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Health Benefits of Protein for Skin, Hair, & Nail Growth

  1. Curiosity About Protein and Hair/Skin/Nail Health: People are interested in protein’s role in hair, skin, and nail health because these body parts are composed of proteins, mainly keratin. Adequate protein intake can support their strength, growth, and repair.
  2. Types of Protein:
    • Complete Proteins: Contain all essential amino acids; found in animal products like meat, dairy, and eggs.
    • Incomplete Proteins: Lack one or more essential amino acids; found in plant sources like nuts, beans, and grains.
  3. Protein’s Effect on Hair, Skin, and Nails:
    • Hair: Hair is primarily made of keratin, a protein. Adequate protein intake helps in hair growth and repair.
    • Skin: Collagen and elastin, two proteins vital for skin elasticity and regeneration, rely on dietary protein.
    • Nails: Nails are also made of keratin, and protein deficiency can lead to brittle and weak nails.
  4. Protein Needs for Hair/Skin/Nail Health: The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein for the average adult is about 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. This is sufficient for most people, including for the health of hair, skin, and nails, as these parts are often reflective of overall health.
  5. Meal Ideas:
    • Breakfast: Greek yogurt with nuts and berries is excellent because it provides high-quality protein and antioxidants for skin health.
    • Lunch: Grilled chicken salad with mixed greens provides lean protein and various vitamins for overall health.
    • Dinner: Salmon with quinoa and steamed vegetables offers omega-3 fatty acids and protein which support skin hydration and structure.
    • Snack: Cottage cheese with sliced peaches is a tasty protein-rich snack that’s also hydrating for the skin.
  6. Protein Supplements: You might not need a protein supplement if your diet is balanced and meets your daily protein needs. However, athletes, people with certain medical conditions, vegetarians, or vegans might benefit from protein supplements.
  7. Concerns About Hair/Skin/Nail Health: If you’re concerned about the health of your hair, skin, or nails, consult with a healthcare provider. They may evaluate your diet, suggest blood tests to check for nutrient deficiencies, or refer you to a specialist like a dermatologist or a dietitian for further assessment and tailored advice.
About author - Dr. Cameron Rokhsar

Dr. Cameron Rokhsar

Dr. Cameron Rokhsar, MD, FAAD, FAACS, is the founder and medical director of the New York Cosmetic, Skin, & Laser Surgery Center. Dr. Rokhsar is a graduate of Harvard College and NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Rokhsar is double board certified in dermatology and micrographic dermatologic surgery, being one of the few select dermatologists in the country who is also fellowship trained in laser surgery. A researcher and innovator, Dr. Rokhsar is the creator of the non-surgical nose job and has been instrumental in the research and development of laser systems such as the Fraxel, CO2, Mirady, Vbeam, Themitight, and Ulthera devices. An Associate Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC, Dr. Rokhsar actively teaches the cosmetic dermatology clinic to the resident at Mount Sinai. An expert injector of fillers, and a trainer for many companies, patients fly in from around the world to see Dr. Rokhsar in his Garden City and Manhattan offices in New York.

Learn more about Dr. Rokhsar | Dr. Rokhsar's Google Scholar