Menard developed a formula with Korean red ginseng as well as black winter truffle extract. In a previous study, the company tested these extracts in a formula to promote hair growth.
The formula was tested successfully on an artificial scalp model developed by Menard, which allows it to evaluate hair growth at a ‘test tube level’.
The red ginseng is steamed and dried in a special treatment developed by Menard, which has dubbed the product ‘super-ripe red ginseng’.
This hair formulation was tested on 20 men and women. The 20 subjects were instructed to apply the hair tonic on half of their scalp for three months to examine the preventative effect of these extracts.
After three months, the team analysed the hair samples and confirmed that the formula boosted the expression of the CXCL12 protein.
Increasing CXCL12 production in hair was imperative to prevent the hair greying process.
Additionally, a comparison of the two halves of the scalp showed that the half treated with the lotion has less white hair, proving that the extracts were effective in preventing the growth of white hair.
The company said it would apply this new discovery to the development of new hair care developments targeting pigment stem cells.
Menard Cosmetics was established in 1959 and develops a range of cosmetic products and manages a chain of aesthetic salons. It is also has established businesses in hospitality.
Black and white evaluation
The cosmetics company developed this formula after setting out to analyse the difference between black hair and white hair in detail using stem cell analysis technology.
Previous studies have shown that pigment stem cells can be found in the bulb of the hair follicle.
According to the firm, the amount of pigment stem cells tends to decrease due to factors such as ageing or stress.
According to the firm, this suppresses the production of melanocytes and eventually turns hair grey.
Through the research process, the team discovered that a protein called CXCL12 plays an important role in the process of greying hair by maintaining the pigment stem cells.
When comparing black hair and grey hair, the researchers found that expression of CXCL12 was reduced in white hair.
The firm believes that when the expression of CXCL12 weakens, the supply of melanin is blocked and results in the formation of grey hairs.
“As a result of comparing black hair and white hair, it was found that the expression of CXCL12 was reduced in white hair. In other words, it was thought that the cause of grey hair was a decrease in the expression of CXCL12 in the bulb, which made it impossible to maintain pigment stem cells and disrupts the supply of melanocytes.”
Menard has been researching stem cell technologies since 2003.