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.
Most women need about 46 grams of protein daily for healthy hair. Pregnant women have increased needs of 71 grams.
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 GrowthHere are some of the ways adequate protein intake benefits hair:
Hair is mostly made of a protein called keratin, formed from amino acids.
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.
Protein provides amino acids to produce hair-supporting hormones.
Signs of Protein DeficiencySymptoms that may indicate a need for more protein include:
Diffuse shedding, slowing growth speed and thinning.
Weak, brittle nails that break easily.
Insufficient protein can cause swelling.
Unintended Weight Loss
Loss of lean muscle mass occurs with prolonged deficiency.
Who May Benefit from More ProteinThose 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.
Reduced gut absorption increases protein needs.
Aging can reduce appetite and protein digestion efficiency.
The Bottom LineGetting 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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