What is Caffeine Shampoo and What Are Caffeine Hair Benefits? - SAVE ME FROM

What is Caffeine Shampoo and What Are Caffeine Hair Benefits?

You may have heard about caffeine hair loss shampoo recently and had questions. What is caffeine shampoo? What can topical caffeine shampoo for hair loss do for hair? In a nutshell, the popularity of caffeine initially began after a study was published in the International Journal of Dermatology in 2007 investigating the role of caffeine in the management of androgenetic alopecia. The goal of this caffeine hair loss study was to investigate the effects of testosterone and caffeine on human hair follicles. They found that hair follicles taken from men suffering from androgenic alopecia, that were exposed to testosterone, fell victim to significant growth suppression. Luckily, this lack of hair growth was counteracted by caffeine in concentrations of just 0.001% and 0.005%. It gets better. The study showed that caffeine alone led to significant stimulation for hair follicle growth. However, it’s important to point out that these results were proven with in vitro studies and more studies are on the way to prove the results of caffeine for hair growth on scalp. Read on to learn more about caffeine and how you may be able to improve your hair growth.

First off, do you know what caffeine is and all the benefits of caffeine? I’m not just referring to your morning cup o’ joe or afternoon energy drink that helps make you feel more awake or alert, I’m talking about the reason why caffeine is now a major ingredient in consumer products from over-the-counter medications to energy drinks. Did you ever think there were topical benefits of caffeine? Well, welcome to a sneak peek at one of our favorite ingredients - caffeine.

What Is Caffeine?

Caffeine is the most widely used central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. It is the world’s most popular drug with over 85% of Americans using caffeine in some way or form daily. It is a psychoactive stimulant that speeds up the central nervous system and helps you feel more awake and alert. Most notably, it affects our mood, memory, alertness, and physical and cognitive performance. Not only does it have effects on the CNS, but it also has cardiovascular, respiratory, renal and smooth muscle effects. Technically, caffeine is a naturally occurring methylxanthine alkaloid. Caffeine can be derived from both synthetic and natural plant sources. Natural sources of caffeine include the seeds, leaves and nuts of many plants, such as cacao and coffee beans, guarana seeds and tea leaves. In fact, there are more than 60 plant species containing caffeine. In addition to their caffeine content, these natural caffeine sources also include phytonutrients such as antioxidants, vitamins and more. When used in moderation, caffeine is generally regarded as a safe way to boost your energy, improve concentration and focus, help with athletic performance, and believe it or not, caffeine-infused hair products and caffeine skin care may help you achieve your beauty goals.

Recommended Caffeine Oral Limits: 400 mg/day

Before we jump into the topical benefits of caffeine, we think it’s important to note some of the contraindications and side effects of this powerful (yes, you read that right) drug. The FDA has stated that consuming 400 mg or more of coffee a day can be dangerous. Negative side effects of consuming too much caffeine (or if you have a caffeine sensitivity) can include insomnia, jitters, anxiousness, fast heart rate and elevated blood pressure, upset stomach, nausea, dehydration, headaches and even trigger feelings of unhappiness.  If you’re experiencing any of these side effects, we recommend cutting back and talking to your health care provider if you need help. If coffee’s your vice, mushroom coffee alternative may be a solution. That may lead you to question, does topical caffeine work the same way as ingesting caffeine? Will topical caffeine give you energy? Will topical caffeine keep me up at night?

Does Caffeine Absorb Through the Skin?

Yes! You might be surprised to find out that caffeine can be absorbed through the skin. In fact, there are four different penetration pathways for topically applied products to penetrate. On the one hand, penetration can occur intercellularly (ie, between cells) along the lipid layers or intracellularly (ie, within cells). This is why lipids and liposomes are popular ingredients in effective skin care. On the other hand, ingredients can penetrate via sweat glands and hair follicles. In fact, data revealed in some studies that the follicular penetration pathway contributed 50% of total penetration. Depending upon whether hair follicles are opened or closed, caffeine was detectable in the blood within 5 minutes with maximum penetration reached within 1 to 2 hours. Does this mean topically applied caffeine is going to keep me up at night?

First, let’s discuss where does caffeine go when you drink it? Within 45 minutes of ingestion, caffeine is rapidly and near completely (99%) absorbed and distributed throughout body water. In caffeine gum, this distribution can be increased further by faster caffeine absorption through the body’s mucous. Peak concentration is seen between 15 to 120 minutes after oral consumption, and varies due to several factors. Caffeine is lipophilic and can easily pass across the blood-brain barrier. From there, the half-life of caffeine is between two and a half to four and half hours. That is the time it takes for the caffeine in your body to reduce by half (and another reason why you shouldn’t consume caffeine past the afternoon if you want to get a healthy night’s sleep).

Topically applied caffeine is going to work differently, and it likely won’t give you energy or keep you up at night (although there is some research on the ergogenic effects of caffeine contained in a transdermal energy patch). Since the amount of caffeine needed and formulated into caffeine infused hair products or caffeine skin care is under 1%, the actual quantity of caffeine applied is minimal. In addition, with the absence of blood and lymph flow in the skin, penetrated into the bloodstream is limited. In fact, caffeine has been shown to remain in the skin longer with a 450-fold higher caffeine concentration detectable in the cornium after 16 hours.  

So, now that you know that caffeine can penetrate the skin and hair follicle, let’s talk about the benefits of caffeine on skin and benefits of caffeine for hair growth.

Is Topical Caffeine Good for Skin?

Yes, caffeine is one of the best ingredients for your skin. According to Herman and Herman’s study about caffeine in cosmetics, when caffeine is added to a topical substance, it works effectively as an antioxidant. When the goal is better skin and healthier hair, applying caffeine topically leads to targeted penetration and better results for your skin and hair. In fact, a Korean study found that skin targeted results after oral caffeine were less in comparison to topically applied caffeine. Topical caffeine benefits for skin include antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, reduced threat after sun exposure and anti-cellulite properties.

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Antioxidant Effects of Caffeine

You’ve probably heard of the term free radicals and wondered what they are. In short, they’re radicals who are free to do whatever kind of damage they want in the body. Caffeine has been extensively studied for its protective and scavenging effects against reactive oxygen species (ROS). Caffeine limits lipid peroxidation, oxidative DNA damage and oxidative stress. Caffeine, according to Herman and Herman, effectively and positively lowers the exposure and formation of free radicals in the cells, which slows down the aging process in your skin and scalp. In addition, when caffeine is obtained from natural plant sources, those can possess polyphenols and other antioxidants to help protect the skin. With its antioxidant activity, caffeine can help the skin be healthier, look younger and delay the appearance of aging, fine lines and wrinkles.

Caffeine May Help Reduce Inflammation

Caffeine works as an anti-inflammatory in a couple ways. Along the same way that caffeine is able to regulate ROS, caffeine is also shown to help with regulating inflammation. Caffeine is known as a vasoconstrictor, which means it makes blood vessels smaller. This action not only helps caffeine depuff the face and reduce puffiness under the eyes, but it can also help the face look less red and the scalp feel less irritated too.

Caffeine and Sun Damage

By now we all know (or have at least heard) about the dangers of UV exposure. It’s important that we wear sun protection. For the skin, that can come in the form of SPF skin care. For the scalp, official SPF for the hair does not exist (yet) which is why a hat or sunscreen on the hair line can help. When the damage is done, there is some evidence that not all hope may be lost. Recent studies have shown that applying caffeine to sunburnt skin might help reduce the risk of some cancers. When exposed to the sun, UV rays generate cell growth, leading to cancer and tumors. Enter caffeine which has been shown to generate a process called apoptosis, which effectively stops that cell growth, essentially, stopping prohibiting an issue before an issue even gets started. It goes without saying, caffeine isn’t a replacement for an SPF with a rating of 30 or higher but it may help after a day in the sun.

Although there is no hair SPF, here are ways to help repair sun damaged hair.

Caffeine for Cellulite Treatment

You may be wondering how does caffeine help with cellulite? Contrary to the belief that caffeine speeds up circulation to reduce the appearance of cellulite, caffeine possesses a lipolytic action. This means that caffeine can breakdown fats and lipids by hydrolysis which may help with the appearance of cellulite. Caffeine also acts as a diuretic and may also help to eliminate excess water. There are many caffeine-infused skincare products that may help to reduce the appearance of cellulite.  

Caffeine and Hair Loss

Hair loss and hair thinning is frustrating. You may feel like you’re the only one experiencing an increase in hair fall but you might be surprised to learn hair loss affects 1 in 2 men and 2 in 5 women over the age of 50. There are many reasons for hair loss and you may be wondering how to stop hair thinning. As we discussed earlier, when caffeine is applied to the hair follicle, it can penetrate within minutes and continue activity for hours afterwards. This makes caffeine an effective ingredient for healthy hair growth by itself, as well as a beneficial ingredient for improving the results of other ingredients.

Does Caffeine Stimulate Hair Growth?

When hair starts to thin, elevated levels of DHT, testosterone and 5-alpha-reductases are typically seen and interconnected. 5-alpha-reductase is the enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT. DHT is responsible for shortening the growth phase of the hair, minimizing the hair follicle and causing baldness. If 5-alpha-reductase levels increase, more testosterone is converted to DHT. This is where greater hair loss has been seen. Caffeine DHT effects come in by blocking the activity of the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme and therefore it doesn't inhibit hair growth. After just 2 minutes of application of a shampoo containing 1% caffeine, caffeine was able to penetrate and remain in the hair follicle for up to 48 hours, even after washing the hair. With caffeine in the follicle, hair bulbs were better nourished and hair growth was seen. In addition, inflammation plays a role in hair loss but with caffeine’s anti-inflammatory properties, it can help. To our knowledge and research, there have been no studies linking caffeine to hair loss.

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Caffeine Hair Growth Oil for Shinier, Stronger Hair

When your hair appears dull, dry and brittle, adding a moisturizing treatment infused with caffeine and other hair oils can help. The best hair products are formulated in a way that you get the moisturizing and repairing benefits of hair oils without weighing your hair down. Save Me From Tip to Root Hair Reboots are some of the best hair products. Every product is formulated with 1% caffeine for a healthy scalp. Each product includes a rich mix of hair oils that can help with hair repair, hair moisture, and growth. These leave-in treatments can also be mixed with your shampoo to create a caffeine shampoo for hair loss but we like to also suggest using them often as a leave-in scalp treatment for hair growth. Rinsing your hair with coffee may also improve dullness because of the caffeine and flavonoids in the coffee beans and a coffee hair rinse may help to increase circulation and nutrient delivery to the hair bulb, but to ensure you’re getting at least 1% caffeine, its best to use a caffeine hair product like Save Me From.

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How to Use Caffeine for Hair Growth?

Do you need a caffeine serum for hair? We think caffeine is a great ingredient but to effectively nourish and improve your hair (from tip to root), we recommend the 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 – and are all formulated with 1% caffeine benefits for hair.



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    About the author

    • the founder of save me from hair repair treatments
    • April Peck

      April Peck is a health, wellness & beauty professional from Washington state where she's spent 19 years in skin & hair care product development, educator & founder after earning her BS degree in Life Sciences: Health & Wellness Management. April strives to stay up-to-date & share the latest ways to biohack the body, skin & hair with you. She's passionate about wellness, family, self-empowerment, fitness, & entrepreneurship.

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      "I'd be lying if I said I only use one Save Me From hair treatment. However, the one I use most often & that I give credit to restoring my hair after cancer is Save Me From Age Acceleration. I make a point of applying a smidge to my scalp every day."

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