You may know that there are many hair changes that come with aging. But did you know that hair loss and greying can begin as soon as your late 20s and early 30s?
There are many supplements out there touting to be good for your hair. But does collagen help hair? Collagen’s role in skin health and antioxidant properties have major implications for hair growth, hair loss, and more.
That’s why we’re bringing you this guide. We’ve rounded up all the research on collagen for hair, so you can be in the know before you buy. Keep reading for all the facts you need to know about collagen supplements and hair health.
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in our body. Its primary role is as a critical component for healthy skin. Natural collagen maintains skin firmness and elasticity.
As you can guess, collagen production declines with age. This is one of the primary reasons why our skin sags as we get older. But why does collagen become less abundant over time?
Cells called fibroblasts produce collagen. Unfortunately, fibroblast cells start to decrease by 1%–1.5% per year when we reach young adulthood. Smoking, sun exposure, and pollution can speed up this process.
As we get older and our fibroblasts decrease even further, that leads to a reduction in collagen production. But there is good news: long-term collagen supplement use has been shown to increase collagen in aging skin.
Researchers think collagen travels to dermal fibroblasts and stimulates collagen production. And the fibroblasts in your scalp that produce collagen are no different.
Does Collagen Help Hair?
Collagen plays a vital role in skin health, and that has implications for your hair health, too. After all, some types of collagen are present in hair follicles. And hair follicles are essential players in the hair’s growth cycle.
Research shows that hair follicle collagen levels increase during periods of growth. That means collagen may stimulate the development of new hair. Indeed, as collagen levels drop with age, hair follicle collagen levels drop, too.
Scientists think this is one reason for age-related hair issues. It’s also why it’s critical to supplement with collagen if you want healthy, youthful-looking hair.
Collagen Benefits for Hair
So, what exactly can collagen do for your hair? According to research, long-term collagen supplementation may improve hair growth, decrease hair loss, make hair shinier, and even reduce greying.
Boost Hair Growth
A Journal of Investigative Dermatology study found a positive correlation between a type of collagen (Collagen VI) and hair growth.
When Collagen VI isn’t present in the skin, wounded hair follicles can’t regenerate properly. This implies that supplementing with certain types of collagen may help hair re-grow, especially from damaged hair follicles.
Reduce Hair Loss
Collagen VI isn’t the only type of collagen that decreases as we age. A Japanese study found that Collagen type XVII also decreases with time. And this is associated with hair loss.
Researchers think declines in Collagen XVII lead to dry skin. Dryer skin on the scalp may make it easier for the hair follicle to become dislodged.
So, collagen supplementation can reduce hair loss, add volume, and keep hair follicles healthy and strong.
In fact, a double-blind study of women aged 21 to 75 years with thinning hair found that twice-daily collagen supplementation for 90 days led to less hair loss. The women in the study also reported increased hair thickness.
Increase Hair Sheen
In the same double-blind study we mentioned above, women using collagen supplements for 180 days saw added benefits for hair. These benefits included better moisture retention and increased hair shine.
Combat Hair Greying
Greying comes with age because melanin levels drop, leaching the pigment from your hair. Genetics control some of this process. But free radical accumulation from the environment can also speed up hair greying.
The good news is that antioxidants can combat free radicals. And studies show that collagen has antioxidative properties.
In fact, one recent study found that hydrolyzed collagen peptides sourced from yellowfin tuna have high IC50 antioxidant activity. That means they can fight free radicals, such as the ones that lead to grey hair.
What Type of Collagen Is Best for Hair?
There are two ways to supplement collagen for hair: take a supplement or eat foods that either help boost collagen production or contain collagen. Here’s what you need to know about these different sources of collagen.
There are some foods that may not contain collagen but indirectly increase levels of collagen in your skin. This is because they’re rich in vitamins like Vitamin C, which can boost fibroblasts’ collagen production.
Vitamin C-rich foods include:
- Bell peppers
Bone broth is rich in collagen. It’s one of the only foods that contain collagen in high enough amounts to benefit your hair.
It can be challenging to get in enough collagen-rich and/or Vitamin C-containing foods to make a difference for your hair. That’s why many people choose collagen supplements or patches instead.
Collagen supplements are another excellent option for improving your hair health. You can buy collagen supplements in pill or powder form. Or you can find collagen patches.
Collagen pills can be taken just like other oral supplements. But you must mix powders into your drinks or food. Just make sure to choose a hydrolyzed collagen to improve absorption.
If you don’t like the thought of mixing powders in your food and drinks or taking a daily pill, a collagen patch may be for you. These supplements adhere to your skin and deliver a steady stream of collagen into your bloodstream.
PatchMD Has the Collagen Your Hair Needs
So, does collagen help hair? Studies show that collagen can help hair by boosting growth, reducing loss, and so much more. And it’s easy to incorporate collagen into your routine with supplements or patches.
Are you searching for a collagen supplement to fit your busy lifestyle? PatchMD has the collagen patches you’ve been searching for.