How Much Protein for Hair Growth? The Importance of Protein in Your Diet

Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated

Protein is an essential macronutrient for overall health, and getting enough daily protein intake is also important for supporting healthy hair growth. But what amount of protein is ideal for combatting hair loss? General recommendations are 46 grams of protein per day for women, and 56 grams per day for men.

How Much Protein for Hair Growth?

The daily protein intake recommended for optimal hair health is approximately 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. This equates to around 46 grams per day for women, and 56 grams per day for men on average.

For Women

Most women need about 46 grams of protein daily for healthy hair. Pregnant women have increased needs of 71 grams.

For Men

Men should aim for about 56 grams of protein intake per day to support hair growth. Athletes may need more.

Food vs Supplements

Aim to get a majority of your protein from food sources like meat, eggs, dairy and seafood. Whey supplements can help fill any gaps.

How Protein Promotes Hair Growth

Here are some of the ways adequate protein intake benefits hair:

Keratin Production

Hair is mostly made of a protein called keratin, formed from amino acids.

Gene Activity

Protein influences DNA and genes involved in the hair growth cycle.

Cell Repair and Growth

It provides amino acids to build new hair follicle cells.

Hormone Balance

Protein provides amino acids to produce hair-supporting hormones.

Signs of Protein Deficiency

Symptoms that may indicate a need for more protein include:

Hair Loss

Diffuse shedding, slowing growth speed and thinning.

Brittle Nails

Weak, brittle nails that break easily.

Fluid Retention

Insufficient protein can cause swelling.

Unintended Weight Loss

Loss of lean muscle mass occurs with prolonged deficiency.

Who May Benefit from More Protein

Those more prone to inadequate protein for hair health include:

Vegans and Vegetarians

Following a plant-based diet increases protein needs.

Athletes and Very Active

Higher activity levels raise protein requirements.

Post-Bariatric Surgery

Reduced gut absorption increases protein needs.

Elderly

Aging can reduce appetite and protein digestion efficiency.

The Bottom Line

Getting approximately 46-56 grams of protein daily appears optimal for supporting healthy hair growth and overcoming deficiencies leading to shedding. But needs may vary - discuss your diet with your doctor.

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