The gorgeous Milan recently sent me a request for information on tea rinses specifically with tea with caffeine. The forum world is buzzing about the magic of caffeine with everything from shedding to shine to hair growth. So, caffeine is Fridays food for thought!
I have seen that one particular paper has attracted a lot of interest because many people say that it proves that caffeine can increase hair growth (International Journal of Dermatology, pg 27-35, 2007).
Well here are the facts
1. People taking part in the study
Males suffering from hair loss related to testosterone balance
2. How the study was carried out
Ok this part will hurt to read. Hair follicles (the root of the hair) were extracted from the male patients (meaning a tiny bit of scalp and skin). These follicles were then treated with caffeine in the lab (not directly on the patient).
3. Why caffeine and why these patients?
Caffeine is thought to stimulate cell metabolism which could mean the cell can grow in size and possibly multiply in number. The rationale behind this study is that males suffering from this type of hair loss would have smaller follicles as a result and caffeine could stimulate the follicles to increase in size or number.
4. The result of the study
Yes caffeine did stimulate growth of the follicles in vitro (i.e in the petri dish)
5. The result for you
Be careful how you interpret this paper. The entire experiment took place in a lab not on a person's head. Also, the hair tested was that of people experiencing hair loss.
My view - I would really suspect that the effectiveness of this on a person is limited because surely if it was as simple as applying some caffeine to hair then we would have a hoard of men pouring (cold) coffee onto their heads and proclaiming to have a cure for baldness (if you think it needs curing!).
I have not come across any research relating caffeine to hair in any substantial way (except for the fact that it can actually be stored in the follicle and can also enter the blood stream though hair and skin .........rivetting for me, maybe not for all), but if you have and want me to check it out.........let me know!!