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Further understanding of hair follicles leads to breakthrough for L’Oréal scientist

By Andrew McDougall , 22-Jun-2012

Scientist measuring hair density in a Phototrichogram L'Oréal
Scientist measuring hair density in a Phototrichogram L'Oréal

Studies into the consumer perception of hair loss has led to the revelation that it is in fact hair density that is diminishing and this has opened up a whole new line of research and scientific development for L’Oréal.

The average person’s scalp is covered by 100,000-150,000 hair follicles with up to 100 hairs lost per day. ‘Hair loss’ is a worry amongst men and women, but a study carried out by the French cosmetics firm has revealed it is in fact hair density that relates to consumers’ biggest concern.

“There is still so much more to learn about hair,” research fellow Bruno Bernard told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com. “Our recent studies have highlighted this and opened up new avenues of research.”

New research important to understand

Bernard’s latest research focuses on the biology of hair stem cells and has noted that even when in the dormant phase hair follicles are still active, a discovery the scientist says is “important to understand and has led to advancements in the understanding of hair density.”

“The loss of hair density is a big talking point in hair care right now,” he continued. “Consumers are interested and intrigued by it and our research has now centred on this.”

In order for the cosmetics maker to push forward with a research project, the consumer demand and scientific development must meet a point in which it can facilitate a new product innovation.

Through the Advanced Research team’s study into  regenerating hair with stem cells, understanding the hair follicle cycle and studies into the importance of hypoxia on hair density, and the consumer interest in this field, L’Oréal has been able to develop actives and has led to a hair care ‘breakthrough’ for the firm.

Science and market demand leads to innovation

Yesterday, Cosmetics Design revealed that L’Oréal will launch a new active ingredient in September that awakens dormant hair and enhances hair density, based on this research.

The new product will be called ‘Neogenic’, relating to the phase when hair moves from dormant to active, and will initially be available in lotion form.

It relates to research concerning L’Oréal’s patented molecule stemoxydine; a molecular biomimic of hypoxia via the stabilisation of the protein Hif1a, and Bernard claims that as hypoxia plays an important role in hair density, then this new active will play an important role in future hair applications.

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