Ashland strengthens position in hair biology

Advancing the capabilities of personal care products, Ashland unveiled its roadmap to beautiful hair based on BiotHAIRapy™ biofunctionals last November. The patented ingredient systems are inspired by key biological markers associated with hair growth capital, density, strength and colour. Biologists from Ashland’s Vincience research centre presented ex vivo scalp models at the in-cosmetics Asia exhibition and conference in Thailand, demonstrating long-term beneficial effects with ingredient systems based on natural chemistry.

‘Maintaining hair density, strength and colour over time is one of the most valued attributes of consumers everywhere, yet it remains as one of the most elusive,’ says Anne-Francoise Clay, marketing manager at the company. ‘Our biologists looked at key markers present in normal hair and asked: How do we mimic or bolster those markers for better long-term outcomes in hair length, follicle integrity (after damage), strength and pigmentation? Our ex vivo studies, made available today, demonstrate viable platforms for beautiful hair.’ 

Included in Ashland’s BiotHAIRapy biofunctional platform for hair are a series of five offerings, all targeting a specific aesthetic benefit. The Hair Stemness System™ (based on rice protein) may help mitigate the stress factors known to compromise hair growth capital; the Hair Fullness System™ (based on corn protein) may support better intercellular communications, a process essential for hair density; and the Hair Keratin System™ (based on yeast extract) may contribute to structural proteins required for stronger, healthier-looking strands. 

Another offering, the Hair Detox System™ serves as one of the first hair anti-aging solutions. With aging, a decrease in antioxidant enzyme (catalase) activity may be seen in hair follicles. Very often, accumulation of hydrogen peroxide becomes apparent. Tests show that oxidative stress with hydrogen peroxide depletes the melanin of hair follicles ex vivo. The Hair Detox System, based on natural pea proteins, may help preserve melanin in oxidative stress conditions. 

Consumers in search of a strategy to preserve original hair colour may consider hair care products formulated with the Hair Melanin System™. In ex vivo evaluations, this ingredient system based on flax seed proteins supported an increase in markers involved in melanin production within the hair follicle.

Hair vitality is an unmet consumer need 

Research scientists have explored a host of reasons why consumers struggle to maintain or rejuvenate their hair. Genetics, hormonal imbalance, improper diet, stress, aging and other factors are believed to contribute to deleterious effects on hair. Yet few options exist for consumers to rejuvenate hair discretely using simple leave-in serums and crèmes.

‘Our objective with BiotHAIRapy biofunctionals is to give consumers options to address common hair problems with hair care formulations they are willing to use every day,’ adds Clay. ‘In consumer panel studies, we used these Ecocert validated ingredient systems at low use levels in leave-in products, such as conditioning spray milk, with outstanding results after 90 days.’

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