Rapamycin for Hair Growth and Hair Pigmentation

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 a good, cheap source of Rapamycin powder from China that I’ve used too, about $60/gram: Sirolimus Powder - 3rd party analysis

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

Where you can order Transcutol from:
LotionCrafters: Transcutol / Ethoxydiglycol
Laballey.com: Transcutol / Diethylene Glycol Monoethyl Ether

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).”


See Also: Rapamycin DIY Skin Cream Description:

Hair loss or regrowth using Rapamycin or Metformin, or Melatonin?
DMSO with (Dr Green's) Rapamycin Topical Skin Cream Formula?
Rapamycin Skin Cream - US Pharmacy that is Selling it (prescription needed)
New Branded Topical Rapamycin Gel for Skin (angiofibromas/tuberus sclerosis)
New Study Funded: Towards reversing periodontal disease using Rapamycin
Grey Hair turning Black again after 10 years
Reverse Gray Hair, Hair Repigmentation
Rapamycin, Autophagy and Hair Growth (New Paper)
Rapamycin cream? Add sirolimus liquid into face cream?
Skin senescence: mechanisms and impact on whole-body aging
New Branded Topical Rapamycin Gel for Skin (angiofibromas/tuberus sclerosis)
Rapamycin Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Topical Rapamycin Delivery
Would Transdermal Rapamycin Cream be better than oral administration?
Stress and Aging - Dose / Response and Permanence?
Reverse Gray Hair, Hair Repigmentation
What blood tests are people taking?, Any rapamycin specific ones?
Reverse Gray Hair, Hair Repigmentation
How to Reverse Skin Aging
Rapamycin Weekly Log
DIY Rapamycin skin cream
DIY Rapamycin skin cream
Reverse Gray Hair, Hair Repigmentation
Senolytics Topically Administered to Skin for Antiaging Effects
Senolytics Topically Administered to Skin for Antiaging Effects
Rapamycin May Slow Skin Aging (Drexel U. Study)
Can I take dutasteride with rapamycin
Any experiences with Rapamycin and age-related dry eye?
Reverse Gray Hair, Hair Repigmentation
mTORC1 activity negatively regulates human hair follicle growth and pigmentation
Has anyone seen results (self or online) in hair growth from rapamycin?
Molecular Weight and Hair Growth
Topical Rapamycin for hair loss and graying (New Healthspan Product)
Rapamycin-Loaded Microneedles Reverse Hair Loss in Mice
Rapamycin Rescues Hair Growth

18 posts were merged into an existing topic: Rapamycin May Slow Skin Aging (Drexel U. Study)

I’ve heard that higher concentration may inhibit hair growth
So I began with lower concentration, 1 mg sirolimus in 400g Aquaphor cream, and applied it on scalp, but no big change.
Hence I decided to try 16 mg sirolimus in 400g Aquaphor cream
And this time it worked, definitely worked, my hair became very thick and dense!

I am sure it’s not a placebo effect for me, because my hair is short, the hair density is easy to detect, and every friends notice my hair change

However, I also used this cream on my face and body, but I got itchy rash, so I stopped it on body.
I only use it on scalp now, and the result is satisfying


@LeeJohn How long have you been using topical ramapycin on your scalp? Also, have you noticed your hair get curlier? At least with oral rapamycin, that’s been the case for me, although it may just be an instance of me being primed by Blagosklonny’s tweet where he mentioned something like that.

1 Like

Hair became curlier? That sounds cool
It has been roughly 6 months, I didn’t notice hair get curlier, but it has become denser then before definitely

However topical rapmycin didn’t turn my gray hair to black, I am still experimenting the concentration to see if topical rapmycin has any effect on follicular melanogenesis

1 Like

You may want to try combining your regimen with microneedling to improve absorption.

I do this once in a while (combination of tretinoin + rapamycin). However my topical has dmso which is unpleasant for upto 30 minutes after application.


I asked the microneedling with my dermatologist years before, but she thought it’s risky to use it at home without supervision, so I am cautious with it

Combination of tretinoin + rapamycin is a great idea, I have used tretinoin 0.1% on face&body for many years, It’s good to try it on scalp

1 Like

I use a dermapen and I’m careful about having my scalp & hair, and the needles be clean and sanitized. I also only use fresh towels. But there may be other reasons to be careful too. Some folks who use microneedling complain of skin pigmentation that develops at the spot. Perhaps that happens when the needling is too frequent or too deep.


Curious…if I have the rapa 15 mg pills…to try this… how best to make it soluable?? Smash to powder and then??

Okay - so I have the extra Rapamycin from my prescription to make a hair tonic and I am shopping through Walgreens for pure oil free face cream and Transcutol. And then it hits me. Generic Rogain - Walmart 5% minoxidil. It is a clear liquid solution for the scalp (unlike a cream) - ingredients made to last a few months. Why wouldn’t a person powder up the Rapamycin and mix with this solution to dissolve and spread it evenly and cleanly on the scalp. You get the benefit of blood flow increase at the follicle root with the minoxidil and that can provide a path for the Rapamycin to do it’s magic within the roots. Kinda makes sense to me. I have my hair, but it can always be a bit thicker. For those with exposed - bald heads - the face cream approach might make more sense. I have a prescription for the Sirolimus .2% cream for my neck and face. Lasts a few months. I get it a CareFirst in New Jersey. One year of use and it is amazing. Turkey neck gone - face tighten - brow lines gone. I tried the cream on my hair at night - a mess and probably loss more hair than I gained. LOL So, I am going to try my idea out. Powder the Rapamycin and add to the Equate 5% Minoxidil. Will take scalp pics before and pics again in 3 months. Let’s see how my personal trial goes.


Full Paper:



Just got back from a haircut. My regular hair dresser past 3 years. . point blank asked me… "Are you using a supplement on your hair? I asked a supplement… what do you mean?
She said Rogain… or something.

She told me the back of my crown has new growth and it’s curly growth.

I laughed and said yep for the past 10 days or so.

Hmmm… lets keep going with that!

Just took this… will do a 3 month before and after pic.



I’ve been doing the same thing for a month or two. Can’t tell if any new growth, but my front hair seems to be growing thicker and better than ever. I’ll have to get more serious and methodical about quantifying somehow, but anecdotally, it seems to be doing something positive.


Update! Well it has been 3 weeks since my last hair cut and time for a hair cut again. My stylist said you definitley have new hair coming in on the crown and in the front. She called over 2 other co-workers who confirmed. Then asked, Please tell me what you are doing, so I can tell it to my husband. LOL.

Using 5% equate (Walmart brand) minoxidol liquid with 4mg rapamycin (2 pills) crushed in it. Use at bed time and in morning after shower religiously. When I started… it seemed a lot of hair was falling out from the treatment. I was warned this happens for the first few weeks… then stablizes. So fair warning… it gets worse… then better. Hahaha.


Great news - thanks for sharing! I’ll need to try this.
I also wonder if perhaps adding 17-alpha estradiol to the mix might be beneficial - as per this patent on the use of it on skin (and its already sold for hair growth in Europe).


Sounds worth trying. Easy enough to add.

Based on user experiences being reported on this site, what concentration of rapa topical are yielding the best results?

Thank you!


@Agetron are you using the rapa topical to face and neck daily?

I also have a script for Carefirst pharmacy. They told me it is shelf stable for only 1 month in the standard base they use (because it contains water). They do tho have a water free that lasts 6 months but may go on more like aquafor. Which do you get?



I have success with .2 percent compounded at pharmacy with a prescription. Great on neck and forehead…criws feet wrinkles.


So this intervention was BOTH Minoxidil AND Rapamycin?

If so, how do you tease out Rapamycin only?

Minoxidil REALLY works…I have some balding on my crown, my hair doc put me on a solution of Minoxidil combined with Bimatoprost and topical Finasteride, applied nightly.

Astounding hair regrowth in only 2 months.

If anyone is doing a methodical Rapamycin only intervention please share.

1 Like