Pros: speeds up the rate of hair growth, is full of collagen, nourishing hair mask
Cons: not that pleasant to consume, can cause bloatedness or digestive issues for some

Gelatin is a dry, colorless grain-like substance obtained from the bones, tendons and skin of animals - most commonly cows or pigs. When mixed with liquid it becomes gel-like. It contains high quanities of collagen and is claimed to offer health benefits like:

  • accelerated hair and nail growth
  • joint mobility and recovery
  • improved digestion
  • fewer wrinkles

I was sceptical by its claims to begin with but decided to give it a go as I was tired with my painfully slow hair growth. I began taking 1 tablespoon a day, dry and washed back with a lot of water. Some people like to sprinkle it over their food or mix it in their coffee, but I prefer to wash it down quickly as the taste and texture is not all that pleasant. To begin with it did cause some bloating as my stomach adjusted, but within a short space of time I actually found I had less issues with other food related digestion complaints. I stepped up to two tablespoons a day (first thing in the morning, last thing at night), and noticed remarkable hair and nail growth, and better quality sleep. I can't say I noticed much change in my skin.

You can also use this as a deep conditioning hair mask:

1 tablspoon gelatin mixed with a little hot water until well dissolved. Then add your usual conditioner to the mixture to form a paste. Rub this into your hair (it will set hard as it dries), cover with cling film or a shower cap, and let it sit for up to an hour. Wash with warm water. I noticed it gave more volume to my hair which I wasn't so keen on as I already have thick hair. If you perform this a couple of times a week it supposedly gives a glossy shine, but to be honest I haven't been disciplined enough to try.

I use Davis Gelatine (125g at $3.60) which is found in my local supermarket and is derived from bovine hide. I can't source any organic gelatin here in NZ.

I would continue to take gelatin just for the hair growth benefits alone.