By now it is common knowledge that the way to good skin and hair is a combination of both internal and external factors. What you put in your body is as important as what you put on it. But more often than not, you tend to disregard supplementing nutrients for your hair, even if you eat well for your skin. And even though a lot of the skin-loving nutrients work for hair too, there are some that are specifically targeted towards improving your hair health. One of them is vitamin H, popularly known as biotin, and is often regarded as the holy grail for improving hair growth, re-growth and overall health. But does biotin for hair really work? And if it does, what is the best way to use it? We are answering this and a lot more below…
- Fast facts of biotin for hair
- What does biotin do for your hair?
- What are the ways to add more biotin to your diet?
- How much biotin is needed for hair growth?
- How long does it take for biotin intake to show results?
- Are there any side effects to taking too many biotin supplements?
- FAQs about biotin for hair
Fast facts of biotin for hair
As seen above, biotin is an essential dietary staple that helps convert certain kinds of nutrients in your body. And while a lack of biotin or vitamin B-7 to be precise, has been associated with hair loss, it’s effectiveness on boosting hair growth still lacks research. This is because the amount of biotin your body needs, it can get from a well-balanced diet without any supplementation. But the focus on consuming more biotin has resulted from the fact that when taken regularly, people have noticed an improved hair growth cycle. So, if you too are considering adding more biotin into your diet, here are questions that need answering first…
What does biotin do for your hair?
As mentioned earlier, biotin helps process certain nutrients in your body, carbohydrates and fats to be precise. This is the reason it is considered a safe and easily accessible dietary supplement to support hair health. The claim to fame of biotin relates to the fact that it helps inhibit hair loss and boosts nutrient-led hair growth. And while hair loss associated with underlying autoimmune causes cannot be arrested with biotin, it can certainly help with age-related hair thinning and shedding. This is because biotin is known to fortify hair strands and make them stronger, sometimes even thicker. Strong hair is less prone to shedding, thus, improving your hair’s volume and quality with regular use.
What are the ways to add more biotin to your diet?
Food and dietary supplements are the two major sources of biotin for your body. Major food sources of biotin are eggs, beef liver, pink salmon, pork, sunflower seeds, sweet potato, almonds, canned tuna, spinach, broccoli, cheddar cheese, milk, plain yoghurt, oatmeal, banana, whole wheat bread, and apples. As for dietary supplements, there are product variants that contain biotin only or are available in the form of vitamin C complex for hair use. Multivitamins can also be a good source as your body is capable of absorbing 100% of the biotin in these supplements, even if you are getting it separately from food.
How much biotin is needed for hair growth?
When it comes to nutrients for the hair, there is the right quantity to maintain. Consume too much and you are just wasting your money and too little means that you will not see a difference. For biotin use in hair growth, the number falls around 5,000 micrograms a day, and meeting this daily quota seems to be the key to making the most out of this nutrient. Having said that, if your biotin use is aimed at dealing with a medical condition, like alopecia, it is best to consult a doctor for that. A medical professional will be able to recommend the right kind and quantity of biotin.
How long does it take for biotin intake to show results?
If you have actively shifted focus to biotin intake for hair growth, you have to understand that it won’t magically make your hair grow overnight. Most people see a visible difference in their mane in about a month or so. Having said that, there have been reports of people noticing a change in as little as two weeks. It all depends on your individual body systems and the state of your metabolism. You also have to know that while biotin can help make your hair feel fuller and voluminous in a couple of months, it doesn't necessarily increase the number of hair strands on your head. Yes, biotin can help improve the texture of your hair that is already grown out of the follicles, but not give birth to new hair.
Are there any side effects to taking too many biotin supplements?
As mentioned before, your diet is a good enough source to adequately supply biotin to your body. However, you might need some added help if you are diagnosed with a deficiency of the same. Some of the symptoms of a biotin deficiency include visible hair loss or thinning, high cholesterol levels, rashes on the skin and a few others. In cases like such, taking biotin supplements can help out. And even though there is a recommended daily value, there have been no reports of any adverse effects of exceeding that value. Yes, excessive biotin intake does not pose any serious health issues but can sometimes hinder certain lab tests. Not to mention all that excess biotin won't necessarily enhance any results so you will just be flushing your hard-earned money down the drain.
FAQs about biotin for hair
1) Can biotin make my body hair grow out too?
A. A common misconception about biotin, or any hair growth supplement, is that they can make your body hair grow out as well. This is not true since the hair follicles on your body do not follow the same rules as your scalp. Your body hair is designed to grow out only till a certain length and any amount of biotin won't change that. You might, however, notice a slight thickening of eyebrows on your face, but we think nobody can complain about that!
2) Are topical biotin supplements as good as oral ones?
A. Even though they are fairly new, topically applied biotin supplements have proven to be equally beneficial for hair as the oral ones. When applied topically, the formula is able to be directly supplied to your hair roots and doesn't have to make the journey from your internal system to the scalp. So, if you do not wish to consume oral supplements, liquid biotin can be applied topically for similar results.
3) What is the best time to take biotin supplements?
A. The most commonly recommended time slot to consume biotin supplements is with your morning meal. The water-soluble nature of biotin will ensure that your body is absorbing it with the other nutrients in your meal. Also, vitamin B is associated with a surge of energy levels in your body, which makes it an ideal supplement for day time, instead of the night as it may hinder your sleep.
4) Can consuming biotin for hair change your skin too?
A. Yes, oral biotin consumption for hair can change your skin too. But, these changes are not drastic and are on the positive side. Biotin use has been seen to help fortify dry skin by producing fatty acids that can help nourish your skin from the inside.
5) Can you keep taking biotin supplements forever?
A. It is often recommended to consult your doctor before starting biotin supplements so that you do not overdo it. And once started, you might consider taking the supplements till you see the desired difference in your mane. This is because your body is capable of producing biotin on its own, and does not need long-term help from supplements to meet optimum levels.