The Relationship Between Dht & Baldness
Male pattern baldness can take several forms, from a receding hairline to diffuse thinning across your crown or entire scalp. With a few exceptions , the key cause is always the same: sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone, more commonly known as DHT.
DHT is a byproduct of testosterone. When your body produces testosterone, a small amount is converted into DHT. This DHT can bind to receptors in your scalp and cause the hair follicles to deteriorate over time, resulting in a receding hairline or thinning hair.
Because the hair follicles at the front and crown of your scalphave the most receptors, theyre usually the first to be affected by hair loss.
Everyone has a different sensitivity level to DHT. This is why some men start to go bald early in life while others maintain a full hairline as they age. If youre sensitive to DHT, youll eventually start to lose your hair regardless of your diet and vitamin consumption.
You can learn more about the role DHT plays in male pattern baldness in our guide to DHT and male hair loss. If youve noticed your hairline starting to recede or your hair beginning to thin, its probably the result of sensitivity to DHT.
Since biotin is a vitamin, it doesnt have any effect on the conversion of testosterone to DHT.
However, some research indicates that biotin supplementation may have an effect on hair growth, making it a useful addition to your hair growth supplement stack when used alongside a DHT-blocker like finasteride.
Why You Should Be Cautious Of Taking Biotin For Your Hair Skin & Nails
“Beauty Glossary” is a HuffPost series that breaks down beauty product techniques, treatments and ingredients so you know exactly what you’re putting onto and into your body.
While perusing the shelves at your local drugstore or natural health foods shop, you’ve probably stumbled across a bottle labeled “Biotin.” “These B complex vitamins are important in metabolism, helping your body to process energy and transporting carbon dioxide from your body’s cells,” says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Susan Stuart.
Lofty claims that biotin can help grow healthier and stronger hair, skin and nails has sparked a generation of pill-popping women who desire these beauty benefits. But is it doing more harm than good to their bodies?
Dr. Richard Scher, a dermatologist who is widely known for his expertise on nail care and disorders, argues that it isn’t totally clear what role biotin plays. However, he believes taking the vitamin does improve the keratin infrastructure .
“Biotin deficiency is rare and low levels may result in brittle nails and hair loss,” explains Dr. Stuart. “However, hair loss and brittle nails may have multiple causes and taking biotin supplements may actually halt this process and even help to reverse it.”
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What Should I Do If My Hair Is Shedding
If youre suffering from hair loss and hair shedding, one of your first steps should be to make an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist for a full examination of the scalp, blood work, and a discussion about new, innovative treatments that can help, Zeichner says.
You may get recommendations for over-the-counter treatments like Rogaine or supplements like Viviscal, Zeichner says. If you have dandruff in the skin you may get a recommendation for a dandruff shampoo like Dove Derma Care scalp, which contains zinc pyrithione, an ingredient that helps lower levels of yeast on the scalp, which promotes inflammation and can contribute to hair thinning.
Other in-office procedures that can help with hair loss include platelet rich plasma , in which your own blood is processed to separate out red blood cells from the serum, which contains high levels of growth factors. These growth factors are then injected directly to the areas where the hair is thinning to help promote optimal growth of the hair in those areas, Zeichner says.
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Why Does Hair Shed Anyway
In order to properly treat hair shedding, its crucial to understand all of the culprits that could be driving this changeand there are more possibilities than you might think.
Healthy hair undergoes three stages during the life cycle, including a growing stage , a short preparation stage, and a few months of resting, explains Dr. Erica Walters, an aesthetic medicine practitioner and medical director at Park Avenue Skin Solutions and Tribeca Wellness Collective. When the resting stage is over, hair sheds normally and the cycle repeats itself. Walters notes that one of the most common causes of excess hair shedding is stress, especially in younger womenwhich may explain why youre losing hair before age 30 and years before menopausebut stress may not be the sole factor.
Other common causes include hormone imbalances , extreme dieting, anemia, thyroid dysfunction, and certain vitamin deficiencies, Walters says. Genetics and auto-immune disease can also cause hair loss and thinning. For all ages, I gather a detailed medical history including diet, exercise, life events and stressors, medication or drug use, and even patterns of hair styling and coloring. Basic lab work would include hormone and thyroid testing, vitamin levels, electrolytes, and a complete blood count to rule out any abnormalities.
One solution you likely wont encounter at Walters office? You guessed it: biotin.
How To Restore My Hair Loss With Biotin
Whether your hair loss is temporary or permanent, a condition also known as alopecia, can depend on a variety of factors, such as genetics, hormone levels, overall health, nutrition, and even stress and certain medications. Most people have slower hair growth as they age, due to the bodys overall growth and rejuvenation processes slowing down. Your hair loss may be just the normal cycle, or may be permanent due to certain conditions. Also can cause your hair follicles to fall out and new ones to not grow in their place.
However, just because you are experiencing hair loss doesnt mean you need to jump up and schedule a hair transplant. While it is one of the most common treatments for helping those who suffer from hair loss, it is a big decision to make, and should only be made after a consultation with a hair restoration specialist. While hair transplants do help give people with hair loss a new-found confidence, there are also a handful of effective non-surgical hair growth treatments available that can help stop and even reverse hair loss. One of the most common hair health treatments is through the use of a supplement called Biotin. So what exactly is Biotin, and most importantly, will it help restore hair loss?
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Can You Use It Topically
Biotin is a common ingredient in topical hair care products. In this form, it will strengthen the surface of your hair strands, according to Jaliman. However, biotin’s hair benefits are less effective when applied topically, she adds. So, if you’re looking to get the most hair benefits from biotin, supplements may be the way to go.*
Can Biotin Help Thinning Hair Look Better
According to the internet, biotin will solve all your hair issues. But how much of that is actually true?
Lets start with why people think this: While biotin deficiency is rare, side effects of a deficiency can include thinning hair. That fact has led to the idea that more biotin would therefore support healthier haira belief so popular that the H in Vitamin H represents the German words for hair and skin. Given biotins role in keratin production , this is an understandable assumption.
Science seems to support this beliefto a point. Studies on biotin use and hair quality have been limited, but promising.
For instance, a study published in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology found that women with thinning hair who took biotin supplements had thicker hair than those who took a placebo after 90 days, and experienced no side effects. However, in a review of 18 different case reports and clinical trials related to biotin use for hair loss, researchers found that people who saw improved hair texture from biotin supplements tended to be those who had underlying conditions causing a deficiency which is, again, pretty rare.
Another study of those with male pattern baldness specifically found that biotin supplementation may improve hair quality and texture when added to a treatment plan, but did not show it decreased hair loss in any way.
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Biotin Vs Keratin Supplement: Which Is Best
Now that you better understand the connection between biotin and keratin, as well as how this relates back to hair health, you may be wondering which of the two is better to supplement with.
The truth is, each supplement works differently to support healthy hair production.
So, which should you choose?
If you had to pick, Id recommend biotin.
Biotin performs many functions that support hair health. These include acting as mini-transporters to deliver oxygen cells to the follicles, and aiding in the production of amino acids. These are incredibly important to overall health, but also to the hair and scalp specifically.
Remember, keratin is a protein which is formed from amino acids. As such, biotin supports the production of keratin.
But are keratin supplements helpful?
The answer to this is a bit tricky.
Keratin is actually quite difficult to convert into supplement form, so many keratin supplements dont offer much support to the hair, skin, and nails at all.
There are some ingredients that are better at doing so than others such as Cynatine HNS but their results also havent been proven.
Due to this, I highly recommend you seek out biotin supplements over keratin.
Does Biotin Really Work For Hair Growth
Although its easy to find numerous websites touting biotin for hair regrowth , the official word from the National Institutes of HealthOffice of Dietary Supplements is that there is little scientific evidence to support these claims, and more research is needed before biotin can be recommended for any of these conditions.
We used to think that biotin worked for hair growth, but the science is more contradictory now, says Sandra Marchese Johnson, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist at Johnson Dermatology in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Research shows there is no to limited benefit.
Deirdre Hooper, MD, cofounder of Audubon Dermatology in New Orleans adds: Although some very small studies have shown some improvement in hair or nail diseases with biotin supplementation several studies have shown biotin to interfere with many blood tests, including thyroid and cardiac function tests.
Not everyone is so down on biotin, however. A 2019 article from theCleveland Clinic claimed that dermatologists have quietly prescribed biotin as a hair loss treatment for many years, even though the research hasnt proved its health benefits. Why? Because some believe it works and it is not known to be harmful.
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What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking Finasteride
Before taking finasteride, tell your healthcare provider if you:
- have any other medical conditions, including problems with your prostate or liver
- Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your healthcare provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.
Safety And Side Effects
Before you start taking nutritional supplements, its a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider.
Even natural supplements have the potential to cause side effects and over-supplementation with certain vitamins and minerals can lead to health problems.
Many healthcare professionals caution against taking supplements unless you have a specific nutritional deficiency.
Fortunately, there is no evidence that biotin is toxic in humans at high intake levels. Even studies involving daily intakes up to 50mg per day failed to produce symptoms of toxicity.
Though biotin hasnt been shown to have any risk for adverse effects, daily use hasnt been tested for safety in pregnant women, nursing mothers, or children.
If you have a medical condition or youre taking medication, talk to your healthcare provider about the potential risks for side effects and drug interactions before taking biotin supplements. Its always better to be safe than sorry.
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Biotin And Hair Health
Keratin is a protein that is found abundantly in the hair, skin, and nails . Biotin aids in the catabolism of amino acids, which is a breaking down of the molecules in order for new proteins to be formed . One such protein thats formed as a result? Keratin.
This means that biotin plays an indirect role in the health of the hair, skin, and nails.
And while there isnt much direct evidence to support this, theres one reason that scientists believe biotin plays a major role in hair health.
When an individual is diagnosed with biotin deficiency, they tend to have a common set of symptoms . One of these is noticeable thinning and recession of the hairline.
How Biotin Can Improve Hair Growth
Our hair and nails are made from protein know as keratin which we can get from the foods we eat. Biotin’s involvement in protein synthesis and keratin production allows this vitamin to contribute to healthy nail and hair growth. Whilst biotin deficiency is rare, symptoms do include thinning hair and brittle nails.
However, according to studies carried out to test the effect of biotin supplements on hair growth, results appear to show that little change occurs in healthy individuals. Only those who are low in this vitamin will find any improvements from taking supplements.
Several factors can make you more susceptible to biotin deficiency. According to the National Institute of Health, the following groups are at a higher risk:
- Individuals with chronic health conditions
- Those living with alcoholism
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women
These groups are at higher risk because they are less able to absorb vitamins and minerals from their diet.
If youre experiencing thinning hair and want to find out more about hair loss products and treatments take a look at our hair loss collection to explore our full range including medicated Regaine , as well as serums and shampoos.
Best Biotin For Hair Growth
If youve spoken with a healthcare provider and decided to take a biotin supplement as part of your hair care regimen, you may be aware that the market is flooded with biotin supplements that all make the same claims. How can you tell which ones are the best? The answer depends on what youre looking for specifically and what you consider important.
Based on reviews, if you just want biotin without any other vitamins or nutrients,Meribin High Potency Biotin, a 5,000 mcg capsule, is a trusted name. Customers say another good, inexpensive choice is Natures Bounty Biotin Softgels, which come in 5,000 mcg and 10,000 mcg sizes. If youre looking for a little less biotin, some recommend trying Solgar Biotin, a 3,000 mcg tablet that is vegan, non-GMO, and gluten free. If you want something you can chew on, people like Vitafusion Biotin gummies, which are 5,000 mcg and naturally blueberry flavored with no high-fructose corn syrup.
Other popular choices for hair growth include:
- Zhou Hairfluence, which has 5,000 mcg of biotin, collagen, hydrolyzed keratin, and other essential vitamins
- Code Age hair vitamins, which contain 10,000 mcg of biotin and other hair-healthy ingredients
- MegaFood Skin, Nails & Hair, which has 300 mcg of biotin and a special support blend made from organic plants.
- Nutrafol, which has 3,000 mcg of biotin, selenium, iodine, and vitamin C, A, and D
- Viviscal, which has 120 mcg of biotin and a proprietary marine complex of amino acids