L'Oreal Looks To Patent Cure For Gray Hair

| by Taylor Bell
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L’Oreal Paris, the world’s largest cosmetics powerhouse, is looking to patent a cure for gray hair.

New York Magazine brought the product idea to light after coming across the patent application filed by L’Oreal for what the company calls a “secret potion that will prevent gray hair. Forever.”

While Bruno Bernard, head of the Hair Care, Quality and Color team at L’Oreal first mentioned the company’s research about gray hair in 2011, it is still unknown how this research will take on product form.

Initially, Bernard mentioned the cure would be a pill “based on a fruit extract that mimics an enzyme called TRP-2, which isn’t present in hair follicles,” reports MSN. The goal of the fruit extract is to prevent oxidative stress, a process that occurs when hair cells succumb to antioxidants and turn gray, according to L’Oreal officials.

L’Oreal’s cure for older looking hair has not come without scrutiny. New York Magazine noted the formula used by L’Oreal includes putrescine, which is an organic chemical compound that produces a bad odor in things such as rotting fish and bad breath.

Additionally, Bernard told the U.K.’s Daily Mail in 2011 if the cure became reality, a patient would have to take the treatment daily for the rest of their lives, and it would need to be used “before [the [patient’s] hair goes gray because we don’t think it can reverse the process once it has started.”

“There are some people who never turn gray,” said Maria Colavincenzo, an assistant professor of dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, in a 2011 report. “What's the point of taking a pill 10 years before you need and take it forever if you're never going to turn gray?"

Sources: MSN, New York Magazine, The Daily Mail, NBC, ABC