Benefits of Caffeine for Scalp + Hair Health
We all know caffeine has its benefits - and I am not just referring to your morning cup of joe to wake you up - I mean the reason why caffeine is still a major ingredient in consumer products from over-the-counter medications to energy drinks. Did you ever think that these benefits would be something you could apply topically? Well, welcome to a sneak peek of one of our favorite ingredients- caffeine.
When you’re experiencing an inflamed scalp + hair loss due to breakage, dry and overall damaged hair, then your hair needs a reboot. Luckily all of our Tip to Root Hair Reboots contain caffeine! Why should you be interested in caffeine in your hair care routine? Read through to find out how it improves the efficacy of our reboots in treating and protecting damaged hair.
Is topical caffeine good for skin?
Caffeine is one of the best ingredients for penetrating your skin! According to Herman and Herman in their study about caffeine in cosmetic use, when caffeine is added to a topical substance, it works effectively as an antioxidant.1 Taking in caffeine through the skin is a much more effective way to use it to benefit your hair and scalp, at least researchers say in a very insightful 2006 study.2 As caffeine is applied to your skin, you get the benefit of antioxidant activity, anti-cellulite properties, microcirculation of blood vessels, and inhibiting the process of hair thinning.1 A study in Korea (2001) exhibited similar results in that ingested caffeine had a low efficiency in entering the skin- in our interest, the scalp- but when topically applied, caffeine had a high efficiency in permeating the cells to work its magic!3
One particularly helpful study showed that when caffeine is applied to the hair follicle, the effects are much quicker than if it enters through the inside. For example, some hair vitamins might use caffeine to create the benefits that we’ve discussed, but the amount of time and the process through which it goes to even enter the hair follicle is extensive and weak. When it is applied directly to your hair and scalp, it will penetrate the hair and scalp effectively in under two minutes and will show continued activity even hours afterwards. This study showed that even 24 hours after application, high levels of caffeine were detected in the hair follicles and blood stream. This improves the concentration of the amount of caffeine, which then also improves the amount of benefit you receive from it.4
Does caffeine stimulate hair growth?
Because of this, many vitamin companies make a point of putting green tea and other caffeine heavy ingredients in their products. The trouble is your body isn’t going to absorb the benefits of caffeine as well as it does in a hair product. Okay, but it’s not just about how it penetrates your scalp- it’s about what it does to help your hair actually grow in thicker. When hair starts to thin, this is due to an increase in an enzyme called 5-a-reductase (metabolized to DHT), and caffeine blocks the activity of this enzyme and therefore doesn't inhibit hair growth. Not to mention, the stimulant factor in caffeine improves blood flow in your scalp, giving your hair a healthier environment to keep growing stronger. Even 2 minutes of caffeine infused hair follicles showed that high amounts of the caffeine stayed in follicle for 48 hours even after being washed. So, if I were you, I’d put down those hair vitamins and invest in something that will really concentrate on your hair growth!
Caffeine is rich in antioxidants
We get a lot of health advice from people about eating and using antioxidant rich foods and substances in our diet and healthcare. But do we really know why we need to eat and use antioxidant foods and products? When our skin and hair cells are exposed to the sun, it becomes vulnerable to the effect and increased production of free radicals (aka pollution). This kind of cell damage speeds up the aging process. Caffeine, according to Herman and Herman (2006) to effectively and positively lower the exposure and formation of free radicals in the cells, which slows down that aging process in your scalp.1 And as we like to say, a healthy scalp produces healthy hair! Using our reboots as a hair mask will effectively help with split ends, but the caffeine in them is part of what makes them a great scalp treatment!
Caffeine promotes softer + shinier hair
If your hair appears dull, rough or is brittle, adding a moisturizing treatment infused with caffeine can revitalize its lackluster appearance (we love our Save Me From Thermal Obsession - which includes caffeine and a combination of silky butters + oils to lock in moisture). Rinsing your hair with coffee may also improve dullness because of the flavonoids in the coffee beans. which are antioxidants that promote hair regeneration. A coffee hair rinse helps to increase blood circulation, helping to move nutrients to the hair roots, resulting in shinier and healthier hair that is smoother, and more manageable.
Caffeine can help thicken hair and more
As you age and your hair and scalp are exposed to more and more environmental stresses, your body starts to produce an enzyme referred to as 5-a-reductase. This enzyme converts testosterone into DHT, the substance that contributes to hair growth. Over time, your hair eventually stops growing completely, and you might suffer from baldness! Herman and Herman (2006) report that caffeine does an excellent job of reducing this process, slowing the hair thinning and potential baldness. Not only that, but caffeine’s stimulant properties improve blood flow to your scalp, which creates a healthy environment for hair growth.1
Caffeine protects your hair from UV rays
I’d say we all kind of have a love-hate relationship with UV rays, right? Our culture loves the glow of summer sun-kissed skin but hates skin cancer and aging effects it causes. Plus, almost NO ONE loves an itchy scalp and hair fading + breakage due to way too much sun. And way too much sun will cause almost irreparable cell damage to your skin. Well, caffeine can effectively help protect your scalp and hair from the horrible damage caused by UV rays. UV rays generate cell growth, leading to cancer and tumors. Caffeine generates a process called apoptosis, which effectively stops that cell growth. Not to mention, the sun produces free radical damage on your scalp and hair, which can only be remedied by an antioxidant such as caffeine.
Increases circulation to hair follicles
Your hair needs a healthy scalp in order to grow strong. A strong hair strand contains many vital nutrients, which can be basically eliminated during the processes of hair damage. Since caffeine improves the circulation of the scalp due to increased blood flow1, the environment for the growing hair is healthier. This helps bring nourishment to the hair through the blood vessels in the scalp and replenish it with those vital nutrients from tip to root.
SAVE ME FROM knows women aren’t going to stop coloring, bleaching, styling, and playing with their hair (and definitely can’t stop aging!) With our advanced hair science ingredients, we can maintain your hair’s health. We’ve included caffeine in each and every product alongside our tip to root Fenugen technology.
So, skip the salon treatment for damaged hair and have your own salon treatment at home! Don’t start your hair repair process with your hands tied behind your back! Let us help you figure out which products would be best for your lifestyle.
How to Use Caffeine for Hair Growth? The Ayurvedic Spice Combined with Caffeine That's Changing Everything
Do you need a caffeine serum for hair? It's worth mentioning the proven hair reparative benefits of Fenugen. Inspired by Ayurvedic medicine, we've harnessed the fenugreek's rich phytonutrients including medium and long chain fatty acids, terpenoids, polyphenols, phospholipids and vitamins A, C and B variety vitamins and paired these with bio-boosters like ubiquinone (also known as Coenzyme Q10 for hair), organic karanja (also known as pongamia) and medicum chain triglycerides (MCT’s derived from coconut). Fenugen is also a rich source of nicotinic acid (niacin), nicontinamide (niacinamide) and trigonelline. These phytonutrients include niacinamide hair benefits and have been shown to promote healthy blood flow to help enhance the nutrition essential for follicle survival, boost keratin and ceramide synthesis, restore barrier function and empower you with hair that emerges from the scalp healthier with more resistance to damage. Through a patented eco extraction process, we've magnified these phytonutrients into our clinically proven technology. Fenugen possesses the rich nutrients of fenugreek seeds in a complex 5x more potent in polyphenols. These nutrients include Vitamin A, B Vitamins, Vitamin C and more. With daily and consistent, long-term use of this concentrated hair cream (that you dilute into a silky scalp serum with water), hair bonds are rebuilt, hydration is restored helping to reduce frizz, the scalp is energized and nourished from within allowing hair that's more resistant to damage to emerge. Rooted in Ayurveda, our Save Me From hair products are clinically proven to transform hair from tip to root, inside and out.
- Herman A, Herman A. Caffeine’s Mechanisms of Action and Its Cosmetic Use. Skin Pharmacology and Physiology. 2013;26(1):8-14. doi:10.1159/000343174.
- Brandner JM, Behne MJ, Huesing B, Moll I. Caffeine improves barrier function in male skin. International Journal of Cosmetic Science. 2006;28(5):343-347. doi:10.1111/j.1467-2494.2006.00346.x.
- Kim C, Shim J, Han S, Chang I. The skin-permeation-enhancing effect of phosphatidylcholine: Caffeine as a model active ingredient. Journal of Cosmetic Science. 2002:363-374.
- Otberg N, Teichmann A, Rasuljev U, Sinkgraven R, Sterry W, Lademann J. Follicular Penetration of Topically Applied Caffeine via a Shampoo Formulation. Skin Pharmacology and Physiology. 2007;20(4):195-198. doi:10.1159/000101389.