Medically Reviewed By Elizabeth A. Swick, MS, RDN
Vitamins for Hair Growth - How to Grow Hair Faster
Let's face it, we'd all like thicker, healthier hair. Whether you're trying to get your hair to grow longer or just want a fuller head of hair, you've probably tried all sorts of products to help you reach your goal. Special shampoos, conditioners, hair masks, oils to massage into your scalp -- the list is endless. While these products can certainly improve the appearance of your hair, they all have one thing in common: they can only have a superficial effect. Hair products can put a smoother coating on your hair, giving it more shine and body. What they can't really do is improve its actual structure. That comes from within. The best thing you can do for your hair is improve your nutrition. This is where collagen peptides can help.
Collagen Peptides and Hair Growth
Your hair's health depends on the health of your hair follicles -- special structures in your skin that turn proteins into hair strands. If your hair follicles aren't healthy, they can't produce strong, silky hair.
To produce the healthy hair you want, two things need to be in place. One, your body needs to have what it needs to keep your hair follicles in good shape. Two, you need the right nutrition in your diet for your body to produce the proteins that makes up your hair strands.
When you consume collagen, your body immediately goes to work on breaking it down and converting it into amino acids. It then uses these amino acids to build its own proteins. The two key proteins involved in hair growth are collagen itself and another form of protein called keratin.
Collagen is a protein found throughout the human body. It's particularly abundant in your skin. If you're not producing sufficient collagen, you'll see effects such as sagging skin and wrinkles. What's happening is that the collagen in the deeper layers of your skin isn't being replenished, meaning that they break down and become less resilient. Something similar happens to your hair follicles. These also need collagen and can't function properly if you're not producing enough.
Keratin is another important protein. It's a harder, stronger protein that's used to make up your fingernails and the structure of your hair. To produce this protein, your body needs a ready supply of the amino acids that form its building blocks. Collagen is made up of three important amino acids: proline, glycine, and hydroxyproline, with proline being the most important for building keratin. While these amino acids are some of those produced by your body, it can be very helpful to get more from external sources. You can improve levels of these amino acids by consuming more collagen. See Body Kitchen’s KERATIN ENRICH Premium Hair & Nail Protein, fortified with one of the industry’s most reputable keratin patent - Cynatine HNS®. This product is HIGHLY effective because it delivers 500mg of direct keratin protein.
As we get older, it becomes harder for the body to produce collagen and other proteins. You can help your body by supplying it with additional amino acid sources. Collagen peptides are a great source. They're highly bioavailable, meaning that the collagen is easy for your body to break down and absorb. By adding collagen to your diet, you can improve not just your hair and nails, but your skin, joints, circulation and even your gut health.
Other Ways Collagen Peptides Can Help
As well as making up many of your body's tissues, collagen can also have antioxidant-like effects. Since free radical damage to your cells can impact hair growth, an antioxidant can be helpful. If your hair has started graying, especially premature gray, collagen may help by reducing the free radical damage.
Vitamins for Hair Growth
If you're wondering how to make your hair grow faster, the key is balanced nutrition. Ideally, we'd all be getting this from a healthy and varied diet. Alas, we don't live in an ideal world. It's not always easy to get the nutrients you need for optimal hair growth from your daily diet, especially if you're a busy person who doesn't have time to cook every day. Supplementing your diet with additional vitamins and minerals can really help.
Some of the most important vitamins for hair growth are B vitamins and vitamin D. You may also benefit from additional vitamin A and vitamin C, especially if your diet isn't very high in fresh fruits and vegetables.
Minerals that are important for hair and nails include zinc and copper. A lack of zinc in your diet can lead to weaker nails and hair that breaks easily, making it harder to grow.
Other Ways to Grow Hair Faster
It's important to trim your hair regularly if you're trying to grow it. This might seem counter-intuitive -- why cut your hair if you want it to grow longer? -- but if you don't trim your hair, the ends can become damaged. These split ends can cause the hair to break. You should aim to trim away about half of each month's growth.
Avoid harsh hair treatments. Opt for gentle vegetable dyes and use styling methods that don't involve high heat or strong chemicals.
Treat yourself to a regular scalp massage. This improves circulation. Castor oil is traditionally used to encourage hair growth; you could consider using this as part of your massage routine.