Has science failed us?

Hi all,
Well this is my first posting on the site. I find it very comforting to know that I’m not alone in this problem and just reading some of the emotional posts on this site makes me so saddened that science can’t come up with a more efficient and permanent solution for unwanted hair, as it is clearly seriously damaging people’s self confidence, social life and general well-being.
However Laser and electrolysis seem to be out of reach financially for a lot of people, take many months or years to see results, are painful to endure, and can be embarassing not being able to deal with the problem in the privacy of your own home.

I have done my research and understand that destroying the root without harming the surrounding tissues is no easy task. However I also know that this is the year 2006, we put a man on the moon nearly 40 years ago, and split the atom even earlier that that, so what is the hold up exactly!?

There are millions and millions of ppl around the world who would love to not have to bother shaving their legs or face every few days (not to mention other areas!) and would opt for the easy permanent solution if it were available.

So why isn’t it available? My business sense seems to suggest that there really aren’t many products that deliver a “permanent solution.” Corporations want to make money after all and the best way to do this is to create products that offer a temporary solution, are easily disposable and can be bought up again for futher temporary solving of life’s problems. Nearly all products have this type of lifecycle, which is why manufacturer’s specifically design car engines to wear out after so many miles, lightbulbs to burn out, toothbrushes to lose their bristles, etc, etc.

Why? Because a permanent solution just isn’t nearly as profitable. After all where would Ford be if ppl where still driving their Model T’s around?
Just ask Gillette (a.k.a. Procter and Gamble, one of the world’s largest companies, valued over $150 billion) if a permanent hair removal cream would be in their best interests. Honestly we all know how much Mach3 blades cost don’t we!

You know I once saw a Saturday Night Live (comedy show on TV) skit back in the early 90’s where they were mockingly advertizing a razor with 4 blades, the punchline being: “4 blades, because you’ll believe anything!” - and now look, the Shick Quattro is upon us some 15 years later! Hilarious I thought in retrospect.

Point being that Gillette (P&G) and others are making ludicrious profits off the sale of shaving creams, razors, blades, etc all hyped up in sensational packaging and advertizing…“4 blades, because we will believe anything” indeed!
These big boys will fight, dirty if they have to ($150 billion can do a lot of lobbying and buying out of companies) to keep other permanent methods out of reach. Lazer and electolysis don’t really hurt them because your average person can’t afford it and doesn’t have the patentience for the slow and questionable results.

Side note: I don’t really understand if Rogaine can be used as a cream to promote hair growth i.e. stimulate the follice then why cannot a similar cream be created to destroy the hair follicle? Maybe its just me.

I just feel that if this miracle cream were on the verge of being released one of the big boys (like P&G) would buy out that company and stop the release, maybe they already have?I’m sure we might have heard about it, although studying law and confidentiality agreements, perhaps not!?

Okay I admit this all sounds a little conspiracy theoryish but businesses know that a permanent solution is never the most profitable one to market, because the customer uses it once and then walks away, never to buy again. Granted in the world of hair removal there will be new adolecents desiring the product everyday, but you must ask yourself this is surely not as profitable as selling overpriced razors, shaving cream, and blades to nearly everyone in the developed world between the ages of 14 and 100+ now is it?

Big business and big pharmacuticals know there is not much money in a cure, but boatloads in “treatments” which the patient or “customer” must continue taking for the rest of their lives or that are so expensive that the general population cannot acheive the permanent solution they desire.

I feel we are somewhere in the middle of all this when it comes to permanent hair removal, there is a lot at stake for the big boys to keep things the way they are. However I am confident that science and technology will prevail eventually, just how long it will take I’m not so sure.

Sorry for ranting on so long, but like many who suffer with the problem it becomes a passion to solve it. I doubt many will bother to read all this now, but hopefully a few can add some comments.

Thanks and cheers for the opportunity to vent!

-TG

Just to add, Gillette has a 75% market share in most markets, certainly a lot for them to lose, and a lot to protect. Also Procter and Gamble in addition to owning Gillette and many many other billion dollar brands, also own Braun, who make electric shavers. Even more to lose.

lol sorry this is getting a tad depressing eh?

Hi Eddy:

You said:
“Why? Because a permanent solution just isn’t nearly as profitable. After all where would Ford be if ppl where still driving their Model T’s around?
Just ask Gillette (a.k.a. Procter and Gamble, one of the world’s largest companies, valued over $150 billion) if a permanent hair removal cream would be in their best interests. Honestly we all know how much Mach3 blades cost don’t we!”

-This is a cynical approach to the situation, so if I wanted to play that game I would say to your earlier comment: “How do we know for certain that they actually landed a man on the moon?”. “Maybe they just made a film to pretend they did?”

While it is true that some companies make millions on hair removal, they are not blocking technology which could do the same thing. There is something called vaniqua which some women use to reduce facial hair growth. Some drugs and hormone adjustments will reduce hair growth, but there are side effects. Maybe some day they will invent better hair reduction solutions, but I don’t think anyone is blocking them from being released.

Alicia

lol funny you should mention Vaniqua, guess who makes it?
GILLETTE!

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3374/is_5_23/ai_73284296

Hmm funny how its the ONLY topical treatment with FDA approval, very interesting. Sorry but you know where I’m going with this.

But really my point is that Vaniqua and products like it are not a cure but a “treatment” which people must continually take for it to have any effect. This is what big business does, it hooks ppl on a remedy so they have to keep buying.
While I don’t think big business can keep progress back forever they certainly have means and motives for doing so.

And my man on the moon comment, ok maybe that could have been fake. But we have split the atom haven’t we?
We humans are so good at destroying things, the forests, our water, whole species even! I fail to see how the human hair can be such a daunting adversary.

lol I’m sorry guess I’m just upset that it seems nothing “easy” can be done about the problem.

Hi Eddy:

Maybe they just claim to have split the atom?

They have actually made a lot of technological advances in electrolysis and the introduction of laser for hair removal. If the big boys wanted to why aren’t they covering those up too?

Can you blame Gillette for getting on the vaniqua bandwagon or even after shave lotions and skin creams?

I wish there were easy and painless solutions too. I have spent thousands on laser, electrolysis and body hair removal. That plus all the time I have spent on it too.

Alicia

lol well I think the ppl of Hiroshima and Nagasaki might argue with you on that one.
I suppose the advances are something. But still far from adequate considering what mankind have achieved in other areas of science and technology, hopefully that means a real breakthrough should be just around the corner.

Well as I said in my first posting I don’t think the big boys are all that conscerned about laser and electro because your “average Joe” doesn’t have the cash or time to spend on them for the questionable results they produce.
What I think they would be worried about would be a “miracle product” like a cream or something easy and not so expensive producing permanent results which would jeopordize their sales of razors, shaving creams ect.

A permanent product like this made available to your average person would change the market completely, something I don’t think they would be happy about. But if it did happen you can be sure one of the big companies will be behind the product, for if they can’t prevent it’s release they’ll at least take the profits in it (although these will be considerably less than what they had been making with traditional shaving/grooming products).
They won’t be jumping on any bandwagon, they’ll be running the show I’m guessing. Unless the company producing the product can resist selling their patent for Lord knows how much to one of the big boys.

lol ok I admit I’m starting to get lost in my own crazy theories…just hoping that science will come through in the end, not corporate greed, in delivering a more efficient permanent solution.

How could science win against corprate greed?

Corporate Greed controls the governments, governments make and enforce the rules. If corporate greed sics government enforcement on you, what chance do you have?

For example, If you own a diesel car and a farm, you can make your own fuel for both driving around town, and heating your home, but in the USA, having the products to do so is an invitation to being labled a “terrorist” and if this label is affixed to you, one can be taken to an undisclosed location for years without even family notification, let alone due process and a speedy trial by jury. Most metro areas have zoning laws making self power illegal, protecting the monopoly of the local energy grids.

ugh, don’t get me started.

Wow I had no idea it was so bad over there. But I had heard the Patriot Act was quite successful in removing many civil rights.
But perhaps we are getting off the topic a bit.

My question is why we haven’t seen the miracle product that we all want?
I do admit producing the product would be a difficult task, and many fine doctors have been working on it for many years.
However with research, production, clinical trails and approval the final cost will be many millions of dollars before it ever hits the market. Naturally any company making this investment wants to see a profitable return on that investment. Now if you are marketing a permanent solution the idea is that the customer will only have to use the product once and then does not need to purchase again. So initially there will be great demand peaking off the charts but will quickly fall to a low and steady level of sales as the majority of the population already would have had their “fix”, with only new adolesants needing to purchase.

Naturally this is a problem from a business persepective as the goal of any product is to expand, grow, increase market share/profits, etc, etc.

I think the problem is that nobody wants to market a product that is doomed to decline, not to mention the opposition they will face by attempting to cut the throats of large companies like Gillette (Procter and Gamble’s bread and butter.) If these huge companies cannot buy out whoever opposes them they could lobby the govt to refuse FDA approval or tie up the company in legal battles in which they have the means to do for many years on end.
Who knows one of the big boys may already have the patent for this miracle product which they can legally hold for many years, giving them the rights to produce or more likley “not produce” the product.

Do you know that many of the large pharmacueticals are financing expeditions into the unexplored forests of the world to actually patent previously undiscovered forms of plants along with their chemical makeup as their own products! It’s true, look it up.
Point being is that the big boys aren’t with us in this fight for a permanent solution, as I believe their goals are producing methods of continual treatment, not cures, simply because cures aren’t as profitable.

Adding up all these potential problems, the developement and likley return on investment of creating the miracle product becomes less and less likley.

I think what you’ll find is that many of the companies promising future permanent results (eg. Serna -with their RNA product due to be released in a few years) are probably trying to master not how to produce one off permanent results but how to extend the product life-cycle. Ie. they may eventually come out with something like Vaniqua, not exactly like it of course it will be more effective and using a different process, but ultimately a product you must “continue” using to acheive the desired results.)

Again this is all speculation and very cynical, something I am prone to. Hoping someone can prove me wrong.

Well James you have got me going agian. That was a good post. SA is still not as bad but they are doing a good catch up job. Their “contol acts” almost mirror the US’s which I think is where they learned it. Gun control is rife here, so is financial control which is worst - don’t try and have any money here. Taxatation is over 85 %, but don’t say that because you will get axed.

Many good points here, but a lot of bad ones too. Don’t talk to freely on your cell phone - thats monitered as well and don’t let your kids have one either - thet also monitor those. Try to avoid the internet as we do - that is easiest to track - sorry guys but true. Millions are made out of firewall, antispam and antispyware just to name a few civilian products - never mind the more classified ones.

One can’t be nieve here. Why were rotary enginines never developed? Nobody really doubted their efficiency compared to reciprocating engines now did they? How do turbine engines fly more efficiently than piston engines?

But of course so many millions of manufactures make piston rings, camshafts, large and small enginerging bearings and many more parts even pistons and the shops to bore the cylinders. Never mind the belts and drives for aircons etc.

The truth is there, we can remove hair cheaply and permanatly, but it is withheld from us for financial reasons - simple really - just think about it!

Regards
Stuart

PS: If I vanish suddenly you all know why!

Hi Eddy,

Being in a position where I needed to get rid of a lot of hair, I used to feel that I was being taken advantage of. There may be some truth to this, in terms of people who merchandise products that fall way short of the mark or who go into fields like dermatology, dentistry, or any other field where people are trying to deal with difficult situations that affect their self-esteem and self-acceptance strictly for personal gain.

There is, however, an alternate side to this discussion. This basically has to do with the very nature of the human body as an complex organism. Hair, besides being a dispersal mechanism for pheromones, is to most parts of the body a defensive mechanism for the skin. This is very apparent to anyone with a very short haircut - or bald - who hits their head on the hood latch of their car while checking the oil level.

Because hair plays an important role in preventing injury to the skin, the body has, via the evolutionary or adaptive mechanisms developed ways to replace lost hair(s). The skin, being basically very conservative and traditional according to the genetic code governing the individual, will try to maintain the hair levels to what it was programmed for by inheritance and natural selection. It is not concerned one bit about what we think we should look like. The skin doesn’t care one bit about the democratic process, but goes happily on it’s way growing new crops of hair to suit it’s fancy.

This thread reminds me of the claims I used to hear about someone developing a carburator that would give a V-8 engine over 60 mpg. Sounds really nice, but the laws of physics will ultimately prevail. As long as we have reciprocating engines, we can not even expect to get efficencies over 50%, even if we were able to overcome friction on moving parts, wind drag on the vehicle and momentum.

Unfortunately, the human being is a generalized organism that has it’s own agenda (survival and procreation) and does not adapt readily to what we consider to be in vogue at the current time. All of us here are the descendants of individuals that survived to the age of procreation. As far as the body is concerned, “I’m here, I’m functioning, and I do not like change!”…sigh…

Joanie <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />

Eddy…

Perhaps you should read the posts on this site regarding both Sirna Therapeutics and Quest. Both companies are working on treatments to permanently remove unwanted hair.

There are a number of skeptics regarding these companies, but I guess until their products come out, they have that right to be skeptical.

Sirna is scheduled to start human trials on their cream the 4th quarter of this year. They are a legitimate company with some big name partners (GlaxoSmithKline for instance) who are working on a number of different treatments besides hair removal.

Look for information on Dr. Christiano from Columbia University. She is an academic collaborator with Sirna and has extensive experience researching the hairless gene.

It’s a wrong assumption to think a company like Gilette is going to buy out one of these companies to keep this from getting out. It just doesn’t happen that way. I made this comment in a previous post but…the companies that make electrolysis equipment didn’t buy out laser companies, nor did Ford buy out GM so that only Ford vehicles are available. I don’t think companies that make x ray machines tried to keep MRI and CT scanning technologies from getting out. There is always going to be a market for razors IMO.

Yes, we have come a long way with science and technology over the past 60 years, but it’s only really been recently that companies ahave began focusing on cosmetic type treatments. Obviously cosmetic surgery and related procedures have been around for some time, but I think it is fair to say that only within the last 10 years has it really started to catch on. There was a time when very few men ever had any cosmetic procedure, today it is common place. Companies respond to the market. If there is a market, they will try to develop a product for it. Little or no market, no product development.

jme

I don’t buy the conspiracy bid…The majority of men decidedly do not want to get rid of their facial hair, precisely why we buy so many gillette razors. Even if there was a permanent method for hair removal, there would still be a large market for shaving products. They would likely loose women to any permanent hair removal technology, but they would also likely get in on the action (see gillette/palomar agreement to make in-home laser hair removal devices for women). Shaving product sales are significant, but not a controlling factor in P&Gs portfolio…shaving will not go away for a while, and when it does, P&G will adapt…by the way, can anyone give examples of companies that have bought other companies to purposely stifle the development of technology? I thought it would be the other way around…P&G is a public company and investors demand transparency…it is unlikely that a company would be purchased and folded into P&G never to be heard from again.

Hi:

I have it on good authority that Gillette has tried to purchase the grassy knoll in Dallas and have it levelled.

Very suspicious!

Alicia

DuPont introduced Nylon stockings to the world at the 1939 world’s fair in NY and SF and they gave free stockings to all the women working the cocession stands, telling them to trade them in when they ran. No one traded any in, as during the run of the fair, none of them ran, or got holes in them. The government classified Nylon an essential war effort material, so women had to wait before getting their hands on the new product. When the product did come to market… well, you know what we got. Seems they “Dis-improved” the product for general release. Some panty-hose can’t even be put on the first time without being ruined and tossed in the trash without every seeing the light of the sun.

Hi James:

That is a very interesting story.

I hope that you don’t mind my asking how come you know so much about panty-hose being ruined on the first try?

Alicia

I admit it, I am one of those people who read dusty books, watches documentaries, and has way too much useless information rattling around in my marble head.

This factoid was given me through many sources, including meeting one of the actual concession girls who was really mad that the product she bought years later was nothing like the test models she had in the beginning.