The complete guide to using collagen for your hair
December 10, 2018
You've probably heard of collagen. It's been part of our beauty vocabulary for many years (and that’s probably the case even if you’re not working at Absolute Collagen HQ like we are!).
It appears as part of countless skincare preparations and is fast becoming a star beauty ingredient. What you may not have heard of is the importance of collagen for hair.
This power-packed protein plays a leading role in keeping our hair glossy, healthy and strong. Curious? Read on to discover just what collagen is, and find out more about the abundant benefits of collagen for hair.
Put simply, collagen is the scaffold for our bodies. As one of the body's most prolific proteins, collagen plays a vital part in keeping everything running smoothly. Collagen is produced naturally when we are young, but as we age, production slows; studies show that by the time we are in our forties, collagen production has reduced by a third.
The good news is that our body responds well to taking collagen as a supplement and it is one of the prime powerhouses of ingestible beauty.
You'll find collagen in any part of the body that moves, flexes and stretches. That means pretty much everything from joints and tendons to blood vessels and skin. It's a key component of our connective tissues and, you guessed it, our hair.
Collagen contains amino acids such as Arginine, Glycine and Leucine, which work to support the immune system and maximise muscle proteins.
Hair follicle cells use amino acids to produce keratin, which is essential for hair growth, strength and elasticity.
When you think about the amount our hair goes through, be it brushing and de-tangling, swooshing up into a ponytail or the rigours of heat damage, it’s no wonder it needs a little in the way of extra support to perform at its best throughout our life.
How collagen helps hair
The ways collagen supports our hair are abundant. We've picked out five of the best to give you an insight into the ways this hardworking protein cares for our hair.
1. Maximises moisture
Collagen supports healthy digestion, which leads to maximum protein absorption. Maximum protein means maximum hair health.
When taken as a daily supplement, collagen works alongside hyaluronic acid to moisturise and fortify the structure of the skin and the scalp surrounding the hair follicle.
Our scalp is where our hair begins its life, so maximising scalp health is vital for great looking hair. This fortification increases blood flow, allowing better distribution of nutrients and moisture to our hair.
2. Regulates hormones
An imbalance of hormones plays havoc with the way our body functions. For hair, it's especially important that sex hormones, testosterone and oestrogen are regulated because an imbalance in these hormones is a leading cause of hair loss.
Remember the amino acids I mentioned earlier? Collagen is a key player in hormone regulation, as Tyrosine, in particular, plays a significant part in supporting the pituitary gland.
Often referred to as the master gland because of its vast array of functions, the pituitary gland stimulates the production of oestrogen and testosterone, to maintain balance within the body and minimise the risk of hormone-related hair loss.
3. Rich in amino acids
Our body has twenty amino acids which carry out various functions such as hormone synthesis and cell repair. They're essential for a healthy, highly functioning system.
Of these twenty, nine are referred to as "essential", because the body cannot manufacture them, but has to get them from an external source. Collagen contains eight out of nine of these essential amino acids.
• Arginine: essential for efficient blood supply to roots and follicles, and promotion of hair growth
• Histidine: Improves elasticity of the hair, making it less prone to breakage
• Threonine: Helps the body use protein and produce collagen. Also works to enhance the immune system
• Isoleucine: Works to help muscles recover and get the most from proteins. Improves red blood cell production
• Leucine: Participates in the healthy use of energy by muscles, and the production of muscle protein. Leucine is vital for brain and balance functions
• Lysine: Helps maximise iron absorption, reducing the risk of nutrition-related hair loss
• Methionine: Supports the production of Keratin, one of the key components of our hair, and a building block of that healthy shine
• Tyrosine: Vital in the regulation of hormones, it influences hair growth cycles and can have a positive impact on anxiety and depression
Collagen has an impressive array of body-supporting characteristics, and being able to supplement our diet means we can keep our body harmonised and functioning at its best.
Collagen reduces hair loss and promotes hair growth
If our bodies are in crisis, whether through illness, poor diet or excess stress, they begin to prioritise how they use their nutrients.
Whilst we know how important healthy, happy hair is to our sense of well-being, our body may choose to focus on vital organs and muscles, which in the long term leads to hair that looks dull and tired and can even increase the likelihood of hair loss.
Collagen in the body is impacted by both the natural reduction in production caused by ageing, and the additional impact of external factors such as sun damage or excess sugar and alcohol.
Understanding the role of collagen in promoting internal health, along with understanding its fragility as we age, leads us to see why a supplement is so useful.
After all, good hair growth starts on the inside, which is why using a supplement can be the little boost your body needs to help it support healthy, happy hair.
Collagen doesn't only benefit the hair we can see. When we think that long hair can be up to six years old, it becomes clear that what we put in in our body is at least as important as what we put on our hair.
The hair follicles are where our hair starts its life, so our scalp is the garden for our hair. By making sure our scalp has enough goodness, we can encourage hair that grows strong, shiny and healthy.
Perception trial by Eva Proudman
As a top trichologist, Eva Proudman recommends Absolute Collagen for hair and scalp health. With over seventeen years' expertise in hair, Eva was expertly placed to undertake a perception trial around the effects of Absolute Collagen. As an Associate Member of the Institute of Trichologists, Eva is passionate about the ethics of hair care and understanding how supplements truly benefit our hair.
Eva used the trial to look at how Absolute Collagen affects our hair and scalp. Using her understanding of how diet and deficiency in amino acids and essential vitamins impact hair, Eva put together a test panel to assess the impact of collagen for hair. The twelve-week trial focused on the effects of Absolute Collagen on the hair and scalp. It consisted of six candidates, five women and one man, each one selected by Eva for their age and the characteristics of their hair.
Candidates were asked to take Absolute Collagen daily and maintain a record of various indicators of healthy hair, including texture, growth, manageability, hair fall and scalp condition, as well as having a two-weekly trichological examination.
The trial afforded some impressive results. After two weeks, candidates reported smoother, more manageable texture and by week eight, all candidates said they had less need for proprietary conditioners.
Scalp health also improved, with a reduction in itching and flaking. In addition to candidate reports, the consultant trichologist found significant benefits including:
• Smoother texture
• Reduction in breakage
• Improvement in scalp condition
• Reduction in symptoms of Seborrheic Eczema
• Improved manageability
We really can’t describe the findings better than Eva herself.
"As a trichologist I would not hesitate to recommend Absolute Collagen as an effective protein substitute where the diet plays a factor in overall hair quality, shedding and thinning. Although this trial was run as a perception trial and not a clinical trial, the candidates' own perceptions and the actual examinations show that the hair benefitted in terms of condition and manageability in 100% of cases. This trial suggests that a nutritional approach to improving the hair follicle environment from within can be used to optimise hair growth, texture and quality."
We hope you've enjoyed reading our guide to collagen for hair. We're constantly amazed at how efficiently our bodies use the nutrients we give them. It’s good to know that we can offer a helping hand too so that even in times of stress or strain we can keep our hair looking its best. We all know how it feels to be too busy to cook nutritious meals, and how dull and lifeless our hair looks when we've been unwell.
Understanding the important role that collagen has as the building block of our body helps us know how effective simply taking a supplement such as Absolute Collagen can be. Each 10ml sachet of Absolute Collagen contains 8g of hydrolysed marine collagen which is a great stimulant for hair growth. To experience the absolute brilliance of collagen for hair, click here.