This is a research paper from earlier this year that hasn’t gotten much attention. It seems like people may want to try topical rapamycin as a way to encourage hair regrowth and repigmentation.
Our preliminary data suggest that Rapamycin treatment can even partially restimulate pigmentation in some greying scalp HFs ex vivo . In contrast, TSC2 silencing ex vivo induced hyperactivation of mTORC1 and reduced human scalp HF melanogenesis.
In summary, we provide the first evidence that mTOR activity is an important, previously unappreciated physiological regulator of human hair growth and pigmentation. Thus, inhibiting intrafollicular mTORC1 activity by Rapa and rapalogs may become an attractive novel intervention strategy in the future management of greying, and alopecia.
Research Paper Overview here:
mTORC1 activity controls human scalp hair follicle pigmentation and growth
It would be quite easy to create a topical “serum” with rapamycin powder.
If you have any friends who are chemists / biologists and have access to reagent suppliers, you can order rapamycin powder from suppliers like LC Laboratories. I’ve heard that some people crush up their sirolimus tablets to make rapamycin cream, which can result in a “chunkier” cream than is ideal. Lower purity rapamycin powder (e.g. from China) may also work in this application and be ok because the rapamycin skin study showed that topically applied rapamycin does not get into the blood stream, so you don’t have to worry about contaminants in lower quality rapamycin powder getting into your body.
Here is the best paper I’ve found that has detailed instructions on making a topical rapamycin cream. I imagine we could just use the Transcutol and rapamycin (mixed with a blender) in a formulation with a dropper to put it on the scalp for the “hair tonic” approach.
For topical / serum applications I used Transcutol to dissolve the rapamycin in. [I tried rapamycin cream for skin for 6 months, it works to reduce fine wrinkles but it wasn’t a huge benefit and new research came out later (see bottom of this post) that suggests that it may do some negative things to the skin also].
Note: Transcutol has a number of different chemical names/identifiers. Here is a list: 2-(2-Ethoxyethoxy)ethanol: 3,6-dioxa-1-octanol, DEGEE, diethylene glycol monoethyl ether, Carbitol, Carbitol Cellosolve, Transcutol, Dioxitol, Polysolv DE, Dowanal DE
The mTOR/Rapamycin/Hair research was previously identified by Matt Kaeberlein and Peter Attia:
On a related topic, there has been some research that suggests that rapamycin can be helpful for aging skin:
But there is also research that suggests rapamycin may not be that good for the skin, increasing inflammatory markers (which is not a good sign), and triggering a breakdown of the extracellular matrix:
"Rapamycin is a long studied molecule affecting mTOR/nutrient signaling and has recently been shown to decrease P16 levels of aging skin21, therefore it was chosen as a positive control of senotherapeutic effect in aging skin models. " … “Rapamycin induced a significant increase in P16 expression, a trend towards increased expression of inflammatory markers (IL6 and IL8), and a significant decrease in Keratin 1 gene expression levels (Fig. 3B). In the dermis, peptide 14 treatment promoted a significant reduction in B2M gene expression, a pro-aging factor, as well as in the expression ofIL8. Rapamycin treatment induced no significant changes in these markers and increased Matrix Metalloproteinase-1 (MMP1) gene expression, indicative of breakdown of the extracellular matrix (Fig. 3C).”