Tea is the most-consumed drink in the world, after water, and the Camellia sinensis plant provides most of the tea that people drink globally. This same plant provides several types of tea, each based upon the degree of fermentation the leaves go through during processing. Black tea, white tea, pu-erh tea and oolong tea derive from the same species as green tea but differ in their processing.
Green tea, the unfermented product, is full of antioxidants and other healthy compounds. Rich in polyphenols such as catechins, flavonoids and flavonols, this tea's researched health benefits include support for weight loss, arthritis relief, protection against cancer, reduction of dementia risk, reduction of insulin resistance, and improvement of gastrointestinal, reproductive, liver and kidney health.
As if these benefits don't already sound too good to be true, the topical application of green tea extract can promote hair and scalp health. At Divi, we are firm believers in the application of green tea extract for hair growth, which is why Divi's Scalp Serum features this extract. In this guide, we share why you should consider using this ingredient via our Scalp Serum.
What Is Green Tea?
Like all tea types, green tea consists of dried Camellia sinensis leaves and buds. Two variations of the Camellia sinensis plant exist: an Indian variant used in black and oolong teas and a Chinese variant in white and green teas. Manufacturers use this plant's mature, unfermented leaves to produce green tea.
Green tea undergoes minimal oxidation, withering and other forms of processing. As a result, green tea retains a high concentration of antioxidants.
Chemical analysis of green tea reveals that what seems to be a simple leaf contains an abundance of health-supporting substances. These include phenolic compounds (polyphenols), fiber, proteins, amino acids, carbohydrates, lipids and an array of minerals.
Amino acids in green tea include theanine, glutamic acid, tryptophan, glycine, serine, aspartic acid, tyrosine, valine, leucine, threonine, arginine and lysine.
Minerals include calcium, magnesium, chromium, manganese, iron, copper, zinc, molybdenum, selenium, sodium, phosphorus, cobalt, strontium, nickel, potassium, fluorine and aluminum.
Polyphenols are secondary metabolites in foods such as fruits, vegetables, olive oil and, of course, tea. These polyphenols have several biological functions and are integral in maintaining human health. Different types of polyphenols exist, including:
- Phenolic acids
In green tea, flavonoids are the most prominent type of polyphenols. The flavonoid subclass of polyphenols has anti-inflammatory effects and protects the cells against oxidative stress. These include flavonols, flavones, isoflavones, flavanones, anthocyanidins and flavanols
Catechins, a subcategory of active flavonoids, are the primary components of green tea. When people talk about the antioxidants in green tea, they are referring to these catechins.
Green tea contains four catechins, including:
- Epicatechin (EC)
- Epigallocatechin (EGC)
- Epicatechin-3-gallate (ECG)
- Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG)
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the most effective anti-cancer polyphenol in green tea and has the most potential as an agent in medical applications for cardiovascular and metabolic health as well.
Green Tea Extract Compounds and Their Benefits
Green tea contains various compounds, nutrients and antioxidants, each uniquely contributing to hair growth and scalp health. In the sections below, we outline some of the ways green tea extract can promote healthy hair growth.
Protecting the Skin and Scalp
A 2019 review study from Poland examined the use of tea and its constituents in cosmetic applications. The authors found that the effects of the tea plants differed depending upon the skin layer:
- The stratum corneum layer responds to the green tea’s antioxidant properties.
- In deeper layers, the polyphenols offer significant protection against UV radiation. They also delay signs of aging by inhibiting the enzymes that destroy proteins like collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid.
- At the dermic level, green tea compounds improve microcirculation and oxygenation and protect Vitamin C and adrenaline from oxidation while strengthening blood vessels.
Antioxidants form a defense system that protects our skin from free radicals, UV radiation, environmental pollution like cigarette smoke, oxidative stress, and hypoxia (low oxygen levels in our bodies). UV radiation and oxidative stress contribute to skin aging, wrinkling, and pigmentation.
EGCG is a scavenger of free radicals. Frequent exposure to free radicals can influence the development of inflammatory skin diseases, vitiligo or skin cancer, so EGCG’s elimination of free radicals protects skin from damage and maintains its healthy condition.
Researchers have found that EGCG treatment increases skin hydration and moisture retention by increasing levels of the natural moisturizing factors (NMFs) filaggrin, transglutaminase (TGM) and hyaluronic acid. EGCG increases cell proliferation, so it is beneficial for combating hair follicle miniaturization and as an anti-wrinkle agent.
Preventing Hair Loss
Hair loss is typically due to androgenetic alopecia, or AGA, a genetic disorder. In men, this condition presents as a receding hairline, usually in an "M" pattern. Women with AGA generally experience thinning hair, which starts at the part line and then spreads to the rest of the head. Researchers have established a link between androgenetic alopecia and the body's dihydrotestosterone (DHT) production. DHT is an androgen that plays an integral role in body development.
However, menopause, polycystic ovarian syndrome, prostate cancer and other health conditions can cause excess levels of DHT in the body. DHT miniaturizes the hair follicles and interferes with hair strands' growth cycles, causing hair thinning and loss.
Green tea extract is rich in caffeine, a central nervous system stimulant with various antioxidant properties. Caffeine inhibits the function of the enzyme phosphodiesterase. This enzyme interferes with cell signaling, which hair follicles need to support cell division and regeneration. In other words, caffeine indirectly counteracts DHT's miniaturization effect on hair follicles.
EGCG also regulates specific miRNAs to prevent hair follicle cell death from UV-light exposure and oxidative stress. For example, if you are a smoker, green tea antioxidants can help to offset the effects of free radical activity in your body and the resulting hair follicle damage.
A 2016 study found that the catechins in green tea also prevent DHT-induced cell death. The catechin EGCG reduces 5α-reductase activity, which is the conversion of testosterone into DHT. In other words, EGCG can help to reduce DHT levels in the body, which, in turn, alleviates the effects of androgenetic alopecia.
Similar studies point to green tea extracts with concentrated levels of EGCG inhibiting the binding of the androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT) to the hair roots and supporting new hair growth.
Promoting Follicle Function and Hair Growth
Green tea extract, rich in EGCG, appears to extend the anagen growth phase of the hair follicle and decrease the telogen shedding phase. A 2017 study demonstrated the effectiveness of green tea in a polyherbal formula with other traditional Asian medicines to effect hair regeneration in mice. A 2007 study of EGCG’s efficacy on human hair growth showed that EGCG promoted hair growth in human dermal papilla cells both in vitro and in vivo.
In addition to preventing hair loss, the caffeine in green tea extract can also enhance your hair follicle health. A 2007 study found that caffeine increases hair root size and extends anagen duration, which is a hair strand's growth stage. Caffeine applications to the hair roots also promote the production of keratin, a protein that keeps hair healthy.
Green tea is a secondary source of caffeine in Divi's Scalp Serum, and our formula also contains caffeine as a main ingredient. However, adding green tea to the ingredients improves the bioavailability of caffeine and maximizes its effects on follicle health and hair growth.
Fighting Pathogens as an Antimicrobial
The scalp microbiome consists of a community of organisms growing and living on your scalp skin. These bacteria work together in a delicate balance to promote a healthy scalp environment. However, when a condition, such as excess sebum production, throws your scalp microbiome out of balance, the scalp skin becomes susceptible to irritation, flaking and itching.
Some of the microorganisms living on your scalp include:
- Cutibacterium acnes
- Malassezia restricta
- Lichen planopilaris
- Staphylococcus epidermidis
- Malassezia globosa
The Malassezia genus are yeast that can grow on your hair follicles, causing pityrosporum folliculitis. Staphylococcus epidermidis and Malassezia species are also responsible for dandruff.
The catechins in green tea have prominent and direct antimicrobial properties. A catechin, such as EGCG, can bind to the lipid bilayer cell membrane of a harmful bacterium, damaging it. A bacterium with cell membrane damage cannot secrete toxins that affect hair follicle health.
Catechins also inhibit fatty acid synthesis in bacteria. These fatty acids provide bacteria with energy. When catechins inhibit their synthesis, bacteria can no longer produce toxic metabolites.
Applying green tea to your hair and scalp can contribute to a healthy scalp microbiome and help prevent skin conditions that affect healthy hair growth.
Promoting Hair and Scalp Health
Green tea extract for hair growth contains a wide range of nutrients. Divi's Scalp Serum contains green tea extract and provides a convenient way to ensure that your scalp and hair strands receive the healthy minerals and compounds they need.
The plant pigments in green tea include chlorophyll and yellow flavone compounds. Chlorophyll is present in the tea plant's chloroplasts and is responsible for converting water and carbon dioxide into glucose and oxygen.
Chlorophyll is rich in various minerals and nutrients, including potassium, magnesium and calcium. These minerals also contribute to a healthy scalp environment and healthy hair growth. When the scalp skin absorbs chlorophyll, it might have an anti-inflammatory effect and help to prevent common scalp conditions, such as rashes.
Potassium prevents moisture loss from your skin, reducing the risk of a dry or itchy scalp. This electrolyte helps maintain your scalp's pH balance, protecting it against skin diseases like eczema and acne.
Green tea contains zinc, which helps regulate sebum production and prevent dandruff. Zinc accelerates hair follicle recovery, which helps prevent hair loss. This nutrient also prevents hair follicles from entering the catagen phase, or regression, prolonging the growth phase of your hair strands.
The calcium in green tea can aid in healthy hormone and enzyme secretion, contributing to strong and healthy hair growth.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and serve an essential role in hair formation. While green tea extract only contains trace elements of amino acids, these supplement the amino acids that form key ingredients in Divi’s Scalp Serum, such as glycine, serine and aspartic acid. These amino acids, which are critical for our bodies to synthesize proteins and significant nitrogen-containing compounds, such as creatine, peptide hormones, and some neurotransmitters.
Amino acids are the building blocks for two essential hair components: proteins and polypeptides. Between 85% and 90% of our hair consists of keratin, the tough protein that also forms our nails. Keratin contains at least 18 of the 20 standard types of amino acids humans need, including aspartic acid. Keratin is the protein in your hair's long locks and contributes to healthy skin and nails.
The Risks of Green Tea Consumption
A daily topical application of green tea extract as a part of the Divi’s Scalp Serum formula is safe, with no known adverse effects.
Divi's Scalp Serum Containing Green Tea Extract for Healthy Hair Growth
Green tea extract can help both women and men fight the signs of androgenetic alopecia or other hair loss conditions by blocking DHT receptors around the hair follicle and stimulating hair growth by nourishing the cells of the scalp to produce healthy hair follicles and strong hair roots. If you want to benefit from green tea extract for hair growth, Divi’s Scalp Serum is the ideal option for you.
A daily topical application of this serum, massaged into the scalp, is all you need to promote healthy hair growth with green tea. Our high-quality, clean ingredients work together in synergy.
Divi’s Scalp Serum is a cruelty-free and vegan product suitable for people with skin sensitivities. This product is also synthetic fragrance-free, and its refreshing scent comes from ingredients like peppermint, eucalyptus and tea tree oil. Buy Divi's Scalp Serum today and begin to address the cause of your hair condition—down to the roots.