Grey Hair: There's A Pill For That

Grey Hair

The Huffington Post Canada   First Posted: 01/23/2012 7:46 pm Updated: 03/15/2012 12:23 am

Grey hair is fine for some -- silver foxes like George Clooney and Richard Gere seem to pull it off effortlessly -- but for others, the appearance of even a single silver strand can provoke a tragic hysteria. Truth be told, unless you're comfortable with your hair losing its natural colour, going grey can mean a lifetime of dye jobs, root touch-ups and hair treatments while you try to preserve the youthfulness of your tresses. Covering up your grey is expensive and aggravating. Isn't there a better way?

There might be. Cosmetics giant L'Oreal is currently developing a pill that could potentially help you prevent grey hair. The pill is scheduled to be available in 2015, and consists of a yet-undisclosed fruit extract that mimics TRP-2 (also known as tyrosinase-related protein), which is an enzyme that protects your hair pigment.

There's a catch, however: the pill only prevents grey hair -- if you're already sporting silver locks, it's too late. "We intend for people to take it in the same way as a dietary supplement. It won't be expensive," L'Oreal's head of hair technology Bruno Bernard said in a statement. "Ideally you would take it for your whole life, but realistically we would encourage people to start using it before their hair goes grey because we don't think it can reverse the process once it has started."

In fact, you'd need to take the pill regularly for 10 years prior to going grey to reap the benefits.That's a long time to ingest a supplement to treat a problem you're not sure you'll even have to face. "I'd warn patients to be extra careful [about taking it]," Dr. Hillary Johnson, director of dermatologic surgery at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center told MSNBC. "Anything for cosmetic purposes goes with extra caution because it's not something a person has to have, and it's not worth the risk."

Already gone grey? All hope is not lost -- Go Away Grey is a supplement already available that claims to help your silver hair regain its original glory by supplying you with a hair enzyme called catalase that can counteract the body's natural production of grey-producing hydrogen peroxide. Some users claim it works wonders but again, experts are skeptical. "Enzymes taken orally can break down in the stomach. How would they get to your hair without being changed?" Hamilton dermatologist Dr. Peter Vignjevic told Best Health Magazine.

If you're serious about avoiding grey hair, you may want to instead focus on lifestyle factors. Although genetics play a key role in the future of your hair, stress, smoking, your diet and your alcohol intake can all play a role. You should also avoid bleaching your hair, especially if you're an older woman.

Related: Take a look at stars who've embraced their grey locks

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  • Diane Keaton

    There is seemingly no end to the "Annie Hall" star's talents -- she's also a director, producer and screenwriter.

  • Judi Dench

    One of the most senior Bond girls steals the spotlight with a shock of silver instead of a swimsuit.

  • Betty White

    This "Golden Girl" proves that geriatric can be glamorous.

  • Helen Mirren

    The Academy Award-winning star of "The Queen"<a href="" target="_hplink"> bested</a> Elle MacPherson, Pippa Middleton and even Jennifer Lopez for L.A. Fitness' "Body of the Year" title.

  • Ted Danson

    The "Bored To Death" star puts the "silver" in "silver screen."

  • Ben Affleck

    Argo fox yourself.

  • Morgan Freeman

    Freeman's one of the few silver foxes who can claim a connection to God, with his role in "Bruce Almighty."

  • Barack Obama

    Our POTUS' mane's seen grayer days since the start of his presidecy.

  • Tim Gunn

    Gunn's gunmetal tresses lend the former Parsons professor a distinguished air.

  • Steve Martin

    Everyone's favorite "Jerk."

  • George Clooney

    George has been gray for as long as we can remember, proving that age and beauty <em>can</em> coexist.

  • Bill Clinton

    The former U.S. president has slimmed down as of late thanks to a new vegan diet.

  • John Slattery

    Thanks to "Mad Men," Slattery's career is red hot.

  • Jamie Lee Curtis

    The one-time "scream queen" and Golden Globe winner has been praised for aging gracefully.

  • Harrison Ford

    The "Indiana Jones" star showed off a slick buzzcut at the July premiere of "Cowboys & Aliens."

  • Christine Lagarde

    The new managing director of the International Monetary Fund is the first woman ever to head the organization.

  • Richard Gere

    The one-time "Sexiest Man Alive" may be as well known for his political activism as he is for his movies -- but he hasn't turned his back on Hollywood just yet, and will next be seen opposite Martin Sheen and Topher Grace in the upcoming thriller "The Double."

  • Donna Brazile

    The author, professor and political analyst was the first African American to helm a major presidential campaign for Al Gore in 2000, and is a recent contributor and commentator on CNN's "The Situation Room" and "American Morning."

  • Eileen Fisher

    Fisher's easy-to-wear designs have shaken up the fashion world, but her bold, stylish cut also deserves raves.

  • Michael Douglas

    The "Wall Street" star, who is happily married to Catherine Zeta-Jones, showed off a gray mane at the September premiere of "Contagion."

  • Kathleen Sebelius

    The former Kansas governor was rumored to be on the short list for President Obama's vice presidential candidate, and now serves as the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.

  • Emmylou Harris

    The singer-songwriter looked every inch a rockin' rebel as she played before a packed house at the Newport Folk Festival this summer.

  • Potential Gray Hair Cure Could Be a Bad Thing

    Researchers in the UK have found a potential cure for gray hair. But is that a good thing? Rena Karefa-Johnson wonders whether Hollywood's hottest would be better with or without their gray locks.