We caught up with one of our speakers, Dr. Karl Lindner to find out how he plans to focus on anti-ageing products for hair, one of the biggest current trends, during his speaker session on haircare at in-cosmetics 2015.
What will you be covering during your discussion at in-cosmetics Hair care Advances: To Grow or not to grow, that is the question?
The workshop will cover both aspects of physico-chemical and biological research in hair care.
• Formulation of products of better sustainability and maintained or improved efficacy which are applied on the dead hair itself and which address the symptoms of age-damaged hair fibre
• Increasingly sophisticated biophysical methods of measuring and documenting improved anti-age hair care
• New insights into the biology of greying hair
• Biological and biophysical activities of home-use devices for act on hair growth
Why do you think hair care has lagged a little behind skin care in terms of active innovation?
I see a number of reasons for this:
• Innovation in skin care has over the last 30 years been dominated (at least with respect to the number of “active ingredients” developed and used) by products of increasing sophistication in biological activity (DNA repair, anti-glycation, Matrikine peptides). There was, and still is, a huge field of possibilities to invent, test and generate concepts and benefits
• The dead hair keratin, however, offers much less points of attack, the scope of potential claims and marketing concepts is thus much more limited
• There are many more skin care brands – small and large – than there are hair care brands, therefore the potential market for the various innovators and suppliers is smaller in number of possible contacts, even if the volumes of hair care products (shampoo, conditioners…) is much higher. Instead of fifty or more small to medium size innovation companies supplying ideas, there are the few giants who do great research but make less “noise” about it
• Hair care research is more costly, more time consuming and less glamorous than “anti-wrinkle” fighting
This seems to be changing now, what has happened?
The “greening” of the industry requires companies to look into substituting (at least partially) some of the environmentally less friendly materials with more sustainable, biodegradable, renewable ingredients. In the process companies are also looking for new messages about their benefits, in the wake of the success of the anti-age skin care stories. It is not sufficient to claim “my shampoo is more sustainable than X”.
Thus, anti-age claims, broadly defined, can be attached to reformulations, e.g. with new (bio-)surfactants
What areas of anti-ageing skin care strategy can also be applied to hair care?
Better understanding of the physiology of healthy skin, the domain of cosmetic research, has extended to understanding the biology of the hair follicle.
Active ingredients used to restore/repair extracellular matrix, to protect against lipid peroxidation, against glycation and many more such mechanisms can be, with adaptation, employed in specific scalp care products. Clearly the aging process influences cells of the facial epidermis in similar ways as the epidermal layer in the hair follicle. And healthy (healthier?) hair follicles will surely produce better quality visible hair fibres.
But screening and testing for these effects is way more complicated, lengthy and costly (thus more risky) than for skin care.
Home use technology is a growing trend in hair care and other areas of the industry. How will this change the game for formulators?
Indeed it is a growing trend, but still in its infancy, both in skin care and in hair care. The aim of course is not to supplant formulated products but to complement them with devices that in one way or another improve the efficacy of bioactivity on the follicle, and – possibly although yet to be invented- biophysical efficacy on the hair fibre.
The task and challenge for the formulators will be to find both ingredients and devices that work together to give measurable synergies at reasonable cost and ease of use. Collaboration between formulators and ingredient/device- innovators will be essential in order to make this a success, given that consumers want hassle-free application and quick results.
What do you hope formulators will take away from the discussion?
With the expert panel of speakers addressing these topics, I expect lively debate with the audience and the take-home message: “here are ideas (ingredients, methods, claims etc.) I have not heard about before, let’s try them in my lab before someone else does”
Dr Lindtner is speaking at the Haircare advances: To grow or not to grow, that is the question at in-cosmetics on 14 April 2015, 14:00 – 17:30, Workshop Room CC5.2