Biotin or Collagen? What is better for Thinning Hair?
You may have heard a lot about biotin and collagen recently. Biotin and collagen products line the health and beauty section of grocery store isles, so it is no surprise that these two nutrients are staples when it comes to our health. Genetics, stress, depression, and even certain medications can contribute to hair loss and thinning hair. But to truly understand how biotin and collagen benefit our bodies and help with these issues, we must first know what they do individually.
What is Biotin?
Biotin is a popular supplement that promotes hair growth by stimulating keratin production in hair while also increasing the rate of follicle growth. However, biotin, also known as vitamin B7, must be consumed to be effective.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, made of three nonessential amino acids – proline, glycine, and hydroxyproline. It is found in our bones, tendons, muscles, and skin and is primarily responsible for healthy joints and skin elasticity. As we age, the collagen in our bodies breaks down, and it becomes harder for our bodies to produce more. The human body naturally produces collagen, and it can also be consumed through what we eat and collagen supplements.
Collagen has many health benefits, from tissue repair to immune response and contributing to nail, skin, and hair health.
How Does Biotin Help Prevent Thinning Hair?
According to the National Institute of Health, consuming foods that contain healthy minerals and vitamins will benefit the overall health of our hair, and the best natural sources of biotin are eggs, meat, fish, vegetables, and nuts. Biotin can also be taken in supplement form. “Adults should consume around 30mcg a day, and breastfeeding women should increase their intake to 35 mcg a day with the support and guidance of a doctor” (Haley, 2020).
These minerals will help revive your hair follicle by increasing keratin production. It’s important to note that some shampoos contain biotin with the claim they help decrease hair loss; however, there is no actual evidence that this works.
How Does Collagen Help Prevent Thinning Hair?
Our hair is mainly made up of the protein keratin. Collagen has amino acids that help build keratin. Therefore, when you consume collagen, you are providing your body with the essential amino acids it needs to make new proteins and compounds, including your hair.
Collagen also helps fight damage to hair follicles caused by free radicals. “Free radicals are compounds that develop in y9oru body because of stress, air pollutants, smoking, poor dietary choices, alcohol, and other environmental influences”(Streit, 2019).
70% of our dermis is also made up of collagen. The dermis is the middle layer of our skin that holds each individual root of our hair. According to the National Library of Medicine, collagen may prevent hair thinning associated with aging by contributing to the elasticity and strength of your dermis.
The Bottom Line
The significant difference between biotin and collagen is that collagen is a protein that the body can naturally make. In contrast, biotin is an essential vitamin not naturally produced in our bodies. Consuming biotin helps stimulates keratin production and can increase the growth of our hair follicles.
While it is difficult to prevent all collagen loss as we age, it is possible to slow down the process. While diet and lifestyle are significant contributors to how we age, taking a collagen supplement can provide the support we need to influence the health of our skin, bones, tissues, and hair.
Haley, J.T., MD, FAAD. (2020, November 18). Does Biotin Really Work for Hair Loss Prevention? WebMD.com. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/connect-to-care/hair-loss/does-biotin-really-prevent-hair-loss
Varani, J., Dame, M. K., Rittie, L., Fligiel, S. E., Kang, S., Fisher, G. J., & Voorhees, J. J. (2006). Decreased collagen production in chronologically aged skin: roles of age-dependent alteration in fibroblast function and defective mechanical stimulation. The American journal of pathology, 168(6), 1861–1868. https://doi.org/10.2353/ajpath.2006.051302