Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin that’s a part of the vitamin B family. It’s also known as vitamin H. Your body needs biotin to help convert certain nutrients into energy. It also plays an important role in the health of your hair, skin, and nails. It has only recently been being used in shampoo and conditioners.
If you aren’t getting enough biotin, you may experience hair loss or a scaly red rash. However, a deficiency is rare. In most cases, the biotin you get from your diet is enough for you to reap the health benefits it offers.
What the research says about biotin and hair growth
Keratin is a basic protein that makes up your hair, skin, and nails. It’s clear that biotin improves your body’s keratin infrastructure. There have not been enough studies to determine its effectiveness yet, but so far, it’s looking very clear that it does help topically.
For example, in one study, women with thinning hair were given an oral marine protein supplement (MPS) containing biotin or a placebo pill twice per day for 90 days. At the beginning and end of the study, digital images were taken of the affected areas on the scalp. Each participant’s hair was also washed, and any shed hairs were counted. The researcher found that women who took an MPS experienced a significant amount of hair growth in the areas affected by hair loss. They also had less shedding. Using biotin shampoo and conditioner seems to cut down on the numbers of hairs lost in shampooing.
Biotin-rich foods to eat
You’re probably already getting the daily recommended amount of biotin from the food you eat. But if you’d like to increase your intake, you can add more biotin-rich foods into your diet.
organ meats, such as liver or kidney
nuts, such as almonds, peanuts, and walnuts
soybeans and other legumes
Heat can reduce biotin’s efficacy, so opt for raw or minimally processed dishes. The amount of biotin can vary from food to food, too, so be sure to read the nutritional information whenever possible. This can help you select items with the most biotin for your buck.
Other benefits of biotin
Although more research is needed to assess its effects on hair growth, biotin does have several proven benefits.
For example, biotin is one of several B vitamins that supports a healthy metabolism. Biotin converts glucose from carbohydrates into energy for the body and aids amino acids in carrying out normal bodily functions.
Biotin is also thought to:
improve cognitive function
help lower blood sugar in people with diabetes
increase “good” HDL cholesterol and decrease “bad” LDL cholesterol
Risks and warnings
Adding more biotin-rich foods to your diet doesn’t carry any risks. However, you should always check with your doctor before adding a new supplement to your routine. Biotin doesn’t have any known interactions, but your doctor should still confirm supplement use alongside any other medications you may be taking. Your doctor can also provide more individual information about dosage and potential side effects.
Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin, so any extra biotin in your body will flush out through your urine. This makes a potential overdose unlikely. If you develop an unusual or unexpected skin rash after increasing your biotin intake, see your doctor. In rare cases, this is a sign of biotin overdose.
Your doctor will check for the following to confirm an overdose:
low vitamin C levels
low vitamin B-6 levels
high blood sugar levels
decline in insulin production
If your doctor confirms that you’re getting too much biotin, they will reduce your recommended dosage.
The bottom line
If you’re experiencing hair thinning or hair loss, biotin may assist in regrowth. There’s some research to suggest that increased biotin intake can improve overall hair quality, including thickness and shine, however there is reason to believe that topical may serve better.
You may already be getting the biotin you need through your diet, so talk with your doctor about the best option for you. They may recommend certain dietary changes or a biotin supplement. Be sure to follow any dosage guidelines that they provide.
If you begin having any unusual symptoms while taking a biotin supplement, discontinue use and see your doctor.
Here at Private Label Skincare Florida, we make a great Biotin shampoo and conditioner that we have tested with great results. Call us if you want to add this to your own brands.