We have already touched upon the beneficial effect of green tea for hair regrowth a few times (for example, here). In this article we will discuss the benefits of green tea for your hair and general health in a little more detail (and with a little bit of science).
It seems that the potential uses for green tea to promote health continue to expand as new studies demonstrate its ability to prevent disease. Recently several studies have shown that green tea may be effective in reversing hair loss or balding. If this is indeed true, this could be a safe, non-toxic way to treat a condition that affects millions of men and women worldwide. So what is the association between green tea and healthy growth of hair?
The idea that green tea might play a significant role in hair regrowth stems from the fact that it’s a rich source of polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin-3-gallate or EGCG. It is EGCG that appears to have the potential to reverse hair loss. The way EGCG probably exerts its hair loss effect is by preventing action of an enzyme known as 5 alpha reductase. This enzyme is responsible for converting testosterone in the body to dihydroxytestosterone or DHT. When this occurs, it shortens the life of the hair follicle resulting in premature hair loss. When EGCG acts to inhibit this particular enzyme, conversion to DHT doesn’t occur which means there is less loss of hair. According to this mechanism, green tea and hair loss may be, indeed, intimately related.
Does this effect hold true in actual clinical trials? Two studies have been published recently relating to green tea and hair loss. One, published in the journal Phytomedicine in 2007 showed that the EGCG found in green tea promoted hair growth in cell culture. Another study published in the Journal of the National Medical Association in 2005 demonstrated that the polyphenols in green tea promoted hair regrowth in thirty-three percent of the mice who receive it in their drinking water. As of yet, no trials in humans have been published.
While conclusions regarding green tea for hair regrowth can’t be reached based on such limited study, it certainly suggests further research may be warranted. Green tea is certainly a safe drink with most of the potential side effects rising from the caffeine and tannins present in the leaves which can lead to nervousness, jitteriness, headache, and stomach upset in high doses. Because of the limited side effects associated with its use, green tea may merit a trial if you suffer from excessive hair fall. Unfortunately, there is no established dose that’s known to be effective but it would seem likely that you’d need to consume at least five cups per day to see results. It may also take up to eight months to notice any significant hair regrowth if it is effective.
Would green tea extract or an EGCG supplement help with hair regrowth? Most probably, yes! Even if hair regrowth is not very apparent, green tea is still totally beneficial for your whole body as a natural detoxifier and antioxidant.
P.S. As I have already said, being a great DHT inhibitor green tea is already extensively used as an indespensable component in oral, as well as topical hair loss treatments. We will be covering that in future articles. In the meantime, why won’t you have a cup or two? Follow up!