BIOTIN! We are sure that you have recently heard a lot about it in connection with hair growth. Haven’t you? But do you really have any idea about what biotin is and how it is linked to the growth of your mane? Probably not, right? Let’s help you out:
A Few Words About Biotin
Biotin (also known as vitamin H, coenzyme R, and biotina) is a water-soluble, B-complex vitamin (precisely said, vitamin B7) present naturally in a wide range of foods and also available as a vitamin supplement. Clinical studies have revealed that biotin plays a key role in maintaining the natural health of our skin, hair, and nails. It has also been found to keep our nervous system, liver, and eyes healthy by promoting their natural functionalities. Moreover, it ensures normal development of fetal during pregnancy.
Though our body produces biotin naturally, it is unable to store the same. Hence, we often go low on it due to its deficiency in our daily diet, which eventually causes dryness of skin, scaling around mouth, acute hair loss, poor hair growth, dry eyes, brittle nails, exhaustion, depression, cradle cap (infants), type-2 diabetes, obesity, and so on. Regular intake of biotin supplements has been reported to stimulate the natural production of biotin in our body, thereby reducing its deficiency and encouraging our skin and hair health.
How Does Biotin Work For Hair Growth?
The biotin treatment for hair has become the latest trend in the beauty industry. People are including the vitamin in their regular beauty regimen by all possible means with a strong hope of reduced hair fall, significant hair growth, and beautiful hair texture. Though there are not plenty of facts to confirm it officially, researchers have found that the vitamin is capable of treating alopecia to some extent by controlling hair loss. Here are two ways in which biotin actually works for our tresses:
- Biotin aids in the proliferation of hair cells, which is essential for healthy hair growth. It reacts with specific enzymes present in our hair cells, which play key roles in amino acid production in our body. Our hair fibers are mainly made of a protein named ‘keratin’ and amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Hence, an increase in amino acid production actually strengthens the hair fibers and makes them grow faster.
- Biotin helps in breaking down foods and releasing energy in our body, which improves the circulation of blood throughout the scalp. Thus, the hair follicles are made healthier and stronger to support less hair breakage, fuller locks, and faster hair growth.
How To Get Biotin For Hair Growth?
There are three different ways to give your locks the much-needed biotin boost:
- Biotin-rich foods like fruits (avocado, raspberry, strawberry, cranberry, banana, cucumber, etc.), vegetables (carrot, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, swiss chard, etc.), turkey, beef, chicken, pork, fish (salmon, sardine, tuna, trout, herring, halibut, etc.), egg (cooked), liver, seafood, soybeans, nuts and beans (almonds, peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashew nuts, pecans, black-eyed beans, etc.), sunflower seeds, mushroom, whole grains, cereals, yeast, dairy products (milk, buttermilk, yogurt, cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, etc.), peanut butter, and so forth.
- Biotin supplements (pills, tablets, gel capsules, etc.)
- Biotin-infused hair products (oils, shampoos, styling gels, etc.)
However, the efficacy of biotin products is yet to be established. Therefore, sticking to the first two choices is a wise idea.
Dosage of Biotin For Hair Growth
As there is no limitation to the dietary intake of biotin, we do not know about any Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). What we need to follow is the suggested levels of adequate intake in order to make sure that we get enough of the vitamin daily. According to the Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board, here are the daily intake recommendations of biotin:
- Adult male – 19 mcg / day
- Adult female – 30 mcg / day
- Pregnant woman – 30 mcg / day
- Nursing woman – 35 mcg / day
When it comes to treating hair loss, dermatologists usually recommend intake of 1 to 5 mg of biotin every day. However, reports say that a daily dose of 1000 to 5000 mcg of biotin (taken in two halves) gives stronger, longer, healthier, and fuller locks over time.
Side Effects And Warning
Biotin is absolutely non-toxic and safe to use. Even an over-consumption of the vitamin (up to 300,000 mcg / day) can be tolerated by our body without adverse side effects (some people may experience allergic reactions though). But it is recommended that you do not take the vitamin more than 10000 mcg / day. Start with 2500 mcg/ day or so and increase the amount gradually as your body becomes habituated. It is also advised that you consult with your doctor before starting the intake of biotin supplements and follow the prescribed dosage only.
In the end, one must remember that biotin cannot give overnight results. It also does not work equally for everyone due to a number of metabolic factors. So, follow a healthy hair care regimen along with your external biotin intake to see the maximum effects.