Have you seen the shampoo called Thicker Fuller Hair? It's by Dr Hoting Thickening Solutions and contains caffeine which, the label eludes, will “energize” your hair. Dr Hoting Thickening Solutions appears to be a division of the German company, Schwarzkopf (schwarzkopf.de) which is owned by the Henkel company (Henkel.com). Can this shampoo grow hair or make your hair thicker? Let's take a look at the research and see.
Caffeine And Hair Growth
Caffeine does wake people up but does caffeine wake up hair? In other words, does caffeine make hair stand up or add fullness, thickness or body to hair? I was curious so I wanted to take a close look at Thicker Fuller Hair to see if there is anything to this.
If you go to ThickerFullerHair.com you see there there are several products. I want to focus only on the shampoo since that's what I see the most in stores. Specifically I'm only interested in the “Caffeine Energizer” that is displayed prominently on the front of the bottle.
The ingredient called Cell-U-Plex is said to be the secret sauce in the shampoo that's supposed to make hair thicker and fuller. The caffeine has been added to Cell-U-Plex to make it work better – at least that's what I get from reading the Thicker Fuller Hair website.
The website says that Dr Hotings Caffeine Energizer is supposed to invigorate and energize the scalp. Well, I bought a bottle to try it out. I didn't feel any tingling in my scalp and I don't think my hair (what I have left) seems anymore energized or invigorated than when I use other shampoos. It's not a bad shampoo. It cleans your hair like it's supposed to. But I didn't notice any effect from the caffeine.
But my feelings don't matter. The important thing is can we find any science that caffeine helps hair? Specifically:
- Does caffeine make hair thicker or fuller?
- Does caffeine stop hair loss?
Well, the Thicker Fuller Hair website doesn't list any proof that caffeine helps hair. So I did some digging and to my surprise I did find some research on caffeine and hair.
Current thinking about baldness is that men lose their hair because DHT or dihydrotestosterone (a form of testosterone) shrivels up hair follicles, causing hair to get thinner and eventually fall out.
Let's now look at the research on this.
Caffeine And Hair Research
One study published in 2007 noticed that caffeine not only reduced the suppression of hair growth by testosterone treatment, but also that caffeine seemed to stimulate hair follicle growth.
This study did not use shampoo. Rather the researchers treated the hair follicles of 14 men with testosterone (which reduced hair growth) and again with caffeine, which not only counteracted the effect of testosterone but also seemed to cause some hair follicle growth. The hair growth was seen in a test tube -not on the head.
In another caffeine hair growth study published in 2007, it was found that a shampoo containing caffeine does indeed penetrate hair follicles. The shampoo was left on for 2 minutes. This study does not seem to have tested if the shampoo stopped hair from falling out.
Thicker Fuller Hair does not tell us how much caffeine is in the shampoo and I could not find any instructions about how long to leave the shampoo on the head.
In a 2014 caffeine /hair study, hair follicles from men and women were treated with testosterone or testosterone +caffeine. These researchers noted that caffeine improved the hair shaft elongation and prolonged the hair growth phase as well as stimulated the production of various proteins in hair.
Studies such as these appear to show that caffeine appears to have some effect on hair. Most of the studies however appear to be limited to the test tube. A more real-life test would be to see if it grows hair on the heads of people.
Who Is Dr Hoting?
I was curious who Dr Hoting was since his name is displayed on the shampoo bottle. According to the Schwarzkopf website, his name is Dr. Edo Hoting. According to Schwarzkopf, he is a dermatologist. I did turn up scientific studies that had his name so he is also a scientist and researcher.
So what can we make of all of this? Well, there are a couple of studies (I could only find 2) hinting that caffeine may play a role in slowing hair loss, and maybe that caffeine may help hair regrow. This is interesting but no study so far shows that any caffeine shampoo stops or slows hair loss in people who use the shampoo regularly.
The company that makes Thicker Fuller Hair shampoo doesn't specifically claim its caffeine helps hair loss, but the statement that caffeine invigorates and energizes the scalp, makes me think they want people to believe caffeine has some stimulatory effect. As I said, my scalp felt no different when I use Thicker Fuller Hair. It's a fine shampoo but does it help hair loss any better than pouring Diet Coke on your head?
Does It Work?
While I don't see any evidence for Thicker and Fuller Hair, there is research on caffeine and hair growth. The research, for the most part, appears limited to the test tube studies, but it's intriguing and I am looking forward to reading human trials when they come out.
Personally, I don't think taking caffeine pills would help hair growth. If this is going to work, I believe the caffeine would need to be applied directly to the scalp. Options for this might include crushing caffeine pills and mixing them with water (or shampoo) or use of caffeine powder mixed with water (or shampoo). Mind you, I'm taking a guess at this, based on the research I've seen.
How much to use? Ultimately, I don't know but I'd start with only a little bit to see how you react. Also, if this is going to work, I see no reason to use any product that contains anything other than caffeine. No other herbs etc. should be needed. Likewise, there is no reason to spend a lot of money on a caffeine product either. If you try, this and it worked – or didn't – I hope you will leave a comment below. I'm really curious about this.
Here is caffeine on Amazon if you want to compare prices and see what others are saying.