In this new post, the aim is to explain the differences between a cosmetic and a medicine, and to expose what effects each one of them produces applied to the hair. The market offers a multitude of prodigious articles to recover hair or prevent hair loss, but, are they really effective?
For this purpose we have been attended by Lucía Gregorio, PhD in Molecular Biology, who completed a postdoctoral project at the prestigious McGill University in Montreal (Canada). Lucía currently works in the cosmetic industry sector.
The main idea that can be extracted applied to the hair is efficacy. While a medicine can have a curative effect focused on the problem, a cosmetic tries to improve the superficial image of the hair, and in fact sometimes it does, but it does not attack the cause, and its effectiveness is minor. It can be said then that there is no a useful cosmetic to prevent alopecia. At least for now.
The cosmetic has a high component of marketing and advertising, but its result, according to the sector, is not as high as a medicine. For example, there are great anti-wrinkles, but in the alopecia sector the same success levels have not yet been reached.
Both must have a proven effectiveness, but the result differs. The main barrier between the two is blood permeability, the cosmetic must not penetrate, unlike the medicine. In addition, safety regulations are much stricter on medicine.
Hence, the development deadlines are quite different. While a cosmetic can have a process of just two years to be marketed, a medicine takes up to ten or fifteen years from the idea is conceived until it is released, due to clinical trials, safety tests, animal testing, people testing, etc.
A clear example
As proof of the above, this article by Deborah García (Bachelor of Chemistry, member of the Spanish Association of Scientific Communication), “Against shampoos without sulfates”, explains how under the word “without” they are marketed multitude of products that not only do not benefit, but can even be harmful.
As stated in the aforementioned text, today’s society loves to know what ingredients make up what it consumes, but without adequate qualification it is difficult to understand the labeling of products. Also, if you add misleading hooks like “no, free, or free of” to that, the baffle cocktail on the consumer is served.
In conclusion, as far as hair is concerned, the most appropriate is to go to professionals in medicine and the sector, who can diagnose the problem, this is the most important, in addition to proposing adequate treatment.
From Instituto Capilar de Alicante we thank Deborah García for her always interesting articles that serve as a reliable source, and especially Lucía Gregorio who has kindly attended to us and has given us clues from her experience in the cosmetic industry.