Plantur 39 Phyto-Caffeine products ‘for hair over 40’ arrived and I was all ‘ugh, get this old people shizz away from me’ until I remembered I was turning 38 in a few weeks. Then I just got real quiet and stared into the middle distance, remembering a better, simpler time – back when Ghost Pops didn’t taste like crap and my body was still making collagen.
Ja. So back to Plantur 39. I was given a Phyto-Caffeine shampoo and conditioner for coloured, stressed hair (R176 and R175, Clicks) and their Phyto-Caffeine tonic (R176, Clicks). They all contain caffeine and this is a very good thing if you know you’re genetically prone to hair that gets thinner as you age (just look at your mom) or worried that it’s a possibility. As women get older, their oestrogen levels decline and this means testosterone goes up. In your scalp, testosterone converts to something called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and this essentially shrinks your hair follicles. Your strands become sad and thin and often just give up on life completely. If you’re nearing menopause and worried about thinning hair, I’d definitely invest in a topical product that contains caffeine or another DHT-blocker like Minoxidyl. Previously, Minoxidyl was thought to be a lot more effective, but recent studies are proving they’re neck and neck.
Anyway, having tried everything, I can say the shampoo and conditioner do a good job of cleansing and conditioning in a way that doesn’t leave my fine hair feeling limp. My only gripe is that, while the shampoo smells like green tea, the conditioner smells ‘chemical’. Thankfully, the fragrance is completely undetectable when you leave the shower. As for the tonic, this is the star of the show. It contains that highest concentration of caffeine and, unlike the other two products, you don’t wash it off. You simply apply it on your scalp, comb it through and style hair as per usual. Once your hair is your hair is dry, there’s no residue, weight or scent. I think the sham and con are nice to have, but if you only buy the tonic you’ll be sufficiently caffeinated.
I’ve always planned on using Minoxidyl to ensure my already thin, fine hair doesn’t get any thinner as I age, but the more I researched caffeine I’ll probably reach for Plantur 39’s tonic as it doesn’t have side effects. Also, I’m encouraged by the fact that my incredibly vain dad has used Alpecin caffeine products for years and has a full head of hair, despite being 60*.
One last thing! Realise that caffeine is only going to assist with DHT-related hair loss. If your hair is thinning due to any other reason – and there are many, many things that can cause hair loss in women – it’s not going to help. The last time I experienced a serious shedding session was last year and this was induced by a vitamin B12 deficiency linked to anemia, something I struggle with from time to time. Only once I hit the supplements hard did my hair fall finally resolve.
*Yep, my once super mooi-looking dad was my mom’s toy boy and he had me at 23. When I was in my late teens people were scandalised by my much older boyfriend. I’d hang all over him at the movies and – gasp – he had the cheek to drop me off at school. But that was my dad. Awkwaaard!