Green tea is long touted as a popular healthy beverage across the world. It is best enjoyed as a drink, but several companies have harnessed the healing power of green tea and made it among the main ingredients of many personal care products, including those used for hair care.
Many people believe that green tea can solve a myriad of hair issues, including dandruff, dryness, and hair fall. But are these beliefs really true? And if they are, how should you use green tea for your hair? We answer all these questions in our post today.
What’s Green Tea?
Tea is made by brewing the dried leaves of the Camellia sinensis plants. The leaves’ processing methods and oxidation levels determine what type of tea comes out of it (such as black, green, white, matcha, or oolong tea).
Green tea comes from unoxidized tea plant leaves. Green tea is actually the least processed tea type. Fresh tea leaves are dried and exposed to the sunlight, thereby preventing fermentation and oxidation. The result is tea that has high amounts of polyphenols, antioxidants, and nutrients.
Brewed green tea often appears greenish, yellowish, or brownish in color. Its taste profile could be described as any of these:
Most varieties of green tea have that distinctive bittersweet aftertaste.
Green Tea Types
Green tea is often packaged and sold in a variety of forms, including the following:
- Loose-leaf tea
- Single tea bags
- Instant powdered form
- Capsule or liquid green tea supplements
Bottled and ready-to-drink green tea beverages are also available. Such types are already sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners. However, bottled green tea beverages do not actually count as brewed green tea because of its fewer polyphenol content. This information was gleaned from a 2010 study presented at an American Chemical Society meeting.
Overview of Green Tea Health Benefits
Green tea has long been used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine to help cure and alleviate a number of health problems. But in recent years, several modern pieces of research seem to validate the numerous benefits of consuming green tea for health.
Here are some health benefits green tea has been well-known for:
- Lowers risk for heart ailments and cancers
- Decreases cholesterol levels
- Improves working memory
- Potentially prevent Alzheimer’s disease and treat neuropsychiatric illnesses like dementia
- Improve inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis and dandruff
Green tea may help reduce the risks of getting stroke and type 2 diabetes. The beverage may also help alleviate stress, decrease fatigue, reduce inflammation, prevent dental cavities, and promote weight loss. These additional benefits need more studies to back them up, though.
High antioxidant content found in green tea makes all of these beneficial health claims possible. Specifically, antioxidants called catechins contribute to the healthy properties of green tea.
The most significantly powerful catechin abundant in green tea is called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). It is known for its positive effects on metabolism, cancer prevention, and inflammation.
Benefits of Green Tea for Hair
We’ve seen how green tea can boost our overall health. Meanwhile, here’s how green tea helps improve your hair’s health:
1. Helps prevent hair loss
An elevated amount of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in males can lead to hair loss, as well as prostate enlargement/benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer. The significant link between hair loss, prostate conditions, and elevated DHT levels were initially discovered by researchers who developed Finasteride, an oral hair loss medication for men.
Catechins found in green tea help reduce the level of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body. Catechins inhibit the enzyme that transforms testosterone to DHT, thereby lowering down DHT levels in the long run. This could be helpful in managing hormonal hair loss conditions such as androgenetic alopecia.
2. Promotes healthy hair regrowth
Green tea’s catechins also help promote regrowth of lost hair. Specifically, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) stimulates dormant hair follicles and dermal papilla cells to initiate new hair growth.
A 2005 animal study saw hair regrowth in 33% of mice who were given green tea extracts within a 6-month period. This is a promising result, yet more studies would be needed to further validate catechins’ exact mechanism and role in hair regrowth.
3. Improves oxygen delivery via the bloodstream
An adequate supply of oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles relies on proper blood circulation in the scalp. Green tea’s high polyphenol content is thought to improve overall blood flow and nutrient delivery to the skin and scalp, ultimately aiding in hair regrowth.
Research showed an improvement in skin and scalp hydration by either drinking the tea or taking green tea extract supplements for 12 weeks.
How to Use Green Tea for Hair
Green tea is indeed effective for hair loss and hair regrowth, thanks to its antioxidants. There are several ways in which you can use green tea for your hair:
1. As a hair rinse
Take 3 bags of green tea, add it to half a liter of boiling water, and let it steep for 10-15 minutes. Allow the tea to cool down completely. Use the cooled green tea to rinse your hair after your regular shampoo and conditioner. Let the tea remain on your hair for around 15 minutes, then rinse off with cool water. Use this green tea rinse 2-3 times a week for best hair regrowth results.
2. As a hair mask
Create your own homemade green tea hair mask by choosing any of the following effective recipes:
- Steep 1-2 bags of green tea in boiling water for 5 minutes. Completely cool it afterward. Then, take 2 tablespoons of the cooled green tea and add a tablespoon of olive oil and 1 egg yolk. Combine the three ingredients well, then apply on your damp hair and let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse as usual with a gentle shampoo and cool water.
- Mix together 2 tablespoons cooled green tea, a tablespoon of coconut oil, and the extracts of half a lemon. Apply to damp hair, leave on for half an hour, and rinse off with shampoo and cool water.
- Combine 2 tablespoons of green tea with a tablespoon of olive oil and 40 ml of honey. Extract juice from one whole lemon and add to the mixture, combining everything well. Apply to damp hair, leave for 30 minutes, then rinse it off with water.
3. Using hair care products with green tea
The haircare market is flooded with lots of shampoos, conditioners, and hair packs containing green tea extracts. You can try using a haircare line with green tea extracts if you don’t have the time to create homemade masks and rinses. You can also supplement your homemade green tea hair care products with commercially-prepared ones. Be sure to follow each manufacturer’s advice on how to properly use their shampoos, conditioners, and masks.
4. Drinking freshly brewed green tea daily
An easy and highly-effective way to use green tea for better hair health? Drink it up regularly. Aim for 1-2 cups or 240-480 ml of green tea per day. Doing so will up your body’s antioxidant levels, helping you gain healthier skin, scalp, and hair along the way.
Be wary of consuming more than 2 cups of green tea daily, as it may cause possible stomach upset and insomnia due to its caffeine content.
If you’re pregnant or lactating, consume only a cup of green tea a day. Too much green tea could potentially lead to miscarriage. Green tea can also pass through breastmilk and be taken in by your breastfeeding baby.
5. Taking green tea supplements
There are several pills containing green tea extracts available in pharmacies everywhere. Be sure to ask your physician first for advice regarding dosage and any potential drug interactions that may occur with your intake of green tea supplements.
Summing it Up
Green tea is a powerful beverage laden with health benefits for the entire body. It’s also an effective hair tonic that helps fight hair loss, improves scalp circulation, and induces hair regrowth. Pairing green tea use with other ways to stop hair loss will result to hair that’s noticeably healthier, stronger, shinier, and fuller.
There are several ways you can use green tea for better hair health. You can simply sip green tea regularly, use green tea rinses, create homemade green tea masks, incorporate green tea-infused hair care products to your regimen, or take green tea pills with physician’s supervision.
Have you ever tried using green tea for your hair? Share with us your experiences in the comments section!