Matcha powder is becoming increasingly popular as a natural hair growth remedy. Like regular green tea, matcha powder is also made from Camellia sinensis plant leaves. However, its strong concentration, owing to the intensive growth process and then distilling it to fine powder enhances the amounts and effects of the plant’s components.
This powdered form also makes it easier to use in products such as cosmetics and hair products.
Despite various inflated inflated claims, some vitamins and components in matcha powder do have the potential to promote hair growth.
There’s science behind this hair growth remedy and good ways to incorporate it into your hair care routine.
What ingredients in matcha help hair growth?
Matcha consists of a unique blend of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that protect the scalp and promote hair growth. The main ingredients present in matcha powder that are linked to improved hair growth are:
Catechins are phenol and polyphenol compounds known to offer a wide range of health benefits. The most abundant and potent catechin in matcha powder is epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Catechins are even stronger antioxidants than vitamin C and flavonoids.
Scientific studies have shown that EGCG prevents hair damage caused by oxidative stress and increases hair growth by stimulating the hair follicle. EGCG also has the potential to treat hormonal hair loss. (Hint: It’s great for your teeth, too.)
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals to protect the hair and scalp from oxidative stress. One study found that oxidative stress can damage the hair and accelerate hair loss.
Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that may protect the scalp from oxidative stress. Studies have shown vitamin E supplementation increased hair growth in individuals suffering from alopecia (an autoimmune disorder in which hair falls out).
This is better known as vitamin B-5, and matcha tea contains a lot of it. Panthenol naturally increases the hair’s strength and reduces cell aging. This is a problem especially common in older people.
Panthenol also helps increase dermal papilla cells at the bottom of the hair follicle. These also help hair growth.
Is there scientific proof of a relation between matcha and hair growth?
Matcha powder contains active compounds that have shown potential to improve hair loss in various studies. That includes all of the ones in the previous section.
The polyphenols and vitamins in matcha powder appear to protect the hair from oxidative stress. While the high caffeine content is known to promote hair growth (and comes with a few side effects such as irritability and increased pooping when taken in higher doses or on an empty stomach).
Epigallocatechin-3-gallate EGCG is the star ingredient of matcha powder that prevents hair loss caused by a hormonal imbalance called androgenetic alopecia.
Scientific studies have explained that higher levels of the hormones testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in androgenetic alopecia cause hair loss. DHT binds to the androgen receptors present in the hair follicle to shorten the anagen phase, the phase in which the hair grows. Over time DHT also makes the hair follicle thinner, which leads to increased hair loss.
Some studies have indicated that EGCG can prevent hair loss caused by hormonal imbalance and that it promotes hair growth by protecting and stimulating the hair follicles. EGCG works by inhibiting the enzymes that are involved in the production of DHT, the hormone responsible for hair loss in androgenetic alopecia.
One study showed that mice given a topical treatment of green tea rich in EGCG suffered much less hair loss than the control group.
In another study, EGCG extracted from green tea was applied to the scalps of three alopecia patients. These patients experienced substantially increased hair growth activity after 4 days of EGCG application.
So, yes, the science does seem to back it up
Nothing stops products from making inflated claims, and there’s always something new and magical to fix just about any problem. But in this case, there’s quite good work done on the topic.
This scientific evidence gives us good reason to think that applying green tea-derived EGCG can promote hair growth. Matcha powder has even higher concentrations of EGCG than regular green tea which means that applying matcha powder to the scalp may offer the same if not more hair growth benefits as applying green tea to the scalp.
One study investigated the role of caffeine in hair growth. The study’s results confirmed that applying caffeine on the scalp improves hair follicle growth. Caffeine relaxes the smooth muscles around the hair follicle to promote blood circulation. Improved blood circulation means more nutrients are delivered to the hair follicle.
Another study concluded that EGCG derived from green tea improves hair growth in humans by encouraging production of hair cells and prolonging the anagen stage (growing stage of hair).
Scientific evidence suggests that the catechins, caffeine, and vitamins in matcha powder are beneficial for hair growth.
Does matcha affect men’s and women’s hair differently?
The active compounds present in matcha tea offer the same hair growth benefits for both men and women. There is no evidence to suggest that matcha affects men’s and women’s hair differently.
How to use matcha powder on your hair
Matcha powder is a trending ingredient present in hair care products. You can find products that contain it or you can create your own hair mask.
How it works
A study found that applying herbal treatments made from green tea leaves on the scalp can improve hair growth. Another study indicated improved hair growth activity upon application of a hair growth tonic made from green tea leaves.
Both these studies showed greater improvement in hair growth by green tea formulations when compared with Minoxidil, a synthetic drug commonly used to treat hair loss.
Matcha-containing hair products
There are shampoos and conditioners with green tea in them and with matcha in them. This site is now about endorsing or maligning specific products (unless they’re basically bogus), so we won’t get into specific brands. (I will, however, definitely discuss which matcha and green tea are the best. That’s something I’m very into.)
You’ll see all sorts of wonderful claims and catchphrases like “keto” and “collagen”. It’s up to you if you think they work. We found no intensive studies on the matter, though no shortage of people hawking ideas.
All I can say is, try them and see. Buy the best-quality product, read reviews (especially the 3-star/moderate reviews, as they’re usually the most honest ones). Then apply the shampoo and conditions to the roots. For conditioner, leave it in for at least 3 minutes.
Make your own hair mask or rinse
Healthline recommends that you add 1–2 green tea bags to boiling water and let them steep for 5 minutes. After it cools, apply it at the end of your shower. But that’s for regular green tea, no matcha.
This video is a DIY approach to the hair mask and she seems to know what she’s doing. Lovely hair.
Her recipe is
- 1 egg
- 1tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tbsp Matcha Green Tea powder
No harm here; all-natural. And I don’t think you need to worry about turning your hair green. Matcha, in fact, is used in Japan now to reinforce hair after coloring.
It may not be peer-reviewed science, and likes so so many treatments, may rely on the placebo effect (wishful thinking), but they’re doing this in Kyoto, the home of matcha, so that’s got merit.
Is matcha different from other green teas for hair growth?
A study has indicated that matcha is more concentrated in antioxidants than other green teas. The higher potency of matcha tea is based on how it is processed. Antioxidants can promote hair growth by protecting the hair from oxidative stress caused by UV radiation and pollutants.
One teaspoon (2 grams) of matcha powder provides 100–109 mg of EGCG. Regular green tea only provides up to 86 mg in a single serving. Naturally, the amount used and drunk will vary your mileage.
Similarly, caffeine is another ingredient found in green tea leaves that’s known to improve hair growth. Matcha has a higher caffeine content than regular green tea.
As matcha tea leaves are more nutrient-dense than regular green tea, matcha powder may offer greater hair growth benefits.
Precautions about using matcha to grow your hair
According to one source, drinking green tea or applying green tea extract on the skin is likely safe. I found no scientific evidence that mentions any precautions about applying matcha powder to the scalp or hair.
The research in this article did not turn up anything worrying.