The science of it: Years ago collagen was mainly marketed as the component surrounding the bones and as helping out joints move smoothly. Further studies showed it had the ability to keep muscles and tendons together and even rebuild cartilage as well as help ease lower back pain.
Collagen and postpartum hair growth: So when did collagen make the jump to the postpartum world? It's now considered a fundamental component triggering hair growth. Collagen contains proline, considered a building block for hair. It actually is the most abundant protein in humans making up 75% of our dry weight and 30% of our total protein mass. As we get older and start to lose more collagen, and then factor in sun damage that can further decrease our production we start to see signs of aging more clearly. Then you factor in a significant change to the body such as pregnancy and the sudden shedding of vitamins and you tend to see further signs such as hair loss.
Consuming Collagen: It's not surprising that people are turning to Collagen to reverse these signs of again and give us back thick shiny hair. But will collagen supplements fight hair loss? Right now there are simply a lot of theories.
Theory 1: Consuming collagen back into the body can increase the bodies levels and in turn give postpartum hair growth a boost.
Theory 2: The amino acids in collagen will help my body make more keratin that will in turn contribute to healthy thick hair.
Theory 3: Collagen peptides fight free radical damage contributing to hair follicles. Free radicals may damage our hair follicles (the tunnel like structure under our outer layer of skin where hair starts to grow), but collagen is susceptible to fight back.
Theory 4: Collagen can prevent hair from thinning. We mentioned as we age we produce less collagen. One thing that is affected by less collagen is the dermis becoming weaker and eventually leading to weaker hair and hair loss. Collagen supplementation could affect our hydration and elasticity and with further study it may prove our hair from thinning and overall hair health.
There is a lot of suggestive research out there that collagen supplementation will indeed give hair health a boost. Further studies are needed to prove definitively but these theories just might be worth a shot especially when you experience drastic hair shedding, thinning hair, and hair loss.
How should I supplement? There are now so many collagen mixes and creamers to choose from. Supplements ranging from pills to gummies. How do you know what to take?
Brands like Vital Proteins make a powder form giving you the option to scoop your collagen into a hot or cold beverage. The postpartum hair vitamin from Baby Blues contains 12 mg of collagen along with several other vitamins and minerals many need to replenish after having the baby. Bulletproof even makes collagen protein bars for food intake. The easy answer just might be find something that works for you. If taking a gummy vitamin (like the Baby Blues one) twice a day is easy maybe that's the best route for you. Consumers seem to be mixed on the taste and consistency of the powders and collagen creamers out there so you may have to do a little taste testing to find one you can handle.