A humble cup of coffee gets your blood pumping, we are all familiar with that caffeine kick, even the tea drinkers among us. As well as being the world’s most widely consumed stimulant, it turns out that a little bit of caffeine in your hair follicle can have major benefits for your hair.
Caffeine is one of those rare unicorns of an additive that has the ability to penetrate the tough skin barrier making it a powerful ingredient for topical serums and treatments. In short, Caffeine is what we call a superactive. Plus it's natural!
On our skin caffeine acts as an effective antioxidant, reducing UVB damage and increasing cell metabolism and proliferation, and circulation to small capillaries. In everyday language that’s, anti-ageing, UV protection and glowing skin.
When caffeine is allowed to penetrate our hair follicle the benefits escalate. Hair products containing caffeine can be as beneficial to hair growth as pharmaceutical hair growth treatments as well as being safe to use without the unwanted side effects that come with some drug-based treatments.
Caffeinated hair treatments are mostly marketed to people experiencing hair loss but everybody can reap the benefits of this natural superactive ingredient.
A regular hit of caffeine on the scalp will have you well on the way to having thicker, stronger, fuller, longer hair. You can throw away those hair extensions.
The main culprit for hair loss is the sex hormone dihydrotestosterone DHT and the main factor in hair growth is insulin-like growth factor 1 IGF-1. There are a couple of things happening in your follicle when you experience hair loss:
Number one: the growth phase of your hair is affected resulting in fewer new hairs being generated and shorter growth for each hair.
Number two: the follicle is shrinking in size and progressively decreasing the size of the hair bulb and the hair that grows from it.
The outcome is thinner, finer hair that won’t grow very long.
Caffeine has been shown to reverse the effects of DHT on the hair bulb - the living, hair-making part of our hair that sits in the follicle and at the same time increase the effects of IGF-1. It’s all good news!
Along with increasing the thickness of the hair root and extending the growth phase of hair, caffeine also stimulates the matrix cells and keratin production in the hair causing them to divide and multiply at a faster rate = faster-growing hair.
Adding a caffeinated product to your hair regimen is a sure path to thicker, lusher hair. The benefits of this bioavailable ingredient begin to emerge from 12 weeks of regular use. It’s important that caffeine is delivered directly into the follicle which means letting the shampoo or tonic rest on your scalp for a minimum of 2 minutes for each use with maximum benefits reached at the 20-minute mark.
Leave-on scalp treatments will be the most effective. Remember too that it’s not just about hair loss, anyone who wants to work on growing a healthy head of hair can use caffeine products.
At home scalp scrub:
Mix together 1 Tablespoon of cold fine Coffee Grounds + 1 Tablespoon of Honey + 1 Tablespoon of Sweet Almond Oil to make a creamy paste.
Apply the mask to your scalp, gently massage, and leave for 30 minutes.
Rinse off in the shower and follow up with your regular regimen.
At home body scrub:
Mix together 1 tablespoon of cold coarse Coffee Grounds + 1 Tablespoon of Coconut Sugar + 1 Teaspoon of Coconut Oil to make a crunchy scrub.
Apply to dry or damp skin and rub in long sweeping motions.
Rinse off in the shower.
Daniels G, Akram S, Westgate GE, Tamburic S. Can plant-derived phytochemicals provide symptom relief for hair loss? A critical review. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2019;41(4):332–45.
Anna Chacon, M.D.
Dermatology Times, Dermatology Times, November 2020 (Vol. 41, No. 11), Volume 41, Issue 11
Caffeine and Its Pharmacological Benefits in the Management of Androgenetic Alopecia: A Review. Völker J.M. · Koch N. · Becker M. · Klenk A.
Follicular Penetration of Topically Applied Caffeine via a Shampoo Formulation
Otberg N.a · Teichmann A.a · Rasuljev U.b · Sinkgraven R.a · Sterry W.a ·Lademann J.a