Biotin and Hair Growth: What You Need to Know
Taking Biotin for hair growth is a very popular trend in the Relaxed and Natural Hair Community. Many people have experienced increased hair growth by taking Biotin, while others experience detrimental results. Excessive shedding and acne are usually the unwanted adverse effects. While Biotin is a great vitamin to incorporate into your diet, it’s important to understand how it works—as with anything ingested—to reap the full benefits of it.
What exactly is Biotin?
Biotin, also called Vitamin B7 and Vitamin H, is a water-soluble vitamin known as the “Beauty Vitamin” for its effect on hair, skin, and nails. A few foods that are Biotin-enriched include beef liver, almonds, sweet potatoes, eggs, whole grains, peanuts, and kidney beans. When taken with other B-Vitamins, Biotin supports hormonal functions, maintain a healthy nervous system, and help in regulating energy. As with Biotin and other micronutrients, it’s vital to consume a proper amount of protein, fat, and carbohydrates (macronutrients) for them to be effective.
Hair, Skin, and Nails
Biotin’s role in cell generation produces protein. An adequate amount of protein makes hair and nails strong and resilient. In skin, Biotin breaks down fatty acids producing sebum which helps the skin retain moisture creating a healthy glow and minimizing the formation of wrinkles. Excessive amounts of Biotin can produce too much sebum which can clog pores and create acne. Overuse of Biotin has also been known to cause excess hair shedding on the scalp. I personally experienced this with taking 7,500 mcg of Biotin daily. The degree of adverse effects varies from person to person. I personally couldn’t take 7,500 mcg of Biotin daily but another person may be able to ingest 10,000 mcg of Biotin daily without negative results. If you want to incorporate more Biotin into your diet, I would suggest starting out with the Food and Drug Administration’s daily recommendation of 300 mcg and then increasing the dosage to see how your body reacts to it.
One of the most dubious swindles in hair care is Biotin-infused shampoos, conditioners, and styling products. Many of these products claim that applying Biotin topically will produce thicker hair. While many people experience voluminous hair with these products, the volume is usually contributed by the protein and/or emollients within the product and not the Biotin itself. It can not absorb into the hair nor the follicles and will be rinsed out the next time that you wash your hair. Biotin is way more beneficial when taken orally. For more information on other essential vitamins and minerals, visit the Hair and Nutrition section.
If you’ve taken Biotin before, how did it affect your hair? Comment below.
Nall, Rachel. “How Does Biotin Make Your Hair Grow Faster?” Live Strong, http://www.livestrong.com/article/69844-biotin-make-hair-grow-faster. Accessed 22 August 2016.
“Does Biotin Help Hair Growth – The Only Answer You Need” Viviscal, 11 December 2015, http://www.viviscal.com/blog/does-biotin-help-hair-growth.
Coffman, Melodie Anne. “How Does Biotin Make Your Hair Grow Faster?” Live Strong, http://www.livestrong.com/article/518341-can-you-take-biotin-supplement-with-multivitamins-every-day. Accessed 22 August 2016.
Ammina Rose is a hair and beauty enthusiast from Chicago, Illinois. She created Lovin’ Our Textures on the belief that all hair is beautiful no matter the texture or style preference. Follow her hair journey from Relaxed to Natural on Youtube and Instagram.