As sports sponsorships go, it’s a bit of an odd pairing: Germany’s only team in the Tour De France is being backed by a shampoo brand that advertises its product as “doping for the hair.”
With the world of cycling dogged by doping scandals over the past few years, however, the alliance sounds like it could be a recipe for trouble – which is why the German company, Alpecin, announced that it would be dropping its provocative advertising slogan for the duration of the Tour. Reports in Velo News say they hope that by doing so they can avoid questions and innuendo about the drug-free status of their riders, the German team Giant-Alpecin.
“I would hope that Alpecin as sponsors, and above all the cyclists, will not be the subject of any discussions during the three weeks of the Tour,” said the haircare brand’s MD in a statement, according to AFP. “We are aware of our responsibility and therefore distinguish clearly between the claims of an effective product and fraud in sport.”
Caffeine, shampoo and hair loss
At the heart of the ‘doping’ ad reference is caffeine, a key component of Alpecin shampoo which claims to tackle genetic hair loss. However, some people don’t think this really stacks up as, whilst washing your hair may help thinning hair appear thicker, there are currently no shampoos – made by any brand – that are proven to treat hair loss.
Claims that caffeine can help male hair loss have been around for a long time and are based on the fact that caffeine is thought to boost circulation. By boosting circulation to the scalp, blood flow is encouraged in that specific area, allowing more nutrients to be delivered there which is thought to help the hair grow.
What this doesn’t take into consideration, however, is the fact that if you have unmanaged male hair loss, what you are actually doing is encouraging the circulation of DHT which actually causes the hair to thin then shed. So, to cut a long story short, the act of stimulating blood flow in this way could actually make your hair loss worse unless you are using hair loss treatments – helping those to circulate is a good idea and why caffeine is sometimes added to minoxidil.
You are best off thinking of your shampoo as an aid to healthy hair rather as a form of hair loss treatment as it simply cleanses the scalp. This removes build up which can otherwise clog hair follicles, particularly if like the Tour cyclists, you are prone to a sweaty scalp. By using a shampoo that’s suited to your hair type, like those in Belgravia’s range of shampoos and conditioners, this can help the hair to maintain its’ natural shine.
Licensed treatments for male pattern baldness
The good news for cyclists who may be seeking help for hair loss conditions is that they can continue with their treatment programmes throughout the Tour.
This wasn’t the case up until the start of 2009, when finasteride 1mg was thought to disguise the use of banned anabolic steroids. The World Anti-Doping Agency lifted the ban on Jan 1 of that year and sportsmen are now free to use Male Pattern Hair Loss treatments without fear of failing any drugs tests.
It would appear many have taken advantage of this change in the rulings with Arsene Wenger famously talking about Arsenal footballers using hair loss treatments. Of course, these are not just suitable for professionals though – following a medical assessment carried out by a hair loss specialist to confirm suitability, amateur sportsmen and armchair fans alike can also use these products to help restore a thinning crown or regrow a receding hairline.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.