Do Caffeine Shampoos Work & What are its Benefits?

Most of us are used to drinking caffeine in a beverage form in the morning to give us the jolt and to fully wake up.(1,2) However, do you know that caffeine is now being utilized in various cosmetics these days, one of them being in a shampoo. It will be quite interesting to learn about what exactly is caffeine shampoo and how it affects our hair.

Beauty is extremely personal and subjective and what shampoo you use, how many times you wash your hair, depends on person to person. This is the reason why many of us depend on the opinions and views of different beauty gurus to share their experiences with the new products available in the beauty world before deciding whether to buy for yourself or not.

Let us now learn more about caffeine shampoo and what does it do for your hair.

Caffeine Shampoo: The Invention of Caffeine Shampoo

A study done in 2007 showed that washing hair with something that has coffee bean extracts or caffeine in it can help in stimulating hair growth.(3) This led to the development of caffeine shampoos.

Do Caffeine Shampoos Work? What The Research Says…

There is quite a fan base for caffeine shampoos where it seems to work for many people. However, there is no conclusive research or any evidence that caffeine shampoo helps in preventing or stopping hair loss in the long-term.

The UK Advertising Standards Authority in the 2018 has authorized that Alpecin shampoo should not be promoted as anti-hair loss, as there is no evidence till date to support this claim.(4,5)

Whereas, a study done in 2007 has shown that caffeine can cause re-growth of hair follicles in a lab;(6) however, more evidence is needed to show the effectiveness or the benefit of caffeine on the scalp and hair. Results are cautiously optimistic, but needs more research.

An experiment conducted in 2014 showed that caffeine can get absorbed through hair follicles.(7)

Companies often do provide evidence of what their product claims to do. However, where caffeine shampoo is concerned, the evidence is usually privately funded and is not supported by the scientific community.

What are the Benefits of Caffeine Shampoo?

Some of the benefits which the presence of Caffeine in a shampoo gives are:

Caffeine Shampoo Benefits in Short:

  • Encouraging hair growth.
  • Arresting the DHT hormone, which is responsible for hair loss.
  • Supporting healthy and strong growth of hair.
  • Stimulating the growth of hair shaft in its length.
  • Rebalancing the pH levels of the scalp and hair.
  • Removing the buildup of product without the help of any synthetic chemicals.
  • Smoothing and softening dry and frizzy hair.
  • Caffeine also acts as a natural hair color.

Caffeine Shampoo Benefits in Detail:

Suppression of Hair Loss Hormone by Caffeine Shampoo(8): Hair loss occurs more when this hormone DHT destroys the hair follicles. This is the reason why men often suffer from hair loss than women. Male-pattern baldness or Androgenic alopecia affects more than half of the population of men above 50 years of age.

Research has shown that caffeine can suppress Androgenic alopecia. Women having increased quantities of DHT can also suffer from hair loss and this commonly occurs as a result of menopause.

Longer Hair from Caffeine Shampoo(8): A study in 2007 has shown that caffeine is beneficial in blocking the DHT effects in hair follicles of men along with stimulating the growth of lengthier hair shafts. This causes wider and longer hair roots. Biopsies taken from 14 male participants aged between 20 to 45 years showed that the more the hair follicle was exposed to caffeine, the longer the hair shaft had grown.

A study in 2014 also had shown that caffeine shampoo can help elongate the hair shaft, even after testosterone exposure of the hair follicle.(9)

Stronger and Healthier Hair from Caffeine Shampoo: Caffeine is rich in antioxidants(10) and this can also be beneficial for hair. Damaged hair treated with coffee on a regular basis allows the antioxidants to repair the hair damage and also prevent more damage.

What are the Side Effects of Caffeine Shampoo?

There are very minimal side effects of caffeine shampoo and these are: hair discoloration/browning; scalp irritation and decrease in its effectiveness with long term use.

How Should You Use Caffeine Shampoo?

If you want to use coffee for preventing hair loss and encouraging re-growth, then it needs to be used topically.

How Long Should You Shampoo Your Hair with Caffeine Shampoo?

The caffeine in the shampoo is absorbed into the scalp even after the caffeine shampoo is rinsed. This active ingredient then passes along to hair follicles along the hair shaft.

Thanks to the quick absorption of the caffeine, only couple of minutes is sufficient to wash your hair using caffeine shampoo.

How Often Should You Use Caffeine Shampoo?

Caffeine shampoo can be safely used daily, but not recommended as it can cause irritation to sensitive scalp and using it daily does not necessarily increase its effectiveness or benefits.

What are Some Popular Caffeine Shampoos Available?

Some of the common caffeine shampoos available in the market are:

  • Alpecin was the first caffeine shampoo to be available in the market for sale in the year 2010. This caffeine shampoo contains ingredients, such as: Caffeine, niacin, zinc, castor oil and biotin. Users of this shampoo on a prolonged and regular basis have claimed that it has made their roots stronger and reduced hair fall along with preventing premature hair aging. There are many users of this particular caffeine shampoo who are big fans of it and claim that it has stopped their hair fall resulting in lot of attention. However, it is also important to bear in mind that all these claims are hearsay.
  • UltraX Labs Hair Surge is a shampoo with a lot of potent caffeine compounds. This shampoo is made in USA and is cruelty-free and is also on the pricier side.
  • PURA D’OR shampoo is a leader when it comes to treating hair thinning. This shampoo contains ingredients, such as Dihydrotestosterone, biotin and herbal blend, which encourages hair thickness and strength. This shampoo is eco-friendly, cruelty-free and vegan. This brand also sells an apple cider shampoo and conditioner which contains caffeine in it.
  • Terez & Honor is another caffeine shampoo which also contains black sesame seeds, Chinese knotweed and acacia; all natural ingredients that are beneficial for hair.
  • TruePure Caffeine Shampoo is another one that is fortified with caffeine, niacin and red clover, which help in increasing the vibrancy and growth of the hair. This caffeine shampoo also contains aloe vera for dry scalp and a DHT blocker to prevent hair fall. This brand also is cruelty-free, vegan and is without any sulfates.

How to Make Caffeine Shampoo At Home?

It is quite simple to make caffeine shampoo at home. Given below are some DIY recipes for caffeine shampoo:

DIY Caffeine Shampoo Recipe #1

This is a very simple recipe to incorporate caffeine in your hair care. You can use baking soda to cleanse your scalp and hair from product buildup.

Ingredients: 3 to 4 tbsp. of shampoo; 2 tbsp. of coffee grounds and 1/4–1/2 tsp. baking soda (optional).

How to Make: Take some shampoo in a small bowl and add coffee grounds to it and baking soda if needed. Stir well and your homemade caffeine shampoo is ready.

DIY Caffeine Shampoo Recipe #2

First dry the coffee grounds and infuse them in oil and use this oil to massage your scalp directly or mix it with other regular shampoos and conditioners.

Ingredients: 3 cups of coconut oil and 3 oz. of whole coffee beans.

How to Make: Place the coconut oil in a cooker and add coffee beans to this. Cook slowly for about 5 to 6 hours with stirring in between every half-an-hour or so. After this, cool and strain the oil and store in a clean and dry container and voila your coffee oil is ready to be used topically or with any other hair care product.

Conclusion(11)

Despite lab studies showing promising results with caffeine helping in combating hair loss and encouraging thicker hair; there is also need for real-world studies. And this is why you won’t find your dermatologist or any doctor recommending or prescribing a caffeine shampoo for your hair issues. Even though there is some research showing the benefits of caffeine for your hair; more studies are needed.

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