How good are amino acids for hair growth? What role do they play keeping your hair healthy and strong? What are the known types and sources? Are silk amino acid good for hair? Read on to find more.
Amino Acids for Hair Treatment & Care
What are amino acids?
Amino Acids are organic, simple yet very significant compounds when it comes to the biological processes in the body. They are the blocks that build proteins. Most physiological processes are linked to the amino acids since they are known to be very crucial to the body functioning.[i]
What role do amino acids play in hair care & treatment?
Amino acids amongst the many uses are important for treating your hair in order to keep it health. The major way in which the amino acids accomplish this role is by ensuring that keratin is produced. Keratin is a structural protein which is known to maintain healthy hair. There are amino acids that trigger the production of keratin. These amino acids include; lysine, methionine, cysteine and arginine.
More to support the significance of amino acids for hair growth is that, a strand of your hair is made up of melanin and proteins. As earlier mentioned, amino acids build up to form proteins; and proteins are part of the hair strand. That definitely qualifies the Amino acids as being crucial for hair growth. People however do not understand how well amino acids help in hair care. Usually, for you to see the results of amino acids, you must be ready to take a balanced diet constantly. You will realize the results later when your hair gets stronger and attains a healthy appearance.[ii]
Protein Deficiency Hair Loss-Symptoms & Causes
Whether male or female, the hair loss experience is very annoying. We cannot say that hair loss is entirely caused by protein deficiency but it is by far true to assume that most hair loss is due to lack of sufficient proteins which then means; inadequate amino acids. Symptoms that show deficiency of proteins include; constant hair fall out as well as automatic fall of large amounts of hair when is brushed.
The reason behind the symptoms above could be that you are not taking sufficient proteins in your diet and that turns out to be a worry. This is because, amino acids necessary for maintaining healthy hair are also absent. Your hair is made up of proteins and if the proteins are missing then that definitely means weak hair which can fall out easily and at any time.
To further explain hair loss as a result of protein deficiency is that, when a person’s body has insufficient proteins, most of the proteins are saved for the very crucial roles in the body. That means, hair growth shifts to a resting phase, that is, there are no proteins that play the role of hair growth in times of malnutrition. Since there are no proteins to enhance growth of strong hair as well as strengthening the existing hair, the strands get weak and the hair falls out constantly.
There has been a case of hair loss for those that do not feed on animal proteins. This is however a lame excuse not unless one has a complication for whatever form of proteins. It is very crucial to realize that not only animal proteins can help in maintaining healthy hair but also plant proteins are very good and play the same roles as animal proteins.[iii]
Best amino Acids for Hair Growth, Loss & Regrowth
For each of the amino acids, briefly describe how each promotes hair health & how growth or how it prevents hair loss. Also list major sources (foods, supplements, products etc.)
It may be lack of knowledge on sources of methionine that makes people miss out on the many benefits such as; maintenance of healthy hair and reduction of hair loss that come along with a diet that contains methionine. The foods rich in this amino acid include; beef, beans, lamb, diary, cheese, eggs, pork, soy fish, and turkey. Compared to plant proteins, animal proteins contain a higher content of methionine. Methionine can also be found as a supplement to be taken as prescribed.
Roles of methionine in maintaining healthy hair
- Methionine takes the place of an antioxidant since it is able to get rid of free radicals which are a hindrance to growth of healthy hair. The sulphur group that makes up the methionine is what stabilizes the free radicals.
- The sulphur in methionine is also known to help it in formation of chains which are structurally important for maintaining healthy hair.
- Methionine also prevents frequent hair loss which is known to be an unpleasant experience. The chemical structure of sulphur contained in methionine explains the strength of the hair cells hence reduced weakening of the hair. The ultimate result is that the hair is strong enough not to fall out.[iv]
Great news is, this amino acid can be produced in the body and it can as well be obtained from other foods included in your diet.
It is important to note the foods that are a food source of cysteine. They are such as; chicken, wheat germ, oats, broccoli red pepper, onions, cheese, meat, eggs, Brussels sprouts, and whey proteins. The sources above take into account both plant and animal proteins for whatever group of people.
Cysteine for healthy hair growth
- Like methionine, cysteine contains sulphur whose properties help in strengthening the hair. Growth of healthy and strong hair is something that everyone desires and therefore, it is important to take into consideration adding more cysteine to your body by feeding on the appropriate foods.
- Cysteine also prevents hair loss by reversing the process of hair loss. This is because, it is known to transport iron and zinc and these two elements are very significant in reversal of hair loss cases.[v]
As much arginine is one of the amino acids produced in the body in large amounts, there is always a need to supplement that which is produced. This is so as to cater for the cases of sickness and aging as these two situations are associated with reduced production of arginine. Foods that can be included in your diet to serve as a source of arginine include; cashew, peanuts, sunflower seeds, beef, poultry, sesame seeds, and pecans.
Arginine for growth of healthy hair
- Arginine being a pioneer of nitric oxide is very necessary in stimulation of hair growth. This happens since arginine increases the quantities of nitric acid which is known to enhance opening up of potassium. As a result, there is improved supply of blood to the hair roots and as a result, there is notable increase in hair growth.
- By improving capillary microcirculation to the hair cells, the hair shafts are strengthened an as a result, there is a reduction in cases of hair loss which results from weakening of the hair.[vi]
Tyrosine like a few other amino acids is produced by the body but it can also be obtained from food in the diet. Such foods include; dairy products, almonds, chicken, lima beans, soy products, fish, and turkey.
Tyrosine for hair growth
The main roles played by tyrosine for hair benefits include;
- Reduction in hair loss since it is responsible for reduction in stress hormone in the body. Stress hormones are a leading factor causing hair loss. There is assurance of reduction in hair loss with reduction of production of stress hormones.
- Tyrosine contains melanin which gives the hair its black color. For people facing the challenge of grey hair, tyrosine is the answer and taking more of it to supplement what is produced in the body is one way to obtain its benefits. Feeding on foods with tyrosine leads to regrowth of dark hair for those with grey hair.[vii]
Cystine is commonly confused with cysteine. However, the two are different. It is through combination of two cysteine molecules that Cystine is formed. Following the similarity, the dietary sources of Cystine are just like those of cysteine.
Cystine for healthy hair
Most of the functions of Cystine are the same as those mentioned above concerning cysteine. An added advantage is that, the combination of two cysteine molecules leads to greater level of strengthening the hair shafts further preventing hair loss.[viii]
Lysine is one of the amino acids which can only be obtained from foods or supplements since the body does not produce it. The sources of the lysine amino acid include; whole grains, fish, and legumes.
Lysine for healthy hair
Lysine is crucial in enhancing automatic absorption of iron which is required for growth of healthy and strong hair and hence reducing hair loss.[ix]
Glycine is made in the body but can be obtained from the foods we feed on too. Such foods that contain Glycine include; dairy products, spinach, fish, cauliflower, meat, and soy beans.
Role of Glycine in maintaining healthy hair
Glycine is known for reduction of stress and since stress hormones are known for hair loss; restricting production of this hormone is beneficial for keeping the hair strong.[x]
Proline is produced in the body in limited amounts and hence they should be majorly obtained from the diet. Foods rich in Proline include; nuts, pork, dairy products, legumes and the products of legumes, vegetables, beef.
Proline for healthy hair
Among the amino acids that aid in formation of collagen is Proline. Collagen is usually known to support the structure of proteins. Proteins take part in formation of hair strands. For the proteins to function well, collagen is necessary. The result is strong hair and hence reduced hair loss.[xi]
How do Silk Amino Acids help Natural Hair growth
What are silk amino acids?
Well known as sericin, silk amino acids are an extract of raw silk and are known to be water soluble. They are in the form of glycoprotein and hence are known to be healthy for the skin and hair.
How useful are they for hair?
- Silk amino acids are obtained from silk worms’ cocoons. Usually, they easily get through the scalp to the hair follicles. That means that the hair follicles directly obtain this protein and since proteins are necessary for strengthening the hair shafts, there is resulting growth of healthy hair.
- Silk amino acids are a wonderful way of enabling you to keep your hair moist. This is a necessary condition for healthy hair growth.[xii]