New Study: Bimatoprost Can Grow Hair On Your Head!
When it comes to growing eyelashes, people swear by it. But can Bimatoprost grow hair on your head? Hair on the noggin gets scarce when we get older. Though largely untested, this might be a solution.
ONCE UPON a time, Pfizer researchers were busily pursuing a drug that could lower blood pressure. Along the way they noticed that it — Sildenafil Citrate — could do something else to blood. Specifically, it drew blood to the netherworld that is the penis, earning it the nickname “the Pfizer Riser”.
Alas, Viagra was born, and after it, various cousins popped out such as Cialis, Levitra and others, all promising to make you and your partner happy campers.
It’s not unusual for scientists to discover a completely different application for a drug under development than intended. One I have to share is the subject of this blog post.
An active lipid compound having diverse hormone-like effects that was designed and used to treat glaucoma actually grows human hair. It’s is called “Bimatoprost”, and is marketed by various brand names to encourage eyelashes to grow, which maybe isn’t so strange since eyeballs share the same general proximity as eyelashes.
Yes, you too can have eyelashes as long as an even-toed ungulate of the genus Camelus.
But better yet to we who are follically challenged, Bimatoprost may do its magic where it really counts – on our noggins.
Telly Savalis and Hormones
There are various reasons for hair loss. Some people lose hair due to some ailment or disease, such as an autoimmune dysfunction, hormone issues like hypothyroidism, cancer medication, trauma, long-term chronic stress, or that good ole standby, genetics. Most of us, however, shed the hirsute look as we get older.
Irrespective of the cause, what we experience is:
- Decreased growth of the hair
- Increased shedding of the hair
- Breakage of hairs
- Conversion of thick terminal hairs to thin vellus hairs (1)
Telly Savalis didn’t care about any of this. He was too cool to care, and his baldness was his brand. For those of you too young to get the reference, think Vin Diesel. Notwithstanding the preferences of these fine men, most of us – men and women alike – like our heads covered in thick, luxurious waves of hair.
Not necessarily representative of the data (should there be data about what are the most popular hair growth techniques for men and women), but the men I know who strive to regrow hair on their noggin try one of three things (or combinations thereof). The women I know try just one thing.
Women, especially menopausal women, are sometimes driven to get their hormones optimized due to hair loss. Estrogen and progesterone creams, pills, and patches may help prevent hair loss as well as ease menopause symptoms. (2).
With men, bumping up testosterone can actually pull more hair out of their head, in effect, depending on where it’s binding and other factors. Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) has a distinctive shape, and may be indicative that some testosterone-associated hormones have colluded with genetics to mess with the hair on a man ‘s head… and chest.
To explain this, I’m going to lean on some material from Healthline.com.
MPB is indicated when the frontal hairline recedes, especially at the sides, forming an M shape. We’re talking frontal baldness, whereby the crown of the head, also known as the vertex, becomes bald too. Eventually, these two areas join into a “U” shape.
MPB can extend to chest hair (you’ll know that’s going on if they thin as you age), and, strangely, hair in different locations on the body can react differently to hormonal changes.
Any chance you fellas are getting more hair growing from your nose and ears while other areas become bald?
Your hormone levels may affect your exact MPB symptoms. According to a study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, men with high levels of testosterone are more likely to have vertex baldness. The same study suggested that men with higher levels of the binding protein SHBG might have thinner hair on their chests.
Could be that all this is happening because of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It’s made from testosterone by an enzyme called “5a reductase”. It can also be made from DHEA, a hormone more common in women than men. DHT is found in skin, hair follicles, and in the prostate.
The actions of DHT and the sensitivity of hair follicles to DHT is what causes MPB hair loss.
DHT also acts in the prostate. Without DHT, the prostate does not develop normally. With too much DHT, a man can develop benign prostate hypertrophy, as in “enlarged prostate”.
It’s not the amount of testosterone or DHT that’s at fault here, but rather the sensitivity of your hair follicles. And that sensitivity is determined by our ole nemeses, genetics.
The “AR” gene makes the receptor on hair follicles that interacts with testosterone and DHT. If your receptors are particularly sensitive, they are more easily triggered by even small amounts of DHT, and hair loss occurs more easily as a result.
Which brings me back to eyelashes.
Ladies typically love long ones. I don’t know any guys who care a hoot. But now both sexes can join hands and holler, “Hallelujah”.
(That was by Miljenko Matijevic, fellow Croatian, and my buddy Gary’s buddy.)
Is Bimatoprost Our Salvation?
Hallelujah is an apropos exclamation if the aforementioned glaucoma drug Bimatoprost can actually do something for the hair on our heads, in addition to those that flutter when we blink. Or wink.
New research indicates that Bimatoprost , which is FDA-approved by the way, can actually grow human hair from the scalp.
“We hope this study will lead to the development of a new therapy for balding which should improve the quality of life for many people with hair loss,” said Valerie Randall, a researcher from the University of Bradford, Bradford, UK. “Further research should increase our understanding of how hair follicles work and thereby allow new therapeutic approaches for many hair growth disorders.” (3)
The Bimatoprost hair-growing study consisted of three sets of experiments: Two involved human cells and one involved mice. The tests on human cells used hair follicles grown in organ culture, as well as those take directly from the human scalp. In both of these experiments, the scientists found that Bimatoprost led to hair growth. The third set of experiments involved applying Bimatoprost to the skin of bald spots on mice. As was the case with human cells, the drug caused hair to regrow. (4)
I read this stuff and was intrigued.
Personally speaking, the most immediate age telling factor my phenotype displays is shrinking, thinning hair. I can stay lean, produce some muscle, bend myself into a pretzel, stand tall, move lithely, and stay unwrinkled, but the crown will always pinpoint my chronological age within a decade or so.
I hopped on Amazon.com and did a search on which products contained Bimatoprost. The site did not disappoint. Faster than you can say “Bimatoprost”, pages of search results were displayed on my computer screen.
They were all productized for eyelashes, given that this is how Bimatoprost is typically used. I scanned for the highest rated and then among them looked for the lowest priced Bimatoprost containing product.
Here’s a sample:
- GrandeLASH garnered four stars from 1,034 customers; $39.00
- Majestic Pure Wonderlash Serum got 4.5 stars from 679 customers; $24.50
- Aria Star Beauty sported 4.5 stars from 255 customers, and it’s price is currently reduced by 77% from $80 to $18.50 for some unknown reason.
Now, fellas, I get that by now you’re slapping your thighs, bent over laughing at me, and are looking for the unsubscribe button so you don’t have to get silly blog posts like this emailed to you every week.
(Whereas, you ladies might be giving me a virtual high-five.)
I get it.
I’m also turned off by the girlie marketing and intended application – camel lashes – but remember we’re taking a chemical thingie called “Bimatoprost”, and how it’s branded is just simply marketing. It could just as easily be put into bottle with a hirsuite Vin Diesel picture on it, and be called, “Thor Locks for Men”.
I haven’t tried any of the Bimatoprost products. If I do, will let you know. In the mean time, if you try it, do let us know what happens. Maybe do a before and after picture. But be aware that using this on your noggin will place you in relatively uncharted territory, other than those who hang out in labs, so recognize there may be some side effects.
Surely, it would be neat if the one thing that is a sure chronological age giveaway – hair – could be a thing of the past.
So says my vanity.
P.S. Hey, hats off to dozens of readers who took advantage of my Basis discount, and ordered this metabolic repair supplement. (UPDATE: the discount is no longer in effect.) Elysium, the company that makes Basis, is lucky to be advised by five Nobel Laureates, and has produced a product that may make a difference in how you age. I wrote about it in Can Elysium’s “Basis” Pill Really Make You Younger?