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Supported by the 60-year long development of cosmetics to be used at beauty salons, the company developed medicated shampoos for scalp that can strongly remove sebum buildups and leave a fresh cool feeling on the scalp after wash

Hair Repro for Oily Skin—the No. 1 product based on the scientific evaluation


In fall 2015, a specially planned article, “35 Types of Men’s Shampoo Products—Tests and Surveys” was published in a critical journal of products to be tested, the September Edition of the “Monthly MONOQLO.” A survey was conducted by this editorial department exclusively on 35 types of men’s shampoos to find out how effective they were in removing dirt and whether or not they irritated based on the scientific evaluation and the tester’s performance evaluation conducted by FCG Research Institute. The results showed that the place for the best-buy shampoo was taken by other manufacturer; however, the No. 1 and No. 2 products based on the scientific evaluation conducted by conducted by FCG Research Institute were “Hair Repro Medicated Scalp Shampoo for Oily Skin” and “Hair Repro Medicated Scalp Shampoo for Normal & Dry Skin” by Aderans, respectively. The results of the tester’s performance evaluation showed some variations between scents. The reason for the different opinions as the tester’s performance evaluation was because those scents were nothing like easily-known citrus scents but like “luxurious herb scents” or “medicinal scents.”
Orion Cosmetics Industry Co., Ltd. is the company which develops and manufactures the Hair Repro Products jointly with Aderans. We asked President Kiyonobu Kishihara, who is also a Ph.D. in Engineering, to talk about his story.

In the almost 60-year history, the industry’s first new products were continuously developed

Could you please provide us with the outline of your company, Orion Cosmetics Industry Co., Ltd.?

Our company was founded in 1958. My father was the second-generation owner and I am the third-generation owner. We used to manufacture shampoos and rinses to be used at beauty salons. In 1964, we developed the creme rinse “Orion Rinse,” which became very popular after being sold to beauty salons. Around the same time, Kao Corporation launched the similar type of creme rinse, so it is still controversial whether our company or Kao, the major company, was the first company to sell the rinse.
Since its foundation, our company has been providing our original products with unique and highly functional properties, for both hair care and skin care product lines. Along with the development and marketing of our original products, we also started our business as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in 1989.

I heard that you were graduated from Tokyo Institute of Technology with a Ph.D. degree in engineering.

At the School of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, I was conducting research on the compound, polypeptide, which is a series of amino acids joined by peptide bonds. Subsequently, I was involved in the research on quantification of cell surface at the molecular level during my study abroad experience at Lehigh University, Pennsylvania, in the U.S. It was 2004 when I completed my research experience in the U.S., came back to Japan, and started working at this company as a researcher. However, my father, the predecessor of the company, passed away suddenly in 2008, and I hurriedly became the president.

What are the distinguishing characteristics of your company which develops cosmetics and quasi-drugs?

Our company also has a technical background in organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, and biotechnology. Instead of focusing on the results to be presented in the articles, we concentrate more energies on the development of formulations from a technical point of view by focusing on the actual results and the evaluation of use.

Recently, silicone-free shampoos, not containing any silicone, are mainly used. I heard that your company is the one that handled the industry’s first product.

It was the OEM section of our company and I heard that it first dealt with the general market for the silicone-free shampoo. After that, other manufacturers launched their silicone-free shampoos.

Are silicones not good for the scalp because they can clog pores?

Silicones do not clog pores, so they cause no harm at all. However, large amounts of silicone in a shampoo feels sticky and can be hardly removed after wash, so it can cause discomfort. The reason why our company developed the silicone-free shampoo was because it was requested by beauty salons. They asked us to produce a shampoo not having any effects of silicones. Accordingly, we developed a silicone-free shampoo that can make your hair look fine.

Challenges for the development of new formulations using specific knowledge and technologies

From this point, we asked Mr. Yu Watanabe from the AD Research and Development Division to attend the interview.

How did Aderans end up conducting the research jointly with Orion Cosmetics Industry Co., Ltd.?

Yu Watanabe:We contacted some companies with their sufficient research and development capabilities and conducted a competition experiment among 4 to 5 companies to find out which company could meet the request concerning “a shampoo not causing the scalp feel irritated, removing dirt from pores, and having favorable usability.” Among those companies, Orion Cosmetics Industry Co., Ltd. was the company which provided the shampoo at the highest level. After that, we co-developed the product and made it into the first-generation Hair Repro in 2010. The first-generation Hair Repro was the silicone-free and amino acid shampoo.

Kiyonobu Kishihara:The first-generation Hair Repro was characterized with its outlet cap-on-bottom design to be used completely, so it was difficult to prevent the liquid from coming out (with laughter).

At present, as the third-generation Hair Repro is on market, what is the superiority of the product?

Kishihara:As tested for the evaluation described in the journal above, the results of the protein denaturation test with egg white rarely showed cloudiness in egg white. This was considered to be one of the bases of the fact that the shampoo was mild. The results of our company’s original test repeatedly performed showed the superiority of removal of sebum, of which we are proud. However, as there were complaints about the scent as the evaluation of use of the tester in the third-party magazine, we consider that those issues need to be solved in the future.

Obtaining better evaluation of use seems easy to me, but is it difficult?

Kishihara:With regard to the formulation of a medicated shampoo, the range of the formulation is narrow. Even though the evaluation of use of a product is better, the range of its formulation becomes more narrow when the dissolution test is conducted to satisfy the safety based on the company’s criteria. Especially, we really pay attention to its antimicrobial properties. There are many restrictions on the use of antiseptics in Hair Repro product, and particularly, the use of paraben and phenoxyethanol is most strongly restricted. Every day, we are striving to meet these criteria to achieve improvement.

What actions are taken against an antiseptic-free shampoo?

Kishihara: Especially, a shampoo can go bad very quickly and starts smelling when bacteria grow. Although antiseptics are not good for the scalp, the growth of bacteria can be much worse. Since phenoxyethanol as an antiseptic agent cannot be used in the product as requested by Aderans, other active ingredient used in the product can play a role in an antiseptic agent, meaning that the component to remove dandruff, a type of fungus, can play a role in an antiseptic agent.

What is the next stage of development for Hair Repro?

Watanabe:A renewed product will be launched in fall 2016. You can expect to see the great contributions made by Orion Cosmetics to its ingredients and formulation.

Interviewer/writer: Akiyoshi Sato Photographer: Kuninobu Akutsu, Naoyuki Tamura

History of development, products and services based on research of Aderans
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