Collagen is one of the most abundant extracellular proteins in the human body. For this reason, science has found many uses for collagen-based products in benefitting human health. The food industry in particular is increasing its demand for collagen products due to its high protein content. So how does collagen link to hair health?
Within the beauty space caring for our hair is a major element. Our hair is mostly made up of a protein called keratin. And like all protein’s keratin is made up of amino acids, smaller building block proteins that essentially link together to create a larger protein. Keratin is an essential component in keeping our hair strong – less prone to breakage and hair loss.
Although, consuming keratin itself will not help the growth of our hair. This is due to our inability to break down and absorb the protein. Consumption of the amino acids that make up keratin, such as cysteine, methionine and lysine, is what helps build the keratin from the hair follicle – or cells known as keratinocytes found in the skin’s epidermis. Therefore, a diet lacking in protein can be the underlying cause of many hair disturbances like brittleness, weakness and loss.
10-17% of keratin is synthesised from the amino acid cysteine and is therefore the key protein ingredient for hair growth. Cysteine is a non-essential amino acid meaning the body can produce it, however it can be synthesised from methionine making methionine an essential amino acid – it must be consumed through the diet. Also, the amino acid lysine plays a role in hair volume and shape, and literally keeping our hair on our heads as it is found in the hair root. Lysine is also an essential amino acid and when intakes are low hair can begin thinning, become brittle and lifeless.
Getting enough protein is essential for hair health. Generally, protein should make up anywhere from 10-30% of your daily energy intake depending on personal needs. Ensuring you are eating protein at every meal is an easy way to hit protein requirements. Some fabulous sources of the former mentioned amino acids include yoghurt, poultry, red meat, legumes, eggs, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, buckwheat, brown rice and barley.
Consuming quality sources of protein is undoubtedly going to do wonders for your hair strength and structure. Though, additional protein sources such as collagen rich foods and supplements contain abundant amounts of the essential amino acids needed to give your hair health a boost and keep your keratin thriving. Active Collagen All-In-One is a bioactive collagen supplement containing 18 different amino acids backed by science to support the natural production of hair alongside a protein rich diet.
Of course, hair health is not only impacted from the inside but also from any external factors that may contribute to hair damage. Be aware of these when considering a holistic approach to strong, healthy hair!
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National Health and Medical Research Council. (2006). Protein. Nutrient Reference Values. https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/nutrient-reference-values/nutrients/protein