According to Dr. Andrew Weil, a credible scientific study has suggested coffee may be able to prevent some baldness. Unfortunately, to be effective, you'd have to drink more coffee than you're probably comfortable consuming. The study indicated it would take 60 cups of coffee per day to have a significant effect on your scalp. Nevertheless, there is a topical product available, and there is continued research in using coffee to prevent male pattern baldness.
Male Pattern Baldness
Genetics certainly play a role in male pattern baldness; however, dermatologists believe that high levels of testosterone also contribute, according to Weil. The excess testosterone in the body breaks down into a chemical called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. This molecule actually damages hair follicles, which ultimately leads to baldness, states an article in the "Daily Mail." German researchers in the Department of Dermatology and Allergology at Freidrich-Schiller University in Jena conducted a study in 2006 that confirmed this belief.
The study, published in the "International Journal of Dermatology" in January 2007, also revealed a link between caffeine and hair loss treatment. While caffeine does not directly inhibit the production of DHT like some anti-balding solutions, the study suggests that caffeine stimulates hair growth and helps make hair follicles resistant to the deleterious effect of testosterone.
The German researchers conducted an experiment on 14 men in various stages of hair loss. They took biopsies of their scalps and placed them in various solutions containing different concentrations of caffeine or testosterone. In just five to eight days, the hairs in the caffeine solutions had grown by 33 to 40 percent. The researchers observed Increased hair growth within the first 24 hours, reports Hair Loss News.
Coffee, of course, is a source of caffeine, but it is an oral source. The caffeine is absorbed through the digestive system and distributed evenly throughout the body. As a result, the concentration of caffeine reaching the scalp does not reach significant levels without extreme levels of consumption--60 cups per day. To be effective, patients would have to apply caffeine directly to their scalps, notes Hair Loss News.
At least one company, Alpecin, has already developed and marketed a topical hair loss product based on the German study. Used like a shampoo, Alpecin is supposed to regenerate hair growth in three to four months. Further developments in the production of topical caffeine-based dermatological products, perhaps based on coffee extracts, remains one of the most promising directions of hair loss prevention.