by Sabrina Perkins of SeriouslyNatural.org
When we think of caffeine we most think of coffee, tea or even soda. We also think of the negative effects they can have on our bodies and how we can cut down on our usage but just like anything else, there is two sides to a story.
Caffeine gets a bad rap and undeservingly so. Caffeine is believed to help prevent diseases like stroke and certain cancers and more than 80 percent of the United States adults consume caffeine every day in one form or another. Such a widely used ingredient has been recently found helpful in several ways and even for our hair follicles. Surprising for some, so let's explore exactly what caffeine and and how it helps our hair.
What Is Caffeine?
Considered the most widely consumed psychoactive substance worldwide, caffeine is a natural stimulant present in over 60 plant sand the main ingredient in coffee. Caffeine is the 'socially acceptable psychoactive drug' and in its purest form, caffeine is a white crystalline powder, extremely bitter and stimulates the central nervous system.
It seems the biggest concerns arise when consuming too much and according to the Mayo Clinic, consuming more than 500-600 mg a day can lead to irritability, nervousness, an upset stomach, and insomnia just to name a few. Despite the negative affects, it has been found helpful in protecting persons from Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia, lowering the risk of Parkinson’s and Type II Diabetes and can even fight depression.
Caffeine is amazing for hair in that is helps it to grow and even glow. Here's a breakdown of what you can expect from using it:
How Does Caffeine Make Hair Glow?
Caffeine must be applied directly to hair for this benefit (through coffee) which adds shine as well as depth to dark hair. Great for hair butters or conditioners to just add to them to increase hair's natural sheen or shine that many naturals complain their hair is lacking.
How Does Caffeine Make Hair Grow?
The biggest benefit caffeine brings to hair is to improve hair growth and structure. Caffeine stimulates and interacts with the hair follicles and even regulates hair growth so it can promote it and thwart hair loss. You can just keep drinking your morning cup of Joe to gain that benefit or you can take it a step further (like I do) and enlist in a coffee rinse from time to time.
The International Journal of Dermatology found that caffeine was a great simulator of the hair shaft and help hair grow faster by blocking the effects of DHT, a chemical known for damaging hair follicles. They even found that caffeine enhanced hair shaft elongation and prolonged anagen (growing phase) hair phase which is excellent as that phase naturally decreases as we age.
Caffeine is a good thing for our hair for sheen and growth and I love it for hair rinses and even scalp exfoliations. There are also some really popular products that harness the benefits of caffeine like OGX Anti-Hair Fallout Niacin3 & Caffeine Root Stimulator Spray and MARC ANTHONY Grow Long Caffeine Ginseng Conditioner. While not everyone can appreciate a heaping amount of coffee, consider the caffeine and what it can do to create a healthier environment for your hair.
Have you harnessed the power of caffeine for your hair?
Caffeine definitely minimizes excessive shedding for me. I've experienced the effects first hand and it only takes one or two rinses to see the results! I prefer strong black tea rinses or I simply use black tea in my henna glosses.