One of the most easily and abundantly available proteins in the body is collagen. This is the lifeline for your skin, ligaments, tendons — and of course — your hair. Our body is capable of producing the same, but it can be acquired through other sources of food too.
How does collagen help improve hair?
There are multiple ways through collagen provides benefits to the hair. This includes:
- Fights hair damage- Collagen helps fight free radicals because it is rich in antioxidants. Environmental factors primarily cause damage to the body — think pollution. Besides this, lack of nutrition, too much smoking, and drinking, etc. cause damage to the hair. In some cases, they are also produced as a result of metabolic processes. With the rich antioxidants in collagen, the body can fight these free radicals. These antioxidants are richer than some kinds of tea. This, in turn, prevents damage to the hair follicles and ensures faster repair too.
- Reduces greying - Another problem that many often have is faster graying of the hair. Again, this can be attributed to the lower amount of antioxidants in the body. Often, free cell damage is known to cause graying of hair. Though it cannot be denied that genetics plays a critical role here — collagen also plays a crucial factor. It is the melanin pigment that provides hair its color. And when these pigments age or rather start to die, the hair begins to change color. All of this can also be attributed to poor diet, lifestyle, etc. Collagen fights these free radicals and thus helps in preventing faster graying of hair.
- For building hair - Our hair comprises keratin, which is the lifeline for good quality hair. The human body breaks down this collagen into amino acids, which are converted into an absorbable form. Hence, these proteins form the building blocks for muscle development along with helping improve hair growth. The three main components that form collagen are proline, glycine, and hydroxyproline.
- Reduces hair fall and thinning - With age, everyone suffers from the issue of hair loss. This happens because 70% of the dermis or the mid-layer of the skin consists of collagen. This is also where the root of the hair is located. Along with providing volume to hair, collagen is also known to improve the strength of the dermis. Research has shown that dermis elasticity is also improved because of healthy collagen in the body. However, with aging, the body starts to produce less and fewer amounts of this essential ingredient. If you are over the age of 40, then it is suggested that you try and consume some collagen supplements. Considering the hair is known to last longer than the skin, the earlier you start — the better it is.
- Easy to consume - Collagen is available in multiple ways and can be easily added to your diet. One has the option of eating it from animal sources like fish, chicken and other lean meats. Bones of animals are used for creating broth since they are rich in collagen, and you can have soups made from the same. Otherwise, just have a supplement!
Collagen can, indeed, help in improving hair quality and growth.
Medically reviewed by Rishabh Verma, RP