Collagen is one of the most important building blocks of your connective tissues, and that includes your hair, skin, nails, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. Having more collagen tends to keep everything more springy, bouncy, stretchy, and hydrated, so it is important to keep your levels up.
Collagen is naturally produced by your body, but this production (and replacement of broken-down collagen) slows down as we age. While it is not yet entirely clear that consuming collagen can adequately incorporate efficiently into your body, since more studies need to be done, there are a few potential things that it may be doing for your hair.
Read on to learn 5 potential things that taking a collagen supplement or consuming collagen through foods may do to help your hair.
We know that collagen can function as a pretty strong antioxidant, and that is important because that means that it can help neutralize free radicals that are floating around your body, yes, even in your scalp and around your hair follicles.
Since free radicals are the trouble makers in the body that can damage cells, DNA, and proteins, the fewer free radicals around, the better. Having enough collagen around in the skin surrounding your hair follicles may help protect them from damage and signs of aging associated with free radicals.
Keratin is the connective tissue that is a big part of what hair is made of, and in order to make keratin, the body needs plenty of its amino acid building blocks around. Some of the same building blocks that form together to build keratin are released from the breakdown of collagen.
So, the idea is that when you consume collagen in food or supplement form, the digestive tract will break it down into its component amino acids and then send them around the body. This may help provide the scalp and hair follicles with more amino acid building blocks to build thick and strong strands.
While when and if you go grey has a lot to do with your genetics, over-exposure to free radicals may play a role too. It is possible that collagen playing its role as an antioxidant has the potential to mop up some of those extra free radicals that can damage the hair cells which produce the pigment in your locks.
Hair thinning generally starts to happen with increased age, and it comes from the scalp cells that produce the hair strands becoming damaged, and the scalp skin cells becoming damaged.
Since collagen is an antioxidant, there may be a chance that having enough collagen in the scalp area can reduce the number of free radicals around causing damage to these cells. While more studies need to be done to know conclusively, this may keep scalp and hair follicle cells healthier and producing thicker hair strands for longer.
Collagen supplements are very popular right now, and certain studies show promising results in terms of skin and nail benefits, but studies on just what collagen can do for hair are lacking.
Based on what we know about the building blocks of hair and the antioxidant properties of collagen, there is a hypothesis that collagen may help prevent extra hair follicle and scalp cell damage, protect hair pigment cells, or give the body more hair building blocks.
There are very few side effects from supplementing with collagen since it is a product naturally produced by the body, but some report GI upset.
You should not take collagen supplements if you have fish or animal product allergies since these are generally made from fish or animal sources.
If you want to try out collagen to see what it can do for your hair, skin, and nail health, you can find it in our StrutVite hair skin and nail supplement which also contains a range of skin and nail healthy ingredients.