Biotin: Essential for Hair Care and More
By Sarah Baker, CHN
Our hair is so closely tied to our identity and how we express ourselves that it’s no wonder the time and attention we give our tresses plays a huge role in our daily routines. One of the most common goals and challenges when it comes to optimizing hair health is promoting hair growth. And it seems like there are new products on the market every month catering to our desire for faster growing and thicker hair. Yet, did you know that you may be able to stimulate hair growth by simply focusing on vitamins, specifically biotin?
You may have heard of supplementing with biotin before to help with hair growth, but is there research to back it up? Read on to learn more about exactly what biotin is, how it works, and what some studies say about biotin’s effect on hair growth.
What is Biotin?
Biotin is part of the vitamin B family (specifically vitamin B7), but is sometimes referred to as vitamin H. It is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning that even though it’s absorbed into your system when consumed, it’s not stored in the body. This means that supplementation is necessary if a vitamin deficiency is experienced, or if you simply want to ensure that you have enough biotin in your diet.
What are the Benefits of Biotin?
Biotin does not only stimulate hair growth, but it also plays many other roles in our body as well. For instance, it helps convert nutrients like carbohydrates and fat into energy, it supports adrenal health, essential to fight fatigue, it supports the nervous system, and it also stimulates nail growth and healthy cellular turnover in our skin. But, most notably, people who aren’t getting enough biotin in their diet may experience hair thinning or even hair loss. Because of this, biotin has gained a reputation for its beauty benefits, as the ultimate hair-growth vitamin.
Is There Research About the Relationship Between Hair Growth and Biotin?
When it comes to clinical studies on biotin and its effect on hair growth, the research is limited. But at least two studies have shown positive results: in these studies, participants who had been affected by hair loss showed a large amount of hair growth after consuming a supplement containing biotin.
What is the Best Way to Consume Biotin?
Biotin is a widely popular vitamin to add to your supplement routine, possibly improving hair health and complexion, strengthening nails, and increasing energy levels. The various means to supplement include gummies, liquid formulations, and even skin and nail supplements. Direct benefits to hair growth might also be attained from biotin-enriched shampoo and hair-care products. In addition, specific foods rich in biotin include eggs, walnuts, almonds, bananas, legumes, mushrooms, and cauliflower.