Like our bodies, our hair requires proper nourishment to grow strong. There can be multiple reasons for hair fall, and when it happens to you, it can be both frustrating and overwhelming to figure out the best course of action.
In the best-case scenario, a healthy diet and a combination of supplements could be the answer for you as there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ treatment available for hair loss. It all depends on how you adjust your diet and incorporate a holistic approach towards your hair-care regime.
There are three stages to the hair growth cycle – a growing stage (that can last for many years), followed by a short preparation stage, and finally a few months of resting. It is after this resting phase that the hair starts shedding and the cycle repeats itself.
Many factors can contribute to hair shedding. The most common ones being stress, hormonal imbalance, genetics, or vitamin and mineral deficiency. When the hair fall is due to vitamin or mineral deficiency, supplements can remarkably help bring your hair back to life.
Hair is a non-vital tissue and under the influence of favorable conditions can grow incredibly fast in no time. Everything you do must be an effort directed towards finding that optimal solution.
Biotin is one of the several vitamins that can help you get healthier, thicker, and shinier hair.
What is Biotin?
First discovered in 1927, biotin came to be officially recognized as a vitamin only in 1967. Today, it can be regarded as one of the most popular supplements for supporting skin, hair, and nail health.
Biotin has many health benefits. For starters, it is a B-complex vitamin required by every cell in the body for normal growth and development. It is known by various names, such as vitamin B7, vitamin H, and coenzyme R. It is an essential vitamin that supports healthy cellular function, boosts metabolism, promotes better cognitive function, and plays a significant role in hair and nail growth.
One of the major contributors of biotin is to help the body metabolize fats, proteins, and carbohydrates and convert them into energy.
Biotin is also very needed by women who are pregnant or lactating. About 50% of pregnant women in general are expected to suffer a mild deficiency. This can be attributed to the fact that the body breaks down vitamins faster during pregnancy.
Biotin helps regulate blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes by preventing insulin resistance. Some research also suggests that biotin levels may already be low in people with diabetes.
Other Benefits of Biotin
- Reduces inflammation
- Improves cognitive function
- Increases ‘good’ cholesterol and decrease ‘bad’ cholesterol
- Aids in weight loss
- Rebuilds tissues and helps in cell formation
Biotin and Hair Growth
Most of our hair, skin, and nails are made up of Keratin. It is the basic protein that runs through our hair. Biotin helps improve this keratin structure in our body. It also improves the volume and thickness of hair and reduces hair fall.
In a three-month double placebo test, women with thinning hair were given oral biotin supplements twice daily. At the beginning and end of the study, images of the affected areas, when verified showed major improvement. They even reported less shedding.
However, further research with a larger sample group is needed to confirm these findings.
Biotin deficiency can also lead to hair fall. Even though the condition is rare it can be a serious affair. Signs can include dry or scaly skin, red rashes on the skin or face, dry eyes, brittle hair, hair loss, loss of appetite or depression.
In most cases, we do end up getting enough biotin from our diet alone but particular sections of the population are specifically at risk such as:
- People with a deficiency called biotinidase. It’s a rare hereditary disorder in which the body is unable to reuse biotin.
- Pregnant or lactating women. Women in the pregnancy stage can develop mild biotin deficiency. Without which the baby may develop a certain birth defects. Therefore, doctors always encourage eating more biotin-rich foods to protect the growing baby.
- Smoking and alcohol consumption also prohibits biotin absorption in the body.
- People eating raw eggs are at a risk of biotin deficiency, as it contains an ingredient called avidin that can get in the way of biotin absorption. Cooked eggs get rid of avidin, so that need not be a concern.
Should you go for Biotin Supplements?
Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that when taken in excess, it’s simply peed out. There is no known toxicity associated with biotin intake.
The Daily Recommended Value (RDA) is somewhere between 30 to 100 mcg. But the safer upper limit can go up to 200,000 mcg on a daily basis. This means that even if you’re getting your biotin from different sources, it is unlikely to cause any drastic effect.
However, in some cases consuming biotin higher than 200 mg can skew certain blood test results. For example, it may show that you have thyroid when you don’t. Prior discussion with your health care provider can help you avoid this problem.
Also, if you think you’re unable to get sufficient biotin from your diet, or just wish to up your doses, biotin supplements can make a world of difference.
Although there are no known interactions, you can consult your doctors for any suspected medical condition.
How Long Till You See Results?
It is difficult to see any noticeable benefits of biotin for hair growth until you’ve increased your intake for several months. For best results, one must be consistent with their intake. Daily consumption is recommended in order to experience visible difference.
As per the previous research, 90 days is a good enough time frame to experience change in hair texture and appearance. Biotin targets cells deep within your scalp and encourages the growth of healthy-looking hair, nails, and skin. It relieves you of dry and dehydrated skin and reverses the effect of hair thinning.
Which Biotin Is Best For You?
Among the eight possible forms of biotin, d-biotin is known to be the biologically active form, which is found in Natural Sesbania Extract. Also, known as the ‘Hummingbird Tree’ or ‘Agastya’, sesbania is a plant native to South Asia that has its origins rooted in traditional Ayurveda. It is naturally rich in powerful antioxidants and is one of the best vegan-friendly biotin sources.
Olena Wholefood Biotin contains 10,000 mcg of biotin with natural sesbania extracts, and other indigenous ingredients like pomegranate, amla, bamboo shoot and sea buckthorn that strengthens and restores hair elasticity, fights premature greying and nourishes your scalp, giving you a complete hair-care solution.
You can also buy OLENA’s Wholefood 10,000MCG+ Biotin Supplement from Amazon here