Recent research has shown that men with facial hair make better boyfriends. So what happens when the best you can come up with is a patchy beard? Or bumfluff that looks like it's been glued on? You take drastic measures, of course. And it turns out thousands of young men are now turning to hair loss products to add to their lip foliage and chinstrap.
So we consulted with Dr. Russell Knudsen, one of Australia's most respected and trusted hair loss surgeons. And luckily for many, hair growth products made for your scalp can also help you achieve a full beard. However, there's a catch.
Dr. Knudsen explains that regardless of the product, there needs to be actual hair follicles there in the first place.
"Hair stimulant products for the scalp can also work in the beard area but there must be hairs there to stimulate," he says.
"People who never had hair in patches of their beard would likely need a beard transplant to fill the patches in."
While for the most part, hair loss products are safe to use on your face, Dr. Knudsen urges beard-hopefuls to be cautious: "not all of them are appropriate as some treatments work with hormones related to balding."
On Facebook, The Minox Beard Spot group boasts over 55,000 members detailing their journey using hair loss product minoxidil to achieve full facial hair.
The group's description suggests the product is successful, claiming that men are going from "beardless to beardsman. From patchy to full, we're proving each day that minoxidil can help men grow out their beards. It's not just a dream anymore, guys."
Dr. Knudsen does agree that Minoxidil can be used for hair growth, but it's important to keep the doses low, especially at the beginning, and apply no more than once a day.
Side-effects are largely non-threatening: typically redness, dry skin and itchiness. Dr. Knudsen also suggests that the likelihood of long-term complications is next to none. However, other sources advise that overuse can result in more serious repercussions such as blurred vision, dizziness or even swelling and rapid weight gain. Remarkably, the drug was actually first used to treat hypertension acting as a vasodilator.
Other options for hair growth on your face include a bead roller or a beard balm. But in the quest for quick beard growth, many are set on products made for your scalp and it seems to do the job, delivering strong facial hair growth.
Interestingly, while minoxidil can stimulate hair growth, once you begin using the product, you may need to continue using to keep facial hair thick, especially after shaving.
If you are looking for hair growth, it's always important to consult a GP to see whether certain products are suitable for you.