top of page

Collagen for hair health, magic or myth?

Updated: May 16, 2023

There’s no doubt that collagen gummies and drinks are having a moment right now, ubiquitous on the social media scene. Every influencer is brandishing a bottle of something jazzy looking and claiming it's life, it's tempting to hop aboard the gummy train in pursuit of perfect locks.

But is it worth the hype? Let’s clear this up.

What is collagen?

Collagen is crucial to humans. It’s a protein produced in our bodies that provides strength and structure: effectively it’s the glue that pieces us together. Without it, we'd be nothing more than a disconnected mess of bone and tissue. Collagen orchestrates regeneration, provides protection for our organs and assists with blood clotting. It gives our skin elasticity and the ability to stretch and return. As we age, our collagen stores are depleted. In turn our nails become brittle, our skin loses volume and our hair is likely to become thinner, weaker and lacklustre. Fun eh?!

Without collagen, things look pretty bleak.

With regards to hair health, collagen is crucial to growth and follicle regeneration.

According to Michelle Llamas BCPA:

“Collagen contains amino acids used to build keratin, which is the protein that hair is primarily made of. As a result, collagen plays an important role in the health of the scalp and hair follicles. Collagen is the primary component of the dermis, which is the connective tissue layer that contains hair follicles.”

Countless studies suggest that regular collagen consumption not only maintains healthy hair but significantly increases the thickness of hair strands too.

In addition, it's suggested that pure collagen can also:

  • Support joint health

  • Improve gut function

  • Minimise inflammation

  • Build and support muscle

  • Assist metabolism

  • Encourage satiation

  • Promote healthy brain function

  • Promote deeper sleep

Pass me the gummies!

Hold your horses. Whilst it’s evident that collagen is an incredibly effective way to increase the density of our hair, the way in which we choose to consume collagen is crucial. Gummies are marketed as a miracle treat that will deliver rapid results. On closer inspection, collagen gummies are merely very expensive sweets. For the most part, the primary ingredient in the majority of gummies is malt syrup, closely followed by sugar. Essentially, you’re paying through the nose for a tub of glorified Haribo. What’s more, sugar is widely known as the key culprit in breaking down collagen and elastin thus leading to premature ageing (which kind of defeats the object).

Ultimately, the collagen gummy trend is not the one to jump on.

Collagen liquid then?

Whilst at face value this seems like a “healthier” choice, it isn't! Despite sugar being less prominent on the back of the bottle, the majority of collagen drinks are packed full of fillers, preservatives and artificial sweeteners such as steviol glycosides. Mainstream research suggests that stevia (previously banned in the UK) is now safe for human consumption in moderation, however, on further inspection of recent studies it seems that stevia is particularly detrimental to gut health.

According to Daina Trout MS, MPH “ In addition to potential gut imbalance, other adverse effects from stevia have been recorded and demonstrated across 372 studies”

These include:

  • Increased appetite

  • Weight gain

  • Headaches

  • Depression

  • Behavioural and cognitive effects

  • Neurological issues

  • Risk of preterm delivery

  • Cardiovascular effects

  • Risk of chronic kidney disease

It seems that with either of the two collagen options presented, there's a trade-off.

So what's the solution?

One thing’s for sure; the great men and women of history did not achieve incredible feats or sustain luscious locks by chowing down on pastel-coloured teddy bear-shaped gummies. Let's take it back to basics, we don’t need fillers or sugar, preservatives or additives and no, we don't need the pastel colours or the cute shapes; all we need is the collagen. Before looking for a quick fix from supplementation, it’s advised to eat a collagen-rich diet and minimise collagen-depleting factors. When supplementing; quality is King, the less tampered with the better. Marine(fish) or bovine(cow) collagen are the two leaders of the collagen market, there's a lot of research to suggest that marine is the superior of the two, but this is debatable. A recent study shows that bovine collagen has 41% more hydroxyproline (an amino acid that helps to make and transport crucial nutrients) than marine collagen. An easily digestible hydrolysed pure collagen powder will provide everything required for a more bodacious barnet.

How do I choose?

  • Quality over quantity/pretty packaging - clean, grass-fed and organic. Avoid any product that has an extensive ingredient list.

  • Type -types I, III and V are most beneficial for hair growth.

  • Marine or Bovine -diet dependent/personal preference

Where do I put it?!

A more appropriate question here would be “Where don't I put it?!”

Hydrolysed collagen powder is incredibly versatile, it's generally tasteless and dissolves easily. It can be added to smoothies, yoghurt, stews, soups or just a plain old glass of water will do the trick. If it comes in capsule form and you’re not a fan of swallowing, crack open the capsule and empty the powder into your preferred liquid.

Here are my choices:

Ossa certified grass fed collagen:

The UK's first of it's kind, here's what makes Ossa collagen my go-to:

- First and foremost it's Grass-fed, which means it's super clean.

- It's easily dissolvable and leaves no trace of it's existence!

- Tasteless. With the exception of water (there's a very faint taste when mixed in water)

Perfect Supplements-Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen Unflavored - 100% Collagen Sourced From Brazilian Pasture Raised (Grass Fed) Cows

A prime collagen, completely clean and superior quality. Perfect supplements are a US based company that are passionate about ancestral health and premium products. Shipping is on the pricier side, I tend to bulk buy varying supplements in one haul.

So, there you have it, collagen gummies/liquid are more likely myth than magic, clean collagen is a cupboard staple. Enjoy! x

130 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page