Does Collagen Supplements Help With Hair Growth? Find Now13 min read

Whether it is the collagen powder for hair growth, pills of collagen for thinning hair, or collagen serums, it is often featured as one of the best supplements. Whether on its own, as a powder or liquid, or as part of the additional ingredient to other vitamins, often biotin. However, taking collagen supplements for hair have challenges related to collagen’s biochemistry, bioavailability and the size of its molecules. Today we answer a question – does collagen help your hair grow and can you trust the hype?

The collagen supplements and hair craze

Collagen has gained significant attention for its role in maintaining healthy skin and hair. As you enter your mid-20s, you are likely to encounter advertisements featuring women with flawless skin, attributing their appearance to collagen. This raises the question of whether collagen can help hair and skin glow, beyond the realm of Photoshop. Drugstores offer shampoos enriched with collagen, too…

If you browse through your social media feed, you’ll come across at least one influencer or celebrity attributing their youthful complexion to the best collagen supplement for hair growth or treatments. Beauty salons also provide various collagen-based solutions, such as masks, microneedling, and injections, albeit at a higher cost. This leaves you wondering whether you should consume collagen, apply it topically, or invest in expensive beauty clinic treatments.

Amidst this overwhelming array of choices, we embarked on a quest for answers and decided to delve into the role of collagen in hair growth.

An abundant protein

Collagen is the main structural protein found in the various connective tissues in the body. It is the most abundant protein in mammals, making up 25% to 35% of the whole-body protein content. Collagen protein powder for hair growth consists of amino acids which are wound together to form the triple helix of the collagen molecule. It is mostly found in fibrous tissues, such as tendons, ligaments and skin.

Although only a small amount of collagen is found in the outer layers of the hair shaft itself – collagen plays a key role in maintaining the healthy function of a hair follicle.

Hair follicles are the tiny structures in the skin from which hair grows. They consist of various components, including the dermal papilla, hair bulb, and hair shaft. Collagen, being a structural protein, plays a vital role in supporting the integrity of these components.

Collagen contributes to the elasticity, structure and strength of your skin – the dermis – the layer where your hair root resides. With age, your body becomes less efficient at producing collagen and replenishing cells in the dermis. The area where the hair bulb is doesn’t get enough structural support, so it can collapse into itself, without the necessary amount of collagen fibres to support it.

Some lifestyle factors (e.g. tobacco smoking, diet high in highly processed foods and sugar, stress, alcohol consumption) impact your body’s ability to manufacture collagen to support the structure of your dermis. This may be one of the reasons why your hair gets thinner over time.

Benefits of Collagen for the hair

Collagen is found in the skin tissue surrounding the follicle. It provides structural support to the hair follicles by surrounding and stabilizing them. It forms a network of fibers that help maintain the shape and strength of the follicles. This structural support is essential for healthy hair growth, as it prevents the follicles from becoming weak and fragile.

A number of studies have found that during the anagen (growth) stage of the hair,  the amount of collagen surrounding the hair bulb also increases and thickens– therefore providing enough structural support for the hair follicle to develop new hair.

As the hair follicle matures into the catagen stage, it loses two layers of collagen surrounding it. During the growth stage, these layers re-grow, likely as a supporting structure for the hair bulb to develop again, maintaining the healthy cycle of hair growth. By maintaining the integrity of the hair strands, collagen helps promote overall hair health and collagen minimizes hair loss.

Collagen for scalp blood flow

Collagen indirectly supports blood flow to the skin and scalp by promoting the health and integrity of blood vessels, specifically small capillaries responsible for delivering oxygen and micronutrients to your hair follicles.

It is a key component of the walls of blood vessels, providing strength and stability. Collagen helps maintain the elasticity and flexibility of blood vessels, allowing them to expand and contract as needed to regulate blood flow. When blood vessels are healthy and functioning optimally, they can deliver essential nutrients and oxygen to the scalp and individual hair follicles.

Moreover, collagen supports the production and maintenance of another protein called elastin, which contributes to the elasticity of blood vessels. Elastin allows blood vessels to stretch and recoil, enabling efficient blood flow and better delivery of nutrients to the roots of your hair.

Your hair follicles also need T cells and macrophages – immune cells – in order to pass through catagen and anagen (growth) stages at every growth cycle. Blood delivers those cells, pointing to the necessity of healthy blood flow to the scalp to grow healthy hair, as well as alleviating hair loss that comes from a shortened anagen stage.

Collagen supplements for hair: the myths

So, how does collagen help with hair growth?

Since collagen is a form of protein, your body cannot digest it whole in its pure form. It needs to break it down and digest it just like any other protein you eat. Hydrolyzed collagen for hair (also known as collagen peptides) is broken down into more easily dissolvable amino acids. Your body processes the amino acids – namely lycine, glycine and proline – by releasing them into blood stream, and transforming into the building blocks that can become collagen in your scalp and hair follicles.

However, if your body is deficient in these amino acids in other parts of your body, for example, your skin, bones or cartilage – then it will prioritise those areas to top them up with these amino acids and not your hair. While some amounts of protein consumed as part of your diet or supplements can and do end up in your hair follicles, you’re leaving it up to your body to decide where it goes.

This makes ingesting collagen an inefficient way of replenishing the reserves of hair growth collagen and benefiting your hair.

Topical collagen helps hair growth: the myths

What about collagen creams, shampoos and other best collagen supplements for hair? Collagen molecules are simply too large to penetrate the skin, including that on your scalp. Therefore any topical products claiming to boost collagen production in skin are just going to leave collagen molecules sitting on top of it, without penetrating it and therefore, without making any impact on your collagen production.

Studies & research around collagen and hair

A number of studies showed that by ingesting collagen for hair and skin, the appearance is improved, but those studies have been funded by companies which produce collagen. The collagen supplements and hair growth market remains largely unregulated, which raises questions around the reliability of the results of such studies. Collagen most of the time comes from bones and cartilages of cows, chicken and other animals – so the conditions in which those animals are kept can lack transparency.

There are a number of differing opinions and collagen for hair growth reviews, ranging from those claiming a finite amount of collagen in our bodies to those supporting the ability of our bodies to produce collagen again. In addition, digestive and cardiovascular systems and their interactions still remain unclear and inconclusive. While our body can produce the best collagen for hair growth and skin revitalizing, this building process requires a number of building blocks whose consumption should be carefully supervised under the guidance of a qualified nutritionist.

Does collagen cause hair loss? 

While collagen deficiency itself may not be a direct cause of hair loss, it can contribute to weakened hair follicles and overall hair health, which can increase the risk of hair loss. Then how does collagen help with hair loss? Collagen plays a vital role in providing structural support and maintaining the integrity of various tissues in the body, including the hair.

Hair follicles are the structures from which hair grows. They require a healthy environment and proper nourishment to produce strong and vibrant hair strands. Collagen helps in maintaining the strength, elasticity, and thickness of the hair follicles. When there is a deficiency in collagen, the hair follicles may become weaker and more susceptible to damage and breakage.

Additionally, collagen is involved in promoting circulation and delivering essential nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles. Insufficient collagen levels can compromise blood flow to the scalp, leading to inadequate nourishment of the hair follicles. This can result in the gradual miniaturization of the hair follicles and the production of weaker, thinner hair strands over time.

How to use collagen for hair growth 

So if collagen pills, powder, shampoos and creams are not the way to top up your levels of collagen for hair growth. What is collagen good for hair growth?

One of the core functions of collagen is to support and repair broken tissue. This is why microneedling your scalp for production of collagen is a better way to increase local production of collagen in your scalp.

By using a microneedling tool on your scalp, also known as a derma stamp or dermaroller – you create tiny wounds on your scalp: those wounds signalling to your body that it needs more collagen to repair them. This way your body sends extra collagen to where you want it – your hair follicles.

In addition, this micro wounding process stimulates scalp blood flow – which is directly associated with hair health and accelerates hair regrowth, supporting your hair follicles to grow healthy hair. This way you naturally boost collagen for hair growth.

Building blocks of collagen

Important to remember if consuming collagen for hair orally, your body breaks it down into amino acids first, releases them into the bloodstream and only then creates collagen. So your body needs other components for this process, without which, collagen molecules would not form.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, or absorbic acid is essential to synthesis of lycine, glycine and proline amino acids – building blocks that make up collagen. This vitamin also acts as a stabilisator of the crosslinks of collagen mollecule.

Vitamin C can either be taken as a supplement, or via a balanced diet rich in dark leafy vegetables, like kale, broccoli and spinach. Contrary to popular belief, oranges (53mg/100g) contain significantly lower amounts of vitamins C compared to kale (120mg/100g) or broccoli (90mg/100g).

Daily recommended amount of vitamin C is 65-90mg a day. Therefore a small side of fresh broccoli or kale can help you reach your daily goal of vitamin C. Beware that high cooking temperatures break down vitamin C, therefore you are likely to attain better results by supplementing with this vitamin.


Iron, zinc and copper are all key in production of collagen. However you need to carefully monitor their intake, as overconsumption of either may cause mineral poisoning. In addition, absorption of some minerals is only possible when combined with specific vitamins or foods taken simultaneously:

Iron – advised to be taken with Vitamin C. Remember also drinking milk or consuming other dairy products reduces your body’s absorption of iron.

Zinc – phytate, which is present in staple foods like cereals, corn and rice inhibits absorption of Zinc. Casein, a protein found in milk and milk product also has a strong negative effect on zinc absorption. Therefore, avoid simultaneous consumption of phytate- and casein-rich foods when taking your zinc supplements. You best consume zinc from protein-rich foods: whether animal-based (organic and sustainably farmed meat, fish, poultry) or plant-based (organic beans, pulses, lentils, legumes).

Copper – best absorption of copper ensured by consuming proteins whether animal or plant-based in origin.

Lysine and threonine are two of the essential amino acids that are necessary for collagen production. Your body doesn’t make these, so you should be getting those from foods like meats, poultry, fish, eggs, wheatgerm and beans, or nutritional supplements.

Loss of collagen

Now you know how collagen helps grow hair and how your body builds its own collagen. We have also listed the factors that contribute to lower levels of collagen hair and even its degradation. Degradation of collagen and reduction of its production are amongst reasons behind thinning hair, slower hair growth and hair loss:

  • Stress – high levels of cortisol destroy collagen contained in dermis
  • Unbalanced diet and insufficient intake of vitamins
  • Ageing – our body naturally produce less collagen as we age
  • High amounts of sugar that causes inflammation in your body
  • Smoking
  • Ultraviolet rays

Appropriate levels of collagens are hard to achieve, especially in the high-stress environments we live in. Consumption of the best collagen supplement for hair growth and a balanced diet with organic and ethically-farmed produce will help boost your collagen production that could boost the appearance of your hair.


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7 thoughts on “Does Collagen Supplements Help With Hair Growth? Find Now<span class="wtr-time-wrap after-title"><span class="wtr-time-number">13</span> min read</span>”

  1. I have heard about collagen treatment for skin beauty. Thank you for sharing information on collagen pills for hair growth. The link and sources is also very helpful to understand why it is not working.

    • You can but it depends what type of collagen and you will need to make sure you combine it with scalp bloodflow improvement tools and not just rely on pills alone. It’s a lifestyle change.

    • Hey Well, I can see why you think the title is clickbait, but if you read the article you’d understand that collagen pills alone won’t improve the hair growth due to the way our body digests collagen, and the way it “interprets” collagen molecules when we do consume it. Without lifestyle-based changes to nutrition, and topical localised solutions which target scalp, the effect of these on hair growth is disproportionately small compared to the claims that collagen pills make. Majority of collagen pills also come with a hefty price-tag that I’d honestly urge you to send a “clickbait!!” message to their producers… If you were to explore collagen supplementation I would recommend hydrolised powdered collagen with correct RDAs of lycine, proline and glycine: as opposed to collagen pills – less processing and caking agents than pills, too.

      • Hey Teresa – thanks for the question! Hydrolysed collagen would lead to better absorption, and look out for the appropriate amounts of each amino acid – ensuring that RDA levels of proline, glycine and lycine are at least 80-100% if your diet is low in collagen / amino acids. Unsure if you meant hair loss as a result of dieting? When sticking to certain nutritional regimen, it’s important to consider your macros (carbs, fats, protein) as well as your micro-nutrients (vitamins, amindo acids). If your diet lacks these, your hair will show. Annoyingly, hair will improve last when you finally get your nutrition back on track, too. A bit of a bummer, but hair health is a litmus test of your overall health. To improve blood flow to scalp you are welcome to try our hair growth mask – The Hair Fuel that does exactly that – improves blood flow to scalp. (As well as other tools, such as derma roller and scalp massage – both can supplement your routine with our mask.)


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