Efficacy of a caffeine-containing liquid against premature hereditary hair loss in men

Conducted at the Center for Cosmetic Research of Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome


About half of all men at the age of 50 suffer from hereditary hair loss. Due to genetic predisposition, this number could even increase in the future. Therefore, great efforts are being made in order to achieve effective prevention against premature hair loss. Caffeine is a particularly interesting substance, since its performance-enhancing impact is already known.

Based on ex-vivo tests, we already know that caffeine can result in growth effects in hair roots. However, the exact mechanism is as yet unknown. The known effect of caffeine in the energy metabolism may be a key in the efficacy against premature hair loss.

As a result, the objective of this study was to confirm the clinical significance of caffeine in a caffeine-containing liquid for treating hereditary hair loss.


In order to test the cosmetic effect of the caffeine-containing liquid (additional ingredients include zinc, niacin, menthol and vitamins E and A) in treating male hair loss, an application test was conducted at Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome.

40 male test subjects aged 18 to 56 with an average age of 37 with beginning to advanced hair thinning participated in the four-month study. A quantity of about 7 ml of the liquid was applied to the scalp once a day, massaged in and not rinsed out. The use of other products against hair loss was forbidden for the entire duration of application. The test for assessing the intensity of hair loss was performed based on a hair pull test at the start and after two and four months of application.

In addition, the test subjects were asked for their subjective assessment with regard to the cosmetic efficacy of the test product in a questionnaire. This personal questionnaire was verified through an assessment by the clinical trial staff.

Graphic 1: Decrease of hair loss in the hair pull test

Graphic 2: Test subjects with reduced hair loss


After just two months of application of the caffeine-containing liquid, the hair pull test showed a significant decrease of telogen hair (hair in its non-active resting phase), which further significantly decreased after four months (Graphic 1).

The extent of test subjects with a positive development was 78% after two months and 83% of all test subjects after another two months (Graphic 2).

This objective finding correlated very well with the assessment of the test subjects and the principal investigator. After two months, a decrease in hair loss was subjectively stated by 30% of the test subjects and by 85% after four months. Prior to application, the severity of hair loss was rated “moderate to strong” by 77% of the test subjects. After four months of application of the caffeine-containing liquid, 68% of the test subjects rated their hair loss as “very low to low”. Accordingly, satisfaction and the rate of recommendation were at 85% after conclusion of the study.

Apart from the reduction in hair loss, the liquid also demonstrated very good cosmetic product properties, since the hair structure was rated firm, strong and well-conditioned based on daily application. Since male hair loss must be fought permanently and systematically, product acceptance is very important. This is the only way to ensure long-term success.


The caffeine-containing liquid is an active ingredient solution with very good skin and hair tolerability and very convenient application. The active ingredient base ensures good availability of caffeine in the hair root and in the scalp. After just two months, the users noticed a significant decrease in hair loss, which was very significant after four months. The effects are statistically significant.

After this clinical test, we can judge in summary that the caffeine-containing liquid is very suitable for long-term application against hereditary hair loss and represents an interesting and promising solution to the problem.

C. Bussoletti, F. Mastropietro, L. Celleno, J. Appl. Cosmetol. 2011, 29, 167-180.