August 11, 2023 9 min read
What are amino acids, and are they good for hair growth? Take a look at the top 11 amino acids for hair growth and their main benefits.
Whether you are dealing with hair loss, or you simply want to enjoy the satisfaction of having luscious, thick and shiny hair, amino acids should play an important part in your approach to maintaining the health of your beautiful mane.
But what exactly are amino acids, and which are the most essential amino acids for hair growth? And most importantly - how can you add them to your hair care routine? We hear about them all the time, but there is much to uncover when it comes to their main functions and benefits.
In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about amino acids as one of the secrets to growing your hair faster and easier. So, without further ado, let's get right into it:
Before we jump into the main amino acids for hair growth, let's get a better understanding of what they actually are:
Amino acids are organic compounds that serve as the fundamental building blocks of proteins. They are essential for the structure, function, and regulation of cells, tissues and organic in living organisms.
Proteins play a wide range of roles in the body, including acting as enzymes that facilitate biochemical reactions, forming structural components of cells and tissues, serving as signaling molecules, and participating in various physiological processes.
Hair growth is one of the benefits of amino acids, but it's far from being the only one. Let's take a look at some of the main advantages:
The proteins of living organisms contain a total amount of 20 standard amino acids. They are categorized between essential - cannot be synthesized by the human body and must be obtained through the diet, and essential - can be synthesized by the body, so it's not strictly necessary to obtain them through the diet.
Amino acids are absolutely essential for a variety of biological processes. They can also be categorized by their side chain properties:
Each amino acid has a unique chemical structure and specific properties, which contribute to their roles in protein structure, function, and interactions.
And now, let's get to the key part - which are the best amino acids for hair growth?
These are some of the best amino acids for hair growth:
Arginine is one of the most important amino acids, and it is classified as a positively charged (basic) amino acid due to its positively charged amino group.
It plays a crucial role in protein synthesis (the process of building new proteins), and it is essential for hair growth because it promotes blood circulation and nutrient delivery to the hair follicles. This nutrient supply supports the processes involved in hair growth and maintenance.
Arginine is also involved in the production of collagen - a key component of the hair shaft which is associated with hair strength.
How do you obtain arginine? This amino acid is naturally present in a variety of foods, including salmon, tuna, legumes, nuts and seeds, eggs and whole grains. The body can also produce it to some extend, that's why it's classified as semi-essential.
One of the best amino acids for hair growth is aspartic acid, which is classified as negatively charged (acidic) amino acid due to the presence of a carboxyl group in its side chain.
It plays an essential role in various metabolic pathways related to the synthesis of other amino acids, and also in the pathway for producing energy (ATP) from nutrients like glucose, fatty acids, and amino acids.
Aspartic acid also provides support for enzyme activity and hormone regulation, promoting a healthy environment for hair growth.
How do you obtain arginine? Aspartic acid is produced within the body as part of various metabolic processes, but it can also be obtained through dietary sources such as fatty fish, beef and poultry, nuts and seeds and more.
Alanine is a non-essential amino acid, which means that the body can synthesize it on its own and it doesn't require additional sources such as foods and supplements.
It plays several important functions in the body which contribute to overall health and hair growth - including energy production, immune system support, stress response, and collagen formation.
How do you obtain alanine? Alanine is synthesized by the body, so additional sources are not obligatory. However, they can be helpful to support the natural production of alanine - some good sources include dairy, eggs, meat, and legumes.
Serine is among the best amino acids for hair growth, and it plays multiple roles in the body which can indirectly impact and promote the healthy development of your beautiful mane.
It is involved in protein synthesis, which is a fundamental process for building and repairing tissues, including those in the hair. It also promotes the building of healthy cell membranes, which are involved in the overall health of the hair and the hair follicles.
How do you obtain serine? Serine is a non-essential amino acid, which means that the body can synthesize it on its own. However, dietary sources can support its natural production in the body - such as meat, dairy, and wheat-based foods.
Next on our list of best amino acids for hair growth is valine, a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA). It is classified as essential, which means that it can't be synthesized by the body and must be obtained through diet.
Valine is vital for protein synthesis - the process by which the body builds and repairs tissues, making it crucial to hair growth. It assists in energy production, muscle growth and repair, immune function and nitrogen balance (essential for various physiological processes, including tissue growth and repair).
How do you obtain valine? Valine can be obtained through dietary sources - including eggs, legumes, dairy, fish, meat and other healthy foods - as well as supplements. However, if you are considering supplements, make sure to consult a professional to determine the best ones for you.
Our list of best amino acids for hair growth continues with proline, a non-essential amino acid that the body can synthesize on its own. It plays a crucial role in various physiological processes in the body, including:
Collagen formation is particularly important when it comes to hair growth, because collagen is an essential component of the hair shaft and hair follicles.
Proline can have antioxidant properties, helping to neutralize harmful free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. While not directly linked to hair growth, overall cellular health can impact various bodily functions, including hair health.
How do you obtain proline? While the body can synthesize proline on its own, you should still consume healthy foods rich in proline to support its natural production. This includes protein-rich foods including meat, fish, dairy, nuts and seeds.
Speaking of the best amino acids for hair growth, next on our list is threonine - an essential amino acid that the body cannot produce on its own, which means that it must be obtained through the diet.
Threonine plays an essential role in various physiological processes, including antibody production - a well-functioning immune system indirectly impacts overall health, including potential hair health.
It also assists with protein synthesis, collagen formation, brain function and communication between nerve cells, as well as wound healing.
How do you obtain threonine? Since threonine isn't synthesized by the body on its own, it has to be obtained through a balanced diet rich in protein, vitamins and minerals - while also considering other factors such as proper hair care and overall lifestyle.
Fish and shellfish are especially good sources of L-Threonine - including shrimp, salmon and halibut. Yogurt, milk, cheese and meat products are also good sources of threonine.
Our list of best amino acids for hair growth continues with isoleucine, an essential amino acid that the body can't produce on its own. It plays an essential role in promoting hair health and growth.
Isoleucine is crucial for protein synthesis, which is the process by which the body builds and repairs tissues, including those related to hair growth. It can also be used as a source of energy by the body, and helps to regulate blood sugar levels by promoting glucose uptake into cells. It also supports the immune system.
How do you obtain isoleucine? Isoleucine can be obtained from various protein-rich foods - including beef, poultry, pork, fish, dairy products, eggs, legumes, as well as nuts and seeds.
You can also support isoleucine production by supplements, but make sure to consult a professional before taking them.
Histidine is one of the 20 standard amino acids that serve as the building blocks of proteins, and it is considered a semi-essential amino acid. This means that the body can synthesize it, but there are certain situations where dietary intake may be necessary.
It plays an important role for promoting hair growth through protein synthesis, histamine synthesis (which regulates blood flow and impacts hair follicle health), and detoxification. It also has the unique ability to bind metal ions, which makes it important for certain metal-dependent enzymes and proteins.
How do you obtain histidine? Histidine is considered a semi-essential amino acid, which means that the body can synthesize it to some extent. To support the production of histidine, it's important to consume foods rich in protein, including meat, fish, and legumes.
Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid, which means that the human body cannot produce it on its own and must obtain it through the diet. There are three forms of phenylalanine: L-phenylalanine, D-phenylalanine, and DL-phenylalanine.
While proteins, including those derived from dietary amino acids, are essential for the formation of hair structure, the relationship between phenylalanine and hair growth is not as straightforward as other nutrients like biotin or certain minerals.
How do you obtain phenylalanine? Phenylalanine can be obtained through animal protein sources, including meat and fish, and plant protein sources such as legumes, nuts and seeds. Whole grains like quinoa, oats, and brown rice also contain some phenylalanine.
Cysteine is a semi-essential amino acid that plays a crucial role in various biological processes in the body, including the formation of keratin and collagen, which are extremely important for maintaining the health of hair follicles and the skin that supports them.
How do you obtain cysteine? Foods rich in cysteine, such as those containing high levels of protein, can contribute to providing the necessary building blocks for healthy hair growth. Some dietary sources of cysteine include eggs, poultry, red meat, fish, dairy products, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
Cysteine is undoubtedly one of the best amino acids for hair growth.
This powerful hair care set consists of a shampoo, conditioner and hair mask made with 11 amino acids to provide moisture and strength to the hair, all while repairing damage and supporting its overall health.
Essential amino acids are those the body can't produce, so they must come from the diet. Non-essential amino acids can be synthesized by the body. Both are building blocks for proteins, vital for various functions. Essential amino acids include lysine, while non-essential ones include alanine.
Amino acids are essential for hair growth as they form the basis of proteins like keratin, crucial for hair structure. A balanced intake of amino acids from diet supports healthy hair follicles, but they are one of many factors influencing hair growth.
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