Hair loss is a common problem reported among men and women alike – so it’s no surprise that a plethora of products has come up that help with keeping your hair healthy. One product that’s gotten a lot of attention is biotin: a supplement that’s supposed to give you healthier skin, hair, and nails.
But how exactly does biotin help with hair, and are the effects worth it? Initial results from biotin supplements have shown promising outcomes, though science is still firmly undecided on the exact effects that taking biotin has on hair growth and hair health. But if you are curious and want to try the effects of biotin for yourself, here are some things you should keep in mind.
What Is Biotin?
Biotin is a part of the Vitamin B group and is mainly responsible for converting the food that we eat into energy. Also known as Vitamin B7 or Vitamin H, it helps your body keep its keratin structures – specifically your skin, hair, and nails – healthy by helping metabolic processes like glucose production function as intended.
Normally, we get plenty of biotin from the food that we eat. Eggs, meats like the liver, leafy greens, and legumes are all rich sources of biotin. In fact, biotin is one of the more common nutrients that you can get in the food that you eat, which helps keep your hair and skin in good shape.
Biotin And Hair Growth
So why take biotin for hair growth? The principle behind how biotin products work is that the higher the levels of biotin in your body, the healthier your hair will be. Healthy hair is far more resilient against hair fall, looks more vibrant, and isn’t so easily damaged by the sun or other environmental factors.
It’s a good idea in theory – and initial results with test volunteers have been promising. However, while the theory behind biotin boosting hair growth is sound, it’s a little less understood in practice.
While scientific studies have been done on the role of biotin in the growth of hair, there hasn’t been that much study to conclusively prove that taking biotin supplements (or increasing the biotin in your body overall) can help with hair growth. The studies that we already made do show that people who take biotin supplements generally have healthier hair – but it’s not possible to make a direct link, at least not yet.
There are three possible reasons why this is the case:
Biotin Isn’t The Only Thing That Makes Your Hair Healthy
While biotin may play a key role in how your hair, skin, and nails develop, it’s not the only food-derived compound that can do that. Vitamins A, D, and E are all crucial to the growth of your skin and hair, and it’s already possible that you’re getting enough of those in the other foods that you eat.
These additional vitamins (along with minerals like iron and zinc) can be more than enough to make your hair healthy, which means that any biotin you’ll be taking won’t make that much of a difference. Unless you’re actively suffering from a pre-existing condition that targets your hair, you’ll most likely be fine.
You Already Get Enough Biotin From The Food You Eat
Another reason why you may not see that much change from biotin is that your body already gets plenty of it from the food you eat without the need for supplements. Biotin can be found in a lot of different food groups, so your body usually gets the necessary amount of biotin needed to function every day.
Unless you’re suffering from a biotin deficiency (which is extremely rare), it’s unlikely that taking any supplements can have a significant effect on how healthy your hair grows. You may notice some small, long-term visible changes, but nothing too drastic.
Biotin Is Rarely Found By Itself
Finally, biotin isn’t an isolated vitamin that you can get from supplements alone: it’s one of the most plentiful vitamins that your body has access to. Like vitamin C and other essential nutrients, your body doesn’t naturally produce biotin on its own, which means it draws it automatically from the food that you eat.
Because there’s no such thing as raw biotin, it’s difficult to make a link of how effective biotin is on its own with hair growth. It can have a drastic effect, but since there are a lot more vitamins and nutrients involved, it can be difficult to say for certain.
Overall, biotin is one of those products that may make a difference with your hair, but don’t expect it to have some really astonishing results compared to other cosmetic treatments. There are no side effects associated with taking biotin supplements – at least none so far – so they’re generally safe to add to your diet.
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Biotin can be a great addition to your diet if you want healthier, more lustrous hair – but it’s important to manage your expectations about its effects. While there has been some evidence that supports the role biotin has in improving your hair, a lot more research needs to be done on how effective it can be. If you are planning on using biotin for your hair, always make sure to check with a medical or cosmetic professional.
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