Hair loss is a common problem. There are many treatments and home remedies that may help with hair growth. Collagen may be a solution to your hair loss problem. Here’s what you should know about collagen for hair growth.

Hair loss or loss of hair volume is a problem that many women face. Stress is one of the main reasons behind it. But irrespective of the cause, people try over-the-counter products, home remedies and even supplements to fix it. Collagen supplements are especially widely promoted as products that help to reverse signs of ageing. You may think that since collagen is a protein meant for strengthening and providing structure for everything in our body, including hair, these supplements and topical products may work to preserve the crown. But is it worth it to use collagen for hair growth?

What is collagen?

Collagen is a protein that forms the primary structural component of connective tissues, including skin, hair, nails, and joints. It provides strength and elasticity to these tissues. It is the most abundant protein in the human body, consisting of amino acids like glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline, says dermatologist Dr Shifa Yadav.

Collagen for hair growth: Benefits and uses
Collagen is good for hair health. Image courtesy: Freepik

How does collagen help with hair growth?

Supplementation with collagen peptides may support hair growth and healthy tresses, according to a study published in the Journal of Functional Foods in May 2024. There is limited research on collagen for hair growth, but it can provide essential amino acids that are necessary for keratin production, which is the primary protein in hair.

It also helps in maintaining a healthy scalp by improving blood circulation and fighting oxidative stress, which can damage hair follicles, says the expert. By reducing the impact of free radicals and inflammation, collagen can help in preventing hair thinning and loss, and may promote hair growth.

There is no harm in trying collagen products, as collagen improves hair health by enhancing the strength, elasticity, and moisture retention of hair strands. It helps in repairing damaged hair by replenishing lost proteins and providing a protective barrier against environmental stressors. Collagen also supports a healthy scalp, reducing dandruff, and dryness, which can contribute to overall hair health.

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How to use collagen for hair?

You can eat or apply foods or products with collagen for hair:

1. Supplements

It can be taken in the form of dietary supplements which include collagen powders or capsules. The collagen supplements are designed to be taken orally and are typically hydrolysed, which means the collagen molecules are broken down into smaller peptides for easier absorption by the body. By increasing collagen intake through supplements, overall collagen levels are supported in the body, which may contribute to healthier hair. Generally, for improved skin and hair health, 2.5 to 10 grams of collagen peptides can be taken orally for 8 to 12 weeks daily, says the expert.

A woman before using collagen for hair growth
Collagen supplement may help with hair growth. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

2. Topical treatments

Another way to use collagen is through topical treatments which include shampoos and conditioners. Hair care products enriched with collagen can help strengthen hair strands. These products are applied directly to the hair and scalp, providing a localised boost of collagen. Topical treatments also include hair masks. Collagen-infused hair masks are intensive treatments that can deeply nourish the hair follicles and scalp.

3. Collagen-rich foods

Collagen-rich foods like bone broth, fish and chicken are rich sources of collagen. Consuming them regularly can help support collagen production in the body, benefiting not only hair but also skin and joint health.

Who should avoid collagen for hair?

People with allergies to fish, or other collagen sources should avoid collagen supplements or food sources to prevent allergic reactions, says the expert. Those who have specific medical conditions or dietary restrictions, such as kidney disorders or certain food intolerances, should consult a doctor before using it. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should also seek medical advice to ensure safety.

Collagen is important for your hair and other parts of your body, as it is a key protein. But consult with a doctor, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are pregnant or breastfeeding, before using collagen supplements or topical products.

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