Young man looks in mirror at his first grey hair

Your First Grey Hair Is an Important Message From Your Body. What Is It Telling You?

You Knew It Would Happen One Day, but Your First Grey Hair Is Still a Shock 

Your first silvery visitor might be a single sprout or a longer hair going grey at the root. Either way, it can feel like a stranger is looking back at you from the mirror.

Don’t panic. The first signs of aging can be scary. 

You are not alone. Grey hair affects 74% of people between the ages of 45-65, and many see their first grey as early as their twenties. 

As a stylist, I have seen many people go through this. When my client Allison Conrad saw her first greys, it prompted us to come up with Arey. We wanted to approach the problem of aging and greying hair in a positive way – with curiosity, optimism and the help of science.

What Grey Hair Can Tell You About Your Health

Grey hair is a direct message from your body. Genetics only account for 30% of why we go grey. So your grey hair could also be a message that you're lacking the vitamins, minerals, or antioxidants essential to produce the cells that maintain pigment.

You're doing the best you can, but your best life might not be your hair’s best life. These are some of the factors that take a toll on your hair: 

  • Smoking
  • UV exposure from the sun
  • Pollution
  • Non-nutritious diet
  • Stress

We get it. Those things are part of normal life. Being perfect is no fun and better self-care isn’t about being perfect – it’s about giving your future self some support.

Your Hair Is Going Grey, Now What Do You Do?

Before you reach for the tweezers or put your colorist on speed dial, ask yourself this – do you want to get to the root of what’s turning your hair grey, or just treat the symptoms?

We all love a quick fix but resist plucking your first grey hair. It'll just grow back again the same. And ripping out that little wisdom hair could damage your hair follicle. This can result in infection, scarring, and even bald patches.1 

Coloring brings instant results, but it’s a life sentence with shorter and shorter gaps between sessions as your hair turns greyer. You may love hanging out with your colorist, but will your future self love the potential health risks that go with the long-term use of permanent hair color? 

As a hairstylist, I’ve often talked clients out of using permanent hair dye to cover grey hair. Especially after a 2019 National Institutes of Health study2 that linked permanent hair dye use to an increased risk of cancer.


How to Safely Get Control Over Your Pesky Greys

Genetics are only a small part (30%) of why that first grey hair has appeared. It really isn’t all your parents' fault. 

The good news is there’s a lot you can do right now to slow and even reverse your grey hair. Here are some key ways to improve your overall health and prevent non-genetic hair pigment loss: 

✅ Boost Your Vitamin & Mineral Intake a diet lacking in essential nutrients can turn your hair grey prematurely.

✅ Lower Your Stress – your body's fight-or-flight response plays a key role in turning you grey. Don’t skip those meditations. Good mental health means better hair health.3

✅ Give Up Smoking – smoking is a major cause of premature greying. 4       

✅ Reduce Damage From UV Exposure – UV rays damage your hair and scalp resulting in dry and grey hair.5                                                                                              

Wherever you are in your greying journey, taking proactive steps towards healthy hair and scalp will benefit more than just your mane.

Proactive Care for Grey Hair Is a Gift to Your Future Self

Hair experts agree that it’s easier to proactively supply your body with what it needs to prevent grey hair than it is to reverse a full head of hair once it has turned white.

Like your first love, your first skincare crush is probably just a distant memory. The needs of your skin and hair change over time. Your bathroom cabinet is probably stuffed with anti-aging skincare but are you being as proactive about your hair?

Your hair needs vitamins and nutrients that your body loses over time. Don’t worry, You don’t need to get a degree in nutrition. We did the research so you don’t have to.

According to dietitians and hair experts, the best vitamins and minerals for hair health and slowing grey hair growth are:

  • Vitamin D  this immune-system booster also stimulates hair growth. A deficiency may be linked to alopecia areata, an autoimmune condition that causes hair loss.6 
  • Folate – also known as Folic Acid – Folic acid amps up the body’s cell production to promote hair growth, volume, and even reduce the rate of premature greying.7 
  • Vitamin B12 deficiencies are common in older adults and Vegans. B12 may give you the appearance of fuller and thicker hair.8
  • Biotin – this B vitamin helps turn the food you eat into energy. Your body also needs it to produce keratin – the type of protein that makes up hair, skin, and nails.9 
  • Pantothenic acid – also known as vitamin B5 – B5 nourishes and strengthens the hair follicle to encourage healthy hair growth and stop hair loss.10 
  • Calcium – this essential bone-health mineral also helps the secretion of hormones that encourage new hair growth. Calcium deficiency causes dry hair.11 
  • Iron – the most common nutrient deficiency in the world. Low iron can lead to anemia and hair loss, especially in women.12 
  • Selenium – a mineral that regulates hair growth and is required for the production of new hair. Selenium deficiencies are linked to hair loss and changes in hair color.11
  • Copper – a necessary part of the chemical process by which our body forms hard protein substances like collagen and keratin which are vital for healthy hair.

If you are eating an overall healthy diet, you might assume you’re covered. Unfortunately, most of us don’t get optimal levels of certain nutrients through diet alone. 

In fact, 75% of Americans don’t eat enough fruit and 80% don’t eat enough vegetables.13 

    Luckily, there’s no need to give up all your bad habits or start eating like an Olympic athlete – the right supplement can balance out what aging is taking away from you. 


    Can Grey Hair Be Slowed And Repigmented Naturally?

    At Arey, we believe it can. 

    We created a convenient bundle of Arey’s two core products to address the underlying causes of aging and greying hair – we call it The System

    The System is a powerhouse duo of products that tackle the nutritional and environmental stressors that affect your hair

    Not Today, Grey – a daily science-backed nutritional supplement that contains vitamins and minerals for optimum hair health.

    To The Root – a topical serum that delivers a high concentration of active ingredients where you need them the most – your scalp and hair follicles.

    The System combats your grey hair from the inside-out and the outside-in. That’s what you get when you combine a stylist who is passionate about hair health, a visionary CEO, and an MIT-trained chemist  – you get a whole proactive hair care system. 

    Our products are a powerful combination of Eastern and Western traditions that are always gluten-free, vegan and cruelty-free. The System is designed to:

        • Slow grey hair growth
        • Re-pigment hair in the early stages of greying
        • Stimulate healthier, thicker, fuller hair
        • Nourish and protect your scalp and hair follicles

    Many of our customers report that they are able to see results within 90 days.

    Images show natural grey hair reversal from using Arey anti-aging haircare

    A Whole-Body Solution That Reduces Greys and Delivers Healthier, Thicker Hair

    Arey’s Not Today, Grey supplement and To The Root serum work together to promote scalp health, preserve hair pigment, and increase hair production. Not Today, Grey also contains Fo-Ti – a herb used in traditional Chinese medicine to help maintain your natural hair color and delay the onset of new greys.14 

    The earlier you start working with your body to slow and delay your grey hair, the more effective your efforts will be. It is in the early stages of turning grey that the process is most reversible.15 

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

    Arey works best on those who have 0-30% grey hair. If you are more than 30% grey or have white hair, you will see less powerful results. If your hair strands are completely white, our products can help improve the texture, smoothness and elasticity of your hair, but you will be less likely to see repigmentation.

    Because hair growth cycles take at least 1-4 months, it may take a while before you see results. Your hair health is important to us – that’s why we offer 25% off on all subscriptions to help keep you on track with your hair health goals. Because we believe that science + consistency = results.

    We are Arey.

    Aging is beautiful – but if your greys are growing faster than you wish, we are here for you with science-based, effective solutions. We want you to feel happy and confident with your hair. Have questions? Say


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

    AuthorJay SmallJay Small is a sought-after hair stylist and Trichologist in Los Angeles with over 22 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 as well as developing effective products.


    1. Does Pulling One Gray Hair Cause More to Grow in its Place? | UAMS Health
    2. Permanent hair dye and straighteners may increase breast cancer risk | National Institutes of Health (NIH)
    3. How Stress Causes Gray Hair | NIH News in Health
    4. 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.
    5. Zhai X, Gong M, Peng Y, Yang D. Effects of UV Induced-Photoaging on the Hair Follicle Cycle of C57BL6/J Mice. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2021;14:527-539
    6. Vitamin D deficiency hair loss: Symptoms and treatment
    7. Dull skin, falling hair? A folic acid deficiency might be the cause | Vogue India
    10. Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) Benefits for Hair | City Doctor
    11. Almohanna HM, Ahmed AA, Tsatalis JP, Tosti A. The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2019 Mar;9(1):51-70. doi: 10.1007/s13555-018-0278-6. Epub 2018 Dec 13. PMID: 30547302; PMCID: PMC6380979. 
    13. The best nutrients for healthy hair and nails | Optum Store
    14. How the Benefits of Fo-Ti Extend to Hair and Vitality | HUM Nutrition Blog
    15. Gray Hair Can Return to Its Original Color--and Stress Is Involved, of Course - Scientific American