Do you take Biotin for hair strength or hair growth? It’s important to know what supplements actually do for the body and your hair, skin, and nails and whether or not you need to take particular vitamins in supplemental form. Before you buy and add taking a Biotin supplement to your daily routine, a few misconceptions and properties of biotin should be noted.
Biotin is a supplemental B Vitamin commonly taken in an attempt to grow hair. Biotin helps convert nutrients into energy metabolizing fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. It has been shown to improve the body and hair’s keratin (protein) infrastructure. Strengthening proteins will strengthen strands of hair and nails allowing for more elasticity, less dryness, and less breakage. However, biotin itself does not stimulate growth. Biotin can enhance strength, but for actual hair growth and hair health, other nutrients also have essential roles.
Vitamin A is responsible for the production of sebum, a natural oil that keeps hair and skin moisturized. Sebum and other nutrients are produced by the sebaceous glands near the hairs roots, and these glands need fat soluble Vitamin A in order to function.
Vitamin C is needed to create collagen, a protein contributing to the hair’s structure. It’s also an antioxidant that helps protect the hair from environmental pollutants.
Vitamin D contributes to hair health as well as hair growth. It is involved in growth of cells and differentiation, and a Vitamin D deficiency, which is extremely common even with a healthy diet, has been linked with hair loss and alopecia.
As discussed in a session of “Hair Debate: What’s Up Doc?” on the misconceptions of biotin, Vitamin E is another essential part of the hair growth equation and a very intriguing one at that. Vitamin E has been shown to help increase oxygen uptake. This encourages blood to transport more oxygen, increasing blood circulation to the scalp and oxygen supply to hair cells. More oxygen means more nourishment and greater functioning of organs like the skin and scalp. This may help strengthen immunity, lessen inflammation, encourage tissue and follicle repair, and allow for a longer life-span of skin and hair cells.
Vitamins and minerals each offer unique contributions to the health of your organs, cells, and hair. For all-around healthy hair, focus on maintaining a well-balanced diet. If you have a fairly balanced diet, a biotin deficiency is rare, so you are likely not in need of a supplemental source. However, coupled with sufficient amounts of other necessary nutrients such as Vitamin E, biotin will help keep your hair growing long and strong. If you’re still experiencing inflammatory issues in the form or hair loss or skin irritation, don’t hesitate to consult with a dermatologist. A dermatologist and hair loss expert can prescribe products or medications to ensure you are supplied topically or orally with a sufficient balance of essential vitamins for your personal hair and skin health.