Long hair don’t care. Or maybe you do care more than just a little so you’ve been looking into biotin. For some, it’s long hair hope in a bottle–your answer a full head of Chaka Khan-esque hair. But this so-called miracle B Vitamin can only do so much. Leave it to forums and hearsay to get you all hyped about taking pills that can magically turn your hair, skin and nails into the those of a princess. The problem with this claim is that it’s not the full story. You may be surprised that the most important thing you need to know about biotin is that you are more than likely already getting enough through the foods you eat.
WHAT IS BIOTIN?
Biotin, also known as B7, Vitamin H or Coenzyme R, is a water-soluble B Vitamin found in liver, cauliflower, salmon, carrots, bananas, soy flour, cereals, and yeast. It is involved in the synthesis of fatty acids and glucose.
DOES BIOTIN HELP HAIR GROW?
We need a complex array of B vitamins to have healthy hair, skin and nails. Biotin has been proven to be an essential vitamin in creating strong hair and nails and healthy skin. All together for strong, healthy hair you need to stay hydrated with plenty of water and also consume zinc, iron, omegas, folic acid, vitamin D, all of the eight B Vitamins also known as the Vitamin B complex as well as a few other vitamins and minerals.
HOW MUCH BIOTIN SHOULD I TAKE?
The only reason you’d need to take biotin is to treat a deficiency. In theory you can take biotin to treat said deficiency, but before you go popping pills, do know that in addition to consuming biotin in the foods we eat and our bodies naturally produce biotin and the biotin we used gets recycled so it’s hard to be deficient in biotin unless you are nutrient deficient or have a genetic disorder that causes a biotin deficiency. As for how much you need daily, The Mayo Clinic suggests 30 to 100 micrograms a day as for adolescents and adults. If you decide to take biotin in pill form, be sure to drink eight or more glasses of water per day to flush it through your system. Drinking less than that could lead to biotin induced acne.
If you consume more biotin than you need in supplement form, you’ll pee it out because your body has no use for it. Unfortunately, there have been no research studies that solidly confirm that excess biotin has any additional benefits including faster hair growth. However, excess biotin can cause acne on your face and body. Your body may not respond to biotin the same way a friend does who swears by it so before you start taking any supplements talk to your doctor first. And while you’re talking, be sure to ask your doctor if you should be taking a zinc supplement with your biotin. Zinc deficiencies can cause hair loss and paired together with biotin can possibly help restore your hair and balance out the biotin so you avoid the possible acne side effect.
Overall, the best way to grow your hair is to eat healthy, exercise and get plenty of rest. A pill alone will not work as your body is a complex machine that needs more than pills to work. There are no magic pills that can speed things up permanently. Can vitamins help? Certain quality brands can if you are deficient in certain things, but even that’s not a guarantee.