Collagen is a word that has been thrown around in marketing a lot lately. You can find it advertised in our food, vitamin supplements, skincare, etc. Almost everywhere. So why is collagen suddenly so popular? Collagen has historically and most commonly been known to benefit the skin. Recently, research has expanded its data to not just the skin but hair too. What we’ve learned is that collagen can improve not just the appearance and elasticity of our skin as we age, but it has also been proven to prevent age-related hair loss like male pattern baldness, increase muscle mass for athletes and decrease joint pain. It is now considered a multi-use supplement.
Collagen is actually considered one of the major building blocks for our muscles, hair and skin. It is used by the body by breaking down our food proteins or it is absorbed by popular pill or powder supplements.
Collagen and Hair
Because collagen is constantly marketed for skin, there are a lot of questions about collagen and its benefits on our hair. Common questions may include:
- Can collagen prevent gray hair?
- Can collagen reduce the risk of male pattern baldness? Especially when it is a result of genetic predisposition?
- Can collagen mitigate overall hair loss?
Here’s what we do know when it comes to collagen and its effects on hair.
Collagen is made up of 3 essential amino acids. Our bodies use some of these amino acids to help build keratin. This means collagen is one of the major building blocks that help produce keratin, a protein found in hair. This protein makes up the majority of your hair and when we age, the collagen that deposits in the scalp starts to decline. To help make up for the difference, taking collagen supplements can help keep hair growing.
Not only has it been known to help with regrowth, but collagen also adds more volume to the hair by steadying the production of sebum. Sebum is the oil found on the hair and scalp that keeps the hair healthy and shiny. When the hair lacks sebum, it can become dry and flaky which is prone to falling out and breakage. By aiding the production of sebum, collagen also prevents flaky, dry, and fragile hair.
Collagen and Male Pattern Baldness
For this reason, it is believed that collagen may help with male pattern baldness. Although it’s mostly due to genetics, no man wants to see a decline in hair growth. Collagen helps to keep follicles strong and helps to replenish hair loss by promoting healthy hair growth. Because collagen makes up 70% of our skin, specifically the dermis layer, we know it contributes to the elasticity and strength of the dermis. When we age our bodies become less efficient at producing collagen and replenishing cells in the dermis which is a likely cause for hair thinning over time.
One study proved that collagen supplements help to improve skin elasticity and increase proteins in the skin that not only reduce signs of aging but also contribute to better hair growth. Since collagen has been known to protect the layer of skin that contains the hair roots, it can be concluded that daily collagen supplements may help prevent age-related hair loss and thinning.
Additionally, collagen can help reduce the likelihood of hair turning gray. Collagen acts as an antioxidant which helps to eliminate free radicals that damage cells in the body. Free radicals are compounds that can develop in the body due to poor dietary choices, pollutants, stress, alcohol and environmental factors. These free radicals can harm your DNA, cells and proteins. These are some of the reasons our hair starts to turn gray. Free radicals can damage our hair follicles as we age. The cells that produce the melanin pigment naturally begin to die. Collagen helps to preserve the melanin – the pigment in our hair – by acting as an antioxidant and destroying unstable atoms that damage cells. However, although the research is promising it is still new so it’s limited.
One of the positives of collagen supplements is that there are minor if no, side effects when taking them regularly. That’s good news for everyone.
Collagen Supplements For Male Pattern Baldness
Collagen supplements are easy to add to any routine. Whether they are supplement based or through foods. You can find collagen in the skins, muscles, bones and connective tissue in mammals like pork, chicken, fish and beef.
An easy way to add collagen to your diet is through a bone broth. Bone broth contains both gelatin and collagen. This cooked form of collagen can be used as a base for soups or sipped as a drink.
In addition to meats, adding foods that are high in vitamin C may help boost your body’s natural collagen production. Look for foods like oranges, brussel sprouts, strawberries, and bell peppers to add an excellent source of collagen to your diet.
One of the more popular ways you may find collagen is in supplement form. Either supplemental pills or powders that are already hydrolyzed, meaning they are already broken down. This makes them easier to digest and absorb.
Collagen powders can be added to hot or cold liquids like coffee or smoothies in a variety of flavors or entirely unflavored. It’s your choice.
Collagen Benefits Everyone
Collagen may be able to use its amino acids to help strengthen skin and build hair proteins. It can promote healthy hair in a variety of ways in addition to preventing male pattern baldness and thinning. Want to try collagen supplements? Consider bone broth or powders that can be added to your foods and drinks. You can find them at local retailers or online. Ask Balshi Dermatology for more information on collagen supplements that are right for you.
Call Dr. Balshi at Balshi Dermatology in Delray Beach, FL If You Have Questions About Collagen and Male Pattern Baldness
If you’re looking to combat male pattern baldness and promote more hair growth, volume, stronger, shinier, and better textured hair with collagen supplements, contact Balshi Dermatology, a board-certified dermatologist in Delray Beach. Call us at (561) 272-6000 or send us a message on our Contact Page to set up your appointment.