Hair loss could be prevented with collagen. Collagen is a protein in the body that help make up tendons, ligaments and skin. While the body produces collagen, it’s also available as a supplement and from certain foods like bone broth. There are a number of ways collagen has been proven to improve hair.
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Collagen contributes to the elasticity and strength of the dermis – the middle layer of a person’s skin that holds the root of individual hairs.
As a person gets older their body becomes less efficient at producing collagen and replenishing the cells in the dermis.
Studies have shown this to be one of the reasons hair gets thinner over time.
So by providing the body with collagen, it may help maintain a healthy dermis and prevent hair thinning.
An eight-week study involving 69 women aged 35 to 55 found taking daily collagen supplements significantly improved skin elasticity compared to a placebo.
Another 12-week study involving more than 1,000 adults found a daily collagen supplement improved the amount of collagen in the skin and reduced signs of skin ageing.
As hair grows out of skin, there’s potential of collagen to counteract the effects of skin ageing, contributing to better hair growth and decreasing thinning.
Collagen may also help prevent hair thinning by helping fight damage to hair follicles.
Collagen can act an an antioxidant and fight damage caused by free radicals – unstable atoms.
Free radicals may damage hair follicles, particularly because the body’s defence against free radicals decreases with ageing.
To fight free radicals and promote healthy hair, the body needs antioxidants.
A number of test-tube studies have shown collagen, particularly from fish scales, may have powerful antioxidant activity.
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One study showed marine collagen to be able to fight four different free radicals.
Another study showed collagen to be a more effective antioxidant than a well-known compound found in tea.
Finally, collagen has been shown to help build hair.
Hair is made up of the protein keratin, and the body builds keratin using several amino acids – some of which can be found in collagen.
Collagen is primarily made up of three nonessential amino acids – proline, glycine and hydroxyproline.
Proline is the main component of certain, so consuming proline-rich collagen could provide the body with the building blocks it needs to create hair.
The NHS says there are things you can try if your hair loss is causing you distress, but most treatments aren’t available on the NHS.
The health body advises: “Finasteride and minoxidil are the main treatments for male pattern baldness.
“Minoxidil can also be used to treat female pattern baldness. Women shouldn’t use finasteride.”
But no treatment is 100 percent effective.
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