This article will outline what collagen is and how it can support healthy hair growth, as well as debunking the myth that too much collagen might cause hair loss.
Collagen is an essential protein in the body that supports healthy hair and skin. Taking extra collagen may therefore help to minimize hair loss and maintain luscious, shiny, lengthy hair.
But can too much collagen cause hair loss?
Unless you have the specific medical condition scleroderma, then any collagen you take should not cause hair loss. It’s still advisable, however, to consult with your doctor before you take any collagen, and always keep to the recommended dosage.
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is the body’s primary protein. In fact, it makes up 25 – 35% of our total protein stores. It is the most significant building block for our skin, joints, muscles, and hair.
Collagen is made up of amino acids and supports our connective tissues. It is therefore critical to the normal, healthy functioning of our bodies.
Our bodies will create collagen by breaking down the protein in our food. Foods like beans, nuts, and seeds are all great for collagen production, as are dairy, eggs, and meat.
After the age of 25, our collagen levels naturally reduce by around 1.5% per year.
That’s why collagen supplements are such a major player in the beauty world. They are easily consumed and help people to maintain the elasticity and strength of their joints, skin, and hair.
Plus, collagen supplements are often boosted with other vitamins and minerals like zinc and vitamins C, B12, and B6, giving you that extra goodness.
What Is the Difference Between Collagen and Gelatin?
Collagen is a naturally occurring protein in the body. It contains four amino acids. As described above, collagen comes from proteins we consume via our food, but can also come in the form of supplements.
There are two main types of collagen supplements: hydrolyzed collagen and gelatin.
Hydrolyzed collagen supplements also typically come from three different sources. Animal-based collagen will come from the skin, bones, and muscles of animals like pigs, cows, and chicken.
You can get a lot of this collagen from regularly consuming food like bone broth.
Marine collagen comes from the skin, scales, and bones of sea creatures like fish and jellyfish. Vegan collagen comes from genetically modified yeast and bacteria.
Gelatin is a substance created when collagen is significantly heated.
Like collagen, it’s composed of many amino acids. It, therefore, helps to maintain the health of your gut, joints, skin, and hair.
Gelatin is an animal-based substance, so those on a vegan or plant-based diet will want to avoid it.
These two substances have very similar nutritional profiles, but different applications.
Both are easy to digest, but it’s only collagen that’s used as a nutritional supplement – gelatin is mostly used as a gelling agent in cooking and baking.
Can Collagen Help with Hair Loss?
There are many factors that may contribute to hair loss – from stress and hormones to a lack of the correct nutrients and a genetic predisposition.
There are many ways of treating hair loss, with some research suggesting that collagen may help with hair loss by promoting hair growth.
Your hair is made up of keratin, a protein that is composed of many amino acids. Some of these are found in collagen.
More amino acids in the body mean more keratin – this is why collagen may help to minimize the effects of hair loss.
Similarly, collagen improves your overall blood circulation. With more blood sent to the scalp comes the delivery of more nutrients.
Blood vessels in the layer of your skin known as the ‘dermis’ will therefore have more nutrients, which might in turn lead to greater hair growth.
Collagen also supports a healthy gut.
With a better digestive tract, your body can better absorb protein from the food you eat, which in turn leads to greater collagen production and healthier skin, joints, and hair.
Can Too Much Collagen Cause Hair Loss?
The straight answer is that unless you have the condition scleroderma, excess collagen cannot cause hair loss.
Scleroderma or systemic sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that occurs from excess collagen in the body.
It’s a condition that occurs when the body starts attacking and destroying the healthy tissue and skin around blood vessels and internal organs.
This disease is very rare, and there are many symptoms, one of which is significant hair loss.
That hair loss is caused by the disease, however, not any excess collagen imbibed by the individuals in question.
If you’re taking collagen supplements, then you should not notice significant hair loss.
However, you should nonetheless ensure you are taking the supplements at the correct dosage and under the observation of a doctor.
If you are using an external collagen treatment, be sure to always patch test the product to ensure that you don’t experience any reactions that may result in symptoms such as hair loss.
Also Read: Is Chili Seed Oil Good For Hair Growth?
What Are the Effects of Collagen On Hair?
May Help With Hair Growth
Taking collagen won’t cause hair loss, but may in fact help to minimize it!
As described above, collagen contains essential amino acids that make up the protein keratin, which is a major protein for the hair.
The more keratin there is in the hair, the more there is available to support hair growth and minimize thinning or loss.
Hair with more keratin will be healthier, stronger, and more elastic, as well as appearing fuller and thicker.
That’s why hair care products are frequently fortified with collagen, keratin, or biotin (a B vitamin that also supports hair growth).
By using shampoo or conditioner with collagen alongside collagen supplements, you’re helping your hair to fortify itself and may minimize hair thinning or loss.
Increased Elasticity, Volume, And Shine
Reduced collagen in the body means that your hair will likely become brittle and breakable. By supporting your body’s collagen levels, you’re therefore helping to avoid split ends and frizz.
Collagen also supports blood vessels in the dermis, which in turn enables more nutrients to get into the hair’s strands and the scalp itself.
A greater amount of nutrients results in stronger, more moisturized hair with extra bounce and shine.
Reduces Damage To Hair Follicles
Free radicals and damage from environmental sources can lead to hair thinning. They particularly attack hair follicles, which in turn impedes hair growth.
Collagen – particularly marine collagen – works to neutralize free radicals thanks to its powerful antioxidants.
May Reduce Hair Graying And Thinning Due To Age
Because collagen works to support your dermis, it will keep that layer of skin elastic and supple. In turn, this may reduce the hair thinning that people over a certain age experience.
Similarly, as hair ages, its melanin becomes more vulnerable to the attack of free radicals.
Less melanin means that your hair has less pigment, which can result in graying hair.
But the antioxidants in collagen may help to fight the impact of these free radicals, thereby supporting the normal production of melanin.
Side Effects Of Using Collagen For Hair?
Remember to always consult your doctor before taking collagen. As detailed above, if you’re using an external collagen product, always patch test before use.
If you do experience side effects of using collagen for your hair, it may be because you’re allergic to a derivative of that collagen.
Collagen supplements can be made from a variety of different sources, including animals, marine creatures, but can also be vegan.
It’s best to double-check the ingredients of the collagen you’re consuming before you take any, so as to ensure you aren’t allergic.
At present, there’s also little research on the interaction of collagen supplements and medication.
How Much Collagen Should You Use?
Always follow the manufacturer’s suggested dosage – consult with a doctor if you exceed this. Typically, a daily dose of 2.5 – 15 grams should be safe and effective.
Disclaimer: This site is not intended to provide professional or medical advice. All of the content on LovedByCurls.com is for informational purposes only. All advice should be followed at your own discretion. Ingredients may change at any time so always check the product label before using. Check our full disclaimer policy here.