Hair benefits of green tea
Green tea is added to many hair care products for its purported benefits. Here are some potential hair benefits of green tea.
May prevent hair loss
Hair loss affects many men and women around the world, and it has various causes, such as stress, diet, autoimmune diseases, and hormonal changes (5).
Hormonal hair loss, known as androgenetic alopecia, affects around 50 million men and 30 million women in the United States. In fact, 50% of men and 25% of women aged 50 and older will experience some degree of hormone-related hair loss (6, 7).
During hair loss, the hair’s natural growth cycle changes. The cycle includes three phases — androgen (hair growth), catagen (transitional phase), and telogen (hair loss) (5).
Two hormones, testosterone and dihydrotestosterone, can decrease the hair growth phase and increase hair loss. Some research has shown that EGCG can inhibit the effects of these hormones on hair and slow hair loss (5).
In a company-funded pilot study, 10 participants with androgenetic alopecia took a supplement called Forti5 for 24 weeks. At the end of the study, 80% of participants had significant improvements in hair regrowth (8).
However, the supplement contained an undisclosed amount of green tea extract, melatonin, vitamin D, omega-3, omega-6, beta-sitosterol, and soy isoflavones. Therefore, it’s difficult to know whether the green tea extract led to these improvements (8).
In one study, mice that received a topical treatment of EGCG-rich green tea had significantly less hair loss than those that did not receive treatment (9).
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It appears that EGCG decreases testosterone-induced hair loss by prolonging the androgen phase of hair growth and slowing the telogen phase, which leads to the shedding of hair (9).
Supports hair growth
Green tea may support healthy hair growth and regrowth.
In one small study, researchers added topical green tea-derived EGCG extract to the scalps of three participants with alopecia. After 4 days, the participants experienced significant increases in hair growth activity (10).
EGCG appears to increase hair growth by stimulating hair follicles and preventing damage to skin and hair cells (5, 10).
What’s more, in a hair loss study in mice, researchers found that 33% of the animals that consumed green tea extract experienced hair regrowth after 6 months, while no mice in the control group experienced improvements (11).
However, it’s currently unknown how quick or effective green tea hair treatments are for promoting hair growth in humans, especially those who do not have hormone-related hair loss.
Improved nutrient delivery
Hair is part of a much larger system called the integumentary system, which includes nails, skin, hair, and accessory structures. In fact, your hair grows directly from your skin, from which it receives blood flow and nutrition during its growth stage (12).
In a small study in 15 participants, researchers found that consuming supplements containing green tea extract for 12 weeks increased skin blood flow and oxygen delivery by 29%, compared with the control group (13).
In another group in the same study, 30 participants drank 4 cups (1 liter) of green tea for 12 weeks. Compared with the control group, the green tea group showed significant improvements in skin hydration (13).
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Hair growth is largely related to oxygen and nutrient delivery to the skin. In fact, poor blood circulation can lead to hair loss. Therefore, drinking green tea may increase the supply of these nutrients to your scalp and improve hair growth (12, 13).