One dietary supplement you may have seen trending on your social media feeds is biotin for hair. There are plenty of beauty-boosting supplements out there, promising things like longer locks and younger-looking skin, and biotin just so happens to be one creating major buzz at the moment. You’ve likely heard about it, and maybe you even know someone who swears by the benefits of biotin. However, the research on biotin for hair growth and nail growth is limited. Here, we’re breaking down all things biotin: what biotin is, biotin benefits, and whether you really should consider adding biotin vitamins and products (like biotin shampoo) into your beauty and hair care routine.
Editor’s note: Before making decisions about whether to take a supplement, talk to your healthcare provider. They can help you achieve a balance between the foods and nutrients you personally need.
WHAT IS BIOTIN?
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), biotin is actually a B vitamin, and it’s an essential nutrient for optimal health. Scientifically speaking, biotin is an essential nutrient because it plays a key role in our bodies’ ability to metabolize fatty acids, glucose, and amino acids. In other words, it helps your body process fats and sugars, both of which are vital to maintaining overall health. Something you might not realize is that biotin is naturally present in foods we consume in our day to day lives.
WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF BIOTIN?
In addition to its essential role in basic metabolic bodily processes, biotin has gained a reputation in the beauty world for its purported ability to stimulate hair and nail growth, and also help produce stronger hair and nails. Biotin deficiency is very rare, according to the NIH, but signs of biotin deficiency include hair loss and brittle, easily breakable nails. As such, biotin supplements have been widely reported as helping to promote hair and nail growth, although there are only a few case reports and small studies that have documented its ability to produce these effects, according to the NIH.
Still, that doesn’t mean the purported benefits of biotin are necessarily false. According to a study from the Journal the of American Academy of Dermatology, biotin supplements have been found to be helpful in combating brittle fingernails by improving thickness and reducing splitting of the nails.
WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS TO REAP THE BENEFITS OF BIOTIN?
If you want to see for yourself whether the benefits of biotin are real, you have a couple of options. As we said, many foods contain biotin, so if you’re considering biotin as a way to boost your hair care game, you may want to try adding these foods into your diet. Some examples of food that contain the most biotin, according to the NIH, are eggs, fish, meat, seeds, nuts, and sweet potatoes. And it doesn’t stop there—the Mayo Clinic states that biotin is also found in liver, cauliflower, carrots, bananas, and cereals.
Taking a biotin supplement is potentially the most popular way to introduce more biotin to your system, but you’ll want to ask your doctor or your dermatologist before you begin—everybody’s body is different and can react differently to supplements. In fact, whatever type of supplement regimen you’re considering, it’d be wise to run it by a medical professional before starting. As the Mayo Clinic states, supplements can’t take the place of a well-balanced diet, so if you don’t think you’re getting enough of a certain vitamin or mineral, talk to your doctor before buying and ingesting a supplement.
Using biotin shampoo and other hair care products formulated with biotin is another option you may have considered. Keep in mind, however, that most of the research on biotin for hair that does exist focuses on biotin supplements, not topical use.
3 WAYS TO ACHIEVE HEALTHY-LOOKING HAIR BESIDES TAKING BIOTIN
Of course, taking supplements isn’t the only way to promote having better, healthier-looking hair. Keep these three tips in mind for taking your hair care routine to the next level:
1. USE A STRENGTHENING SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER SYSTEM
If your strands are feeling brittle and weak, add a strengthening shampoo and conditioner system, such as the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Repair & Defend Shampoo and the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Repair & Defend Conditioner, into your routine.
2. ADD A HAIR TREATMENT INTO THE MIX
Hair treatments can have quite the effect on your hair, so don’t hesitate to add one that coordinates with your hair care concerns to your routine. Need help finding the perfect product? Here are Our Best Hair Treatments for 7 Common Hair Types.
3. GET REGULAR TRIMS
Your goal may be for your hair to be as long as possible, but never getting it trimmed isn’t doing you any favors. If you never cut your hair, you’re likely to end up with pretty bad split ends, and you’ll need to cut off quite a bit of your hair to fix the issue. That’s why it’s better to trim off small amounts of hair at a time, never allowing your ends to get into a dire state.