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What is collagen for hair?
A trending component nowadays for skin and body care is collagen. When people found out how beneficial this natural amino acid is, everyone wanted to incorporate collagen into their daily health routines.
First of all, what is collagen? It is a naturally-occurring amino acid (protein) that our bodies produce and it works as a glue that keeps our bodies from falling apart, literally. It is the most abundant protein and can be found in our bones, muscles, skin and, tendons. Why does our skin sag as we age? That’s because of the decrease in collagen.
As we grow older, our collagen production slows down, therefore, our bodies droop and become more brittle. Collagen production starts to slow down and decrease in our thirties. But thanks to science and technology, we can now acquire collagen from other sources in order to maintain our youthfulness.
The benefits collagen has for hair growth
Battling hair fall, hair loss, thinning, or loss in hair color? That’s due to a decrease in collagen levels. Let’s face it, everyone wants healthy and voluminous hair, no matter what. Collagen can play a part in making sure our hair is as gorgeous as a horse’s mane.
Collagen improves hair volume, length, and growth
Due to the antioxidant properties of collagen, it can help keep the natural volume of the hair even as we age as well as promote growth at greater lengths.
Proline, an important amino acid that can be found in collagen, makes the hair follicle protected against free radicals. These free radicals, naturally produced by the body, gotten through the environment’s pollutants or through products and equipment being used, damage the hair.
Collagen helps reduce the damage from free radicals and because there are fewer hindrances, our hair can focus on regenerating and growing.
Collagen is even known to widen the actual diameter of the hair strand. Thicker hair that can grow longer without breaking and regenerates faster is part of the wonders that collagen brings.
Collagen reduces hair loss
As mentioned above, collagen makes the hair strong. And if our hair is strong, it will not fall off, hence the direct relation to a reduction of hair loss brought about by collagen. We don’t have to be afraid of brushing our hair and gasping at all the strands that just left our heads after each stroke.
Collagen keeps the hair shiny
Wanna look like you’ve just stepped out of some pampering at the salon all the time? Collagen.
It isn’t just our faces that have sebaceous glands that produce moisture and the right amounts of oils, so does our heads. An oily substance works to lubricate the hair leaving it shiny and healthy-looking. Collagen helps in maintaining just the right balance between shine and dullness. Turns out we don’t have to solely rely on conditioner for this purpose.
What’s more is that it lessens the hair’s capability to become brittle means less split ends.
Collagen helps our hair in every aspect, from the growth to the strength to the healthiness.
How to use collagen for hair?
The most common method of using collagen for hair is through supplements commonly called collagen peptides. These come in powder, pill, chewable, or liquid form. Supplements are jam-packed with collagen and must be taken in moderation with the proper dosage.
Each collagen supplement comes with their specific instructions which you can follow accordingly. Most of them can also be mixed into your daily smoothies, beverages, and other recipes so it becomes easier to consume.
Collagen can also be derived from natural food sources with the highest concentration being found around the bones. It is a protein after all. You can opt to make stock using any kind of meat bones. Collagen, in its pure form, can be found in the cartilage so the best way to go about getting your dose of all-natural collagen is through bone broth.
Unfortunately, bone broth is an incredibly tedious and time-consuming process, therefore, we look at other alternatives such as gelatin, which is basically bones and cartilage that have been boiled down and processed into sheets. Why does gelatin have the ability to bind ingredients in a dish together? Because of the collagen.
If bones and cartilage are not your cup of tea, there are other ways to consume collagen, although not in its pure form. Examples would be eggs, in which the whites have collagen and the yolks make that collagen more degradable by the body, salmon which is an excellent source of zinc and Omega-3 fatty acids that boost our body’s natural collagen production, and citrus which is rich in vitamin C which is a nutrient that stimulates the body to create collagen.
Collagen DIY Hair Mask
If you prefer directly applying collagen to your hair, it can also be used as a hair mask. The following is an easy DIY recipe you can try at home and totally skip on the expensive collagen hair treatments offered at salons.
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp collagen peptides
Mix all the ingredients thoroughly in a bowl and apply directly to dry hair. Massage into the scalp and go all the way down to the ends.
Leave on for 20 minutes then rinse with shampoo. Repeat shampoo application if needed.
Apply only once a month.
What to take note before and after using collagen for hair?
When it comes to collagen supplements, there are a few things to take note of before using them.
- There are a lot of different types of collagen. 16, to be precise. As for collagen supplements, there are types I, II, and III. These three make up almost 90% of the collagen in the body.
- Majority of collagen supplements are sourced from bovine, made from cowhide and other parts, and marine creatures, created from the fins, scales, bones, and fins of fish and shells. Both of these are rich in types I and III collagen.
- Given the fact that marine and bovine collagen are derived from animal sources, they pose certain implications to those who don’t consume meat.
- Marine collagen is believed to be more “bioavailable” or easily absorbed by the body compared to the other types.
- Collagen supplements have different levels of quality. Look for “hydrolyzed” collagen or peptides. These give you the assurance that they have been broken down to absorbable size.
- Avoid collagen sourced from the chicken because you are not sure of their living conditions and because cows have a more complete amino acid profile, hence, purer forms of collagen.
- You can take collagen at any time of the day, according to your preference. Some like adding it to their evening tea for a more restful sleep or in their coffee for an extra boost. Others like incorporating collagen peptides to the post-workout routine since collagen is protein and this amino acid is essential in muscle regeneration.
- Collagen supplements are not a tried-and-tested product, therefore, one specific brand or type will not automatically become your holy grail. Therefore, you must try and test a few in order to find the one.
Side effects of using collagen for hair
Perhaps it would be wrong to say that using collagen for the hair does not have any side effects but having no effects at all would be more accurate.
There have been instances when users saw no change at all when they tried using collagen for the hair even after continued use. Therefore, users should be informed that the claims to longer, thicker, shinier and stronger hair may work for most but not for all. There is not yet a product out there that is 100% effective.
The reason that collagen does not work for all is due to the fact our skin and our hair is like snowflakes, very unique and reacts differently to ingredients present in the products we use. In this case, it would be best to get your source from collagen through all-natural ingredients mentioned above and focus on boosting your own collagen production instead of intaking pure collagen which might not work.
Furthermore, there isn’t enough study and experiments conducted on the effects of collagen consumption (peptides) on pregnant and nursing women. For safety purposes, it is still recommended that pregnant or breastfeeding women should refrain from using collagen supplements. Once more, natural sources of collagen would still be a safer choice in this case.
Those with allergies should take extra precautions when taking collagen supplements due to hypersensitivity reactions. We know that marine and bovine collagen come from fish and cows, therefore, take note if these cause allergic reactions.
By now, you might be convinced that collagen is a miracle-worker that our bodies naturally need. Whether you are in that age where collagen production is still alive and kicking or you need an extra boost, consuming collagen should become a part of our daily routines.
© 2020 Muriel B Tewes