The Importance Of Collagen For Hair

WrittenbyLuat Duong
Last updated

Collagen is a protein that plays a key role in the health and integrity of our skin, hair, bones, and nails. As we age, our collagen production naturally declines [1], which eventually leads to visible signs of aging in the skin and hair [2].

Furthermore, in the context of hair health, decreased collagen levels can result in hair thinning, loss of volume, and increased brittleness. Additionally, some environmental stressors, such as UV radiation, air and water pollution, and stress can further accelerate collagen degradation, exacerbating hair-related issues.

In this article, we'll explore the importance of collagen for hair health and discuss strategies to support collagen production.

What is collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, comprising around 30% of the total body protein content. Furthermore, it is the most abundant protein family in extracellular matrix, which forms the structural framework of connective tissues, providing strength, elasticity, and support to various organs and structures, including skin and hair [3].

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The structure and production of collagen

Collagen is composed of long chains of amino acids - in the first place - glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline, which form a triple helix structure [4]. Human body produces collagen through a complex process that involves the synthesis of collagen precursor molecules, which are then modified, and assembled into functional collagen fibers [5].

The vital role of collagen in skin and hair

Collagen plays a vital role in maintaining the health and youthful appearance of the hair and  the skin. In the skin, collagen provides primarily structural support, helping to maintain skin firmness, elasticity, and hydration. Additionally, thanks to its abundance, strength and direct proportional relation with skin aging, collagen has gained great popularity in the cosmetic industry, as well. It is now well known that the collagen fibers are damaged with the time, losing thickness and strength, which is eventually related with skin aging phenomena [6].

Similarly, in hair follicles, collagen supports the structure of the hair shaft, promoting hair strength, resilience, and shine. In fact, within hair follicles, collagen provides the framework and support necessary for healthy hair, while maintaining the integrity of the hair shaft, preventing breakage, split ends, and dullness. Additionally, collagen contributes to the hydration and elasticity of the scalp, providing an optimal environment for healthy hair growth. Some studies have even shown that collagen may promote hair growth [7].

The problem with collagen

Unfortunately, collagen production decreses as we age [8]. And, as our bodies naturally produce less collagen, this leads to visible signs of aging in the skin and hair. In the context of hair health, reduced collagen levels may result in hair thinning, loss of hair volume, and increased brittleness. Furthermore, some environmental factors, including UV radiation, pollution, and stress can further accelerate collagen degradation by matrix metalloproteinases, exacerbating hair-related issues [9].

Options to boost collagen

Luckily, there are options to boost collagen production. And, in order to support our body's collagen production internally, adopting a healthy lifestyle is essential.

Natural ways of supporting collagen production

  • Consuming a balanced diet rich in collagen-boosting nutrients such as vitamin C, amino acids, and antioxidants, which can support collagen synthesis and promote hair health. Furthermore, adequate intake of vitamin C and antioxidants are essential for both collagen synthesis and protection against oxidative stress [10].
  • Maintaining sufficient hydration by drinking enough of water, as dehydration can impair collagen production. That is also crucial for maintaining the hydration levels of the scalp.
  • Limiting consumption of caffeine and avoiding smoking, as both of these habits can negatively impact collagen levels and skin and hair health.

Collagen supplements

Oral collagen supplementation has gained popularity as a potential solution to support collagen production and promote skin and hair health. However, while some studies have shown promising results, the effectiveness of collagen supplements remains a topic of debate among researchers.

Some preliminary results are promising for the short and long-term use of oral collagen supplements, in terms of increasing skin elasticity, hydration, and dermal collagen density. Collagen supplementation is also generally considered safe, however, further studies and more research are needed to determine their efficacy in improving hair health [11].

Orthosilcic Acid

Orthosilicic acid, representing a bioavailable form of silicium, has emerged as a promising option to support collagen synthesis [12]. Silicium is a micronutrient essential for collagen production and activation of hydroxylating enzymes, improving skin strength and elasticity [13]. Orthosilicic acid offers its enhanced bioavailability, making it more readily absorbed by the body. And, by promoting collagen production, orthosilicic acid helps maintain the structural integrity of the hair, reducing breakage and brittleness.

Furthermore, silicon, in the form of orthosilicic acid, has been associated with improved hair growth and thickness. Some studies suggest that silicon supplementation may enhance hair density and diameter, leading to fuller and thicker-looking hair. This effect is thought to be attributed to silicon's role in supporting the extracellular matrix, which provides structural support to hair follicles [13,14].

Orthosilicic acid  also supports scalp health by promoting hydration and maintaining the integrity of the scalp tissue, which is essential for optimal hair growth, as it provides a nourishing base for hair follicles and ensures proper nutrient delivery to the hair roots. Silicon exhibits antioxidant properties as well, protecting hair follicles from oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals. By that, orthosilicic acid can help preserve the health and vitality of hair follicles, promoting overall hair health [15].


In conclusion, collagen plays a vital role in maintaining the health and vitality of our hair. However, its natural production in the body declines with age, so supporting it may help maintain a youthful-looking skin and vital hair over time. Collagen production may be promoted through lifestyle and diet modifications as well as potentially incorporating collagen or orthosilicic acid in the form of supplementation.


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[8] Kanazawa Y, Miyachi R, Higuchi T, Sato H. Effects of Aging on Collagen in the Skeletal Muscle of Mice. Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Aug 23;24(17):13121. doi: 10.3390/ijms241713121. PMID: 37685934; PMCID: PMC10487623.

[9] Kim DJ, Iwasaki A, Chien AL, Kang S. UVB-mediated DNA damage induces matrix metalloproteinases to promote photoaging in an AhR- and SP1-dependent manner. JCI Insight. 2022 May 9;7(9):e156344. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.156344. PMID: 35316219; PMCID: PMC9090247.

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[14] Strumia R, Lauriola MM. Silicon in hair loss: a preliminary SEM microanalysis study. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2007 Sep;21(8):1120-1. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2006.02108.x. PMID: 17714144.Top of Form

Luat Duong

Luat Duong is a Copenhagen-based writer and content strategist specializing in hair loss and health. His work has been featured in MyHealthGuide, The Right Hairstyles, and Woman's Era. He is a graduate of Vaasa University. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.