If you've ever scrolled through the internet looking for tips on how to grow your hair faster, you've probably come across collagen. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and provides structure and support for your skin, tendons, and ligaments. It also plays a significant role in hair health.
As we age or face environmental stressors, our body's natural collagen production tends to decline. This may affect hair strength and resilience. As a result, collagen supplements are emerging as a solution for revitalizing hair health and appearance. While some people have seen an increase in hair growth by taking collagen, more research still needs to be done.
In this comprehensive guide, we'll cover what collagen is, as well as the connection between collagen and healthy hair. Plus, we'll examine whether collagen supplements really promote hair growth.
What is Collagen?
To understand how collagen promotes healthy hair, you should have a clear picture of what collagen actually is. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, accounting for 25 to 20% of proteins in the body. It acts as a structural pillar for various essential tissues – including cartilage, skin, and hair.
Most people already incorporate foods that give the body everything it needs to produce collagen naturally. Common foods that help the body naturally produce collagen include:
- Beef or pork bone broth
- Collagen-infused drinks
However, as we age or face environmental stressors, our body’s natural collagen production tends to decline. This is where collagen supplements come into play.
Does Collagen Help with Hair Growth?
Collagen has quickly become a popular choice of supplement for promoting hair, skin, and nail health. When it comes to supporting hair growth, there is still a lot of research to be done.
Collagen’s main role in maintaining hair health is under the scalp. An increased level of collagen sends a larger amount of signals to your hair follicles telling them to make new hair. So, adding more collagen to your regimen may help promote hair growth.
But, the body doesn’t simply add collagen from supplements to existing collagen levels in the body. Instead, collagen supplements help the body break down collagen easier in the digestive process. There's uncertainty as to how much collagen gets absorbed into the bloodstream from supplements. As of right now, there's no clear correlation between collagen and hair growth just yet.
3 Ways Collagen May Improve Hair Health
We know that more research is necessary to support claims that collagen promotes hair growth. Now that you know a little bit more about collagen, you know how important it is for several bodily functions. So it’s probably not a surprise that collagen has many benefits for supporting healthy hair besides helping it grow. Let’s go through 3 ways collagen may improve hair health:
1. Strengthens Hair
Hair is primarily made up of keratin – a protein that acts as a basic building block for providing strength and structure to the hair. For the body to successfully create keratin, it needs numerous amino acids. Some of these amino acids are commonly found in collagen.
The body can make amino acids from increasing levels of vitamins and minerals through supplementation. The three main amino acids in collagen are proline, glycine, and hydroxyproline. Particularly, proline is a main component of keratin. So, consuming collagen with high proline levels can help build more keratin and strengthen the hair.
2. May Help Prevent Hair Thinning
Collagen is the primary component found in the dermis – the middle layer of your skin that houses each individual hair’s root. Collagen helps provide strength in the dermis. Since collagen production tends to decline as we age and face environmental stressors, the dermis can begin to weaken.
When the dermis doesn’t get the collagen it needs to remain strong and healthy, your hair may start thinning. Therefore, taking in more collagen may help strengthen the dermis and decrease the likelihood of hair thinning.
3. Protects Hair Follicles From Damage
Another way collagen can support healthy hair is by protecting the hair follicles from damage. Believe it or not, collagen can act as a powerful antioxidant by reducing free radicals. The body develops free radicals from lifestyle choices and environmental factors. For example, factors like stress, alcohol, smoking, and poor nutrition can increase free radicals in the body. As it turns out, free radicals may also cause damage to your hair follicles.
To fight free radicals – which lead to oxidative damage – your body needs antioxidants. Research shows that collagen can be a great source of antioxidants, especially when sourced from fish. In addition, collagen plays a key role in sending signals to hair follicles already, making it optimal for hair health.
Best Collagen Supplements for Hair Health
Researchers are still unsure about how much collagen the body absorbs during the digestive process. To gain maximum benefits, it’s best to choose a supplement with potent collagen levels and pure ingredients. Here are a couple of our favorite collagen supplements for promoting healthy hair.
1. Puori CP3 Beauty Collagen
Puori’s CP3 Beauty Collagen is a great choice for supporting skin and hair health. It contains a potent level of collagen, as well as zinc, biotin, and vitamins C and B6. These extra ingredients also play a role in promoting healthy hair growth, making this an optimal supplement option. For a burst of flavor in your supplementing regimen, try the CP3 Beauty Collagen supplement in lemon flavor.
2. Puori CP1 Pure Collagen Peptides
For an even more potent version, try Puori’s CP1 Pure Collagen Peptides. They don’t contain any added ingredients, making it one of the purest forms of collagen you can get your hands on. This supplement is also helpful for improving elasticity in the skin – which enhances the skin’s firmness and reduces wrinkles.
Types of collagen:
1. Type I Collagen:
Type I collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and belongs to the family of fibrillar collagens. It is primarily found in connective tissues such as tendons, ligaments, skin, and bones, providing them with strength and structural integrity. Type I collagen is crucial for wound healing, as it forms the framework for tissue regeneration and scar formation. Moreover, it plays a vital role in maintaining the elasticity and resilience of the skin, preventing wrinkles and sagging.
2. Type II Collagen:
Type II collagen is a fibrillar collagen that is predominantly found in cartilage, which serves as a cushioning and shock-absorbing tissue between bones in joints. Type II collagen is essential for maintaining joint health and functionality, as it contributes to the cartilage's resistance to compressive forces during movement. Defects in type II collagen result in abnormal skeletal development and impaired joint function.
Other Ways to Promote Healthy Hair Growth
Besides supplements, there are various lifestyle changes and habits you can put in place to support healthy hair growth. As frustrating as it may be, simply taking a supplement won’t cure your hair concerns.
The most simple and effective way to support healthy hair growth is by developing an effective hair care routine. Here are some key factors you should take into consideration when it comes to maintaining healthy hair:
- Minimize heat styling. When the hair is exposed to high heat, it breaks the keratin bonds in your hair. Don’t worry – using heat on your hair every once in a while isn’t the end of the world. But when you’re heat styling almost every day, it can weaken the hair and make it more prone to damage. When you do use heat on your hair, make sure to also use a heat protectant!
- Proper washing schedule. The topic of how often you should wash your hair is a controversial one. We recommend washing your hair once every two to three days to properly regulate the oil production from your scalp. For many people, washing your hair and scalp too frequently can actually cause more damage like weakened hair strands and an itchy scalp.
- Eat a healthy diet. Another thing to think about when trying to improve the health of your hair is your diet and nutrition levels. To promote healthy hair, ensure that your diet is filled with tons of proteins and healthy fats. When you aren’t getting enough protein, your hair can become dry, brittle, and weak. So whether you get your protein from animal or plant-based sources, incorporating it into your diet is key for healthy, strong hair.
- Drink enough water. You may have already heard how water is the most important thing for your body – and it’s true! When your body is dehydrated, your hair is also probably dehydrated. So drinking enough water is key when it comes to maintaining not only hair health but your overall well-being as well. Health experts recommend drinking 8 glasses of water per day to prevent dehydration.
Collagen is an essential protein that plays an important role in all areas of the body – including hair health. While experts can’t prove it directly promotes hair growth yet, consumers have found massive success thus far. Plus, there are plenty of other benefits collagen has for supporting overall hair health.
When choosing a collagen supplement, always choose one that has potent collagen levels and pure ingredients. This way, the body absorbs it as easily as possible and you receive maximum benefits from the supplement.
For more healthy-living tips and insights, visit the Love Health blog here.