Hair-Science.Com : Hair Science On Line Research & Innovation

Paris, the 3rd July, 2001 - L'Oréal has just opened the world's first web site entirely dedicated to hair : This web site springs from the association of L'Oréal's researchers, a story-teller, Jean Pennec, an illustrator Olivier Audy and a multimedia designer, Marc Bergère.

The hair, which we have been caring for on a daily basis since ancient times, is quite amazing - and yet most of us know very little about it. The 150,000 hairs on our heads are all quite independent from one another. While some of them grow for 1 year, 3 years or 10 years, others will be resting or will drop out. Then one day, some of them fail to grow with any colour (whitening), while others fail to grow at all, as precursors to baldness. But why and how? The answers are to be found on

It is amazing to learn that with only two pigments, the hair can assume an incredible diversity of colour, programmed during the very first months of embryogenesis. And when it does become white, the chemists go to great lengths to give it back its colours, shades and highlights.

Its qualities, determined by its structure and chemical composition, are surprising. Both sturdy and fragile, it is capable of an infinite number of transformations. Its strength (a single hair can lift a weight of 100 grams) does not however prevent brushes, combs, the sun and water from altering it. Straight, curled, fizzy or natural, the skills of a hairdresser-sculptor can give it the opposite appearance. The science of haircare products makes such whims possible, while still respecting the hair's integrity.

And finally, hair is "talkative" - frequently featuring in proverbs, songs, traditions and ceremonies. It also reveals the life stages of the person it belongs to (for example, Ramses II, Napoleon, etc) or more simply their origins.

This little-known part of us is also very photogenic, and the subject of some superb photographs and films that surfers will be able to discover as soon as they reach the Home Page or access the "tool box".

The "News" section keeps visitors up to date with research. The most recent is the discovery of stem cells in the hair roots that can ultimately produce hair - but also skin!

A section is also devoted to "Le cheveu se decode" exhibition which takes place at the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie in Paris, until January 2002.

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