Too Much Caffeine = Thinning Hair?

I am guilty of consuming too much caffeine, and have a theory based on my personal experience that too much caffeine can potentially lead to hair thinning.

For the past three years, I have been drinking coffee in the morning, pre-workout in the afternoon/evening, and occasionally another cup of coffee or an energy drink to power me through assignments or work. Yikes.

My hair has thinned out greatly compared to how it use to be just a couple years ago- and you know something is wrong when those closest to you tell you that they’ve noticed too.

Lately, every time I run my fingers through my hair, a strand is left in my fingers; or in the shower I am left with watching many, many strands of my hair go down the drain.

I don’t know what else could be the cause because my diet has been great the past couple years- I’m getting plenty of vitamins and other nutrients; and when I wasn’t years ago, I still had ridiculously thick hair at 18 that people would go crazy over. I know I shouldn’t be having both coffee and pre-workout in the same day- it’s bad. It’s too much caffeine; especially in combination with an energy drink.

So, I have decided to try and go on somewhat of a ‘caffeine detox’ for a month and see what happens. It’s going to suck. I’m already dreading the morning headaches; but I am curious to find out if caffeine is the reason behind why my hair has been thinning out so much.

In addition to cutting out coffee and pre-workout, I have decided to also stop taking supplements (l-Arginine and creatine) for awhile. However, I will continue taking my vitamin D because it’s winter; and start taking Biotin again to help aid my hair with growth, and therefore, thickening.

If you’re new to the fitness scene, please don’t freak out and think that you can’t take pre-workout or any supplements because your hair is going to immediately start falling out. Like I said, I have been taking pre-workout almost daily, along with coffee, for about 3 years now and believe this effect is from not cycling off every now and then.

Has anyone else experienced this issue from drinking too much coffee or pre-workout over long periods of time? I am very curious to hear your experience.

Don’t forget to join me on IG @hmillerfit 🙂

 

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23 thoughts on “Too Much Caffeine = Thinning Hair?

  1. I’ve been using caffeine more than I should have for my entire training history and have never had any balding problems. Actually I could reference some articles and studies showing that natural sources of caffeine can help prevent baldness.

    Thinning hair could be a number of issues. I used to have terrible anxiety that made my hair thin out (my hair thinning out still makes it thicker than 90% of people though) but it was still a worry.

    Other issues could be a iron and zinc deficiency. Vitamin D too. I wouldn’t stop taking creatine either because it can also help maintain a better moisturized scalp! Could be a lack of sufficient calories and fatty acids in the diet too. I’ve also always been told to look at the elders in my family. Thankfully, all of the men on my dads side have full heads of hair into their 80’s! (Thank goodness because I don’t think I could pull off bald!)

    Great post as always, Hannah!

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    1. I am not balding, my hair has just become much thinner compared to how thick it was a couple years ago.

      Hair thinning/loss could be from stress and/or anxiety- you’re right. But I wouldn’t consider myself to have a large amount of either of those compared to the normal person. If it was from stress, I feel like I wouldn’t continue having this steady decrease in thickness over the past couple years. That eventually it would go back to its normal thickness when I would get out of the stress.

      I know that having an excesses or not enough of certain nutrients can throw your body off and have negative effects such as thinning hair. But before I got into fitness and ate all the crap that I did, and not eat as nutrient rich as I do now, I never had issues with my hair. It use to be so thick that I would actually complain about it haha.

      As for genetics, I come from a family with pretty thick hair. My dad has really thick hair still and my grandma, whose almost 90 has thick hair, no balding at all. So it’s because of these factors I believe that something since I started getting into lifting has triggered my hair to thin.

      Thank you for your response and sharing Connor. 🙂

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    2. The more I read people’s responses and poke around on the web, the more I think you’re right.

      I just remembered that throughout my life, I have been told by doctors that I am borderline anemic. So yeah, I guess I am not producing enough iron along with other things haha.

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  2. I used to drink coffee like it was water, from 5am till about 11pm at night and hadn’t experienced that. But I’m sure everyone’s bodies can react differently! I can definitely see how those factors culminated could cause some thinning.

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    1. Thank you for your input Beach Body Bliss!

      Wow, that’s a lot of coffee in a day, haha! After reading your comment and everyone else’s, I am starting to think that it may not be the caffeine in itself, but probably I am lacking one or more nutrient.

      Appreciate hearing about your experience. 🙂

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  3. I agree with cv_fit seen more articles on the benefit of coffee/caffeine on preventing & promoting hair growth versus thinning. Also, I would recommend continuing with the arginine as it is also known to help promote hair growth.

    I have heard that creatine has been linked to hair shedding in males, did not find any solid articles on it but it’s always a topic of discussion. Anyways, interesting topic & good luck without coffee 🙂

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    1. Thanks for your reply Corey. 🙂

      Yeah, after reading all of ya’lls comments and doing more research, I am starting to rethink caffeine as being the trigger.

      Thanks for sharing your opinion and advice!

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  4. Any thinning of my hair I attribute to being male and my age. One of my sons however, is almost completely bald and he’s not quite 30 yet. He also drinks no coffee or other caffeinated beverages.

    My wife, who is almost 60, is losing a fair amount of her hair, but I suspect it’s due to hormonal changes given her stage of life. I did “Google” the search string “causes of hair loss in women” and there seems to be a lot of factors involved. If you’re concerned, you might want to have a look yourself.

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    1. James,

      I am sorry to hear about your son’s and wives troubles with their hair. Do they take any supplements or a multi-vitamin? I am going to purchase one because I think I am lacking something. I have heard that hormonal changes can alter one’s hair too.

      Thank you for your input! 🙂

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      1. Not really sure what’s up with my son’s hair loss. My wife takes all kinds of supplements plus hormone treatments, but I couldn’t tell you the specifics. Like I said, in her case, it’s most likely age related.

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  5. Hey,

    I know it’s late, but this one’s an interesting topic. I’m currently in the midst of being completely caffeine free for around 10 days or so, and am finding life seems MUCH better. I probably will write about this little ‘experiment’ soon too.

    About the hair thing, yes, I noticed slightly oilier hair with higher coffee consumption and more dandruff 😦

    I think there’s some link – probably more in those genetically prone/sensitive to it.

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    1. Today marks my 10 days of having little to no caffeine too! 🙂

      I haven’t had any pre-workout during this time, which has been kinda sucky at times in the gym. I have however had a small cup of coffee in the morning a few times this week.

      I have already noticed a difference too. I am not loosing as many strands throughout the day. I have also started taking a multivitamin so that could be helping as well.

      Yeah, I think caffeine may affect some people like us more than others. Best of luck to you! Look forward to reading more about your experience in a post. 🙂

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  6. Coffee is interesting. I totally went off it back in grade school. Why? Because it seemed to have been stunting my growth. After foregoing the stuff, I actually shot up around a foot within the next year. I’d been one of the shortest in my class and actually became one of the tallest within a few years of going off coffee.
    Now I don’t know what it does for the hair, but I have experienced the affect on my growth hormones.
    I feel much better without it. I’ve replaced it with a morning jog. That seems to go all day.
    Oh, and one last thing. Is that a Chihuahua peering out of your cup?

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    1. It is interesting how coffee and caffeine effects us all differently. Some people aren’t effected at all, whereas some like us have experienced negative consequences from it.
      That’s great that you have substituted coffee with a morning run! Good for you! 🙂
      As for the picture of the cup in this post, it is just bubbles made to look like a face I believe. If you are referencing to my instagram, it’s a pug. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol! There is definitely a dog peeking out of the cup in the post pic. I couldn’t decide if it was dachshund or chihuahua. But if it’s a pug, it’s a pug. Shall we call it Bubbles?

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  7. My hair is slightly thinning and I’m quite a coffee drinker. Not sure if there is a correlation.

    Btw quitting coffee entirely can be a stretch. Is it possible though to substitute with tea before going off for good? Or does Tea caffeine does the same to your hair?

    I totally know how caffeine works magic before working out. Extra push for the last muscle building rep

    But again, I heard coffee mess up with your growth hormone.

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    1. Too much caffeine can potentially strip your B-Vitamins which are important for hair health. Try taking a B-Vitamin Complex for a few months and see if it helps.
      Depending on the tea, it may have caffeine too. Try to reduce the amount of coffee you drink or instead substitute with decaf.
      It’s also important to note that our hair is dependent largely on what’s going on inside of our bodies. Are you getting enough nutrients from real, whole foods?

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