Green tea is a popular worldwide beverage, and its potential beneficial effects such as anti-cancer and anti-oxidant properties are believed to be mediated by epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a major constituent of polyphenols. Recently, it was reported that EGCG might be useful in the prevention or treatment of androgenetic alopecia by selectively inhibiting 5alpha-reductase activity. However, no report has been issued to date on the effect of EGCG on human hair growth. This study was undertaken to measure the effect of EGCG on hair growth in vitro and to investigate its effect on human dermal papilla cells (DPCs) in vivo and in vitro. EGCG promoted hair growth in hair follicles ex vivo culture and the proliferation of cultured DPCs. The growth stimulation of DPCs by EGCG in vitro may be mediated through the upregulations of phosphorylated Erk and Akt and by an increase in the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax ratio. Similar results were also obtained in in vivo dermal papillae of human scalps. Thus, we suggest that EGCG stimulates human hair growth through these dual proliferative and anti-apoptotic effects on DPCs.