If you think back to your basic science classes, you may recall that amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. The body links together these amino acid building blocks into chains that make up the protein itself. And, since proteins are necessary for nearly every component of a functioning human body -- amino acids are pretty important.
There are 20-22 amino acids that make up proteins in humans, and out of that bunch, 9 of them are essential amino acids. When an amino acid is considered “essential” that means that these must be consumed in your diet. The amino acids that are not considered essential, can be made up from the 9 essential ones.
If you have been noticing hair loss, excessive shedding, or your hair is looking less healthy than usual, many people start by taking to the internet and searching for ways to quickly fix or reverse hair problems. And, you are likely to come across claims of amino acids being the solution that you need to enhance your hair health and stop hair losses. But, do these claims actually check out?
Below, we will cover what connection amino acids have with hair, the specific amino acids involved in hair synthesis, address if amino acid deficiencies can contribute to hair loss, and talk about if increasing your amino acid intake can help with hair loss.
More than 90% of hair is composed of a protein called Keratin which is wound into helical strands and bundled together to form the hair strands.
With so much protein going into every strand of hair, your body uses up plenty of amino acids to keep those building blocks coming.
Below is a visual of how amino acids are chained together to form these keratin strands and make up the bulk of your hair.
As we explained above, hair strands are mainly composed of keratin which self-assembles into bundles of fibers. So, if you are interested in just what amino acids are being utilized for hair growth, you simply need to know which amino acids make up keratin.
Keratin strands are composed of 18 of the possible 20-22 amino acids. Some of the amino acids that occur most often in keratin include cysteine which can account for 7-20% of the amino acids in the protein and contribute to the strong disulfide bonds which occur inside and outside of the molecule. Other amino acids which are found in high amounts in keratin include arginine, lysine, and methionine.
We know that protein malnutrition can lead to or contribute to hair loss. So, yes technically amino acid deficiencies can end up causing detrimental effects to your hair. And it is definitely a good idea to stay on top of your recommended daily protein intake.
However, are protein deficiencies a common cause for hair loss? No.
It is very unlikely that someone who is eating a relatively varied diet that hits their caloric requirements end up with a protein deficiency. Although, if your diet is highly restrictive or you don’t eat very many protein-rich foods, it is worth talking to your doctor or a nutritionist about evaluating your diet to make sure protein is not an issue.
The most common cause of hair loss in both genders is androgenetic alopecia -- by a large margin. This type of hair loss is also commonly referred to as male pattern hair loss and female pattern hair loss. Androgenetic alopecia is driven by your genetics and hormones, not an amino acid deficiency.
If your hair loss is related to a chronic lack of protein in your regular diet, then, yes, fixing that deficiency may help your hair grow at a more normal rate, and look and feel healthier or stronger.
But, as we explained above, a lack of adequate protein intake is relatively rare. So, it is far more likely that hair loss is related to androgenic alopecia, which cannot be turned around by simply whipping up a smoothie with protein powder every day.
Amino acids, and the proteins in your diet that they originate from, are indispensable for overall health and wellness. If you are unsure if your protein intake is adequate it is important to speak with a doctor or nutritionist to help make sure you are hitting your daily targets.
But, for hair loss, the root problem stemming from a protein deficiency is much less common than other hair loss causes like androgenetic alopecia (male pattern and female pattern hair loss).
So, ramping your protein intake way up to try and help your hair loss, will likely only make a difference if the root cause of the hair loss were a protein deficiency. This doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good thing to get a decent amount of protein in your diet, it just means that there is no scientific proof that increasing protein intake can help slow or reverse the most common causes of hair loss -- androgenetic alopecia.
If you have been diagnosed with male or female pattern hair loss and you want to see if clinically proven medications like Minoxidil or Finasteride may help slow your losses, you can consult with a doctor to see if these treatments are a good fit for you.
At Strut, we carry a variety of androgenetic alopecia treatment options including a topical hair formula crafted for women specifically, as well as innovative topical or oral hair loss medications for men.
We utilize ingredients like Minoxidil, Finasteride, Dutasteride, Spironolactone, Tretinoin, and Biotin to help craft hair loss treatment options that take into account your preferred route, current hair loss stage, and your hair goals.
You can have a free questionnaire and image-based telemedicine consultation with our U.S. licensed doctors today to see if one of these treatment plans is a good option for you.
If you are a good candidate for treatment, your medication will be shipped to your front door with our free shipping.