For healthier hair that grows like crazy, we'll try anything, right? I mean, at least I know I will. Last year, when my hair was shedding a ton, I was reading up and trying all the supplements and haircare products in the hopes that I could stop what I thought was a descent into baldness. I have a routine down now that doesn't make my hair shedding as scary as it was, but I still have my moments. I think the cause is a mixture of stress and not getting enough vitamins and minerals (and probably some genetics thrown in).
If you've done even the bare minimum research into hair growth, you've probably heard of the word biotin, which is a B vitamin that supports metabolism. If you're deficient in it, you might experience thinning hair. It's important, but there's also another nutrient that helps with hair, skin, and nails: collagen. You might have heard of it in regard to skincare, but it also has hair-health benefits.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, collagen is a protein that's all over your body—in your muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, organs, blood vessels, skin, intestinal lining, and other connective tissue. Your body makes collagen, but the production can decrease when you get older, which can lead to wrinkles and crêpey skin, stiffer joints, shrinking muscles, joint pain, and gastrointestinal problems. And the Clinic has said that collagen is also a strength-building hair protein. Though, more research needs to be done on the definitive effects of collagen on hair growth and health.
To support the formation of collagen in the body, the Mayo Clinic says it's important to consume enough foods that contain vitamin C, zinc, copper, and manganese and plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. And you'll want to avoid excess sugar intake, smoking, sun or UV exposure, and environmental pollutants—all of which can disturb collagen production.
If you are interested in getting more help in the collagen department, you can also try some supplements or other collagen products. We've listed some highly rated ones below. First, before you buy, it's important to note that you should check with your doctor or a healthcare professional before trying any new supplement or product. They know your health history best and can give you more personalized advice.
When it comes to collagen, Care/of's fan-favorite formula is top-notch. You're getting ultra-high-quality collagen that comes from grass-fed cows and features real ingredients like organic vanilla and lemon. You won't find any of the fillers and/or artificial sweeteners that are stealthily embedded into so many other formulas on the market. Plus, since it's hydrolyzed collagen (aka collagen molecules that are broken into smaller chains) it's easier for your body to digest and absorb all of the positive benefits.
This is my favorite collagen powder, hands down. It comes in so many flavors and blends, so it's really easy to choose one that you can slip into your existing routine. With one serving, you get 20 grams of collagen per serving to support your skin, hair, nails, and joints.
What a reviewer says: "My hair is definitely growing quicker than before, but not incredibly speedy—so don't set yourself up for that expectation. My hair and nails are definitely stronger (which I needed after having a gel manicure twice a month for the last two years). My skin—definite improvement. I still get blemishes, that's just how my chemistry goes, but I've definitely noticed a glow, [it's] not over-oily, etc. Also, I just overall feel better."
This supplement powder is made with Verisol bioactive collagen peptides, which are said to be more effective. They're easily absorbable and digestible, too.
What a reviewer says: "This has helped with my thin crappy nails and thinning hair—the nails are feeling thicker and my hair is starting to shine again. You get 15 servings in this box and the price is right in line with other similar collagens and this one works well. I'm very happy with the results so far."
This collagen powder from Physician's Choice is hydrolyzed and also contains patented DigeSEB digestive enzymes, which are easily absorbed. The product is hormone-free, grass-fed, pasture-raised, all-natural, non-GMO, and contains 19 amino acids to benefit hair, skin, nails, and joints.
What a reviewer says: "I was using this brand in my lunch smoothies for about six months with excellent benefits. My hair was soft, silky, and growing like crazy. I had to touch up my roots every four weeks because of such rapid hair growth which was fine by me to have such thick, great hair."
It's so easy to incorporate Moon Juice's vegan creamer into your daily routine because you can just add two tablespoons to your morning cup of coffee. It contains silver ear mushroom, tocos, and hyaluronic acid.
What a reviewer says: "I've been adding this collagen creamer to my coffee daily for several weeks now and have definitely noticed some improvement in my hair! Lots of new baby hairs and much less fall-out. Don't mind the taste at all, just make sure you blend it well!"
Along with collagen, this superfood powder contains organic açaí fruit, French melon, astaxanthin, vitamin C, and probiotics, so you'll be getting a big boost of nutrients. It's formulated to support skin elasticity and prevent any signs of aging.
What a reviewer says: "I have been using this product for about three months and I have noticed my hair starting to come back around my hairline near my temples. I'm in my middle 50s and have experienced a change in my hair and skin, etc. from menopause. My local health food store recommended this one. I have tried a lot of different products over the last few years and this one is showing results."
The Beauty Chef's vegan elixir contains vitamin C to support collagen production. It's also formulated with pomegranate fruit peel extract to fight free radicals and zinc to support hair, skin, and nails. Plus, it has a wild berry flavor.
What a reviewer says: "This has completely supported my gut health and digestion; I've seen a marked difference over the past six months and was quite anxious to buy again when it was out of stock over the holidays. I also had hair loss due to illness and while this is just one component of an overall scalp and health initiative I started, I really think this has truly helped my hair, skin, and digestion. Pricey, but otherwise [I] recommend!"
Add these dissolvable tablets into your water and get ready to see some benefits. It's formulated to boost collagen levels, support collagen production, and improve the skin's hydration levels. And did I mention that it has a delicious strawberry-and-lemon flavor?
What a reviewer says: "First, it tastes amazing. And it works. I have been taking it now for about six weeks and I can see a huge difference in my hair. It's very soft and manageable! My nails are longer and stronger. I was skeptical because it definitely takes a little bit to see results but be patient and you will be pleasantly surprised. I highly recommend this product!"
This all-natural formula contains hydrolyzed collagen peptides from bovine sources that are grass-fed and pasture-raised. It's recommended that you add it to smoothies or another flavored beverage since it is unflavored but does have a "natural" taste.
What a reviewer says: "I have been taking this for a week and a half now. I have already noticed my skin is smoother and softer, and my hair is not shedding near as much! I wasn't expecting this, but my adult acne has even cleared up better. I'm very interested to see how the rest of this month goes."
You get 11 grams of collagen peptides per scoop with Sports Research's formula. It's easy to mix into coffee, tea, smoothies, and even soups.
What a reviewer says: "This collagen has helped me with a lot of issues. My hair has gotten thicker and I can see new hair growth around my scalp. My hair used to be thin and brittle and now I have beautiful thick hair. I have been suffering from knee pain for years and have visited several doctors, they can't seem to find the cause of the pain. After starting taking this collagen, I have no pain and I'm able to do my workout pain-free."
If you're looking for a vegan formula, this one is a good option. It's a blend of bamboo silica, pomegranate, green tea, rooibos tea, citrus bioflavonoids, and turmeric. All of those ingredients work to restore and maintain the levels of collagen, keratin, and elastin.
What a reviewer says: "I love this product! I've never posted a review on here before but this one works so well I just had to. I've been taking it consistently for two months now and in the last month, my hair has grown a little over an inch. My hair stylist was amazed! I'm mainly taking this to get my hair longer and I'm so happy it works."
Ancient Nutrition's collagen powder is formulated with three types of collagen from three food sources: collagen types I, II, and III from chicken, beef, and turkey. You also get 14 grams of protein with every scoop.
What a reviewer says: "Once I started using about five months ago, I was surprised by the results. Not only did it address my gut issues, but I found that my skin had improved, my hair appeared to be growing faster (my hairdresser brought it to my attention), my nails became stronger (noticed by my manicurist), and I noticed that my eyelashes were getting longer too."
More Products for Hair Growth
A lot of my fellow Who What Wear editors rave about this hair-growth supplement, saying it's the one that works for them. It has key ingredients of AminoMar (an exclusive marine complex), horsetail extract, biotin, vitamin C, and iron to promote hair growth and protect the hair.