Does Biotin Really Help Your Hair Stay Healthy
You probably didnt even know the word biotin before you started researching hair loss treatments, but now were going to guess youve become quite familiar. It feels like every other product these days has biotin in it, every other influencer or forum swearing its the miracle cure. This vitamin has been touted as a natural way to improve everything from strength to thickness, and has become very popular in hair-related products and treatments.
But does biotin actually work to prevent hair loss? It can be hard to sort the actual science from someone just telling you what you want to hear so youll buy their product, so we did the work for you to figure out what biotin can actually do to help, and where you might want to pair it with more proven methods in the journey toward the hair of your dreams.
Precautions For Biotin Supplementation
Biotin is water-soluble, so whatever is not absorbed will pass through the system and be expelled in urine. In that sense, most people dont have to worry about taking too much. In fact, some people take a supplement that contains 10,000 times the daily adequate intake amount of 30 mcg, and they experience no adverse effects.
However, if you have adrenal fatigue and NEM dysregulation, it is still important to be cautious with all supplements. Your system is more fragile and your Detoxification Circuit is more overloaded than normal. So even a relatively safe supplement can still add pressure to your adrenals and worsen your AFS.
You may even experience paradoxical effects. Meaning, the opposite effects of what the supplement is supposed to help with. In the case of biotin, a paradoxical reaction may make hair, skin, nail, and blood sugar issues worse, not better. Or, if youre in a really fragile state, you may even experience an adrenal crash.
There have also been some reports of high-dose biotin supplements creating abnormalities in thyroid test results. And since the thyroid is part of the Hormone Circuit of your NEM, it may already be affected. So getting an accurate test result is useful if you have thyroid issues, and it might be a good idea not to take this supplement while doing so.
All of these precautions can be easily dealt with if you follow the guidance of a health professional with experience in AFS and NEM issues.
Other Benefits Of Biotin
Although more research is needed to assess its effects on hair growth, biotin does have several proven benefits.
For example, biotin is one of several B vitamins that support a healthy metabolism. Biotin converts glucose from carbohydrates into energy for the body and aids amino acids in carrying out normal bodily functions.
Biotin is also thought to:
- reduce inflammation
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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.
So Does Biotin Shampoo Actually Work
Biotin is available as a health supplement. Its also frequently used in hair loss treatment shampoos. Our Hers hair loss shampoo contains biotin as one of several active ingredients designed to prevent hair thinning and encourage healthy hair growth.
So, does it work? Unlike many other shampoo ingredients that make big promises, biotin for hair loss really is backed up by proven science.
First, its closely linked to an improvement in hair growth in one recent study. Sixty women took part in the study, with 30 receiving a placebo and the other 30 receiving a biotin supplement. At the end of the 90 day study, women in the biotin group noticed an improvement in hair growth.
Its important to point out that this study was funded by Lifes2good, Inc., which manufactures a biotin-based supplement. The supplement given to the biotin group also contained a variety of other hair growth ingredients.
Other studies also back up the idea that biotin for hair loss can contribute to a reversal of hair loss and an improvement in growth. In a 2014 study, children with a medication-induced biotin deficiency showed a reversal in hair loss symptoms after consuming a biotin supplement.
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How Long Until You See Results
Most people wont see any noticeable benefits until theyve increased their intake for several months. For best results, you should be consistent in your intake.
If youre increasing your intake through food, youll need to eat several biotin-rich foods on a daily basis to actually ingest enough biotin to make a difference.
If youre taking a supplement, its important that you take it daily or as your doctor instructs you to.
Although research is limited, studies from 2012 and 2015 suggest that results may be seen in as little as 90 days.
This includes an increase in growth and shine. Its thought that the longer you consume a higher dose, the better your results will be.
Benefits Of Biotin For Hair
Biotin, also known as vitamin B-7, is an essential nutrient that is most often found naturally in food biotin-rich foods include cereals , vegetables , and rice.”Biotin converts glucose from carbohydrates into energy for the body and aids amino acids in carrying out normal bodily functions,” says Phipps.
For anyone on Instagram, however, biotin is perhaps most famous for its purported ability to pump up hair and nails. Biotin “is well known for its positive effects on hair including growing stronger thicker strands,” says Friese. “Stronger hair is less likely to break off at the ends, promoting and protecting length.”
Phipps says that biotin improves the infrastructure of keratin, a basic protein that makes up hair, skin, and nails, “but beyond that, researchers arent really sure what biotins role in hair or skincare is. There is some research to suggest that increased biotin intake can improve overall hair quality, including thickness and shine.”
Emphasis on the “some,” however. While biotin plays a role in healthy hair, skin, and nails, the efficacy of biotin supplementationbeyond the biotin you get from simply eating a balanced and nutritious dietis up for debate. “If you arent getting enough biotin, you may experience hair loss,” says Phipps. “However, a deficiency is rare. In most cases, the biotin you get from your diet is enough for you to reap the health benefits it offers.”
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How Much Biotin Should You Take To Treat Hair Loss
Just because you are experiencing hair loss doesnt mean you should jump straight into scheduling a hair transplant. There are a handful of effective non-surgical hair growth treatments available that can help stop and reverse hair loss.
Among the various medical treatments for hair loss is a vitamin known as biotin.
Biotin is a vitamin that is vital in helping the body breakdown various substances such as fats and carbohydrates. It helps your body convert food into energy as well as helps with the health of your hair, skin and nails.
So before you decide that your only option to treat your hair loss is a hair transplant, lets take a look at biotin What it is, how it can help treat hair loss, how much you should take, and what sort of results you can expect from this treatment.
Home Remedies For Hair Growth
Whether youre taking biotin or not, there are a number of things you can do at home to help give you healthy hair. Perhaps the best place to start is with changes to your diet or lifestyle. Eating foods like salmon, tuna, and walnuts that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids can improve hair health. Avoiding cigarettes can eliminate the damage that smoking does to your hair. And if you blow dry your hair or use hot styling tools, you should know that heat is a common cause of dry, brittle hair.
Avoid trauma to your hair, Dr. Johnson advises. Keep your scalp happy with antidandruff shampoos and non-waxy conditioners, and do all of the things that promote overall health: sleep, limit stress, eat well, hydrate, exercise.
Massaging your scalp will increase blood flow to your scalp, which can help encourage hair growth. You can do this with just your fingers, or you can massage in creams or oils. Aloe vera can help unblock clogged hair follicles, and coconut oil, fish oil, or castor oil can make your hair more lustrous. Essential oils like rosemary oil, geranium oil, and lemon oil may help hair grow, and even onion juice can stimulate hair regrowth and treat conditions like alopecia areata as long as you can stand the smell.
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Does Biotin Help Prevent Hair Loss
Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, stimulates keratin production in hair and can increase the rate of follicle growth. It is not stored for long in the body – most of yours is from the foods you eat. In order to be effective, it needs to be consumed. According to a 2017 review in the journal Skin Appendage Disorders, there is little conclusive evidence that biotin reduces hair loss, but it remains a popular supplement for hair, skin, and nail growth.
“Biotin supplementation may be helpful for people who are truly biotin-deficient, but biotin deficiency is quite rare amongst the general population,” Gary Linkov, MD, a facial plastic surgeon and hair restoration specialist at City Facial Plastics in New York City, tells WebMD Connect to Care.
While biotin is added to some shampoos that claim to reduce hair loss, there is no evidence that this works. Consuming foods rich in healthy vitamins and minerals will help with overall hair health. The best natural sources of biotin are meat, eggs, fish, seeds, nuts, and vegetables. These will help fortify your hair follicle by boosting your keratin, according to the National Institutes of Health.
According to Mayo Clinic, other treatments they may recommend include Minoxidil, otherwise known as Rogaine, or Finasteride, otherwise known as Propecia, as a prescription treatment. Hair loss is very common and there are treatments to help reduce the rate at which you shed your hair.
Other Nutrients And Hair Loss
One vitamin that does pose problems for your hair when taken in excess is vitamin A. Hypervitaminosis A, or excess vitamin A, can cause hair loss when taken in excess of 50,000 international units per day, according to Huntington College of Health Sciences. It would be difficult to get that much from food, but taking megadoses of supplements could put you over the limit. Your problem could result from a deficiency in any number of other vitamins or minerals that support hair growth. Huntington College of Health Sciences notes vitamins C and E and the minerals calcium, selenium, zinc and iodine as being important for healthy hair growth.
- One vitamin that does pose problems for your hair when taken in excess is vitamin A. Hypervitaminosis A, or excess vitamin A, can cause hair loss when taken in excess of 50,000 international units per day, according to Huntington College of Health Sciences.
- See your doctor to rule out any nutrient deficiencies or excess levels of vitamin A.While hair loss is often hereditary, there are methods to slow hair loss or maintain the hair that you have.
- ( The UMMC recommends being tested for food sensitivities and eating plenty of antioxidant-rich foods such as blueberries, tomatoes and squashes, avoiding refined foods like white bread and pasta, using healthy oils like olive oil in your cooking and reducing your intake of trans fats found in commercial baked goods.
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Is Biotin Safe For Underactive Thyroid
Many patients are taking megadoses of biotin that can cause falsely high and falsely low results in a variety of laboratory tests, including thyroid tests. Patients are taking these supplements mainly to improve their hair, skin, and nails and might not consider them medications to report on their list.
Can Too Much Biotin Cause Hair Loss
Biotin probably does not cause hair loss. It is common for dermatologists to recommend biotin to encourage hair growth and nail growth.
Having said that, when you first start taking biotin, you might experience some extra shedding because your hair will start growing at a faster rate, and the rate of hair fall might increase.
So biotin can alter your hair growth cycle. Generally, this early stage loss will stop after continuing to use biotin regularly.
Does biotin thicken existing hair follicles? There isnt any scientific evidence that it does, but there are claims that it can. It is important to remember that what works for one person doesnt always work for everyone.
If the cause of hair loss is related to a hormonal imbalance, or other underlying issues that need to be addressed, biotin supplementation may not lead to the hair restoration youre seeking.
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Are There Any Side Effects From Biotin
There have not been any documented side effects from taking biotin supplements. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult their physician before taking a biotin supplement.
In rare cases, there are individuals who may have an allergic reaction to biotin supplements. Anyone who has a known allergy to cobalt or cobalamin should not take biotin.
The primary signs of an allergic reaction to biotin are tightness in the chest and throat accompanied by throat pain . This is an emergency situation which can lead to loss of consciousness and respiratory distress.
If you suffer from hypo- or hyperglycemia, you should speak to your doctor before taking a biotin supplement, as high doses can affect your metabolism and thereby have an effect on your blood sugar levels.