The Cure for Grey Hair

Over the past few years I have collected quite a few interesting links related to a cure for grey hair. I kept delaying writing this post because a cure for grey hair is obviously far less important than a cure for hair loss. However, there are some interesting ideas in reversing grey hair that are also relevant to reversing hair loss. Moreover, once we get back a full head of hair by the end of 2020 (as hoped), the vast majority of us will no doubt prefer that the new hair does not turn grey.  At that point, grey hair will be deemed to be a significant problem.  Finally, for those of us who are balding as well as graying, it is a double whammy.

Why Does Hair Turn Grey?

A person’s hair color is determined by his/her pigment producing stem cells known as melanocytes working in conjunction with his/her hair follicle stem cells.  Hair color depends on the presence and ratios of two types of melanins: eumelanins (brown and black pigments) and pheomelanins (red and yellow pigments).  As people age, a natural buildup of hydrogen peroxide occurs in their hair follicles, which in turn causes oxidative stress, melanocyte destruction and subsequent graying (side note: many women use hydrogen peroxide solutions to go blonde).

In 2009, a team of scientists from Germany and the UK figured out why this hydrogen peroxide buildup occurs in people as they age and why hydrogen peroxide is to blame for graying hair.  Basically, in younger people an enzyme called catalase breaks down hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen.  However, as people get older, they often have lower levels of this enzyme as well as lower levels of other enzymes called MSR A and B that repair hydrogen peroxide related damage to hair follicles.  The combination of high levels of hydrogen peroxide and low levels of MSR A and B also disrupts the formation of an enzyme called tyrosinase, which is important to melanin production in hair follicles.  Scientists think that something similar is at play in the skin condition called vitiligo.   Link to actual study.

Is PC-KUS (a modified pseudocatalase) the Cure for Grey Hair?

In 2013, the same Germany and UK based team that was discussed earlier came out with a potential cure to reverse grey hair. According to the article:

The researchers found that this massive build up of hydrogen peroxide can be reversed with a UVB-activated compound called PC-KUS, a modified pseudocatalase. The research team developed this new proprietary treatment.

PC-KUS was also supposed to cure vitiligo.  So why are the cures for gray hair and vitiligo (maybe not for long) still not here?

According to the UK’s NHS, the research and subsequent publicity on PC-KUS curing grey hair was a bit of a sham.

I am not sure if this avenue of work is over, and perhaps these same scientists will surprise us and come out with better news in the near future.

L’Oréal: A Pill to Prevent Grey Hair Forever?

During the past decade, France’s cosmetics behemoth  L’Oréal has led global research in the private sector when it comes to a search for a cure for grey hair.  The company’s head of the “Hair Biology Group”, Mr. Bruno Bernard, is a co-inventor of a topical product to protect and/or regenerate the melanocytes of hair follicles.  The patent for this product was filed in 2009.

Moreover, In 2011, L’Oreal announced that it was developing a pill that would prevent grey hair forever — as long as you continued to take the pill once a day permanently!  The pill contains an undisclosed fruit extract that mimics the chemical tyrosinase-related protein (TRP-2), an enzyme that protects pigment production.  Unfortunately, this pill will not cause existing grey hairs to darken, but instead, just prevent new grey hairs from forming. The pill was supposed to become available in 2015, but now we are past that.  Hopefully 2016.

Dr. Mayumi Ito, Wnt Signaling and a Cure for Grey Hair

Dr. Mayumi Ito is a renowned Japanese hair loss research scientist who got her Ph.D from Nagoya University in 2003.  She now does research and teaching at New York University.  She has authored numerous papers on the impact of Wnt signaling on hair follicle growth and regeneration.  On this blog you can find many posts that discuss this important subject matter (see all the posts in the Wnt/Beta-Catenin category).  However, in 2011, Dr. Ito found that Wnt signaling also explains hair losing its pigmentation.  Her team even restored hair color in mice (of course) in 2011 via manipulating the Wnt pathway.  It remains to be seen when they will experiment in humans (via stem cell injection or gene therapy) and see a successful reversal of grey hair.

Update: In March 2016, researchers in the UK discovered key genes for grey hair and more.

Update: In April 2016, a Forbes magazine cover story on Samumed suggested that the company’s SM04554 hair regrowth product that targets the Wnt pathway could also cure grey hair.

Update: Also in April 2016, scientists (led by Dr. Ito) at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York found the molecular pathways responsible for creating the color of skin and hair.  They found that a signaling pathway known as Edn/EdnrB interacts with other pathways (in particular, the Wnt signaling pathway), which in turn causes the proliferation of melanocyte stem cells (McSCs) that are involved in the earliest stages of skin and hair pigmentation.  This suggests that targeting Edn/EdnrB signaling in McSCs can be a therapeutic approach to promote hair pigmentation retention.

Is Dr. Cotsarelis (in partnership with Dr. Ito) also Working on Hair Loss Pigmentation?

Interestingly, in December 2011 the renowned Dr. George Cotsarelis and Dr. Mayumi Ito filed for a patent titled titled “Methods for generating new hair follicles, treating baldness, and hair removal.”  This patent was recently approved in December 2015.  In the description to the patent, it ends with “The present invention also provides methods for hair removal and inducing hair pigmentation.” Incredible! A three in one solution (hair regrowth, body hair removal, and grey hair reversal). If only Dr. Cotsarelis’ predictions and optimism would be realized faster than he thinks or claims.

Can Finasteride Reverse Grey Hair?

Over the years, I have read quite a few testimonials on hair loss forums where Finasteride users claim that their hair seems to have become darker as well as more plentiful while on Finasteride (which reduces DHT levels).  The majority of these patients had very limited quantities of grey hair to start with, so it was hard for me to tell from their before and photos (when available) if this phenomenon was true or not.  However, in 2014, forum member “bverotti” who is a hair transplant clinic representative in Belgium posted a stunning before and after image of one of the clinic’s patients on Finasteride. Yes it shows blonde hair turning brown, but I think of that as the same as grey hair turning brown or grey hair turning black.

Based on anecdotal observations in real life, I think that DHT besides making many people go bald also makes some of them go grey much sooner.  I do not know if this has ever been shown to be true in any kind of study and I could be wrong in my observation.

Can Dutasteride Reverse Grey Hair?

Using similar logic as in the above paragraph regarding Finasteride, I think that the much stronger Dutasteride can also reverse grey hair. Moreover, a few of the commentators in my post on Dutasteride Testimonials mention that the drug darkened their hair.

Could Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Reverse Grey Hair?

I have covered PRP to treat hair loss many times on this blog.  While the results are not always guaranteed and PRP will not bring back hair in totally bald areas of the scalp, there are now numerous doctors who believe in the product (especially when used in conjunction with ACell or other types of extracellular matrix products).  More relevant to this blog’s subject matter, in November 2015, Dr. Carlos Wesley started an interesting thread on the Bald Truth Talk forums with a photo showing PRP  and ACell mesotherapy darkening some previously transparent scalp hair. This was very surprising to me.  Moreover, he states that “An additional finding that has also been observed by other practices throughout the world is that PRP can help return some of the original hair color to follicles.”  I will add more here if some other clinics confirm this phenomenon.  It seems like PRP could be stimulating melanocytes in hair follicles, although we need far more evidence than just the one photo from Dr. Wesley.

Could Stem Cell Transplants Regrow Hair and Cure Grey Hair?

I have discussed Dr. Takashi Tsuji on this blog briefly in the past. His video (see below) showed black pigmented hair growing on a mouse after stem cell transplantation.  Moreover, this article has the following sentence “He combined a number of stem cells to adjust the density and color of the hair, raising the possibility of a cure to graying strands.

Will Telomerase Activation Therapy Reverse Grey Hair?

There are a number of online testimonials regarding telomarase therapy via the ingestion of the TA-65 supplement reversing grey hair and/or growing new hair.  There are also many opinions to the contrary.  I cover all this and more in my post titled “TA-65. telomerase activation and hair regrowth“.

Grey Hair Cure Scams

While not as proliferate as in the hair loss cure industry, the grey hair cure industry is still full of scams.  Moreover, while some products have been FDA approved and proven to reverse hair loss in numerous patients, nothing of that sort can be said for products that claim to reverse grey hair.  In 2015, the US government went after various companies that were making fraudulent claims about their products being able to treat grey hair successfully.  Prior to that, in 2013, a nutritional supplement  company called “Rise-N-Shine” promised a pill that would permanent cure grey hair. Wonder if that pill ever came into stores, and if so, how many gullible people purchased it?

Proctor & Gamble’s ME+ Molecule Hair Dye

Until a cure for grey hair does come out, people will have to accept their graying locks, or continue to use hair dyes.  In 2013, Proctor & Gamble came out with a supposed permanent hair dye based on a new proprietary ME+ molecule.  The new molecule (chemical name 2-Methoxymethyl-p-Phenylenediamine) was apparently a result of 20 years of research.  Proctor & Gamble’s website also raved about ME+ in early 2014, but it does not seem like all this early optimism has led to any kind of new blockbuster permanent dye product.

Stress and Plucking will not Cause Grey Hair

Most of the articles I have read on this subject seem to indicate that for the vast majority of people, stress will not cause early premature graying of hair, while plucking hair will definitely not cause it to go grey.  Both of these myths are old wives’ tales.  Some articles suggest that US presidents have grayed a lot while in office, but in my opinion, these presidents’ parents are also usually fully grey haired in their old age — so it is not surprising to see more grey hairs appearing on the presidents’ heads when they are in office in their 50s and 60s.  In all likelihood its about genetics and not stress.

Grey Hair is not Always a Sign of Ageing

Since grey hair usually only affects people in their mid-30s and aftermath (and a full head of grey or white hair is almost never seen in those below the age of 50), most people assume that it is a sign of ageing. However, this is not always the case.  There is no shortage of celebrities on TV that have grayed at a very early age.  Perhaps the two most famous examples here in the US are Anderson Cooper and Jay Leno, who both look very young for their age in that video despite graying in their 20s. Cooper started to go grey at just 20 and Leno at 29 according to his statement in that video.  Neither seems to have any health issues despite now having been grey for decades. If anything, both seem to be aging at slower pace then the rest of us.

Grey Hair in Men versus in Women

Grey hair is a far greater concern for women than for men.  For the former, it represents a sign of aging and an almost certain end to careers in acting and modeling unless the hair is dyed all the time. For the latter, this is not true, and some men are even purposely buying grey hair dye in order to look like George Clooney.  Humans are nature’s strangest creation indeed.

104 thoughts on “The Cure for Grey Hair”

    1. I had my first grey hairs at 18 and now, at 51, I am probably completely grey. But I was interested in your observation that there are people who go grey prematurely but who seem to age more slowly. I look at my peer group and I look a lot younger than most of them and I’m not the only one to notice it. It is something that is becoming more obvious as I get older. Maybe there is something in this. Maybe L’Oreal need to extend their research.

  1. Great post admin. Gray hair made you look older than bald at any age.
    For man It is not only scalp, but beard, chest, even arms… In my opinion the market is bigger than hair loss.
    If you cant assume being bald at 30, 40, 50, why you would assume being gray or white?

  2. I disagree with all of this. I see dudes all the time that are Norwood 3 and you can’t even notice it because their hair is so silver and distinguished looking. It is not a bad look now.

  3. Give me a full head of hair and let it be gray. I would just dye it every month at a top salon. Would end up being cheaper than spending money on propecia Rogaine hsur oils, vitamins and all the other hassle of keeping out hair

  4. Great post admin, personally I don’t mind having gray hair but I do believe the more scientists learn about hair the closer we get to have a solution.

  5. Hey Admin, could you talk about Hair For Sure in a future post? It’s been floating around the internet and ”suppositly” has great results and some even say it’s the cure, which I have my doubts of. Thanks for the great work!

    1. Thanks Mike! It also says “hair pigmentation” in there so I need to add it to this post. Will acknowledge you here rather than in the post.

      1. That’s cool! Never sure what to make of patents so I temper my expectations but I get encouraged when I skim the patent and see this as one of the sub-headings:

        EDIHN Hair Follicles Retain the Ability to Enter into Cyclical Hair Growth

        Still, best to stay cautiously optimistic!

  6. every f_g day i wake up and read this blog.
    after all i am depressed.

    1. Don’t do anything crazy jere. Not worth dying over. I saw a kid with no legs and one arm the other day and was in a wheel chair. Probably no older than 12. It can be much worse. We have 100x better chance of getting our hair back to a non balding look than this kid has of ever walking or growing his limbs back. So stop talking about putting a gun in your mouth. Our situation sucks ass but don’t make us more depressed by posting suicide shit on here.

  7. Jere you are right millions of people think like you…Hair loss industry is deplorable…We are so tired of this situation 30 years without a nee treatment…

  8. Great!! now that NASA has stopped repeating himself Khourii is approaching to take his place by keep feeding us with that king of hair loss crap!!

  9. jesus its like talking about honeymoon without a wife…we need hair first so that it can turn grey…and whats the big deal with grey hair…freakin color it…

  10. Yes. Coloring hair is not a big deal.. They already have cured that problem. Wish there were an easy solution like that for hair loss.

  11. Hey guys totally off topic but would like to know what the dht serum level should be for someone on propecia 1mg daily dose. I know the normal range for a man is 25 to 80. Propecia obviously puts you below 25. I have heard any where from 17 to 23 being a good level to stop hair loss? Anybody on here test their levels?

      1. Yes but.. I don’t want the sides.. For me my junior is more important.. What’s the point of having bit of hair with no libido

      2. Propecia worked for you, Mjones. It doesn’t work for everyone. I am one of those. I work out everyday, have a girlfriend, and good job. Besides slowly losing my hair, not much to complain about. I took propecia because I thought that is what modern guys do to stop hair loss… Within 5 days, I started having problems. The craziest thing is that I was always the one saying that people who have side effects on the drug probably had issues before hand, or were unhealthy… Life taught me a lesson. Things are good now, but I went through the scariest 12 days of my life when I kicked it. After that, you have to worry about having a post-finasteride relapse for the first 30 days… I would rather just be healthy. Also, Dutasteride is more effective that Propecia, but probably more dangerous.

        1. Hi ddog yeah propecia cured me from acne, stopped my hsir loss for 12 yrs and I had forgotten my hsir loss for that time. I was happy. Now shit hit the fan and losing ground each month. My dht serum level is 22. Normal range is 25 to 80. So propecia is still working but I guess my hair loss gene is just over powering the meds. My vitamin d levels are on the low end which is 35. Normal range is 30 to 90. So maybe my hair is losing ground to low vitanin d? All I can say is that I heard more stories of propecia not working as well for more people once the drug lost its parent a few years back. Merk started manufacturing propecia in Italy before it was in new jersey. Who knows if they are making it the same anymore. We need something much better starring this year!

    1. Awesome! Really nice! Propecia isn’t good for our body, metabolism and organic homeostasis. mjones You should learn from farhan. Nobody likes Propecia man…lol
      Have a great day.

  12. “The methods comprise epidermal disruption or administration of wnt, and administration of a fibroblast growth factor-9 polypeptide or another compound that upregulates sonic hedgehog gene signaling.”

    well, well, well.. when will we see it for real Mr. Cotsarelis?

    1. Prob in July 2016 Cots will release the cure haha sorry had to make a joke before going to sleep. I would guess in a couple years. Who knows man, the good thing he is trying to do something and has some interesting protocols that were mentioned on nbc nightly news and on today show. Some credibility I guess

  13. Thanks for posting this admin! I currently have a LOT of white/gray hair not just in what’s left of my scalp hair but also my beard and chest. What esp sucks about gray/white hair is that the texture of it is often wiry/dry/thin which looks really unnatural when dyed. It’s funny, with the exception of my hair I could pass for early 20s and im 32.

    I really like that Cosaraelis is working on hairloss/gray hair/hair removal as I suffer from the trifecta. Jak inhibitors would be great if they worked but im still not 100% sold on taking a drug that strong for the rest of my life. If Cotsaraelis’ idea works for all 3; to say it would be a game changer for me and many others would be a serious understatement.

  14. Does anyone have the answer to my question or am I just going to get replies from Phoenix saying how bad propecia is evert 5 mins. We get it dude!

  15. Im taking propecia since jan 2014. I think I have not any regrowth, and I dont know if its work or not for maintenance. Perhaps without propecia I would be balder now or not, Im not sure… And I have a lot or more gray hair. Sexual sides I dont know, it depends some day I think yes and some day no. I think this things are more psichologically, if you feel depressed or confident, than effect of fin.

  16. I actually hope they pass that health care act thing by Congress so samumed can skip phase 3. Maybe that is why they are doing biomaker trial 🙂 Plus they may be tied to that army research follicle neogenisis trial at wake forest. If they are they may have inside knowledge on congress passing the ACT. That’s why at thr hair losd cobgress the ceo of samumed didn’t answer anything about time lines and was so vague. What do you think guys?

    1. Yeah!

      I would like to post something interested :
      the meeting of north american hair research society will take place on
      Friday, March 4, 2016 • 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
      Washington DC, USA
      Registration is required. $25 for Members; $50 for Non-Members

      Perhaps, we will have some informations about the phase 2 of SM.
      And the last but not least this : the last phase 2 of SM will finish on March 2016 “A Study of SM04554 Applied Topically to the Scalp of Male Subjects With Androgenetic Alopecia Analyzed by Biopsy of the Scalp Prior To and Post Dosing”


      “And as you can see, Samumed was a coporate supporter of this event on 2015…0/Default.aspx”

      1. We might get good news within 2 months, Samumed hopefully shows reliable pictures with great results and not only statistics!

        Will they be able to skip phase 3, after that 21st Century Cures Act … we will see.

        Thanks for the information!

      2. Hey guys I live in Washington DC I will attend this hair society convention in March! This should be exciting especially since samumed is corporate sponsor

      3. 90 days is a short trial…would be nice if was like 6-8 months but I guess if they see no changes in 3 months or formation/ revival of follicles, it likely wont be that effective anyways.

  17. This article once again underlines the first 2 questions MD’s get when they are treating female patients with chemotherapy to defeat their devastating disease cancer.

    1st question of the female patient:
    Will I finally recover from cancer?
    2nd question of the female patient: Will I lose my hair?

    It’s proven that if the patients save their hair as much as possible, for instance by using the DigniCap, they will recover much faster and better.

    Once again, the psychological impact of cancer, is tremendous. The psychological impact of subsequently losing hair, might be even more devastating.

    Therefore, stay positive, most of us here are healthy!

  18. Grey hair won’t be an issue when the jak inhibitors stop my hair loss. 2016 is when I put it on my head and stop hair loss forever. I will dye my hair and will have full head of hair. All that needs to happen is prove it works for male pattern baldness and then i shall wait for an expert on the internet to make a topical and then i shall get it. 2016 is the cure.

    1. No I am American. Just googled the spelling and “grey” is far more popular. However, spellcheck did not allow me to use the word’s “greying”, “greyed” etc… so those are spelled with an “a” in there:-)

    1. Christiano uses a formulation with JAKs specifically made for the scalp… I wish novices would quit trying to just rub a JAK on their head. It’s not going to work, and it has already been shown to be a waste of time, orally. Nothing new here. Christiano and King may have a breakthrough, but it will not be replicated by people who are just using straight up JAK on their heads…

  19. Dear friends I am 30 yo and i am start balding when i was 22.
    I am very afraid because i have not girlfriend and my hair falling.
    Every day my parents tell me : you must found girlfriend and marriage.
    I want to ask u am I old with my 30 yo , because many of my friends have wife and family?
    My hair is the cause for this situation.
    Do you have any advice for me?
    thank you

  20. JAK INHIBITORS ARE THE CURE! Do not worry jere. 2016 This year is the time we put it on our heads, we will have full head of hair for christmas. All we need to do is wait for it to be tested on mpb and then we will have bon jovi hair again!

    The real nasa_RS

    Not the imposter!

  21. doesn’t matter! It has already been approved for areata almost finished phases! All you have to do is get the drug when its been shown to work for male pattern baldness. Least then we will know and then we can get it from the doctors!

    All is my own opinion

  22. Looks like swiss temples posted an update about a month back.
    Admin/ general public, your thoughts?

    It looks to me that he has gotten some very minor growth but the photos make it difficult to tell… definitely some strands there that weren’t there before though. It looks like he has been going on 6 months now.

  23. How can you block. That which is unblockable

    *Gets blocked*


    Me and nasa_RS are 2 sides of the same coin. I am him, and he is me. Together by constantly bringing up jam inhibitors we will materialise it into existence. The illuminati use this trick to bring their sinister inventions into existence! mjones knows this, he’s an insider.

    BUT! This is just my own opinion.

  24. I read that last comment and immediately imagined the dark empire, but seriously I don’t think u even believe in JAKs, u are only posting those comments to mock the real nasa and he doesn’t deserve that. We all have our opinions and support the sides which we think can end this nightmare but no one should be bantered cause of his opinion.

  25. ok guys i was just kidding with nasa thing. don’t get upset over it. and tbh i actually believe in jak!! I always read the comments and love nasas optimism. If anyones mocking him its most people on here! trying to drown his dreams about it working. anyway i was having a laugh and now I’ve noticed nasa got offended then ill back off. Gawwd. also considering i have male pattern baldness your not the only one in the “nightmare”

  26. Please don’t ruin the only remaining helpful hairloss platform on the WHOLE web.

    Balding is bad enough. And having to put up with balding adults’ childish trolling isn’t helping at all.

  27. I apologise and then get attacked again. Like anyone on here hasn’t had a laugh now and then sanctus. You’re right balding is bad. This is by far the best forum. I fail to see how I’ve ruined anything. Also don’t know why you had to add the balding in to insulting me, like that isn’t childish. You’re talking to a guy who knows how bad balding sucks. started to me at 16. Which is shit when the only hair you wanted at the time was long styled. I didn’t once mean any offence. I just thought mindless fun amongst people that had already gone through shitty balding would be more tougher. Guess I was wrong.

    1. I hope we all have good sources of entertainment in our lives. This website is for facts not fun.

      I’m checking the comments section to see some intelligence not stupidity. I can’t waste my dearly precious time reading your bullshit, dude.

      I would expect a balding adult to be more mature. It is not an insult.

  28. Agree! Its a disgrace that some ppl feel a need to act like this. Shitting all over the hard work that the owner of this site is doing. Please stop this! Some of us actually come here to read comments and paticipate in a constructive manner.

    @admin, thank you for another awesome post!

    Now lets all look forward to Samumed news..I personally got a good feeling about their product.

  29. If there was to be a cure guys would you prefer topical. It seems every time theres a pill it ignites danger. So they try to give us a topical. As much as i want hair i don’t fancy what i went through with minoxidil. You have to have hair short to get it to your scalp and not waste it causing you to not try and have a style to it. I;d rather a pill or a shampoo tbh :/

  30. I don’t think any tropical treatment will cure hair loss and bring us hair back, it should be targeted from the inside, that is the only thing that makes sense.

  31. Very Bad News. Christopher1 reported on his results of trying Tofacitib lotion plus orally taking it and he had no hair growth. I think he could still get hair in another month or two even though he is not longer applying the lotion. This is from his posting:

    “Gentlemen, I hate to inform you that the trial is over and I have had zero results. Keep in mind not only was I applying the medication topically, but I had 5mg/day systemically in my system for the entire trial period. From the onset I felt Christiano’s reasoning was specious as it related to the drug being applicable to MPB. Maybe I was on too low of a dose. However, that a drug, on its own, can grow an ample amount of hair on say a Norwood 3 seems a little far-fetched to me given what we now know about MPB.

    Btw I am going to try Kerastem soon. If all of this stuff doesn’t give me cancer I will report back on that in the future.

    Best of luck.”

    1. It’s not a big deal. As I stated above…

      Christiano uses a formulation with JAKs specifically made for the scalp… I wish novices would quit trying to just rub a JAK on their head. It’s not going to work, and it has already been shown to be a waste of time, orally. Nothing new here. Christiano and King may have a breakthrough, but it will not be replicated by people who are just using straight up JAK on their heads…

      It was wrong of you NASA to place any kind of hope on that experiment.

    2. This christopher is suicidal/reckless. Think hairloss is bad? Maybe you should see someone you know go through and die from cancer. Experimenting with drugs you don’t truly understand…smart.

  32. We cannot know if jak will work or not and under which conditions, so we have to wait to a clinical trial of aga patients, until then we cannot be sure if it will work or not.

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