A Research Institute recently created by L'Oréal is focusing its activities on the study of the hair and skin of the various ethnic groups
Founded in 2000, L'Oréal's Institute for ethnic hair and skin research is the world's first research center focuses specifically on the study of ethnic skin and hair. Its main missions are to study the structures and physical properties of hair and skin, the biology of pigmentation and factors involved in hair growth. In addition to its research activities, the Institute supports educational programs for people working in the health sector as well as for consumers, particularly concerning such areas as hair loss and the depigmentation of African skin.
The Chicago-based institute joins and completes the expertise of L'Oréal's 16 other research centers in France, the United States and Asia.
The first ever symposium on the progress of research on ethnic skin and hair
On September 29 and 30 this year, the Institute and the prestigious Howard University College of Medicine organized a symposium in Chicago on the theme: "Ethnic Hair and Skin: what is the state of the science?" The purpose of this symposium was to "further encourage research for a better understanding of the specific properties of the hair and skin of populations of various ethnic origins" said Victoria Holloway, Director of the Institute. The symposium enabled the 170 participants of about ten different nationalities to take stock of progress made in research on the physical, chemical and also structural properties of ethnic hair. The researchers at L'Oréal thus identified the physical and geometric characteristics of African hair providing clues to explain why it is much more fragile than that of other ethnic types. The symposium also discussed the hair problems of African American women induced by bad hairdressing habits. A change in these habits right from childhood would prevent the appearance of scarring alopecia, which is characterized by gradual hair loss.