The whole industry is talking about the benefits of biotin and collagen, and it seems that everyone’s including them as an integral part of their hair health routines. But are either of them going to make a palpable difference in alleviating your hair health concerns?
Both of them promise faster hair growth, amazing skin benefits and some even claim to reverse aging and hair loss. But is there any truth to these claims?
And more importantly, which of them really does help your hair growth?
Today we’re removing the ambiguity and diving into the science behind both of these ingredients. Starting with what they are, how they differ from each other, and what hair concerns each of them target best, we’ve got you covered if you’re trying to figure out which one to choose—or whether to choose at all.
If you’re looking for supplements and ingredients that can make a difference in your hair’s health and rate of growth, you’ve most probably come across biotin and collagen.
Based on different studies, it appears that the better supplement recommended to combat thinning hair and maintaining hair health is biotin over collagen. It’s far superior in terms of topical absorption and can be absorbed from many foods as part of a healthy, varied diet.
Collagen levels are difficult if not impossible to boost artificially, and even the most expensive supplements will be hard-pressed to show proof of effectiveness. Furthermore, collagen is ineffective when applied topically.
So there it is, the winner of the battle between biotin and collagen.
Table of contents
- The ultimate supplement for luscious hair growth
- What is biotin?
- What does biotin do for hair?
- What is collagen?
- What does collagen do for hair?
- The best way to take biotin and collagen
- Which supplement should you take?
- A comparison table of biotin and collagen
What is biotin?
Biotin is another name for vitamin B7 or Vitamin H. This vitamin’s most important function is that it helps your body convert food into energy, but it also helps with the health of your:
- Nervous system
Most people get enough biotin through their diets, as it’s rife in common foods such as:
- Organ meats
If you’re eating a varied, balanced diet, you most probably don’t need to worry about not getting enough of it. In fact, biotin supplements aren’t targeting people with a biotin deficiency, as there are very few of those.
The theory is that a surplus of biotin in your body is desirable, as it’s speculated that it will get your hair, skin, and nails to be even healthier.
What does biotin do for hair?
Biotin is the essential building block of keratin, the primary protein in hair. A deficiency of biotin negatively affects hair growth due to the lack of keratin.
There are a lot of supplements that claim to improve hair health, and although biotin is one of them, there doesn’t seem to be enough research about the role of supplementing biotin in hair growth and overall texture.
It can’t be stated that biotin supplements are 100% verified and effective for hair growth—unless if they’re helping remove a biotin deficiency, in which case the supplements will definitely help with their hair growth.
In some studies, biotin supplements have even been reported to reverse hair loss, but they’ve failed to be successfully isolated from other ingredients, so it’s hard to say if it was biotin that had the biggest impact.
If you’d like to read more about these studies and what they found, feel free to go ahead and read our other article on biotin for hair.
While biotin’s crucial role in keratin seems reason enough for making sure that we have appropriate levels of it in our bodies, we should approach supplements with care.
Read more: Can Men Take Biotin?
What is collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. Just like biotin, it plays a crucial role in the functioning of our bodies, as it provides them with structural support.
It might be easier for you to imagine collagen as the springs in a mattress - if your body is the metaphorical mattress, collagen is the internal structure that keeps it in place, firm, and bouncy.
You can find collagen all over your body, but most of it is within your skin, bones, tendons, and cartilages.
When we’re younger, we have plenty of collagen reserves that we build through our varied diets.
Some great foods for collagen are:
- Egg whites
- Citrus fruits
- Vegetables (tomatoes, spinach, kale, etc.)
What does collagen do for hair?
As we grow older, our collagen reserves dwindle, making those springs a little bit less bouncy and the support less sturdy. Think about how older people’s skin sags; that’s because, amongst other things, they’re missing collagen.
A shortage of collagen also affects hair, making it sparse, thin, and brittle.
What’s the link? Simple.
Collagen and keratin are both proteins, and all proteins are made out of smaller building blocks called amino acids.
Proline happens to be one of the main amino acids in both collagen and keratin; when your hair is in its growth phase, there is naturally more proline in your scalp.
Low collagen means low proline levels, which means impeded hair growth. You can find out more in our separate deep dive into collagen for hair growth.
What’s the best way to take biotin and collagen for hair?
Biotin and collagen seem to both have the same effect: they help hair growth. By supporting keratin, the primary protein in the structure of hair, they are doing their part in boosting overall hair health.
But when it comes to taking supplements or applying topical treatments for either of these in the form of shampoos or serums, the story becomes a little bit different.
Biotin and collagen supplements work in a similar way. Your body breaks them down into its building blocks.
If everything goes according to plan and your body absorbs it properly and directs it towards the area that you’d like for it to help with (in our case, your scalp), then you’re bound to reap the benefits of your biotin and collagen supplement.
Topical application, however, is different.
Collagen is an easy one to explain: a collagen molecule is simply too big to penetrate the skin (your scalp). So, even if you’ve got the highest quality collagen-boosted shampoo or treatment, chances are that your shower water will wash it right off your hair and into the drain, along with your money.
Unlike collagen, biotin can be successfully absorbed through the skin and scalp, and if applied regularly, it will increase the levels of biotin present in your hair, rehydrating the scalp and unclogging the pores of the dead skin cells. This will help your hair with its natural growth cycle.
The Hair Nutrient Supplements with guaranteed results
Statistics show that around 81% of women believe that having luscious, thick and smooth hair is the pride and joy for many.
Biotin and collagen supplements can help you achieve those goals but not all hair supplements are built the same.
Some don't work, some are unsafe, and some are just extortionate. So which hair supplement really does the job?
Scandinavian Biolabs' Hair Nutrient Tablets is all THAT (and more)!
Besides having biotin, these Hair Nutrient Tablets are 100% vegan and contain naturally derived, hair growth-boosting ingredients like:
- Amino acid complex - enhances proteins, specifically keratin, the main structure in hair.
- Zinc - compensates for zinc deficiencies that disrupt normal hair growth cycles
- Apple extract - encourage hair epithelial cell growth
- Horsetail extract - increases the tensile strength of hair.
Biotin and collagen: which supplement should you take?
If you want to increase the levels of biotin and collagen in your body, the best thing to do is to have a healthy, varied, balanced diet. If you can, also avoid engaging in behaviors that deplete the biotin and collagen in your body, such as stress, erratic sleeping patterns, or smoking.
This ensures that your body will keep producing biotin as well as collagen on its own for as long as possible without the need for external supplementation.
Biotin is very easy to get naturally, through the foods that we’ve mentioned previously. Getting collagen is a different story, though. Just like any other protein, when you eat collagen, your body breaks it down into amino acids.
You can’t ‘eat’ collagen to increase the collagen levels in your body.
Even if you take it in the supposedly superior hydrolyzed form, your body still breaks it down into peptides, leaving you to hope that your body will then turn all the pieces into collagen, but it often doesn’t.
Again, our solution is: a whole, varied, balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle are the best ways to keep your biotin and collagen levels high.
Collagen supplements in oral or topical applications are, in our opinion, mostly a waste of time and money. There simply is too much guesswork involved when it comes to increasing its levels artificially.
Biotin supplements, on the other hand, are worthwhile in topical applications. We’d skip the oral supplements and just eat foods high in biotin instead.
Biotin and collagen: a comparison table
Hair concerns addressed
Hair thinning, hair growth, brittle hair.
Hair growth, skin health, regulating blood sugar.
Better skin, hair, nails, helps with joint health.
Foods high in the substance
Egg yolks, legumes, nuts and seeds, liver, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, bananas, broccoli, avocados.
Fish, chicken, egg whites, citrus fruits, berries, red and yellow vegetables, garlic.
Factors that affect levels
Generally a lack of food with biotin; in severe cases: certain medications, intravenous feeding, intestinal problems, long-term dieting, biotinidase deficiency.