The current hipster trend for beards and moustaches is taking the world by storm, and since it’s November, the month when men grow moustaches for charity, we thought we would address whether hair loss treatments can help men to grow hair on their faces as well as their heads.
A growing trend
Bottles of ‘Beardilizer’, a beard growth ‘fertilizer’ which promises to stimulate the hair follicles and help men grow a more luscious beard, have been flying off the shelves since the fashion for beards took off. In fact, around 1,000 bottles of Beardilizer are sold every day, but can it really help to grow facial hair?
What’s in the bottle?
Beardilizer, like so many ‘treatments’ which promise to stimulate hair growth, is actually a supplement containing vitamins and minerals. Whilst this may create the appearance of thicker, more nourished facial hair, like many dietary supplements it won’t actually stimulate hair growth in those who struggle to grow become facially hirsute.
Do hair loss treatments work for facial hair?
There are only two medically-proven treatments – Propecia and minoxidil – for male pattern hair loss. Propecia, also known as finasteride, helps to block the hormone DHT which causes baldness – this has absolutely no effect on facial hair.
Minoxidil is a topical formulation which increases blood flow to the scalp and may cause a slight increase in facial hair as a side effect. However, Male hair loss treatments are designed to be used exactly as prescribed – orally for Propecia and applied topically to the scalp only, for minoxidil – so we do not recommend trying them on your face.
Funmi Lampejo, pharmacy manager at the Belgravia Centre’s City of London hair loss clinic, advises, “Due to its mechanism of action, topical Minoxidil should facilitate growing a beard/moustache in theory. However, this has not been observed in practice at any significant level and its use for that purpose is not licensed by either the MHRA or the FDA. As such, it should never be applied to the face“.
To beard, or not to beard?
Come December, those who have grown facial hair for charity will have an important decision ahead of them – to beard, or not to beard?
Recent studies suggest that bearded men are often seen as more masculine and dominant. Indeed, over 75% of women said they ‘would prefer to date a man with a beard’, which could see more men than ever before turning to growth treatments or supplements promising a full, masculine beard.
With celebrities such as Tom Hardy, Jake Gyllenhaal, David Beckham and clean-cut Boyzone’s Shane Lynch all sporting impressive facial hair, and a quick hashtag search for ‘BILF’ (Beard I’d Like to Fondle) revealing more than 16,000 hits on instagram, it seems this trend has become so popular that even Prince Harry has tried it!
The good news is that because male pattern baldness only affects the top of the head, those experiencing thinning hair or a receding hairline will not notice a difference in their facial hair, and it’s perfectly possible for men who are entirely bald to grow a long, thick beard or chunky moustache. If you are noticing thinning facial hair, it could be caused by other factors, from a hair loss condition such as alopecia totalis, to a change in diet or even a thyroid problem so it is wise to seek expert advice as soon as possible.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.