Can Collagen Support Hair Growth?

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    Many claim that collagen can support hair growth. What does the research say? Read on to learn more.

    At this point, the scientific research into collagen and hair health is quite limited. Even so, collagen has gained popularity as a supplement with the potential to support hair growth. Some people swear by it! In this article, we’ll examine collagen’s support for hair growth and help you reach a decision about whether collagen supplementation is right for you.

    What is collagen?

    Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It accounts for 30% of the body’s total protein. It’s also a building block for your skin – including the skin on your scalp – as well as other connective tissues: bones, tendons, muscles, ligaments, and so on. Collagen provides your body with support and structure. It’s especially concentrated in the middle layer of skin. As we age, starting around age 25, our collagen production naturally declines. Some lifestyle habits can also cause your body’s collagen supply to decline, including smoking, excess alcohol consumption, lack of sleep, and lack of exercise.

    What type of collagen is best for hair health?

    Collagen supplements contain amino acids that the body uses to create certain proteins. One of those proteins is known as keratin, which is essential for hair health. Among those who attest to collagen’s benefits for hair health, type II collagen is a favorite. That’s because type II collagen is rich in hydroxyproline, which is an amino acid that helps build keratin. When it comes to type II collagen, you’ve got options, as it’s contained in both marine and bovine sources of collagen.

    Collagen, elastin, and keratin are all proteins that are found in hair, skin, and nails – and eggshell membrane is a naturally occurring source of all three of these proteins. That’s why Care/of’s Veg Collagen: The Good Egg is a great vegetarian friendly option for people looking to support hair, skin, and nail health.

    Keratin is also available in supplement form. Care/of offers a top-notch keratin supplement, dubbed The Good Hair Day, which is shown to support hair fullness and shine.

    How collagen benefits hair health

    May slow gray hair production

    We’re all familiar with graying hair. For most of us, it’s a natural part of aging. Studies have also linked graying hair to genetics. Furthermore, other studies have found that oxidative stress can contribute to graying hair.

    Collagen supports scalp health, which in turn has a positive effect on the structure of hair follicles. The hair follicles are where the pigment of your hair’s color is made. By supporting healthy hair follicles, therefore, collagen may have the effect of reducing the appearance of gray hair. Still, more research is needed to establish this connection.

    Fights against damage to hair follicles

    Your hair follicles are the primary structure from which your hair grows. Proponents of collagen supplementation have argued that it can help regenerate your hair follicles, which in turn can lead to more hair growth. More research is needed to verify this claim. That said, because collagen is essential in the production of keratin, it’s probable that collagen can support the health of your hair follicles.

    May combat hair thinning associated with aging

    If you’ve noticed that your hair is thinning, you should talk to your doctor about identifying any potential underlying causes. Hair thinning can be hormonally driven, and it can also be caused by diet or genetics. It can also simply be a normal part of aging.

    There haven’t been any conclusive findings with regard to whether collagen improves hair thickness. That said, the studies that do exist have yielded promising results.

    This study, for example, found that participants who supplemented with 2.5 grams of bioactive collagen peptides over a 16-week period had significantly thicker hair by the end of the trial. Researchers posited that the mechanism of action may have been that the collagen promoted mitochondrial activity of the hair follicles.

    Collagen versus Biotin

    Biotin is important for your health, helping your body turn the food you eat into the energy it needs to function at an optimal level.

    In much the same way some people swear by collagen for hair growth, others maintain that biotin supplements have helped them increase hair thickness. And there’s something to this: After all, biotin is necessary for the production of keratin, which, as we discussed, is essential to the health of your hair. That said, the research to demonstrate the efficacy of biotin supplementation is limited. Indeed, biotin deficiency is exceedingly rare, since many foods contain it. Most supplements work best when they’re addressing a deficiency.

    Should I take collagen supplements for my hair?

    If you’re concerned about your hair health, you can always talk to a medical professional about identifying any underlying issues. When it comes to collagen supplementation, it’s really up to you. The research is limited, but anecdotal evidence for its effectiveness is strong. Based on what we know, collagen supplements may help your hair health by improving scalp health, thereby supporting the health of your hair follicles.

    There are other steps you can take to support hair health. Studies clearly show that UV radiation, poor nutrition, and smoking can all harm your hair by increasing oxidative stress. In addition to taking your supplements, you can make a big difference through making some lifestyle adjustments. If hair problems persist, you should make an appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist.

    How to take collagen powder for hair growth

    You can take collagen in a variety of different forms. We especially recommend Care/of’s Veg Collagen. Made with eggshell membranes and offered in capsule form, it’s especially beneficial for skin, nails, and hair. Collagen is also available as a powder and can even sometimes be applied topically when present in cosmetic products.

    How much collagen to take for hair health

    There’s no specific dosage recommendation for taking collagen to support hair health. Care/of’s Veg Collagen comes in 300 mg capsules.

    Final takeaways

    While the research into collagen and hair growth remains limited, there is good reason to think that collagen supplements can support your health in a variety of ways – including, in some cases, by strengthening hair follicles. It may even help combat hair thinning and graying.

    If your hair problems persist, you will want to consult a medical professional about the right steps for you. Sometimes you can make a big difference simply by making some lifestyle adjustments and cutting down on things that can contribute to oxidative stress.

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    Dr. Carla Montrond Correia ND, CNS
    Medical Content Manager
    Dr. Montrond-Correia is a licensed naturopathic physician and a certified nutrition specialist (CNS). She holds degrees from University of Bridgeport, Georgetown University, and University of Saint Joseph, and supplemented her education with internships in the health and wellness space. She's focused on research, herbal medicine, nutrigenomics, and integrative and functional medicine. She makes time for exercise, artistic activities, and enjoying delicious food.
    Our Editorial Staff
    Freelance Contributor
    The Care/of Editorial Team is made up of writers, experts, and health enthusiasts, all dedicated to giving you the information you need today. Our team is here to answer your biggest wellness questions, read the studies for you, and introduce you to your new favorite product, staying up to date on the latest research, trends, and science. Each article is written by one of our experts, reviewed both for editorial standards by an editor and medical standards by one of our naturopathic doctors, and updated regularly as new information becomes available.