Don't you love it when you learn that some of the things you do everyday have added and unknown benefits? We sure do! A perfect example of this is coffee and tea! Well, caffeine to be exact. We all need that daily pick me up to get our days going or that relaxing cup of tea to settle us. Luckily for us, this caffeine intake can help prevent hair loss and promote hair growth.
What is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a stimulant to our central nervous system, meaning it increases alertness, attention, energy, and physical activity when ingested. Caffeine is found in the seeds, nuts, and leaves of plants native to Africa, East Asia, and South America. It is also naturally found in various tea leaves including green and black tea.
How does it Affect Our Hair?
Hair growth starts at the hair follicle. We work to stimulate our hair follicles to promote growth then care for the length of our hair to retain the growth and see length. Caffeine has the ability to interact with and stimulate hair follicles during the initial phases of hair growth, promoting growth and preventing abnormal hair loss. It does this through targeting a hormone called Dihydrotestosterone or DHT. High levels of DHT can shrink hair follicles and shorten the hair growth cycle, causing hair to grow out thinner and more fragile, as well as fall out faster. DHT can also make it take longer for your follicles to produce more hair once it falls out. Long story short: increased levels of DHT leads to hair loss. Caffeine blocks the effects of DHT on the scalp, preventing hair loss.
In a 2014 study, scientists found that treating patients with caffeine resulted in:
- Hair shaft elongation, meaning hair roots were longer and wider giving a fuller appearance
- Increased hair growth stage
- Increased keratin production, a key structural hair protein
How To Use Caffeine in Your Hair for Hair Growth:
Unfortunately, drinking your caffeine isn't enough to see the benefits in your hair. Applying the caffeine directly to the scalp and hair is definitely the way to go. Rinses are a 4cVoice favorite, tea rinses in particular! Rinses can be made using coffee or tea and are applied after shampooing and conditioning the hair. The rinse is applied to the entire head while hair is still damp and rinsed out with water. Hair is moisturized and styled as usual afterwards.
How to Make a Coffee/Tea Rinse:
2-4 cups of brewed coffee/tea (you will need more or less depending on your hair length)
Spray or applicator bottle
Plastic cap or bottle
Brew 2-4 cups of coffee/tea in a glass bowl with boiling water.
Allow coffee/tea to cool down completely after brewing. Pour brew into a spray or applicator bottle.
Wash and deep condition hair as normal. While hair is still damp, apply coffee/tea to hair and scalp making sure to coat all of your hair.
Massage brew into scalp and strands to allow caffeine to penetrate. Cover hair with plastic cap/bag for about 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, rinse brew out with water and proceed to moisturize and style hair!
With these rinses, you'll notice your hair feels stronger immediately!
How to Make a Tea Mist:
After adding caffeine rinses to my hair regimen, I began using tea mists in between wash days for the added benefit.
Brew 2-4 cups of tea (depending on length of hair)
Pour brew into spray bottle and infuse with essential oils. Some favorites are: lavender, rosemary, cedarwood, tea tree, and peppermint!
Apply liberally to scalp and hair as needed. Massage tea into hair and scalp.
Follow up with the LCO/LOC method or whichever moisturizing routine works for your hair!
- Caffeine can cause drying in hair initially. Make sure you deep condition hair prior to using and moisturize your hair and seal in the moisture to prevent dryness.
- Patch test your hair to see how your hair responds.
- Start with a more diluted brew and increase concentration as your hair gets used to caffeine.
- Coffee rinses can dye hair. If you aren't looking to dye your hair darker, tea rinses may be better for you
- There are various teas that can be used for these rinses that range in the benefits they bring to your hair. You can use single teas or blends. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on teas that are great to use in your hair!
Remember, there is no right or wrong way to apply caffeine to your hair. Some people use tea rinses after shampooing and follow up with a deep conditioner for the added moisture. Others mix the caffeine in with leave in conditioners for their moisturization process. Find what works for you and your hair and stick to it! You will see healthier stronger hair in no time.
Have you tried caffeine in your hair regimen? How has is worked for you? Comment below!