Woman with deep chestnut hair from boosted melanin production

How Boosting Melanin Production Can Slow and Reverse Grey Hair

Are You Ready to Take Control of Your Greying Process?

If your hair or beard are going grey, you might be wondering if you can slow or delay more silver strands. Maybe you are enjoying a little frosting on your temples, but you’d like it to stop there. 

Turning grey can feel like your hair is taking control of your public image. That’s when my clients come to me for grey hair solutions. Some want to use color, but many are looking for natural ways to slow and delay grey hair growth. 

When my client Allison Conrad started greying, she wanted to find a proactive, healthy, grey hair solution. That’s why we founded Arey. We wanted to create grey hair treatment products that allow you to take control of your greying journey. 

We turned to science for answers to why your hair goes grey. Here’s what we found.

 

Your Hair Turns Grey From Loss of Melanin

Melanin is the pigment that gives your hair and skin its color. Melanin is produced by melanocytes (pigment-production cells) that cluster around your hair follicles and add color to your hair. As you age, melanin production drops off and your hair fades, goes grey and then white.

Graphic shows how your hair pigment comes from melanin


You might want to blame your kids or your boss for your grey hair. You’re partially right. 70% of greying is caused by lifestyle and environmental stressors. Only 30% is genetic.

While you can’t do much about your genes (or maybe even your teens), there are things you can do that slow and even reverse grey hair caused by melanin loss. Here’s what we found.


A Healthy Lifestyle and the Right Hair Care Can Preserve Your Hair Color

Going grey is a natural process that happens to almost everybody from the age of 30. Your wisdom hairs come from living a full life.1 

It’s easier to prevent new greys than it is to reverse a full head of grey hair. At Arey, that’s why our haircare products focus on taking a proactive, preventive approach to going grey. 

According to our research, these are the best ways to slow non-genetic hair pigment loss:

    • Reduce your stress – yes, stress can make you go grey but the cure may be to take a week off. A recent study from Columbia University found that taking a vacation caused grey hair to revert to its original color.2 

    • Eat a diet rich in hair-boosting vitamins – a lack of certain nutrients can turn your hair grey.

    • Stop smoking – a smoking habit can lead to premature greying.3

    • Protect your hair from the sun – the sun’s rays act like bleach on your hair, destroying melanin. You can avoid hair damage by using a plant-based sunscreen like Live In Mist.

    • Reduce heat-styling damage: grey hair is dry and easily damaged from heat-styling. A moisturizing heat protectant like Mend seals your hair shaft for safer styling.

Wherever you are in your greying journey, these hair-health boosting lifestyle changes will also benefit your overall health.


The Best Foods to Naturally Boost Melanin in Your Hair 

Foods with high concentrations of antioxidants have been found to boost melanin production. Your hair health is linked to your overall health so hair-boosting antioxidants will protect cells in your whole body as well as your hair.

Images of antioxidant-rich foods to boost melanin production in your hair


Antioxidant-Rich Foods That Help Stop Grey Hair

Antioxidants are molecules that prevent damage to your cells by free radicals (unstable atoms). Free radicals are made naturally by your body, but lifestyle and environmental factors can mean you end up with too many. 

An excess of free-radicals attack the melanin in your hair cells which leads to greying, hair loss and changes in hair texture. Adding antioxidants to your diet is believed to reduce free-radical damage to your body and your hair.4 

Foods that are rich in antioxidants5 include:

    • Dark chocolate
    • Blueberries
    • Leafy greens
    • Pecans
    • Beans
    • Red grapes
    • Alfalfa

You can also boost your melanin production by taking an antioxidant-rich supplement that contains vitamins and minerals for fuller, thicker hair.

 

Three Important Vitamins You Need for Your Hair Health

Three major antioxidant vitamins are A, C, and E. They not only nourish your hair, skin and nails, they also help protect your skin against UV (sun) damage.6

✅ Food sources of Vitamin A: 

Also known as beta-carotene, vitamin A is found in dairy, liver, fish and eggs. You can also find it in many soft fruits including apricots, nectarines and peaches. Orange foods like carrots, squash, pumpkin and sweet potatoes are also healthy sources of vitamin A.7

✅ Food sources of Vitamin C: 

Citrus fruits, tomatoes and tomato juice, and potatoes are major contributors of antioxidant-rich vitamin C to your diet. Other delicious sources are green leafy vegetables, sweet peppers, strawberries and kiwi fruits.8

✅ Food sources of Vitamin E: 

Many foods are a healthy source of vitamin E including most nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils. Green leafy vegetables are rich in vitamin E including broccoli, chard, mustard and turnip greens. For a sweet treat, mangoes and papaya are full of vitamin E.9

Vitamins B6 and B12 have both been proven to boost melanin in your hair follicles. B12, known as cobalamin, also increases your red blood cell production which promotes healthy hair growth.6

You can take a supplement that contains these vitamins or you can supercharge your diet with foods high in B12 and B6. Eating beetroot, sprouts, eggs, fish, cheese, soy and starchy vegetables are healthy ways you can increase melanin in your hair.

 

Stimulate Your Hair Growth With Copper-Rich Foods

Your body needs copper to produce melanin. Copper also contains peptides – amino acids that produce collagen – which keep your hair and skin smooth and healthy. Copper peptides act on your hair follicles to create thicker hair and a longer growth cycle. That means less shedding.

Hair-growth supplements often contain copper. Other good sources are nuts, mushrooms and liver which help promote melanin production.10 

In a perfect world you would get all your nutrition from a healthy diet. In the real world, a busy schedule, travel and fast food temptations make it hard for you to get all the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals for your best hair health.

That’s why our very first grey hair solution was our supplement. Not Today, Grey is an easy way to get the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals you need to naturally boost melanin production and promote healthy hair growth.  We did all the research so you don’t have to.



Meet Arey’s Science-Backed Grey Hair Treatments That Boost Melanin Production

Arey’s daily supplement Not Today, Grey is a natural grey hair treatment that works with your body to slow and even re-pigment grey hair. 

Before and After images show reduced grey hair from using Arey anti-aging haircare

By boosting your vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant intake, Not Today, Grey gives you the nutritional building blocks your hair needs to: 

    • Slow grey hair: antioxidants, copper and B vitamins combine to boost melanin and combat greying caused by free-radical damage.

    • Stimulate healthier, thicker, fuller hair: folate, iron, black sesame and Fo-it boost melanin and promote hair growth.

    • Help repigment hair: Not Today, Grey boosts hair health and melanin production to repigment hair.  

All our products are vegan, clean, cruelty-free and free from gluten, parabens, phthalates and artificial fragrance. 

For your best results, we recommend combining our Not Today, Grey supplement with our topical serum To The Root. To The Root delivers melanin-boosting antioxidants right where your hair needs it the most – your hair follicles. 


Grey Hair Reversal Works Best on Hair That Is Less Than 30% Grey

If your hair is more than 30% grey or you have white hair, you will see less substantial results. Completely white hair no longer contains active melanocytes and so it cannot be repigmented. But you will see an improvement in the texture, smoothness and elasticity of your hair. 

Arey chart shows how to calculate what is your percentage of grey hair

Hair growth cycles take about 1-4 months, so it takes a while to see your results. That’s why we offer 25% off on all subscriptions to help keep you on track with your hair health goals. Because we know that science + consistency = results.

Have any questions? Check out our FAQ page or email us at hey@areygrey.com.

 


Jay Small, Stylist and co-founder of Arey, cuts a client’s hair

AuthorJay SmallJay Small is a sought-after hair stylist in Los Angeles with over 18 years of experience. His clients consist of high-profile business and creative leaders. He trained as an apprentice to the owner of Paul Mitchell and worked in education and product development for Paul Mitchell Systems. Jay is incredibly passionate about the creative process both in terms of styling hair and developing effective products.



REFERENCES:

  1. loc.gov/why-does-hair-turn-gray/ 
  2. usatoday.com/story/life/does-stress-cause-grey-hair
  3. Zayed AA, Shahait AD, Ayoub MN, Yousef AM. Smokers' hair: Does smoking cause premature hair graying? Indian Dermatol Online J. 2013 Apr;4(2):90-2. doi: 10.4103/2229-5178.110586. PMID: 23741662; PMCID: PMC3673399.
  4. Antioxidants-and-free-radicals 
  5. https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes
  6. melanin-in-hair#b-6-and-b-12 
  7. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-HealthProfessional/#h3 
  8. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/
  9. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-HealthProfessional/ 
  10. copper-peptides#copper-peptides-for-hair-growth