Beauty supplements and maintenance products are all the rage these days, and two of the most popular types of these products are collagen and biotin. As a protein and a vitamin, collagen and biotin play key roles in keeping your body in shape. They’re also believed to help boost hair growth.
So which supports hair growth more: collagen or biotin? Based on scientific studies, it seems that collagen has a better claim to improving the condition of your hair. However, both can actually be used together for well-rounded nutrition and countless health benefits, aside from promoting hair regrowth.
The Difference Between Biotin and Collagen
Each hair follicle we have is made up of keratin protein cells which are rooted in the skin’s dermis by a hair bulb. Blood vessels deliver hormones and nourish each follicle to keep them growing healthy and strong. However, if your hair is falling out at the roots, there may be something wrong with your overall health.
Instead of redirecting nourishment to the hair follicles, your body focuses instead on keeping your organs functional. The medical term for severe hair loss in men and women is called alopecia. Doctors check on alopecia patients by looking at their diet, habits, stress levels, and medication to identify the actual cause of the problem.
If your doctor cannot diagnose a problem or you simply want to grow your hair thicker, you may consider taking collagen or biotin supplements to treat hair loss and to keep your skin healthy.
Biotin is a B-complex vitamin, also known as vitamin B7 or B8, vitamin H, or coenzyme R. It’s found in many common foods such as eggs, milk, nuts, grains, and fatty fish. As a vitamin, biotin’s role is to help manage metabolic reactions and assist the human body when it processes fats, proteins, and carbohydrates in food into energy by shifting carbon dioxide between molecules.
Biotin also plays a role in blood sugar regulation, cell growth,and metabolizing fatty acids. Women who are undergoing pregnancy or breastfeeding would greatly benefit from biotin as well. As long as you eat a healthy and balanced diet, you’re probably already getting all the biotin you need. Biotin is water-soluble, which means it dissolves in water so excess biotin is flushed out of your body when you urinate.
Biotin deficiency is fairly uncommon but it does happen for some patients; brittle nails, flaky red rashes, and hair breakage or hair loss are some of the symptoms of biotin deficiency. This is one of the few medical situations a doctor would prescribe a biotin supplement. However, if no deficiencies are present and you continue to take additional biotin, you may experience acne breakouts.
Collage is the most abundant protein in the human body. This fibrous protein serves as the structural building blocks, found in connective tissues like the skin, ligaments, joints, tendons, and cartilage surrounding organs. Collagen is also present in the muscles, bones, vertebral discs, teeth, corneas, and blood vessels, keeping these parts moist and lubricated.
When there is sufficient collagen in the body, patients will have strong nails, thicker hair, and healthy skin. As soft collagen works throughout the body, it reduces joint pain, builds lean muscle mass, heals wounds, and improves the overall condition of the skin. Since collagen production decreases with age, collagen supplements are often recommended to fight against aging.
Unlike biotin, collagen is insoluble in water and needs to be broken down so your body can absorb it. Processed or ‘hydrolyzed’ collagen is commonly found in capsule, chewable, or powder forms. In cooked foods like bone broth, collagen protein turns into gelatin.
Which Supplement Is Better for Hair Growth?
Biotin and collagen are often recommended by dermatologists and hair experts because each supplement is believed to promote benefits for the hair, skin, and nails. However, they work differently from each other and collagen is thought to be better for hair growth.
As a vitamin, biotin primarily supports hair health by breaking down macronutrients in the body for cell renewal and growth. On the other hand, collagen directly promotes hair follicle growth through amino acids and proteins. Collagen also strengthens the scalp’s dermis and helps antioxidants fight free radicals which damage the hair.
Notably, collagen is an anti-aging protein and can even prevent age-related hair loss. Having more collagen in your skin’s tissues replenishes its cells and keeps the skin firm but elastic, which ensures your hair follicles will grow on a healthy scalp.
Another reason why the efficacy of biotin as a hair growth vitamin is because its claims have yet to be proven scientifically. The available preliminary studies suggest that biotin can boost hair growth but lack any conclusive evidence for it. Even though a significant body of data is missing, some patients who take biotin supplements do see improvement in hair health.
Ideally, you should take both collagen and biotin if you really want to support strong hair, skin, and nail growth. Collagen and biotin naturally work together and deliver a combination of nutrients to prevent hair loss and provide multiple health benefits. It isn’t really about one product being better than the other but more on how to provide the body with the right balance vitamins, proteins, and minerals it needs to look good and stay in peak condition.
How To Include More Biotin and Collagen In Your Diet
One of the most common causes of alopecia is poor nutrition. Health issues and nutrient deficiencies can arise if people don’t have enough protein, essential vitamins, and carbohydrates in their body that make hair-growth hormones. Making sure you’re eating a complete diet full of nutrients, proteins, and minerals can go a long way for your hair.
Biotin can easily be added to your diet as it is found in many common foods. However, collagen can be tricky since hydrolyzed collagen can only be found as peptides in powders, capsules, and chewable supplements. Fortunately, more and more collagen products are becoming widely available in the market today due to a high demand. You can also try adding more food with collagen-building blocks and amino acids into your diet.
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