These days, hair care products are as high-tech and science-focused as our favorite serums and devices. Some might even say we're in an era of skincare-ified hair care, but I think we're living through the tech-ification of all things beauty. Just one example? The MIT engineer-developed Not Today, Grey supplement by Arey. Designed to help slow and prevent hair's aging process through which strands lose melanin, the supplements quickly put Arey—founded by Blushington co-founder Allison Conrad her longtime hairstylist Jay Small—on the map.
Less than a year later, the team is back with a new product aiming to continue that mission with a scalp-focused twist. Arey's To The Root ($55) is a topical serum formulated to stimulate the scalp to not only slow the gray hair-inducing aging process but improve overall hair health, volume, and shine, too.
What Makes Hair Go Gray?
To Small and Conrad, this new launch builds upon their previous one to form a complete gray-fighting system. Gray hairs, no matter how many, are undeniably gorgeous, but the focus of Arey and their suite of gray-slowing products is less about eradicating all signs of aging and more tilted towards facilitating hair health and servicing those who don't want grays yet in a way that avoids dyes (and salon prices).
"There are two main factors that cause gray hair: the decrease in melanogenesis and the increase in oxidative stress in the hair bulb," Conrad and Small explain. In their first serious deep-dive into the science behind going gray, the pair learned something surprising: Just 30% of graying is triggered by genetics (and scientists think they've even isolated the gene in question), while the vast majority is attributed to nutrient deficiencies and lifestyle factors like smoking and stress. In other words, going gray occurs through a confluence of factors—and that's what got the pair thinking about how those key nutrients could be restored via topicals.
From there, the team was able to isolate a peptide—amino acid chains that form proteins typically synonymous with skin and hair health like collagen, elastin, and keratin—with clinical findings documenting its ability to slow gray growth and even re-color some existing grays. "When applied topically to the skin," Small and Conrad jointly explain, "and in this case the scalp, peptides act as little messengers, triggering cells to perform specific functions such as building collagen, elastin, and keratin, encouraging hair and skin to look and act younger." In the world of skincare, that translates to plump, smooth skin. Its hair equivalent spells out maintenance and protection for hair color and integrity.
Through Small's work as a sought-after salon fixture, his 20 years of hands-on experience (in the most literal sense) provided valuable insight into precisely what clients want and need for their hair, which, in turn, informed the product development process. "We also worked with a top clean beauty chemist in California to formulate To The Root and made sure it was a weightless and oil-free serum that dried quickly, leaves no greasy residue, and leaves hair with immediate volume," they share.
While that aforementioned melanin-regenerating peptide, tetrapeptide, is undoubtedly the serum's centerpiece ingredient, it doesn't work alone. Ingredients found in Arey's Not Today, Grey ($34) also pop up here, including forms of panthenol, Japanese extracts like Foti, and black sesame extract and biotin for added antioxidants and follicle stimulation.
How To Use It
In practice, the serum is mercifully flexible. Arey recommends using it twice per day in the morning and evening, but the timing doesn't necessarily matter as there's consistent use. The serum can be applied on dry and wet hair (as well as beards and facial hair) for the same results. While the serum is mainly formulated to help with grays, anyone looking for fuller, thicker, more lustrous hair can use it. Plus, it's preventative, making it also a solid choice for those who have yet to start sprouting silver. Those with fewer gray hairs will, by the same process, see the most dramatic results.
In a study conducted by Arey, participants saw gray hair density shrink by an average of 30% after three months of use, and some even saw their grays vanish by up to 81%. What everyone in the study noticed? Self-reported improved scalp health and fuller, shinier hair in general—and that's after just two months of consistent use.
Regardless of if you're after a more full-scale eradication of grays, a delay in their arrival, or just some prevention, this could be a key addition to the medicine cabinet. Think of it not as anti-gray, but going gray your way.
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