Caffeine

Every one of us are familiar with caffeine, you probably have consumed caffeine in a form of tea or coffee. Did you know that caffeine is the most commonly used drug in the world? This is actually true, all of us have used caffeine in order to increase our wakefulness or to improve concentration and focus. Or if you are a fan of tea or coffee, you may drink two or three cups a day. So, caffeine is classified as a drug. The reason is that it affects your nervous system and will boosts your alertness, that is how it increases your concentration. It is produced naturally in the leaves, seeds or fruits of a number of plants, such as coffee beans, tea leaves and also cacao beans. Most interestingly, it can improve and stimulate hair growth and reduce hair loss.

Although caffeine is classified as a drug, but it has a number of health benefits. For example, in addition to increase alertness, caffeine is said to be able to boost weight loss or prevent gaining some weight. This effect could be due to reducing your tendency to eat (reducing appetite). Also, caffeine is said to have the capacity to improve your physical performance when doing exercise. If you are a gym goer, then you may have heard that it is good to drink a cup of coffee before exercise, this is because caffeine can boost your endurance, and therefore help you to do a better exercise. In addition, caffeine is said to have some effects on your brain performance and improve your thinking skills. This effect probably is also related to boosting your concentration.

Caffeine and hair

So, the effect of caffeine that we are mostly interested in, is stimulating hair growth and preventing hair loss. I am not going into too much scientific details, but I will provide some scientific facts about the effect of caffeine on hair. Scientifically, caffeine is classified as alkaloid, which increases cell proliferation (increase in the number of cells). Studies on cells has shown that caffeine can improve hair growth, and this effect is achieved by countering the inhibitory effect of testosterone on hair growth. Also, caffein is capable of promoting the elongation of hair shaft as well as increasing the duration of anagen (growth phase) of hair cycle.

The mechanism does not seem to be very complicated. Caffeine is responsible for reducing the amount of a specific growth factor known as TGF-β1, an inhibitor of hair growth. On the other side, caffeine is increasing the amount of another growth factor, IGF-1, which is a promoter of hair growth. The effect of topical administration of caffeine on hair loss has also been investigated. Scientists have shown that caffein, once used in shampoo or conditioner, has the ability to reduce hair loss progression and hair loss intensity. It also seemed that caffeine can makes the hair stronger. Since in a hair-pull test, after treating the hair with a caffeine shampoo or conditioner, fewer hairs were extracted during the test.

In conclusion, we could say that there are various scientific facts that support the hair benefits of caffeine. Caffeine can promote hair growth and reduce hair loss; it also can make your hair look softer and shinier. But, too much consumption of caffeine can have the opposite effect and be bad for your health. Therefore, it is important not to exceed the optimal amount that is suggest by health organisations.

References

  1. Bussoletti, C., Mastropietro, F., Tolaini, M. V., & Celleno, L. (2010). Use of a caffeine shampoo for the treatment of male androgenetic alopecia. Journal of Applied Cosmetology
  2. Bussoletti, C., Tolaini, M. V., & Celleno, L. (2018). Efficacy of a cosmetic phyto-caffeine shampoo in female androgenetic alopecia. G Ital Dermatol Venereol
  3. Fischer, T. W., Herczeg-Lisztes, E., Funk, W., Zillikens, D., Bíró, T., & Paus, R. (2014). Differential effects of caffeine on hair shaft elongation, matrix and outer root sheath keratinocyte proliferation, and transforming growth factor-β2/insulin-like growth factor-1-mediated regulation of the hair cycle in male and female human hair follicles in vitro. Br J Dermatol,
  4. Fischer, T. W., Hipler, U. C., & Elsner, P. (2007). Effect of caffeine and testosterone on the proliferation of human hair follicles in vitro. International Journal of Dermatology,Hosking, A. M., Juhasz, M., & Atanaskova Mesinkovska, N. (2019). Complementary and Alternative Treatments for Alopecia: A Comprehensive Review. Skin Appendage Disord
  5. Sisto, T., Bussoletti, C., & Celleno, L. (2013). Efficacy of a cosmetic caffeine shampoo in androgenetic alopecia management. II Note. Journal of Applied Cosmetology