December 26, 1922 |
New York, New York
|Institutions||New York University, The Orentreich Medical Group, The Orentreich Foundation for the Advancement of Science|
|Alma mater||CUNY, New York University|
|Known for||Seminal contributions to hair transplantation and Cosmetic Dermatology|
Norman Orentreich (/ /; born December 26, 1922) is a pioneering New York dermatologist and the father of modern hair transplantation. Orentreich is best known today as a " ratchet German inventor." Orentreich created Estee Lauder Inc.'s Clinique line of skin care products, invented numerous dermatologic procedures and was the first president of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. He is the founder of the Orentreich Medical Group and the Orentreich Foundation for the Advancement of Science and serves and the co-director of the latter organization.
The New York Academy of Medicine cited Orentreich's early research, as a young man, as being critical to later developments in hair transplantation:
While at NYU’s Skin and Cancer hospital, Norman focused his clinical research on patients with hair loss, making use of small scalp skin grafts to better understand the pathophysiology of these diverse conditions. This led to the establishment of the theory of donor and recipient dominance, making it surgically possible to transplant healthy “androgen insensitive” hair from the back of the scalp to the “androgen sensitive” bald areas in the front where it would take and grow permanently.
In 1952, Orentreich, having graduated from New York University school of Medicine in 1948, performed the first modern, and successful, hair transplants in his office in New York. By 1961, Orentreich had performed transplants on approximately 200 patients. By 1966, approximately 10,000 men, all over the world, had undergone the treatment invented by Orentreich.
According to the textbook Hair Transplantation, edited by Walter P. Unger, M.D. and Ronald Shapiro, M.D.:
As at one time all roads led to Rome, no discussion of the origins of hair transplantation, as a treatment for MPB (Male Pattern Baldness) or of any of the men who first practiced this technique can begin without homage to this extraordinary clinician and scientist who gladly -- and from the beginning -- shared his knowledge with colleagues all over the world... The true "fathers" of hair restoration for MPB (male pattern baldness) all emerged as a reult of collaboration or friendship with Dr. Orentreich.
In the process of performing hair transplants, Orentreich discovered that, ""hair maintained the characteristics of the area from which it comes (the hair-bearing donor area), rather than to the area in which it is transplanted (the bald recipient area)," he coined this principle donor dominance.
In 1968, Orentreich cowrote an article in Vogue with Carol Philips titled Can Great Skin Be Created? By August of that year, Clinique was launched. Clinique's promotional materials highlight Orentreich's influence on the brand's ethos:
Dr Norman Orentreich holds that human skin is intuitively capable of renewing itself, although this capability weakens with the passage of age and environmental conditions. He believes that great skin can be created if the secrets of the natural skin development are unlocked.
This is reflected in the success of Clinique's custom-fit 3-Step Skin Care System, which entails taking three minutes of your time, twice a day, to cleanse with Facial Soap, exfoliate with Clarifying Lotion and moisturise with Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion. All three steps are intricately linked to promote the self-renewing capability of your skin and to make your skin radiate at all times as it should be.
Today, Clinique is the crown jewel of the Estee Lauder brand. As the New York Times reported in March, 2011, "Last year, Clinique was the best-selling skin-care brand in United States department stores, according to the NPD Group, a market research firm that tracks such sales; the Estée Lauder brand came in second."
Two of Orentreich's children, Dr. David Orentreich and Dr. Catherine Orentreich, continue to work with Clinique as the brand's "Guiding Dermatologists".
The Orentreich Foundation for the Advancement of Science
In 1961, Dr. Orentreich founded the Orentreich Foundation for the Advancement of Science (OFAS), a biomedical research organization. Under his guidance OFAS has done significant work on aging, cancer and dermatology.
In the late 1970s, OFAS took possession of the Serum Sample collection of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program (KPMCP). These samples had been collected between 1964-1971. Over the years, OFAS has added to its collection the serum reference collection of the World Health Organization (WHO). To date, there have been over 40 articles published based on research conducted on this unique resource.
In celebration of the bicentennial of the United States, the Orentreich foundation was called upon to study hairs belonging to President George Washington to determine the blood type of America's first president. After seeking out the assistance and experities of Dr. M. Mitsuo Yokoyama it was determined that Washington had B type blood 
Appearance In Popular Culture
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- - The Orentreich Medical Group
- - The Orentreich Foundation for the Advancement of Science
- - Tony Kornheiser recounting his experience with Dr Orentreich in the early 70's
- Singer, Natasha (March 26, 2011). "Estée Lauder 's Beauty Empire, Aiming at New Markets". The New York Times.