The Truth about Biotin, Part I - Get the Facts

Friday, April 10, 2015

A lot of you have been interested in biotin as a supplement for hair growth.  This supplement is one of the first suggested to those who wish to grow their hair, and is easily accessible over the counter under the name biotin, vitamin B7, or vitamin H.  Biotin is also used in hair supplements such as Hairfinity or Hair Skin Nails by ItWorks.  If you’re interested in taking biotin, either on its own or in combination with other supplements, I highly suggest you continue reading.  However I am not a doctor or a medical professional – this information comes from my own research.  I'm sharing a very small bit of information with you, which you can choose to follow at your own risk.  Do further reserach before you decide that biotin is an ideal supplement for you.  If you have any questions for me, leave them in the comment box below!  

Part I will cover the basics about biotin, as well as some important points to consider before taking the supplement.  Click here for part II.

All About Biotin
Biotin belongs to the group of B complex vitamin, whilc helps the body metabolize fats and proteins.  B complex vitamins will aid in healthy hair and skin, as well as aiding your body in metabolizing fats, carbohydrates, and amino acids.  Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning that you must drink an adequate amount of water daily so that your body can absorb it.  This also means that your body will not store excess biotin, so if you take too much, it will be flushed out.  This is a very important point to note.  You are not benefitting from taking extreme excess amounts of biotin!  It is unlikely you will do significant damage to your body by taking excess (rather than developing acne), but it is also a waste of your money. Biotin deficiency is a very rare condition, as the human body is able to produce it.  Biotin is a key part of prenatal supplements, which is why many people who wish to take biotin use prenatal vitamins. 

Biotin is most commonly available in a pill or a  capsule.  It can be purchased from most drug stores or health and beauty stores.  Biotin pills are available in various dosages, typically ranging from 100 mcg to 10, 000 mcg.  Biotin is also available in products such as Organix biotin and collagen line.  However there is not much reserach to suggest that using biotin externally has much benefit.

Many people use biotin in addition to other supplements to aid in digestion and minimize negative side effects.  One of the most common is MSM, also known as Methylsulfonylmethane (quite the mouthful!).  This is also available in pill form in your local drug stores.  Vitamins such as Hairfinity or ItWorks Hair Skin Nails combine biotin with other vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A and other B complex vitamins to ensure your body is recieving all it needs to produce healthy hair.

If you want to take biotin internally, please keep the following points in mind:
  1. One of the most comment “side effects” of taking biotin is acne.  Once puberty hit my skin was doomed, but biotin made my acne a whole lot worse.  Most people who get acne from taking biotin report small bumps all over their face, which is what I had.  These bumps are extremely difficult to get rid of, even after taking the supplement.  Though I upped my water intake to almost 8 bottles a day the last time I took biotin (a few weeks ago), I still broke out.  If your skin is prone to acne, please consider the impact that this supplement will have on your skin.
  2.  You may not see the results of taking biotin for a while.  Taking biotin will not make your hair grow longer overnight, although some people notice results faster than others.  Some people may not even notice results at all.  Everyone’s body is different, and what works for someone else may not work for you.
  3.  Biotin is capable of making ALL of your hair grow.  Not just the hair on your head.  Though I saw mediocre results in the growth of the hair on my head, biotin cause my body hair and eyebrows to grow ridiculously fast.  I felt like I had to shave daily, and pluck my eyebrows hourly just to keep up.  If you have a lot of body hair and regularly remove it, taking biotin is probably going to increase the time you spend shaving/waxing/threading.
  4. Biotin is available naturally through foods such as eggs, sardines, soybeans, legumes, cauliflower, mushrooms, bananas, almonds, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, and nut butters.  Try increasing your intake of these foods, as they are less likely to break you out.
I hope this helps some of you who are interested in taking biotin as a supplement.  Remember, do your own research before taking any supplement for any reason.  If you're interested in my personal experience with biotin, check out part II!  For more information about my biotin journey, check out the posts linked below.


- xoxo, Jayy

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