Will Green Tea Transform Your Hair Routine? A Derm and a Scalp Expert Tell All

Will Green Tea Transform Your Hair Routine? A Derm and a Scalp Expert Tell All

Woman leaning back touching long curly hair

Ohlamour Studio / Stocksy

In This Article

What It Is Benefits Who Should Use It How to Use It The Final Takeaway

Green tea is one of the most popular beverages—whether you prefer it hot or iced, you probably primarily think about it as a drink. However, the ingredient’s antioxidant properties can be useful in several other ways, including for skin and hair—and you may even already be doing it. An increasing amount of haircare brands are including green tea in their products, and it may be exactly what you need to upgrade your routine. If you’re wondering how this beverage can benefit your strands or how best to use it, you’ve come to the right place: Ahead, a dermatologist and a hairstylist/scalp expert share everything you need to know about using green tea for your hair.

Meet the Expert

  • Justine Park, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist at Skin and Beauty Center in West Hills, CA.
  • Mayara Macedo is a hairstylist and scalp therapy expert at The Second Floor Salon in New York.

What Is Green Tea? 

Tea comes from a plant called camellia sinensis, and the different colors (like black, white, and green), aren't actually due to different leaves, but instead a result of of different drying and aging methods. For example, black tea gets its signature dark color through oxidation, when it's intentionally exposed to air, while green tea is dried in a way to preserve the leaves' natural green colors. Matcha is an example of green tea that's dried and ground up rather than left as leaves, which creates a vibrant powder as synonymous with the drink as its health benefits.

All tea contains antioxidants, which is the main root of its array of health benefits. Studies have shown the antioxidants in tea to be beneficial for everything from cancer prevention to heart health, and it turns out the ingredient has potential in other areas as well, including skincare and haircare.


  • Improves hair growth: Green tea may prevent hair loss and support healthy growth thanks to its antioxidant properties, according to hairstylist and scalp therapy expert Mayara Macedo. Board-certified dermatologist Justine Park, MD agrees, adding that green tea has antiseptic and detoxifying properties that can further aid growth,
  • Anti-inflammatory: Macedo says that “green tea also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can soothe the scalp and reduce dandruff,” a point on which Park agrees.
  • May reduce hair thinning: Macedo tells us that the antioxidants in green tea “fight a hormone that can make your hair thin.”
  • May prevent damage: Green tea can promote stronger, less damaged hair because “the catechins in green tea, natural substances that act as antioxidants, protect your cells from damage,” Macedo says.

Who Should Use Green Tea for Hair 

Green tea has a wide range of benefits and is not a common irritant, so most people can potentially benefit from using it on their hair. "Green tea can be beneficial for anyone looking to improve their hair health, especially those experiencing hair loss or thinning," Macedo tells us. "It’s also good for people with a dry or irritated scalp, as its soothing properties can reduce discomfort."

The only people who should avoid green tea without consideration are those with a known allergy. “It is assumed to be safe and likely can be used by all patients unless there is a history of reaction to green tea,” Park tells us. Still, Macedo also advises that anyone with a sensitive scalp or skin condition should consult with their dermatologist before beginning usage.

While green tea for hair has numerous potential benefits, Park points out that the studies haven't yet been as comprehensive as she'd like in order to universally recommend it. "Green tea and its use in hair care needs to be studied further in order to actually be able to recommend it as a treatment or as part of a haircare routine," she explains. "Most research on green tea in hair care has been sponsored by and paid for by manufacturers. Double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled studies are generally necessary in order to make claims for recommending a treatment."

How to Use It

When it comes to your hair, green tea is usually more affective with topical application than if you drink it. That's because it will be going there directly, which helps deliver maximum potency to your hair and scalp in a minimal amount of time. When it comes to what exactly to use, though, you have a choice between DIY rinses and treatments or one of the many products available that contain green tea. You can try a green tea hair serum separate from your other haircare products, or choose a shampoo or conditioner that contain it in order to simplify your routine.

To use green tea directly on your hair, Macedo says you have a couple choices: "You can rinse your hair with cooled green tea after shampooing, or you can apply green tea extracts or oils directly to the scalp," she explains.

Macedo incorporates green tea into her scalp treatments. “At the Second Floor Salon, I use green tea to make a customized toner used during the Detox Scalp Therapy that deep cleans the scalp and deeply moisturizes your hair and scalp, giving you a fresh feeling,” she says. “The green tea is part of my treatment to tackle hair thinning and itchy scalps, combined with ozone steam and high frequency to improve absorption. This helps directly target the scalp and hair follicles, maximizing the benefits.”

The Final Takeaway

Green tea is an antioxidant with numerous potential benefits for hair, including reducing scalp irritation, preventing hair loss, and promoting hair growth. It’s most effective with topical use, and you can either purchase a product that already contains it or make a cup of green tea and use it as a rinse. Green tea is typically low-risk and has a wide range of benefits, so long as you aren’t allergic or particularly sensitive to it. While it needs further study to determine the actual effects, it just might be worth giving a try to see if it upgrades your hair and scalp health.

Article Sources Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.

  1. Khan N, Mukhtar H. Tea and health: studies in humans. Curr Pharm Des. 2013;19(34):6141-6147.


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