German Christmas gifts: Caffeine shampoo

German Christmas gifts: Caffeine shampoo

by Karen Bradbury
Stripes Europe

Do your dreams for long and luscious locks taper out like a bad case of split ends? Is that male pattern baldness getting patchier by the day? Could an over-the-counter shampoo make any difference?

If the hype is to be believed, it’s possible that some shampoos can have at least somewhat of an impact. A German brand that’s been heavily marketed in the U.K. is that of Alpecin, where their slogan is “German engineering for your hair.” While this flashy ad reminiscent of race cars suggests this product must be something new on the market, its forerunner dates back to 1930, when a special care product for the scalp was developed and named Alpecin.

The not-so-secret ingredient in the Alpecin of today is the same substance that helps many of us get up and out of bed each day: caffeine. But how can something applied topically make a difference to hair growth, which happens at the root? Caffeine has a number of stimulating effects, among them preventing the premature exhaustion of hair growth caused by the impacts of testosterone.

Enter a similar product, made by the same company Dr. Wolff, but targeting female consumers. Plantur 39 claims to provide support and protection for damaged and stressed hair, particularly for those over the age of 40.

To experience the maximum benefit of either shampoo, it’s recommended to leave it on the scalp for at least two minutes, to allow for maximum penetration into the hair follicles. For those who don’t need to wash their hair daily, it’s recommended to apply one of their tonics, which can be left in the hair without rinsing on those alternate days.

What’s important to note here is that the product doesn’t claim to restore hair once it’s been lost; rather, it’s promoted as a way to hold on to what’s left up there. Plantur 39 says the ingredients in their Phyto-Caffeine Shampoo activate the hair roots during washing, restore the strength of dry, porous hair and leave the hair feeling fuller and silkier.

To buy or not to buy? At 7.55 euros for a 250 ml bottle of the above-mentioned product, someone experiencing the agony of hair loss might well find it worth a shot.

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