The active substance caffeine against hair loss

What exactly is caffeine? And how does this substance help against hair loss? You can read more about the active substance caffeine here!

What is caffeine?

What is caffeine?

Caffeine is a xanthine alkaloid and it is the most consumed substance worldwide. It is used in medicine as a stimulant and a diuretic. By the way, caffeine is not only found in coffee; it is also found in various concentrations in tea, cocoa, cola nuts, mate, guarana and chocolate. If you extract the caffeine, you will get a white, odourless powder with a bitter taste that resembles baking powder.

How caffeine works

Caffeine stimulates the metabolism, heart function and respiration. The consumption of caffeine narrows the blood vessels in the brain, thereby reducing fatigue. But caffeine is more than just a stimulant; researchers have discovered additional positive properties. Caffeine can also protect against adult-onset diabetes and cancer of the liver, and it promotes insulin sensitivity and controls hunger.

Another effect of caffeine ‒ although caffeine itself is not a hormone, it binds to the sexual hormone binding globulin (SHBG), which is an important factor for hormonal activity in metabolism. It can also have a positive effect on breast cancer and can contribute to reducing the risk of one form of skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma). Furthermore, research confirms that caffeine encourages hair growth.

The 8 effects of caffeine

The 8 effects of caffeine

Caffeine is the most consumed substance in the world. Researchers have discovered eight positive effects that caffeine can have on the human body.

  1. Caffeine can protect against type 2 diabetes (adult-onset diabetes) [1]
  2. Caffeine can protect against cancer of the liver [2]
  3. Caffeine affects the fat hormone adiponectin (controls hunger) [3]
  4. Caffeine can have a favourable effect on breast cancer [4]
  5. Caffeine can contribute to reducing the risk of one type of skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma) [5]
  6. Caffeine binds to the sexual hormone binding globulin (SHBG) [6]
    An important factor in hormonal activities during metabolism.
    But, caffeine is not a hormone.
  7. Caffeine can have a positive effect on insulin sensitivity [7]
  8. Caffeine promotes hair growth (see Alpecin) [8, 9]

Preventing hereditary hair loss with caffeine

Thanks to the galenics in the Alpecin products, the caffeine reaches the hair shaft directly

The hair can grow healthy and strong only if the hair roots receive an adequate supply of energy and nutrients. In hereditary hair loss, the roots of the hair are sensitive to the so-called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This can prevent the formation of the energy messenger compound, cAMP, which is essential for metabolism in the hair roots. As a result, the growth phases of the hair roots are reduced – hair loss and balding are the possible results.

Caffeine can counteract this. Studies prove that caffeine inhibits the negative effects of testosterone on hair growth and it balances out the resultant lack of energy. It extends the growth phases of the hair roots back to the normal length so that hair can grow even into old age.

The Dr. Wolff research team has succeeded in getting the optimum concentration of caffeine, in the form of shampoos or liquids, directly to the roots of the hair. The Alpecin caffeine complex products contain caffeine, zinc and niacin. Every time you wash your hair, the caffeine comes into contact with the scalp and penetrates the hair shaft thanks to a special pharmaceutical carrier base (galenic formula). There, it protects the hair roots from the testosterone attack and its positive effect unfolds; the caffeine encourages the activity of the hair roots, thereby stimulating hair growth.

Caffeine every day

Studies at Berlin University Hospital prove that after just two minutes of exposure, the caffeine can be absorbed by the hair follicles. It can be detected in the follicles for up to 24 hours and it protects the hair roots from the negative effects of testosterone. The hair roots should thus be given caffeine every day in order to guarantee the energy supply and prevent hereditary hair loss.

Drinking coffee alone is not enough; even 50 cups of coffee a day would not provide the hair roots with adequate caffeine. We therefore recommend the Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo for every hair wash. The supplementary use of Alpecin Caffeine Liquid is highly recommended for people who do not wash their hair on a daily basis.

Prevent hair loss early

The growth cycle of each and every hair is limited; when the reserves have been exhausted, no new hair can grow. The possible result: baldness

Don't let it get that far. Prevent hair loss while your hair roots are still able to use existing reserves. With the regular use of one of Alpecin's caffeine products, the growth phases of your hair are restored to the normal periods, enabling hair growth even into old age.

Our Alpecin recommendation


1) Biessels G. J., J. of Alzheimer’s Disease, 2010, 20, 143–150.
2) Modi A. A., Feld J. J. et al, Hepatology, 2010, 51, 201–209.
3) Williams C.J., DIABETES CARE, 2008, 31, 504–507.
4) Jernstroem H., Br. J. of Cancer, 2008, 99, 1534–1538.
5) Song F., Cancer Res, 2012, 72, 3282–3289.
6) Goto A., DIABETES, 2011, 60, 269-275.
7) Mark A. Pereira, Emily D. Parker, Aaron R. Folsom, ARCH INTERN MED., 2006, 166, 1311–1316.
8) Sisto T., Bussoletti C., Celleno L., J. Appl. Cosmetol., 2013, 31, 47–56.
9) Fischer T.W., Hipler U.C., Elsner P., Int. J. of Dermatology, 2007, 46, 27–35.