Biotin is one of the B vitamins that are essential for healthy hair and nails, and many choose to eat a biotin supplement in an effort to help strengthen their hair. But is it effective, and if so, why?
Biotin is a water soluble B vitamin, number B7 in the B vitamin complex. It helps create important enzymes in the body. Biotin is not only good for our hair and nails, but also for the skin, nerves, digestion and metabolism. It is often said to be the most important vitamin for our “beauty.”
How Does a Biotin Supplement Work?
Biotin makes sure the cells in the body rejuvenate, and that goes for the hair follicles and scalp as well. The faster the follicles and hair regenerate, the fuller your hair will look. Exactly how this works, is through the metabolism of the cells. Biotin will break down the protein we eat into different amino acids. These form keratin, the main building block of the hair. More keratin production means stronger and healthier hair.
Biotin will also improve the elasticity of the hair, which prevents breakage and dryness. That is the reason many hair care products contain biotin as an extra boost.
But you can also eat a biotin supplement to make the change happen from within. All hair growth supplements worth their name should include biotin as an ingredient.
Research on Biotin For Hair Growth
There have been several studies on this issue and there is no question that our bodies need biotin for healthy hair growth. A 2015 study by Dr. Glynis Ablon involved 60 women with self-perceived hair loss, with a median age of 48.6 years. They were divided into two groups. One received an oral supplement containing biotin and zinc twice daily. The other group received a placebo supplement.
After three months, the results showed that the group that received the real supplement had an increased hair mass after 90 days of treatment, but the test group that received a placebo treatment did not. The first group also shed less hair during controlled hair washing than the placebo group. The results confirmed other studies showing similar results.
Is This For Me?
As mentioned above, biotin supplements will benefit your hair growth through the cell reactions it enables. But it is not enough in and of itself to eat a biotin supplement to prevent all kinds of hair loss. Hair loss is a multifaceted issue that can have many different reasons. It can be hereditary, temporary, and for some people, unavoidable.
If you suffer from hair loss, it is important to get diagnosed. But if it seems temporary, or you just notice some hair thinning, biotin will always be beneficial for your hair. Eating a biotin supplement is, of course, recommended if you suffer from biotin deficiency. That shows through weak and brittle nails, thinning hair, and in some cases, muscle pain, skin changes, nausea or fatigue.
Dietary Sources of Biotin
However, it is not necessary to eat a supplement to get enough biotin. Biotin can also be found in food, most commonly in cauliflower, carrots, bananas, eggs, chicken, Swiss chard, nuts, salmon and dairy products.