True story: My mom’s hair went gray for good at seventeen. Ever since, she has waged a two-fold war on color-treated tresses and moisture-sapped strands. Decades of this vicious cycle has taken a sorry toll on the health of her hair. Fortunately, my thick, blond locks have not suffered the same fate...at least not yet. But I don't want to wait until my occasional trip to the salon for highlights leads to full-blown hair dehydration and scalp irritation. As an anti-aging preventative, I turned to the Rejuve3 Hair and Scalp System, ostensibly used by haircare professionals for over 40 years and made readily available to the public in the past few months.

Rejuve3 promises to be all things to all hair types. Got dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, scalp psoriasis, dry hair, scalp acne, scalp eczema, or scalp ringworms?  Rejuve3 strives to be the one-size-fits-all solution. The company's website, accented by the sensually commingling hair of two women lying side by side, details the causes and symptoms of each scalp/hair condition and recommends its three-step system as the best treatment. There are no hints at how Rejuve3's potions work magic on these drastically different conditions nor are there any clues as to what's in the formulas.

All we know based on the website is that Rejuve3's formulas work at the cellular level, "unclogging pores and stimulating blood circulation to the scalp to promote healthy hair growth, while delivering nutrients and moisture to each hair follicle." This "powerful cleansing system" has been proven to prevent hair loss, stimulate hair growth, remove chemical build-up, fortify weak hair, relieve dry flakes, stop breakage, add volume, and enhance overall hair health and manageability. Who couldn't use a helping hand in at least one of these departments? Hoping that I had stumbled upon the Holy Grail of hair, I got a hold of product samples for the three-part system: Renewing Scalp Cleanser, Repairing Shampoo, and Revitalizing Conditioner.

I started my trial by skipping shampoo for two full days. By day three, my hair looked greasy enough to be rung out and mopped up to polish a floor. I assumed that this oily state would be ideal for Step One, the Renewing Scalp Cleanser, formulated to remove follicle-blocking sebaceous debris. The consistency of the cleanser was so liquid that I had to pour it directly onto my scalp. Instantly, my hair turned to rubber, impeding my fingers from running through it to work up a lather or disperse the fluid. Even though I hated the texture that each product imparted, I dutifully allowed both the scalp cleanser and the repairing shampoo to sink into my hair for a full three minutes before rinsing.

Following Step Two, my hair was thirsty for a wholesome, hydrating drink. Alas, the revitalizing conditioner was too milky to provide any deep moisture, and the majority of the liquid seeped through my fingers before it reached my hair. Once again, I resorted to pouring the solution directly on my hair, taking care to avoid my roots and, subsequently, gratuitous grease around my crown. Though I eagerly anticipated that the fragrance of the conditioner would mask the unpleasantness of the first two products, its artificial aroma did nothing to help the situation. By the end of the process, my hair smelled like plastic and looked like wet hay.

Once dry, my hair seemed to take on a cakey residue, appearing both greasy and crunchy at the same time. The Rejuve3 system visibly stripped away some of my blond color, rendering it brassy and accentuating the darkness of my roots. The hair on top was plastered to my scalp, and no amount of brushing or styling could give it bounce. I felt a compelling urge to return to the shower and re-wash my hair with good old-fashioned shampoo and conditioner. Besides sapping volume and adding weight, the results from my trial with Rejuve3 could be summed up as flat, dull, and dry. In a nutshell, my hair looked older.

My request for full Rejuve3 ingredient lists seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Not only does this deprive me of an opportunity to ascertain what components caused my hair's unbearable build-up and dessicated texture, but it also leads me to believe that the parent company, Derjers International, is hiding something. If Rejuve3's formulas are truthfully free of chemicals, safe for children, and appropriate for any hair type, as is purported, why not proudly display the ingredients? This quest for the "follicle of youth" led me on a hairpin turn to nowhere, and I ended up on a desperate search for a hat to hide my head.