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Caffeine And Hair Loss: Is There A Link?
Dr. Ismail Ughratdar (FRCS)
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Ismail Ughratdar (FRCS)
Updated on April 12, 2024

Caffeine is the world’s most popular stimulant. Famously found in coffee, tea, and energy drinks, most adults drink at least one of these beverages every day. In the UK alone, people drink around 95 million cups of coffee every day.

Caffeine stimulates the nervous system and the brain, making you feel more awake and alert. So the effects of caffeine on the mind and body are well-documented — but what about the link between caffeine and hair? Does caffeine cause hair loss or can it help stimulate hair growth?

Learn more about the real effects of caffeine on your hair, and whether it can cause or prevent hair loss.

Table of Contents
Does caffeine cause hair loss?

Does caffeine cause hair loss?

Studies suggest there are health benefits to drinking 4-5 cups of coffee every day. And fortunately for coffee lovers, caffeine doesn’t cause hair loss or baldness, either.

Most hair loss is genetic. It’s linked to high levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body. DHT is a derivative of testosterone, which is why male or female pattern baldness is more common in men than in women. There’s no evidence to suggest that caffeine intake increases DHT levels, affects the hair growth cycle, or causes the hair follicles to stop producing hair. So if you’re experiencing hair loss, there’s no need to cut back on the coffee.

The link between caffeine and hair growth

Lab studies have shown that caffeine can actually neutralise the negative impact of testosterone on hair growth. Applying a topical caffeinated solution to a scalp biopsy sample caused the hair follicle to produce longer hairs, suggesting caffeine could actually stimulate hair growth.

However, it’s important to treat these conclusions with caution. Lab study outcomes don’t always translate to real-world results, due to the controlled environment and specific conditions. In short, you can’t replicate this success by drinking a few more cups of coffee each day.

Will drinking coffee help my hair grow?

This study shows that topical caffeine application can stimulate hair growth — not caffeine consumption.

Drinking coffee may have an effect on hair growth — but this hasn’t yet been proven. In any case, you would need to consume an unsafe amount of coffee before you drank enough to see visibly improved hair growth. So it’s not possible to reverse the effects of female or male pattern baldness by drinking coffee alone.

Do coffee hair rinses stimulate hair growth?

Coffee hair rinses have also been advertised as a natural way to stimulate hair growth. A coffee rinse involves brewing and cooling coffee, then applying it to your scalp and the lengths of your hair while it’s still wet after washing.

However, there’s no firm evidence to confirm that coffee rinses genuinely stimulate hair growth. Coffee can also stain your hair. So, unless you have brown or black hair, you should avoid this method if you don’t want to alter your hair colour.

Should I use caffeine shampoo to stimulate hair growth?

Coffee rinses aren’t the only topical hair regrowth treatment you can try. There are also many caffeinated shampoos on the market, such as Alpecin, that won’t cause your hair to change colour.

Caffeine shampoo has been shown to be as effective as Minoxidil if used for at least 6 months [2]. It can elongate the hair shaft and naturally counteract the effects of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) — a hormone that binds to androgen receptors in your hair follicles to prevent hair growth.

How DHT affects hair follicles

DHT blocking shampoos and vitamins for hair growth are also touted as an alternative natural hair loss solution — but there’s little evidence vitamin supplements promote hair growth in people who don’t have a micronutrient deficiency. So if you’re looking for a natural remedy to your hair loss, caffeine shampoo is a superior treatment option.

How to stimulate hair growth

There are promising links between caffeine and hair loss. While drinking coffee or taking oral caffeine supplements probably won’t reverse hair loss, caffeine shampoos are effective for promoting hair regrowth.

However, if you’re losing hair, many proven hair loss treatments are widely available. This includes:

Before you can decide on the best course of action, you need to establish the cause of your hair loss. Talking to an expert trichologist can help you find out why you’re experiencing hair loss. They can also help you create a personalised hair restoration programme based on your needs.

Caffeine And Hair Loss: Is There A Link?, Wimpole Clinic

Dr. Ismail Ughratdar (FRCS)
Medically reviewed by Dr. Ismail Ughratdar (FRCS)Updated on April 12, 2024
The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
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