Latanoprost is a drug that changes the activity of a class of hormones called prostaglandins. Originally used to treat glaucoma, patients began reporting thicker eyelash hairs following its use and it has since been repurposed as a topical treatment and tested on hair loss sufferers.
- The in vitro data suggests that latanoprost treatment increases the activity of a prostaglandin called prostaglandin F2α also increases, which can widen vascular networks – thereby improving blood, oxygen and nutrient transport to hair follicles affected by hair loss. Furthermore, it can increase cell growth and decrease the production of prostaglandin D2 which has been implicated in hair follicle miniaturization.
- The in vivo (in primates) data suggests that macaques treated with 0.005 – 0.05% latanoprost over 8 months daily showed improvements to hair loss and also showed some degree of hair regrowth.
- Two clinical studies testing latanoprost for androgenetic alopecia suggest that 0.1 ml x 0.1% latanoprost and 1-2 ml x 0.005% latanoprost improve hair counts, with visual improvements occurring in 30-50% of people over 6-8 months. In alopecia areata, 3 clinical studies found that 0.005% latanoprost had no effect in the eyelashes, however, one clinical study on the scalp of patients with alopecia areata found that 0.0005% latanoprost improved hair growth in around 25% of patients but it did not perform as well as 0.05% betamethasone treatment.
- Long-term usage of latanoprost in the eyes has a known side effect that affects pigment (eye color) yet it is not known whether this effect also occurs after long-term usage on the scalp.
- You are likely a good candidate for latanoprost if you have androgenetic alopecia, are planning to use latanoprost alongside better-studied treatments (such as minoxidil), and are not concerned about the potential pigmentation changes that may occur in the long-term.