L-arginine amino acid is a significant hair growth ingredients that you’ve probably never heard of! But new studies are emerging that show a link between L-arginine and hair loss. Let’s recap what are believed to be the benefits of arginine for hair and hair growth, and whether you should include arginine in your daily routine.
What Does L-arginine Do for Your Hair?
Several significant studies have shown that l-Arginine has positive anti-aging effects on our physiology. Among these are significant improvements in the strength of hair and the hardness of nails.
The study showed that those are not the only L-arginine uses. Other improvements that may be caused by this amino acid are a reduced risk in cardiovascular disease, strengthened immune system, and improvements in gastric acidity (think acid reflux, heartburn), just to name a few! In fact, researchers find that L-arginine is as potent for these conditions as any other pharmaceutical or nutraceutical products currently on the market.
Arginine Protects Hair from Bleach & Color Damage
Arginine may actually be able to protect hair from excessive damage from hair coloring and bleaching. One study suggested that arginine prevents the damaging and weakening effects of the hydrogen peroxide in hair bleach and hair color, aka the oxidative coloring process.
The study showed that when you color your hair, hydrogen peroxide actually attacks the natural oils and proteins in the hair structure, reducing hair’s strength. In this study, researchers replaced ammonia in the hair color with arginine, and showed that the arginine actually entered hair fibers, resulting in significantly stronger hair.
Arginine & Nitrogen Oxide to Stimulate Hair Follicles
For these people, arginine could help generate nitrogen oxide, which then opens potassium channels within cells. These potassium channels have a vasodilatory effect — that is, they dilate blood vessels, improving blood flow and circulation. This improves blood supply to hair follicles, stimulating arginine hair regrowth.
Topical L-Arginine Application & Hair Loss
L-arginine’s potential role in NO production is believed to be responsible for topical L-arginine’s benefits for hair growth. In fact, the topical hair loss treatment minoxidil uses nitric oxide in chemical form, which is believed to boost blood circulation to the hair root and follicle, boosting hair growth.
L-Arginine Supplements & Arginine Foods for Hair Growth
Under optimal conditions, the body can actually synthesize L-arginine amino acid for hair on its own. But in women and men who already have nutritional deficiency-related and stress-related hair loss, their bodies may not be able to make adequate levels of arginine.
In you believe your hair loss is related to stress or diet, try to eat more arginine-rich foods such as dairy products, beef, marine proteins and poultry. Plant-based sources of arginine include wheat, oatmeal, nuts and chickpeas.
Or, get more L-arginine amino acid for hair with an over-the-counter supplement or other nutraceuticals. L-arginine side effects are generally mild but as always, consult your doctor before beginning any new supplement regimen.
As always, a healthy diet rich in protein, low stress levels and good circulation are all essential for promoting thick hair growth. With the new research that shows arginine’s role in hair growth, consider adding the amino acid to your diet for stronger hair (and nails).