Woman with long red hair in natureWoman with long red hair in nature

Biotin vs. Collagen: Which Is Right for Your Hair?

Two of the most talked-about supplements that address these issues are undoubtedly biotin and collagen. You might even think they work toward the same goals, but biotin supplements and collagen supplements actually achieve different things. And one is vegan, whereas the other is not. So, which one will align best with your wellness journey, and personal dietary goals?

VEGAMOUR spoke to the experts to help lift the lid on biotin and collagen. Plus, we dive which products you should use to get thicker and healthier hair.

What Is Biotin?

So many supplement aficionados and beauty editors consider biotin to be a beauty superstar, but what is it, and what does this vegan wonder do? Biotin is a b vitamin (also known as vitamin B-7 and vitamin H) that helps your body convert carbohydrates, protein and fat into energy. It's water-soluble, which means your body doesn't store it, and because there's no absorption, there's a relatively low risk associated with biotin supplementation. 

Biotin is important for cell growth and fatty acid metabolism. It's essential for breaking down food, and the new cells and protein made in the process help strengthen the skin, muscles, nails, hair and bones.

Many people get the biotin they need from a consistent, nutritious diet, but biotin supplementation can undoubtedly help. Many claims suggest biotin is one of the B complex vitamins that can promote hair growth, prevent hair loss and boost nail health. It can also help improve the look of the skin across the body. Some claims suggest that biotin can help regulate blood sugar and keep pregnant women healthy too.

You could include these foods in your diet to increase your intake of biotin:

  • Various nuts
  • Whole grains
  • Banana
  • Cauliflower
  • Mushroom 

It can be hard to get all the nutrients and minerals your hair needs every day. To ensure it does, consider adding a daily hair supplement like GRO Biotin Gummies to your routine. Packed with 16,666% of your daily value of biotin, plus Vitamins A, C, E, B-5, B-6, B-12 and more, you'll never miss your daily dose of hair goodness.

What Is Collagen?

The other supplement that gets beauty gurus talking is collagen. Collagen, a structural protein located in the connective tissues, is the most abundant protein in the human body. It accounts for about one-third of the body's protein composition, meaning collagen production is essential for healing joint pain. It promotes the health of your bones, skin and hair and keeps your muscles strong.

The production of collagen creates structure in blood vessels and arteries. Collagen breaks down into essential amino acids such as lysine, proline and glutamic acid. These then build new proteins and compounds. Vanessa Thomas, a cosmetic chemist based in Bartow, Florida, explained, "Collagen is a major component of muscles, skin, ligaments and tendons and is found in many other body parts. One of the benefits of collagen is that it acts as a fuse, or like glue, to hold everything together."

Thomas continued, "As we age, our collagen production decreases, and our skin loses its elasticity. There are a few types of collagen, and Type I accounts for most of the body's collagen. It provides structure to the bones, teeth and more. Type I and III collagen are best for anti-aging and skin, nails and hair."

Collagen supplements are available but more often than not, they're not vegan though vegan collagen alternatives do exist.

Instead of a supplement, you can opt to add collagen-rich vegan foods in your diet, such as:

  • Tomatoes
  • Berries
  • Legumes
  • Red peppers
  • Citrus fruits
  • Dark leafy greens

    Also: Biotin vs. Keratin — Which Do You Need?

    What's the Difference Between Biotin and Collagen?

    Collagen and biotin might seem similar, but they have significant differences.

    Biotin Supplements

    • Vegan
    • Water-soluble B vitamin
    • Responsible for cellular production
    • Can balance glucose regulation
    • Can be helpful during pregnancy

    Collagen Supplements

    • Non-vegan
    • Fibrous protein found in connective tissues
    • Not water-soluble
    • Essential for skin firmness
    • Promotes joint, muscle and bone health

    The main difference between the two? Biotin is vegan, and collagen isn't — it's found in bone broth and other animal foods and parts. So if you're enjoying a vegan lifestyle, steer clear of collagen or seek alternative such as vegan biotin vitamins.

    Read: 5 Nutrients Your Hair Needs, According to a Nutritionist

    What Do Collagen and Biotin Do for Your Hair?

    When you start a new supplement journey, consider what you want to achieve. If it's clear skin, less hair loss and strong nails you're after (and who isn't?), then biotin might be your best bet. Biohacker, researcher and health enthusiast Suman Chatterji said, "Vitamin B-7 (biotin) has beneficial effects on the hair's health. This is because it supports keratin, a protein found in the hair, nails, and skin. A study conducted containing biotin showed significant improvement in hair health."

    Collagen peptide supplements also help promote healthy hair, but where they really shine is supporting the skin. "Collagen has tremendous benefits for skin health," said Chatterji. "Almost 75% of the skin is made of collagen. It keeps it tight and more elastic. It helps keep the skin young by reducing dryness and wrinkles. And it doesn't stop there. A study on oral administration of collagen in osteoarthritis patients showed improvement in the condition and reduction in joint pain."

    The good news? You don't have to choose between collagen and biotin. Instead, they can work together in harmony alongside a host of other vitamins.

    If a collagen supplement with its various animal parts sounds less than appealing, you might want to try the GRO Biotin Gummies. A plant-based diet can lack vitamin H, so this unique supplement could be the boost you need. The unique combination of 100% vegan vitamins and minerals strengthens strands, nourishes the scalp and supports gorgeous, luscious locks. Each tasty gummy is fortified with biotin (of course), folic acid and vitamins B-5, 6 and 12. And if it's the skin on your scalp you're concerned about, the zinc in the blend can help repair and maintain the area.

    Are Biotin and Collagen Good for Thinning Hair?

    Although the research is limited, adding biotin-rich foods into your diet and taking a daily biotin supplement is a great idea. A thinning hairline and too much hair shedding can impact your mental well-being, so anything that can support healthy hair shouldn't be dismissed.

    Collagen dietary supplements contribute to the skin's elasticity and overall health. Over time, your body stops producing as much collagen, which can affect the skin on your scalp and, in turn, slow down hair growth. There is no direct research to support the claim. However, because collagen can counteract the effects of skin aging (and hair grows out of your skin), many believe it helps prevent the hair from thinning.

    See: 4 Tips for Healthy Hair Growth

    Can You Take Too Much Biotin and Collagen?

    Increasing your biotin intake doesn't carry many risks. Plus, taking too much is quite a hard thing to do because biotin is water-soluble and flushes through your system. But it's always good to be a little cautious. Before you start taking any new supplement, check with your health care professional first. 

    On the flip side, you can also experience a biotin deficiency. Dr. Kim Langdon, an obstetrician/gynecologist based in Ohio, told VEGAMOUR, "Deficiencies can cause dry skin, scales and red rashes around the eyes, nose, mouth and perineum. A deficiency can also cause brittle nails, brittle hair and hair loss."

    As the body ages, collagen diminishes, and the skin starts to sag, so it makes sense that you want to replace it with a supplement. But can you have too much of a good thing? Collagen is generally thought of as a safe, non-toxic supplement that won't adversely affect you. If you do take too much, you might experience a stomach ache or an unpleasant taste. Again, visit your doctor for further advice.

    The Bottom Line

    With supplements, it usually comes down to personal choice and trial and error. You can take biotin and collagen together, take them apart or try something completely different.

    For vegans, collagen simply isn't an option. And biotin is beloved because of its vegan hair, nails and skin capabilities. If you're looking for a biotin boost, you may want to try GRO Biotin Gummies, which are made with biotin, zinc and folic acid for a daily boost of vitamins. 

    Overall, whether you choose a biotin supplement, a collagen supplement or both, the bottom line is to choose what feels right for you.

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    Disclaimer: Information in this article is intended for general informational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician.