Plant Protein for Hair
Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including diagnosis, advice, and treatment.
Protein is a key nutrient for hair health. Most clinicians recommend plant protein for hair over animal protein as it is healthier in terms of heart health and digestive health. However, taking enough plant protein along with developing a healthy lifestyle not only hugely help with managing and preventing a wide range of hair-related issues but also ensure a strong, shiny, and healthier hair that everyone strives for.
In this article, we’ll be discussing the benefits of taking plant protein for hair and its associated problems in a little deeper sense. But before we get into how plant protein benefits hair, we’ll first cover what exactly plant protein is and how it is linked with hair. So, let’s get started.
Table of contents
- What is plant protein?
- The link between protein and hair
- Benefits of plant protein for hair
- Precautions and side effects
- Final words
What is plant protein?
Plant protein is a powdered protein that has been extracted from plant-based sources such as peas or soy and is available as a supplement. Plant protein supplements are generally gluten-free and lactose-free that are hypoallergenic in nature and suitable for anyone, especially vegan or vegetarian people.
Plant protein supplements often contain certain important nutrients such as calcium, iron, and vitamin D, all of which not only benefit the hair but support heart health and promote a healthy weight. (you can also read our article: Plant Protein for Weight Loss)
There are various plant-based proteins available on the market, pea protein is one of the high-quality ones that are easy to digest and easily absorbed in the body.
The link between protein and hair
The process of hair growth is executed by a specific type of cell division called mitosis that rapidly multiplies cells around the base of hair follicles. These cells produce hair shafts and lengthen hair, which is typically hair growth. Therefore, the process of hair growth needs a considerable amount of nutrients to carry on the continuous production of new hair cells.
Protein is a primary nutrient that is critical for healthy hair growth. Insufficiency or deficiency of protein can have a deleterious effect on the subtle physiological functions required to support normal hair growth. Significantly, keratin protein from keratinocytes (dead keratinized cells) plays a key role in composing hair strands.
The building blocks of protein, amino acids, play an essential role in the regeneration of protein-rich hair cells. In order to sustain normal hair growth, it’s important to ensure the intake of enough protein on a regular basis. Correspondingly, poor protein intake may adversely affect normal hair growth and lead to various hair problems including hair loss and baldness.
Benefits of plant protein for hair
Protein insufficiency or deficiency has been linked to various hair issues such as hair loss, split ends, and dull hair. Treatments of hair problems work well only when enough protein intake is ensured.
Plant protein supplementation can hugely help with promoting healthy hair growth and preventing hair issues. Here are some of the most common ways how plant protein can benefit hair health:
Supports hair growth and lowers the risk of hair loss or alopecia
Hair is primarily made of keratin which the hair follicles produce from dead keratinized cells called keratinocytes. Dietary protein converts into amino acids that form keratin, the structural substance of the hair. In addition, keratin also plays an important role in regulating hair density and volume, moisture, and preventing premature graying along with collagen.
Decreased protein intake may lead to a nutritional deficiency that can impact both hair growth as well as hair structure. Multiple studies have reported potential associations of protein deficiency with various types of hair loss including telogen effluvium (stress-induced hair loss), androgenetic alopecia, alopecia areata, and female pattern hair loss (FPHL).
A 2020 study published in the Phytotherapy Research revealed that pea protein extract might be an effective way to safely and naturally promote hair growth and alleviate hair loss in people experiencing excessive hair shedding.
Another 2017 study in the Archives of Dermatological Research showed that a plant-based diet particularly the protein-rich Mediterranean diet can help lower the risk of androgenetic alopecia (AGA) onset.
Prevents hair damage and breakage
Amino acids found in plant protein play a key role in creating a protective structure surrounding strands that help prevent hair damage and breakage of hair strands. In addition, plant protein can boost hair hydration and protect from dryness, which is one of the leading causes of hair breakage.
Provides hair-boosting nutrients
Plant protein contains a range of other hair-boosting nutrients such as iron, calcium, potassium, and vitamin D. These micronutrients are vital for hair, and deficiencies of such micronutrients have a close association with hair loss and other hair issues.
A 2019 review published in Dermatology and Therapy showed that deficiency of micronutrients like vitamins and minerals may adversely affect the scalp and hair health, as well as treatment and prevention of alopecia or hair loss.
Precautions and side effects
Plant protein supplements are likely safe and well-tolerated in most people. Very few side effects such as abdominal discomfort or bloating may occur in some people, but these generally uncommon and minimal.
But keep in mind that though plant protein is highly beneficial for hair, most plant protein is not a complete protein, meaning it does not contain all 9 essential amino acids.
Therefore, in order to get the optimal hair benefits of plant protein, it is important to take a variety of plant foods including various whole grains and vegetables, especially if your main sources of protein are plants.
Poor protein intake can lead to nutritional deficits that have varying adverse effects on the health of hair and scalp. Plant proteins are more preferable over animal ones due to it seems relatively safer and healthier than animal proteins.
Plant protein offers diverse hair benefits including promoting hair growth, reducing hair loss, and preventing hair damage and breakage. It’s a great option if you are looking to develop strong, healthy, and shiny hair.
Here you can see Vorst’s Vegan Plant Based Pea Protein Powder with Multivitamins
Here you can see Vorst’s Vegan Plant Based Pea Protein Powder with Greens