L’Oreal has launched hair loss and baldness treatment Kérastase Densifique, which has been hailed as a “major breakthrough” as it stimulates the scalp to wake up dormant follicles.
Scientists have found that many of those suffering from hair loss or balding have skin tissue in the scalp that has an oxygen deficiency – a condition called hypoxia.
They have developed a molecule called stemoxydine that targets this condition by attempting to increase oxygen levels in the scalp.
The increase aims to help follicles to produce thicker hair and stimulate hair growth in areas where the follicles have shut down.
The Kérastase Densifique cream, which costs $450 for a three-month treatment, is applied to the hair daily.
Kérastase Densifique, which has been hailed as a major breakthrough, stimulates the scalp to wake up dormant follicles
It is put into damp or dry hair using an applicator and then massaged into the scalp.
L’Oreal, which developed the hair treatment in its hair laboratory in Paris, claims that it is clinically proven to be effective for both men and women.
In a study, 101 people who used the product once a day for three months found a 4% increase in the number of hairs they had, which represent an average of 1,700 new hairs.
Patricia Pineau, head of scientific affairs at L’Oréal, said: “We’ve known for 100 years that hair grows and falls out. We haven’t known what makes hair regenerate until now.
“It is all about hair stem cell environment. In 2000, we have published the existence of two stem cell reservoirs in the hair and, more recently, we have both identified the optimal environment and designed a molecule able to favor it.
“Kérastase Densifique is a result of this discovery that happens not very often. We have been able to develop a cosmetic product that respects the natural way hair regenerates.
“A clinical trial has proven its efficacy on hair density – number and diameter. Kérastase Densifique will really help people who are experiencing thinning hair and less volume.”
Advertising Standards Authority(ASA) in UK has announced a ban on the magazine advertisement for L’Oreal’s Revitalift Repair 10 in which Rachel Weisz appeared with perfectly smooth skin.
In fact, the image of the 41-year-old Oscar winning actress, who married Daniel Craig last year, had been digitally enhanced or airbrushed to even out her complexion.
ASA ruled the image “misleadingly exaggerated” the performance of the product.
The decision has been welcomed by Lib-Dem MP Jo Swinson, who is campaigning against the use of airbrushing and unrealistic images of beauty in advertising.
Rachel Weisz is not the first renowned beauty to have her image digitally enhanced to give a false impression of the benefits of using popular beauty products.
An advertisement for an Olay anti-aging product featuring Twiggy was banned in 2009. Last year L’Oreal advertisements featuring Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington were banned on the grounds they were misleading.
MP Jo Swinson, who is co-founder of the Campaign for Body Confidence, said: “The beauty and advertising industries need to stop ripping off consumers with dishonest images.
“The banning of this advert, along with the previous ASA rulings banning heavily retouched ads featuring Twiggy, Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington, should act as a wake-up call.
“Thankfully the advertising regulator has again acknowledged the fraudulent nature of excessive retouching.”
ASA banned magazine advertisement for L’Oreal’s Revitalift Repair 10 in which Rachel Weisz appeared with perfectly smooth skin
Jo Swinson said there was sound medical evidence that faked images cause harm.
“The Royal College of Psychiatrists has spoken out about the harmful influence of the media on body image and has highlighted the airbrushing and digital enhancement used to portray physical perfection as an area of concern,” she said.
“There needs to be much more diversity in advertising – different skin colors, body shapes, sizes and ages. Studies show that people want to see more authenticity from brands. Images can be aspirational without being faked.”
The fact that the image has been digitally manipulated is at odds with the actress’s stated view that performers should do away with artificial help to prolong their youth. It is not known whether she approved the changes.
Speaking to Harper’s Bazaar magazine in 2009, Jo Swinson called for a ban on Botox for actors, saying: “Acting is all about expression; why would you want to iron out a frown?”
In the same interview Jo Swinson mentioned that English women were much less worried about their physical appearance than those in the US.
The marketing for L’Oreal’s Revitalift range claims it makes the skin feel firmer, toned, and suppler. The ASA did not challenge these, however it was unhappy that the actress’s image was used to substantiate the claims that the “Skin looks smoother” and “Complexion looks more even”.
L’Oreal defended the way the image of the actress had been manipulated.
The company said: “The ad sought to represent Rachel Weisz as favorably as possible and therefore every effort had gone into ensuring the most flattering set-up.
“Rachel Weisz had been professionally styled and made-up and then lit and shot by a professional photographer in a studio setting.
“The photo was shot using a lot of light in order to make the picture more flattering and to reduce the appearance of imperfections in the ensuing image by giving the image a soft focus and lower resolution.”
L’Oreal admitted the image had been subsequently retouched.
The ASA said: “We considered that the image had been altered in a way that substantially changed her complexion to make it appear smoother and more even.
“We therefore concluded that the image in the ad misleadingly exaggerated the performance of the product.”
L’Oréal’s anti-grey pill, a daily medication based on a secret fruit extract, is scheduled to launch within the next four years.
Bruno Bernard, head of hair biology at L’Oréal, told The Sunday Times:
“We have a watertight proof of concept with this, and we think it will have a market among men as well as women.”
Although L’Oréal has been researching the pill for more than a decade, scientists acknowledge it will take at least another 10 more to chart its effectiveness, because hair-greying is such a slow process.
The bad news for people whose hair has already started to turn grey, the scientists believe the anti-grey pill won’t reverse the process.
“Ideally you would take it (the pill) for your whole life,” said Bruno Bernard.
“But realistically we would encourage people to start using it before their hair goes grey because we don’t think it can reverse the process once it has started.”
Scientists say they don't believe their anti-grey pill will work on people like George Clooney, whose hair has already begun the greying process
Hair cells are at their best between puberty and the age of 25. Once people hit 30, the hair cells slump into an “oxidative stress” process and their defense against toxins breaks down summoning the appearance of grey hairs.
The new anti-grey pill is designed to protect the hair cells.
According to researchers, the absence of a protective enzyme called tyrosinase-related protein 2 (TRP-2) causes hair pigment cells to die as people get older.
But, instead of developing a synthetic drug that mimics TRP-2, L’Oréal screened thousands of natural compounds humans are exposed to already and found one in the fruit.
Des Tobin, professor of cell biology at Bradford University’s Centre for Skin Science, told The Sunday Times:
“With people living longer and working longer, they are in the grey zone for longer, and the demand for something like this is huge.”
George Cotsarelis, a hair cell expert at the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine, said although he was skeptical, if the company had found a way to prevent pigment cells from dying off it could be “very interesting”.