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L’Oreal’s Got A Putrescent Cure for Gray Hair

A new patent marks the beginning of Big Hair’s gray-beating product push.

L’Oreal’s Got A Putrescent Cure for Gray Hair

Are you afraid of going gray? Then a new patent might be of interest. It’s called the “administration of agents mimicking dopachrome tautomerase (TRP-2) activity for protecting hair follicle melanocytes.”

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Translation: L’Oreal Paris has been granted a patent for a “method” that promises to have figured how out to prevent grays.

The company had announced it was pursuing an anti-gray product–a pill–a few years back (though the new patent applies to a topical application). The specifics are as jargony as the patent name, but the medication includes a chemical compound called putrescine–the thing that makes bad breath and decaying flesh smell so rank. Oh, and putrescine is toxic in large doses. Still eager to chase away those grays?


When the original announcement was made that L’Oreal was developing this technology, the company said the pills probably won’t stop the graying process once it’s started, so you’ll need to start taking the pills long before that first sneaky strand appears.

[Image: Flickr users Derek Gavey, and Rachel Johnson]

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About the author

Jennifer Miller is the author of The Year of the Gadfly (Harcourt, 2012) and Inheriting The Holy Land (Ballantine, 2005). She's a regular contributor to Co.Create.

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