You either love it or you hate but there’s always something about this uniquely flavoured tea that has people attempting to down at least a cup a day. With so many apparent health benefits permeating within this little pot it was only a matter of time before someone discovered the advantages could radiate through our scalps. The latest claim is that drinking several cups of green tea or taking it in capsule form on a daily basis will reduce the risk of hair loss but is it true or are we sipping on something unsettlingly familiar to the inside of a dirty dishwasher for nothing?
It was originally believed that the catechins found in the green tea had 5-alpha-reductase inhibiting properties which means DHT (dihydrotestosterone the substance that causes hair loss in men and women) could be repressed and hair loss could be avoided.* However, more recent studies suggest that it is the anti-inflammatory properties in green tea that are linked to hair growth, but the bottom line question remains does green tea prevent hair loss?
In a study of mice stricken with hair loss, research showed that hairloss was halted in all mice which received green tea in their drinking water and even triggered new hair growth in some of the mice. As for the mice who were not invited to the tea party, their hair loss continued.
“There is abundant evidence that polyphenolic substances are considered as anti-inflammatory and have stress inhibitory characteristics, and there is evidence that stress inhibits hair growth,” the study said.
It is true that stress contributes to hair loss, so have we finally found the great green answer to hair loss? Can a relaxing sip of tea keep the hair on our heads from falling out? Well, let's not get too far ahead of ourselves…
Interestingly, the same study discovered that green tea does not stop hair loss by blocking DHT, as previously thought and as we all know, there are genetic factors in hair loss and no amount of anti-inflammatory tea has yet proven it can work its magic that deep.
The other thing is that humans are a bit different to mice. The green tea given to the mice in this study had extremely high concentration levels of polyphenols and to get results of a similar nature we’d need to be boiling the kettle day and night. There is the supplement alternative but whether or not the effects are as beneficial as the real thing is uncertain as much of the research has been done with actual tea.
Still, is there any harm in drinking green tea for hairloss? Of course not, there are still plenty of other health benefits circulating in a pot of green tea. Many studies strongly suggests that a regular cup of the green stuff is a practical way of preventing cancer, inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and other illnesses, so there’s no real reason not to drink a cup or two a day. But if you’re really keen on preventing hair loss there are only a few treatments for hair loss that are proven to halt the process and generate re-growth and green tea isn't currently one of them. So, even if there are a few modest perks in the old cup of tea, don’t be expecting any miracles.
Find out more about herbal remedies for hair loss and the most effective treatments for hair loss. For a professional consultation, contact the Belgravia Centre on 020 7730 6666, send an email or fill in the online diagnostic form for expert advice and treatment from anywhere in the world.
*Study of Green Tea and DHT inhibition
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