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Can Caffeine Reverse Hair Loss?

New studies have uncovered a curious compound that can work to reverse and prevent hair loss in men and women. This new compound? Caffeine! Read more about how caffeine may benefit hair loss below.
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Men and women suffering from hair loss will try just about anything to reverse the signs of aging. Scientific studies show that hair loss is not only a simple cosmetic issue, but is also closely linked to dangerous health problems, such as a greater risk for stroke and heart attack. Reversing the cause of hair loss could help prevent some of these dangerous health risks in addition to keeping your hair in tact.

While there are thousands of hair regrowth remedies on the market (some much less effective than others), a German researcher has found that caffeine may provide stimulation to the scalp and prevent dramatic hair loss. The idea of using caffeine to stimulate hair growth is not an entirely new idea, but it was not until recently that any scientific studies backed this theory.

Read more about this curious new findings for caffeine and hair loss below:

How can Caffeine Help Hair?

German scientist Dr Adolph Klenk states that caffeine applied to the scalp may be able to prevent hair loss both from hormonal and hereditary causes in both men and women. Dr. Klenk has studied the effects of caffeine on hair over many years, and has just released his findings at the De. Wolff Group international conference. This research is not as boundless as it might first appear. Dr. Klenk is not the first researcher to find that caffeine is beneficial for hair growth.

In 2007, a study published in the International Journal of Dermatology examined the effects of caffeine on hair follicles versus the effects of testosterone on hair follicles. The researchers found that hair treated with testosterone showed significant growth suppression. Caffeine was able to counteract this damage and also stimulated hair follicle growth. The researchers were so encouraged by these findings, they stated that early enough intervention with caffeine may even be able to slow the progression of genetic-related hair loss.

However, the researchers did note that caffeine was not effective against immune-related hair loss. In 2014, supporting research also published in the International Journal of Dermatology found that caffeine was able to suppress hair loss and stimulate hair growth. This study found that caffeine applied to the scalp blocks the effects of DHT, which is a chemical that damages hair follicles and is a by-product of testosterone. The high presence of DHT is one reason why men often have more visible hair loss than women.

According to the study researchers, it would take about 50 cups of coffee daily to reach the necessary caffeine levels to benefit the hair from the inside out. Drinking that much coffee is impossible and unhealthy, but luckily, topical caffeine seems to work even better on hair growth stimulation.

Dr. Klenk stated that one of the biggest benefits to topical caffeine is that it is impossible to develop a resistance to the chemical. Dr. Klenk called it “energy supply to the hair root.” Dr. Klenk has stated that caffeine alone is not as effective for hair re-growth as a combination of caffeine, zinc, and niacin.

This combo was shown to be highly effective at boosting hair health as zinc and niacin are both extremely beneficial for hair health. The most recent study conducted on caffeine and hair loss tested the ability of caffeine to benefit chest hair. The study participants applied a caffeine-filled shampoo, left it on for two minutes then rinsed it off. The study researchers found that the hair follicles were able to retain traces of caffeine for 24 hours after the shower. Within 3 months, hair growth was stimulated in the application area.

The study found that the caffeine was able to slow the progression of hair loss, but was not able to fully stimulate hair growth after balding had occurred.

Is Caffeine the Most-Effective Hair Loss Prevention Method?

According to study researchers, caffeine treatments are most effective when started early. Dr. Klenk recommended male children start using caffeine treatments after puberty sets in (if they have a family history of baldness), while females should start using caffeine treatments during pre-menopause. Caffeine has been shown to be effective in strengthening and thickening hair and stimulating the natural growth cycle.

However, some studies indicate that another hair loss prevention method is even more effective. Numerous studies have shown that a healthy diet, combined with a few targeted supplements, can help block excess DHT and prevent hair loss and stimulate healthy hair growth. The following nutrients have been scientifically proven effective in fighting hair loss according to a paper published by the Huntington College of Health Sciences.

Fight Hair Loss from the Inside Out

Beneficial Nutrients for Hair 
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin C
  • B Vitamins
  • Saw Palmetto
  • Selenium
  • Zinc
  • Methylsulfonylmethane
  • Calcium
  • Choline
  • L-Lysine
  • Inositol
  • Biotin

Vitamin A

A study from 1993 found that vitamin A is able to protect hair follicles from damage caused by free radicals. Without vitamin A, your hair is drier. However, too-high levels of vitamin A (over 50,000 daily) is bad for hair and can cause hair loss.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is essential for maintaining the integrity of cell membranes in hair follicles. The vitamin provides antioxidant benefits. Together with selenium, vitamin E works to prevent cell damage and hair loss from free radical damage.

B Vitamins

B vitamins- and particularly vitamin B1, B2, B9, niacin, and pantothenic acid- work to protect the hair and prevent hair loss. A study from 2004 found that individuals with low levels of B vitamins have weaker hair follicles and may have longer periods of rest between the phases of hair growth.

Saw Palmetto

Saw palmetto is a surprisingly effective remedy against hair loss, possibly because saw palmetto acts as a natural blocker for DHT. In a study from 2002 published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, it was found that men who took a combination of 50 milligrams beta-sitosterol and 200 mg saw palmetto extract twice a day over a 5-month period had a hair improvement rate of 60 percent. Only 11 percent of the placebo group showed signs of hair improvement. This indicates that saw palmetto is extremely effective in treating hair loss.

Selenium

Selenium is a nutrient necessary for many of the body’s processes. In case studies, individuals with low levels of selenium are more likely to have poor hair growth and other health conditions like cancer and heart disease.

Zinc

Numerous studies have shown how important zinc is for healthy hair growth. The most successful caffeine treatment also applied zinc directly to the scalp. Internal zinc is also effective.

Calcium

Calcium is used for many processes, but one of its lesser-known uses is as a cell mediator on cell-membrane phospholipids in hair follicle cells. Individuals lacking in calcium intake may have weaker hair follicles. Health professionals recommend taking calcium in combination with magnesium to prevent calcium overdosing.

Choline

Choline is a precursor for the development of phospholipids. According to a study from 1986 found that phospholipids are necessary for the development of healthy hair follicle development. Choline is naturally found in eggs, which also provide other hair-healthy nutrients, such as B vitamins, magnesium, and vitamin A.

L-Lysine

Studies have found that L-Lysine is effective as an enzyme inhibitor that can inhibit 5-alpha-reductase type II. 5-alpha-reductase type II has been shown to speed hair loss and make hair follicles weaker.

Inositol

Just like choline, inositol is a precursor for the development of phospholipids. Ensuring enough inositol in the diet can help protect hair growth and prevent hair loss.

Biotin

Biotin is one of the most famous nutrients for hair health. Biotin metabolizes protein, carbs, and fat. Poor metabolism of nutrients will lead to undernourished hair follicles. A study conducted by Harvard University found that biotin is one of the most important nutrients for hair health, texture, strength, and function. Experts recommend consuming between 500 and 11 mcg of biotin daily.

Methylsulfonylmethane

Studies show that sulfur is important for forming strong hair strands. A lack of sulfur can make hair that is brittle and weak. When hair breaks, it appears as if the hair is thinning more rapidly because there is more time between the period of rest and growth. Methylsulfonylmethane also benefits nails and skin.

Caffeine and Hair Loss

Recent studies have shown that caffeine applied topically to the scalp can be an effective preventive treatment against hair loss. For maximum results, combine topical treatments with internal treatments. Many health problems start inside the body, and hair loss is no different. Genetics can play a large role in how susceptible you are to hair loss, but the protective effects of a healthy diet and topical caffeine may even be able to slow a genetic progression of hair loss.

Experts recommend starting hair protective strategies as early as possible. The earlier you work to combat hair loss, the more likely you will be successful. However, even if your hair has already started to thin, implementing these strategies can help strengthen your remaining hair and may be able to slow the progression of hair loss so you get to keep your hair much longer.

Sources


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17214716

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2775642/Espresso-follicles-How-caffeine-make-locks-grow-faster-hair-products-creating-buzz.html

http://www.biznews.com/health/2015/03/07/baldness-cure-close-caffeine-can-halt-hair-loss-says-german-scientist/

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