Many of us know as use green tea as a cure-all beverage loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that positively impact our body. Green tea is said to improve brain function, increase fat burning, and may lower your risk of cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cardiovascular disease.
Well, let’s first look into green tea. Green tea is a type of tea made from Camellia sinensis leaves. Camellia sinensis leaves are responsible for green, black, and oolong teas depending on the processing method. Green tea is made from fresh Camellia sinensis leaves that are non-oxidized and go through an intensive drying, process to increase the tannins and taste.
Matcha Green tea is produced with pre-harvest tea leaves that sit under 90% shade, resulting in a richer flavor and high antioxidant content.
Green tea is rich in antioxidants known as flavonols, particularly a type known as catechins. The most powerful catechin in green tea is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which gives green tea its powerful medicinal properties. Additionally, due to its rich antioxidant content, green tea has been used to prevent hair loss and improve hair health. In particular, the EGCG’s in green tea is said to inhibit the effects of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and hormonal hair loss. Why is this important? Well, DHT is known to decrease the hair growth phase and increase hair loss in both men and women. In one study, an EGCG rich green tea was used topically on mice for a short period, this resulted in a decrease in hair loss than those not receiving treatment. Other secondary effects of topical green tea use is that the caffeine in the tea stimulates the cells in your scalp and encourages faster hair growth.
Another study indicated that green tea may support healthy hair growth. In one study, topical green tea derived EGCG was applied to the scalp of three participants with alopecia. After 4 days, the participants noticed increased growth activity. In another small 15 participant study, participants consumed green tea for 12 weeks which lead to increased blood flow and oxygen delivery to the ski- both of which are crucial to the health of your hair. Current animal research shows that consuming green tea extract over 6 months also results in significant hair regrowth for mice.
Future studies with larger human participant pools need to be completed for more conclusive research.
What about this new Matcha Green Tea Craze?
Matcha green tea just like regular green tea is packed full of antioxidants and polyphenols and contains the power antioxidant EGCG. However, the key difference between these teas is that matcha contains the entire leaf and therefore all the nutrients within the leaf. Matcha tea is said to have 137 times more antioxidants than regularly brewed green tea. One cup of matcha is equivalent to the nutritional content of 10 cups of regular green tea. Researchers at Tufts University have found that matcha green tea contains 20 times the antioxidants found in fruits such as pomegranates and berries. Matcha gives you all the energy without the jitters.
So, is Matcha good for your hair?
In addition to all the antioxidant benefits that we just learned are crucial for healthy skin and scalp, matcha tea contains vitamin B better known as Panthenol. Panthenol is a natural hair strengthener and reduces the aging of cells particularly found in older men and women. Panthenol also helps to increase the dermal papilla cells which are responsible for promoting hair growth. It also contains vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, chromium, zinc, and magnesium which helps to reduce oxidative damage from the sun and radiation and improve blood circulation.
How to use:
One of the best ways to experience green tea or matcha green tea’s benefits is to brew your own cup of tea at home. (Always consults with your doctor before consuming any tea or herbs)
Matcha green tea can be used as a hair mask, as a hair rinse, or a hair refresher. Learn how I use both green and matcha tea in my hair regimen.