Test regarding the penetration of caffeine from the caffeine-based shampoo formula Plantur 39

Conducted at the Center for Experimental and Applied Skin Physiology and Clinical Research Center for Hair and Skin Physiology of the University Clinic Charité, Berlin.

General information on the study and its design

The skin is the largest organ in the body. It is made up of several layers and numerous invaginations, so-called hair follicles, from which hairs periodically grow. The scalp is home to around 120,000 such hair follicles which act as stores for active ingredients. In a clinical study it was proven under practical conditions that, after a brief exposure period, caffeine favours penetration into the scalp via these follicles and can still be found there even after 24 hours.

The effectiveness of caffeine in combating menopausal hair loss in the hair roots has already been successfully proven in numerous studies*.

Study method for the penetration of caffeine

In a clinical study at the Center for Experimental and Applied Skin Physiology of the University Clinic Charité, Berlin, the caffeine-containing shampoo Plantur 39 was applied daily to the scalp by ten test subjects. After an exposure time of two minutes, the excess was rinsed off and the hair was towel-dried.

The penetration of the shampoo into the scalp was measured using a modern laser microscope. To make the shampoo visible under the microscope, a fluorescent marker substance was added.

Study results

After an exposure time of two minutes and subsequent washing, it was noted that elements of the shampoo had penetrated into the hair follicles (see figure). All the hair follicles in the skin area treated contained the fluorescence dye.
Furthermore, the same concentration of fluorescence seen immediately after application was still present 24 hours later. There was no trace of the caffeine shampoo build-up in the hair follicles after 48 hours.

Fluorescence dye in a hair root
Localisation of the fluorescence dye after an exposure time of 2 minutes and rinsing

Summary: Caffeine from the Plantur 39 formula penetrates into the scalp

The researchers concluded that the active caffeine from the caffeine-containing shampoo formula Plantur 39 is able to penetrate effectively into the scalp and take effect there thanks to its special composition. If the caffeine-containing shampoo Plantur 39 is used on a daily basis, the caffeine is stored in the hair follicles for at least 24 hours.**


*Fischer T.W. International Journal of Dermatology (2007), 46, 27-35; Fischer T.W. et al. British Journal of Dermatology (2014) 171, 1031–1043

** Lademann J. et al. Laser Phys. Lett. 1–5 (2007)