What is biotin? Is biotin for hair growth really effective? Does it help re-grow lost hair? Is it safe? What are the side effects? You might be like millions of others who suffer from mild to severe hair loss, also known as alopecia. Or you may simply want longer, healthier hair.
Whatever the case, you need options to help safely re-grow your hair. You’ve probably heard that a biotin supplement is a natural and effective solution, but you’ve got questions.
When I started losing my hair at age 30, I had questions too. I researched a lot of options and talked with my doctor. Frustratingly, I found that there was a lot of misinformation out there about hair loss and how to treat it. But one thing my doctor and my research both pointed to was that biotin could help improve the health of my hair. But it’s important to understand a few things about biotin for hair growth.
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What is Biotin?
Biotin is a naturally occurring B-vitamin (vitamin B7). Sometimes it’s called vitamin H or co-enzyme R. It is produced naturally in the intestines and is also found in common foods such as leafy green vegetables, peanuts, Swiss chard, raw egg yolks and liver. A well balanced diet usually results in plenty of biotin for the average person to maintain their health.
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.
How Effective and Safe is Biotin for Hair Growth?
The bottom line is that biotin won’t work for everybody, but it works very well for some people. The reason is that biotin does not stimulate new hair growth.
Instead, it renews the follicles and roots of the hairs that are already growing. It results in thicker, fuller & much healthier hair (not to mention healthier skin and nails), which is often sufficient for those suffering from mild to moderate alopecia. If you have suffered from severe baldness for years, biotin will probably not work as well for you.
The good news is that biotin is considered safe, even in high doses for most people. There are very few side effects, which I’ll discuss in a moment. This means that you don’t risk much by trying biotin for hair growth for a few months. It is safe if used properly and relatively inexpensive, so the potential benefits can greatly outweigh the risks.
Does Biotin Make Your Hair Grow Faster?
There is a lot of debate about whether biotin can actually make your hair grown faster. Doctors generally agree that it does not, and that there is very little that can be done to actually increase the speed of hair growth. But that doesn’t mean that biotin for hair growth doesn’t help.
Consistent and long-term use of biotin will result in healthier roots and follicles, as well as stronger and fuller hair. This means that hair breakage will not occur nearly as often and hair will grow longer as a result. That is why people often claim that biotin makes their hair grown faster.
What is the Proper Dosage of Biotin for Hair Growth?
Most adults only need about 30 micrograms of biotin per day to maintain the health of their hair, skin and nails. This is usually derived from a well balanced diet. However, when using biotin for hair growth, dosage is usually much higher.
Doctors usually recommend a starting dosage between 500 and 700 micrograms of biotin per day, and sometimes as high as 1000 micrograms. Because biotin is safe even at very high doses, many people take as much as 5000 micrograms a day, but any additional benefits to hair growth at this high dosage are questionable. Extra biotin is simply discarded from the body in urine, often resulting in a florescent yellow color to the urine. Biotin for hair growth should be taken consistently over a 3-6 month period in order to see results.
Remember to talk to your doctor before starting biotin vitamins for hair growth. Although biotin is generally safe, your doctor can advise you on the proper dosage for you and any concerns that are specific to your condition.
Biotin for Hair Growth: Side Effects & Safety
Biotin has been shown in laboratory tests to be non-toxic, even at very high levels. There have not been any documented cases of side effects or adverse reactions, but there have been anecdotal cases of skin reactions such as itching and acne. And this does’t rule out the possibility of interaction with other supplements and medications, so always talk to your doctor before starting a high dose of biotin for hair growth.
Pregnant women should be especially careful. Pregnancy has been associated with biotin deficiency, which can cause fetal problems and birth defects. On the other hand, extremely high doses of biotin in laboratory animal tests have show similar results. Pregnant and nursing mothers should never start taking biotin or any other supplement without advice from their physician.
Where Can You Get Biotin Hair Growth Pills?
Most pharmacies and general nutrition centers will carry biotin supplements. Your grocery store may also carry it in the supplement isle. It may be labeled as Biotin, Vitamin B7, or Vitamin H, and it can come in liquid or hard capsules. Liquid capsules are recommended as easier to digest, but unless you have a known difficulty with hard capsules either one should be fine for you.
You can also order online, but be careful to order from reputable sources. Do a search on Amazon or a reputable online supplement store for biotin reviews for hair growth. Never, ever order pills, medication or supplements from an unknown discount store, especially one that advertises low prices from a foreign source.
So, Is Biotin Good for Hair Growth?
Yes, but be realistic about your situation. 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. But it won’t re-grow a full head of hair that has been bald for years. You may see even better results when using biotin in conjunction with other treatments.
Watch your dosage. Even though biotin is considered safe at high levels, more is not always better. Always talk to your doctor before starting a new supplement regimen, even biotin, especially if you are pregnant or nursing. And only get biotin from reputable sources that you trust.
Have you used biotin for hair growth? Share your results and let us know your experience in the comments below.
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