You've likely seen one, or two, or three... of your favorite celebrities endorsing a Collagen Supplement brand.
Jennifer Anniston, Khloe Kardashian, Kate Hudson... all big advocates for supporting beauty from within by using the hair boosting protein we know as Collagen.
Depending on the brand, you may see collagen positioned as a supplement for skin/nails/or hair and while you probably have heard about the role collagen plays for your skin:
"Collagen is a protein that serves as one of the main building blocks for our skin, hair, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. Collagen is also what keeps our skin from sagging and what gives us that youthful and plump look."
.....you still may be wondering, can this protein actually help with your hair growth?
Q: DOES TAKING COLLAGEN INCREASE HAIR GROWTH?
Let's get right to it. YES. When you take a collagen supplement you are helping boost your hair growth by providing your body with essential amino acids that cannot be produced on its own.
You are also providing the body with peptides that signal repair and rejuvenation.
When we talk about the link collagen has to hair follicles, we are focusing in on the area beneath the scalp.
When you add a collagen supplement you can increase the activity of cells called fibroblasts in your skin. These cells send signals to cells that are at the base of the hair follicles, and who are responsible for making NEW hair, resulting in new hair growth.
Why Did I Experience a Collagen Decrease?
Collagen levels decline as people age, and this usually begins at age 30.
Additionally pregnancy brings many changes to your skin and hair. Many of these changes disappear after delivery.
When it comes to skin however, there is often loose remnants left behind.
Skin is made of collagen and elastin, so it expands with weight gain. Once it's been stretched, it can have difficulty returning to its original shape.
Breast milk contains high levels of calcium, essential for bones and teeth of a growing baby.
To meet the increased demand for calcium, a mother's body may resort to bone resorption. Calcium stored in moms skeletal system is drawn out and re-directed to her breast milk.
While this may not pose a problem initially, this can have bigger impacts down the road.
To counter these challenges collagen supplements can support bone health and skeletal strength which can help mom avoid brittle bones and osteoporosis later in life.
Back to hair, if your body is being depleted in other areas this will have an even bigger impact on hair, as it is considered a"non-essential" part of the body.
Nutrients are first absorbed by the main organs-and then lastly by hair.
Supplementing with collagen and vitamins, can ensure hair is supported even when body deficiencies are present by bridging the gap.
What Collagen Should I Take for Hair?
With so many different collagen brands and different types of collagen out there, how do you know what to choose?
When evaluating which collagen is right for you, it's good to take a look at where the collagen is sourced.
There is bovine collagen sourced from cows, marine collagen typically sourced from fish, and vegan collagen sourced from genetically modified bacteria or yeast.
If you are vegan or vegetarian you don't have much of a choice but keep in mind collagen from the source is going to be easier on the body to absorb.
Personally, I prefer marine collagen over bovine because it tends to contain more amino acids and glycine than bovine varities.
As I mentioned earlier these amino acids are essential for skin and hair health.
While I will sometimes mix marine collagen in a smoothie or morning coffee, the easiest way I get my daily collagen is in my daily hair vitamins.
They Baby Blues hair vitamins contain North Atlantic marine collagen and I see the difference within a few weeks of starting them in not only my hair (which has shown dramatic improvement), but in my skin and nails as well.
Working together with the other vitamins present in the vitamins I see the biggest improvement to my hair growth and overall health with the added collagen it provides me.
Let us know in the comments if you've tried collagen for hair growth and what form works best for you.