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Hair loss problem? the industry steps up innovation...

By Michelle Yeomans+

10-Jan-2014
Last updated on 10-Jan-2014 at 12:17 GMT

Hair loss problem? the industry steps up innovation...

Hair loss remains a problem for many, but there have been major advances in the area of treatments, particularly in the last year that suggest it could soon be a thing of the past. Here's what the cosmetics industry has been working on...

The latest work comes from Germany based Evonik who has launched a skin-identical sphingolipid that it says prevents hair loss by addressing scalp health and rebalancing the lifecycle of hair.

According to company reps, Sphingony (INCI: Sphinganine) has shown in in vitro studies to balance the hair cycle by inhibition of 5-α-reductase, improving the scalp renewal capacity.

"It also has been found to stimulate formation of essential building blocks like proteins and ceramides and by improving scalp health by equalizing the microflora," they add.

Back in November, Barcelona-based company Provital also launched a new ingredient to market, developed to focus on promoting follicle growth. The active, Baicapil, is described as being created by combining the plants Scutellaria baicalensis, Triticum vulgare and Glycine max.

According to the company, it is a substance which will now help to “increase cellular energy and activate follicle stem cells.”

...then there was scientific advancements that work alongside actives

In mid-summer a team of Singaporean scientists announced they had engineered a new hair follicle model to help to develop an active ingredients in hair regeneration products.

Researchers at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) reckoned that despite there being several drugs on the market that aim to reduce hair loss, none have targeted hair regrowth to date.

The work concentrated on the fact that the hair follicle is a regenerating organ that produces a hair shaft during each cycle growth, where the team then developed a three dimensional hair follicle model to study these cell interactions in an effort to identify the parameters for treatments targeting both male and female pattern baldness.

“In our model, the hair cells are implanted into very fine and transparent fibers, which can be easily examined under the microscope unlike conventional models, making them ideal for drug testing applications,” says IBN Team Leader and Principal Research Scientist Dr. Andrew Wan.

...to synthetic peptides that treat pattern baldness

By December, scientists at Manchester University had revealed that thymus peptides may be effective in treating male and female pattern baldness.

The researchers’ results suggested that nearly all patients with the two most common causes of hair loss treated with synthetic versions of these peptides showed an observable decrease in symptoms, without any negative side effects.

They also believed that when used in personal care products, these compounds have the potential to effectively treat telogen effluvium and androgenetic alopecia, which are the main causes of baldness in humans.

The study looked at 366 patients over a period of six months, made up of 129 men and 237 women and found that men treated with either a serum and/or a shampoo based on these peptides had a mean symptom improvement of 89%, whilst women had a result of 95%.

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