Caffeine, a naturally occurring substance found in several plants, may have a beneficial effect on your follicles to promote healthy hair, according to November 2014 research in the British Journal of Dermatology.
Here’s the connection between coffee and hair, including whether caffeine can stimulate hair growth, if coffee-induced hair loss is a concern, and how to harness this ingredient for your tresses.
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.
The British Journal of Dermatology study found that caffeine made hair roots larger, lengthened the phase during which your hair grows, and stimulated hair cell production, all of which may contribute to improved hair growth.
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.
However, more research is needed to better understand why caffeine shampoo is good for your hair, along with any caffeine shampoo side effects.
How to Use Caffeine for Hair Re-growth
It does appear that caffeine applied topically may help grow hair. As a result, there are caffeine shampoos you can try.
Improved Hair Health
Caffeine has antioxidant properties that can help protect your cells from damage, according to a December 2012 review in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology.
Applying caffeine and other antioxidants to your noggin may improve the health of your scalp and hair, according to November 2021 research in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science. The study found that using an antioxidant-rich shampoo and leave-in treatment for nearly six months improved hair fullness by reducing shedding, upping total hair count, and improving the scalp-skin barrier.
Can Caffeine or Coffee Cause Hair Loss?
There’s currently no evidence to show that caffeine can make your hair fall out, so coffee and hair loss likely aren’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).