Gelatin & Hair Growth

Written by yvonne van damme
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Gelatin & Hair Growth
It's not certain whether gelatin helps hair growth. (Image by, courtesy of Amanda)

The length and condition of hair is determined by many factors. Those factors include genetics, diet, exercise, and environmental elements. If genetics do not support growing long hair, treating the hair itself as well as supplementing growth using supplements are options.

Gelatin is often used as a strength and growth aid in supplements and hair treatments. It is taken from collagen, which is found in the bones, skin, and cartilage of animals. It's protein-based and most commonly taken from cows.

The Facts

Gelatin has been used for decades for nail and hair health. The actual science about whether gelatin has a positive impact on hair growth is mixed. Gelatin does provide protein and amino acids, which are beneficial for skin, hair and nails. However, there is not conclusive proof that gelatin will increase hair growth.

Dr. Bernard Cole states that gelatin is beneficial to the hair and does in fact promote hair growth (see Reference 1). Per his studies, as well as promoting hair growth, gelatin strengthens the hair and repairs damage.


Gelatin can be used to supplement a diet in a few ways. It can be ingested in food form. Marshmallows and gelatin desserts both contain gelatin. In addition, gelatin comes in a powder form and is sold at most grocery stores. Gelatin pills and supplements are also available. Nail and hair growth supplements contain multiple ingredients. Often, gelatin is one of them.


When obtaining gelatin from a food source, there is no standard dosage. It's best to try to ingest a small amount daily. To supplement using gelatin in powder form, dissolve 2.5 tsp. of gelatin in a glass of water or juice each day.

Gelatin supplements are available at health food stores and often the regular grocery store. The dosage and amount will vary by brand. Standard instructions entail taking one to two capsules daily. Read and follow the directions that accompany the supplement.


Gelatin may contribute to faster hair growth. If that is the case, keep in mind that all of the hair on the body will grow more rapidly as well.


As gelatin is an animal product, vegetarians may want to avoid taking it. A seaweed-based substitution called "agar-agar" is a suitable substitute for gelatin. It is possible to be allergic to gelatin. For people who experience an allergic reaction or suspect that they are having one, it's best to discontinue use and contact a doctor.

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