“Everyone wants to try it,” Altman told me. “We get inundated with e-mails saying, ‘Tell me what the price is, I really don’t care, I’ll buy it.’ ” Weinstein looked at me. “You have your hair,” he said. “I don’t know why you’re interested in this,” Altman chimed in, with wildly unrealistic but much appreciated enthusiasm for my reporting. “ ’Cause eighty million people don’t! There’ll be eighty million people reading this article!”
Drugs normally used for rheumatoid arthritis and bone marrow cancer, they are now being studied for their uses as a hair growth medicine. These are a new class of medicines labeled as JAK inhibitors. In one study, 6 out of 9 patients dramatically went from bald to a full head of hair after taking Ruxolitinib for 5 months. In another study several subjects were able to regrow full heads of hair. Unfortunately, sustained use of such drugs will have severe side effects. Many of these concerns would be side stepped if a topical formula could be developed. Researchers at the Department of Dermatology and Genetics and Development at Columbia University Medical center are now studying other JAK inhibitors in placebo controlled studies.