When I was a hairdresser, I lost count of the number of times my clients would beg me to invent a ‘magic pill’ that could reverse their grey hair.
Noticing that their hair had started “going grey” was one of the main complaints I would hear during my 16 years as a hairdresser.
Society has made women feel like it's unattractive to have grey hair (pro tip: it’s not).
But it’s understandable that this can impact our self-confidence.
What’s more, is that even if we push back against the social norms surrounding the colour of our hair, the texture of greying hair often becomes very hard to manage, adding frustration (and time) to our morning routines.
So, while your worth as a person has absolutely nothing to do with the colour, amount, type, or style of hair you have, you’d be forgiven for wanting more youthful hair.
Why does our hair turn grey? The greying process explained
We tend to associate grey hair primarily with aging, but it’s important to note that our genetics and some medical conditions can also play a part.
Each of our individual hair follicles contains cells that produce pigment, called melanocytes. Their job is to produce the dark pigment in hair, and they’re what decide what colour your hair is.
But, as we age, the melanocytes in our hair gradually start producing less and less melanin.
When there are fewer pigment cells in a hair follicle, that strand of hair will no longer contain as much melanin and will become a more transparent colour — like grey, silver, or completely white — as it grows.
When the strand of hair loses its colour, it becomes coarser and wirier, which can become frustratingly difficult to manage.
When I was in the very early stages of developing Robe, my research initially drew me towards herbs and natural ingredients that are used in Chinese medicine – the same ones that have been used for centuries to help stop greying hair and add colour back in.
I consulted with our chemist as to whether we could include some in our Youthful range.
The chemist then told me we could, but we could also go even better – and this was when I was first introduced to Darkenyl.
So what is Darkenyl and how does it work?
Darkenyl is an active ingredient that helps to recover the hair’s natural pigment.
It’s made up of taxifolin glucoside – a plant-derived antioxidant that creates a rapid increase of hair stem cells – and N-acetyl-tyrosine, an amino acid that stimulates the activity of melanocytes and supports the production of melanin.
Darkenyl works by combining these two molecules to promote the growth of new melanocytes and, consequently, the production of melanin.
This results in reversing the signs of hair aging and promoting new hair pigmentation.
Benefits of Darkenyl for hair
Darkenyl has a wealth of benefits when it comes to our hair health and appearance.
Not only does it help to blend away grey hairs, but it also helps to boost the thickness and density of the hair.
This occurs as a (very welcome) secondary function: due to the stimulation that increases the production of melanocytes (the pigment cells) in the hair shaft, we also wind up with extra building blocks in the hair.
These then help to bulk out the thickness of each individual strand.
Another benefit of adding more pigment cells to the hair is that it makes the hair colour look more vibrant and rich. When we age, we start to notice our hair colour gradually looking dull and flat, but Darkenyl helps to enhance the colour intensity and richness that is similar to the hair we had when we were younger.
An easy way to conceptualise this is to think of greying hair as a slight black-and-white overlay applied to a photo. Darkenyl doesn't just reduce this black-and-white overlay; it also boosts the saturation (the colours) underneath.
Another thing that really impresses me about Darkenyl is that it’s a natural compound – this means that it's safe for everyone to use, and has no negative side effects.
This efficacy, safety, and stability meant that it was a natural decision to include this powerful compound in the Robe range.
Darkenyl in Robe Haircare products
One of the hero products in the Robe range is the Tonic. The tonic is a concentrated scalp treatment that I designed to be used and worn in between washes, to help boost the performance of the in-shower products.
It’s designed to help combat the four main concerns I would hear my clients complain about:
- Hair thinning
- Slow growth
- Stubborn grey patches (often with a coarse, wiry texture)
When I learnt about Darkenyl, I knew it would be a perfect addition to the Tonic formula.
Because of its weightless and invisible nature (the tonic gets sprayed directly onto the problem areas, and dries into the hair with no trace), the actives can stay on the scalp until the next wash.
When using the Tonic, the formula gets massaged into the scalp which means the actives can get to work exactly where they’re needed.
The short-term results of the tonic are a reduced amount of hair shedding in the first 2 weeks of consistent use, noticeably faster and healthier growth of hair in the first 3 weeks, and a 35% increase in pigment production in grey hairs in the first 2 months of use.
If that doesn’t excite you (and terrify your grey hairs) I don’t know what will.
How to use Darkenyl for greying hair
Frequency of Application:
While it’s generally recommended to use the Darkenyl tonic after every hair wash, individuals with specific conditions or needs may benefit from more frequent application. For instance, those who are experiencing hair thinning or loss due to medical treatments, like chemotherapy, may find daily application beneficial.
I have personally found that reapplying the tonic every day has expedited my hair regrowth process post-cancer treatment. This daily application has been a game-changer in not only thickening my hair but also promoting faster growth.
Method of Application:
To get the most out of the product, apply the tonic directly to the scalp. Make sure your hair is damp but not wet to ensure better absorption. Massage the tonic gently into your scalp using circular motions to stimulate the hair follicles and promote blood flow.
Optimal Time for Application:
The best time to apply the Darkenyl tonic is after a shower when your pores are open, and your scalp is clean. However, if you're applying it daily without washing your hair, ensure your scalp is free from excessive oil and product buildup to maximise absorption.
For best results, consider using the tonic in conjunction with other products that aim to support hair health and growth.
Within the Robe range, I’d recommend the Youthful shampoo and conditioner, because the formulas are designed to help soften the wiry and coarse nature of grey hairs, from the very first washand make the hair easier to manage and style. They also contain Folic acid and Chinese Scullcap - two ingrediants that will work beautifully combined with darkenyl, because of their ability to boost scalp circulation, and stimulate thicker hair growth while delaying the greying process.
Darkenyl success stories and reviews
When I lost all of my hair during cancer treatment, I knew it was going to take a long time to grow back. The doctors told me to expect my hair loss to be permanent, but as soon as my scalp had healed from radiation, I began using the Tonic every day.
Just six weeks later, I could see new hairs growing.
I was doing 12 months of intense chemotherapy following the radiation treatment, so I knew my scalp needed assistance in growing healthy hair back, if it was going to grow at all!
I’d learned that people who had done chemotherapy had experienced their hair grow back completely grey because of the treatment, even when they hadn't had many grey hairs before their illness.
At the time of writing, I’m currently 3 months post-chemotherapy, and not only do I have hair long enough to put in a ponytail, but I also have no grey hair!
I really believe it’s a result of using The Tonic that I've grown my hair back this quickly, and Darkenyl’s ability to produce pigment in the follicle. I constantly get compliments on the lovely colour my hair is, and that it looks thicker and healthier than it did before I got my diagnosis.
Additionally, our users are seeing really exciting results, like Steph’s report (at just one month mark!)
She states that she’s “been using this product religiously in the morning and night and am so happy to see that my hair is coming back to life again. My baby hairs are not so baby anymore!! Excited to continue using it.”
You can read her full review, along with others, here.
Darkenyl: A long-term solution for an age-old problem
Whether it's for cosmetic reasons, or the manageability issues that arise with having grey hair, the process of greying can really affect how we feel about our hair, and resultantly ourselves.
In the past, there was only the temporary solution of having our hair coloured with chemical hair colour. This would temporarily solve the appearance of grey hair, but could also cause new textural issues - particularly with cheaper dyes.
Now that Darkenyl is available to safely and naturally re-pigment the hair, we have a long-term solution to help combat both the appearance and textural changes that come with ageing hair.
Having gone through aggressive chemotherapy and losing my hair, I will be the last person to tell you that you need thick, vibrant, colourful hair to be valued or worthy.
But we all want to look like the best version of ourselves, and I know exactly what it’s like to feel like you don’t.
So if you’re currently struggling with greying hair, know that there are now more options than there ever have been to feel youthful once more.
Try The Tonic today, and see the effects of Darkenyl for yourself in a matter of weeks.
You won't be disappointed.