Can you stop your hair from aging? Not exactly, but you can mitigate some of the external factors that cause it to age faster.
Davines Momo Moisturizing Anti-Aging Daily Cream ($18.98, amazon.com) with walnut extract promises to improve body, shine, and softness in dry and damaged hair. But it’s name promises anti-aging — is that possible? Yes and no. The truth is, there’s a complex relationship between hair and aging that we don’t fully understand. While much of it is genetic, some of hair graying may be caused by environmental factors and Davines Momo Moisturizing Anti-Aging Daily Cream can do some work to preserve your hair from these problems.
Davines sent over a sample for us to try and I found that the cream made my hair smoother and less frizzy, but it did feel a bit stiffer after I put it on. While I think it’s a solid choice, I don’t think it’s quite as good as some of the other anti-oxidant and moisture-rich products out there.
Why Does Hair Turns Gray?
Grays are mostly genetic, but there are some environmental factors at play too.
For the most part, you can blame your parents for graying hairs. Though similar complex interactions between intrinsic and extrinsic factors are at play, it’s your genes that really decide when you’ll start to go gray. Look at your parents — you’ll probably start graying around the same time they did. But, the same way certain processes can speed up your skin aging, certain things make your hair lose its color faster (Medline Plus, Popular Science
). The color in your hair comes from the same place as the color in your skin: melanocytes, which produce melanin. You hair cells product little bits of hydrogen peroxide — that’s right, the chemical that makes you bleach blonde — which is, in turn, broken down by the enzyme catalase. As we age, catalase decreases and the hydrogen peroxide begins to block those pigment-producing melanocytes, making for less colored, or gray strands (Science Daily
).For the most part, you can blame your parents for graying hairs. Though similar complex interactions between intrinsic and extrinsic factors are at play, it’s your genes that really decide when you’ll start to go gray. Look at your parents — you’ll probably start graying around the same time they did. But, the same way certain processes can speed up your skin aging, certain things make your hair lose its color faster (Medline Plus, Popular Science
). [Read More: Why Does Hair Turn Gray?
] But it’s not solely genetics at play in making this process happen. Environmental factors like pollution and free radicals can make your hair gray faster. And, of course, there’s the theory that stress may also play a role (Scientific American
). Sun can also do more than just temporarily bleach your hair. Pigment protects hair from the sun, but in doing so, it becomes degraded in the light. Over time, this can lead to loss of softness, shine, and, yes, color (International Journal of Trichology
). [Read More: Why You Absolutely Need to Wear a Hair Sunscreen — or a Hat]
What Are the Benefits of Walnut Extract?
Walnuts haven't been proven to keep hair from aging in studies, but some of their properties might be helpful in stalling aging.
Walnut extract has not been significantly studied in terms of what it can do for the aging of hair. Traditionally, walnut shell has been used as a dark hair for hair dye and the Greeks touted that burned walnut kernels aided in hair growth (African Journal of Microbiology Research, Historical Value of Walnuts
). However, walnuts have been found to have several skin benefits that might translate to what they can do for hair. Walnuts have been shown to have phenolic compounds, and are beneficial as antioxidants and free radical scavengers. Free radical accumulation in hair has been shown as one of the causes of gray hair and antioxidants help to reduce this problem (Trends in Genetics
). Walnut may also protect against the sun. English walnut also contains juglone, which reacts with keratin proteins in the skin to create sclerojuglonic compounds that have UV-protective properties (Pharmacognosy Review
). Hair also contains kertain, which means that one could expect walnuts to have similar photoprotective properties in hair.
Personal Use and Opinion
Davines Momo Moisturizing Anti-Aging Daily Cream
It's got a good combination of UV-protection and antioxidants, but there are likely more powerful products.
has a thick, creamy consistency and a pleasant and mild nutty scent. It smoothes well into hair and definitely left my hair feeling smoother and less frizzy, albeit a bit stiffer than it was before. The manageability likely comes from the inclusion of silicones disiloxane, dimethicone, and amodimethicone, which help coat hair to make it smoother. [Read More: Are Silicones in Hair Products Good or Bad?
] I like that it can help aid manageability and have some UV-protection, but it definitely doesn’t have the same kind of protection as a hair sunscreen. But I don’t think most people use a hair sunscreen daily and this has antioxidants, which have been shown to benefit hair, particularly since this also includes powerful, natural antioxidant vitamin E.
Davines Moisturizing Anti-Aging Daily Cream won’t have a profound effect on gray hairs — it’s not a miracle cure. Hair mostly grays thanks to the environment. What it can do — thanks to the antioxidants and UV-protective properties of walnut — is help to stop some of the extrinsic or environmental damage that can be one of the causes of gray hair. It’s, perhaps, not the best antioxidant hair formula out there, but it does have some positive attributes. It won’t work magic to stop your hair from graying, but it will make it more manageable and healthier long term. Product Rating: 6/10
- High or optimized concentration of key ingredients: 2/3
- Unique formulation or new technology: 2/3
- Value: 2/3
- Sunscreen: 0/1
Ingredients Water, Disiloxane, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Polyacrylate, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Lupinus Albus Seed Extract, Dimethicone, Amodimethicone, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Juglans Regia (Walnut) Seed Extract, Tocopherol, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides Citrate, Polyacrylamidomethylpropane Sulfonic Acid, Trideceth 6, Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer, Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer, Phenylpropyldimethylsiloxysilicate, Benzyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Potassium Sorbate, Triethanolamine, Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Red 4 (CI 14700), Fragrance