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Green Tea’s Benefits for Hair Growth: Does It Actually Work for Hair Loss?

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If you seek natural remedies for hair loss, green tea is definitely one of your best options. Not only does green tea possess endless health benefits, but its unique properties and active compounds can also contribute to healthy hair growth. And there’s a lot of scientific evidence to support it. So today, we are breaking down all the benefits of green tea for hair growth and its role in treating hair loss. 

Without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about how to use green tea for hair loss. 

What is green tea?

Green tea is one of the least processed types of tea made from the leaves of the Camellia sinesis plant. Most of the green tea benefits are attributed to its high content of polyphenols, including flavonoids and catechins, which account for up to 30% of all green tea components. Among the catechins in green tea, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is the best-researched one and is found in the largest proportions. Besides, green tea also contains vitamins (C, B2, E), amino acids, and minerals.[1]

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Green tea benefits for hair growth

Green tea polyphenols, especially EGCG, are known to have multiple benefits that could support the hair growth process. 

Inhibits DHT

One of the green tea benefits for hair growth is reducing the levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) — an androgen hormone that often attacks follicles and induces hair loss. In fact, androgenic alopecia, the most common form of hair loss, is mainly caused by a sensitivity of hair follicles to this specific hormone. Studies have confirmed numerous times that green tea, thanks to its content of EGCG, can prevent hair loss by protecting hair follicles against the effects of DHT.[2][3] More specifically, it was found that EGCG inhibits the 5α-reductase activity, an enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT. Thus, green tea is very effective in the prevention or treatment of androgenic alopecia.

Stimulates hair follicles

According to another research, topical green tea can stimulate the dermal papilla cells activity, a group of fibroblasts within the hair follicles that regulate hair growth.[4] This suggests that green tea could effectively stimulate hair growth not only in the normal hair cycle but also in people suffering from certain hair loss conditions.

Boosts blood flow and nutrient delivery

Another benefit of green tea for hair loss is that it increases blood flow and oxygen delivery in the scalp. During one study, it was observed that the intake of the green tea beverage for 12 weeks led to a significant boost in blood flow, mainly thanks to the content of polyphenols in green tea.[5] As blood flow is stimulated, so does the delivery of nutrients to the hair follicles. Similarly, poor blood circulation results in low nutrient delivery to the hair follicles, which is often associated with premature hair loss.

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Just like any part of the body, hair follicles need oxygen and nutrients to function properly. So, by increasing the nutrient delivery to follicles, green tea may promote healthy hair growth and increase hair thickness.

It’s a rich source of antioxidants

It’s well-known that green tea is a rich source of polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that protect hair cells against the damaging effects of oxidative stress.

Studies point out that oxidative stress is a common cause that prematurely ages the hair follicles and decreases hair production, leading to androgenic alopecia.[6] Hence, green tea can reduce hair loss by preventing oxidative stress causing cellular damage to hair follicles.

It has anti-inflammatory properties

The last mechanism through which green tea stimulates hair growth is its anti-inflammatory effects. In one study published in 2016, green tea and its major compound, EGCG, have been demonstrated to have potent anti-inflammatory effects.[7] Therefore, green tea can relieve inflammations in the hair follicles. By targeting inflammation, green tea may slow down hair loss and support better hair quality.

How to use green tea for hair loss

Green tea can improve hair growth whether it’s taken orally or applied topically, although it’s unknown which methods work more effectively. Here are three ways to use green tea for hair loss:

  1. Shampoo or conditioner: Use a hair growth shampoo or conditioner containing green tea extract.
  2. Hair mask: Apply a green tea mask and leave it on for 5–10 minutes.
  3. Supplements/drinking: You can also drink 1–2 cups of green tea per day or take supplements with green tea.
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The verdict

Based on the current scientific data, green tea promotes hair growth and reduces hair loss by inhibiting DHT conversion, stimulating hair follicles, boosting blood flow and nutrient delivery, as well as providing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.

References
  1. Shin S, Kim K, Lee MJ, et al. Epigallocatechin Gallate-Mediated Alteration of the MicroRNA Expression Profile in 5α-Dihydrotestosterone-Treated Human Dermal Papilla Cells. Ann Dermatol. 2016;28(3):327-334. doi:10.5021/ad.2016.28.3.327
  2. Chacko SM, Thambi PT, Kuttan R, Nishigaki I. Beneficial effects of green tea: a literature review. Chin Med. 2010;5:13. Published 2010 Apr 6. doi:10.1186/1749-8546-5-13
  3. Kim YY, Up No S, Kim MH, Kim HS, Kang H, Kim HO, Park YM. Effects of topical application of EGCG on testosterone-induced hair loss in a mouse model. Exp Dermatol. 2011 Dec;20(12):1015-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0625.2011.01353.x. Epub 2011 Sep 22. PMID: 21951062.
  4. Kwon, Ohsang & Han, J.H. & Yoo, H.G. & Chung, Jange-Hwan & Cho, Kyu-Woan & Eun, H.C. & Kim, Kyu Han. (2007). Human hair growth enhancement in vitro by green tea epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Phytomedicine : international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology. 14. 551-5. 10.1016/j.phymed.2006.09.009
  5. Heinrich U, Moore CE, De Spirt S, Tronnier H, Stahl W. Green tea polyphenols provide photoprotection, increase microcirculation, and modulate skin properties of women. J Nutr. 2011 Jun;141(6):1202-8. doi: 10.3945/jn.110.136465. Epub 2011 Apr 27. PMID: 21525260.
  6. Trüeb RM. Oxidative stress in ageing of hair. Int J Trichology. 2009;1(1):6-14. doi:10.4103/0974-7753.51923.
  7. Ohishi T, Goto S, Monira P, Isemura M, Nakamura Y. Anti-inflammatory Action of Green Tea. Antiinflamm Antiallergy Agents Med Chem. 2016;15(2):74-90. doi: 10.2174/1871523015666160915154443. PMID: 27634207.
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