Biotin, also known as vitamin H or coenzyme R, is a water-soluble B-vitamin (vitamin B7). Biotin is an essential nutrient that can be found naturally in foods such as eggs, brewer’s yeast, cauliflower and cucumber to name a few. Biotin is often recommended as a dietary supplement for strengthening hair and nails. Below, you will find some important information on understanding biotin for hair growth.
Does biotin really work for hair growth?
Yes biotin does work. But before you go rushing out to buy some there are a few things you should know: Biotin is a vitamin supplement, so like all vitamins it needs to be taken consistently (at least daily) for a long period of time before you really start SEEING the effects. Biotin takes up to 2 weeks to start working from the root of the hair to improve condition of the hair follicle. As far as speeding up growth – I don’t believe that it improves the length of time it takes for the hair follicle to grow; but it does greatly improve the quality and health of the hair.
Biotin Topically or Orally?
The experts don’t think biotin can be absorbed through the skin. However, when biotin is taken orally and goes into the body through the blood stream, it has better potential to work. This allows the body to use the supply of biotin to boost hair growth and prevent or alleviate hair loss. Biotin has been shown in laboratory tests to be non-toxic, even at very high levels. Proponents of biotin often recommend taking 5,000 mcg of biotin in supplement form daily in order to strengthen hair shafts.
How should I supplement vitamin biotin?
Food sources with the most significant amounts of biotin include nuts (especially peanuts and almonds), egg yolks, soybeans and fish. Other sources include whole-wheat bread, cheddar cheese, pork, avocado, raspberries and cauliflower. These foods also are associated with other beneficial vitamins for hair growth, including vitamins A and B6. Biotin deficiency is rare (although more common in pregnant women) and treatable with proper diet or a biotin supplement. However, when it comes to treating hair loss using biotin for hair growth, a biotin supplement is almost always required. This is because of the much higher levels of biotin needed than what is found in a common diet. Most pharmacies and general nutrition centers will carry biotin supplements. It can come in liquid or hard capsules, the liquid capsules are recommended as easier to digest.
Biotin is one of several good vitamins for hair growth. If used properly it will produce healthier, thicker hair with the added benefit of stronger nails and better skin. However it is always recommended that you properly take care of your hair as well. The biggest thing that one can do it help keep their hair looking the best is preventing breakage. Physical and mental stressors will keep your hair from realizing its full potential. Stress can cause hair loss, so try not to let stress overcome you.