This website mentions:

The makers of Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo must no longer advertise that the product can reduce hair loss after a watchdog ruled there was no adequate evidence to support the claim.

Ads for the product stated: "German engineering for your hair. Shampoo is too small a word for it. Alpecin provides caffeine to your hair, so it can actually help to reduce hair loss. Simply apply daily and leave on for 2 minutes ... to help the Caffeine Complex penetrate your hair and scalp."

Alpecin said its claims did not imply any medicinal action, but said topically-applied caffeine had a long history of use with individuals suffering from thinning hair or increased hair loss, claiming that caffeine was able to counteract the suppression of hair growth induced by testosterone and even stimulate hair growth to the normal level.

It provided eight full studies, several study summaries and a consumer opinion survey which it believed supported the claim that the shampoo could help to reduce hair loss.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said consumers would understand the claim to mean that using the product would result in a reduced rate and quantity of hair loss.

However it found that none of the information provided by Alpecin included adequate evidence that this was the case, noting that some results were measured using a "hair pull" test.

The ASA said: "Taking into account the body of evidence as a whole, we considered that we had not seen any studies of the actual product as used by consumers on their scalp using an accurate and objective analysis of hair growth, in a well-designed and well-conducted trial.

"We concluded that the claim 'it can actually help to reduce hair loss' had not been substantiated and was therefore misleading."

It ruled that the ad must not appear again, adding: "We told Alpecin not to state or imply that their product could reduce hair loss unless they held adequate evidence to support their claims."

So, does Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo help to reduce hair loss? Do anyone have the documents on the eight full studies to support the claim? or are there more reliable sources to support the claim?

  • 1
    You have set a high bar. Suppose it is ineffective: The ASA has looked at the claims and found them lacking (and one might expect any systemic bias of the ASA authority would be for the advertiser), but you remain skeptical. What would it take to convince you that it is ineffective? On the other hand, suppose it is effective: Listing the 8 studies (as you requested) wouldn't be enough to argue it is effective - you would need much stronger evidence meta-analysis to dismiss the ASA's evaluation. – Oddthinking Sep 24 '18 at 5:00
  • @Oddthinking. Hmmm, actually if ASA is correct, then Alpecin will have to remove the 'it can actually help to reduce hair loss' from its product, which also mean that the 8 studies are not adequate enough to support their claim, which also mean that all these while their advertisement is misleading. So, wondering if there is a second opinion from another reliable sources to double-confirm ASA claim, which means that Alpecin does not have adequate evidence to support 'it can actually help to reduce hair loss' in their product. That second opinion will convince me. Thanks. – user275517 Sep 24 '18 at 5:20
  • What does "reduce loss" mean? As in slow down the rate of loss, or actually reduce the amount of lost hair (i.e. re-grow)? – dont_shog_me_bro Sep 24 '18 at 8:23

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