The surprising benefits of applying coffee on your hair and how to effectively use it

Dec 27, 2022
Source: Getty

Sure coffee is a delicious beverage that gives you that “get up and go”  you need in the morning, but did you know, coffee also offers a variety of health benefits and is packed with properties that can be used to stimulate parts of the body, including hair.

To get the lowdown on just what benefits coffee has for your hair, Starts at 60 spoke to board-certified and award-winning dermatologist Dr Alapan Mohta to find out the fascinating ways you can use coffee to rejuvenate your locks.

Source: Getty

The effects of caffeine on your hair follicles

According to Dr Alapan, coffee is a popular ingredient in shampoos and conditioners that contain keratin proteins.

“Although caffeine on its own doesn’t do much for hair when caffeine and keratin proteins are combined, they create a strong protein bond that helps repair damaged hair,” she says. 

Being rich in antioxidants, caffeine also reverses the damage caused to hair by pollution and harmful UV rays. 

Dr Alapan further explains that coffee also contains many micronutrients such as potassium, magnesium, and vitamins like riboflavin and niacin.

“These nutrients help in balancing the pH levels of your scalp and hair which can prevent hair loss, strengthen the strands, and remove toxic dead skin over the scalp,” Alapan explains. 

Results of caffeine hair treatments

While there is comparatively less research on the relationship between coffee and hair, studies have been conducted which found that caffeine does have benefits for hair health, findings which Dr Alapan supports. 

“When applied to the scalp, the coffee particles can help in exfoliating the dead skin of the scalp. This will unclog the pores and make your scalp healthier,” Dr Alapan says. 

“Secondly, caffeine also stimulates blood circulation over your scalp which boosts the growth of hair. 

“Caffeine also stimulates cell cycling in hair follicles, which can halt the progression of hair loss.

“Being a good antioxidant, using a caffeine-containing hair mist, hair serum or leave-in conditioner will also protect your skin from harmful free radicles produced by pollution and ultraviolet radiation. “

Source: Getty

Here are some recommended ways to incorporate coffee into your haircare routine:

  • Add 2 spoons of the coffee cup to a bowl of your shampoo or conditioner. 
  •  Use a solution made of coffee beans soaked in warm water overnight to make a hair mist. Apply the hair mist over your scalp and hair after bathing. 
  • Coffee grains can be applied directly on your scalp in order to stimulate blood flow. Just gently massage your wet scalp with coffee grains for 3-5 minutes. Then use your regular shampoo and conditioner like you normally do. 
  • For deep conditioning of hair, you can also use a concentrated coffee hair rinse. To make it, take 2-3 cups of brewed coffee (try to use organic beans) and let the brew cool completely. Pour the liquid into an applicator bottle or a bottle with a sprinkler. 
  • After washing your hair, apply the brewed coffee to it while your hair is still damp. Massage the concentrated liquid into your wet strands and scalp, then let it soak in for a few minutes. For 30 minutes, cover your hair with a shower cap and let the rinse soak into your scalp. Then wash off the solution with cold water. Then wash your hair as you would normally do with shampoo and conditioner!


If you’re thinking of doing a DIY coffee mask at home, Dr Alapan has listed a few precautions and side effects to keep in mind: 

  • Never use a hot coffee solution on your hair. Always allow the coffee to cool completely before applying it over your scalp or hair in any form.
  • If you have light-coloured hair, coffee can leave a stain or tint on it. Therefore, it’s better to use shampoos and conditioners that contain caffeine in light-coloured hair.
  • If you use coffee excessively, it can cause your hair to feel irritated or oily and lead to poor-quality hair.
  • Vigorously rubbing coffee grains on your scalp can damage the skin barrier which can lead to scalp infections.
  • If you are using packed or flavoured coffee on your hair, it can damage the hair strands. Therefore, it’s best to use raw or organic coffee beans instead. You can crush the beans to make your DIY recipes.

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.

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