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