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L’Oréal to launch new active to increase hair density

By Andrew McDougall , 21-Jun-2012
Last updated on 20-Dec-2012 at 12:52 GMT

Cosmetics maker L’Oréal will launch a new active ingredient in September that awakens dormant hair and enhances hair density, CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com can reveal.

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.

The planned price will be €90 for a 24-pack/ one month treatment, and L’Oréal told us that there were plans to expand into other applications such as shampoos and mousses in the future.

Importance of role of hypoxia

The development relates to research done at the French firm’s new Hair Research Centre concerning its patented molecule stemoxydine; a molecular biomimic of hypoxia via the stabilisation of the protein Hif1a.

This publication was invited to St Ouen to speak with the scientists behind the latest hair care development, and L’Oréal research fellow Michelle Rathman-Josserand explained that due to extensive research into hypoxia and its effect on hair follicles, this ‘potentially game-changing’ active has been developed.

Hypoxia relates to when a region of the body is deprived of oxygen and L’Oréal is convinced of its importance in the hair’s microenvironment, making its new discovery as important.

“If hypoxia is as important as we think it is, then stemoxydine, which can effectively mimic hypoxia, will be a very important active ingredient,” Josserand told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com.

Controlling stem cell function

Several studies have shown that hypoxic conditions are important in controlling some of the functions of stem cells, and the HIF1 (Hypoxia Inducing Factor) transcription factor plays a central role in controlling the expression of numerous genes involved in cell survival.

According to Josserand, like hypoxic culturing conditions, stemoxydine impacts the regenerative potential of hair-derived stem cells, and can increase capillary density in human volunteers.

“This discovery may play an essential role in maintaining stem cell function,” continued the L’Oréal scientist.

“The resulting molecule, independent of the level of oxygenation, targets and inhibits prolyl-hydroxylases thereby enabling the accumulation of the active form of HIF1 as is observed with hypoxia.”

Second hair molecule

The new molecule comes off the back of L’Oréal’s first hair loss molecule, Aminexil, developed several years ago.

Aminexil acts upon the collagen structure around the hair follicle and increases hair anchoring, whereas stemoxydine acts differently. The former’s consumer benefits circle around anti-hair loss, whereas the new active aims to increase hair density.

The new molecule has been verified as safe for cosmetic use, and was patented and tested in in vitro models. Clinical studies have also been performed to confirm efficacy in vivo and the trademark name for the product, ‘Neogenic’, was registered in April this year.

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