Capillary Science: how innovation allowed Natura to create a product that stimulates hair growth

6 de December de 2017

Our hair is much more complex and interesting than what a distant glimpse can initially reveal. By examining it under a microscope, we find information that helps us understand how its mechanisms work, and how certain ingredients in nature can interact with it, so that the strands can benefit, thus, making hair healthier, full of brightness and vitality.

It is no surprise, therefore, that Natura devotes so much effort to understand the science behind human hair, in order to unravel its mysteries and seek ways to treat it like no other company does. Natura not only delves into the study of strands but also combines this research with the knowledge of elements drawn from nature in the form of vegetable oils.

The company has a true library of ingredients, mapped from advanced gene analysis techniques. Thus, Natura scientists can identify which of these raw materials has the best potential to give rise to products that enrich consumers’ hair.

Ekos Pataua is a perfect example. Natura’s new line of hair products demonstrates how the knowledge of the properties of some oils, coupled with the mastery of hair mechanics, can lead to great innovations, with a strong positive impact on consumers and the entire production chain involved.

First, it’s important to remember the different hair growth stages, because it’s through this mechanism that the innovation of Ekos Pataua acts upon. First, we have the anagen growth phase, which is the longest and can last up to nine years in the case of healthy hair, which grows on average 1 centimeter per month. Then we have the catagen phase, which lasts between two and three weeks. In this phase the strand stops growing and separates from the follicle. Finally, in the telogen phase, the loose hair falls and the papilla “rests” between three to four months, before it restarts the process, with the return of the anagen phase.
The Natura team of scientists discovered in the Pataua oil, which had previously been mapped by the company, a property that acts just in the anagen phase of hair, in order to enlarge it. This occurs because the oil interacts with a biological mechanism known as JAK-STAT, which acts to prolong the growth of the strands.

“When you inhibit the synthesis of the STAT3 protein present in the JAK-STAT pathway, the anagen phase is prolonged,” explains Juliana Lago, a researcher on cosmetic technologies and biological mechanisms related to skin and hair at Natura. “That is, if hair grew for five years, for example, by inhibiting this protein (continuously), it can grow longer.” It is worth noting that this growth is not only in length but also contributes to the diameter of the strand .

Thus, the puzzle began to take shape. The Pataua oil became the ideal candidate for a treatment line aimed at strengthening hair strands, which would benefit from the prolonging the anagen phase through this protein inhibition. That’s how the Natura Ekos Pataua line was born.