Dara: We’ve been pestering you about a scalp care product ever since you first gave us a tour of the SF Botanical garden and pointed out specific plants that help promote hair growth! What prompted you to create The Scalp Cure at this particular moment in time?
PEDRO: My head is always spinning with ingredients and formulas. I tend to avoid over-information in the shape of newsletters or communications from suppliers, since I can fall in love with ingredients 100 times in the same day, but also quickly fall out of love the same amount and during the same period of time. It is good to get excited about things, but it is imperative to distinguish what works and what doesn't.
In every of my formulas, there has been a eureka moment. A time when you find out about an ingredient that works almost as an invisible thread that puts together the entire formula. In this case, I am talking about the loquat extract. It’s plant very close to our hearts, that even defines part of the nearby towns where I live, since they are the biggest exporters of loquat fruit in Europe.
Botanical skincare has come a long way since its early days. It goes deeper than the leaves, fruits, flowers and stems and nowadays it focuses on active molecules found in the plant. This is a science as such, and it is called Phytochemistry or the Chemistry of Plants. Now, this is exciting!! There is also a new method of extraction from the leaves that allows you to get high amounts of corosolic acid, and this is where the fun begins.
Dara: Corosolic Acid sounds like it approaches hair loss from multiple angles. Can you tell us more about how it works?
PEDRO: Several studies, conducted mainly in Japan, compared corosolic acid to Adenosine, which — in my modest opinion — works better than the onmipresent Minoxidil. Adenosine mitigates hair loss by stimulating hair growth and thickening of the hair shafts. It also reduces hair loss by blocking the passage from testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, a very well known hormone linked to hair loss.
Dara: We love the additional botanical extracts you’ve included in the formula to help balance the scalp and even care for the hair without oiliness. Can you tell us more about those?
PEDRO: Yes, of course. It has maca extract, rich in peptides and sugars, which again works as a growth booster and prevents hair loss.
Also, there are three plant extracts — coltsfoot, yarrow, and quinine — which have a well defined activity working on the hair’s vital cycle, and they also feed the bulb (bulb starvation is a thing). I added prebiotics, such our beloved epilobium extract, and the purest inulin, which comes from chicory and works as a natural conditioner.
Dara: Have you seen any additional benefits from The Scalp Cure that have surprised you or others who have tried it?
PEDRO: I have a circle of friends and fans — once a formula has passed all the safety regulations, I give them some to try (I hope they do not read this interview, but to be sure that the product works, I also give them placebo preparations). The lucky ones to experience the final version of The Scalp Cure loved the application and the soothing effect on the scalp, especially some that are going through a very stressful time.
Dara: Is there anyone who can’t use The Scalp Cure?
PEDRO: It does not contain any ingredient that has a negative impact on the skin or interferes with any ongoing medical treatment. On the contrary, it is a great complementary therapy.
Dara: Can it be used on dry and damp hair?
PEDRO: Both, really. My recommendation is for it to be used daily; in general, since many of us do not wash our hair daily, it can be applied after washing it on damp hair and the following hair on dry hair. It does not leave a residue, so even if you apply it on dry hair, it can be styled and dried as usual.
Dara: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about The Scalp Cure?
PEDRO: This project represents another milestone in the story of the brand: November 2nd is our anniversary (can you believe it? 12 years). I launched it on a cold November 2nd in the not so far away 2011. So many things happened during this time, but I am glad that I stayed true to the values of the brand, and seeing a growing audience that appreciates the craftmanship and the research that goes into every product motivates me to make things better and brighter.