If you’re looking for a way to stimulate hair growth, adding amino acids to your diet could be the missing link.
You might be familiar with keratin, the special protein that makes up almost all of your hair. Well, guess what makes up keratin? You guessed it. Amino acids.
They’re inside a lot of the foods you already eat, but focusing on amino acids for hair growth is becoming more and more popular. So how do amino acids boost hair growth? And do they really work? Let’s take a look.
How Amino Acids Boost Hair Growth
As we mentioned, amino acids make keratin, the building block of hair. This happens when a group of amino acids get together and “keratinize” to create keratin before hair emerges from the scalp. But that’s not all that amino acids do.
Amino acids also play a big role in creating red blood cells. The more red blood cells you have in your body, the better. Your whole body uses them, but for hair growth, red blood cells deliver nutrients to your hair follicles to stimulate growth.
There are over 20 different amino acids, but there are four amino acids that are considered the best when it comes to producing keratin: cysteine, lysine, arginine and methionine. Let’s look at the four best amino acids for hair growth.
The 4 Best Amino Acids for Hair Growth
Most doctors agree that cysteine is the most important amino acid for hair growth. Of all the amino acids, it makes up the biggest component of keratin.
Cysteine is great for improving hair strength. It provides sulfur to hair cells which can improve hair’s texture, elasticity and strength. Stronger hair grows longer, faster. Your hair growth becomes much more noticeable as cysteine gets to work.
This amino acid can be found in lots of foods like chicken, broccoli, and dairy products like milk and yogurt. It’s an essential amino acid, meaning that your body doesn’t produce it. So make sure your diet includes it.
Arginine is a non-essential amino acid (your body naturally produces it), but it’s also found in nuts, red meat, and dairy products. Arginine’s role is to maintain healthy blood flow.
The arginine amino acid is huge for hair growth as it stimulates blood circulation around your hair follicles. That helps all the nutrients your body makes and digests get up to your scalp. When blood is circulating well, you’ll have a much better hair growth environment.
Lysine is another essential amino acid with restorative properties. It stimulates collagen production — a big role considering collagen production can drop pretty drastically as you age. When your body is producing more collagen, your hair will be more resilient and it will look much healthier.
Many women who increase their Lysine intake see bouncier hair with more volume. It’s definitely a key amino acid that you want to make sure you’re getting enough of. It can be found in meats, seafood and cheese.
Last but not least, methionine is an essential amino acid that helps make pre-collagen (the precursor to collagen). It also works as an antioxidant to help prevent an imbalance called oxidation stress.
Not only is methionine a great amino acid for hair loss, studies have suggested that it may even play a role in slowing down grey hair! We’ll take it.
How to Get More Amino Acids
So, you’re convinced on the benefits of amino acids to grow hair faster and thicker. But how do you get them?
You may have noticed in the descriptions of the four key amino acids for hair growth that most of these can be found in sources of protein in your diet. If you’re noticing any thinning hair or your hair just doesn’t feel as full as it normally does, eat more amino acid-rich foods (meats, dairy, nuts).
However, if you’re a vegetarian or if you follow a restrictive diet, you might need to give your amino acid intake a second look. Make a conscious effort to balance your diet and get the amino acids you need to maintain healthy hair.
As always, check with your doctor before making any drastic changes. We hope amino acids give you the boost you’re looking for!