How does caffeine benefit hair health?

What if we told you that your morning ritual of drinking coffee is doing more than just giving you a much-needed boost of energy for your day? It's been found that caffeine, a bitter stimulant naturally derived from several plants worldwide, has several health benefits not only for the brain but also for the skin and hair. In fact, caffeine can help encourage hair growth and even reverse signs of hair loss! Let's take a closer look at why you should incorporate coffee into your hair care routine.

What causes hair loss?

Hair loss can be caused by many things, from disease, genetics, and improper stress management. However, female and male pattern baldness, also known as androgenic alopecia, is the most common hair loss type. Androgenic alopecia is caused by DHT (dihydrotestosterone), a byproduct of the androgen hormone testosterone.

Our hair follicles are especially sensitive to DHT. When too much DHT is present within the body, it begins to bind to the follicles, causing them to shrink, and eventually, they will die and stop producing hair strands. This results in hair thinning, balding, and excessive hair fall.

How does caffeine promote hair growth?

It's been found that caffeine has the ability to block the effects of DHT on hair follicles. When applied topically, caffeine can stimulate the scalp and encourage hair cells to produce more ATP, a form of energy responsible for hair regrowth. This speeds up the hair growth cycle and prolongs the anagen (growth phase) stage, delaying hair fall and allowing hair to grow thicker and longer. Caffeine may also increase the number of cells that make up hair strands and its protective layer, stimulating hormones that promote tissue growth and repair damage-free, healthy hair.

When massaged onto the head, caffeine can increase blood circulation to the scalp, ensuring the proper nutrients and minerals are provided to the hair follicles to encourage faster, healthier, and stronger tresses.

What are the benefits of caffeine for the hair?

In addition to giving you longer, thicker locks, research has shown that caffeine may also benefit the appearance and texture of hair in numerous ways.

Caffeine improves hair texture.

If your hair feels brittle or dry, many people turn to deep conditioners to revive its appearance. However, rinsing your dull locks with coffee may restore its natural luster because it contains flavonoids, antioxidants that promote hair regeneration. As a result, the hair shafts become smoother, relieving frizziness and making hair more manageable and easier to detangle. Additionally, caffeine does not strip hair of natural oils, helping lock in moisture to create a luscious sheen.

Caffeine promotes keratin growth.

The matrix is the part of the hair follicle where matrix keratinocytes (cells that compose hair shafts) proliferate to form the hair strand. Caffeine stimulates matrix cells to divide quicker. Therefore hair can grow at a faster pace. As hair follicles continue to grow and divide, they rely on molecules known as keratinocytes to give them elasticity, strength, and length.

How can I effectively use caffeine for hair health?

Whether you are looking to reduce hair loss or improve your locks' manageability, using caffeine as a topical treatment is simple to do. It's also been shown that topical application is much more effective than oral consumption of caffeine.

  • Use a coffee rinse. To make a homemade coffee rinse, you'll need 3 cups of coffee, a spray bottle, and a shower cap. First, wash and condition your hair as usual. Then, while your hair is still damp, spray the cooled brewed coffee to your hair, ensuring it is thoroughly saturated. Massage into your hair and allow it to sit on your hair for 20 - 40 minutes. Rinse with cool water and follow up with your favorite leave-in conditioner.
  • Make a coffee oil scalp oil. Combine 2 cups of organic coconut oil with 4 ounces of roasted whole coffee beans in a small pan or crockpot. Cook on low heat for 5 - 6 hours, occasionally stirring the mixture not to burn. Once the mixture is cooked, use a filter to strain the beans out of the oil. Apply the oil directly to the scalp (alone or mixed with shampoo) and let it sit for 10 - 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with cool water.
  • Mix up a coffee scrub. To make an antioxidant-rich scrub, mix three tablespoons of coarsely ground fresh coffee with 1 - 2 tablespoons of raw honey and three tablespoons of carrier oil such as coconut, jojoba, or argan oil. Massage the scrub into the hair roots and let sit for 30 - 60 minutes. Rinse in the shower and shampoo as normal. This is great for increasing blood flow to the scalp to help deliver oxygen and other essential nutrients.