Caffeine shampoo: How it works and 5 of the best to try

We’re all looking for ways to give our hair a much-needed boost, be it a moisturising treatment or a trim to keep the ends neat and tidy. Caffeine products have been around for a long time, but what do they actually do, and should you be investing in one? Here’s what you need to know, and five caffeine shampoo buys that’ll act like a shot of espresso for your mane. 

What is caffeine shampoo?

Caffeine shampoo first came into play way back in 1905, when German brand Alpecin created its bestselling version, which is still around today. 

‘Caffeine is a mild stimulant,’ explains Glenn Lyons, Consultant Trichologist at Philip Kingsley. ‘Caffeine shampoo and product were initially designed to hit the hair loss market due to its stimulating properties.’

Getty Images

The caffeine in Alpecin’s product (and others) is supposedly able to penetrate skin to douse the hair follicles and thus, re-invigorate your locks, making it an option for men and women losing their hair, or experiencing thinning. 

However, Lyons reminds us that, ‘there is limited much supporting medical evidence to support [caffeine] has any effect on hair loss,’ so it’s important to be realistic with your expectations. 

What are the benefits of caffeine shampoo? 

While it’s unclear whether caffeine can really promote huge levels of hair re-growth, it is still a go-to ingredient for hair that needs that special burst of stimulation, and to re-invigorate hair that needs a boost. For this reason, many brands include caffeine in their shampoos and other treatment products, along with other great, hair-boosting ingredients. 

caffeine shampoo
Getty Images

As well as a caffeine shampoo, Lyons also recommends investing in a mask that has caffeine in its ingredients list, such as the Philip Kinglsey Stimulating Scalp Mask. This is due to the fact leave-on products have more time to take effect at the scalp, rather than being washed off instantly as a shampoo often is. 

Who shouldn’t use caffeine shampoos?

Luckily if you like the sound of caffeine shampoos, you can give them a go, no matter your hair or scalp type. ‘Caffeine is a very safe ingredient especially as the percentage used within products is likely to be minuscule,’ says Lyons. 

Here are five of the best shampoos with caffeine in them to try: 

5 of the best caffeine shampoos 

caffeine shampoosSebamed Anti-Hairloss Shampoo, £5.79, Feel Unique

caffeine shampoos Umberto GianniUmberto Giannini Grow Root Stimulating Shampoo, £8.25, Boots

caffeine shampoos frankCaffeinated Scalp Scrub, £13.95, Frank Body

caffeine shampoos dr organicDr Organic Coffee Hair Stimulating Shampoo, £7.99, Holland & Barrett

caffeine shampoos alpecinAlpecin Caffeine Shampoo, £6, Boots