Collagen hair supplements vs. gelatin

Both collagen supplements and gelatin contain a long chain of collagen broken into smaller pieces by hydrolyzation. That said, collagen peptides undergo a full process of hydrolyzation resolution ids tiny chains of amino acids that dissolve reality in water, and Gelatin undergoes a partial process that results in larger collagen molecules that form a thick gel when added to water.

The smaller particles size of dedicated hair and skin supplements allows collagen to be absorbed more efficiently in the gut bloodstream and target organs. On the other hand, gelatin has a larger chain of peptides that better line the gut from the inside but is less effective for hair, skin, and nails renewal.

What is collagen?

Collagen constitutes about 25% of our total proteins. 27 different types of collagen have been identified. Type I collagen is the most common collagen found in the skin, hair, nails, tendons, ligaments, bones, and teeth. It is also the most important collagen for promoting hair and skin health. Type II collagen occurs exclusively in cartilage tissue. Type III collagen is found in the lungs, intestinal walls, blood vessels, and the skin.

Peptides and amino acids

The sources of collagen vary. The primary source of gelatin is bovine, while collagen powder can be sourced from bovine or fish. Both collagen powders provide the building blocks of collagen - the protein responsible for the strength of our hair, skin, and nails. The collagen found in our body is a very long chain of smaller molecules called amino acids. A chain of amino acids is called peptides. The amino acids found on collagen powder and gelatin are the same (mainly glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline). That said, the size of the peptides is different. The production of collagen powders involves a process called hydrolyzation. In this process, using special enzymes and high-pressure steam, the giant collagen molecules are cut into tiny pieces of 2 or 3 amino acids called peptides. The production of cooking gelatin involves heating collagen sources (bovine hide or bone broth). The heating process cuts the collagen into pieces that are usually larger than those found in hydrolyzed collagen. Because collagen supplements undergo more hydrolysis, their peptides (amino acid chains) are lighter and shorter than gelatin[1]. These shorter peptides are absorbed better than the longer peptides found in gelatin and are more efficient.

Collagen vs. Gelatin - which is better?

While bone broth or jelly is a good source of collagen, collagen powder is more effective for people who would like to improve their hair and skin health. This is due to the smaller molecular weight of collagen/peptides found in collagen powder. The smaller peptides are absorbed faster and better than the longer peptide chains in cooked gelatin. In addition, because they're so much smaller, our body can absorb the amino acids need to rebuild and repair hair, skin, nails, and bones.

The shorter collagen peptides provided in collagen powders are more easily absorbed than longer peptide chains found in gelatin. As a result, collagen powder peptides and amino acids can be found in our bloodstream after a few hours.

Collagen supplements for hair and skin health

Basic science research suggests that collagen deficiency in hair follicles leads to premature hair thinning.

In a study from 2012, taking marine collagen resulted in improvements in hair volume, hair shine and thickness, skin moisture retention, and skin smoothness. Another 2017 study showed that taking collagen supplements for six months improved nail growth and decreased nails breakage.

Collagen powder is easier to use than gelatin.

Gelatin is best used to provide a richer, thicker feel when preparing cheesecakes, marshmallows, curry sauces, and soups. The larger collagen molecules found in gelatin make it perfect for cooking. You can even make your gelatin by simmering down bones into bone broth.

Gelatin dissolves only in hot liquids and forms a gel. It will not dissolve in cold drinks or smoothies.

Collagen powder is the best choice for people looking to improve their hair and skin most effectively and conveniently. High-quality unflavored, collagen powders dissolve completely into both hot and cold liquids without going lumpy. As a result, you can add it to almost anything, from ice drinks to a steaming mug of coffee or tea.

When should you use Gelatin?

Some people take collagen to help their gut lining, however, gelatin may have the edge here. Because gelatin powders take longer to digest, it's thought that it's better at coating the small intestine.

How do you take your collagen powder?

Most powders will arrive with a handy little scoop so you can be sure you're getting the perfect dose. Add a scoop to your smoothie, coffee, or tea. Before blending- make sure you're stirring or shaking it long enough to dissolve the powder.

When should you take your collagen powder?

It is best to have them in the morning blended in with your smoothies or in a cup of coffee. You can also take it at night with a glass of milk.

Collagen powder vs. collagen gummies for hair regrowth

Collagen gummies are made of gelatin, having all the disadvantages of Gelatin. Hair gummies and gelatin supplements will usually contain only a small amount of active peptides and a lot of sugar. Thus - not the best idea for most people.

What are the best collagen supplements to help regrow hair?

Building new hair requires a supply of a small chain of amino acids as a building block. Likewise, making new collagen also requires vitamin C as a facilitator.

Collagen supplements made of marine sources contain type I marine collagen, meaning it has tiny molecules closely matched to the collagen in our skin. The amino acid profile of marine collagen will usually be better than regular or grass-fed bovine collagen.

The best sources of this type of collagen will be wild deep-sea fish. Free of wild, certified, sustainable cod. And because it's from Bare Biology, you know it's free from additives or contaminants.

References:

Process for Production of Hydrolysed Collagen from Agriculture Resources: Potential for Further Development. Journal of Applied Sciences, 14: 1319-1323, 2014,

Enzymatic Hydrolysis of a Collagen Hydrolysate Enhances Postprandial Absorption Rate—A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients 2019, 11, 1064.

A Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study Evaluating the Efficacy of an Oral Supplement in Women with Self-perceived Thinning Hair. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2012;5(11):28-34.

Hair follicle aging is driven by transepidermal elimination of stem cells via COL17A1 proteolysis. Science. 2016 Feb 5;351(6273):aad4395.

Oral supplementation with specific bioactive collagen peptides improves nail growth and reduces symptoms of brittle nails. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2017 Dec;16(4):520-526.

Oral intake of specific bioactive collagen peptides reduces skin wrinkles and increases dermal matrix synthesis. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2014;27(3):113-9.