I’m a skeptic, so in all honesty, I tried to avoid the collagen hype. When it took the wellness world by storm a few years back, I assumed it would come and go as most things do, and I didn’t want to add another supplement into my routine—or into my monthly budget. That combined with the experience I had in the past with supplements that claim to support hair, skin, and nails (and didn’t do anything for me) made me uninterested, to say the least.
So what made me want to try it, you might ask? Well, I started to notice that my hair was shedding more than usual inside and outside of the shower and my skin (which is something I have struggled with throughout my 20s) was not getting any better, so I immediately took to the internet to figure out what I could implement ASAP to stop the madness. As you can imagine, about a million different products came up that I didn’t recognize and were not even close to budget-friendly. However, what kept catching my attention was the plethora of collagen options available. Since collagen was what I felt the most familiar with and my hair and skin desperately needed saving, I swallowed my aforementioned pride, decided to give it a go for 30 days, and report my findings back to the fellow skeptics and dear readers of The Everygirl.
What is collagen?
Before we get into the good stuff, we must first quickly talk about what collagen even is:
As the most abundant protein in our bodies, it is responsible for the structure, elasticity, and rejuvenation of skin, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. There are 28 types of collagen, but type I is the most common as it is found in all connective tissue. This is what you will see most often in supplements that claim to support hair, skin, nails, and joints. Collagen is a protein that our bodies naturally produce, but we can also get it from supplements and foods.
The collagen supplement I chose:
I did an immense amount of research on collagen before choosing which product to buy, but I ultimately decided on the Vital Proteins Grass-Fed Collagen Powder. I am not going to say that the reason I chose it is due to the fact that Jennifer Anniston is their Chief Creative Officer, but I’m not going to not say that either. The power of her youthful glow will convince me to do anything—and it did. In all seriousness though, I appreciate that this one, in particular, is sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine hide and thought it would be best suited for me and my needs because it is primally composed of type I collagen. The added benefits of hyaluronic acid & vitamin C don’t hurt either.
How I incorporated it:
This particular product says to take 1-2 scoops per day and dissolve them into hot or cold liquids, so I did a single scoop every day and an additional scoop when I could—this just depended on what I was eating or drinking that I could mix it into. I tried it in water initially, and then I added it to my coffee like I see most wellness girls do in their morning routine reels and TikToks. #influenced. Ultimately, I found that adding a scoop into yogurt bowls, smoothies, and overnight oats worked best for my lifestyle.
Note: If adding a collagen powder isn’t in your budget (or you can’t get over the taste) but you still want the benefits of collagen, you can try including collagen-rich foods into your diet instead. Bone broth, fish, leafy greens, beans, tomatoes, bell peppers, and garlic are all high in collagen.
I hate to break it to you, but tasteless does not mean tasteless. I honestly was getting worried that I wouldn’t be able to make it through 30 days because I hated the way it tasted so much. I held my nose to drink it with water and practically choked down my coffee. Call me dramatic, but it was just ew. I somehow found the courage to push through, and I tried it in yogurt (which was better) and then my oats where it was finally *mostly* tasteless.
I didn’t notice any difference in my hair, skin, or nails in the first week, but after the second week, I met with my mom for dinner, and the first thing she said to me was this: “Your hair is sticking up all over the place. It must be the collagen.” I think she meant it as a compliment? But either way, I was really happy that it might be actually doing something to help my hair!
Sadly, I didn’t notice a single difference in my skin, but in all honesty, I didn’t have much hope that collagen would help my skin concerns anyway. (That is going to have to be a separate battle I tackle!) If you, like me, struggle with your skin health, I wouldn’t count on collagen powder as a cure-all, but hey, this was just my experience with it!
Alternatively, by week three, my nails started growing faster and stronger than they ever have, and I wasn’t experiencing nearly as much shedding in the shower. And after 30 days, my new hair growth that was noticeably sprouting up had settled in to grow like normal baby hairs around my hairline, my ponytail felt a heck of a lot fuller, and my hair was definitely a little longer too. Since this was my main concern, I am really pleased with it, and for those reasons alone, I am going to keep taking it to reap the benefits of luscious locks and strong nails for as long as humanely possible.