Topical caffeine is said to protect hair follicles from dihydrotestosterone (DHT) attacks and provide them with the necessary growth energy. Alpecin was the first product that used caffeine as one of its principal ingredients. It was first introduced as a shampoo and now it is also available as an after-shampoo topical. Alpecin was developed in Germany and it is currently available in Europe and in Asia. The only available research supporting the claims made by the Alpecin manufacturer was conducted at two universities in Germany. An independent study is still lacking.
Consumer reviews have been mixed so far but as regards the shampoo they seem to be tipping over into positive territory. It appears that caffeine could be helpful in strengthening fine colourless hair. As to the Alpecin after-shampoo liquid, there are a few reports of it being able to regrow hair. Many consumers use Alpecin shampoo to strengthen the newly-grown fine hair produced by minoxidil. And some are just pleased with the new shine it gives their hair. Although caffeine is a mild vasoconstrictor and minoxidil is a vasodilator, there is no clear opinion on whether the two should be used simultaneously. Since nobody really knows, including the manufacturer of Alpecin, it might be advisable to wait for twelve hours after washing your hair with Alpecin shampoo or after using Alpecin after-shampoo liquid before applying minoxidil.
Alpecin shampoo is also said to be effective in fighting against dandruff and many consumers believe it helps them stop the itchy scalp caused by minoxidil and other topicals. Although Alpecin is not the new cure for baldness it can be used as a complementary treatment to minoxidil and a substitute to Nizoral shampoo. The Alpecin brand is not available in the stores of North America but, for those who would like to try a caffeine-containing topical product, Revita shampoo is available and can be used as a substitute for Alpecin shampoo, while Nioxin can be used instead of Alpecin after-shampoo liquid.