Although they have limited experience, individuals featured in our "Ones to Watch" series have unlimited potential. Those we highlight have been nominated by seasoned peers and will, no doubt, influence our future cosmetic products. Read on to see where we're headed.
Here, meet Keiko Nagami (KN), of Milbon Co., Ltd. She's in charge of research and development for her company at its development headquarters. Nagami obtained her master’s degree in biology. She also was awarded for best poster presentation at the recent IFSCC Congress in Munich.
Cosmetics & Toiletries (C&T): What interests do you have, or what work are you conducting, that is relevant to cosmetics R&D?
KN: My research interests are in scalp and hair. In comparison with facial skin, there is poor knowledge of the hair and scalp. That has led to limited success in this area, despite the increasing demand to maintain beautiful hair.
C&T: What do you like most about your work?
KN: I enjoy finding appropriate ways to care for the hair and scalp to encourage women, who have given up on keeping their hair beautiful, to believe they can care for hair and make themselves look more beautiful.
C&T: Describe one of your biggest achievements or “A-ha!” moments relevant to cosmetics R&D.
KN: From a comprehensive study of more than 2,400 hair and scalp subjects, we have found a correlation between microscope-based scalp images and hair characteristics. Not only hair loss, but grey and dull hair are affected by scalp conditions. Until now, scalp care products have been used mainly for men or elderly individuals; [now, we know that] women can also benefit from scalp care to realize beautiful, shiny hair.
"I enjoy finding ways to encourage women, who have given up on keeping their hair beautiful, to believe they can care for hair and make themselves look more beautiful."
C&T: What about the cosmetics and personal care products industries excites you?
KN: I’m attracted to the cosmetics industry because there are many different approaches to realize beauty; unlike the pharmaceutical industry. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I’m excited when I find different criteria or paths to beauty.
C&T: How would you like your role in the industry to evolve? What concepts do you want to explore?
KN: At IFSCC in Munich, I gave a presentation about how to predict future hair conditions. Prevention is an effective approach to keep beauty, but it depends on the individual’s initial condition. I would like to advance this research not only on the scalp and hair, but also in facial skin conditions to reveal symptoms prior to obvious changes in the appearance of hair and skin.
C&T: What areas or technologies do you think are untapped for cosmetics R&D?
KN: Due to the expansion of social media, more and more women want to show off their personalized looks in every respect. Personal beauty comprises every body site, including hair. Comprehensive research will be required to meet this need for personalized beauty.
C&T: How do you envision the cosmetics/personal care industry of the future?
KN: Recently, advances in cosmetic technology have been remarkable; but sensitivity and creativity are also essential. I believe everyone's look will be "produced" by beauticians, like personal managers, in the future. My mission is also to encourage women to realize their personal beauty, perhaps through the support of these beauticians.