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Does Collagen Help Hair Growth? 2023 Expert Review
Dr Ahmad Moussa (FRCS)
Medically reviewed by
Dr Ahmad Moussa (FRCS)
Updated on August 3, 2023

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body [1]. Collagen fibres are found in our skin, tendons, bones, connective tissue, and even our hair.

The collagen supplement market is currently valued at more than $1bn [2]. Collagen supplements have become a popular home treatment for arthritis, skin aging, and osteoporosis. But more recently, collagen has been touted as a solution for hair growth.

So can taking collagen supplements help hair growth? In this expert review, we analyse the scientific evidence and ask our surgeons to weigh in on whether collagen is a genuine hair loss remedy.

Table of Contents

Is collagen good for hair growth?

There may be some benefits to using collagen for your hair, although there are limited studies that have directly investigated the link between taking collagen supplements and hair growth.

One study found that fish collagen peptides could be used to prevent hair loss and stimulate hair regrowth in those with alopecia [3].

Other studies have shown that a lack of certain types of collagen may result in hair loss. Insufficient collagen VI may affect the hair follicle cycle, so targeting collagen VI may be beneficial for tackling impaired hair growth [4]. Additionally, a lack of collagen XVII may lead to hair loss and greying [5].

Does Collagen Help Hair Growth? 2023 Expert Review, Wimpole Clinic


However, experts note that much of the research on collagen supplements has been funded wholly or in part by industries that could benefit from a positive outcome [6]. So it’s important to consider your sources carefully.

“The evidence supporting the use of collagen for hair growth is mostly theoretical,” says Dr Michael May, chief surgeon at the Wimpole Clinic. “While collagen might help improve some aspects of hair health, it’s unlikely that you’ll see significant regrowth, especially if you have a permanent hair loss condition like male pattern baldness.”

How does collagen help hair growth?

While it’s not been conclusively proven that collagen can help with hair growth, there are three potential ways collagen might help improve your hair health:

  • Fighting oxidative stress.
  • Reducing hair aging.
  • Promoting collagen synthesis in the skin.

Your body uses vitamin C to produce collagen [7]. So it’s important to eat plenty of food rich in vitamin C to promote hair health. Getting nutrients from your diet is generally more beneficial than taking vitamin supplements for hair.

Let’s take a look at the mechanisms behind collagen for hair growth to see how you can reap these benefits.

1. Collagen may reduce hair ageing

Over time, your body produces less collagen. That’s why your skin loses elasticity and you start to develop wrinkles as you get older.

Lower collagen levels may contribute to hair ageing as well as skin ageing [13]. As well as contributing to hair loss, oxidative stress may also be linked with early greying and other signs of hair ageing [14].

Collagen’s antioxidant properties can help combat these early signs of hair ageing. Taking a collagen supplement may help replenish some of these lower collagen levels, giving your hair and skin a healthy boost.

2. Collagen supplements promote collagen synthesis

Taking collagen supplements can promote the synthesis of collagen in the scalp skin. This may improve the blood supply to the hair follicles, leading to reduced hair loss and improved regrowth.

How long does it take for collagen to improve hair?

No scientific studies have investigated how long it takes for collagen supplements to improve hair texture or growth. 

However, any impact from the collagen is likely to take at least a few months to take effect. The hair growth cycle length is different for everyone and usually takes between three and seven years to complete. Your follicles spend most of this time in the anagen (growth) phase:

Chart of the normal hair growth cycle

Risks and side effects of collagen for hair

Research suggests there aren’t many side effects and risks of taking collagen [15]. It’s a relatively safe supplement to try for most people, even if the benefits are still up for debate.

However, some types of collagen are made from fish, shellfish, and eggs. If you’re allergic to these foodstuffs, avoid collagen supplements derived from these ingredients.

This may also make certain types of collagen unsuitable for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Collagen hair growth: before and after

Due to the lack of studies, there are limited images showing the before and after effects of collagen on hair growth.

Some anecdotal reports and videos claim to show the difference collagen has made to people’s hair, but it’s important to remember that these examples didn’t take place in controlled environments.

Many YouTubers and internet personalities are also paid to promote certain products. So their claims and opinions aren’t necessarily rooted in scientific evidence, and should be considered with caution. Dr May explains:

“Anecdotal reports of the use of collagen for hair growth might be positive, but these tests are completely subjective and don’t take place in scientific conditions. So we recommend taking these reports with a pinch of salt, and managing your own expectations if you do decide to use collagen supplements for hair loss.”

Which type of collagen is best for hair growth?

There are several types of collagen available, including collagen powder, collagen peptides, and collagen protein.: Powders are usually designed to be mixed into a drink, while others can be taken as a tablet.

Collagen proteins consist of larger molecules than peptides. That means it takes longer for the intestines to absorb the collagen, so progress may be slower.

Only marine collagen peptides have been researched as a hair growth stimulant, and these have only been assessed in animals, not humans [3]. So if you’re planning to try collagen for hair, it’s a good idea to start with these — but be mindful that they’re not a proven hair growth treatment.

How much collagen should you take per day for hair growth?

There’s no officially recommended amount of collagen to take per day for hair growth since this supplement isn’t licensed as a hair loss drug.

It’s best to follow the intake guidelines on the packaging to make sure you’re taking an appropriate amount of collagen each day.

Does collagen help facial hair growth?

No studies have been carried out to determine the impact of collagen on facial hair growth. So it’s hard to say whether taking collagen supplements is likely to give you a better beard.

While it’s possible you may see some benefits to taking collagen for your beard, the results are far from conclusive. Instead, consider trying a proven facial hair growth treatment like Minoxidil for beard growth.

Does collagen thicken hair?

Collagen can help reduce oxidative stress and provide the building blocks of protein, both of which may strengthen your hair.

Whether this makes hair thicker is harder to prove, but strengthening your hair may prevent it becoming dry and brittle, which can lead to breakage. Hair breakage often makes your hair look thinner.

Biotin and collagen for hair: does it work?

Some collagen supplements include biotin for hair, another supplement that’s often claimed to be beneficial for hair health. 

Like collagen, biotin is essential for hair growth. A lack of biotin can lead to male pattern baldness [16].

graph showing micronutrient levels in individuals with male pattern hair loss


However, like with other nutrients, it’s generally better to get the necessary amount of biotin from your diet, rather than supplements. There’s no evidence that combining biotin and collagen in supplement form (or taking biotin on its own) will help with hair growth.

What can you do to promote hair growth?

While certain types of collagen may promote hair health, you’re unlikely to see substantial regrowth after taking these supplements, especially if you have a permanent hair loss condition like male or female pattern hair loss

Licensed treatments like Minoxidil and Finasteride are proven to work, so these are generally better options for tackling hair loss. However, they may not be suitable for everyone. So it’s important to consult with a hair loss specialist to find out which treatment is best for you.

Book a free consultation at the Wimpole Clinic to diagnose and treat your hair loss.

Does Collagen Help Hair Growth? 2023 Expert Review, Wimpole Clinic

Dr Ahmad Moussa (FRCS)
Medically reviewed by Dr Ahmad Moussa (FRCS)Updated on August 3, 2023
The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.

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