Posted by Dr. Tristan Barmer.

The well- known cosmetic company L’oreal announced that in September 2012 they will be launching a new hair loss product that, according to them, will help awakening dormant hair follicles and enhance hair density. The news about this upcoming hair loss product has recenlty been disclosed by

L’Oreal’s upcoming hair loss product “Neogenetic” – a snake oil?

The new hair loss product will be in lotion form and will be named ‘Neogenic’, which is named after the phase of turning from hair follciles from dormancy into activity.

Retail price for the 1 month hair loss treatment will be around €90 (a 24-pack). The company said that they are planning to produce other forms of Neogenic in the future such as hair loss shampoos, lotions and mousses. 

Hypoxia and its important function during hair loss

Hypoxia occurs when a particular part of the body becomes oxygen deprived. L’Oreal believes that this is an important relationship within the pathways related to hair loss and made use of this commercially.

The new hair loss product was developed based on the research done by the French firm’s new Hair Research Centre using its patented molecule stemoxydine, which is a molecule that mimics the effect of hypoxia by stabilisation of protein called Hif1a.

The study was presented in St. Ouen, Jersey by L’Oreal’s scientist, Michelle Rathman-Josserand, who specialises in hair loss.  She said that the thorough research done on hypoxia and the effects of hypoxia on hair follicles and its role during hair loss has lead to the discovery of this ‘potentially game-changing’ active.

Josserand stated: “If hypoxia is as important as we think it is, then stemoxydine, which can effectively mimic hypoxia, will be a very important active ingredient.”

The Control of Stem Cell Function

Many studies related to hair loss research have shown that hypoxic conditions are vital in the control of stem cell function, and the Hypoxia Inducing Factor or H1F1 transcription factor proves to play a crucial role within expression control of genes related to cell survival.

Researcher Josserand agrees that, similar as within hypoxic culturing conditions, stemoxydine will target the regenerative potential of hair derived from stem cells and would eventually lead to increase capillary density in hair loss sufferers.

This discovery may play an essential role in maintaining stem cell function,”  Josserand continued.

The resulting molecule, independent of the level of oxygenation, targets and inhibits prolyl-hydroxylase thereby enabling the accumulation of the active form of H1F1 as is observed with hypoxia.”

Stem cell research and its trend to be used for the promotion of hair loss products









L’Oreals Second Hair Loss Product?

This new hair loss product is a ‘come back’ of L’Oreal’s first hair loss molecule Aminexil.  Aminexil targets the collagen structure around the hair follicle which intensifies anchoring of the hair while stemoxydine has a different mechanism of action.  The new hair loss product aims to increase hair density while the old one is designed more as an anti-hair loss product.

According to L’Oreal the new hair loss product is proven to be safe for cosmetic use, was patented and tested in in vitro models.  They claim that efficacy of this hair loss product was tested and confirmed in vivo during a clinical study on humans.  The trademark name ‘Neogenic’ was registered April 2012.

In summary: Let’s hope for the best but it can be said that there hasn’t been published too much science behind the company’s claims and hair loss product. Also based on past experiences big companies are unliklely to do research for research purpose (but more likely to do research for commercialisation purpose). Please do note our recent warning about the growing tendency to abuse “stem-cell” related research for the promotion of a new generation of hair loss snake oils. Please review our recently published article about this – here. Caveat emptor – “Let the buyer beware.”

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