Out of all the possible measures to treat hair loss, who would have thought that coffee can be included in the list? This is an interesting claim considering that coffee is also known to trigger excessive hair shedding. But with a couple of these studies already supporting this claim, will your cup of Joe really help keep the baldness at bay?
In a study that was spearheaded by a Jena researcher by the name of Dr. Tobias Fischer together with his co-workers at Freidrich-Schiller University in Germany, coffee has beneficial effects when it comes to hair growth and hair loss.
A brief look at DHT and hair loss
The process of hair loss is triggered by a hormone called DHT or dihydrotestosterone. This comes from the major male hormone testosterone, and when it comes in contact with the enzyme 5-alpha reductase it is converts it into DHT.
This is considered to be one of the most potent male hormones because it has an activity that is ten times much stronger than testosterone, and it is also 30 times more potent. That is why it when too much of it is in the system, it causes the hair follicles to produce less hair until it eventually ceases to generate any at all, hence male pattern baldness or what is more aptly called androgenetic alopecia.
But DHT isn’t all that bad, because in the right amounts it is vital in the creating male characteristics. Since women can also develop DHT too, having it in excess is also known to cause androgynous characteristics, such as light facial hairs or a deeper tone of voice.
Coffee and your hair
Even though coffee is one of the well-loved beverage in the world, Dr. Fischer claimed that there is little that is known about its effects on the growth and life cycle of the hair follicle. That is why what he did in his study is that he took biopsies from the scalp of those men who are in the early stages of balding. He had 14 samples for his study, and he placed them all in test tubes which contained solutions with varying levels of caffeine. These were left for 8 days in order to see how it would fare then.
The results showed that the hair follicles that were treated with caffeine showed significant growth rate even after 24 hours and even more so after eight days. Dr. Fischer described in this research that the growth rate increased by 46%, the length increased by 33-40%, and the life cycle extended up to 37%.
This implies that caffeine could give the same effects as the popular hair loss drug, Propecia.
But the thing here is that there should be a proper way of letting the hair follicles obtains caffeine. Drinking cup after cup of coffee certainly won’t give the right solution; in fact this can even cause hair loss. The study showed that caffeine should be obtained through topical application.
What the researchers did is they added caffeine to the participant’s shampoo. This proved to be a viable method because it was able to provide improved results. The shampoo should be left on the hair for a good two minutes for optimum effect.
This is a very promising solution, and studies are still underway to strongly create a knowledge base on how coffee really benefit hair health through the right delivery process and dosage.
You could go for this solution or opt for the usual pharmaceutical means through Propecia or Rogaine. But if you are looking for a radical treatment approach for hair loss, hair transplant still remains to be a very good option.