Anyone suffering from baldness, male or female, knows that it’s a frustrating and self-esteem ravaging issue with few solutions. There are expensive creams that can regrow hair over time and costly surgeries that can plug hair back in, but there are complications with both. However, there is a natural remedy using an ingredient you use every day but probably never thought to put on your head - coffee! Studies have shown that caffeine is excellent for promoting hair regrowth… who knew?
Why Are You Losing Hair Anyway?
Medications, genetic predisposition, nutrition and disease can all cause hair loss. But caffeine, found in coffee and other plants, may help stimulate hair follicles to reverse the effects of hair loss.
“Hair follicles that were treated with caffeine showed a highly significant growth rate...”
The health of your follicles and your hair growth cycle determines the growth of your hair. Progenitor cells, which can assemble hair shaft tissue, reside in your follicles. Cells start creating a new hair shaft during the first phase of hair growth, called initiation. The shaft keeps growing through the elongation phase and after a certain amount of time has gone by, the hair stops growing and then falls out. This is why we naturally shed hairs. If any of these phases are disrupted, your hair won’t grow and any hair you do have won’t be replaced when shed.
The Easy Solution to Hair Loss
A 2007 study run by the International Journal of Dermatology discovered that when applied topically, caffeine was able make hair follicles more responsive to growth, more so in women than men. Hair growth was recorded to be boosted in length by up to 40%. Dr Tobias Fischer, leader of the study was quoted as saying, “Hair follicles that were treated with caffeine showed a highly significant growth rate at 24 hours and still showed further significant growth at eight days.”1
If that wasn’t amazing enough, in this study some of the follicles treated with caffeine were exposed to DHT, which is a hormone that is responsible for hair loss. The caffeine was able to overpower the hormone and the DHT-exposed hair grew as well!
How Does It Work?
This is a great discovery, but don’t run to your coffee maker just yet. It would take 40-60 cups of coffee every day to stimulate hair growth by drinking coffee. (By the way, there is 6,000mg2 of caffeine in that much coffee. Your heart would stop before your hair would grow an inch, so it’s probably not worth the trouble.)
Caffeine supplies a large amount of natural energy. Everyone knows this, it’s why coffee runs our lives and gets us going in the morning. As the hair grows, the root needs more energy than you’d expect in order to grow. The caffeine supplies that energy and boosts growth.
Instead try a shampoo or an oil-based hair loss treatment that is enriched with caffeine to deliver the solution directly to the problem area. This is great because you get the energy from the caffeine without having to ingest it, which can cause side effects. (Anyone who’s overdone it with the espresso can tell you that.)
What Does This Mean?
While Dr. Fischer freely admits that for diseases such as alopecia, “caffeine would never work in this area,”3 it does have huge implications for many other people who are losing their hair. It can help individuals losing hair due to stress, as caffeine can balance and counteract apoptosis (cell death) caused by stress. It can also help people going through chemotherapy or hair loss due to medicinal drugs. Men and women who notice that baldness and hair loss runs in the family are advised to begin using caffeine infused treatment as soon as possible to prevent hair loss as they age.
- (1) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2775642/Espresso-follicles-How-caffeine-make-locks-grow-faster-hair-products-creating-buzz.html
- (2) http://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-a-cure-for-baldness
- (3) http://www.biznews.com/health/2015/03/07/baldness-cure-close-caffeine-can-halt-hair-loss-says-german-scientist/