Research carried out at the Department of Dermatology and Allergology, at the Univeristy of Jena, in Germany, studied the effects of both caffeine and testosterone on in vitro hair follicle samples.
The research aimed to determine the affect of both these substances on androgenetic alopecia and (AGA), a form of hereditary hair loss. This condition affects 50 per cent of men aged 50 years old and currently feeds a huge industry that includes topical, oral and surgical treatments.
The research found that caffeine application spurred growth, while testosterone clearly impeded growth.
Hair follicles from 14 biopsies were taken from the top of the scull of male patients and the samples were cultivated for 120hrs to 192hrs, with hair shaft elongation measured on a daily basis and at the end of the test period.
The results showed significant growth suppression in hair follicles treated with 5 micro grams per milliliter. This was countered by caffeine tested in concentrations of 0.0001 per cent and 0.005 per cent.
The researchers said that, on the contrary, caffeine significantly boosted growth of the hair follicles, leading the team to conclude that caffeine is a stimulator of hair growth and 'may have important clinical impact in the management of AGA'.
The findings back up research carried out by Alpecin Cosmetics, which showed that its After Shampoo Liquid could help to fight the effects of baldness thanks to the inclusion of caffeine.
In a study carried out two years ago, the company claimed that this was because the caffeine contained in the product helped to regulate the testosterone levels, one of the primary causes of AGA.