Alpecin: The caffeine shampoo that ignores science

Ah the Germans. Known for their brilliance in engineering and now apparently shampoos. Shampoos that, because they were made in Germany, have to look as much like a bottle of car oil as possible.
If the label was scraped off the bottle, or I couldn’t understand English, there is no way I would even think about putting this stuff anywhere near my body, let alone my hair.

I’m going to take a wild stab in the dark and guess that the designers were told the target consumer was…men…maybe? The kind of men who rub salt in their face after shaving, or strap meat to their genitalia near a hungry rottweiler.
I feel it’s a dangerous thing to keep in the bathroom, because if the toilet gets blocked, this is probably the first thing you’ll subconsciously reach towards.
However, as we’re lied to over and over again, looks aren’t everything (I’m kidding of course…sort of…maybe…) and I was determined to give this stuff a try before I made any more assumptions about it.

So I tried and tested it and I was ready to write my review. The only problem? Gawd this stuff has some mixed feedback. How I am supposed to write a review of a product that some people LOVE, and some people HATE? I would just be throwing my opinion into the sea of others and it would eventually collect onto the ‘negative’ or ‘positive’ side of the shore, making no real impact on anyones opinion.

So let’s do this a little differently. First of all, what is this product supposed to do?
Simply put, stimulate hair growth to help with baldness. Huh. Okay.
Let’s look at the science. This shampoo has caffeine in it, and research shows that caffeine does indeed help with hair growth. However the amount of caffeine you would have to consume to make a difference would be equal to 60 cups of coffee a day. It’s highly, highly unlikely that even if you washed your hair every day, that the shampoo you put on your head would equal that amount.
Now there are people online saying that this has worked. I can’t quite see how that’s possible, but perhaps their hair follicles need less caffeine to grow, or perhaps they were just stimulating their roots more as they washed their hair, which is a natural way to help with hair growth.

As a shampoo, it’s pretty basic. It lathers up fine, it washes out fine. The instructions say to leave it on your hair for 2 minutes before washing out, so that the caffeine can burrow into your scalp and shake your brain around. Luckily it stays put quite well because getting this stuff in your eyes is…ow..just trust me on this.
I was also pretty glad that during the shower and afterwards I was on my own, and not around my sister, who can suffer from terrible migraines from overly strong scents. This stuff is pungent. I smelt like I had poured cheap cologne all over my head.

Afterwards my hair didn’t feel softer or dryer or thicker than using any bog standard shampoo that you can buy at the drugstore. That’s fine, I don’t really need anymore hair right now. I was also quite glad it didn’t make my hair glossy and soft and manageable because it would have meant I’d have to keep using it, and thus my showers would continue to be me choking on the overpowering scent and then choking some more as I waited for my hair to dry.

Small miracles eh?

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