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Study: Caffeine Shampoo May Help Treat Baldness

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- Some of Hollywood's hottest leading men have embraced baldness.

LL Cool J, Jason Statham and Vin Diesel make scalps look sexy but for some men, hair loss can be devastating.

"Hair equates confidence," said one man who didn't want to be identified.

As many as 80 percent of men will experience thinning hair, receding hairlines and bald spots at some point in their lives.

Some will go to great lengths to get it to grow back, using lotions and creams, or drugs originally designed to treat serious illnesses.

Others will turn to something call scalp micropigmentation-- tiny ink dots that look like fake stubble tattooed onto a man's head.

But now, there's a new possible solution.

Small concentrations of the "drug" we enjoy in our coffee every morning might be the next big thing to reverse baldness.

Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo was recently tested in the lab.

A study published in the British Journal of Dermatology revealed the caffeine shampoo stimulated hair growth when applied to hair follicles taken from men.

"First time I actually hear of it," one man said. "I would probably try it."

"I would be skeptical," said another man.

No one we talked to had heard of caffeine shampoo.

Alpecin, which is made in Germany, won't be available in the U.S. until later this year, though you can buy it online.

In fact, there are only one or two caffeine-containing shampoos on U.S. shelves right now, and there aren't any published studies on those products.

"I still think we need more well designed studies to test this concept," said Dr. Maria Miteva, a dermatologist with the University of Miami Health System.

She says results achieved in the lab with the shampoo might not be duplicated in real life.

"Right now, I cannot recommend it and for you to buy it and expect it to grow hair," she said.

We've heard from some men, and an expert, but perhaps a South Florida woman says it best.

"I think confidence comes from the inside, not the outside," said Aleida Lanza. "So whatever makes somebody happy, I'm all for it."

The study found the caffeine shampoo did have a beneficial effect in the lab for women, but only when used in a more diluted form than was used for men.

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