You probably associate your morning cup of joe with a much-needed jolt of alertness. But the effects of caffeine aren’t limited to your energy levels — it can also influence your entire body, all the way up to the hair on top of your head. But how exactly do coffee and hair connect?
As it turns out, one of these strand-supporting ingredients might just be in your mug of coffee: Caffeine, a naturally-occurring substance found in several plants, may have a beneficial effect on your follicles to promote healthy hair, per November 2014 research in the British Journal of Dermatology.
1. It May Promote Hair Growth
Anyone can experience hair loss for a variety of reasons, including genetics, hormone changes, underlying illness, stress and damage to hair follicles, according to the Mayo Clinic.
It also helped block the effects of a hormone that damages hair follicles and contributes to hair loss (particularly in people with male pattern baldness).
Another study found that your hair follicles can absorb caffeine directly via topical application of caffeine-enriched shampoo, according to older March 2007 research in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology (which is one of the only studies on this topic). This suggests that caffeinated hair products may be a speedy way to deliver growth-supporting treatments straight to the follicles for those experiencing premature hair loss.
How to Use Caffeine for Hair Regrowth
It does appear that caffeine applied topically may help grow hair. As a result, there are caffeine shampoos you can try. But remember, the FDA doesn’t require these products to be proven safe or effective before they’re sold, so there’s no guarantee that the shampoo you use produces the effects it claims.
2. It May Improve Hair Health
Does Caffeine or Coffee Cause Hair Loss?
You may be wondering if caffeine or coffee can cause hair loss. Java lovers rejoice: There’s currently no evidence to show that caffeine can make your hair fall out, so coffee and hair loss likely isn’t a concern.
The same goes for the link between drinking excess coffee and hair loss — there’s no research to suggest that taking in too much caffeine can cause hair loss (though it can lead to other side effects like digestive issues or blurry vision).
- British Journal of Dermatology: “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”
- Skin Pharmacology and Physiology: “Follicular Penetration of Topically Applied Caffeine via a Shampoo Formulation”
- Mayo Clinic: “Hair Loss”
- FDA: “FDA 101: Dietary Supplements”
- Skin Pharmacology and Physiology: “Caffeine’s mechanisms of action and its cosmetic use”
- International Journal of Cosmetic Science: “Scalp application of antioxidants improves scalp condition and reduces hair shedding in a 24-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial”
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