Your morning coffee may be doing you more favours than you think! Several scientific studies have linked caffeine consumption to hair-growth. The stimulant doesn’t reverse hair loss, but it could possibly be used as a preventative measure. Caffeine may be the ingredient you need to jolt your hair-care routine. Continue reading for the breakdown on how caffeine just might help slow down age-related hair loss.
What is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a natural stimulant present in coffee, tea, and cacao plants. It is the world’s most commonly used psychoactive drug. Caffeine stimulates the brain and central nervous system, increasing your alertness and preventing tiredness. Caffeine is absorbed from the gut to the bloodstream and then travels to your liver. The liver breaks down caffeine into compounds used for various bodily functions. Caffeine consumption is linked to several health benefits like:
- Enhancing exercise performance
- Boosting the metabolism
- Improving mood and brain function
- Supporting gut health
- Stimulating hair growth
Caffeine and Hair Growth
Unfortunately, drinking a few cups of coffee a day isn’t going to solve your hair loss problems. Scientists say we would need to consume 50-60 cups of coffee a day to notice hair-growing results. This isn’t a reasonable solution, as that amount of coffee is unsafe to drink. However, the hair health benefits of caffeine have made it a commonly used ingredient in hair products. This way, the hair follicle absorbs concentrated caffeine more directly. Caffeinated shampoos, tea rinses, and coffee scrubs benefit your hair and scalp in many ways.
In an in-vitro study, conducted by Dr. Tobius Fisher, scalp biopsy samples, from people suffering from androgenetic alopecia, were collected with exposure to varying concentrations of testosterone and/or caffeine. After 120-192 hours, the follicles were removed for scientists to study hair shaft length. The follicles that were exposed to caffeine for the most time grew the longest. This study also revealed that caffeine counteracts the harmful effects of testosterone on hair growth.
Targets Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a hormone derived from testosterone. High levels of DHT can shrink your hair follicles and shorten the hair-growth cycle. DHT attaches to the hair follicle and prohibits vitamins and proteins from nourishing the hair with nutrients to support the hair growth cycle. This hormone can eventually lead to thinner, brittle hair and even extreme hair loss. Luckily, caffeine targets DHT by helping to limit its ability to cling to hair follicles, so the hair can properly absorb the nutrients it needs.
Increases Hair Growth Rate
Caffeine causes the hair to produce more ATP, the energy of our biological cells. An increased production of ATP helps the hair remain in its active growing phase for longer, resulting in healthier hair growth. Caffeine stimulates hair shaft elongation, leaving your hair roots longer and wider than before. Dr. Fisher’s study also demonstrated that caffeine speeds up the hair-growth cycle, increasing the length of hair by 33-40%.
Stimulates the Hair Matrix
The hair shaft is produced in the hair matrix. Cells in the matrix are responsible for producing keratin, the structural protein that makes up most of the hair. Caffeine is understood to stimulate the proliferation of keratinocytes. Since keratin is vital for hair growth, the increased presence of keratin-producing cells boosts the efficiency of the anagen phase. Ultimately, caffeine could possibly lead to more hairs being produced over time.
Caffeine is full of micronutrients, like antioxidants, which are known to improve hair growth. Antioxidants protect cells from free radical damage that could negatively impact hair growth. Additionally, antioxidants help the body produce collagen, an essential protein for overall hair health. Antioxidants also benefit the hair by fighting sun damage, preventing premature graying, and boosting blood circulation.
Balances pH Levels
Products that are too alkaline can leave the hair dry and frizzy. Caffeine, being naturally acidic, helps maintain the scalp’s pH level. A healthy pH balance serves as a barrier that fights off bacteria and fungus. Additionally, a balanced pH level will help your hair maintain its moisture and natural oils. The acidity of caffeine will help boost your hair’s elasticity and keep frizz at bay. A healthy, moisturized scalp is essential for strong hair growth.
Shields Strands from the Sun
UV rays can severely damage the hair cuticle, causing discoloration, dry strands, and split ends. The good news is that caffeine is packed with polyphenols and other vitamins that help protect your tresses against sun damage. A caffeine-based hair product (plus SPF) will also prevent your scalp from burning.
Helps Boost the Strength of Hair
Caffeine increases blood circulation to the scalp, which promotes strong follicle health. Increased blood circulation helps your scalp derive nutrients and oxygen to stay healthy. Blood flow also extends the amount of time your hair spends in the anagen phase. Massaging caffeine-based hair products onto your scalp helps boost blood circulation and exfoliate dead skin cells. Hair follicles will grow faster and stronger with limited levels of DHT and an increased blood flow.
How to Introduce Coffee to Your Hair-Care Routine
High concentrations of caffeine applied directly to the hair follicles may slow down age-related hair loss. Here are a few ways to implement caffeine into your hair regimen:
Superpower Fortifying Hair & Scalp Serum by Better Not Younger
The Superpower Fortifying Hair & Scalp Serum by Better Not Younger is packed with scalp-stimulating ingredients like caffeine and ceramides to refresh your strands. Apply several drops of the serum to your scalp and massage in the product for a few minutes.
A coffee scrub can be used to exfoliate the scalp, while also stimulating hair growth. Exfoliators remove dirt, oil and product buildup that can clog your scalp’s pores.
Caffeinated Tea Rinse
Green tea is rich in antioxidants and vitamins A and C, making it a beneficial rinse for stimulating hair growth. The caffeine in tea penetrates hair follicles, nourishes the scalp, and protects hair from dandruff and bacteria. Brew a cup of caffeinated green tea using 2 bags, allow it to cool and then rinse your hair with it.
You may consider using caffeine in your hair-care routine to prolong the onset of hair thinning or hair loss. Applied directly to the scalp, it can stimulate, strengthen and protect your strands. You’ve done your research, now it’s time for you to wake up your mane with a caffeinated hair product or scrub.