As we get older, our hair gets weaker and thinner. Part of the reason that happens is that our bodies slow their production of collagen, a protein that's needed to keep hair strong. To combat this natural depletion, you can add a collagen supplement to your diet. And this new one from Nutrafol was explicitly created to target hair health.
Nutrafol's Collagen Infusion is available to purchase as a booster along with the daily Nutrafol hair growth supplements in the Strengthening Hair Growth Duo ($126). The reason it's not available on its own is that collagen alone can't make your hair grow. But when taken along with other good-for-your hair ingredients, it can be beneficial. "That's why we brought it on as a booster rather than as a core product in itself because we know that in order to address all of the root causes of hair thinning, we need to go about it with more than one ingredient," explains Sam Archer, Nutrafol's vice president of product marketing.
Collagen supplements are great for hair because they provide crucial amino acids need to keep hair strong. "Amino acids are super important because they're the building blocks of protein. You need amino acids to come together and make proteins you need protein for healthy hair growth," says
The star ingredient in this formula is marine collagen peptides, a form of collagen that's bioavailable, meaning it's similar to our own collagen and easy for our body to absorb and use.
"It was really important for us right from the start to pick the best collagen that our body's going to accept and is most like the one in our own bodies," says Archer. "Because collagen is not vegan—it can't be vegan, it comes from living things—we wanted to make sure we got it through a sustainable process that wasn't hurting the planet or fish that we use." To do this, Nutrafol uses scales of wild-caught, sustainably-farmed cod that would typically be discarded. "We're really just upcycling what would have been wasted, and it just happens, to our benefit, to be a bioavailable source for us."
In addition to replacing the collagen we lose, this supplement works to protect the collagen we still have. This is done with CoQ10 and citrus flower acids, which defend your hair and scalp against free radical damage, a process that breaks down collagen. Finally, this powder contains MSM, a compound that provides amino acids known to help form keratin, leading to stronger hair.
If you're wondering why you need a supplement to get substantial collagen and can't just get it from eating meat, the answer is simple: the meat Americans typically eat doesn't have that much collagen. Instead of eating a nice filet mignon, you'd need to chow down on organ meats like kidney or tripe (beef stomach) or eat a lot of meats full of connective tissue like pot roast and brisket, which aren't good for your heart when eaten in excess. Plus, high red meat consumption can create inflammation, adds Dr. St. Surin-Lord, which contributes to signs of aging. The most appetizing way to get your collagen from food is to drink bone broth. And as much as I love a cup of bone broth when it's cold out, it's not something that I want to drink regularly.
Your best bet for integrating the supplement into your routine is to mix it into your usual juice or smoothie. The citrus flower acids lend a light, citrusy flavor, but it's not something you'd want to mix into water and drink (trust me)—it tastes better blended with a fruity drink. It also melds well with my morning pistachio milk latte, but there is a slight aftertaste (which isn't bad, necessarily, and is pretty easy to ignore).
To try the Nutrafol Collagen Infusion yourself, head over to the brand's website and order the Strengthening Hair Growth Duo. It includes a 30-day supply of each product for $126, or, you can subscribe for monthly deliveries for $113.
Learn more about managing thinning hair:
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