It does indeed work…and here is proof. Number one Gillette wouldn’t take out a patent if it didn’t, and there are experiments they have done to prove it.
"Male intact Golden Syrian hamsters are considered acceptable models for human beard hair growth in that they display oval shaped flank organs, one on each side, each about 8 mm. in major diameter, which grow thick black and coarse hair similar to human beard hair. These organs produce hair in response to androgens in the hamster. To evaluate the effectiveness of a particular catechin compound, or mixture of catechin compound, the flank organs of each of a group of hamsters are depilated by applying a thioglycolate based chemical depilatory (Surgex). To one organ of each animal 10-25 µ l. of vehicle alone once a day is applied, while to the other organ of each animal an equal amount of vehicle containing a catechin compound is applied.
After thirteen applications (one application per day for five days a week), the flank organs are shaved and the amount of recovered hair (hair mass) from each is weighed. Percent-reduction of hair growth is calculated by subtracting the hair mass (mg) value of the test compound treated side from the hair mass value of the vehicle treated side; the delta value obtained is then divided by the hair mass value of the vehicle treated side, and the resultant number is multiplied by 100.
The above-described assay will be referred to herein as the “Golden Syrian hamster” assay. Preferred compositions provide a reduction in hair growth of at least about 35%, more preferably at least about 50%, and most preferably at least about 70% when tested in the Golden Syrian hamster assay.
The mixture of catechins isolated from green tea leaves as described previously were tested in the Golden Syrian hamster assay. The mixture caused a dose dependent reduction of hair growth in the range of 46-91%. The mixture was tested at a 5, 10, 20 and 30% dose. The results are presented in Table 1.
Epigallocatechin (EGC), epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), epicatechin (EC), and epicatechin gallate (ECG), purified as described previously, also were tested in a Golden Syrian hamster assay. The results are presented in Table 2. Among the four catechins, epigallocatechin gallate was found to be the most potent. The hair growth reductions ranged from 58 to 81%. In a dose response study, this compound was found to be quite effective even at a 1% concentration, which produced a 53% hair growth reduction"
Here is how they did it…
"Epicatechin, epicatechin gallate, epigallocatechin, epigallocatechin gallate were isolated from green tea leaves according to the procedure described by R. Agarwal et al., Cancer Research 52:3582-3588 (1992), with some modification. Dried green tea leaves were extracted with hot water at 80°C. under nitrogen. The hot water extraction was repeated twice. The residual leaves were further extracted with 80% ethanol by gently agitating at 25-30°C. on a horizontal shaker at 125 rpm for 1 hr. The water and the ethanol extracts were combined. The hydro-alcoholic (water-ethanol) extract was treated with chloroform to remove caffeine and pigments. The chloroform layer was separated from the hydro-alcoholic layer using a separatory funnel. The latter fraction was extracted three times under nitrogen with ethyl acetate. The ethyl acetate layer was separated and subjected to rotary evaporation to remove the organic solvent. The residue was dissolved in water and freeze-dried. This resulted in an off-white to slightly yellow dried residue of green tea polyphenols (GTP). The total yield of the polyphenolic fraction was 10.3%. The percent composition of individual polyphenol component in the mixture was determined on a reverse-phase HPLC system. The HPLC analysis revealed four major catechin components in the mixture: epigallocatechin (4.6%), epigallocatechin gallate (69.6%), epicatechin (6.7%) and epicatechin gallate (19.1%).
The individual catechin components were further purified on a preparative reverse phase HPLC system. The freeze-dried GTP’s fraction was dissolved in water, and loaded on to a 40 x 300mm C-18 reverse phase column. The catechin compounds were eluted from the column using a gradient elution with water (adjusted to pH 4.4 with formic acid) and ethanol. The column eluent was collected at 1 min intervals HPLC fractions containing purified epigallocatechin, epigallocatechin gallate, epicatechin, and epicatechin gallate (as verified using analytical reverse phase system) were pooled and freeze-dried.
The catechin compound preferably is incorporated in a topical composition which includes a non-toxic dermatologically acceptable vehicle or carrier which is adapted to be spread upon the skin. Examples of suitable vehicles are acetone, alcohols, or a cream, lotion, or gel which can effectively deliver the active compound. One such vehicle is disclosed in co-pending application PCT/US93/0506A. In addition, a penetration enhancer may be added to the vehicle to further enhance the effectiveness of the formulation.
The concentration of the catechin compound in the composition may be varied over a wide range up to a saturated solution, preferably from 0.1% to 40% by weight or even more; the reduction of hair growth increases as the amount of the catechin compound applied increases per unit area of skin. A catechin compound can be used in purified form or as a mixture; for example the mixture of catechin compounds isolated from green tea leaves as previously described can be used without further purification. The maximum amount effectively applied is limited only by the rate at which the catechin compound penetrates the skin. Generally, the effective amounts range from 100 to 3000 micrograms or more per square centimeter of skin.
The composition should be topically applied to a selected area of the body from which it is desired to reduce hair growth. For example, the composition can be applied to the face, particularly to the beard area of the face, i.e., the cheek, neck, upper lip, and chin. The composition can also be applied to the legs, arms, torso or armpits. The composition is particularly suitable for reducing the growth of unwanted hair in women suffering from hirsutism or other conditions. In humans, the composition should be applied once or twice a day, or even more frequently, for at least three months to achieve a perceived reduction in hair growth. Reduction in hair growth is demonstrated when the frequency of hair removal (shaving, tweezing, depilatory use, waxing) is reduced, or the subject perceives less hair on the treated site, or quantitatively, when the weight of hair removed by shaving (i.e., hair mass) is reduced. Benefits of reduced hair removal frequency include convenience and less skin irritation. "
Personal note. As many of you know, Ive been trying topical homemade green tea extract on one side of my face to see if it will reduce hair. I haven’t even been doing it a month yet, but the beard on my right cheek is weaker, smaller in circumference, and lighter colored than on my left when I look close. I can also feel the difference when I run my hand down each side. I think I have found the topical anti-androgen Ive been looking for to add to my internal finasteride. Im going to call it a day on further research on a topical anti-androgen. I really think this one is sufficient