Hair growth is a never-ending concern, regardless of age or gender. While the growth rate of hair varies from person to person, ingredients like Biotin can boost it.
A component of the B-vitamin family, Biotin is known to have many benefits, and boosting hair growth is one of them.
Let's look into a detailed depiction of how biotin helps in hair growth and how to maximise its benefits.
- What Is Biotin?
- What Does Biotin Do For Your Hair?
- How Much Biotin Is Needed For Hair Growth?
- How To Use Biotin For Hair Growth?
- Benefits Of Biotin
- Side Effects & Risks Of Biotin
- How Long Does It Take For Biotin To Work On Hair?
- Can You Apply Biotin Directly To Your Hair?
- Biotin Vs Folic Acid- Which Is Better For Hair Growth?
What Is Biotin?
Biotin, also known as Vitamin H, belongs to the highly beneficial vitamin B family.  It is a water-soluble vitamin and helps your body to convert certain kinds of nutrients into energy. It is quite popular for its benefits for hair and skin. Biotin is good for your nails as well.
If your body lacks biotin, you may face hair loss and issues like red rashes on the skin, broken nails etc. While the amount of biotin you get from your daily diet is sufficient for your health needs, many people take biotin supplements for additional benefits. This may or may not be good for your overall health. That’s why you must know when or how to use biotin.
What Does Biotin Do For Your Hair?
Keratin is a protein that forms the base of your hair, nails and skin. Biotin maintains and influences the keratin structure in your body. Despite the abundant research done to understand how exactly biotin boosts hair growth, limited evidence has been found.
A double-blind study  was conducted in 2015 on women with thinning hair issues. An oral marine-protein supplement (containing biotin) was given to them twice a day for 90 days. Images of the scalp before and after the MPS dosage were taken. Significant hair growth and reduced hair fall was observed.
Another double-blind placebo-controlled study  suggested the same results. Participants of the study have seen hair growth after consuming an oral supplement (containing biotin).
Did You Know?
Low quantity of biotin, which may be caused by inadequate diet may cause dry scalp conditions or dermatitis. A lack of biotin in the body may make your hair brittle.
How Much Biotin Is Needed For Hair Growth?
While Biotin deficiency causes hair fall and other skin issues, its deficiency is not common. That’s why the U.S Food and Drugs Administration has not declared any daily dosage for biotin. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) depends on your age, sex and overall health status. But hair experts have suggested a biotin dose for hair growth as mentioned below:
Up to 3 years
10 to 20 mcg
4 to 6 years
7 to 10 years
Above 10 years
Pregnant and breastfeeding women are recommended a higher dosage of biotin. You need to consult your doctor to get a suggestion on your daily intake of biotin. Your daily biotin dosage can come from your food intake or you can have biotin supplements.
How To Use Biotin For Hair Growth?
Biotin From Food Intake
You normally get your usual biotin dose from regular food intake. If you want to increase the amount of biotin in your body, you can add foods that are rich in it.
- Egg yolk
- Nuts like walnuts, peanuts and almonds.
- Meats especially liver and kidney
- Whole Grains
- Sweet Potatoes
You can get biotin supplements over the counter from any medical store. These are available in both capsule and tablet form. Do consult your doctor before taking any supplements.
Benefits Of Biotin
Besides being good for hair, Biotin packs in many other benefits too. These are,
1. Good For Pregnant Women
Biotin influences embryonic growth during pregnancy. Many claim that biotin intake makes babies healthy. Most pregnant women suffer a biotin deficiency , which often leads to hair loss post delivery. Taking a prenatal supplement which has biotin and folic acid, can help in fetal development.
2. Controls Diabetes Symptoms
Research suggests that biotin and chromium combination can improve symptoms of diabetes. Intake of biotin can control the nerve pain caused by diabetes and keep blood sugar level in check. Also, biotin improves glycemic management. 
3. Improves Your Heart’s Health
Biotin influences the thickness of your arteries which can lead to lower blood pressure. A combination of biotin and chromium controls your blood cholesterol level which lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
4. Helps To Lose Weight
A combination of biotin and chromium has plenty of advantages. It helps you deal with obesity. Since obesity is associated with triglycerides, the combination reduces the triglyceride levels.
5. Boosts Immunity
Biotin helps your body produce white blood cells which form a robust immune system. If you have a low biotin level, it can decrease the antibody count in your body, leading to poor immunity.
Side Effects & Risks Of Biotin
While biotin-rich food does not have any risks, there are minor side effects of biotin supplements. These include nausea, cramping and diarrhoea. However, you can subside them if you consume biotin supplements with food. One may also experience kidney problems and issues with insulin release.
Always check with your doctor before taking any biotin supplement. Also, if you are on any other medication, ask your doctor if it’s safe to take a biotin supplement along with that particular medication.
Being a water-soluble vitamin, any extra biotin in your body will flush out through your urine. So, there is less chance of biotin overdose. Still, if you notice any sudden skin rash appearance after increasing your biotin intake, check with your doctor immediately.
Symptoms of biotin overdose
- Lower level of vitamin C and Vitamin B-6
- High blood sugar
- Decreased insulin production
How Long Does It Take For Biotin To Work On Hair?
As per studies, it takes a minimum of 90 days. But it completely depends on your current hair condition and your biotin dosage. If you take a higher dosage of biotin, you may see the result sooner. Also, as this vitamin isn’t stored by the body it needs to be replenished via your diet everyday, for you to see results.
Can You Apply Biotin Directly To Your Hair?
Biotin-containing hair products such as shampoo, hair oil and hair spray, are available over the counter. You can apply these directly to your hair. You can also apply natural ingredients that are rich in biotin such as almond oil, avocado oil etc.
Biotin Vs Folic Acid- Which Is Better For Hair Growth?
Several studies have been done on biotin with favourable results. Even though its exact role in hair growth is still a matter to explore, studies did prove that biotin influences hair growth.
On the other hand, researchers suggest that folic acid does not offer much to boost hair growth. A prospective analytical controlled study  was done on 52 men with prematurely grey hair and folic acid deficiency. There is not enough evidence to support the connection between folic acid and hair growth.
If you have hair fall issues, then biotin deficiency can be a reason. Proper biotin intake can help your hair grow back. While your daily diet should suffice, you can increase the amount of biotin intake, though biotin-rich foods or supplements. Research suggests that increased biotin can make your hair thick and shiny. But before that, understand your hair type and consult your doctor for individualized attention.
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