Biotin For Hair Loss - Is It A Good Option?
More often than not, Biotin is treated as the magic pill that helps to regrow hair, improve hair thinness and even help with healthier skin and nails. You hear about it so often that you probably ask yourself if it's now time to use biotin for hair loss.
Chances are that you might be joining others who take it for the benefits and notice absolutely zero difference in how long or thick their hair is. So, is it a capsule full of lies? Let's find out.
It does work but you need to realize that biotin supplements aren't magic pills. Hair loss is a deep-rooted problem which is caused by a lot of factors- pollution, lifestyle, hair products, low vitamin levels, genes, stress and the list goes on.
Just taking supplements won't change anything. You need to commit yourself to healthy eating habits, natural hair products and work-life balance.
Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin. This means it dissolves in the water inside the body and cannot be stored. Biotin is available in small amounts in some foods but pregnant women, people that don't eat a well-balanced diet, consume alcohol or smoke are at risk of developing this deficiency.
Symptoms of a biotin deficiency are thinning hair, red rashes, conjunctivitis, seizures, skin infections, brittle nails and neurological problems, such as depression, lethargy, hallucinations, and paresthesias (pins and needles) in the extremities.
You might know it as biotin, or maybe you've heard it being called vitamin B7 or vitamin H, or maybe you just refer to it as the ultimate supplement for skin, hair, and nails. Biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin found in our bodies that works by turning fats, carbs, and proteins into energy.
When your body is deficient in biotin, it can lead to hair thinning and brittle nails (among many other things, according to the National Institutes of Health). The reason for why people see results with it is because it's found in a lot of foods, like meat, eggs, fish, nuts, and some dairy products, so it's natural.
But if you think about it, you probably get an adequate amount of Biotin in your diet. In other words, the likelihood that you would be biotin deficient is pretty low.
According to many scientific articles, the simple truth is that there's not enough scientific proof that biotin is the key to growing your hair really, really long. Therefore there is not a strong case for showing that it makes a huge difference and even dermatologists tend to agree. They say that while it likely doesn't hurt, taking biotin may not make much of a difference in your hair or nails.
If you recall, biotin is water soluble. What that means is any excess amount of it in your system gets flushed out through your urine, so loading up on biotin won't give you great results, unfortunately.
The ONLY case where hair growth was impacted or influenced was when there was a biotin deficiency, so if the pill works for ya, this is why it does!
Everyone else who doesn't have the deficiency, isn't affected by the intake of Biotin for extra nutrient-based hair growth.
If you are actually deficient (there is evidence that women can be mildly biotin deficient during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, but you'd need a blood test to determine any deficiencies for sure), it would still be a few months before you would see results from taking biotin for hair benefits. Otherwise, if there is any improvement, the visible results would be subtle at best.
Biotin is absolutely essential for helping the body metabolize fats and carbohydrates, along with improving hair ' strengthening nails and skin. It boosts the functioning of the nervous system and regulates hormones, apart from nourishing the skin. Biotin is also known to lower cholesterol and maintain blood sugar levels.
Biotin is essential for healthy hair. Biotin can help grow stronger and healthier hair, nails and skin. Biotin helps by improving the keratin structure of one's hair and also helps retain hair lustre and thickness. Biotin prevents skin cells from degenerating, thereby, keeps hair follicles in place. The result is voluminous, shiny and thick hair.
If you're a glass-half-full kinda person, you hear the words "might not work" and cling to the word "might," in which case you'll probably give biotin a try anyway. But there are a few potential side effects of taking biotin that you should know about first.
Biotin can alter the accuracy of certain lab tests like:
- thyroid studies (something they also examine as a clue for hair loss) and
- troponin (which is used to monitor a potential cardiac event), which means taking biotin unnecessarily and without your doctor's permission could mask a serious health condition.
Not only that, but biotin has also been said to cause acne. Yikes!
The proposed pathogenesis is that it prevents adequate absorption of vitamin B5, which can lead to skin barrier disruption. And there haven't been any good studies proving the relationship, but it's certainly something to consider if you notice more breakouts when starting the supplement.
If you're still willing to give biotin a try (you do you, but ideally not without talking to your doctor or dermatologist first) despite the chance that it might not work, you've got a few options. Biotin can be used topically with a hair-growth shampoo or a thickening shampoo or, as we've mentioned, taken as an oral supplement, like in one of these top-rated options below.
Take biotin as part of a multivitamin, versus through a topical product (which is even less likely to be effective for anything). For people with hair loss, supplementing another hair-strengthening ingredient, vitamin D, but there are other nutritional factors important for hair, so, as always, it's best to check with your doctor to evaluate your specific hair switch for the right combination of treatments.
In conclusion, although there is no firm scientific evidence to support the use of biotin supplements to improve hair health, there is also relatively little risk associated with using them. There are no reported cases of adverse reactions from biotin supplementation, even when given in high doses to babies. Unlike many other nutritional supplements, biotin supplements do not carry a risk of toxicity or overdose. It is important for individuals experiencing unexpected or unusual hair loss to speak to a doctor. In most cases, biotin deficiencies are not the cause of hair loss, but they may be a contributing factor. Always buy FDA approved pills.