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Caffeine and hair growth connection looks weak

Is a Solution for:
Thinning Hair & Shedding
March 17, 2011 Reviewed by Marta 5 Comments
It is National Caffeine Awareness Month and this stimulated (pun intended) me to see whether there is any convincing evidence that a strong cup of java will put hairs on your head.

Copley looked at caffeine and its role in helping aging skin, cellulite and hair growth and she noted that the evidence at that time (in 2008) was contradictory. Caffeine is believed to protect against testosterone, which shortens the hair shaft’s growth phase and the hair root’s lifespan. But, ironically, excessive oral intake of caffeine substances can increase levels of DHT in the body, stimulating production of testosterone and resulting in hair loss.

The caffeine rush seems to have been instigated by a 2006 study (published in 2007) into the effects of testosterone and caffeine. It was a small study but was at least conducted on human hair using hair follicles from 14 biopsies. The researchers (lead by a Dr Fischer based at the University of Jena) impeded their growth with testosterone and then counteracted this with caffeine in concentrations of 0.001% and 0.005%. Moreover, caffeine alone led to a significant stimulation of hair follicle growth.

Prior to this research, a 2006 study only proved that caffeine was beneficial for barrier function in male skin. This may, in turn, help follicle health, but it wasn’t terribly convincing.

Since Dr Fischer’s work, there haven’t been any other studies that I could find. This surprised me as the promise of a safe solution for male pattern baldness would encourage a lot of check books to open and fund further research.

Even if you are convinced by such a small body of evidence that caffeine will help hair grow, be warned, though. You will not encourage hair growth by extending your coffee break. The caffeine needs to be topically applied. If you are wondering whether caffeine will penetrate the hair follicles, then you’ll be comforted by German researchers who found that it did, within about two minutes.

Personally, I found the lack of new research on caffeine and hair growth a bit of wake up call. For now I am going to stick to copper peptides.
  • January 1, 2012

    by Mit Burst

    Anythings worth a try, got to be better than Minoxidil and the wrinkles open pores and general skin damage that stuff can give you.

  • June 29, 2011

    by will

    Why would someone go through the effort to write and post this online? Seems like someone who has never tried it to me. Well let me tell you now, I made my own recipe at home after research on the net etc. Main ingredient is caffeine . Tried regaine and proscar with little effects and emptier pockets.Did notice effects when combined, but nothing dramatic. The big thing I noticed was lower sperm count and low motilty. Cut the long story short I stopped with the pair as it seems like a scam to draw money from people all over the world. Think about it, it's almost like paying monthly rent only instead of to a landlord its to a pharmaceutical company.. As I was saying I made my own recipe which anybody can do using caffeine and any normal moisturizer from the shop. I never for once thought this would work. rubbed it in for the first 3 days thought I could see a change? Was not sure.Shaved hair off and rubbed it in again for another 3 days. Could definitely see something. Rubbed it in for 12 days and I personally think it is definitely the one. Hair towards the back of head(just in front of crown)has thickened up at an unbelievable rate. Hair at the front has started as thin but definitely back. I do not know what is going on, but the back which was the last to thin, is not far from blending with the sides and its only been 12 days. Please note I shaved every three days and know the thickness and density of my own head. I personally think it is a definitive yes. Make your own and do not buy from large pharma comps. I am deadly curious as to what it will look like in another 3 weeks, or further more 3 months.

  • March 18, 2011

    by Jeni

    I don't think I've read about using topical caffeine used for hair growth before, so that's new to me. If ingesting caffeine (specifically coffee) led to hair growth, my hair wouldn't be as bad as it is now because I love coffee! Actually I only drink about a cup a day, but I would take being jittery all day if it meant more hair. Oh well. And I still need to try copper peptides on my hair/scalp because that's one thing I haven't tried yet.

  • March 17, 2011

    by marta

    Thanks Anna, I'll take a look at Phytolactum. Jimmy reviewed Phyto's hair mask
    And we also looked at

  • March 17, 2011

    by Anna

    Not that this has to do with caffeine, but have you ever tried the Phyto line of shampoos? I was using Philip B. but needed a change. Normally, my hair looks very good in the AM but by the end of the day, it looks flat, lifeless, unstyled. I would always wash my hair again before I went out in the evening just to make it look good again. Then I started using Phytolactum (with almond milk) and I was stunned. My hair actually stayed normal-looking all day! I thought it was a fluke-you know how sometimes your hair can really respond to a change in shampoo? So I kept using it and it kept looking fabulous all day. I was hooked. My coworkers started commenting on how good it looked all day and even patients! My hair stays bouncy and full all day. I love it.
    I don't know what type I would consider my hair though--my bangs tend to get oily because of my combo skin but the rest just seems normal.

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