I am 37 y.o. I earned a Ph.D in biochemistry and an M.D. from a leading U.S. medical school (I don't practice medicine anymore). My hair began receding from the front of my scalp (anterior MPB) at age 26. I was Norwood grade II until age 33. From age 33-37, my hair loss accelerated and I progressed to Norwood grade III (no hair loss in the vertex). I suspect that without any intervention, I will be Norwood grade IV by age 40. I began applying Rogaine 5% over most of my scalp from ages 31-36, but I stopped after seeing very little increase in length, density, thickness, or pigmentation. I have never used any other hair-regrowth product. I believe in the efficacy of dutasteride/finasteride, but I won't risk their side effects. I am aware of other clinical trial-stage topical anti-androgens, but I am wary about using them until more data comes out. I became interested in bimatoprost after hearing several dermatologists tout its efficacy and safety.
I received a prescription for Lumigan (0.03% bimatoprost) from a university-based dermatologist who researches hair loss. A colleague of mine had a contact at Allergan, and this enabled me to purchase large quantities of Lumigan (insurance only covers 1 2.5 ml bottle/month).
This is my first time visiting a hair forum and my first post. I am trying to catch up with past posts, so if my data is redundant, I apologize. I will try to keep this as concise as possible and for general readership.
I applied at night 1-1.5 ml of 0.03% Lumigan for 6 months (82 2.5 ml bottles total, at a cost of $325/month). I rubbed it into my scalp (from my orginal hairline to the frontal and temporal regions) for one minute with my fingertips.
I used the Allergan brand product to ensure purity and I used a large volume for adequate coverage so that at the end of the trial, if I didn't see results, I wouldn't question the purity of the compound or the volume applied (I would still be left with questions about other variables, such as product concentration and delivery vehicle, which I could address after my study). The dermatologist inspected my scalp and took photos at baseline and every 2 months after.
We did not observe any results during the first 2 months of the trial. But by the end of month 3, the hair on my frontal and temporal areas (2.5 to 4 inches above my original hairline) began to show increased density and thickness. By the end of month 4, we observed increased pigmentation of this hair and some of my miniturized hairs had a moderate increase in length. These parameters continued to improve up until the end of the 6 month trial.
I experienced no significant new growth in the bald areas of my scalp. Vellus hairs formed, but less than 5% became terminal hairs.
My own subjective assessment of the appearance of my hair is that this treatment has turned the clock back to about a 1.5 years ago.
I experienced no side effects during the trial.
I am satisfied that bimatoprost has stimulated hair growth for my particular case and will significantly slow my hair loss. I am now interested in applying higher concentrations of product to see if I can achieve even better results. The challenge, of course, is obtaining pure bimatoprost compound (designing the vehicle is less of a problem).
I don't know if I can justify the cost of this treatment to others. I really don't have an idea of how much members on this forum spend per month on hair regrowth products. I certainly saw results that were much better than with Rogaine for my particular case, but Rogaine is a small fraction of the cost that I invested.
I would like to hear more details from other members on: 1) whether they have been successful in obtaining pure bimatoprost powder (verified by U.S. lab testing) from overseas companies that advertise bimatoprost, particularly China, and the cost paid; 2) whether anyone has had higher concentrations of bimatoprost solution made by a compounding pharmacy (with a prescription for this concentration). If you have not been able to verify the purity of your bimatoprost orders at a U.S. testing facility, then this is something that I could pursue in the next month. I will also be able to run any questions or ideas that members may have by my dermatologist.
I would be happy to provide more details or follow up information. Just be patient as I can only stop by once a day.