The study was conducted in a lab using human hair samples, but may be a viable treatment for people experiencing hair loss, according to study co-author Dr. Nathan Hawkshaw of the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom.
However, Dr Hawkshaw said that further clinical trials will be needed to test the safety as well as effectiveness of the drug in people.
However, Finasteride only works for men and along with Minoxidil comes with side effects, doesn't always work and is not now available through a doctor. These two drugs also have some side effects which include erectile dysfunction, further hair loss and allergic reactions.
After performing full gene expression analysis of isolated scalp HFs treated with CsA, it was found that the immunosuppressive agent reduced the expression of a protein that inhibits the development and growth of many tissues, including HFs, SFRP1.
Researchers have found that the active compound stimulates human hair follicles to grow by targeting a protein that usually puts the breaks on.
Hawkshaw said the next phase ought to be a medical test to determine whether WAY-316606, or even similar chemicals, are safe and effective.
The findings appear in the journal PLOS Biology. Another option is hair transplants. Known officially as Cyclosporine A (CsA), it has been commonly used since the 1980s, and does, unfortunately, have many side effects.
However, because of its side effects CsA would be quite unsuitable as a baldness treatment.
He added: "Interestingly, when the hair growth-promoting effects of CsA were previously studied in mice, a very different molecular mechanism of action was suggested".
The lack of treatment for the hereditary condition has led to thousands of men undergo painful hair transplant procedures.
"This makes our research clinically very relevant, as many hair research studies only use cell culture".