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Hey! I'm Sophie and I'm a Creative Media Student from Leicester.

You can always find me listening to music and browsing the latest eyeshadow palettes (preferably the pink ones!).

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Want your hair to grow faster? I put a branded and a non branded caffeine shampoo to the test

I'm not sure about you, but I've made a decision with my hair length and now I want it back to the way it used to be. Last year I cut my hair to about shoulder length: not on a whim, may I add, it was a carefully decided move. It used ti be quite long, reaching just above my bellybutton. I also dyed my gorgeous brown locks blonde (I'll be correcting that in January) and now I'm left reminiscing my longer, browner hair.

After a while spent googling my options, I came across the idea that caffeine stimulates hair growth. I'm sure you've all heard of the shampoo, Alpecin. Well I thought that it was a little bit too expensive for my liking (£6-7 is the average for a shampoo, yes but I'm not one to go for the bigger brands without justification) and so had a hunt around.

In my local Poundland I was hunting the shelves and came across an own brand, Triple Eight Caffeine Shampoo which looked oddly similar to Alpecin. Of course I grabbed it, £1 for a caffeine shampoo in comparison to the £6 Boots were charging me for the German brand? Yes please.

So I bought this little thing home and gave it a go (despite not having a working shower at the time). Gave it a go, I did. But then I thought, what if the Alpecin works better? My roots are dark and I have blonde hair so it's not going to be hard to spot which works better as I was due a regrowth soon.

Off to the shops I pop and I got the branded version this time around. I'm currently just finishing up the bottle and thought I'd share my thoughts with you all. Is the branded name really worth it?

Triple Eight Caffeine Shampoo (Poundland)

Let's have a quick look at the looks like a Poundland version of Alpecin. Being completely honest here, it looks cheap. It's a grey bottle with a red cap and some sticker stuck on the front with some infographic on the front to astound me about how amazing this product should be. I'm not buying it until I try it (well I will be buying it then trying it but you know, understand me please).

This Triple Eight Caffeine Shampoo says that it's "known to stimulate hair roots during washing", that's surely promising. It also says that it includes strengthening keratin protein and is suitable for all hair types. This paraben-free formulation is promising me quite a bit.

The instructions simply tell me to massage in and wash out, repeat if necessary. I was assuming that that's what I was meant to do anyway but okay. I reached the end of the bottle, needing to lather my hair up once (with no bubble success) and then add more of the product for it to start properly lathering. As you can imagine, I got through this quite quickly.

I wasn't overly impressed with this formula as I was using a fair bit and it felt very unnecessary. I didn't really notice much of a difference in the strength of my hair either. The scent is, well...unique? It smells like it's just come out of a chemical lab to be completely honest so I recommend you get a nice smelling conditioner.

As for the growth? Considering caffeine is meant to stimulate growth, I didn't see much of it. Looking at the ingredients, caffeine is towards the bottom of the list so I can see why now.

Alpeicin Caffeine Shampoo (Boots)

So this bottle, automatically, looks a lot more sophisticated than Poundland's. The shape is pretty unique and the front is packed with useful information. Instead of Poundland's "known to" I have a more confident approach with "stimulates hair roots during washing", the C1 in it also reduces hair loss - you can't miss that right on the front. I malt like my childhood rabbit so I was excited to see how this was going to work out. It also says that this is a hair energizer - very confident.

The instructions are slightly different to that of the Triple Eight Caffeine Shampoo. Alpecin tell me to apply this daily and leave for 2 minutes before washing off. The longer this is left on, the more caffeine will be absorbed. This would have been useful information with the other shampoo I tried. So, off we go.

I'm nearing the very end of this bottle and have actually loved it. It has a similar scent to the other shampoo but this one definitely feels like it's been thought about more. It's like the producers have added a slightly more muskier scent to it. I don't need to use much of it and I leave it in for two minutes every day just like the directions say.

This shampoo doesn't include any silicons in it so the hair should have more grip. I often use a softening conditioner after just to make sure it doesn't go knotty. I've noticed that my hair feels stronger and more healthy since using this one - my hairdresser even picked up on it. The promise of the reduction of hair loss has been fulfilled also, I'm no longer pulling out as many strands of hair.

As for the growth aspect, I have seen better progression with the Alpecin than Poundland and will definitely be using this again.

So, non-branded or branded?

Definitely branded. The Alpecin left my hair feeling so much more healthier than the Poundland version and my hair grew a lot quicker. The scent is definitely more bearable and I'm not wasting the product applying it multiple times for it to lather.

And yes, I did get in a bath full of coffee beens for the irony. Please appreciate my dedication.

Until next time...


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