You may have heard about the role Japanese green tea plays in losing unwanted pounds, but did you also know it is extremely beneficial for both skin and hair? Keep reading to learn all about how you can use green tea to look and feel better.
How Does Green Tea Work for Hair?
Hair is mostly made up of a protein called keratin. Green tea contains a compound called EGCG, which also gives green tea its antioxidant characteristics. However, in addition to aiding in weight loss and boosting the immune system, researchers have found that it has even more beneficial qualities. In an article published in the journal of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, it was found that this compound binds to keratin. This results in thicker, stronger and healthier hair.
In addition to improving the health and appearance of existing hair, the polyphenols in green tea can also help stimulate additional growth. While the research is still in its infancy, a study published in the Journal of Phytomedicine states that both these and the EGCG found in them causes increased human hair growth. While the study was conducted with a view for helping those with alopecia and chemotherapy-related hair loss, the results still work for everyone wishing to regrow lost hair. (Read more about EGCG in green tea in my other article.)
DIY Home Treatments
While drinking Japanese green tea is great for your body, to put the caffeine and antioxidants found in it to work on hair, it should be applied externally. This is great news if you don’t like the taste! For increased growth, thickness and lustrous shine, a simple rinse is all that’s required.
One very popular way to harness the powers of green tea is to use it as a final rinse. Simply boil a tea bag or one tablespoon of loose tea in two cups of water. Let it steep for 10-15 minutes, then strain. At the end of your shower, rinse your hair with the tea. Rub it into your scalp gently, as the pressure will also help to stimulate hair follicles. Be sure to leave it on for at least five minutes, then rinse away with cool water. The cool water will lock in the shine, while also activating the caffeine and antioxidants. As an added benefit, if you often develop blemishes around the hairline, the green tea will also help get rid of them.
If you experience a lot of stress, that can be a cause of hair loss. L-theanine, an amino acid found almost exclusively in teas such as Japanese green tea, has been shown to reduce stress and have a profound relaxing effect on people. L-theanine is a major component of herbal stress remedies, and can help greatly reduce the amount of hair loss you experience. As an added benefit, the fluoride contained in green tea will also help with oral health! (Read more about this topic on my another article - Want Good Oral Health? Get Our Top 10 Tips for Why Drinking Green Tea Will Get You There!)
Green Tea Shampoos and Treatments
If dumping a few cups of tea over your head isn’t the route you want to take, consider one of the many shampoos and skin or hair treatments containing green tea components and compounds. They are currently skyrocketing in popularity, and have different compounds to target different problems.
For thinning hair, a green tea shampoo that features concentrations of caffeine and a high antioxidant count, such as the iRestore Hair Growth Shampoo. As stated, these stimulate additional hair growth, targeting the hair follicle and giving it a much needed boost to start producing new hairs. The concentrations in shampoos are much higher than in home-brewed tea, so you may see results faster.
For shinier, thicker hair, look for a shampoo or hair masks that advertise a high amount of polyphenols and EGCG. These will improve the volume and luster of hair, using the natural amino acids that bind themselves to keratin. The Theorie Green Tea Energizing Shampoo is excellent for this, and it also has clarifying agents to get rid of any dandruff or buildup that may be weighing hair down.
With all the beneficial compounds and natural properties contained in Japanese green tea, it’s hard to pinpoint the best one. The truth is, it’s a wildly popular drink with beneficial aspects such as fluoride, polyphenols and antioxidants that you can harness in many ways. Whether you choose a DIY home treatment or a specially-formulated shampoo with green tea extracts, you’ll start seeing incredible results after just a few uses.
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- Kei and Team at Dream of Japan