The Biotin Boon for Hair
Biotin is nothing short of a wonder drug for hair, as it comes with a range of benefits that ensure the health of your strands and provides effective remedies for various hair issues. It is an essential vitamin and the body needs these micronutrients in ample measure to function properly. The biotin stimulates the keratin and thereby enhances the rate of growth of the hair follicles. This is what makes biotin good for hair. Since it is not stored in the body, it needs to be consumed to be effective. The biotin produced in the gut by the bacteria is enough to meet the needs of the body. But it has increasingly came to be used as an over-the-counter supplement.
The people who can draw the maximum benefit from biotin hair treatment and biotin hair tablets are the people who suffer from a biotin deficiency. Biotin deficiency is not a very common phenomenon as it is found in most foodstuffs that are part of our normal diet. Eggs, meat, nuts, fish and vegetables are rich sources of biotin. It is believed that higher levels of biotin intake will lead to stronger hair and the strands will be less prone to fall out. Low levels of biotin and folic acid may also lead to grey hair. This research finding has inspired many to use biotin for grey hair. A number of hair products have also started using biotin as one of the key ingredients.
Biotin for Hair Growth
Studies have established that hair growth is possible with the use of biotin. Biotin promotes stronger and healthier hair growth which does not break at the end. When women with thinning hair were administered an oral Marine Protein supplement (MPS) containing functional biotin, twice daily for a period of 3 months, there was less hair shedding and a significant amount of hair growth. That is why experts consider biotin good for preventing hair loss. The crucial aspect is the dosage which is essential for the biotin benefits for hair. Adults are normally suggested a dosage of 30 mcg per day while pregnant and breastfeeding women have to take higher dosage of 35 mcg per day which is the recommended limit of biotin for hair. Though various amounts have been suggested according to different age limits and conditions the amount has to be specified with the help of some medical supervision.
However, to strengthen the hair shafts and improve the general condition of the hair the recommended dose is 2000 to 5000 mcg. Biotin-rich foods like carrots, legumes, bananas, salmon and liver can help you achieve these levels easily. The following gives the details of the biotin content of different foodstuffs:
- Cooked egg yolks (53)
- Oats (27)
- Wheat Germ (17)
- White mushroom (16)
- Spinach (6.9)
- Milk (3.5)
- Pork (5)
- Carrot (5)
- Apple (4.5)
Before using biotin for hair loss, experts recommend a slew of tests to ascertain not only the levels of biotin in the body but also all other probable health problems and nutritional imbalances. This will enable the experts to explore the possibility of correcting the problem with the help of a customised diet and then consider the possibility of introducing supplements, if necessary. The role of nutritional science to correct many body ailments and issues is a common phenomenon.
The biggest advantage of biotin for hair and hair growth is the fact that it does not have any risk of overdose or toxicity. But if you have a problem of excessive hair fall it would be prudent to find out if biotin deficiency is the essential cause or just a contributing factor. If it is a severe problem, prescription medicines and supplements might be deemed necessary. In most cases, apart from a biotin-rich diet, certain supplements might be enough to solve your problem. Let us find out more about the biotin effects on hair.
Other Benefits of Biotin Vitamins for Hair
Biotin vitamins facilitate the better performance of the enzymes known as carboxylases which help in the production of glucose and fatty acids. The effective breakdown of these fatty acids help in distributing the nutrients to the different parts of the body, thus ensuring hair health as well as the better health of the body. This is one of the significant biotin uses for hair. Lack of biotin may hamper the capacity of the body to break down fats, carbohydrates and proteins and lead to vitamin deficiencies. It is essential to include biotin for hair as part of a healthy and balanced meal plan. Foods such as walnuts, eggs and whole grains should be an essential part of your meal plan.
While biotin does not have any role in stopping the conversion of testosterone to DHT, it does have a significant impact on hair growth. This makes it very useful when it is used in combination with any element that has the capacity to stop DHT. Also, when it comes to men, hair loss connected to biotin is more the exception than the rule. Your hair loss is more possibly related to some genetic factor.
How to Use Biotin for Hair?
You can use liquid biotin for hair fall, either as an oral medicine or applied topically to your scalp to address your hairy issues. This will help the biotin work faster on your hair.
It is best to have biotin during the first meal of the day as it revitalizes the body with new energy. Having biotin before you go to bed would provide you with extra energy which will make you feel restless.
Biotin for hair works best if taken on an empty stomach, 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals. A dose of biotin can be added to 240 millilitres of water. You can have up to 30 mcg of biotin on a daily basis.
If you decide on the intake of biotin-rich foods to enhance the biotin levels in your body then one of the best foods is eggs. However, it is always better to cook eggs before having it, as the protein avidin which is present in raw eggs makes it difficult for the body to absorb it.
You can also explore the possibility of using biotin patches which are placed on the back, shoulders and hips. They help release biotin into the system gradually after they have been attached to the skin for the designated time. You can begin this process with medical supervision.
Biotin oil for hair and shampoos and other hair products which use biotin as an ingredient, are also good options to increase hair growth. These products also use several beneficial herbal ingredients to enhance the quality of the hair. Experts also suggest shampoos containing biotin for thicker hair.
Biotin Dosage for Hair Growth
To improve hair growth effectively a dosage of 2000 to 5000 mcg is suggested as it works on the hair shafts and augments their growth. The dosage needs to be taken consistently for the results to show. For your convenience opt for a brand that offers the biotin capsule in its 5000 mcg form. This is the best biotin for hair growth. These pills also contain multivitamins that work in combination with the biotin to add gloss to your hair and strengthen it from the roots upwards. It has also been used in the treatment of alopecia with good results.
The effects will however take a lot of time to show and only if the dosage taken is consistent and regular. The time taken for the results to reflect might stretch for 3 months at times and for some could be visible in 2 weeks as well. That is what makes biotin good for hair growth. However, if we are attempting to increase the levels simply with the help of a diet, then we will have to consume a substantial amount of biotin-rich foods on a regular basis. With hair growth supplements, you will have to follow the directions given by your doctor and monitor the progress on a regular basis.
The following is the recommended usage of biotin for hair growth results:
- Birth to 6 months – 5mcg
- 7 months to 12 months – 6 mcg
- 1 to 3 years – 8 mcg
- 4 to 12 years – 12 mcg
- 9-13 years – 20 mcg
- 14-18 years – 25 mcg
- 19 and above – 30 mcg
Side Effect of Biotin on Hair
Biotin is not known to have any side effects as the excess amount is easily excreted through urine and faeces. But one thing it could do is interfere with your lab results especially if you are testing for your hormone or thyroid levels, your cardiac troponin levels or vitamin D levels. This would complicate things further if you intend to use the results for further treatment procedures that are not related with your current problem. It could also lead to unnecessary financial losses if you invest in medicines on the basis of these erroneous reports. Since it is difficult to ascertain how long the biotin will stay in the body, doctors recommend that you stop taking it at least 3 days before you head for the lab.
Biotin is also known to cause skin rashes if you have it in large quantities. So, if you develop a rash after your biotin dose you need to see a doctor to either reduce your dose or to stop having biotin altogether. This is one of the most common biotin hair growth side effects and this happens because the skin treats biotin as an unfamiliar foreign substance and cannot react to it appropriately. Biotin deficiency is also said to lead to acne as it is said to hamper sufficient absorption of Vitamin B5, which can damage the protective layer of the skin. Similarly, people have also been known to develop an upset tummy after taking biotin for hair and hair growth supplements. This includes cramping, nausea and diarrhea in that case they need to stop taking biotin altogether.
The use of biotin is restricted for pregnant and nursing mothers and based on the recommendation of doctors. The recommended dosage is 25 to 30 mcg. An extremely high percentage of women (33 -50 percent) suffer from a deficiency of biotin during pregnancy as the body breaks down biotin very quickly at this stage. In that case biotin supplements are deemed necessary but an overdose can result in a miscarriage.
Despite what they say about biotin, it is clear that it does not make the hair on the body grow long. In fact, apart from the scalp it only helps to grow the eyebrows.
A biotin overdose is an extremely rare phenomenon but in case of a suspected occurrence the following parameters will need to be ascertained for your body:
- check for low vitamin C levels
- check for low vitamin B-6 levels
- check for high blood sugar levels
- check for decline in insulin production.
Biotin deficiency could also cause depression, hallucinations and a tingling sensation in the arms and legs. It has also been known to decrease the efficacy of some anti-seizure medicines.
Biotin can lower blood sugar but according to some findings those taking insulin could also suffer from a dangerously low blood sugar level because of the effects of taking biotin. Also, biotin causes a slower release of insulin and subsequent increase of blood pressure which can result in an extremely precarious situation for diabetics or people with high blood pressure. This might ultimately lead to clots or seizures.
Despite all this, biotin for hair has numerous advantages and the title of ‘Hair food’ is well deserved. The crucial aspect is to ensure that you use it long enough for it to work its magic on your hair and make a difference. The dosages need to be right and proper so that they do not produce any adverse effects on the body. Once this is taken care of, you can rest assured that you will be able to produce glossy and robust strands and also use biotin for hair regrowth. For more such remedies including the best biotin for hair, do not forget to consult our experts at Traya who are ready with the comprehensive solution for all your hair problems.
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Dr. Jaspreet Sarna, M.D
Dr. Sarna is an MD (Skin & VD) with a decade-long experience in treating hair loss and working on hair regrowth. She believes stress management is the key to good health.