L'Oreal patents a 'secret potion' for gray hair
But the treatment is no easy ride. It seems you'd have to use it forever.
New York Magazine stumbled across a patent application for what L'Oreal calls a "secret potion that will prevent gray hair. Forever."
It isn't clear how this elixir will be transported from the chemists' beakers to actual human heads. A spokesperson for L'Oreal Paris' U.S. business didn't respond to requests for comment.
The Paris company has been researching graying hair for a while. Its research is focused on a fruit extract that works like an enzyme called TRP-2, which makes pigment-producing cells called melanocytes. They would in theory keep hair from going gray, according to a 2011 ABCNews.com report.
It appears as though this new patent is related to this previous research. However, there are a few catches with this miracle cure.
For one thing, as New York notes, L'Oreal's formula includes something called putrescine, an organic chemical compound creates the foul odor in a variety of things such as rotting fish and bad breath. The other is the effectiveness.
Bruno Bernard, head of L'Oreal's hair care unit, was quoted by the U.K.'s Daily Mail in 2011 as saying that a patient would "ideally" take the company's treatment on a daily basis for the rest of their lives. To make matters worse, people would need to start using it "before their hair goes gray because we don't think it can reverse the process once it has started."
Then why bother?
Doctors, of course, are skeptical.
"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?" asked Maria Colavincenzo, an assistant professor of dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, in a 2011 NBCNews.com report.
Indeed, it seems easier to live with gray hair than jump through these hoops to avoid it.
Follow Jonathan Berr on Twitter @jdberr.
Color in a box is my answer as I can either go and stay grey or color my hair as my mood dictates. Also, what happens if they come back 20 years from now and say.. Oops, this needs to be started at birth, it stunts your growth, it shortens your life, your hair falls out when you reach 40, your kids will come out mutant ninja turtles or...etc., etc..
Put this on the list with the other dumb inventions
It's just a patent. This probably hasn't been commercialized yet because L'Oreal is well aware of all the impracticalities that have been mentioned. They probably just patented the idea to keep someone else from trying to profit from it.
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