Surprising Way Caffeine Can Benefit Hair Growth
A cup of joe can do much more than just wake you up nowadays. We’ve known for a while that, when applied topically, caffeine plumps up the skin and reduces fine lines, as in eye creams and anti-aging serums. Now, a new study indicates that our stimulant of choice also helps to promote hair growth, giving us all the more reason to tout its lesser-known benefits.
Here’s how it works: Caffeine specifically works by targeting DHT, the hormone responsible for hair loss. “DHT restricts the follicle’s ability to produce hair growth,” says Robert Dorin, D.O. ACOFP of True & Dorin Medical Group. “When it attaches itself to the receptor cells of genetically predisposed hair follicles, DHT prevents proteins, vitamins and minerals from providing the needed nourishment to sustain life in these follicles and with this, also causes them to shrink. Caffeine causes the hair cells to produce more ATP (the energy currency of our biological cells) and helps keep the hair follicle in an Anagen growth phase, he active growth phase of hair follicles. The cells in the root of the hair are dividing rapidly, adding to the hair shaft. During this phase the hair grows about 1 cm every 28 days.”
“Caffeine has been shown to stimulate hair shaft elongation, prolong the hair’s growth cycle, and stimulate the hair matrix keratinocytes, which are the cells responsible for hair growth,” Dr. Dorin adds. “Although more research needs to be done, it appears that a leave-in topical product is necessary to have this type of effect described”—which means that, no, you won’t be able to score caffeine’s hair growth benefits from your morning cup of coffee alone. The best way to get the good stuff to your strands is with a topical treatment that effectively absorbs into your hair follicles. “The best kind of caffeinated product to use is one that actually sticks and stays on your hair for full effectiveness.”
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