Collagen is the most abundant protein that makes up the structures in your body, such as the tendons, ligaments, joints, skin, and other fibrous tissues. As collagen builds your skin, it also holds the dermal layer and hair follicles together. Without collagen, your hair loses its volume and natural moisture.
So can additional collagen help men and women combat hair loss? The answer is yes. Collagen plays an essential role against free radicals that cause hair shedding and thinning. It also provides extra amino acids which act as building blocks for the hair. In addition to these benefits, more collagen in the skin cells of the scalp can help boost hair growth.
How Collagen Slows Down Hair Loss
Losing 50 to 100 individual strands of hair per day is perfectly normal. During certain circumstances, you may find more hair on your pillow if the shedding is more severe. When this happens, your hair usually starts to grow back and regain its thickness after a few months.
The problem is when your hair stops growing back entirely. Hair loss could be temporary or permanent and there are many causes for this condition, including stress, genetics, or hormonal changes. Decreasing collagen levels near your hair follicle stem cells can also cause hair loss.
In one study, scientists found that older mice lacked type XVII collagen which damaged their hair follicle DNA, causing the hair stem cells to turn into skin cells that flaked off like dandruff. Another research project found similar results when they observed that the hair follicles of women in their 30s and 40s were larger than those of women in their 50s and older.
The theory is that collagen production slows down with aging. Instead of spending more nutrients in maintaining hair, the body naturally redirects its collagen supply to the more vital organs of our body. Collagen is an important ingredient in managing hair loss for four important benefits:
1. Collagen contains antioxidants that combat free radicals in the body.
Free radicals are compounds that develop in your body in small quantities. Stress, smoking, poor diet, alcohol, air pollutants, and other environmental influences increase the buildup of these free radicals — which can harm your cells, proteins, and DNA. In a 2009 study, scientists found that free radicals can also damage your hair follicles, leading to hair loss and hair thinning.
Collagen is important as it has the ability to fight against free radicals with its antioxidant properties. Antioxidants can prevent cell damage, promote healthy hair, and even slow down graying as free radicals damage the melanin-producing cells of your hair.
Several test tube studies found that collagen is a powerful source of antioxidant activity and can fight up to four different free radicals at once. Of course, these studies were performed in isolated laboratory cells so it may be difficult to ascertain collagen’s true antioxidant potential.
2. Collagen increases amino acids which can build hair.
Your hair is made up of the protein keratin, which is built with organic molecules called amino acids. When you consume proteins, your body breaks them down into amino acids and uses these pieces to create new proteins or compounds. Collagen, another protein, consists of amino acids bound together to form triple helix molecules.
On its own, your body can make 11 nonessential amino acids and your diet provides 9 essentials ones. Collagen is composed of three nonessential amino acids: proline, glycine, and hydroxyproline. Proline is also the main component of keratin, so having proline-rich collagen can provide your body with more building blocks for the production of hair.
3. Collagen triggers cell-growth for improving the scalp’s dermis layer.
The dermis is the middle layer of the skin which contains the roots of each individual hair, made up of 70% collagen. This makes collagen essential in holding the dermal layer and hair follicles together, as well as replenishing damaged cells in the scalp. Aging reduces your body’s natural ability to produce collagen and defend cells in the dermis. The hair follicles become brittle and the dermal layers become dry, causing hair fall.
A small amount of collagen is also found in the skin tissues surrounding each hair shaft. During the growth stage (or anagen phase) of hair, the collagen in the outer layer of the hair bulb increases and thickens. Once the hair follicle matures, it loses those layers. As our bodies continue with collagen production, the layers regrow and support the hair follicles when they cycle back to the growth stage once more. If the body stops producing collagen (as in aging), the hair growth cycle will stop.
Aside from making up the skin in your scalp, collagen is also essential to promoting scalp and hair health by increasing blood circulation in your body. As more blood flows to your scalp area, your hair follicles receive more required nutrients and grow faster.
4. Collagen promotes fibroblast production.
Fibroblasts are the most common type of cells found in the body’s connective, fibrous tissues, as they are the cells that produce collagen. In a study on how hair can grow in areas where the skin cells are damaged, scientists found that boosting fibroblasts with growth factor formulas allow the fibroblasts to promote hair growth. Not only do fibroblasts induce an earlier anagen phase, but they also prolong the mature anagen phase — which means less hair loss.
Collagen products containing hydrolyzed collagen (or peptides) and antioxidants have been found to increase fibroblast synthesis, which leads to stronger hair growth in the long run.
Collagen Products That Can Combat Hair Loss
As collagen is a form of protein, it has to be broken down into smaller forms before it can be easily digested. Many foods and supplement products present broken down collagen molecules so they can be absorbed by the body immediately. Some products that can help combat hair loss include collagen-rich food, dietary supplements, and the PEP Factor solution.
|Where can you get it?||How does it work?||What are the side-effects?|
|Collagen-rich food||Although your body can produce collagen naturally, you can also find it in the skin, bone, and muscles of chicken, pork, beef, and fish. Fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C are also excellent collagen boosters.
Try to include more bone broth, salmon skin, oranges, bell peppers, brussel sprouts, and strawberries in your diet.
|Type 1 collagen is the best in helping hair become stronger. This type is abundant in marine and bovine-sourced collagen — products commonly found in the human diet.
Cooking with these foods can give you collagen in a more digestible form.
|Unless you have allergies to these foods, their addition to your meals is a quick (and tasty) way to get collagen in your body.|
|Supplements||Nutritional supplements in pill or powder forms are widely available on the market.
Collagen powders are usually odorless and flavorless, so it’s easy to mix them into juice, a smoothie, or other beverages. Some brands offer flavored variants as well.
|The collagen in these pills and powders are already hydrolyzed, which means their components are broken down and easy to absorb.
Your dosage would depend on how much collagen you will need, so it’s best to consult with a doctor prior to your treatment.
|Most collagen supplements are safe to use. However, some reports claim that these supplements cause stomach discomfort and heartburn for some patients.
Consuming too much collagen may also lead to rashes and stomach fullness.
|PEP Factor||PEP Factor formulas are sold by medical supply stores. You can also have PEP Factor formulas micro-needled into your scalp when you visit a med spa.||PEP Factor is a skin and scalp formula that stimulates fibroblast synthesis in the skin.
Pep Factor is made up of a complex chain of amino acids linked together by peptide bonds. As the solution can stimulate production of fibroblasts in the cells, PEP Factor can help boost collagen production as well.
|As a topical serum, PEP Factor has few known side-effects.
However, since it is applied to the scalp through a microneedling treatment, you may expect risks like skin irritation and redness for a few days.
Find PEP Factor at Face Med Store
PEP Factor is a solution that helps promote the appearance of a healthy scalp. At Face Med Store, we offer PEP Factor at affordable prices. Contact us today to learn more about PEP Factor.
Read more: Do Scalp Massages Really Grow Hair?