Mixed Results to date
Caffeine continues to be studied with respect to its role as a hair growth promoting agent. Studies are ongoing. To date there are only very limited studies examining the role of caffeine - with mixed results.
A 2013 study by Sisto et al from Italy showed that men using a caffeinated shampoo for 6 months were more satisfied with their outcome than men using the placebo (84.8 % vs 36.4 %, p<0.001). The study did not examine hair growth and other parameters in a rigorous manner.
As we think about the role of caffeine in hair growth, I would like to draw your attention to 2 studies which examined coffee consumption. A study of 93 identical male twins looked at a variety of factors associated with hair loss. The survey based study suggested that increased coffee consumption was associated with increased hair thinning. In contrast a study of 98 identical female twins by the same author suggested that a lack of caffeine was associated with increased hair loss in women.
Studies of the role of caffeine in hair loss and growth are still in their early stages. Limited conclusions can be made at present.
Gatherwright J, et al. The contribution of endogenous and exogenous factors to male alopecia: a study of identical twins. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2013.
Gatherwright J, et al. The contribution of endogenous and exogenous factors to female alopecia: a study of identical twins. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2012.
Efficacy of a Cosmetic Caffeine Shampoo in Androgenetic Aloepcia Management. J Appl Cosmetol 2013;
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Vancouver office at 604.283.9299