Mrinmayee’s journey towards innovation began when she enrolled for an MSc (Microbiology) program at Pune University and started working for her thesis on Protein Synthesis Inhibitors. One of her female relatives suffered from abnormal facial hair growth and had to face embarrassment because of that. Mrinmayee began to wonder if the solution lay in protein synthesis inhibitors, whether they could be used to retard the growth of unwanted hair.
She adds that most permanent hair-removal methods, such as laser treatment and electrolysis, are very expensive and have side-effects. Moreover, these methods may not be equally effective for everyone, depending on their skin and hair color.
Furthermore, the topical (cream-based) products available in the market for hair removal may sometimes lead to skin darkening or thicker and faster hair regrowth. The chemicals in the creams may also cause allergic reactions in some people.
Mrinmayee envisaged a solution that would stop hair growth altogether, rather than just removing hair periodically. The solution would use naturally occurring ingredients, so that there were no side-effects, and would be affordable and easy to use.
She got back in touch with her guide at University of Pune, who helped her connect with Dr Kishori Apte, an expert on animal testing at the National Toxicology Center, Pune. Dr Apte, who has 25 years of experience in toxicology and pharmacology and is also associated with the APT Research Foundation, Pune, helped Mrinmayee to further her research at the APT Research Foundation and carry out toxicology studies at the National Toxicology Center.
Initial toxicology and efficacy studies were completed in 2004 and Mrinmayee filed for her first patent in 2005 – an Indian patent titled ‘Topical composition for inhibiting the growth of mammalian hair’.
However, despite the physical, financial and emotional setbacks, they continued working, and finally, Romantaque was re-launched on July 1, 2012.
Romantaque is the only clinically proven herbal product that inhibits hair growth,” explains Mrinmayee. She mentions another clinically proven hair-growth inhibiting product, Vaniqa (pronounced as Van-i-ka), but says that unlike Romantaque, it is a chemical formulation. “Vaniqa can be used only on the face, not on other parts of the body. And unlike Romantaque, it does not work well for everybody.”
Mrinmayee explains that Romantaque is very simple to use. It needs to be applied 24 hours after a hair-removal session (such as waxing or threading) and then twice a day for the next 10 days. “This should be done after every hair- removal session and results are perceptible after the second or third cycle. Fewer hair regrow and hair is shorter in length and thinner. As hair growth reduces, so does the pain involved in hair removal. Also, you do not need to go for hair removal as often.
Hair removal from the follicle, for example, by waxing, epilating, threading or plucking, opens up the orifice and exposes the hair follicles. When Romantaque is applied regularly, these follicles are either partially or completely deactivated, resulting in reduced or no regrowth. Romantaque can also be used if you shave or use depilation creams, but the effect is slower, as can be expected.”
Mrinmayee’s story is a classic case of victory against all odds. The journey was long and arduous, but she did not give up. Her faith in her vision, and the ambition of turning it into reality, kept her going in the toughest of situations. She is indeed a great inspiration for all innovators and entrepreneurs.
From “Indian Innovators” by Akshat Agrawal : Page 20-28Published by JAICO PUBLISHING HOUSE under ISBN 978-81-8495-659-7
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