While scouring the web trying to find the best solution for hair loss, you’ve probably come across collagen supplements. Many health and supplement companies are promoting the use of collagen supplements as a way to fight and prevent hair loss. But do they live up to the hype?
The short answer is, eh. There is some conflicting evidence on whether collagen is a useful, effective treatment to improve hair growth. But, there may be some potential health benefits to supplementing with collagen. This would be in addition to undergoing another evidence-based treatment for hair loss, such as scalp micropigmentation.
Read on to learn more about collagen and its effects on hair loss.
What is collagen?
Collagen is one of the main structural proteins in the body. In fact, it is the most abundant protein that makes up 30% to 40% of the body’s protein content. The fundamental purpose of collagen is to build and maintain connective tissue, such as skin, tendons, and ligaments. It also gives rise to keratin, an essential protein that makes up hair.
On the scalp, collagen plays an important role in supporting the hair follicle. During the growth stage of the hair life cycle (anagen), collagen levels increase around the hair bulb. Collagen is then lost after the hair follicle matures. However, the body continues to produce collagen to increase collagen again for the next stage of hair growth.
Because collagen is abundant in the body, it begs the question of whether supplementing with collagen will have any substantial effect. However, as we age, collagen levels are known to decrease over time. Other factors such as diet and stress may also lower collagen levels.
What does the research say?
No direct, randomized clinical trials have shown sound evidence that collagen helps with hair loss. Most studies have been undertaken by companies that sell collagen supplements themselves. Therefore, most studies on collagen for hair loss have shown weak data or strong bias.
There are theories and hypotheses, however. For example, evidence has shown that hair loss is attributed to damage from free radicals. Free radicals from the environment can damage the proteins and lipids that make up hair cells. It is suggested that collagen supplementation can help replenish damaged hair follicles, although it’s not certain if collagen can directly protect against free radical activity.
One randomized, controlled clinical trial assessed the effects of collagen peptides on the skin. According to the study, collagen supplementation may help improve skin hydration, elasticity, and overall appearance. Some experts believe that improved skin hydration and elasticity may have a role in maintaining the appearance and structure of hair follicles. However, more research is needed on this matter.
More recently, a stronger study in the form of a literature review was conducted. It found that collagen supplementation may have promising effects for wound healing and skin aging. While the study concluded that more research is needed, it did support the use of oral collagen supplements for maintaining skin health. Still, no mention of hair loss was included in this study.
Overall, if you’re looking for a quick fix for hair loss, collagen is not it. While there’s some evidence that collagen has several benefits, more studies need to be conducted on whether collagen can truly help hair loss. It makes sense that, as the body loses collagen over time, collagen supplementation may become more beneficial. Collagen is also generally safe to take; meaning, there are no severe adverse effects associated with taking collagen supplements. Besides potentially helping hair loss, collagen could be a useful supplement for maintaining skin quality in general.
If you’re looking for ways to help your hair loss, you’re better off looking into treatments that are proven to work. Scalp Micro USA is a leader in the scalp micropigmentation space. If you have more questions about micropigmentation, you can contact the team for more information.