My journey of sweat, tears, and personal savings to create a product that I feel is desperately needed.
There is an embarrassing elephant in the room that many people do not want to talk about.
It is a problem that spans all genders, age groups and race.
Those afflicted think that others will label them as having poor hygiene or a scalp ‘fungus’ so they find ways to mask their issue and keep trying to find a solution that works.
What is this issue?
At some point in our life, 2 out of every 3 of us will report experiencing scalp itch and/or sensitivity; and 1 out of every 2 of us will report experiencing symptoms consistent with dandruff.
How do I know this?
I am a Hopkins-trained board-certified Dermatologist and after over a decade of caring for my patients, I repeatedly heard this hushed confession from people who hoped there would be something more I can do for them.
My patients would routinely tell me that the products they tried
- smelled and looked medicinal,
- made their hair dry, brittle and hard to manage,
- gave minimal relief to scalp itch or sensitivity,
- were embarrassing to have in their shower because of the stigma associated with the product usage.
Who are these people?
It spares no age, gender or race. It happens to people who wash daily and those who wash weekly. It happens to curly and straight hair. Un-processed hair and hair that is colored, heated and chemically treated.
It has also happened to me!
I realized that some products were formulated to treat the scalp but also had harsh ingredients that made the hair hard to manage, and that other products were gentler for the hair but did not have effective enough ‘active ingredients’ to adequately relieve the scalp symptoms.
I remember driving and thinking one day about this and thought, why can’t one product be effective enough to relieve scalp irritation AND be gentle enough to maintain manageable, healthy looking hair (even for people who color, highlight, curl, or straighten their hair- like me!)
This was now my goal.
I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the chemist who helped Drs Kathy Fields and Katy Rodan formulate the insanely successful Proactive system. After many long showers where I’d personally test every iteration, we finally found a formula that worked.
We were able to formulate the now patented shampoo that used the FDA-approved, safe and very effective ingredient, hydrocortisone acetate to provide rapid scalp relief for anyone with scalp itch, sensitivity, or dryness regardless of whether it’s due to dandruff or another cause of scalp inflammation such as seasonal change, hair dye, or many others. Additionally, we formulated it in a shampoo base without inexpensive sulfate detergents so that people will want to use it because it will maintain and promote the manageability and healthy appearance of their hair. We paired it with a conditioner with the FDA approved ingredient, salicylic acid to gently remove any flakes, dry skin, and provide mild scalp exfoliation if needed. The conditioner is also in a high quality base that will hydrate but not weigh down even the finest hair. These products can be used if people wash their hair daily or weekly. The formulas are hypoallergenic and can be used right after hair is treated or even after procedures like PRP (platelet rich plasma) or hair transplant.
Being a clinician and a scientist, I wanted the product to be independently tested to confirm its efficacy because I hold all products that I recommend to patients to this high standard. I knew immediately who I wanted to run the clinical trial.
We enlisted the highly sought-after Dermatologist who does testing for hair care products for Procter & Gamble as well as Unilever. She developed and oversaw the double-blinded randomized trial where we successfully went head to head with the market leader in this space. (data available upon request).
Once we demonstrated efficacy in this study, we decided to test it in real life scenarios by giving it to 800 people from all age, race and gender backgrounds who identified themselves as having scalp issues at some point. We were once again elated and humbled by how well our product tested (data available upon request).
By this point, I had given it too many patients, friends, and colleagues to try and was genuinely touched by the overwhelming positive feedback I received. There were so many people who had been embarrassed and suffering for so long and finally had something that worked.
Part of me still did not believe how well it was working so I gave it to my mentors and leaders in the field of dermatology and in the hair care world. They too confirmed that this was a unique product that filled a necessary void.
So finally, after many years, I am beyond excited to announce our partnership with Exclusive Beauty Club! You can find these authentic products on their website and I welcome your feedback.
*Please remember that some people will have improvement immediately, while others may need to use the product for 2-3 weeks to see the full benefit. Additionally, the more you wash your hair, the quicker you will see results!
Written by: Rebecca Kazin, MD, FAAD
Director, Clinical Research
Icon Dermatology and Aesthetics