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Caffeine might be exactly what your hair needs to bring it back to life according to research. That’s right, caffeine can stimulate more than your nervous system; caffeine could help stimulate hair growth and prevent hair loss caused by androgenetic alopecia.
It’s safe to say that most people know what caffeine is. And most people get the daily dose of caffeine either through drinking various teas or coffee.
I’m not a huge coffee drinker, but I do like a cup of green tea!
What is caffeine?
Caffeine is a natural stimulant which can be found in many different foods and teas. And the most commonly recognized effects from ingestion of caffeine is the excitement of the central nervous system, leading to increased alertness. Which can be a positive or a negative thing, depending on the time of day.
Caffeine often gets a bad reputation for its side effects, but they normally only occur when one has consumed a lot of coffee during the day. Drinking tea or coffee in moderation usually has only subtle effects.
Nevertheless, it’s recommended that we limit our consumption of caffeine to help us reduce stress, anxiety, and to get a good night’s sleep.
However, caffeine powder might be just what your hair care regimen needs to help you regrow a full head of healthy hair according to the latest research in humans.
The benefits of caffeine for hair growth
Androgenetic alopecia, one of the most common forms of hair loss in men, affects about 50% of men by the time they reach 50 years of age. The main culprit is a hormone called DHT.
Researchers hypothesized that caffeine may prevent miniaturization of the hair follicle by inhibiting phosphodiesterase.
So what researchers did was take a scalp biopsy of volunteers who suffered from androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness) and used different amounts of caffeine to see if caffeine was able to prevent the negative effects of testosterone on hair growth.
And the results were clear: caffeine demonstrated the ability to stimulate hair growth.
Due to the negative effect of DHT on the skin’s barrier function, researchers wondered if caffeine was also able to improve the skins epidermal permeability and barrier repair capacity.
So they used a gel which contained just 0.5% caffeine and applied it to the forearm of male and female volunteers. By the end of 7 days, the gel was able to significantly reduce transepidermal water loss in the male skin.
The penetration of caffeine also is rapid when applied to human skin. It takes just 2 minutes for the caffeine to reach the follicle.
So from all of these studies, it appears that a simple application of caffeine on the scalp (mixed with shampoo) to stimulate hair growth sounds like it could be a very promising addition to one’s daily hair care routine.
Watch more about caffeine and hair regrowth below
Topical caffeine study
Caffeine shampoo formulations have since been created due to the promising results in multiple studies looking at the effect of caffeine on skin and hair regrowth.
In 2013, patients with grade II-IV androgenetic alopecia were enrolled in a study to see if caffeine provided any benefit in hair growth.
After six months of treatment using the shampoo containing caffeine, 84.8% of the treatment group were satisfied, compared with just 36.4% of the placebo group. (study)
The treatment group saw improvements in:
- The intensity of hair loss experienced
- They noticed a reduction in the speed at which their condition was progressing
- They noticed a significant reduction in the number of hairs lost when combing their hair
Caffeine shampoo also looks to be beneficial in the treatment of telogen effluvium, which tends to be more diffuse than male pattern baldness.
Will drinking lots of coffee work?
Drinking lots of coffee in order to prevent hair loss is not something is likely to work. You would need at least 40-50 cups of coffee per day. Not a great idea…
The amount of caffeine that would need to reach the hair follicles is too high, and before you see any benefit, you’re more likely to suffer negative side effects from taking in too much caffeine into your system.
Of course, drinking beverages like tea and coffee can be healthy in moderation.
I recommend you go for green tea, as it has a small amount of caffeine compared to coffee, but contains many beneficial compounds like polyphenols which can help with hair growth.
Why a formulated caffeine shampoo is better
If you want to go mix your own shampoo, there might be issues with penetration into the skin.
Shampoo formulations with caffeine are specifically made for maximum penetration into the scalp. However, if you want to try for yourself, you will need to find caffeine powder and shampoo that you like.
Mix just 3-4 teaspoons of caffeine powder in 8 ounces of shampoo. Then wash your hair and leave it on for a couple of minutes to let it soak into the scalp. You can try to empty the capsules which contain the powder and then mix.
Alternatively, you can check out Ultrax Labs Hair Surge | Caffeine shampoo
The shampoo contains caffeine, and also other ingredients to help hair growth such as Ketoconazole – a commonly used anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory drug used for hair loss.
They also have included saw palmetto in the shampoo to inhibit the production of DHT by the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase – which is a huge contributor to hair loss in men.
How often do you need to use it?
The shampoo can be used by men or women, and they recommend to use it five times a week to achieve maximum effectiveness in hair loss prevention.
Who would have thought that caffeine could be so useful for hair growth? There’s a long list of negative things people say about caffeine, but at least now we can add another benefit other than just helping us stay awake!
if you have any questions regarding using caffeine powder or caffeine shampoos for hair growth, please feel free to comment below!