it's science

L’Oreal Patented a Secret Weapon for Gray Hair

Photo: CAMERON WHITMAN/iStockphoto

A few years ago, the cosmetic powerhouse L’Oreal Paris, filed an application for patent No. 8,445,004 B2. Its official, super science-y title is: “Administration of agents mimicking dopachrome tautomerase (TRP-2) activity for protecting hair follicle melanocytes.” But what that loosely translates to is much more interesting: We have a secret potion that will prevent gray hair. Forever.

Forever might be a slight exaggeration and while we don’t know the exact details on when the stuff will hit shelves, or how it’ll be delivered to graying heads, we do know that the formula includes something called putrescine. That’s an organic chemical compound that gives things like decaying fish, semen, bad breath and other smelly things its distinct foul odor. Intriguing, right?

While the jargon-filled details can be found here, we’re curious to see what (possibly stinky) beauty magic awaits our follicles. What really seals the deal are these tweets by a couple of scientists. We’re not sure what “goth” means, either but perhaps it’s scientist for happy, happy, joy, joy.

L’Oreal Patented a Secret Weapon for Gray Hair