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Coenzyme Q10 is something that most people probably haven’t heard about before. Even those who are always looking for the best hair growth supplements, shampoos and such, usually don’t know about the benefits of CoQ10 for hair growth hair and hair loss prevention.
I’ve taken CoQ10 supplements on and off for years, maybe that’s just one of the reasons why my hair always grows so thick.
What is CoQ10 anyway?
Coenzyme Q10 is a ubiquinone which is found in all cells in the human body. It’s especially important in cell metabolism and can be found in the mitochondria of cells (think of them as little battery packs that give our cells energy). When CoQ10 levels drop, so does energy levels.
Production of CoQ10 by the body decrease with age and this can lead to many of the symptoms we associate with aging: physical and mental fatigue, pain and muscle cramps, weakened immune, neurological diseases, and weight gain. Secondary to weight gain, you also have an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
We simply cannot live without CoQ10 and be healthy or have strong healthy hair.
Therefore it’s vital that we make sure our levels of CoQ10 remain high throughout life either by consuming foods high in the nutrient or we supplement it.
Things which can reduce levels of CoQ10
It’s not only aging which depletes our levels, but certain types of medications and drugs can do it also.
The types of medications which can deplete your body of CoQ10 include:
- Antidiabetic medications
- Psychotherapeutic drugs
- Heart medications (statins)
If taking any of these, especially statins (which is very common) you may notice symptoms associated with low CoQ10 like cramping.
Is CoQ10 good for hair growth?
Most of the hair on our head is constantly growing every day, even if we don’t see it. It’s just because of how slow it’s growing, we don’t really notice it until we check back and measure its length a month or two later since the last time we checked.
Since CoQ10 is so vital in energy metabolism, and hair growth is energy intensive (hair follicles are more complex than you realize), it goes to reason that we need to boost energy levels of the cells to keep hair growth strong, just as it is in our youth.
The aging hair
As already mentioned, with age, energy levels drop, and this has an obvious effect on our skin and hair. The first signs of aging are normally in the face, but with hair, it can take a bit longer to see the effects.
This is simply because your hair growth cycle might be anywhere between 2 – 10 years long. Yes – people can grow hair for 10 years if they have the right genetics and have good nutrition.
Older hair becomes thinner, weaker and just overly fragile. Keep hair looking youthful, shiny and manageable as you get older can be a pain. This is why many women (and men) end up cutting it short after they reach a certain age.
But if you want to maintain your long tresses as you age, then it might be worth giving CoQ10 a shot to see if it improves your hair.
CoQ10 study on human hair
In a study published in 2009, researchers looked at the effect of using coenzyme Q10 in shampoo on a group of healthy volunteers who were older than 40 years of age.
Throughout the test, they measured gene expression of hair keratins from the hairs they plucked from the volunteer’s heads to see if the shampoo had any effect on genes involved in hair growth.
They found that just by using the shampoo enriched with CoQ10, genes involved in hair growth were increased. The hair follicles became more active. .
This is hardly surprising given the fact that Coenzyme Q10 is crucial for energy metabolism, and declines with age.
Best sources of Coenzyme Q10
There are many different food sources of CoQ10, which will help support healthy hair growth.
- Strawberries – (1 cup has 0.2 mg)
- Oranges – (medium orange has 0.3 mg)
- Cauliflower (1/2 a cup has 0.5)
- Broccoli – (1/2 a cup has 0.5 mg)
- Herring – (3 ounces has 2.3 mg)
- Free-range eggs – (1 medium egg has 0.1 mg)
- Free-range chicken – (3 ounces cooked chicken has 1.4 mg)
- Grass-fed beef – (3 ounces cooked beef has 2.6 mg)
Whether you are a vegan like myself, or you are an omnivore, you are able to obtain CoQ10 from your diet if you eat these foods on a consistent basis.
However, getting higher doses of CoQ10 can be difficult and impractical from the diet because it’s only present in very small amounts.
If you want to get a much higher amount of coenzymeQ10, there are high dose which will provide 100 mg or more. See CoQ10 supplements.
Doses as high as 1200 mg per day have been shown to be safe in humans.
There’s been a lot of discussion over the years about the benefits of CoQ10 on hair growth.
There are many reports in hair loss forums and long hair forums where people have stumbled upon coenzyme Q10 and took it for other health reasons but found that it also improved their hair growth and even (some claim) stopped their hair loss.
On the forum, the person mentions that they were taking a CoQ10 supplement for 5 months and their hair started coming in darker than before. And then later they say that small bald spots were filling in.
Now, it’s always best to take anecdotes with a grain of salt, but given the study above, maybe there is actually something to it. And logically it makes sense, because of the function of CoQ10 (helps with energy) has in the cells of the body.
But there’s more…
CQ10 also has numerous other health benefits associated with it:
- Improved heart function
- Increased fertility
- Youthful skin
- Increased endurance
- Cancer prevention
- Better mental and cognitive function
If you have any questions regarding the use of CoQ10 for hair loss or hair growth whether that be using shampoos or supplements, please feel free to leave a common below.
1. Coenzyme Q10 has anti‐aging effects on human hair