Feds Take Issue With Pills Claiming To “Prevent & Reverse” Greying Hair

The FTC announced settlements with the marketers of products that claim to reverse or prevent the presence of gray hair.

The FTC announced settlements with the marketers of products that claim to reverse or prevent the presence of gray hair.

Although dyeing your hair an ashen color is apparently a fashion thing right now, some consumers will try just about anything to stall the steely tint from cropping up on their heads: including shelling out big bucks for dietary supplements that promise to prevent or reverse the presence of gray hair. Only, according to a new settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, those claims weren’t actually backed by science. 

The FTC announced today that the marketers of dietary supplements Get Away Grey and Go Away Grey have agreed to settle charges that they made false or unsubstantiated scientific claims about their products, while a third company – COORGA Nutraceuticals Corporation – will face legal action in court.

According to the FTC complaints, GetAwayGrey, LLC [PDF] and Rise-N-Shine LLC [PDF] allegedly engaged in unfair or deceptive practices and the misrepresentation and omission of material facts when promoting their products, Get Away Grey and Go Away Grey, respectively.

The companies purportedly routinely made unsubstantiated claims that the enzyme catalase found in the supplements would attack hydrogen peroxide – the chemical that causes hair to turn gray – and reverse or prevent the presence of gray hair.

For example, GetAwayGrey advertised its product with the following statement and depiction: “Watch your grey go away! Now, grey hair can be stopped and reversed… We stop grey hair by using a vitamin that includes the Catalase enzyme. Just two vitamin pills a day can bring back your natural hair color.”

Rise-N-Shine used similar ads and testimonials for Go Away Grey, including: “New & Improved! Now With 50% More Catalase… ‘After 3 months of Go Away Gray, I can see white roots coming in darker. I’m very impressed!’ – D. Heindl”

Both Get Away Grey and Go Away Grey – advertised through websites and online ads – were sold for $29.95 to $69.99 per bottle online and at national retailers such as CVS and Walgreens. Rise-N-Shine allegedly used similar marketing for its catalase-containing shampoo and hair conditioner.

Under the proposed order, the companies – along with their presidents – are barred from making any claim about the health benefits, performance, or efficacy of any covered product, as well as making claims about gray hair elimination, unless the claim is non-misleading and the defendants have competent and reliable scientific evidence to substantiate it.

The FTC’s order also includes a $1,817,939 suspended judgment against GetAwayGrey, and a $2 million suspended judgment against the Rise-N-Shine defendants.

In the case of COORGA Nutraceuticals Corporation [PDF], the FTC alleges that the company – which sells Grey Defence – engaged in the same unfair and unsupported marketing practices as GetAwayGrey and Rise-N-Shine.

The company also advertised its product through websites and online ads with claims such as: “65% of Grey Defence Customers in [an] Observational Study Reversed Their Grey! Grey Defence Reverses Greying – Detailed Observational Study Proves it.”

The FTC plans to pursue its complaint against COORGA Nutraceuticals Corporation in court.

FTC Challenges Marketers’ Baseless Claims That Their Supplements Prevent or Reverse Gray Hair [Federal Trade Commission]