From rice water to onion shampoo, every shampoo brand in the hair care industry wants to hop onto the next hair care trend, the latest one being biotin gummies and shampoos but in the bargain miss out on the true meaning of hair loss prevention. Come, let’s find out if all this glam and fame around biotin shampoos it really works for hair loss.
What Is Biotin?
Most of you might know biotin is a vitamin necessary for hair, skin, and nails. You are right! Biotin or B7 is a B complex Vitamin that is water soluble in nature. This B complex vitamin also has its importance in various bodily functions. This included the body’s metabolic function, cell signaling as also in gene regulation. But mainly, biotin or B7 is involved in forming the structure of the most famous protein of the body i.e keratin which is used to promote healthy nails, skin, and especially hair. But did you know that biotin in reality is created in a very natural method by the bacterial cells in the gut? Apart from biotin being naturally generated in the body, we also get biotin from external sources of food like meat, eggs, and fish. This external biotin once broken down in the body is then absorbed by the good bacteria in the gut and is used to make components to build the main cosmetic protein - keratin. Just like all the other B complex vitamins, biotin since it’s a water-soluble vitamin does not get stored in the body even when present in excess amounts. An additional concentration of biotin is simply flushed out from the body through faecal matter.
What Is The Daily Dosage Of Biotin Required?
As mentioned earlier, biotin is either directly formed in the body through the gut and intestinal bacteria or is obtained in the body through natural foods on a daily basis. A diet that contains egg yolks, sweet potatoes, carrots, seeds, nuts, veggies like cauliflower, meats like pork, fish especially salmon, and fruits like bananas help in meeting the daily biotin requirements. Consuming biotin helps to fortify hair health and improve healthy hair growth. But the drawback is that most foods, when boiled, lose out on the concentration of the actual biotin it contains. So rather than cooking and boiling these foods, it’s best to consume some of them just raw, especially if you have a deficiency and want to increase biotin intake just naturally. According to the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Adequate intake (AI) recommendation for biotin is as follows. Adults of age 19 and older need to have the recommended amount of 30 mcg of biotin in a day.
What Is The Function Of Shampoo?
Here’s how shampoos actually work. A Shampoo contains molecules called surfactants also known as soap. Now, just like sperm, this soap contains a head and a tail. When this soap is mixed with water, the head of the soap attaches to the water end while the tail binds to the oil, grease, and dirt in the hair. In this manner when the water washes out the soap, the dirt from the hair attached to this soap is also washed away. While shampoos help to clean the scalp of dirt and dust, there’s no proof that they can stop hair loss.
As for biotin shampoos, these shampoo bottles contain basically the same concentration of other basic shampoo ingredients but additionally just 2% of the shampoo will be infused with natural extracts, in this case, biotin.
Does Biotin Shampoo Really prevent hair loss?
Multivitamin supplements or biotin supplements may be functional when it comes to specially treating biotin deficiency but when it comes to biotin shampoos, there is no proof that biotin-infused shampoos actually stop hair loss. And it’s best to understand why it is not possible for biotin-infused shampoos to stop hair loss. It is because biotin simply cannot be absorbed when externally applied to the hair, nails, or skin. This is due to the fact that the contact time of whatever is applied is very be it hair or nails. This means that these shampoos are left on the scalp only briefly and then rinsed away, so the skin probably won't have sufficient time to absorb the ingredients and work at a follicle level. That doesn't mean they're not worth using, they may make your already existing strands feel thicker and healthier, just don't expect a miracle of preventing hair loss or even stopping hair loss.
Well, yes what it can do is prevent hair damage that leads to hair fall but that as well is not guaranteed and proved by research. Some studies also say that biotin when applied topically, there is no evidence that biotin will increase hair strength, nourish the hair follicles or reduce hair breakage and split ends. However, when you do apply masks that are infused with biotin, there might be a significant difference in reducing hair damage when applied topically which is hair damage that leads to hair loss in turn preventing hair loss. But alone by applying biotin topically, nothing is possible. You do have to maintain a healthy lifestyle and have a well-balanced diet.
As mentioned earlier, your body does need biotin on a daily basis for metabolism, cell signaling, gene regulation, and most importantly in building the protein keratin. However, there could be a very high chance that your body lacks biotin including other vitamins or micro-nutrients and this could be the reason why you have hair loss. When someone has a biotin deficiency, it is visible in the form of hair thinning, hair loss, and problems also in the skin, eyes, brittle nails, and nervous system. This deficiency is best cured when you consume foods rich in biotin and along with that also consume supplementation that contains the deficient ingredients in higher concentrations. Along with this, it is a must to make sure that along with biotin you are also getting enough and regular amounts of omega -3 and omega-6 fatty acids through foods like fish, walnuts, and chia seeds. A good number of people usually benefit from supplementing themselves with 2,000 mg a day of omega fatty acids.
Since the data is quite limited as to whether biotin shampoo for hair fall works in case of a biotin deficiency, most people opt for consuming biotin supplements and food rich in biotin as also applying biotin shampoos and masks topically to get the most out of biotin when there’s a deficiency of it at hand. But the answer still remains that to date, there's scarce data that says biotin shampoos, or any other form of topical biotin for that matter, can improve hair quality, growth, or appearance.
What Is The Real Reason Behind Hair Fall?
In reality, there are a number of reasons behind the loss of hair in day-to-day life apart from biotin deficiency and it is important to understand them because if you are looking for hair loss prevention, you should first start by treating the main reason behind your hair. Let’s look at some of the most important ones that are listed below:
Genetics: The main reason for hair fall behind 72% of the Indian population is genetics. Just like how diabetes runs in the family, in the same way, hair thinning and hair fall can be hereditary. But it happens due to the sensitivity to the hormone called Dihydrotestosterone a.k.a DHT. In an ideal state, DHT is an essential hormone that is required by the body. Especially in males, it makes them who they are. This means it provides men with characteristic features like their hoarse voice, muscular strength, and beard. But, when the levels of this hormone spike up due to a sensitivity that’s when it causes trouble. Excess DHT is said to attack the hair follicles at the roots and cause miniaturization. This means with every hair cycle the diameter of the follicle starts reducing and leads to hair thinning and eventually hair fall. But the problem is that people think that nothing can be done about it. That’s just not true. Stay tuned to know more about hair-thinning solutions.
Stressful Events: Another factor that causes hair thinning is stress. It could be any kind of stress. Events like surgery, fever, COVID, dengue, or even psychological stress all take a toll on your hair health and cause hair thinning, and eventually lead to hair loss. This is because, during stress, a hormone called cortisol is released. And excess cortisol hampers the hair growth cycle which signals the hair to shift from the active growing phase to the shedding phase. As the growth cycle is hampered it leads to hair thinning and hair fall.
Lack of sleep: The Circadian cycle also called the sleep-wake cycle plays an important role in hair health. This is why sleep is of utmost importance when it comes to literally any organ activity. Irregular sleeping patterns also aggravate stress and cause hair thinning. A hormone called melatonin is released during sleep which is also essential for the smooth functioning of the hair cycle. This also works against DHT - the main hormone responsible for hair fall which causes DHT to unbind from the hair follicle receptors. Lastly, if melatonin is not produced in equal amounts due to not getting proper 8 hours of sleep, this can hamper the cycle and cause hair thinning in men.
Low Energy Levels: The body's ability to convert the food we eat to energy is what determines how much or how less energy we have. This is called metabolism. A good metabolism is required for the body to break down nutrients from food and supply them through the blood to the follicles. If the metabolism is slow that means most of the body's energy is being utilized to break down nutrients and supply them to other parts of the body other than hair. This is when hair gets neglected and causes hair thinning in men.
Nutritional deficiencies: Hair needs food too. Biotin, iron, Zinc, etc as in all macro and micronutrients are required by the hair for it to grow in an ideal manner. This means that when any of these nutrients fall short in the body, it reflects on the hair as hair thinning along with looking dull, and lifeless.
Traction hair thinning: Hair thinning also happens with the constant use of helmets, wearing caps and beanies too often, or tying hair too tightly in a man bun or ponytail. This causes hair to get pulled back which makes it weaker and thinner and fall off.
How To Identify The Early Signs Of Hair Fall
The average age for a guy to lose hair begins at 21 and the first sign of hair fall is hair thinning and a receding hairline. Most of the time people tend to ignore the early signs of hair fall and end up in such an advanced stage that there's no going back except for a transplant. Listed below is the Norwood Scale from stages 1-7 to self-diagnose for hair fall and hair thinning in men.
Stage 1: In men, the initial 2 stages are considered to be very mild where hair starts to become weaker with every hair cycle and stops growing at the temples also called a receding hairline. This could start anywhere from teenage to early adulthood and the trigger factors for the same are listed in this blog.
Stage 2: At this stage, the receding hairline gets extended further back to form an M-shaped hairline. This is observed towards mid-adulthood in the life of a man i.e. between the ages of 25 to 32.
Stage 3: This is the stage wherein hair thinning gets more visible not at the frontal hairline anymore but now at the crown area of the head which is called the top portion of the hair. Along with this stage, the receding hairline still keeps progressing.
Stage 4: It is between Stages 3 and 4 that balding can be easily diagnosed. This is the spot where now the shape of the remaining hair on the head begins to look like a ‘U’ and the hair thinning at the crown has reached its max.
Stage 5: From this stage onwards is when it gets difficult to regrow hair with the help of hair treatment. This is because the amount of actively growing hair follicles begins to reduce to 30% and goes on to reduce as the stages progress. The advanced stage is when the follicles if not taken care of properly start sealing and closing completely. This stage is when balding becomes very advanced and is very visible as a horse-shoe pattern.
Stage 6: A fine thin strip is what is visible at the back of the head indicating an advanced form of hair fall. The number of sealed follicles now overtakes the number of actively growing follicles.
Stage 7: The 7th is the most advanced and severe stage of hair fall with very fine hair strands. This forms a horse-shoe pattern of hair which was earlier visible in stage 5 and then becomes severe at the 7th stage.
While men notice receding hairline to balding in the different stages of hair loss, women do not experience the same. What they notice is a widening of the hair partition with more and more scalp visibility as the stage progresses to a point of complete balding in women.
Hair loss is one of the several signs that your body lacks vitamins, especially vitamin B7 also known as biotin. If you suspect that your hair loss is because of biotin, it’s best to also look for other signs of biotin deficiency like scaly patches of the skin, and swelling of the tongue, if you do notice this, the next thing would be to check the blood reports for the deficiency. Once you identify that your body lacks this vitamin, the next thing would be to include foods that are rich in biotin to make up for the deficiency. However, if the deficiency is more than normal, it is best to consult a doctor and consume supplements. As for biotin shampoos, there’s no harm in using them as long as they are sulfate and paraben free. But if you are looking for it to help you with hair loss prevention, then that would be a big no.
Q1 - Is Biotin Shampoo Good For Hair?
Ans - The truth is that the function of shampoo is basically just to clean the dust and dirt off the scalp along with removing excess oils from the scalp and nothing more. So whether the shampoo is infused with biotin or not makes much of a difference, although you can definitely use a biotin shampoo for scalp cleansing, since it brings no harm unless you have sensitive skin.
Q2 - Does Biotin Shampoo Regrow Hair?
Ans - No, there is no evidence or proof that a biotin shampoo will regrow lost hair. There Is also no evidence that this shampoo will nourish hair follicles, and reduce breakage or even split ends. This is because biotin simply cannot be absorbed by applying it externally neither for hair nor for skin and nails. There is a very short time of contact when the biotin shampoo is applied to the hair. The main absorption happens through consuming supplements and foods that are rich in iron sources.