Topical Latanoprost
January 13, 2023

What is Latanoprost?

Latanoprost is a prostaglandin analogue typically used to treat glaucoma in the form of eyedrops. Some of the side effects of Latanoprost include increased length, thickness and pigmentation of eyelashes. This often-desirable side effect of Latanoprost has been marketed uniquely in the cosmetic industry and other drugs in the prostaglandin class have also been shown to have similar effects.

How does Latanoprost affect the hair cycle?

The hair cycle consists of four phases: the growth phase (anagen), the degradation phase (catagen), the resting phase (telogen), and the shedding phase (exogen). When an eyelash falls out, a new one takes its place in the anagen phase. Latanoprost has been proven to induce and prolong the growth phase in eyelash follicles, as well as stimulate growth of the dormant lashes3. Multiple studies have solidified analogues of the prostaglandin class for treatment of alopecia, hypotrichosis, and other disease states that cause unintended eyelash loss.

Is there evidence for Latanoprost for androgenetic alopecia (male/female pattern baldness)?

Due to Latanoprost’s popular use for eyelash regeneration, the discussion for its use on the scalp has been postulated in the field of medicine. Several double-blind, randomized clinical studies have compared latanoprost with hair-growth medications such as minoxidil, betamethasone and against placebo alone to study its effects on androgenetic alopecia. These studies indicated that latanoprost, either alone or in addition to other hair loss agents, had a statistically significant effect in increasing hair density, stimulating hair follicle activity, and alleviating hair loss4,5. Although larger studies are needed to maximize latanoprost’s use for hair loss, the current data is promising and could help many patients who suffer from hair loss lead more fulfilling lives.

Anna Marie Kroninger

Doctor of Pharmacy Candidate, Class of 2022

Medical University of South Carolina

College of Pharmacy


  1. Johnstone MA. Hypertrichosis and increased pigmentation of eyelashes and adjacent hair in the region of the ipsilateral eyelids of patients treated with unilateral topical latanoprost. Am J Ophthalmol. 1997 Oct;124(4):544-7. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(14)70870-0. PMID: 9323945.
  2. Law SK. Bimatoprost in the treatment of eyelash hypotrichosis. Clin Ophthalmol. 2010;4:349-358. Published 2010 Apr 26. doi:10.2147/opth.s6480
  3. Nesher R, Mimouni M, Elnaddaf H, Nemet A, Kidron D. Characterization of Prostaglandin F2α Receptors in Human Eyelids. European Journal of Ophthalmology. 2015;25(2):81-84. doi: 10.5301/ejo.5000519
  4. Blume-Peytavi U, Lönnfors S, Hillmann K, Garcia Bartels N. A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled pilot study to assess the efficacy of a 24-week topical treatment by latanoprost 0.1% on hair growth and pigmentation in healthy volunteers with androgenetic alopecia. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2012 May;66(5):794-800. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2011.05.026. Epub 2011 Aug 27. PMID: 21875758.
  5. El-Ashmawy AA, El-Maadawy IH, El-Maghraby GM. Efficacy of topical latanoprost versus minoxidil and betamethasone valerate on the treatment of alopecia areata. J Dermatolog Treat. 2018 Feb;29(1):55-64. doi: 10.1080/09546634.2017.1330527. Epub 2017 Jun 15. PMID: 28521549.