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Should you take a biotin supplement for faster hair growth?
Anyone who has long hair has probably heard of the popular vitamin known by the name of “Biotin”. It’s claimed by many that taking extremely high doses of biotin speeds up hair growth significantly.
Over at the long hair forum community, many women are making biotin a staple of their hair growth regimen. Some say it helps improve the quality of their hair, making it less likely to break and growth of thicker and stronger hairs. Others claim that it also actually speeds up the rate at which their hair grows.
In a poll taken on the forum, the results from taking biotin were mixed.
42% said that biotin did make their hair grow faster
40% said that biotin didn’t make any difference to hair growth
I’ve personally tried biotin and I can say that for me it did seem to make a difference in my hair. It simply looked healthier and grew faster. Although this is anecdotal, take it for what it’s worth! You can see my personal hair growth journey.
Throughout my hair growth, I had supplemented Biotin, and my hair grew approximately 1 inch per month! Which is quite fast because the average hair growth is typically around 1/2 an inch per month. I’ve also had some issues with taking biotin but was resolved by taking zinc picolinate.
I can’t say for certain it was the biotin that did it, but it may have contributed to the speed of my hair growth.
What are the best sources of biotin?
Biotin comes mainly from our diet and it’s very rare for someone in a developed country to actually be deficient in this important vitamin. The recommended daily intake for Biotin is 30 mcg for a man and 25 mcg for a woman.
The best sources of biotin include the following:
- Tomatoes – 1 cup of tomatoes will provide you with 7 mcg of biotin.
- Almonds – 1/4 of a cup of almonds will give you 14 mcg biotin.
- Eggs – 1 egg will provide around 8 mcg of biotin.
- Sweet Potato – 1 cup of sweet potatoes will give you 8 mcg of biotin.
- Oats – 1/4 of a cup of oats will provide almost 8 mcg of biotin.
- Walnuts – 1/4 of a cup of walnuts provides almost 6 mcg of biotin.
- Avocado – One cup of avocado provides 5.4 mcg of biotin.
What are the symptoms of Biotin Deficiency?
As mentioned, a deficiency in biotin is incredibly rare in developed countries, but the symptoms to look for include some of the following:
- Alopecia (hair loss)
- Central nervous system abnormalities
- Conjunctivitis (eye inflammation)
- Brittle nails
Most people easily meet the daily requirements of biotin, so you’re probably fine
If you’re worried whether or not you’re getting all the nutrients in your diet, you can easily do a nutritional analysis of your diet using software called CRON-O-METER.
Note: Anticonvulsants can reduce serum levels of biotin by inhibiting intestinal absorption.
What are the benefits of biotin?
The benefits of increasing biotin in our diets is not fully understood, but some of the purported benefits include:
- Stronger, thicker, and faster hair growth
- Improved skin health
- Less chance of hair shedding, especially when under stress
The evidence behind the effectiveness of biotin and hair growth is lacking and more peer-reviewed scientific research needs to be done. That being said, myself and many others have experienced the benefits of taking biotin.
One caveat: When taking a biotin supplement, it can increase skin oiliness and maybe cause breakouts and acne. It’s recommended that you drink lots of water and give your body time to adjust if you’re taking high doses of biotin as a supplement.
Should you supplement biotin to grow your hair faster?
Based on the mixed anecdotal evidence, it might be worth giving biotin a shot. Since we’re all different, nothing is going to work the same for everyone. We all have different needs and our lifestyles, diet, stress levels are different.
There is obviously not a magic pill to make hair grow super fast, but there are things that can make some difference, however small.
In one recent study published in 2017, the researchers found that in 18 reported cases of people taking biotin, all patients who received a biotin supplement reported improvements after taking the supplement
There are many different biotin supplements you can choose from, but this is the one I use and recommend to people.
Many people swear by biotin supplements for faster hair growth. If you’ve never tried it before, then give it a try. If there is any further evidence to support the use of biotin, I will share in future updates to this post.
Remember, supplementing in never a substitute for a healthy and balanced diet. Supplements are simply ways to enhance our nutrition for optimal health.
I’d love to hear your experiences with biotin. Do you think it helped you grow your hair faster? Or did it improve your hair in any other way?