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Markets & trends

"Hair aging is no longer an irreversible phenomenon", says André Henriques from Givaudan

Ingredients launched in the Brazilian market work directly on the cells that give color to hair strands, promising hair repigmentation.

In tests, Greyverse decreased grey hair by 30%

In tests, Greyverse decreased grey hair by 30%

Gray hair is a visible sign of the natural aging process. "Recent studies show that up to a quarter of people all over the world have over 50% of gray hair by the time they are 50 years old. However, this change can show up in younger people", says Mika Yamaguchi, scientific director at Biotec Dermosméticos.

Embracing gray hair is still taboo in our society, especially for women. A 2018 study by Nielsen showed that over 51% of Brazilian households use hair dying products and 46% of women between 45 and 54 years old had dyed their hair at least once in the previous year. According to Euromonitor, the sector has registered a R$ 4.62 billion revenue in Brazil and could reach R$ 4.92 billion by 2023.

Even though they are temporary solutions - requiring reapplication from time to time - hair dyes and color depositing shampoos dominated the market with no competition. However, other solutions that promise the repigmentation of gray hair have started to show up in Brazil.

Products such as Greyverse by raw materials supplier Biotec, act directly on the cells that give color to hair strands. "The active ingredient is a bio-mimicking peptide that stimulates the melanocytes in hair bulbs to produce melanin again. They also ease the oxidation stress caused by the excess of free radicals - another cause of grey hair," says Yamaguchi.

RE30, a product by Phyto Paris - a French company specializing in botanical hair products - follows the same process. "Using a bio-mimicking peptide of α-MSH (alpha-stimulant hormone of melanocytes) the formula repigments hair strands from the root and protects them from depigmentation by oxidation", says Tatiana Shibuya, general director of Alès Group Brasil, Phyto Paris’ parent company.

Results vary, depending on the person. In a three-month test with volunteers of up to 35 years of age - with natural dark hair but some grey hair - Greyverse decreased grey hair by 30%. In Phyto Paris tests, participants using RE30 had 38% less grey hair in three months of daily use and 77% less after seven months.

In order to work, products need viable melanocytes. "RE30 can be used by any kind of person. However, in some cases, when there are no longer traces of melanocyte activity, they cannot be reactivated, so the product will have no effect", says Shibuya. "The product is recommended for people who have just started graying or who have around 30% gray hair", she says.

Another company that has invested in a similar product is Givaudan, the largest flavors and fragrances company in the world. “Darkenyl™ is the result of the most recent stem cell research", says André Henriques, regional manager of Givaudan Latin America’s Active Beauty department. "It was designed to fight the aging process of hair strands from the source, promoting the proliferation of hair stem cells, which leads to the production of new melanocytes".

According to Henriques, the anti-oxidant properties of the ingredient reduces the damage caused by free radicals in hair follicles by over 50%. "Hair aging is no longer an irreversible phenomenon", he says.

Repigmentation products are alternatives and should not replace color depositing shampoos. According to Yamaguchi, there’s a market for both categories because the results of repigmentation are not the same as the results of dyes. "Patience is necessary to repigment gray strands", she says. Shibuya agrees: "I don’t think they are competitors because they can be used together".

Givaudan’s manager is optimistic. "Knowing that over 60% of consumers are worried about their hair aging, I believe this sector represents a huge potential for the beauty industry", says Henriques.

Renata Martins

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