Biotin Hair vitamins

The TRUTH about biotin for natural hair growth | Does it really work?

I’m sure we’ve all heard about biotin supplements for hair growth at least once in our lives. From what I remember, this was a very popular concept in the natural hair community. Even today we still see lots of hair supplements and vitamins being promoted under the selling point of fast-growing, longer, thicker hair. Biotin is amongst the most popular ones.

I myself, understand the temptation for new naturals who are either transitioning or do the big chop to jump on the bandwagon. A pill that promises you long hair, now that’s a dream. But do we really need biotin supplements for our natural hair to grow faster?

What is Biotin?

Vitamine H
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Biotin is a vitamin B and more specifically B7, it’s also known as vitamin H. This vitamin is water-soluble and it helps the body to break down fats, carbohydrates, and protein. Biotin also aids the body to convert food into energy and has many other important roles to play in our body.

Biotin can be found in a large number of foods which is how we obtain this particular vitamin. Through what we eat. Because biotin is water-soluble, the excess quantities that we consume are not stored in our bodies. They simply pass through our bodies through urinating. This means that we should take biotin on a daily basis.

What does that have to do with natural hair you ask? Biotin has been closely associated with nail, skin -and hair health. Another biotin related topic is, that some claims have been made that people who suffer from Biotin deficiency bounce back with thicker hair and long hair. This is because Biotin deficiency leads to thinning of the hair, in cases like this taking supplements seems to work. 

The hype about biotin supplements?

Women with natural hair
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Now that you are aware of what biotin is, you may begin to understand why taking biotin supplements became such a hype. Who doesn’t want longer and thicker hair? Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any research yet, that supports the claim that taking extra biotin leads to thicker and longer hair.
This is only the case for those who are deficient in this particular vitamin.

The studies that are out there, are small studies that were conducted to see if the increase in biotin intake will have an effect on people who have a biotin deficiency. There have been 3 studies on people who suffer from brittle nails and hair growth in children with a to the skin shaft. But we are only talking about small studies here. Despite the few case studies out there, there hasn’t been much evidence to support the claim of hair, nail and skin improvements in healthy individuals.

Click here to read about the studies.

Side- effects of biotin

You may want to be aware of the possible side effects of biotin before taking them such as cramping, diarrhoea and nausea. But those three examples are only minor side effects. More concerning side effects would include, problems with insulin release, and kidney problems.
Now, I’m no medical expert but would like to refer you to other resources for more information.

Source #1
Source #2

Alternatives to biotin supplements?

Food for biotin
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So how can we get biotin without having to take supplements? I have an answer for you that you will love to hear. FOOD! This is even greater news for people like me who are afraid to take big pills. There’s always that scary thought that you could coke. However, you can also get them in liquid form. Anyways back to the story. A lot of our Biotin intake is actually from food that most of us consume already anyways. Just the sum up a few:

  • Eggs
  • Mushrooms
  • Chicken
  • Oats
  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Cheese
  • And more

Are you interested to know more about which foods you can consume for your biotin intake? Click here

Biotin deficiency

Biotin deficiency

Some people may be struggling with biotin deficiency without even knowing it. Underlying conditions in your health can cause the biotin that you are consuming not to be absorbed properly. Inflammatory bowel diseases, for example, it will not allow you to absorb the biotin since biotin is produced in the intestines. A heavy alcohol intake and certain medications can also lead to having biotin deficiency.

Look out for the following symptoms If you suspect that you may be suffering from biotin deficiency:

  • Hair loss
  • Thinning hair
  • Brittle nails
  • Skin rash
  • Loss of hair colour
  • Depression
  • Muscle pain
  • Fatigue

There is also the fact that some foods can cause malabsorption of the biotin that you’re eating. Raw egg whites for example. Raw egg whites contain a protein called Avidin that binds to biotin. In turn, this prevents the biotin from getting absorbed in the intestines. That’s why it’s important to cook, boil or steam your eggs to decrease the binding ability of the Avidin present in egg whites. If you prefer consuming raw eggs whites, don’t be alarmed just yet. It’s unlikely that you have it unless you eat like 6 raw eggs whites a day for months at a time.

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It’s also important to note that biotin deficiency is very uncommon in humans!
Weighing out your options, however, is not a bad thing.

The following article goes more into detail about biotin deficiency.


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Should we take biotin in order to grow our hair?
The reality is that most of us get enough biotin in our bodies from the foods that we consume.
Furthermore, there is no scientific support that suggests that taking biotin will grant you longer and thicker hair, especially if you are a healthy individual.

This is something that should only be considered for those who suffer from hair loss. Even in those cases, other underlying conditions and causes should be looked at before jumping to the conclusion that the lack of biotin vitamins. That’s why it’s best to always seek medical advice.

Another factor that you should consider is that, if you believe that you are taking in enough biotin through diet, another issue may be at hand. Maybe another health issue is not allowing your body to absorb the biotin and if that is the case the best thing to do would be to tackle the underlying health issue(s). Also, remember that Biotin deficiency may be rare, but It can’t hurt to consider the possibility.

If you’re still convinced that you want to take biotin supplements, maybe you should consider if the side effects are worth the risks. If you are still up to giving it a try, make sure to monitor any possible symptoms or side effects and consult with a medical professional.

If you’d rather stay away from biotin supplements, I hope that now you know that there are lots of foods that you can consume to have biotin. Lots of foods that you’re probably already consuming. If you have a well-balanced diet, you should be okay.

Don’t fall for the marketing gimmicks that are out there trying to get you to spend your money. Knowledge is a powerful thing!

Just, make sure to weigh out all your options and enjoy your natural hair journey.