collagen for hair

What do you think of when you hear the word collagen? For most of us, it is associated with plumping your lips or eliminating wrinkles. Despite that universal tidbit of information, what is collagen and is it safe? First off, collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body that holds the entire body together. It is found in bones, muscles, skin, and tendons. Most people believe it is only synthetic and used by plastic surgeons, but now that we're informed, let’s take a closer look.

Collagen is a protein made up of amino acids. To fully understand collagen you have to first understand our skin, which consists of three layers: epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue. The upper-most layer is the epidermis, which regulates the loss of water from the cells and tissue. Right below the epidermis level lies the dermis and it is primarily made up of protein or collagen. There is a network of fibers that is the foundation for the growth of those cells and blood vessels and collagen acts as a support structure for the skin. There is also collagen in the hypodermis, which is a layer of fat and connective tissues that contains even larger blood vessels and nerves.

We already know about the benefits of hydrolyzing proteins so they may be small enough to adsorb to your strands. Hydrolyzed collagen is one of those proteins that will also bind water to your hair by attracting and retaining it there. Hydrolyzed collagen protein is derived from bovine bone and cartilage and will temporarily bond the hair and stave off breakage when put under tension.

Read more: 6 Proteins that Must Be Hydrolyzed…If You Want Them to Work

Products with collagen

Many of the products formulated with collagen do not just claim it will improve the hair’s appearance, but it will work in the outside of the hair to surround the hair and protect it. Not sure about at-home products? Consider a collagen hair treatment at a salon. The ultra-posh Roy Teeluck Salon in New York City offers a collagen spa treatment + blow-out featuring Concentré de Collagène. This signature product is a scalp treatment with collagen, peptides, and botanicals that boasts of enriching the scalp while making the hair fuller and more voluminous. The treatment and blow-out will set you back $110, so if that is just too rich for your blood then you can try popular brands of collagen supplements:

Food to help collagen

  • Red vegetables have lycopene that can increase your collagen levels. 
  • Dark green vegetables rev up collagen production.
  • Orange veggies are rich in vitamin A and regenerate your damaged collagen. 
  • Berries do double duty by scavenging free radicals and increasing collagen. 
  • Soy promotes collagen production and helps to block enzymes that can age your skin.