What is so good about biotin?
It seems to be a popular topic when talking about trying to grow long, thick, and healthy hair.
It can be found on the back of many modern shampoo and conditioner bottles.
Sometimes you will even see commercials and other hair products such as hair masks using biotin. Companies selling hair products always seem to include the fact that they use biotin in their formulas.
They usually say that by using their products, you will see your hair transform from sparse and riddled with split ends to luxuriant and glossy.
But the questions most of our readers want to know are,
Does it actually work in preventing hair loss and promoting hair growth?
What does biotin do for your hair?
How does biotin help in hair growth?
How much biotin to take for hair growth.
And there are many such questions which need a clearer answer about the effectiveness of using biotin for hair growth.
To answer these question more precisely, let us first start with:
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What is Biotin?
While there is no one person that discovered biotin, it was two scientists named Paul Gyorgy and Fritz Kogl that gave biotin its name.(1)
Biotin also known as Vitamin B7 or Vitamin H is one of the B vitamins. Biotin deficiency is rare in healthy people.
Biotin deficiency is common in cases of malnutrition, pregnancy, or rapid weight loss.
Due to its nature as a B vitamin, biotin is water soluble. This meant the body does not store it and therefore it passes through the body with ease.(2)
It is primarily used for hair loss and brittle nails. Biotin is taken orally, and like many B vitamins, it helps convert food into fuel or energy for the body.
It also contributes to metabolizing proteins and fats. Biotin can naturally be found in food such as cooked eggs, nuts, bananas, mushrooms, cauliflower, and legumes.
Why is Biotin Popular for Hair Growth? Does It Prevent Hair Thinning and Hair Loss?
Biotin is popular for hair growth because it is found that hair loss is related to some nutrients deficiencies and the biotin is one of them. The other main deficiencies that may result in hair loss are iron and zinc deficiencies.(3)
However, we all lose hairs every day and it is usually normal losing 50 to 100 hairs a day without any noticeable hair thinning. But, if the hair follicle or gland is weak then this may also result in an abnormal hair loss.
You may also experience an abnormal hair loss in the case of:(4)
- Taking certain medications
- Some medical conditions
- Due to hormonal changes
- Family history of hair loss
However, there is no clear justification of use of biotin for hair loss is available till the date.(5)
So, Is Biotin Really effective for Hair Growth?
Biotin is very good for hair and nail growth.
However, it must be taken orally in the form of pills or capsules. Biotin cannot be absorbed by the skin or hair. Therefore even if shampoos and conditioners have biotin, the biotin in the product will be ineffective in promoting hair growth when applied to the scalp and hair.
It is also very useful in treating premature graying hair in individuals who have low biotin levels. If taken daily at the correct dosages you will be able to see improvements in two months time.
What Are The Symptoms Of Biotin Deficiency?
Biotin deficiency is one of the rarest nutritional disorders.
When an individual is said to be biotin deficient, he may not be getting enough biotin through foods in the diet that have it in a very fractional amount.
Biotin is recommended to treat a variety of hair and skin problems. It is also written as vitamin H, in which H represents “ Haar und Haut” which is a German term for "hair and skin".(6)
The symptoms of biotin deficiency include:
- Hair loss, hair thinning along with hair color loss
- Brittle nails
- Ataxia etc.
How Can We Get Biotin for Hair?
If you're not getting enough biotin through foods, then there are ways to get it through biotin supplements.
Biotin supplements are easily available at most convenience stores such as Walgreens or CVS. It can also be found at Walmart or Target. It does not require a prescription, so it is relatively easy to find and purchase.
However, if you are taking other medicines, please be sure you talk to your doctor before taking biotin supplements.
It is also available online for online purchase at Amazon and other online vendors.
How much biotin can one take safely
According to the National Academy of Science, adults over eighteen require around thirty to thirty-five micro-grams (mcg) a day for daily functions.
Any Side Effects Of Biotin
According to the US National Library of Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical Center, biotin has not been found to have any side effects when taken by itself.
However, there are potential side effects if it interacts with certain medications.(7)
Medline Plus explains that when medications are broken down by the liver biotin might decrease how quickly the liver does it. If you are using biotin as a supplement, it might increase the side effects of the medicine you are taking.(8)
Also when interacting with egg whites biotin binds to the intestine and this keeps it away from being absorbed by the body.
Therefore, it is important to note whether you eat egg whites while taking biotin.
Lastly, if you are taking vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) or alpha-lipoid acid while taking biotin, it will reduce the body’s absorption of the other supplement.
Biotin is a great supplement that is useful for hair and nail growth. It has been proven that it is effective not only for your hair and nails but your skin as well.
However, you must remember that it is only effective if taken orally.
Topical hair products will not have and effect. Incorporating biotin into your diet is beneficial for consumers who suffer from hair loss, sparse hair or prematurely graying hair.
If you are looking for something that will ensure hair growth, make your hair healthier, and bring back it;s shine then this is the product for you.
It virtually has no side effects, and it is assured that you may see good results earlier than you think.
Biotin is safe and yields results, so go out and give it a try!