Rapamycin effects effects on hair?

I was wondering if rapamycin causes hair loss or slow hair growth.

Hi Ginger,

We are actually releasing a topical rapamycin product to promote hair growth. He are a couple of articles to explain the mechanism of how rapamycin promotes hair growth:

Promotion of Hair Regrowth by Transdermal Dissolvable Microneedles Loaded with Rapamycin and Epigallocatechin Gallate Nanoparticles - PMC.

There seem to be two mechanisms that stimulate this hair growth.

  1. Autophagy. Rapamycin induces autophagy by inhibiting mTOR. Autophagy initiate hair follicle activation and hair regeneration.

  2. Targets Senescent Follices. There is a form of hair loss called senescent alopecia. Senescent cells are cells that have stopped dividing and have entered a state of permanent growth arrest. They are a natural part of the aging process and accumulate in various tissues, including the scalp. When senescent cells accumulate in the scalp, they can contribute to hair loss in several ways:

Inflammation: Senescent cells can secrete pro-inflammatory molecules that can trigger an inflammatory response in the scalp. Chronic inflammation can damage hair follicles and lead to hair loss.

Alterations in the hair follicle microenvironment: Senescent cells can alter the microenvironment of the hair follicle by secreting factors that interfere with hair growth and regeneration. For example, they can inhibit the production of growth factors that are necessary for hair growth and stimulate the production of enzymes that degrade the extracellular matrix surrounding the hair follicle.

Reduced blood flow: Senescent cells can also contribute to reduced blood flow to the scalp by secreting factors that cause blood vessels to narrow and become less permeable. Reduced blood flow can deprive hair follicles of the oxygen and nutrients they need to grow and function properly.

Because rapamycin targets the growth and accumulation of senescent cells, it reduces the senescent burden in the scalp and promote hair growth.


For my sample size of 1 fwiw, while on rapamycin weekly dosing (plus acarbose and a NAC stack and periodic fasting) I’ve seen my hair grow a bit faster than before to consider increasing the frequency of my haircuts. At 50, I continue to have zero gray and full thick hair and rapamycin has not reduced the thickness, fullness, etc. so I still have to have it thinned during haircuts. Hard to tell without some measurements, but could be thickness has increased a bit which would correspond with that research posted by Daniel.

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Would oral product provide some hair growth benefit?

How often should the topical treatment be applied to scalp areas?