Advertisements endorsing the new eyelash growth drug Latisse as a path to acquire those thick gorgeous eyelashes most of us have only dreamed about began appearing a few years ago. It was only natural for people to wonder that if Latisse could help with eyelash growth, could it also help with scalp hair growth?
Dr. Alan Bauman, a dermatologist and hair restoration specialist, offered some of his patients participation in an off label trial of Latisse to see if they responded with increased scalp hair growth. Latisse has only been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration since 2008 for use on eyelash hair. The only two drugs the FDA has approved for scalp hair re-growth are Rogaine (minoxidil), which is a topical liquid, and Propecia (finasteride), which is given in pill form and only approved for men. Women who are pregnant should not have contact with Propecia due to risk of birth defects.
After three months, Bauman told the New York Times that in the areas Latisse had been applied, “the hair grew thicker, stronger and healthier.” One patient interviewed on a YouTube video stated that he was very pleased with the results so far. Richard Padula, another one of Bauman’s clients reported that he and his friends saw, “a noticeable difference."
Latisse does not offer an alternate method of re-growing hair but acts the same way Roganine or Propecia do by strengthening and thickening hairs from waning hair follicles. None of these drugs can grow hair in areas of complete baldness. Only hair transplants, which can cost $10,000 can place hair where there is none.
The only other area of hair replacement under study is producing hair from the DNA of existing hair. Dr. Robert M. Bernstein, clinical professor of dermatology at Columbia University is involved in hair DNA research. “It’s just a question of time now before hair cloning becomes a reality,” he told the New York Times.
Cost could be a real limiting factor to Latisse moving into the lead of hair re-growth products. Latisse costs $120 for a 3ml bottle, which only last a few weeks. Rogaine runs about $25 a month and Propecia costs $75.