Chances are you’ve never even though about what hair is made of. Hair is made up of a protein called Keratin. Keratins are fibrous proteins that are tough and insoluble and form the hard structures found in reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals, which includes us humans.
Losing hair is normal, everyday you lose around 100 hairs on your head. Since our scalp has approximately 10,000 hairs, this loss is not noticeable. But what if you lose more than 100 hairs a day? Is there anything you can do, outside of taking short-term prescription medications that have undesirable side effects that will slow down or stop hair loss?
Medications, chemotherapy, autoimmune deficiency, hormonal changes, age, stress, chemical pollutants, and genetics are just a few examples of hair loss. Androgenetic alopecia, better known as male pattern baldness, is very common. In males, low levels of the protein SHBG, sex hormone binding globulin, contribute to male pattern baldness.
Green Tea Extract
Everyone seems to know the main benefit of green tea is the antioxidant value; but did you know green tea also contributes to energy and stamina, works against wrinkles and aging, and may promote hair growth?
How it Works
The primary ingredients of green tea are polyphenol catechins. These catechins block the action of an enzyme that contributes to male pattern baldness. Elevated levels of green tea in males are associated with high levels of SHBG. Conversely, low levels of green tea are associated with low levels of SHBG.
SHBG carries testosterone throughout the body, reducing free testosterone levels. Left unchecked, the free testosterone converts to dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, in hair follicles. The general consensus is DHT contributes to a shorter hair growth cycle and hair loss. On the other hand, another study concluded that green tea did not block DHT, rather hair growth was stimulated by anti-inflammatory properties of green tea.
How to Use
Green tea dates back to China and has been around for 5,000 years. It is made from the dried leaves of an evergreen shrub, the Camellia sinensis. Whether you are brewing from a tea bag or using leaves, water temperature is very important. If the water temperature is too cool, the full flavor will not be released. If the water temperature in too hot, the tea will be bitter. Green teas taste best when brewed between 140 – 180 degrees F. Green tea can be found in grocery and specialty stores, and also can be ordered on the internet.
What I Like
I like the fact that green tea offers a natural solution to hair loss versus prescription medications that have many side effects. Green tea is affordable, accessible, soothing to drink, easy to prepare, and offers many health benefits in one cup.
Green tea offers many benefits besides being an antioxidant. Studies are connecting the properties of green tea to reducing hair loss in men. What is not clear is if these properties aid in preventing hair loss in women.