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Alpecin shampoo for hair loss

The idea of an affordable, over-the-counter hair loss treatment that is as easy to use as normal shampoo is undeniably appealing to many, especially considering that androgenetic alopecia affects around 80 million people in the US alone. [1] The question is, does something like that exist? Some would say yes, citing Alpecin shampoo as the answer to balding or thinning hair. In this article, we’ll break down exactly what Alpecin shampoo is, how it works to stimulate hair growth, and whether it’s worth it.

What is Alpecin Shampoo?

First of all, let’s understand exactly what Alpecin caffeine shampoo is. Alpecin is a brand of shampoo that sells shampoo containing the main ingredient of caffeine, which is said to help stimulate hair growth. There are many other caffeine shampoos on the market, but Alpecin has some other ingredients that make it stand out.

Shampoo for hair loss

Alpecin Shampoo: The Ingredients

Alpecin contains a long list of ingredients in its unique galenic formula, but the ones that are said to help with hair health and growth are:


The main active ingredient in Alpecin is caffeine. You might think that caffeine is something you only find in your morning cup of joe or that tempting piece of dark chocolate, but caffeine also works topically, and, according to some studies, it can even help with hair growth.


Zinc pca niacinamide is one form of Vitamin B3 and is often sold as a skincare product [2]. It can also be found in many foods and supplements. In terms of hair, niacinamide may help strengthen the strands, but studies show that it doesn’t actually help with growth. [3]

Castor Oil

Castor oil comes from castor seeds. It’s a very thick oil that can be used on the hair or skin. However, there’s little evidence that castor oil can actually grow hair when used alone. Despite this, it’s a good ingredient to have in Alpecin because it will make the hair appear softer and more luscious after use.

How Alpecin Works

Alpecin is said to stimulate hair growth at the hair roots thanks to its main active ingredient, caffeine. Some studies show [4] that caffeine works for treating alopecia by naturally blocking DHT, the hormone that often contributes to hair loss. It’s also known to help with blood circulation, which can, in turn, stimulate the hair follicles and lead to hair growth.

So – Does Alpecin Shampoo for Hair Loss Actually Work?

While the science seems to make sense, there isn’t enough evidence to say with absolute certainty that Alpecin shampoo works for hair loss. In fact, there was some controversy surrounding the brand and its promise of hair restoration when the Advertising Standards Authority said the lack of evidence could not support its claims:

‘We considered that we had not seen any studies of the actual product as used by consumers on their scalp using an accurate and objective analysis of hair growth, in a well-designed and well-conducted trial’ [5]

Does Alpecin work

So, while some studies suggest a possibility of hair growth, that should be taken with a pinch of salt.

That being said, there is still anecdotal evidence and some studies do suggest it can have a positive effect on the hair follicles and overall growth. With how affordable it is, it may be worth giving it a go. However, keep in mind that it probably won’t work miracles; if you want to see actual results, you may need to look at an alternative hair loss treatment.

How to Use Alpecin Shampoo for Best Results

Alpecin has clear instructions on how to use the shampoo. You need to use the shampoo once per day for best results. Start by wetting the hair, then apply the shampoo to the scalp and leave in for 2 minutes (as this allows the caffeine to penetrate the hair follicles). Then, rinse out thoroughly.

Alpecin says it takes three months to see results, so consistency is essential. The good news is that it can become an easy part of your daily showering routine.

Tracking Results

If you’re only experiencing minimal hair loss and want to give Alpecin caffeine shampoo a try, it’s a good idea to track your results (such as with a hair track app). That way, you can see for sure whether the shampoo makes a difference to your hair. It’s also worth noting other changes, such as side effects.

Potential Side Effects

Unfortunately, Alpecin shampoo can create side effects in some users, and it’s important to watch out for these. If you experience any of the following after using Alpecin shampoo, it’s best to discontinue use as soon as possible:

  • An Irritated Scalp
  • Dry Hair
  • Flakiness
  • Redness
  • Allergic Reactions

Should You Try Alpecin Shampoo for Hair Loss?

So, is Alpecin shampoo worth trying out? There are some benefits to using Alpecin shampoo for hair loss, with the two main ones being that it is 1: easy to use and 2: affordable. While there are potential side effects, they are rare. Even if the shampoo doesn’t work for hair growth, it still absolutely works as a shampoo, and the castor oil ingredient can help make your hair look wonderfully luscious.

However, if you have a lot of hair loss that you want to directly treat, we wouldn’t recommend a caffeine shampoo. There simply isn’t enough evidence to show that it would make any difference, and you might end up wasting time and money. If you’re serious about regrowing your hair, there are other results-driven solutions that might work better for you.

Alternative Hair Restoration Solutions

If you’re not convinced by Alpecin shampoo – or you have tried it for several months and noticed no change – then the good news is that there are other options for you to try.

Other Hair Boosting Shampoos

Other shampoos are said to help stimulate hair growth out there, such as Nizoral shampoo (which is usually used to treat fungal infections). If choosing one of these, always do your research – the more scientific evidence to back up the ingredients and their effect on hair growth, the better. However, it’s best to keep your expectations in check – you likely won’t experience the same results with a hair-boosting shampoo as you would with hair loss medications.


An ingredient that has been scientifically proven to help androgenetic alopecia is Minoxidil. You can get this topical medication over the counter, and it can be used by both men and women. Used daily, you can see hair regrowth in a matter of months. For some, it works exceptionally well.


Finasteride is another medication that is used to treat hair loss. It’s different from Minoxidil in a couple of ways – it’s usually taken orally, and you need a prescription to get it. It’s only prescribed to men and is typically used to treat an enlarged prostate, but the blocking of the DHT hormone can also help men regrow their hair.

Low-Level Laser Therapy 

Low-level laser therapy is offered by many clinics and is used to stimulate the hair follicles through the use of photons. You can also get devices to use the treatment at home (which may save money in the long run).

Hair Transplant

If other treatment options don’t work, a hair transplant surgery can be the best option. Hair transplants extract hair follicles and place them in the thinning/balding section of the hair. After several months, patients will experience natural hair growth there, with results often lasting forever.

Hair transplants are becoming increasingly common, with many celebrities being much more open and honest about aesthetic surgery. The best method is the FUE hair transplant, which extracts single hair follicles to create an endlessly natural result.

While Alpecin shampoo is a relatively cheap and easy hair restoration method, we typically recommend trying a hair loss medication like finasteride or minoxidil. Or, if your hair loss is quite extensive and you want a treatment that lasts forever so that you don’t have to worry about taking or applying medication each day, a hair transplant may be the better route.

Hair transplant consultation

A Hair Transplant: When is it Time?

Is a hair transplant too extreme for your hair loss? It’s hard to say when it’s time for a hair transplant, but it’s usually when hair loss has become noticeable and prevalent enough to hurt your confidence. To make the best decision for your scalp and yourself, you can book a no-obligation consultation with the Harley Street Hair Clinic team. You can also check out our patients gallery to get an idea of the results you can expect when choosing us.

In Summary

There is not yet enough evidence to show that caffeine in shampoo can reverse hair thinning or hair loss, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. Some studies show that caffeine shampoos like Alpecin can have a noticeably positive effect on hair growth, and there is a lot of anecdotal evidence. With how affordable this hair restoration option is, it’s certainly worth a go, especially if your hair loss is minimal. However, for those with more substantial hair loss, other treatments like finasteride or a hair transplant may work much better.


  1. https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/condition/androgenetic-alopecia/#frequency
  2. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1534/niacinamide#:~:text=Reviews%20(4)-,Overview,and%20to%20maintain%20healthy%20cells.
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31955438/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3500065/
  5. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/alpecin-caffeine-shampoo-banned-reduce-hair-loss-advertising-standards-authority-a8276951.html
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