EXPERT Q&A

Q: I recently read a study about black tea and how it can be beneficial for hair loss. Is this true? If so, how does it work?

What our experts say:

In ancient Hindu culture it is well known that the boiling water used in tea in copper pots is helpful to hair loss because copper is a trace mineral that is essential to hair vitality, strength and growth. This same culture was even known to boil water directly onto the hair. However, I am unaware of the benefits of black tea specifically.

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Dr. Janice Lima Maribona

Dermatologist

Miami, Florida

"Mice treated with black tea (via standard, steeped beverage" tended to have a greater serum testosterone concentration (34%, p=.50) and had a 72% lower DHT concentration than controls (P < 0.05), suggesting that black tea may contain components that inhibit the activity of 5- reductase, an enzyme that converts testosterone to the more bioactive DHT." As DHT is the primary agent that is reduced by Propecia, the above extract is compelling.  However, the study is in mice, therefore safety/effectiveness has not been ascertained in the human trials, additionally, the study refers to Keemun black tea specifically (we are therefore unable to know if there are properties specific to this particular black tea that are not present in other black teas.  Furthermore, the dose of the tea in this study was approx. equivalent to 100 cups of tea per day! 

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