green tea

Drinking Green Tea for Hair Growth: How Effective Is It?

February 28, 2018

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Green tea is a delicious antioxidant-rich beverage which is consumed by millions of people worldwide. The polyphenols it contains not help improve our health but may also benefit hair growth too by blocking DHT and decreasing inflammation in the scalp.

There are many types of teas to choose from: you can get loose tea, powdered tea, or regular tea bags. You can get green tea in a variety of flavors even.

I like the old Chinese proverb: “it’s better to be without food for three days than without tea for one.”

I love a cup of tea in the morning, it’s one of my favorite beverages that I’ve been consuming now for a very long time. Perhaps it’s one of the reasons that I have maintained thick hair?

Maybe, let’s look at the science!

How does green tea help hair growth?

Green tea is rich in polyphenols such as catechins, this is why there are so many health benefits from drinking it.

The idea that green tea might help with hair loss came from studies’ indicating that it was able to reduce the conversion of testosterone to the more powerful and hair destroying hormone known as DHT.

In one study, researchers found that green tea was able to reduce PSA levels and prostate tumor growth in animal models (tumors grow faster in response to DHT). This confirms that green tea can act as an anti-androgen.

Green tea inhibits 5-alpha reductase

The compound found in tea called EGCG inhibits an enzyme 5-alpha-reductase type 1. In humans, there are two major types, so just inhibiting the one enzyme will have some effect, but it won’t completely block the conversion of DHT.

This means that although there is likely to be some benefit in using green tea for hair loss, it won’t be a complete cure by itself. But it could still be useful in addition to other treatments.

To increase the anti-androgen effect of green tea, some studies suggest that adding soy to your diet will work much better at reducing levels of DHT.

Green tea inhibits inflammation

Another important way that green tea will help promote hair growth is that it blocks inflammation in the scalp.

Inflammation is a process which is important in the body to heal and regenerate, but it can also destroy tissues hair follicles as well.

There are autoimmune causes of hair loss and other inflammatory conditions that some people develop on their scalp, which will slow down hair growth and even cause severe hair loss in some people.

Green tea is able to regulate the immune system and put the breaks on it when it overreacts, so the inflammatory reaction produced by the body isn’t as strong and therefore there is less damage to the cells and tissues. This will allow the hair follicles to regenerate better and continue to produce hair.

Green tea speeds up cell proliferation

Ex vivo studies have shown that green tea (EGCG) is able to speed up cell proliferation and inhibit apoptosis of normal dermal papilla cells. These play an important role in both the morphogenesis and regeneration of the hair follicle itself.

Researchers hypothesized that the polyphenols in tea were able to increase cell survivability through activation of protein kinase B. It’s a protein which is activated under stress. Tea polyphenols, therefore, toughen up the cell so it can withstand harsher conditions.

In addition to the rate of cell proliferation, they also saw an increase in the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax – which essentially means that or pro-apoptotic signals (cell death signals) were decreased.

Which green tea is best for hair growth?

There are different types of green tea and they can be sourced from different parts of the world.

The quality of the green tea you can get varies greatly, however.

I would recommend that you try to buy Japanese green tea. One of the reasons for this is they’ve shown that it is less contaminated, so it will be healthier for you to drink in the long term.

When it comes to the type of green tea, you could either choose Sencha green tea or Matcha green tea.

I would recommend you try both and see which one you like. Overall, they are both very healthy beverages!

Which green tea has the most antioxidants?

The concentration and bioavailability of green tea antioxidants can depend on the type of tea and even how you brew it.

In an analysis of sencha and matcha tea, researchers found that per gram of tea leaf, the concentration of the main active polyphenol (EGCG) was 137 times greater in matcha green tea than available from sencha and Chinese green teas.

I personally enjoy both! Sometimes I will have sencha green tea and other times I will go for matcha.

Can you drink too much green tea?

The answer is yes. Green tea, when consumed in moderate amounts is healthy, but do not consume more than 10 cups a day on a regular basis.

This is still most likely at a safe level, but there have been cases where people have drunk up to 20 cups or more a day or took large doses of green tea supplements and ended up with liver problems. Large doses of green tea are toxic to the liver and should be avoided.

Green tea is consumed by millions of people every day, so don’t worry too much. The longest-lived people on the planet drink green tea often, and so not only may green tea help you grow your hair faster, but it might also make you live longer and be healthier also!

My tip!

Drinking green tea for faster hair growth is great, but you can make it even better by adding turmeric and ginger. I do this every day to add to the benefits of drinking green tea. By adding these other ingredients, you’ll create a powerful anti-inflammatory drink and enhance the health benefits you get from it.

Conclusion

If you’re planning on using green tea to prevent hair loss, it’s important to realize that there is no one single ingredient in the diet that is likely going to make a huge difference by itself. This is why it’s important to include it as part of a healthy and balanced diet. While there is some evidence based on mechanistic reasons that green tea helps, trials in humans need to be done to confirm that it can help people with hair loss.

That being said, green tea is very good for you and there is no harm in having a few cups a day!

Article reviewed and updated: June 2019.

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