If it were only that easy!
Sure, there are nutritional supplements touted to help improve hair and skin, and even lashes and brows. A quick walk down the aisle at your local health food store reveals any number of products meant to help boost hydration, reduce wrinkles, strengthen hair, add glow… yada, yada, yada. But does oral supplementation (pills, liquids, and/or powders) actually help?
Depends upon your definition of 'help'.
Yes, nutritional supplements can 'reinforce' your diet. If you're eating low fat or low carbs, for example, fasting for hours on end, or if your body's microbiome isn't efficiently extracting nutrients from your food, supplements can restore a healthy balance. Makes sense. And skin, nails, and hair will benefit from better nutrition. Makes sense too.
But what can you really expect from oral supplementation? That is anyone’s guess. Metabolic individuality makes general predictions of supplementation success impossible to calculate. Taking a multivitamin each day, adding keratin-rich and biotin-rich foods to your diet, may… might… probably helps to keep hair and skin in optimum shape. And unless you go overboard, vitamin and mineral supplements can’t hurt. Ask your doctor, then see for yourself, but please don’t expect supplements to turn your brows and lashes and tresses into Farrah Fawcett hair or Beyoncé brows (or skin, or muscle tone… or anything Beyoncé). Products claiming to deliver some or all of the above are in every corner of the Internet.
The Case for Collagen?
Right now, collagen is hot, especially for women and men in the wellness community. And why not? Something that promises brighter skin, and fuller, healthier tresses, lashes, and brows sure sounds like the Swiss Army Knife of supplements.
Ah… but there’s a catch. Several, in fact, as recently outlined by the New York Times in a series of articles related to nutritional supplements entitled ‘Scam or Not.’ The writer asks: “Are There Benefits to Collagen Supplements?” Her answer is, “Maybe! But get ready for a long-term relationship.”
Your Skin Is 80 Percent Collagen
It makes sense that adding protein to your daily supplementation routine might help improve skin tone, structure, and elasticity. Starting in your twenties, you lose 1% of your collagen each year. Plus, pollution can speed collagen loss. Supplementation sounds like a no-brainer.
But it's not straightforward. So, here’s one snag, from the Times: “How much of the supplement is absorbed and whether those amino acids make it to their target organs to act as the building blocks to make more collagen is still up for debate.”
Ask yourself: if you want younger-looking skin, say, around your eyes, where would you turn? To a nutritional supplement, which could take months to potentially show results? Or to a topical cream that's absorbed almost immediately and goes straight to work?
Hair, There, and Everywhere
What about collagen for hair, lashes and brows? The evidence is even less encouraging.
It’s true, collagen contains many of the amino acids used to build keratin, the essence of hair. Collagen contains a nonessential amino acid called proline. And guess what? Proline is the principal component of keratin.
This sounds like another no-brainer. But when it comes to linking collagen supplementation with hair growth, the evidence is lacking... the direct link remains elusive. As is the link between collagen's antioxidant abilities and combating free radicals that damage hair follicles. Yes, research has been done in the lab, but on individual cells, not real world men and women. Whether collagens’ free-radical fighting powers translate to your hair, lashes and brows won't be known for quite some time.
What Does Work
While it seems there’s nothing to lose with trying collagen supplements, there are products that do work to improve the health of hair, lashes and brows. RevitaLash® Advanced, RevitaBrow® Advanced, and Volume Enhancing Foam all are formulated with powerhouse ingredients that fortify, nourish and condition for beautiful lashes, brows and hair. No single pill or powder or gummy can thicken and protect your tresses like a shampoo and conditioner specifically made for thinning hair.
Hydrolyzed collagen, the most absorbable kind, is not cheap. And if it helps your skin and hair at all, we're talking months, if not years. Spend your money wisely. And don’t be satisfied with less than show-stopping results!