You perhaps didn’t hear of biotin before you researched hair loss treatments, and it is perhaps possible that you now have been reading about it a lot. Seems like every other product these days has biotin in it, and everyone seems to swear by its benefits! Proponents are claiming this vitamin to be a natural way to improve hair loss and even hair growth.
But the big question is whether biotin actually works? You will find the answer below.
What is biotin and how is it connected to hair?
Biotin, also known as Vitamin B-7 or Vitamin H, is an essential nutrient available in many foods. The main role of biotin is to convert the food you eat into stuff your body can actually use.
Biotin is also important in protein synthesis, particularly keratin production. Given that Keratin is the main building block for hair, nails, and skin, you definitely cannot ignore it. The good news is that mostly biotin can be absorbed through regular diet itself.
Is biotin safe?
Well, no points for guessing that right since we just told you that most people consume it as part of their diet anyways. So yes, it’s completely safe!
If you consume extra biotin, there is no evidence to prove that high levels could be toxic for you and therefore most people can take supplements without showing adverse side effects. However, keep in mind that abnormally high biotin levels could cause incorrect diagnostic and blood test results in certain cases.
Can biotin help to make reverse hair thinning and regrow hair?
According to the internet, biotin works magic and could solve all your hair issues. Before we get there, do you know why people think this way: While biotin deficiency is rare, side effects of such a deficiency can include thinning hair. This fact has led to the belief that more biotin could make your hair healthy — this belief has become so popular that the “H” in Vitamin H represents the German words for hair and skin.
Science supports this belief to some extent. Studies on biotin use and hair care benefits are limited, but promising. For example, a study mentioned in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology found that women with thinning hair who consumed biotin supplements showed thicker hair than those who took a placebo after 90 days, all with no side effects. Another study of those with male pattern baldness found that biotin supplements may improve hair thickness when added to a treatment plan.
So, while we can’t conclude that biotin blocks DHT (the hormone associated with male pattern baldness) —and therefore one cannot say more biotin means less hair loss— but yes, keeping your biotin intake in normal range definitely keeps your hair looking best.
Which forms is biotin available in (and what’s best for your hair)?
If you want to promote hair health with biotin, here are a few options for you.
Pills/ gummies are common and you’ve probably come across them while researching hair loss treatments. Again, while taking these are unlikely to hurt you, they are perhaps an overkill unless you have biotin deficiency. Most contain far more biotin than your body needs and, since it’s a water-soluble vitamin, you’ll just pee out the excess. Also, as mentioned above, taking excess biotin can affect blood tests, so you’ll want to talk to your doctor before going down this path.
(Side note: Usage of Biotin has to be differently viewed for pregnant mothers, as biotin is critical for the developing baby and deficiency is more common in folks who are expecting. Anyone in this situation should talk to their doctor about the benefits and safety of biotin supplements!)
Shampoos and Serums
Then there are topical forms of biotin—like shampoos or serums—marketed toward hair thickening and hair regrowth. There are no studies available on whether topical applications of biotin are effective for hair, however it’s fair to assume that it may help those with a deficiency without harming those people who don’t have one.
The good news is biotin is easy to get in your regular diet. Foods that provide most biotin include:
- Pork chops
- Hamburger patties
- Sunflower seeds
- Sweet potatoes
- Cheddar cheese
So now that we know biotin has some benefits but not to the extent that it caters to male pattern baldness, how do you proceed? There are two FDA-approved and clinically-proven treatments that do prevent hair loss: Finasteride and Minoxidil, but this is more or less a lifetime treatment plan and cannot regrow hair. For those who want permanent new hair, hair transplant surgery is the only viable solution. And for those who would rather prefer non-surgical solutions, there are more effective hair regrowth options such as PRP hair Treatment, Hair Mesotherapy and Laser Hair Therapy.
Combine those with the right amount of biotin — as well as a few other natural ingredients like caffeine, saw palmetto, and green tea — we promise you a head of hair that looks as healthy as possible.