The demand for being closer to nature has shifted the focus of hair care products in incorporating natural products in the ingredient list for better hair health. Perhaps the most popular inclusions include Aloe barbadensis leaf extract and collagen products.
So can hydrolyzed collagen peptides act as a natural treatment for healthy hair? Yes, because they’re from natural sources and can potentially strengthen human hair. They’re also easy to add to the hair routine and can also provide other benefits aside from healthier hair.
What Are Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides?
Hydrolyzed collagen peptides are low molecular weight peptides (3-6 KDa) obtained from native (or intact) collagen through denaturation (the breaking down of bonds to alter the chemical structure of a protein such as collagen, a major and abundant protein in the body) and hydrolysis (the degradation of a large molecule to smaller molecules).
Collagen hydrolysate differs from native collagen on different properties, most notably in its ability to be more readily absorbed and used by the human body. It’s also a good active ingredient to be added to dietary supplements because of its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.
Benefits Of Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides For Hair
Collagen is an essential protein that makes up the body’s connective tissue. Although the hair structure is made up mostly of keratin, another type of protein, and not collagen, collagen is still associated with hair health improvement due to the following:
1) Provides the building blocks of keratin
All proteins are made up of amino acids as their basic units of structure, and collagen and keratin are no exception to the rule. Keratin is rich in cysteine molecules while collagen is abundant in glycine, hydroxyproline, and proline. Despite this difference in the abundant amino acid, hydrolyzed collagen supplementation still helps promote keratin production by providing proline that may also be used as a building block in making up keratin aside from cysteine.
2) Helps slow down graying of hair
Studies have shown that reactive oxygen species (ROS, harmful molecules produced from oxygen) contribute to the graying of hair through the weakening of the body’s antioxidant defense system of the melanocytes (the cells that produce hair color) such as reduced expression of antioxidant proteins BCL-2 and TRP-2. As mentioned previously, collagen peptides have antioxidant properties and thus may help in combating the deleterious effects of ROS to the hair color, especially upon aging.
3) Helps promote healthy hair growth
Studies have shown that the connective tissue around the hair follicles exhibits metabolic changes throughout the hair cycle. Specifically, the collagen surrounding the anagen phase (or the phase in the hair cycle where hair growth is most observed) is thickened, which will be shed upon entering the catagen phase. Collagen supplementation helps in maintaining a longer anagen phase and thus prolongs the time that the hair grows.
4) Helps promote scalp health
The scalp is made up of 5 layers that correspond to its name: the skin, connective tissue, galea aponeurotica, loose areolar connective tissue, and pericranium. As mentioned earlier, collagen makes up the body’s connective tissue. Thus, increasing the levels of collagen helps thicken the scalp by increasing its components, thus potentially helping to strengthen the scalp’s bond to hair and avoiding hair loss.
Other Benefits Of Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides
Aside from hair health, collagen also has a wide variety of applications to which the use of this vital protein has gained popularity. Some benefits of using hydrolyzed collagen peptides include improved skin health, improved joint and bone health, faster wound treatment, and improved body composition,among other advantages.
1) Skin Health
As the skin ages, the collagen fibers in the deeper layers of the skin decrease due to factors such as direct sunlight exposure, smoking, pollution, chronic alcohol use, and nutrient deficiency. This then leads to the loss of strength and stability of the skin conferred by the collagen proteins to the skin biomatrix, causing the observable sagging and loosening of the skin. As such, collagen supplements help provide deficient collagen in the skin, thus promoting the appearance of healthy skin.
2) Joint and Bone Health
Osteoarthritis occurs when the articular cartilage, a connective tissue that coats the ends of bones, is depleted. A study has shown that the pain associated with osteoarthritis is decreased upon the supplementation of bioactive collagen peptides, highlighting the role of collagen in cartilage metabolism. Similarly, collagen hydrolysate also has its role in osteoporosis also as demonstrated in a study in which it helped in promoting better bone density when taken together with calcitonin.
3) Wound Treatment
Collagen has its role in wound healing through mediating processes associated with it, such as inflammation, angiogenesis, and extracellular matrix remodeling. Specifically, collagen has a role in the formation of blood clots. Collagen also balances angiogenesis or the formation of new blood vessels by increasing or decreasing its occurrence depending on the type of collagen. Collagen also has a role in scar formation as seen in the difference in the density, fiber size, and orientation of collagen fibrils in normal skin and scar tissue.
4) Body Composition
A study has shown that collagen supplements help in promoting improved body composition and muscle strength when combined with resistance exercise. This is due to improvements in the makeup of the surrounding connective tissue of the body as promoted by collagen supplementation.
Side Effects Of Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides
The route of collagen supplementation is usually by mouth, which is safe except for mild symptoms particularly manifested in the digestive tract. Some of the common side effects of collagen peptides include a bad aftertaste, feelings of fullness, heartburn, constipation, allergic reactions, heart arrhythmia (the irregular rhythm of the heartbeat), and hypercalcemia (high levels of calcium in the blood).
Sources Of Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides
Hydrolyzed collagen peptides may be derived from making a wide variety of sources undergo different processes, typically enzyme digestion. These sources include bovine, porcine, marine, and other alternative sources like animals: extraction through enzymatic digestion of chicken legs, as well as the acidification of the skin of Chinese brown frogs.
1) Bovine Hydrolyzed Collagen
Bovine collagen may be derived from the Achilles tendon of cows, lungs, and the nuchal ligament. They may be extracted and hydrolyzed through the action of enzymes such as alcalase, pepsin, trypsin, and collagenase of Penicillium aurantiogriseum.
The benefits of collagen peptides from cows include their antihypertensive, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties on top of boosting the production of types I and III collagen that may help in improving skin tightness, elasticity, and moisture.
2) Porcine Hydrolyzed Collagen
Porcine collagen is derived hydrothermally also from the enzymatic digestion of pigskin by proteases. They also have antioxidant and anti-aging properties and may be used in grafting soft tissue defects. The production of porcine collagen also abides by safety regulations and standards.
3) Marine Hydrolyzed Collagen
Marine collagen offers a safe, culturally-sensitive source of collagen which avoids the risk of swine flu, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, and religious issues. They’re known to have antioxidant properties and better collagen absorption as compared to bovine collagen. They’re also known to boost collagen types I and II. Usual sources of marine hydrolyzed collagen include fishes such as tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and invertebrates such as jellyfishes or sponges.
4) Alternative Sources
The same properties described earlier such as high solubility, antihypertensive, and antioxidant activities are also demonstrated by alternative sources of collagen hydrolysates that are being developed. These alternative sources include extraction through enzymatic digestion of chicken legs and the acidification of the skin of the Chinese brown frog (Rana chensinensis).
Foods For Natural Collagen
Similarly, you may also get your natural, daily dose of collagen through foods that are rich in collagen or those that may help increase the collagen levels of the body by promoting natural collagen production. These include foods rich in collagen, foods that can boost collagen production, and oral food supplementation, among others.
1) Foods Rich In Collagen
Collagen-rich foods are those that are rich in protein that, when broken down, may produce amino acids (such as glycine, proline, lysine, and leucine) that in turn may be used to produce collagen. Examples of these foods include bone broth which is derived from boiling animal bones in water, poultry, dairy products, and fish products.
Similarly, avoiding foods with excessive sugar content should be imperative when wanting to maintain good collagen levels. These foods may be detrimental to collagen levels and can produce damaging by-products such as advanced glycation end products (AGEs) when they react with collagen.
2) Foods That Can Boost Collagen Production
Foods that are rich in vitamin C such as citrus fruits and berries (and supplementation of the diet with vitamin C) are shown to boost collagen production as it’s a cofactor of enzymes responsible for the formation and proper folding of collagen.
Foods rich in other micronutrients necessary for collagen synthesis are also good boosters of collagen production. Such foods include meat and shellfish that are rich in zinc and copper, and nuts and bread that are rich in manganese.
3) Oral Food Supplementation
While a balanced, protein-rich diet is still key to achieving the full benefits of collagen to the body and despite some limitations such as not being suitable for vegans and people belonging to certain religions that hold sacred the animals where they’re derived from, oral collagen supplementation is still a good way to effectively increase your body’s collagen levels. Some examples of oral collagen supplements include liquid collagen supplements, collagen peptides powder, and collagen drinks.
PEP Factor: A Trusted Hair Loss Solution
Collagen hydrolysates are naturally-derived products that promote the appearance of healthy hair and other benefits such as skin, bone, and joint health, wound healing, and better body composition at minimal gastrointestinal side effects.
At FACE Med Store, we offer PEP Factor, another product of minimal side effects, but sold at a reasonable, affordable price. Through its bioactive components such as fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and copper peptide, PEP Factor also provides the benefits of healthy hair and brighter skin.
PEP Factor products are also ready-made and a good complement to other cosmetic applications such as microneedling. They’re also topically applied and thus avoid the gastrointestinal effects produced by collagen hydrolysates.
Shop For Supplementary Treatments For Healthy Hair at FACE Med Store
Hydrolyzed collagen peptide supplements are good treatments that promote healthy hair naturally as they’re sourced from natural products. The benefits of collagen peptides also aren’t limited to hair, as they also bring improvements in the skin, bones, joints, and body composition.
At FACE Med Store, we are committed to providing high-quality products that are also good in promoting healthy hair and skin. Contact us now today at (800) 770-9083 or browse through our website to get to know more about the top-of-the-line products that we offer and also for medical advice and consultation.