What is Biotin?
Biotin is a vitamin and a micronutrient. It is often associated with hair growth and cited by doctors as a solution to hair loss, brittle nails and dry skin too. Its daily requirements can normally be fulfilled by our daily regular diets, but some choose and recommend resorting to supplements in form of pills to compensate for any lack of biotin in their bodies. There are also shampoos and hair oils available in the market which are infused with biotin.
What are the benefits of biotin?
The vitamin and micronutrient biotin help better absorption of other nutrients into the body. It aids in a more efficient conversion of carbohydrates, fats and proteins into energy. This, in general, helps in a healthier and better functioning body.
Some have even linked biotin to promote healthier and thicker hair and prevent and treat hair loss. There are multiple such products available in the market today that sell on these claims.
What are the benefits of biotin for hair growth?
Other than the promotion of better conversion of carbohydrates, fats and proteins into energy, the hair-related benefits of biotin have not been scientifically proven as of yet. Some doctors and professionals have claimed that the vitamin causes faster hair growth and thick and luscious hair, but enough studies have not been conducted as of yet to prove it. However, some individuals and brands claim with confidence that there do exist benefits of biotin for hair growth.
Also, one cannot completely deny that biotin could be beneficial for hair growth. This is because, in some people, their hair loss is actually associated with biotin deficiency. For such individuals, taking biotin supplements as pills or in products like their shampoos and hair oils can be beneficial.
Why has biotin for healthy hair gained such traction?
Though enough reliable study in the field of association of biotin with hair growth has not been carried out, there does exist anecdotal evidence that does suggest that there are benefits of biotin for hair growth.
Based on this, and the lack of much research and awareness about the side effects of an overdose of this vitamin is possibly the cause why biotin has gained quite a popularity when it comes to it being consumed as a hair growth supplement. It is easily available off the shelf and often does not require a prescription. It is believed that biotin in shampoos and hair oils can help grow healthier hair too.
However, some research and experience suggest that biotin overdose can cause upset stomach, skin rashes, problems with insulin levels and can even affect the kidneys.
Natural sources of biotin
Since taking medication or supplements without prescription can always be risky, it is safer to stick to natural sources. Because biotin is a micronutrient, it is easier to emulate in your diet that one would assume.
Some of the food items that contain biotin include:
1. Cooked egg yolks
3. Wheat germ
4. White mushrooms
6. Milk and milk products
As biotin deficiency is a rare phenomenon, it is better advised that one sticks to these natural sources and not over consume it. Overdose of anything is not good for the body.
Reasons for hair loss and other hair related problems
Generally, only biotin deficiency disorders are the conditions where biotin supplements should ideally be recommended. Because a thing to note is that thinning of hair or any other hair related problem is not necessarily linked to biotin deficiency.
Benefits of biotin for hair growth will be experienced only by those who are suffering from hair loss because of biotin deficiency, which is only one of the many possible causes.
Stress, hair styling with repeated heating and chemicals, hormone imbalance, anaemia, genetic pattern baldness, extreme dieting and strong medications could be other possible causes for a person’s hair loss.
If the reason for your hair loss is one of these and not biotin deficiency, then assuming that taking supplements of biotin for hair growth will help is not correct. There won’t be many benefits of biotin for hair growth for you.
Visit a hair specialist doctor to get a correct diagnosis of the root cause of your hair loss and what you can do about it. It is always better to consult a doctor before you take any medication or self-prescribed supplements. Don’t take them just because everybody else is taking them. Find the real reason and work on that.
You can even visit a nutritionist and get advice from them as to what it is in your lifestyle and food habits that could be the root cause, and how you can effectively change your habits for a better and healthier body.
Other solutions for thinning of hair?
Other than focusing on just biotin consumption, it is essential that you look at your overall food habits and work on making them cleaner and suitable for you. Often a simple balanced diet can help get rid of a lot of problems your body must be growing through. Lack of enough nutrients and conditions like anaemia can also be the cause of your hair loss. We suggest you work on achieving a balanced diet and cut down on junk food.
Moreover, if you think that your hair loss is due to stress, then work on your mental health and do not let it take a toll on your mind and your body. Take up regular exercise and meditation. Take time out for yourself and relax. You must realise that only if you are healthy, can you enjoy your day and work.
Taking up light exercises and meditation can relieve your stress and help your body to get rid of the hormones in your body that might be indirectly leading to your hair fall. You can even visit a therapist if your stress levels are difficult for you to manage on your own.
Hormonal imbalances can also be the causes of your thinning hair. For this, you must visit a doctor and take proper medication to cure them. And if it’s your genes that are the root cause, we aren’t sure about what options you have. You can rock a wig or your bald head, it’s all about a little confidence!
So, biotin for hair growth?
We aren’t denying that biotin supplements can be good and there do exist benefits of biotin for healthy hair, but most research till now is still on the fence over their effectiveness. With only anecdotal evidence, nothing can be said for sure.