My original post on a grey hair cure has gotten out of hand due to the constant new updates. I am therefore moving all the most recent grey hair reversal related developments into this post.
Grey Hair Reversal: Latest Updates
Update: September 6, 2023
A new South Korean company named YJ Lab is raising funds to start a large-scale clinical trial for its unique melanin restoration technology. The company recently developed a regenerative material that restores the pigment of grey hair. It re-activates damaged melanocytes and removes active oxygen in order to restore hair color. It has already conducted successful internal trials.
Interestingly, YJ Lab is developing a specially made comb equipped with its refillable solution. Consumers can then conveniently apply this melanocyte regeneration material into the scalp.
Update: June 3, 2023
Update: May 22, 2023
Per a new study from Takahiro Suzuki et al, topically applied Rapamycin could reverse grey hair via mTORC1 inhibition. Rapamycin elevates the production of melanin and pigmentation. I covered rapamycin in my post on autophagy.
Update: April 19, 2023
Cause of Grey Hair may be Stuck Cells
The has been yet another breakthrough on finding the reason behind hair going grey. Scientists from New York University (NYU) found that melanocyte stem cells (McSCs) stop roaming around the follicle and become fixed or “stuck” in limbo as we age. As a result, they fail to mature into fully-fledged melanocytes that give hair its pigment.
The scientists conclude that modulating McSC mobility may represent a new approach for the prevention and even partial reversal of hair greying. The study lead investigator was Dr. Qi Sun and the senior investigator was Dr. Mayumi Ito, who I have mentioned before in this post. I like her quote in Guardian:
“It is the loss of chameleon-like function in melanocyte stem cells that may be responsible for greying and loss of hair colour.”
Update: March 31, 2023
An interesting one-off case of a male patient from Oman who got cyclosporine A induced hair repigmentation in his scalp, moustache and beard hair. Make sure to also read my past post on cyclosporine and hair growth.
Update: December 29, 2022
The Thymus Gland and Reversing Grey Hair
A new article on anti-aging has several items of interest in relation to grey hair reversal. A 72-year-old scientist named Gregory Fahy injects patients (as well as himself) with recombinant human growth hormone in order to rejuvenate the thymus gland. This could help reverse aging to some extent. Dr. Fahy is described as “having thick dark brown hair and being in enviable shape for a guy of pension age.”
One 70-year old patient named Hank Pellissier claims that “his hair, previously white, began growing in brown”. Note that Dr. Fahy’s prescribed regimen also includes dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and Metformin. More details can be found on his company website and via their clinical trials page. Also of interest, Dr. Fahy showed several of his before and after patient hair repigmentation photos at a Ted Talk in 2020. See after 13:20 mins in this video.
Update: June 22, 2022
A new gene therapy treatment for a rare genetic disease (cystinosis) resulted in major hair darkening as a side effect. Four of the five patients have gotten significantly darker hair, and the fifth just started re-growing his hair post treatment. Of note, this gene therapy entails modifying blood cells, and only changes the DNA of a small fraction of the patient’s cells.
Update: May 2022
Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN)
An interesting new video on NMN potentially reversing hair greying and skin aging. Do note that both the interviewer and interviewee are involved in the sale of NMN products. The viewer comments in there are very interesting. Make sure to also read my popular post on NAD and NMN supplements.
Update: May 2022
Minoxidil and Reversing Grey Hair
“I have seen hair darkening with minoxidil in my patients.”
Moreover, on Reddit, I have read a few posts from people stating that oral Minoxidil caused their grey hair to become dark again. In November 2022, one person even posted that after just one month of 2.5 mg/day oral Minoxidil use, his chest and beard hair become dark again. In my other grey hair cure post, I also discuss topical Minoxidil causing grey hair reversal in some cases.
Update: February 2022
Hair Graying Regulators Beyond the Hair Follicle
A really interesting study from China analyzes hair graying regulators both within and outside the hair follicle in causing the depletion and dysfunction of melanocyte stem cells (MeSCs). Emerging evidences shows that nerves, adipocytes and immune cells outside of the immediate hair follicle environment (bulge, bulb and dermal papilla) also play important roles in the regulation of MeSCs.
Update: June 2021
Stress and Premature Greying
A new experiment mapped human hair greying in relation to recent life stress events. I am very skeptical about stress causing premature hair greying in most people. I have devoted a whole section to this popular subject in the second half of this post.
Note that in 2020, scientists from the US and Brazil also found that excess stress can turn pigmented hair white. Moreover, when cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) protein was suppressed in mice, their fur did not change color.
Update: April 2021 — Harvard University scientists and a team from South Korea are developing a treatment for grey hair using pigment stem cells in hair follicles.
Update: September 2020 — Japanese scientists discovered an unexpected side-effect of dupilumab: reversal of hair graying. Dupilumab is a dual inhibitor of interleukin 4 and interleukin 13. It is used to treat allergic diseases such as eczema, asthma and nasal polyps.
Update: August 2020 — Make sure to listen to this interesting podcast on reversing gray hair.
Update: June 2020 — Chinese scientists found re-pigmentation of hair in a majority of Alzheimer disease patients after prolonged cholinesterase inhibitor therapy.
Update: June 2020 — South Korean researchers presented the first case of Ustekinumab-associated hair re-pigmentation. Ustekinumab is a monoclonal antibody medication that targets interleukin 12 and interleukin 23. It is used to treat Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
Update: April 2020 — A new synthetic melanin nanoparticle coating method was deemed as a safer, nontoxic and longer lasting way to dye hair.
Update: March 2020 — Eirion Therapeutics had its patent for a grey hair treatment published. It entails using plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (pai-1) inhibitors to prevent hair graying. Eirion’s pre-clinical product candidates for hair loss and grey hair prevention are ET-02 and ET-03.
Update: January 2020
A review of medication-Induced repigmentation of grey hair:
“As evidenced by the many cases of gray hair repigmentation in the literature, the development of gray hair may not be an irreversible process. Gray hair is a natural course of aging; however, it may not be an inevitable or permanent process.”