Gray hair cure? Go Away Gray is no fountain of youth

Consumer Reports News: May 08, 2013 12:08 PM

If you've been blamed for giving Mom gray hair, here's what not to give her this Mother's Day: a bottle of Go Away Gray, a supplement that claims to "prevent and reverse gray hair" via a daily dose of catalase, an enzyme produced by hair cells that naturally declines with age.

The graying process works in part like this. Catalase breaks down hydrogen peroxide, which is also produced by our hair cells and which causes hair to lighten. As we get older, the production of catalase slows, leaving nothing to keep hydrogen peroxide from building up. Ultimately that results in your hair going gray—though when and how much also depends on genetics and other factors.

Read our reviews of other anti-aging treatments.

In a study published in July 2009 by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, researchers in England found that gray hair has lower-than-normal levels of catalase. But the study didn't look at whether taking pills of catalase stops hair from turning gray, nor has the maker of Go Away Gray, a New Jersey-based company called Rise-N-Shine, conducted any clinical trials to test whether it works. (Instead they just cite the 2009 study in three different ways in the "Scientific Research" section of their website.) And don't forget that the Food and Drug Administration doesn't review dietary supplements.

10 great Mother's Day gifts for today's moms.

A press release we got last week promoting Go Away Gray (just $29.99 a bottle!) said it was "the best gift possible" for Mother's Day. If that were true, we'd feel seriously bad for your mom. A better present if Mom's fretting over her hair? A gift certificate for hair color at a really nice salon where she'll be duly pampered and forget about blaming you for her decline in catalase. A little chocolate never hurts, either (see which ones we've rated tastiest).

Jamie Kopf

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