Drugs May Boost Hair Growth
There's more hope for those losing their hair. According to researchers at Columbia University Medical School, two drugs currently used for other purposes may actually help restore hair growth.
The study, published in Science Advances, found that in experiments with normal mouse and human hair follicles, drugs that inhibit a certain family of enzymes promote rapid hair growth when directly applied to the skin. In further experimentation, the researchers found that these inhibitors appear to trigger the follicles’ normal “reawakening process.”
Two such drugs have already been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), one for treatment of blood diseases (ruxolitinib) and the other for rheumatoid arthritis (tofacitinib).
Mice treated for five days sprouted new hair within 10 days, greatly accelerating the hair follicle growth phase. No hair grew on untreated (control) mice during the same time period. The inhibitors also produced longer hair from human hair follicles grown in a culture and on skin grafted onto mice.
It is not yet known, however, whether these enzyme inhibitors can reawaken hair follicles that have been suspended in a resting state because of androgenetic alopecia - which is responsible for 95 percent of male baldness.
To date. the studies have only been conducted on mice and human follicles.