Collagen For Hair Growth? Here’s What Science Says About It
Written by: Liz Brown - Sep. 9, 2019
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. It can be found in the connective tissue of our vital organs, joints, ligaments, and tendons, as well as our skin, nails, and (you guessed it), even in our hair. 
There’s a lot of buzz going around in the beauty community about using collagen for hair health and hair growth. Even celebrities like Jennifer Aniston have spoken about their love for collagen and its benefits. If you’re a true Jen fan, you’re probably thinking that if collagen is good enough for (#HairGoals) Rachel Green, it’s good enough for me! But, what does science have to say about it? Despite all the hullabaloo on the topic, the question remains—does collagen actually help improve the overall appearance and increase the length of your hair? 🤔
In this article, we’ll take an evidence-based approach to explain everything you need to know about collagen for hair, and answer important questions, including:
- What does collagen do for hair? (What science says)
- Are there any collagen benefits for hair?
- How does collagen help hair and what type of collagen is best for hair?
- What are the best collagen supplements for hair?
What Does Collagen Do For Hair?
Collagen is known to be extremely beneficial for improving the appearance, texture, and overall health of your hair. Numerous collagen supplements, like SkinnyFit Super Youth, aim to strengthen and nourish hair, maximize hair growth, and even prevent hair loss—all of which sound incredible! But, what does collagen do for hair on a more scientific level? How is it that collagen can achieve such amazing results? Let’s take a closer look at the evidence to better understand how taking collagen for hair might just be the life-changing solution to all our hair needs…
Collagen provides amino acids that help build new hair follicles & repair damaged ones.
Each hair follicle consists of three layers: the cuticle, the cortex, and the medulla. The cuticle is the outermost layer of your hair and is made up of hundreds of flattened, overlapping cells that form a protective layer around the other cell layers (the same way that shingles on a roof would protect the interior of a home).  Keratin is a structural protein found throughout every layer of our hair follicles. Keratin’s primary function (when it comes to hair) is to not only smooth the overlapping cell layers of the cuticle to give your hair a smooth and glossy look, but to also produce new hair follicles that form at the root of the existing follicle. 
You see, your body uses several amino acids to create keratin. Some of these amino acids, like proline and glycine, for example, are also found in collagen.  Although glycine and proline are considered conditionally non-essential amino acids, consuming proline-, glycine-, and hydroxyproline-rich collagen should provide your body with the building blocks needed to create new hair follicles. 
Collagen fights free radical damage that contributes to weak and brittle hair.
Around our mid-20s and early-30s, our body’s ability to produce collagen declines, and we eventually stop producing it altogether. Over time, whatever collagen we do have in our bodies begin to decline as well. This is typically when the physical signs of aging kick in—fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, achy joints, and even weak and brittle hair.  If wrinkles and sagging skin weren’t bad enough, what’s worse is that as we continue to age and our collagen supply is dwindles, we become even more susceptible to elements that accelerate the aging process—like free radical damage. Free radicals are compounds that develop in your body as a result of environmental influences like air pollutants, smoking, alcohol, poor dietary choices, and more. Free radical damage can have adverse effects on our health, including damage to our hair follicles. 
In order to combat free-radical damage and promote healthy hair, your body needs a healthy supply of antioxidants.  Certain types of collagen, like marine collagen, can act as an antioxidant and fight damage caused by free radicals.  Marine collagen is also rich with Type I collagen, which happens to be one of the most abundant types of collagen found in the human body. Type I collagen (and marine collagen) not only provide your body with adequate antioxidants to fight free radicals and prevent damaged and brittle hair, but also strengthens weaker hair follicles to reduce breakage.
Collagen improves circulation and skin elasticity to prevent thinning hair.
According to the Academy of Dermatology, your hair grows from a root in the bottom of the hair follicle. The root is made of cells and protein, and the blood from the blood vessels in your scalp feed the root. This creates more cells and makes the hair grow.
In several in vitro studies, collagen has been shown to enhance the cells in your scalp that are responsible for creating the connective tissue that keeps your skin around the root from expanding and blood circulating. In layman’s terms, collagen keeps the pores on your head tight and the hair follicle closer. This ensures that your hair absorbs the maximum amount of nutrients to grow thicker and healthier. 
The same studies also found an increase in overall collagen levels that improve collagen’s structural properties (responsible for tightening and firming your skin), an increase in the dermal matrix precursors (which are a group of enzymes that work together to break down the proteins in collagen, helping your body process the collagen faster and more effectively), as well as an increase in collagen type I (which is the most abundant collagen found in your hair). 
As the hair grows, it gets pushed up through the skin and takes the newly generated cells with it—creating an abundance of thicker hair! As we age, our bodies become less efficient at producing collagen, so taking a collagen supplement can replenish the cells in the dermis and fight age-related hair thinning!
Collagen Benefits For Hair
Taking collagen for hair growth is just the tip of the iceberg in the benefits department. In fact, there are numerous beauty-boosting benefits you can expect when you take collagen for hair! Here are all of the collagen benefits for hair:
- Reduces hair loss
- Stimulates new hair growth
- Strengthens and smoothes weak and brittle hair
- Boosts luster and shine
- Thickens hair follicles
- Prevents free-radical damage
How Does Collagen Help Hair?
Collagen contains numerous properties that can help improve the overall health of your hair. Consistent use can even reveal longer, stronger, glossier, thicker, and more luscious hair! Collagen provides a combination of amino acids and proteins that can boost keratin production, provide antioxidants that fight free-radical damage, and increase blood circulation to not only create new hair follicles, but repair and strengthen damaged or thinning hair. But, no matter what benefits you’re hoping to achieve by taking collagen for hair, it’s important that you’re using the right type of collagen in order to get the job done.
Best collagen for hair
The best collagen for hair are Types I, III, and V. There are at least 16 different types of collagen, each serving a unique function in the human body.  In order to experience the collagen benefits for hair, your collagen supplement must contain Type I, III, or V collagen, but preferably all three. About 80-90% of the collagen in our bodies consists of Types I and III, but Type V is essential for their formation and for them to be effective—so you need all three!
Type I and III collagen are present in scar tissue, tendons, ligaments, muscle, skin, teeth, bone, and joints, and Type V supports optimal tissue quality in hair, skin, nails, and vital organs.
How to use collagen for hair
Using collagen for hair and reaping the benefits is simple, as long as you stick with it and make it a part of your daily routine. All you have to do is take your preferred collagen supplement, like SkinnyFit Super Youth, every day. In order to see the collagen benefits for hair growth, you should aim to take 11-20g of collagen per day. To learn more about how much collagen to take for different benefits like youthful skin, improved gut health and digestion, and stronger bones and joints, be sure to read How To Use Collagen Powder (+25 Of The Best Collagen Recipes).
Best Collagen Supplements For Hair
Finding the best collagen supplement for hair can be a challenge if you’re unsure of what to look for. So, to make things easier for you, I’m breaking down all the criteria you should look for in a good quality hair and nail supplement, all of which are included in SkinnyFit Super Youth collagen.
- It contains Types I, III, and V collagen—This ensures that you are not only getting the best collagen for hair (I & III) but you’re also getting the collagen that’s essential for their formation and effectiveness (V). Remember, you can’t have one without the other two and expect to see results!
- It’s a hydrolyzed collagen peptide—The best collagen for hair should be hydrolyzed collagen peptide powder. There are numerous forms of collagen on the market, like bone broth, gelatin, and pure collagen… to name a few. Hydrolyzed collagen has undergone a chemical process where the amino acid chains of the collagen have been broken down. This makes it easier and quicker for your body to digest and for the collagen to be distributed throughout your bloodstream. To learn more about the different forms of collagen, be sure to read What Are Collagen Peptides? 5 Things You Need To Know.
- It includes marine collagen—Type I collagen is the most abundant in collagen that comes from fish! If you’re looking for the best collagen supplement for hair growth, taking a collagen powder that includes Type I collagen from a marine source is a sure-fire way to get the results you’re looking for.
The Bottom Line: Is Collagen Good For Hair?
Collagen can improve the health of your hair in a variety of ways. Studies show that certain types of collagen can provide your body with amino acids that can build new hair follicles and repair damaged ones, antioxidants to fight off free radicals that cause weak and brittle hair, and improve circulation and skin elasticity to prevent thinning hair associated with aging.
Taking 11-20 grams of Type I, III, and V collagen from a marine source every day will provide your body with the right type of collagen it needs to see physical improvements in your hair.
SkinnyFit Super Youth is a hydrolyzed multi-collagen peptide powder that not only has Type I, III, and V collagen for hair and nails, but also contains Type II and X collagen from three different sources—marine (wild-caught fish), bovine (grass-fed, pasture-raised cows), and fowl (cage-free chickens). Simply mix 1-2 scoops of your favorite Super Youth flavor with water, or mix the unflavored collagen with your favorite drinks or foods, to experience the incredible hair benefits for yourself! To learn more about the benefits of Super Youth Collagen, be sure to read What Is SkinnyFit Super Youth?
So, to answer your question—is collagen good for hair? The answer is 100% YES!