Here’s a strange thing I’ve noticed about people – they will assault their hair with every oil, hair mask, shampoo, and conditioner that they can grab from the drugstore or their kitchen in a bid to get long, lustrous hair. But the one thing that they won’t pay any heed to is their diet. What most of us fail to realize is that a good diet plays just as important a role as a good hair care routine when it comes to hair growth. And one range of nutrients that we need heaps of to maintain our hair’s health and boost hair growth is amino acids. Read on to know how amino acids for hair growth work.
What are amino acids, you ask? Well, amino acids are organic compounds that are made up of amines, carboxylic acid, and a side chain that is specific to each amino acid. Quite simply put, they are the building blocks of the protein that makes up 1/5th of the human body. So, it comes as no surprise that amino acids play an essential role in all our biological processes, one of which happens to be hair growth.
How Do Amino Acids Improve Hair Growth?
To understand how amino acids improve hair growth, we must first understand the composition of the hair itself. Roughly 88% of your hair is composed of the protein keratin. For our body to produce keratin, it requires 18 different types of amino acids. While some of these are produced by our body, others have to be supplemented by our diet. An adequate level of these amino acids in our body leads to an optimum production of keratin which, in turn, boosts hair growth. Moreover, amino acids play a major role in the production of red blood cells that supply nutrients and oxygen to hair follicles, thus facilitating hair growth.
Now, you must be wondering exactly which amino acids you need to add to your diet to boost your hair growth. So, without further adieu, let’s jump right into it!
Top 9 Amino Acids For Hair Growth
Though there are about 20 different types of amino acids that play a major role in the healthy functioning of your body, here are the top 9 that are essential for hair growth.
Cysteine is, inarguably, the most crucial of amino acids for hair growth. Not only does it facilitate healthy hair growth, but this amino acid also helps in stimulating new hair growth. Cysteine is a potent antioxidant that shields the hair from sun damage and other harmful radiations. Moreover, it has also been found to treat the symptoms of alopecia. And as if that weren’t enough, it also provides sulphur to hair cells to improve their texture and strength.
Best Sources Of Cysteine: The major dietary sources of cysteine include broccoli, chicken, wheat germ, Brussels sprouts, and some dairy products like milk and yogurt.
Methionine is another essential amino acid for hair growth. This amino acid is a strong anti-oxidant and a warehouse of sulphur, a key ingredient for combating hair disorders. Methionine is a good lipotropic as it helps in breaking down fat and prevents fat accumulation in arteries and specific body areas. This functionality of methionine increases blood supply to the hair follicles and scalp, which further leads to hair growth. This amino acid also plays a role in the synthesis of collagen that is responsible for strengthening the hair shaft.
Best Sources Of Methionine: Fish, eggs, Brazil nuts, cereal grains, and sesame seeds are good sources of methionine.
Lysine helps in the formation of collagen by absorbing calcium. This collagen, as you already know, is essential for forming the basic structure of hair follicles, strengthening hair shafts, and boosting hair growth, in general. Lysine also stops 5-alpha reductase from converting testosterone into DHT, which is the main cause of androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness).
Best Sources Of Lysine: Chicken, eggs, fish, red meat, legumes, nuts, pulses, red meat, pork, and dairy products are excellent sources of lysine.
This is another amino acid that plays an important role in the production of collagen that is necessary for hair growth. Glycine also happens to play an essential part in the effective functioning of the digestive system and the central nervous system. This means that it protects the body against nerve disorders that could cause hair loss.