if you are not careful.
It takes 4 hours after the application for the drug to completely absorb. This means that you cannot use any other thing on your skin for 4 hours period.
* The alcohol carrier seems to cause drying/irritation on most people. Can an alternative be used or is there a way to get around this?
In many markets worldwide this is available as a vanishing cream, in the same concentrations. The question would be the availability without a prescription. I have never personally tried to purchase this in any other form so I would not know.
There are so many good moisturizers out there which are very inexpensive which use a vanishing cream base, I would stick to those. It is VERY easy for you to be wasting your hard earned money my friend. If you decide to use a petroleum based non vanishing cream moisturizer anyway you will need a product which is sold here called "Albolene". This is in general a female makeup remover, but it will also deal with heavy moisturizers. You apply this several hours after the moisturizer has done its thing and then it removes the oil without drying your skin. Take my advice the vanishing cream stuff is cheaper and a great deal easier. If it does not do the trick you are reacting too much and have to try the best that you can to get something without the alcohol.
* I used to have eczema on my skin but it is healed now, but during the healing process could this have sealed the dormant follicles in that area permanently?
Severe cystic acne will cause deep scarring. The scar tissue will impact the hair follicles, some will not grow at all and some will grow at odd angles. Light acne with minimal scar tissue will usually not impact future hair growth.
If you have had dermatological problems in your past I would be very careful with minoxidil. If you react at all to the alcohol carrier beyond minimal you need to investigate the availability in another form or discontinue use completely.
Warning: The board does not support or recommend the use of minoxidil, or any other products or medications to promote beard growth. Members, 20 and older, are free to discuss their experiences and experiments at their own risk AND ONLY IN THEIR OWN PERSONAL JOURNEY THREADS.