Top 5 Best Caffeine Shampoos • (Ultimate 2024 Reviews)

Last Updated Feb 15, 2024

Does caffeine shampoo work? Every man on the planet who doesn’t purposely shave his head checks his hairline. At age 35, I’ve noticed a large uptick in the number of men I meet who are concerned about their hairline. Is there a way to stop hair loss and thicken thinning hair naturally? I believe there is! Welcome to my guide to choosing the best caffeine shampoo.

Several years ago, I stumbled upon a bottle of this shampoo that looked like a bottle of motor oil. I’ve had long hair most of my life and am always looking for ways to boost my hair health. I’m also guilty of checking my hairline and finding ways to naturally keep it in check.

I’ve heard enough Finasteride horror stories to know I’d rather go bald than mess with my DHT. Luckily, I’ve done quite a good job with my mane, and caffeine shampoo is one of my secret ingredients for success.

In this article, I share my top 5 best caffeine shampoos and a buyer’s guide explaining how caffeine shampoo combats hair loss.

Brand Active Ingredients & Highlights
#1 Sebamed Anti Hair Loss Scalp Activating Shampoo
  • My Personal Favorite – This Stuff Smells Amazingly Good!
  • Vitamin B3 (NHE Complex)
  • Caffeine to energize hair roots
  • Gingko Biloba Extract – nourishes and strengthens hair follicles by enhancing blood flow to the scalp
  • pH-Balanced to 5.5 (a perfect match for healthy skin and scalp)
  • Soap and alkali-free ingredients
  • Paraben-Free
  • The ingredients work to stimulate hair follicles and the scalp for enhanced hair growth, ideal for men with thinning hair or any man who wants thicker hair
  • Clinically-proven positive results in 90% of men after 6 months of use
  • Made in Germany (same as Alpecin)
#2 Alpecin C1 Caffeine Shampoo
  • My Second Favorite – This is the German brand that started it all
  • An optimal dose of caffeine precisely engineered for the best effect
  • Unlike Sebamed, Alpecin does contain ingredients that may irritate your scalp. If you have a sensitive scalp like me, Sebamed is a better choice.
  • Alpecin also offers an After Shampoo Liquid for men who are serious about unlocking the scalp-rejuvenating effects of caffeine
  • Men who suffer from dandruff may want to consider Alpecin Double Effect or Alpecin Dandruff Killer Shampoo
  • Gives a pleasantly mild tingly feeling when applied
  • Made in Germany
#3 Ultrax Labs Hair Surge Extra Strength Formula
  • Incredible before and after results with this special formula!
  • Contains Ketoconazole 0.2%, a potent anti-dandruff ingredient that’s also essential for combatting hair loss due to fungal or inflammatory problems (the same active ingredient as Nizoral)
  • Caffeine to stimulate your scalp
  • Saw Palmetto blocks the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme which facilitates the conversion of testosterone into DHT in the scalp (the main culprit in a receding hairline)
  • Gentle enough to use 5x a week and perfect for men and women
  • A hint of peppermint oil to achieve that tingly feeling
  • Salon-quality results
  • Cruelty-Free shampoo made in the USA
  • A perfect match for Ultrax Labs Hair Solaye caffeine conditioner for hair loss
#4 Lipogaine Hair Rejuvenating Shampoo
  • Contains my favorite ingredient of them all, castor oil
  • Biotin
  • Caffeine
  • Argan Oil
  • Castor Oil
  • Saw Palmetto
  • Also contains black seed Sativa oil and He Shou Wu to stimulate hair growth
  • Lipogaine is perhaps the best all-in-1 caffeine shampoo on this list, particularly for people who want voluminous well-hydrated hair
  • Castor oil for hair loss prevention is my #1 go-to treatment, it works wonders to fight against thinning hair at the crown and hairline
  • No SLS or other harsh chemicals
#5 TruePure Natural Caffeine Shampoo
  • An excellent fragrance-free non-GMO caffeine shampoo
  • Caffeine (CoffeePure Complex)
  • Jojoba Oil to moisturize hair strands and remove excess sebum
  • Contains niacin, red clover, and aloe to further nurture and invigorate your scalp
  • Perfect for dry, brittle or excessively oily hair (boost volume and shine)
  • Fragrance and Sulfate-Free (gentle on the scalp)
  • Made for men and women
  • Cruelty-Free, Paraben-Free Shampoo made and developed in California

Caffeine Shampoo Reviews & Guide

Now that you know the top 5 brands, you may still be wondering: How does caffeine shampoo work to prevent and reverse hair loss? In this guide, I explain how it works and how to choose the best caffeine shampoo for your hair type.

How does caffeine shampoo work?

Alpecin is the grandfather of all caffeine shampoos and the most trustworthy caffeine shampoo brand. There’s an exhaustive list of studies provided on Alpecin’s website proving the effectiveness of caffeine shampoo (*).

Since most men and women want to use caffeine shampoo to stop hair loss and thicken thinning hair, I’ll focus on how caffeine shampoo combats hair loss.

It may seem odd to think that caffeine literally energizes your hair follicles, but this is actually what it does. Hereditary hair loss aka male pattern baldness is due to DHT preventing the formation of the energy messenger compound, cAMP.

Healthy metabolism in the hair roots requires cAMP. Without adequate cAMP, hair sheds prematurely because it’s not given a chance to live out the full set of hair growth phases.

You’ve probably noticed that most balding men have a large number “baby hairs” around a receding hairline or balding crown. Eventually, the baby hairs stop growing altogether and full-on baldness ensues.

man with healthy hair and hairline

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Caffeine Stops DHT-Related Hair Loss

Alpecin studies found that a mixture of caffeine, niacin, and zinc combined with Alpecin’s “galenic” carrier formula protects hair against the damaging effects of DHT in the scalp.

Caffeine works to energize hair roots which allows them to live out their full life cycle. Once the hair roots are treated with caffeine, the power of their defense system against DHT amplifies. For this reason, it’s critical to use caffeine shampoo continuously for best results. Caffeine allows those thin “baby hairs” to fully mature.

The beauty of caffeine is it comes with none of the nasty side effects that accompany DHT-blocking Finasteride-based drugs such as Propecia. Some men develop gynecomastia aka “man boobs” from taking that stuff (*).

Caffeine Shampoo and Castor Oil

In my experience, the combination of caffeine shampoo and castor oil treatment gets more of those baby hairs at my hairline to sprout. Then, with continued use, the baby hairs turn back into thick hair strands. It’s a wonderful feeling to actually watch the hair become thicker.

I recommend my hair loss oil recipe for men to see exactly how I use castor oil with other healthy oils to boost my hair health and stop dandruff dead in its tracks.

How to Use Caffeine Shampoo for Best Results

I’ve used caffeine shampoo for several years and follow the Alpecin directions for the best results. Unlike normal shampoo that you wash off after about 30 seconds, caffeine shampoo takes more time to penetrate hair roots.

The coolest part is once the caffeine penetrates hair roots, it remains active for up to 24 hours. This is another reason why it’s important to use caffeine shampoo every day to achieve the best results.

By using it every day, you supply your hair roots with the around-the-clock caffeine supply they need to ward off the damaging effects of DHT.

Be sure to allow the caffeine shampoo to sit on your scalp for a minimum of 2 minutes.

My Shampooing Method

Here are the steps I follow for oily hair. My Sicilian genes blessed me with great hair that’s also quick to turn oily:

  1. First, I quickly wash my hair with the caffeine shampoo or another shampoo if I want to conserve the caffeine shampoo. I do this to remove all the dirt and excess oil before I allow the caffeine shampoo to sit on my scalp.
  2. After about a minute of lathering and gently massaging, I wash out the shampoo thoroughly.
  3. I then follow up the first washing with a second washing using the caffeine shampoo.
  4. I spread the caffeine shampoo all over my scalp before working it into a lather.
  5. Once I spread it evenly, I began gently massaging it throughout my scalp to work up a lather, concentrating on the crown and hairline. The gentle massage also stimulates blood flow to maximize effectiveness.
  6. To make the process of leaving the shampoo on my scalp less tedious, I wait to wash my body until after I apply the caffeine shampoo.
  7. By the end of my shower, it’s been more than 2 minutes, and the caffeine has effectively reached my hair roots.
  8. I rinse my hair thoroughly, and that’s it!

I have long hair, sometimes down to the middle of my chest, and the procedure above works well for me.

How to Choose the Best Caffeine Shampoo

While choosing the brands in my Top 5 Chart above, I noticed that a lot of copycat companies have sprung up over the past several years. To be clear, Alpecin is the original caffeine shampoo brand with the most research to back up the effectiveness of its products.

My Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo Review

Alpecin C1 and Alpecin Double Effect are the two caffeine shampoos that I’ve used the most. Here’s what I like and don’t like about Alpecin shampoos:

  • Over time, Alpecin Double Effect didn’t effectively stop my dandruff problem. Although, this happens to me with any shampoo. What I learned over the past couple of years is that my itchy scalp problem stems from what I eat. Once I began limiting spicy food, some nightshade veggies, and dairy, I’ve been able to keep my problem in check. If you’re like me, you may find that there are better anti-dandruff shampoos than Double Effect.
  • I try to use all-natural shampoos when I can. In my opinion, the ingredients in Alpecin are harsher on my scalp than Sebamed shampoo.
  • I’m not a huge fan of the cologne-type scent of Alpecin.
  • The price is right for Alpecin shampoo. It’s easy to get into an Alpecin routine without forking out a ton of cash.
  • Alpecin provides the most scientific studies to prove the effectiveness of its products.
  • The company offers a wide range of products that really work to prevent hair loss and thicken thinning hair.
  • Alpecin lathers better than non-soap caffeine shampoos.
  • The stuff works. I notice that my hair grows faster, there’s less hair in the shower drain, thicker hair throughout my scalp, and significantly less hair fall. When I first caught onto Alpecin, my hair eventually reached its longest point, and it epitomized the look of a healthy man bun.

My Overall Score: 8.5/10

Where to Buy Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo

There are currently 1 and 2-packs available online for excellent deals in my opinion. If you’re American like me, this stuff isn’t easy to find in the supermarket. The first time I found it, I actually stumbled upon it in Manila.

My Results with Sebamed Scalp Activating Shampoo

After I figured out that caffeine shampoo actually works, I ran a search on iHerb and found Sebamed Scalp Activating Shampoo with caffeine. I checked out the ingredients and liked that the formula contains Gingko Biloba, which is a great herb for promoting blood flow (*).

Increasing blood flow to the scalp through gentle massage and ingredients like Gingko is another great way to promote hair growth and regrowth. I figured that Sebamed’s combination of ingredients would be gentler on my scalp and still give me the same benefits as Alpecin.

Like Alpecin, Sebamed shampoo is made in Germany, and this was another selling point for me.

Here’s why I like Sebamed:

  • The scent is really nice, and a lot better than Alpecin in my opinion. Keep in mind, both of these shampoos are made for men, except Sebamed’s scent is sweeter.
  • Sebamed makes my scalp feel great after each use and doesn’t cause irritation.
  • Even though it’s soap-free, it still lathers well.
  • My hair lays nicely after using Sebamed even after two washes. Other shampoos can dry out my hair and make it frizzy.
  • My hair is manageable and easy to comb after shampooing.

My Overall Score: 9/10

Ultrax Labs Hair Surge Review

Ultrax Labs Hair Surge is my #1 pick for women and men who desire salon-quality results from a caffeine shampoo. It’s important to keep in mind that salon-quality results equal more money.

If you’re not someone who’s accustomed to spending some bucks on shampoo, you’ll most likely be immediately turned off by this product.

What amazes me the most about this shampoo is the before and after results. People are undoubtedly regrowing hair and thickening their existing hair with this formula.


This is the key ingredient in this blend that stands out to me. My scalp flared up badly at one point in Manila – I think due to the humid conditions and something I ate – and it itched! My girlfriend at the time told me that I needed to use Nizoral to get rid of the itch.

The active ingredient in Nizoral is Ketoconazole. This stuff works magic on an itchy red scalp. After several uses, my scalp returned to normal. If you know what that itch feels like, you know how good it feels to get rid of it!

I still use Nizoral from time to time.

Hair Surge contains a unique blend of Ketoconazole, caffeine, and saw palmetto for its DHT-blocking properties. While I’m not a fan of saw palmetto supplements, you may find that it does the trick for you.

In my opinion, saw palmetto is better for women suffering from hair loss than men, and that’s one reason I think Hair Surge is better for women than men.

Saw Palmetto and Caffeine

If your hair loss problem is due to DHT, then the combination of saw palmetto and caffeine in this formula is essentially unbeatable. These two ingredients have shown that they work to combat the damaging effects of DHT on the scalp in clinical trials. There’s not much more you can ask for as far as ingredients go in a caffeine anti-hair loss shampoo.

My Overall Score: 8/10

Final Picks: Lipogaine and TruePure

What I like most about Lipgaine is the addition of castor oil. Castor oil is the hands-down best oil for hair growth. I’ve used it for years, mostly at my hairline, and have literally seen how effective it is.

What I notice is thicker hair and more hair sprouting at the front of my hairline. As I mentioned already, the mixture of caffeine shampoo and castor oil is the ultimate combination to prevent/stop hair loss naturally in my humble opinion.

These are the two products I’ve used for years with fantastic results. Since I’m a long-hair guy, I know better than most how to take care of my hair.

I always cringe when I see bandwagon man bunners who have no idea how to take care of long hair. There’s also the style element, and I picked up my sideburn and edge work from Latin culture while living in the Dominican.

Getting back to the point, Lipogaine is the most complete shampoo on this list with the longest list of active ingredients that boost hair growth and health. If you don’t want to treat your hair separately with castor oil, then Lipogaine is certainly worth a look.

As for TruPure, it caters to people who want an all-natural, fragrance-free, non-GMO caffeine shampoo. If that sounds like what you’re looking for, then TruePure is worth a look for you.

Overall, there’s an option in my Top 5 for all hair types.

Bottom Line

Does caffeine shampoo work? Yes, it does and with continuous use, you’ll find that it’s a safe, effective treatment for hair loss. Will it stop everyone’s hair loss? Surely not. Hair loss has different causes and depending on yours, caffeine shampoo may or may not work for you.

Caffeine shampoo works best to combat hair loss due to DHT in the scalp. If your hair loss is due to a combination of DHT and fungus, reach for a mixture of caffeine and Ketoconazole, such as Hair Surge. In the past, I’ve used both Nizoral and Alpecin with excellent results.

If you made it here, I’m confident you know how caffeine shampoo works, how to use it, and how to choose the best caffeine shampoo for your hair type.

Now it’s time to get growing!

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