Men Turn to Regaine to Grow Hipster Beards
Its effects for boosting hair growth on the head have been widely known for many years – and the reason why so many men seek the treatment from Medical Specialists® Pharmacy, especially in conjunction with oral medication such as Propecia (Finasteride). However, thousands of men across Britain have now taken to using Regaine on their cheeks, chins and moustache area twice a day so they can grow a thicker ‘hipster’ beard. The active ingredient Minoxidil works by helping the blood flow to the hair follicles and increasing follicular size and hair shaft diameter, thereby stimulating and prolonging hair growth. The origins of Minoxidil actually trace back to the 1950s, when scientists from pharmaceutical company The Upjohn Company (later becoming part of Pfizer) developed the drug with the intent on treating ulcers. Although proving to be ineffective for such a purpose, it was noted to have powerful vasodilator properties, eventually being approved by the FDA in 1979 as an oral treatment for high blood pressure. After more clinical treatments showed unexpected hair growth from Minoxidil, the drug was approved by the FDA in 1988 for the treatment of male hair loss. Of course, little did those scientists know that 30 years later a new trend would develop, and thousands of British men are now smearing the Regaine lotion or foam across their faces to try and grow fuller, thicker beards. It appears boys from as young as 16 to men in their 50s are using the drug in an attempt to attain a more mature and hirsute appearance. Minoxidil for men is available in a strength of 5% and as mentioned, is manufactured in a foam and liquid form, depending on which version men prefer. Recent clinical studies have shown that 60% who use Minoxidil on their heads experience visible regrowth of hair. However, it seems men are taking to forums across the internet to discuss their experience using Regaine as an off-label medicine for beard growth. On Facebook, the group ‘The Minox Beard Spot’, currently has 55,000 members, many sharing before and after photos on their journey towards a thicker beard. It's filled with hundreds of before-and-after photos and thousands of comments from members complimenting and encouraging one another on their journeys to becoming more bearded. Although the Facebook group seems relatively light-hearted, we must remind people that Regaine has not been approved for facial application and no clinical trials have been carried out testing such usage. It is important to also remember that excessive use of the medication can cause side effects – usually when too much has been applied at once and a high level of Minoxidil has been absorbed into the body. Although rare, such side effects include dizziness, light-headedness, fainting, irregular heartbeat, chest pain, headaches, flushing and blurred or altered vision.