Coffee For Hair? Why Is Coffee The Natural Hair Care Saviour Everyone Needs
Written in collaboration with Heather Grant
What? Coffee for hair? It might sound odd, but it’s time to move beyond the image of coffee as solely an unhealthy and addictive drink. Studies show that as well as benefiting your mind and body, it works wonders for the health of your hair and scalp too.
At Kaffe Bueno, it’s our mission to change the perception of coffee from a beverage you rely on for a quick energy fix, to a sustainable and holistic health elixir. That’s why we’ve created natural actives that bring out the best in the coffee for hair.
In this post, we’ll look at the chemicals in shampoos and conditioners, changing consumer needs, and how this magic bean can solve the rising demand for natural hair care products.
You’ll never look at coffee the same way again.
What’s in hair care products?
The need for natural
Coffee for hair: science-backed benefits
Kaffe Bueno: Find Beauty in coffee
What’s in hair care products?
It’s no secret that people are becoming more conscious of what they’re putting in and on their bodies; 90% of consumers say that brand transparency is an important factor in their purchase decisions. When it comes to hair care products, people want to see natural ingredients, sustainable sources, and numerous health benefits.
Common ingredients like silicones and petrochemicals no longer meet consumer needs. Dimethicone, for example, has frequently been used in hair oil to create a coating on the hair cuticle, sealing in moisture and creating a smooth texture. Like other silicones, it's a synthetic and thus unnatural and thus, unsustainable.
Not only is it bad for the planet, but it’s bad for the hair’s health too. In an article for Cosmopolitan, Kerry E. Yates, trichologist and founder of Colour Collective, explains that the build-up of dimethicone prevents the hair from achieving its proper moisture balance, leaving it dry, brittle, and prone to breakage.
This is particularly the case for certain hair types. She explains, "People with curly, coily hair should avoid using dimethicone, as the hair is already in a fragile state. By contributing to that dryness, you intensify the level of breakage".
In addition to the concerns regarding certain ingredients like silicones and petrochemicals, chemical hair straighteners have also come under scrutiny for their potential damage to hair and health. Recent findings have raised alarming concerns about the use of chemical hair straighteners, particularly in relation to uterine cancer and other health issues.
Studies have indicated that chemical hair straighteners from various brands may pose significant risks to the users. These findings have shed light on the potential dangers associated with their use, with one of the identified risks being the development of uterine cancer. The exact mechanisms through which these products may contribute to such health issues are still being investigated.
It is worth noting that many women may unknowingly use chemical hair straighteners without being fully aware of the risks involved. This lack of awareness further emphasises the need for transparency and education regarding the potential harms associated with these products.
Moreover, the impact of chemical hair straighteners can be more pronounced in certain demographics. Research suggests that Black women may be more affected by the risks of chemical hair straighteners due to their higher usage rates. This highlights the importance of considering the specific needs and vulnerabilities of different populations when discussing the potential damage caused by these products.
Given the growing awareness of the potential health risks associated with chemical hair straighteners, more consumers are seeking natural alternatives to achieve their desired hairstyles. This increased demand for safer and healthier options further supports the trend toward using hair care products with natural ingredients, sustainable sourcing, and multiple health benefits.
Though they might provide short-term satisfaction, chemical hair care products have detrimental long-term effects. That’s why ingredient-savvy consumers are now avoiding petrochemicals, sulphates, silicones, and parabens altogether.
The result? an increasing need for natural alternatives.
The need for natural
Natural hair care is big, and it’s only growing. The natural hair care product market size was valued at USD 8.30 Billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 11.84 billion by 2030.
It’s easy to see why people are making the switch. Instead of harsh chemicals, natural products are packed with essential nutrients and vitamins that different hair types need. For example, Vitamin E can be used for curly hair to prevent dryness and Vitamin B12 is associated with reducing premature greyness, especially in dark hair types.
This is reflected in ‘the skinification of hair’ trend, where consumers are seeking healthy hair by looking for their favourite skincare ingredients in shampoos, conditioners, and styling products. Just like everyone has different skin needs, there are numerous hair types and textures of hair that need attention. The skinification of hair is about nourishing your locks with products that are made especially for them.
Diversity is key when it comes to ingredients themselves, too. At Kaffe Bueno, we recognise that nature is not white, but full of colourful botanicals and unique textures. For hair care, there’s a need for the diverse hues of raw and unrefined products with a high nutrient density.
That’s where coffee comes in.
Coffee for hair care: science-backed benefits
Yes, coffee is the drink that gives you a buzz in the morning and a slump by the afternoon, but it’s also a natural resource rich in health-boosting compounds, vitamins, and fatty acids. More research is needed on the hair care benefits of coffee, but as more consumers question what it can do for them, studies are emerging that provide the answers.
Does coffee help hair growth?
Coffee for hair growth is one of the main reasons it's used in products. A 2007 study found that caffeine stimulated hair growth in male hair, by blocking the effects of DHT (the hormone responsible for hair loss) and prolonging the hair-growth stage. The study also found it had a growth-promoting effect on female hair follicles.
Does coffee make hair shiny?
Coffee is packed with antioxidants such as flavonoids, which can strengthen the hair follicles and make your hair appear shinier. Unlike synthetic ingredients, coffee does not strip the hair of its natural oils, and so protects its natural sheen too.
Can coffee improve scalp health?
A healthy scalp needs a balanced microbiome and human hair serves the biological purpose of protecting this. When the hair is coated in chemical shampoos, it doesn’t do its job. The scalp microbiome becomes imbalanced, leading to dandruff, itchiness, and inhibited hair growth.
Coffee, however, is a natural ingredient that cares for the skin and leaves the scalp's microbiome undisturbed.
Can coffee protect your hair from sun damage?
Just like it’s a must for your skin, studies show sun protection is essential for your hair and scalp too. Left unprotected, the hair can become dry, brittle, frizzy, or discoloured in the heat. Coffee has been found to alleviate sun damage on the hair, and (in our ingredients, at least!) is much more pleasant than applying thick and greasy sunscreen to your locks.
Kaffe Bueno: Find Beauty in Coffee
Our coffee-derived ingredients, KAFFOIL™ and KAFFAIR™, bring out the best of coffee as a natural hair care ingredient.
KAFFOIL™ is the first upcycled lipophilic extract derived from coffee’s by-product, retaining coffee’s nourishing bio-active molecules. In our initial research, we found it to be more effective than Argan oil in reducing the mean score of hair split ends and breakage, and increasing the mean hair shine. Data available upon request. Read more here.
KAFFAIR™ is another phenolic active upcycled from coffee, though it is targeted at scalp and hair treatments. Based on initial data, KAFFAIR™ is expected to support the scalp microbiome, cleanse hair from environmental pollutants, and protect the hair and scalp from UV rays. Read more here.
Our products are not clear, nor white, and thus remain nutrient dense. They come in a vast range of shades suitable for all hair and skin types, yet don’t dye the hair even after repetitive applications.
While petrochemical-derived or synthetic hair care ingredients are no longer favoured among consumers, a growing body of research supports the effectiveness of coffee for hair. With KAFFOIL™ and KAFFAIR™, we channel these benefits into versatile and fully sustainable ingredients made from upcycled coffee grounds.
Next time you make your morning coffee, think about how your brew might also combat your bedhead and help your hair’s health too.