Everyone wants beautiful hair, but sometimes it can feel like having a gorgeous mane is a matter of luck. While genetics are definitely a factor, there are some very real ways you can take the hair you were born with and make it absolutely gorgeous. The key to making your hair look as beautiful as possible is to keep it healthy by nourishing your body with the right foods, especially collagen. Hair thickness and growth, or lack thereof, is often a reflection of diet - and how well you’re eating. Let’s start digging into simple changes you can make today that will have a positive effect on your hair quickly.
It sounds like common sense, but the key to keeping hair healthy is to avoid damaging it, as well as to support it with proper nutrition. So many women claim to see dramatic results in their hair’s thickness and strength after simply taking a multivitamin… But of course, the vitamin isn’t all that necessary. It’s more about getting the proper nutrients into your diet to support healthy hair growth.
Two of the most important nutrients to obtain in your diet are biotin and collagen. Biotin, also called Vitamin H, is a B-complex vitamin that plays a major role in energy metabolism. It supports the body in metabolizing glucose, fats and amino acids, which means that biotin is crucial for the growth and support of all of the body’s cells. This, of course, includes the cells that involve hair growth.
Meanwhile, collagen is a protein found in all of the body’s connective tissues, including the skin and bones. As a component of these tissues, it helps keep them strong and flexible — two attributes that contribute significantly to healthy hair. Strong, flexible hair is less likely to frey or break. Humans’ collagen production naturally begins to decrease around age 25, but by supporting collagen production, we can keep our hair as healthy, flexible and strong as possible.
As for collagen, unfortunately the majority of collagen naturally found in animal products tends to be stripped out by modern food processing. Consuming the skin of an animal or drinking bone broth can give you a nice serving of collagen, but it may be easier to get your collagen from a supplement. Vital Proteins’ line of collagen products are made with pure collagen protein from grass-fed, pasture raised bovine hides and wild-caught red snapper scales.
Lastly, while nutrition can definitely benefit your hair, it’s going to be difficult to make progress toward strong, healthy hair if you’re constantly damaging it. Protecting your hair is incredibly important. Try not to overwash; most experts recommend washing the hair every three days, or if that seems impossible, every other day. Washing hair every day can lead to over-drying. Counterintuitively, over-washing your hair can also cause your scalp to produce more oil to compensate for the dryness. If you switch from daily shampoos to a longer time frame, your hair may feel slightly oily initially, but your scalp’s oil production will eventually balance out. Apply a moisturizing conditioner after your shampoo, and consider investing in a deeply hydrating hair mask if your hair is particularly dry.
Additionally, do your best to avoid heat. If possible, let your hair dry naturally, but if you need to give yourself a blow dry, keep the heat on medium. Avoid straighteners and curling irons except on special occasions, and when you do use them, safeguard your hair with a heat protectant.
When trying to grow your mane as long and thick as possible, it can be helpful to understand the root causes of most common hair problems. Healthy, manageable hair can vary in terms of texture and hair type (it can be frizzy, oily, thin, thick and everything in between) but it is always strong. Unfortunately, problems arise when the hair becomes brittle, stops growing or starts thinning.
When hair surpasses the dryness stage, it tends to become brittle. Brittle hair breaks easily, is difficult to style, and doesn’t retain moisture. The causes of brittle hair can include:
If your hair just never seems to grow, it may not be all in your head. Generally, your hair’s rate of growth is a combination of genetic factors and lifestyle factors. The causes of slow-growing hair can include:
Thinning hair affects men and women alike, usually in different ways. Male-pattern baldness and female-pattern baldness, both of which are largely genetic in nature, are due to hair follicles’ sensitivity to Dihydrotestosterone, an androgynous hormone created from testosterone. If you are genetically predisposed to this sensitivity, your hair follicles begin to shrink over time, eventually becoming too small to support hair growth.
Other causes of thinning hair are more related to lifestyle decisions. Here are a few of the common lifestyle causes of thinning hair:
If it wasn’t already abundantly clear, good nutrition can have a significant impact on your hair health. Collagen give elasticity, strength and flexibility to the connective tissues, including the hair. As we age, our collagen production decreases naturally.
One of the best ways to support collagen production is to ingest the right nutrients. Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides and Vital Proteins Marine Collagen contain 100 percent sustainably sourced, ethically raised collagen peptides. One study found that 90 percent of collagen peptides are digested and easily absorbed by the body when taken orally (1). This is a fantastic way to promote healthy hair, regardless of which hair issue you are experiencing.
Another option is to support your body’s own production of collagen. For that, you need vitamin C. Vital Proteins’ Beauty Boost is a completely vegan supplement that contains Vitamin C alongside the hair superstar biotin.
This delicious smoothie recipe contains collagen, vitamin C and plentiful phytonutrients.