Collagen for Hair Growth: 5 Amazing Benefits
Collagen is an essential part of your overall wellness and can come with several unbeatable benefits, including healthy hair growth. The body creates collagen naturally, but this natural collagen typically decreases in quality with age.
You may ask why this is a big deal (unless you’re already experiencing the downsides). Without collagen, you may notice that it’s getting harder to maintain healthy-looking hair or any hair at all.
Thankfully, there are several ways to support your natural collagen and reap the benefits of this protein. Keep reading to learn more about the amazing ways that this vital protein can support your hair.
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. In fact, it makes up 30 percent of the body’s protein and is responsible for strong ligaments, bones, connective tissue, and muscles, as well as gorgeous, youthful-looking skin.
There are five different kinds of collagen, but most of your body’s collagen is type I. This tightly-packed protein helps keep your bones, skin, tendons, and ligaments together.
The other four types are primarily distributed to your cartilage, muscles, organs, arteries, skin, and hair. Even though these types of collagen are not as prevalent as type I, they still play an instrumental role in your overall health.
As you age, collagen production drastically slows down (especially after 60 years, but it can start as early as 30). One common sign of slower collagen production is slower, uneven, or unhealthy hair growth. Even body hair can become thinner and might not grow back at all.
Collagen-supporting nutrients can be found naturally in a healthy diet of foods such as chicken, fish, egg whites, leafy greens, fruit, and cashews. But even with a faithful hair routine, lots of hydration, and a healthy diet, we could all use a little help, right?
You may already use collagen in your daily skincare routine. This is one kind of collagen supplement — but to see full-body benefits, you’ll need to step outside of the dermatologist’s office.
This is why many people use dietary collagen supplements to help support their natural collagen production and encourage healthy skin, hair, and nails.
How Does Collagen Support Hair Growth?
There are several potential benefits of collagen for hair growth. These can include:
1. Supports New Hair Growth
Up to 70 percent of the dermis, which is the middle layer of the skin, is made of collagen. This high concentration of collagen ensures strength and elasticity in the dermis.
The dermis is home to our hair follicles, which house our individual strands of hair. As we age and our bodies produce less collagen, the dermis may lose its strength, which can cause our hair to thin.
Supplementing with collagen may promote thicker hair by supporting the dermis and hair follicles. Starting a collagen-rich diet and routine as early as possible could help you avoid thinning hair and support new hair growth.
2. Promotes Healthy Hair Follicles
Free radicals are pesky compounds that form due to stress and environmental pollutants and can harm proteins, cells, and even your DNA. Unfortunately, these free radicals can affect your hair follicles and your hair health.
As your body ages, it can have a harder time fighting against free radicals. This is where nutritional support can help.
Several promising studies show that some types of collagen may help to block damage thanks to its antioxidant properties. The more antioxidants there are in your body, the more resources your body has to naturally produce healthier hair and guard against hair loss. It’s a win-win!
3. May Help Hair (and Skin) Look Younger
Though how early and quickly you get gray hairs is mostly up to genetics (thanks so much, Mom and Dad), collagen may help you keep your youthful locks for longer.
Free radicals can damage cells that provide melanin (or pigment) to your hair. This means that you might be able to preserve youthful-looking hair by preventing free radicals from destroying your valuable melanin.
Thanks to its antioxidant properties, collagen can help your skin resist damage caused by free radicals, which means it can help protect the cells responsible for keeping your hair full of color. As an added bonus, this might even help you save money on expensive hair dye and salon treatments over the years.
As you age, your skin may develop signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging. Additionally, your nails may become brittle and break more easily, which can be an unpleasant experience for anyone — especially when it ruins your manicure.
Research has shown that oral collagen supplements can support skin elasticity, which can also help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Plus, when you support your body’s natural keratin, you can also support hair growth!
Collagen can also help maintain a healthy and youthful appearance for your nails. It can also help them grow and remain strong enough to keep up with your daily routine.
4. May Strengthen Current Hair
Keratin, the protein that makes your hair, is created using a combination of amino acids in your body. Some of those amino acids (glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline) are found in collagen. Proline is especially important in hair growth.
The more quality collagen you have in your body, the more support your body has to function at its peak. Your body can break down collagen to make its own keratin, which can help it reinforce your current hair follicles, leaving your strands less prone to breakage.
5. Supports Scalp Health
A dry and irritated scalp can greatly impact your body’s ability to grow high-quality hair. Collagen can help soothe irritation in the scalp so that your hair can have strong roots.
Plus, a dry scalp can result in pesky dead skin, which can show up in your hair. By increasing your collagen intake to support your natural collagen production, you can support your overall scalp health and help prevent flaking and itchiness.
Collagen can also help promote gut health, which can affect your skin. The human body is a hugely interconnected puzzle — while targeted solutions are important, it’s also crucial to treat the body as a whole and approach your concerns with a holistic mindset.
How Can You Increase Your Collagen Intake for Hair Growth?
Many people see the effects of collagen when they start supporting their natural collagen levels with collagen supplements and a collagen-rich diet. If you want to support your hair and skin health, there are several ways you can include more collagen in your diet.
One thing that can help is eating a healthy, collagen-rich diet full of eggs, chicken, and other protein-packed meals. Plus, eating foods that are high in vitamin C like strawberries, bell peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli can help support your body’s natural collagen production.
One of the easiest ways to work more collagen into your everyday? Dr. Kellyann’s Powdered Bone Broth. Made from slow-cooked animal bones, this bone broth contains plenty of powerful extracted nutrients, such as collagen.
You can use this rich broth to add nutrients to soups or just drink it on its own. We personally think there’s nothing better than a hearty cup of bone broth in the morning!
You can also follow Dr. Kellyann‘s Bone Broth Diet to experience the power of bone broth for yourself. Plus, with our wide selection of delicious bone broth flavors and recipes, you’ll be hooked from the first sip!
Our Collagen Protein Powder is another great way to boost your collagen intake. You can use this unflavored bovine collagen powder in all of your favorite smoothies, snacks, and protein shakes to help you look and feel your best.
The Bottom Line
Collagen is a protein that can help support healthy and youthful-looking hair, skin, and nails. While your body makes its own collagen, adding collagen to your diet is a great way to see the health benefits for years to come. Don’t wait — try Dr. Kellyann’s bone broth today to see how increasing your collagen intake can support your well-being.
Looking for more information about collagen and how to support your body through collagen-boosting dietary supplements? Dr. Kellyann’s blog has everything you need to start a routine to transform your health, inside and out!
Collagen: What it is, Types, Function & Benefits | Cleveland Clinic
Decreased Collagen Production in Chronologically Aged Skin | PMC
Hair follicle dermal stem cells regenerate the dermal sheath, repopulate the dermal papilla, and modulate hair type | PMC
The impact of oxidative stress on hair | PMC
Isolation and Characterization of Collagen and Antioxidant Collagen Peptides from Scales of Croceine Croaker (Pseudosciaena crocea) | PMC
Oral supplementation of specific collagen peptides has beneficial effects on human skin physiology: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study | PMC
Oral supplementation with specific bioactive collagen peptides improves nail growth and reduces symptoms of brittle nails | PMC