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Male Order: MiN New York FORM Styling Cream gives hair a boost

Is a Solution for:
Dry or Brittle Hair, Limp Hair, Dull Hair
Reviewed by Copley October 8, 2008 2 Comments
Although MiN New York's FORM Styling Cream is meant for hair that is sparse or thinning, I gave a tub to my boyfriend as a means of simply taming his thick mane.  Remarkably well-endowed in the hair department, my boyfriend needs a hair trim about every two weeks in order to remain presentable, as well as a powerful styling product in order to rein in his fro.  Not just any gel will do.

His experience with MiN's FORM cream has been very satisfactory.  After showering and towel drying, he scooped out a dollop and emulsified it in the palms of his hands before rubbing it through his hair from roots to ends.  Because the consistency of the cream is so thick, sort of like dry putty, it requires a little moisture to help disperse the product evenly.  He would not recommend applying FORM to dry hair since it would have a hard time blending in and could even pull hair out.

As his hair dried, it stiffened and slightly separated, but not in a 1980s Aqua Net kind of way.  The result was a natural shine and pliable feel that gave his hair just enough support to move around as desired.  Lending a versatile texture to his hair, the cream permitted a variety of styles, from clean-cut to messy.  The following day, after washing with shampoo, his hair seemed noticeably healthy, well-moisturized, and manageable, and perhaps even thicker than usual.

It is hard to identify whether FORM cream accomplished anything above and beyond providing a palette for styling, since my boyfriend's hair is so naturally thick that it would camouflage any enhancement in volume.  MiN New York's FORM is supposed to help with hair loss and thinning through DHT-inhibiting ingredients.  DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, is scientifically proven to cause hair loss in both men and women. It works by reducing the size of the hair follicle until it is no long visible.  FORM styling cream was developed as an on-the-go product for DHT protection that complements the rest of the MiN New York hair care system.

The centerpiece of this system is MiN New York's spot treatment, named AGENT, which combines 5% minoxidil (OTC hair loss preventative medication) with three active ingredients to add thickness and texture to hair.  Though AGENT is not approved for use on women, the rest of the line can be shared by both sexes, since the cause of hair loss is generally similar.  Women develop thinning hair or suffer hair loss either due to a fluctuation of estrogen levels or to an overproduction of DHT, the latter of which could benefit from MiN New York's system.

Regardless of FORM's effectiveness in hindering DHT and thickening hair in the long-term (click below for an assessment of its active ingredients), it certainly does a good job when hair needs some instant style and hold.  And if your hairs seem fewer and farther between these days, a little DHT-blocking boost can't hurt.

The Good: Biotin, a member of the B vitamin family, plays a major role in the natural hair growth process and in the overall health of skin and nails.  When absorbed by the scalp, biotin is believed to penetrate the hair shaft, making it expand and thickening the cuticle.  Copper peptide complex has been clinically proven to recover hair in alopecia (hair loss) patients and has been found to improve hair transplant success, increase hair follicle size, and stimulate hair growth.  An essential mineral that inhibits production of DHT, zinc sulfate also alleviates skin and scalp irritations, such as mild dandruff.  Saw palmetto, a topical herb, also lowers DHT levels by blocking receptor sites on cell membranes required for cells to absorb DHT.

The Bad: As with many hair styling products, there are the notorious parabens, though they shouldn't cause irritation as long as you keep your eyes shut tight when rinsing the cream out of your hair in the shower.  What happens to the fishies once that water flushes down the drain is another story...

The Ugly: The unfortunate (though not entirely unexpected) inclusion of phenoxyethanol raises a higher red flag, as it is a known irritant that can damage the central nervous system.  There is also triethanolamine, which has the potential to create nitrosamines.  Though it in inconclusive whether nitrosamines cause cancer in humans, they have been proven to be carcinogenic in a wide variety of animal species.  (Better not use this to spike up Fido's hair for Halloween.)

Purified Water (Aqua), Lanolin Wax, Cetearyl Alcohol, SD-Alcohol 40-2, Synthetic Beeswax, PVP, Ceteareth-25, Propylene Glycol, Tridecyl Stearate, Castor Oil, Biotin, Tridecyl Trimellitate, Tribehenin, Dipentaerythirtyl, Hexacaprylate/ Hexacaprate, Copper Peptide Complex, Carbopol Ultrez-21, Azealic Acid, Zinc Sulfate, Saw Palmetto Extract, Ginko Biloba Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Aloe Leaf Extract, Triethanolamine, Tetrasodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Fragrance
  • October 8, 2008

    by marta

    <p>We try hard not to exaggerate or scare-monger. But I am afraid there have been trials that were not conducted by the cosmetic industry (CIR) that suggest there should be concern about this ingredient. </p>

    <p>We are not advocating that products with phenoxyethanol shouldn't be used. I use products which include it myself - its hard not to. But I do think we need to continue to flag ingredients that are controversial or possibly harmful so that our readers can make an informed decision. </p>

  • October 8, 2008

    by Jed

    <p>What you wrote about Phenoxyethanol scared me. I use Form and really like this product. Did some research myself and came across some good information. That nipple cream was ingested by infants. The usage of this ingredient was indeed approved and it is safe. Please do not exaggerate as what you write can give a great product a bad rep.</p>

    <p>Here is what I found: </p>

    <p>Phenoxyethanol is an oily, slightly viscous liquid with a faint rose-like odor. In cosmetics and personal care products, Phenoxyethanol is used in the formulation of skin care products and can also be found in eye makeup, fragrances, blushers, foundations and makeup bases, lipstick, cuticle softeners, bath soaps and detergents, baby products, suntan and sunscreen products, and face, body and foot powders.</p>

    <p>The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviewed the safety of Phenoxyethanol (also called ethylene glycol monophenyl ether) and approved its use as a component of adhesives.</p>

    <p>The safety of Phenoxyethanol has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that Phenoxyethanol was safe as a cosmetic ingredient. In 2007, as part of the scheduled re-evaluation of ingredients, the CIR Expert Panel considered available new data on Phenoxyethanol and reaffirmed the above conclusion.CIR Safety Review: The CIR Expert Panel reviewed safety data on Phenoxyethanol and noted that it was practically nontoxic via oral and dermal administration. In a subchronic oral study, increased weights of some organs were noted when high doses of Phenoxyethanol were administered. The doses in this study were considered to be much higher than those resulting from use of cosmetics and personal care products containing Phenoxyethanol. In dermal laboratory studies, Phenoxyethanol did not cause any birth defects. Phenoxyethanol was not mutagenic. In clinical studies, Phenoxyethanol was neither a primary nor a cumulative irritant, it did not cause delayed hypersensitivity, and was it nonphototoxic.</p>

    <p>FDA: Link to Code of Federal Regulations for Phenoxyethanol (ethylene glycol monophenyl ether)<br />
    <a href="http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=175.105&SearchTerm=ethylene%20glycol%20monophenyl%20ether" rel="nofollow">http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=175.105&SearchTerm=ethylene%20glycol%20monophenyl%20ether</a></p>

    <p>Phenoxyethanol is listed as 2-Phenoxyethanol in Annex VI, Part 1 (preservative which cosmetic products may contain) of the Cosmetics Directive of the European Union and may be used in concentrations up to 1%.<br />
    Link to the EU Cosmetics Directive:<br />
    <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/cosmetics/html/consolidated_dir.htm" rel="nofollow">http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/cosmetics/html/consolidated_dir.htm</a><br />
    </p>

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