Biotin for hair growth – How does it work?
What is Biotin?
Biotin is a B group vitamin that is contained in foods such as eggs, mushrooms, nuts and bananas.
It is also commonly referred to as vitamin H (It is the same thing).
Biotin is required by your body to keep your eyes, liver, skin, nervous system and hair healthy.
The majority of people receive enough biotin through foods in their diet. However, it is possible to be unknowingly suffering from a deficiency.
When taking biotin for hair growth or to slow down hair loss, larger doses of the vitamin are normally taken (generally in supplement form).
Looking at almost any product (shampoo, pill or lotion) that promotes hair growth, you will likely see biotin as one of the main active ingredients. BUT does it work? How much should you take? and where do you get it?
How does biotin help hair growth?
Your hair and nails are made up of a protein called keratin. Biotin helps the body to synthesis keratin which improves both the thickness and infrastructure of this protein. This in turn results in a thicker more durable hair.
Biotin not only improves the thickness and health of your hair but it also promotes healthy skin. This is incredibly beneficial for our hair as our hair follicles are located in our skin cells. Healthy skin means that the process of transporting protein into the root of the hair is vastly improved (i.e. hair growth is promoted).
A biotin deficiency will mean that the health of your hair can suffer. One of the tell tale signs of a biotin deficiency is brittle and thin nails, frizzy damaged hair and in severe cases, hair loss.
Biotin deficiencies are often experienced by athletes, elderly, those with a poor diet and breastfeeding mothers.
It is very important for the health of your hair to be receiving enough of this vitamin.
How do I take biotin?
There are many different ways in which to take biotin. The primary way we intake this vitamin is through our diet. However, when taken for hair loss doses are usually much higher.
Biotin is available in supplement form, in topical lotions and also in hair loss shampoos.
The dose taken to use biotin for hair growth depends on many factors including:
- Your health;
- Diet and;
- Your physical activity.
A general guideline for a dosage used to treat hair loss is between 30mcg and 100mcg (micrograms) for adults over the age of 18.
Biotin is water-soluble, this means that any overdose of the vitamin you take will be passed as urine.
It is worth noting that some people experience mild side effects when supplementing with biotin including nausea and digestive issues.
No known toxicity symptoms are associated with too much biotin.
Biotin is available from any local pharmacy. Alternatively it can be included in a shampoo or multivitamin you take daily.
See here for a list of shampoos with biotin that I have reviewed.
If you are wanting to supplement biotin there are pills available for purchase online such as here.
Biotin is an essential vitamin needed to maintain hair health, promote the growth of hair and to prevent hair loss.
It is unreasonable to expect biotin to treat your hair loss or grow back your hair on its own, but combined with other products like minoxidil it can work wonders.
While many people report very positive results while supplementing the vitamin, it is used as an ancillary aid that compliments a more robust hair treatment regime.