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What Are the Benefits of Protein for Hair Growth?

Eating salmon may help improve hair growth.
Wheat germ is a good source of protein for hair growth.
A man starting to lose his hair.
Keratin is the protein found in hair cells.
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  • Written By: Sara Schmidt
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 29 July 2014
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Protein for hair growth is sometimes recommended as a treatment for people who wish to prevent hair loss. Using protein-rich foods for hair growth is often encouraged as a holistic alternative to chemical treatments to strengthen hair, as well. Some health practitioners even recommend specific foods to promote hair health, such as salmon and flaxseed.

Healthy hair largely requires a sufficient intake of protein, as most of the hair itself is made up of this nutrient. The protein found within hair cells is known as keratin, and is directly responsible for the composition of each strand of hair. The amount of protein each person needs daily varies on an individual basis by weight, height, and other factors. Persons with weak immune systems or illnesses, such as anemia, may require more. An average person requires between 1.4 to 2.5 ounces (40 and 70 grams) of protein daily.

Prevention of hair breakage is another reason people employ protein for hair growth. When hair breaks, it often does not grow to its full length. If hair has a tendency to break, other efforts used to help make hair grow may still fail. An adequate protein intake strengthens hair, making it stronger and less apt to break.

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A severe protein deficiency can sometimes result in hair loss. Most people who have regular access to a wide variety of food, however, will not suffer from hair loss due to a lack of protein in the diet. Such cases of hair loss are typically associated with malnutrition due to a lack of food overall. Hair loss that happens solely because of a lack of protein in the diet is very rare. Most cases of hair loss can be attributed to illness, injury, or stress.

To ensure that one consumes enough protein for hair growth, a high-protein diet can be planned. Eggs, salmon, and liver are popular choices to obtain protein. Dairy foods, such as yogurt and cottage cheese, or whey protein, may be options for those who abstain from eating meat. Protein shakes meant to serve as meal supplements or dietary aids can provide an extra helping of the nutrient as well. Other good sources of protein for hair growth include brewer's yeast and wheat germ.

In addition to eating more protein, people can purchase protein-based hair care products to provide their hair with more protein. These include conditioners, spritz-on treatments, and hair lotions. Both keratin and animal protein may be found in these products.

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rachelsjulia
Post 5

Protein can really help for hair growth. I experienced losing my hair and I tried several different kinds of products, hoping to stimulate hair growth but didn't find anything that worked until I found Reloxe. When I tried using it, it worked in only a few months! I was glad to find this product. Because of Reloxe my hair is back to normal.

bagley79
Post 4

I can vouch for how much of a difference adding more protein to my diet made for me. I started blaming my hair loss on hormones, but someone suggested I start eating more protein.

I started adding flaxseed and nuts to my diet and really made sure that I had protein at every meal. There is protein in more foods than just meat, and this also helped me eat a healthier diet.

I am not sure if it was the extra protein I was getting or the healthier food I was eating, or maybe a combination of both, but my hair is thicker and healthier since then.

I am sure that some of the hair growth products work for some people, but for me it was just making some simple changes in the types of food I ate.

SarahSon
Post 3

I have more of a problem with my hair breaking than losing it. I have long hair and try to keep it healthy, but lately it has been really dry and keeps breaking. I don't want to cut all my hair off, and have been trying different products to help strengthen it.

One thing I never really thought about was my diet. I have been concentrating more on products I have been putting on my hair instead of what I am putting on my body. It sounds like I need to do both, and should start concentrating on getting some more protein.

John57
Post 2

It makes a lot of sense that there is a connection between protein and hair growth. Since so much of our hair is made up of protein, it goes to reason that getting enough protein in our diet would also give us adequate amounts of healthy hair.

andee
Post 1

I feel fortunate that I have thick hair and have not had to worry about losing hair. I have a female friend though who has always had very thin hair that makes her feel very self conscious.

I think it would be very hard to have such thin hair like this as a female. She has tried several different kinds of products hoping to stimulate hair growth, but hasn't found anything that has worked yet.

She has struggled with this ever since she was in her 20's, so this doesn't have anything to do with getting older. It is something that will probably even get worse with age.

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