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The Beauty Protein: How Collagen Restores Hair and Invigorates Skin

The Beauty Protein: How Collagen Restores Hair and Invigorates Skin

In the beauty and health industries, collagen gets a lot of great press for its potential to revitalize and rejuvenate aging skin and hair. We see it in several skin serums and hair products, but…what is collagen? In this blog, we'll delve deeper into what collagen is, explore its pivotal roles in the body, and uncover how incorporating collagen into your diet can benefit your hair and overall health.


What is collagen?


Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies that holds everything together, from skin to bones, muscles, and tendons. This essential protein gives skin elasticity, hair strength, and connective tissues the ability to hold everything in place. As we age, collagen production within the body naturally slows down, leading to wrinkly/sagging skin, brittle hair, and weaker joints, so, understandably, collagen is gaining wider popularity as a supplement. After all, aging is a beautiful process; why would you want to speed it up? Supplementing is a great way to stay energized and agile as you grow wiser. Slow down the process and live more in the moment.


Types of Collagen and Their Sources


Although there are several types of collagen, the three most important ones are Types I, II, and III:

Type I Collagen: This is the most common type, comprising 90% of your body's collagen. It helps to build your skin, bones, and other tissues and is typically sourced from fish (marine collagen) and cows (bovine collagen) when ingested as a supplement.

Type II Collagen: This type is found in the cartilage that cushions your joints. This type is usually obtained from chicken.

Type III Collagen: This type supports the structure of muscles, organs, and arteries and is abundant in younger skin. It is also sourced from cows.


Natural Collagen Sources


Bone Broth: Made by simmering bones for an extended period to extract collagen, bone broth is a potent source, mainly when made from beef, chicken, or fish bones.

Animal Proteins: these are high in collagen, especially tougher cuts of meat that contain connective tissue (like chuck steak, ribs, and brisket) and skin-on poultry.

Fish: The flesh and skin are collagenous, particularly in salmon and mackerel species.

Egg Whites: While they don’t have collagen, they contain large amounts of proline, one of the amino acids necessary for collagen production.

Dairy Products: Rich in lysine, another essential amino acid critical in collagen synthesis.


Digestion and Absorption of Collagen


When you consume collagen, whether through food sources like bone broth or supplements like powders and pills, the digestive system breaks it down into amino acids and peptides (small chains of amino acids). The primary amino acids in collagen include glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. These are absorbed into the bloodstream and available for the body to use.


How the Body Uses These Building Blocks


Once these amino acids are available, they can help promote the body's collagen production. The body uses glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline to build new collagen fibers. However, this process also requires other nutrients, particularly vitamin C, zinc, and copper, which act as cofactors in the enzymatic reactions that lead to collagen synthesis. Therefore, consuming collagen alone isn't enough; effectively producing new collagen requires several nutrients to work together.


Benefits of Collagen Supplements


Supplements can help overcome any shortages by providing a high concentration of the specific amino acids needed to make collagen, especially in diets lacking in protein variety or quantity. Moreover, studies have suggested that certain forms of hydrolyzed collagen (collagen broken down into smaller peptides) might be absorbed more efficiently into the bloodstream and could directly stimulate collagen production in the skin and other connective tissues.


How does collagen boost hair health?


Collagen’s rich amino acids are the building blocks of keratin—the primary protein found in hair. By boosting keratin production, collagen helps strengthen hair strands, enhance hair elasticity, and increase hair diameter, leading to fuller, thicker-looking hair. Additionally, collagen's antioxidant properties help protect hair follicles from damage caused by free radicals, which accumulate due to environmental stressors like pollution and sun exposure.


Beyond hair strength and fullness, collagen is crucial in maintaining a healthy scalp. It aids in renewing scalp cells and increasing the scalp's moisture level, which helps prevent conditions like dandruff. Moreover, the improved scalp health supports robust hair follicle function, thereby reducing hair thinning and potentially promoting new hair growth. Consuming collagen, especially when paired with a balanced diet including other hair-beneficial nutrients such as vitamin C, zinc, and biotin, creates an optimal environment for maintaining the health of existing hair and developing new hair growth.


Potential Drawbacks of Supplements


While supplements can be a lovely way to contribute to a healthy diet, not all supplements are created equal. Hydrolyzed collagen peptides are the most effective form, as they are small enough to be absorbed more easily by the body. As a brand, we are partial to marine collagen, as it is the more environmentally sustainable option, utilizing fish parts that are typically discarded. It's also smaller in particle size compared to bovine collagen, which may facilitate easier absorption and utilization by the body.




So, whether you drink bone broth regularly or take a supplement, it is crucial to incorporate collagen as an integral part of a balanced diet. Along with other essential nutrients, collagen's role in promoting hair and scalp health makes it a promising supplement for Busy Queens looking to enhance their hair's appearance, strength, and vitality.


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