You may have heard abou the benefit of amino acid for hair growth. Many hair growth supplements also contain this acid as part of their key ingredients. This article will tell you what amino acid is and how it is important to your hair. Amino acids are known as the building blocks of protein. There are 20 amino acids and the human body needs all of them for essential functions. While their primary role is to build proteins, they also help make hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain.
You might have heard of amino acids being important to build muscle. That’s because protein is a necessary component of every cell to help build and repair tissue. About 20 percent of the human body is made up of protein. That’s why amino acids are also important for healthy hair.
Hair is made of protein. In fact, the protein keratin is the biggest component of hair, accounting for about 88 percent. The remaining is melanin which gives hair its pigment. Keratin needs four amino acids: cysteine, arginine, lysine and methionine. Without these, the body does not produce keratin and that leads to hair loss. Learn more about what keratin does for hair growth.
Methionine strengthens hair (and your fingernails) and helps prevent hair loss. Sulphur is a key component of methionine and it helps the hair build strong chains to prevent breakage and strengthen hair and nails.
Arginine has been a popular additive to shampoos, conditioners and hair products recently, for good reasons. It is another amino acid that boosts hair growth. Arginine actually relaxes blood vessels (it’s a vasodilator) and that allows more blood flow to the hair follicle. More nutrients arrive and hair grows better. Check out the best hair growth shampoos.
Glutamine is another crucial amino acid for hair growth. It is the most common amino acid and is naturally produced in the body. However, glutamine production does decrease with age, so that’s why older adults need the supplement. When you’re stressed, your body also needs more glutamine.
There are several vitamins that are also important for your hair, including zinc and vitamin C. Zinc is a mineral nutrient important in building keratin, which is the foundational structure for hair and nails. Vitamin C is needed for iron to be carried in the bloodstream to hair follicles. B vitamins are also important to prevent brittle hair.
In a 2013 study, researchers looked at the effect of different dietary protein levels and methionine supplements had on hair growth. They found that reduced proteins significantly reduced hair quality and led to slowed development of hair follicles in producing new hair.
In another study, oxidative stress from the environment caused a sharp reduction in methionine production. Repair of the hair follicle could not happen and a gradual loss of natural hair color occurred, replaced by gray hair. This new research could lead to reversal of the hair graying process one day.
Of the 20 amino acids, they’re classified into both essential and non-essential. Nine of them are essential, meaning the body cannot create them, so they must come from the diet. Methionine is one of them. The body doesn’t store these amino acids, so a continual daily supply is necessary.
Methionine for example is needed by the body in fairly high levels so that it can produce other amino acids—taurine, cysteine and glutathione. Meat, fish, eggs and yogurt are good sources as are vegetables like lentils, garlic, onions and soybeans.
The remaining 11 are non-essential, meaning they’re made in the human body. However, under stress or when illness occurs, the body may not be able to produce sufficient quantities. Learn more about how stress can lead to hair loss.
From these 20 amino acids, the body actually produces thousands of proteins, all with unique and varied functions in the body. For the essential amino acids, which must come from the diet, eat a variety of foods and the recommended daily intake of protein. Meat or plant proteins are both good and there are plenty of protein powders to choose from.
Unfortunately today, pollution and processed food mean that many people don’t eat nutrient-rich foods. The result is that the body loses its ability to fully absorb important nutrients like essential amino acids.
The four nutrients important for hair loss usually come from the diet. Poor nutrition lacking these nutrients does lead to hair loss. Basically, the body redirects nutrients to more important functions in the body, and away from hair, which is not needed for immediate survival.
Hair production decreases and over time, the hair follicle dies. That is why hair loss occurs over a long period of time. It’s not noticeable over weeks but rather years.
Related: What food promotes hair growth
Sometimes it is very difficult to consume all the nutrients you need from food alone. To get the benefit of amino acid for hair growth, you can try hair regrowth supplement. Many hair growht supplements not only contain amino acids but also include other important vitamins and nutrients that work differently in supporting the growth of your hair.
Hairfluence provides 18 essential amino acids found to generate faster, healthier cell growth in hair, skin & nails. It also contains other vitamins known for hair growth benefits such as biotin, keratin, MSM and vitamin A, B, C and D. In fact, biotin also helps us metabolize amino acids. Learn more about biotin and hair growth.
Hairfinity is a natural supplement. It contains important ingredients that help create the ideal environment for healthy hair to thrive. Hydrolyzed collagen in this supplement provides essential amino acids including Isoleucinem Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine and Valine.