Hair Health

Does Biotin Help Hair Growth?

Image of woman holding biotin hair loss supplement pills.

If you’ve ever found yourself searching for natural hair growth remedies, biotin is likely to have popped up early during your search. With recent growing popularity in the cosmetic industry, biotin is long thought to have a role in the health and growth of our hair. It is an essential B vitamin found in many common foods, such as eggs and nuts and can be taken in supplement form, giving it the reputation of a cheap and accessible solution to hair growth.

But what is it about this vitamin that supposedly helps hair grow? Unfortunately, the limited research conducted into this topic makes it difficult to provide a straightforward answer. However, its contribution to the production of key proteins, such as keratin, is likely to play a major role.

Biotin for hair growth: How does it work?

Biotin plays an important role in the chemical processes necessary to produce keratin, a structural protein which is the main building block of hair strands. Keratin is made up of amino acids organized in a unique cross-linking pattern, providing the hair with elasticity and the ability to withstand everyday bending and stretching without breakage (Raymond, 2023). Keratin also protects the hair from damage caused by external factors such as UV rays from the sun. It plays a vital role in retaining moisture in the hair shaft, keeping our hair hydrated which contributes to an overall shiny and smooth appearance. 

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Does biotin help thinning hair?

Yes, biotin may help with thinning hair – depending on the cause. It can do this via its role in keratin production, which enhances the elasticity and mechanical strength of hair strands, preventing them from becoming thin and brittle (Basit et al., 2018). For those who use lots of heat and products for styling their hair, as well as bleaching and dying it, biotin is particularly important because it provides protection from these potentially damaging processes.

 Although it may be considered a useful substance for damaged hair, it is important to bear in mind that biotin is unlikely to have any significant impact on hair growth in cases of androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness) and other types of hair loss. Androgenetic alopecia is caused by high levels of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the scalp. This can often be effectively treated using DHT-inhibitors.

A study on the use of biotin for women’s hair loss found that 38% of the women complaining of hair loss had a biotin deficiency. In this 38%, beneficial results were seen from using biotin supplements, with these women achieving stronger and thicker hair following an increased biotin intake (Trueb, 2016).

How much biotin do I need to take for hair growth?

Data recommends a daily intake of 30µg per day to maintain good health, with the average intake in the western population being approximately 35-70µg per day (Saleem et al., 2023).

Bacteria in the large intestine naturally produces enough biotin to reach the body's daily requirements and intake can easily be achieved through diet with biotin being found in foods such as eggs, fish and nuts. Whilst biotin deficiency is rare, it has been linked to hair loss and thinning, with these cases seeing the most beneficial results from biotin supplementation, particularly in women (Trueb, 2016). Due to the limited research investigating the topic, the potential benefits of biotin for hair growth in the absence of deficiency are less clear, but its role in keratin production is not an insignificant part of maintaining hair health.

Can too much biotin cause hair loss?

Based on available data, too much biotin should not cause hair loss. In fact, biotin is considered a non-toxic substance and biotin overdose is uncommon. This is because the vitamin’s water-solubility allows for excess amounts in the body to be removed in urine.

However, while taking too much biotin likely won’t cause hair loss, it is important not to rely on it as primary treatment for hair loss where the underlying cause has not been established. Making this mistake can further endanger hair health by delaying the necessary treatment. It is important to consult with your doctor in the early stages of hair loss so that appropriate interventions can be applied.

What are the side effects of taking biotin?

According to existing data, there are minimal side effects associated with taking biotin whether it is consumed through diet or supplements. However, high levels of biotin in the blood have been known to interfere with some types of blood tests, causing falsely high or low results (Almohanna et al., 2019). Blood results that may be affected by biotin interference include tests for various hormones, cardiac and tumor markers, as well as tests for infectious diseases. It’s important to keep your doctor informed about any vitamins or supplements that you might be using.

What are some ways to add biotin to my hair routine?

Biotin is found in many foods and can be easily consumed as part of a balanced diet. However, a more targeted application for hair growth is through shampoos and conditioners containing biotin in the ingredients. XYON’s Performance DHT-Blocking Conditioner for men, is a great way of incorporating biotin into your everyday hair care routine. The addition of biotin in hair conditioner promotes an increase in keratin, helping to strengthen and maintain healthy and nourished hair. The combination of biotin and saw palmetto, which is a botanical extract with natural DHT-blocking properties (Evron et al., 2020), is also incorporated into these products, tackling the root cause of the most common type of hair loss; androgenetic alopecia.

Our women’s hair care line includes shampoo and conditioner containing an ingredient called biotinoyl tripeptide-1, which is a substance made up from biotin and a smaller protein fragment (peptide).

Biotinoyl Tripeptide-1: What is it and how does it promote hair growth?Available research has found that this substance can increase the growth of hair follicles and maintain a strong collagen layer, contributing to the structural integrity of the hairs and improving the anchoring of hairs into the scalp. Biotinoyl Tripeptide-1 also helps with hair growth by slowing down the shrinking of hair follicles. In some people, hair growth can be compromised by the effects of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which drives the development of androgenetic alopecia (pattern hair loss) in men and women who are genetically at risk for balding.

Biotin for hair growth: Takeaway

If you’re solely relying on biotin to treat your hair loss, you could be neglecting the true cause and be in danger of missing the opportunity for early recognition and treatment. There is strong evidence suggesting that biotin supplementation can be very helpful in promoting hair growth in the case of deficiency, but the jury is still out on its efficacy for other types of hair loss. With the knowledge that the most common type of hair loss is mainly attributed to a disruption caused by DHT, it is wise not to discount seeking a doctor's opinion. But the introduction of biotin into your hair care routine in the meantime likely won't do any harm.

References List
Almohanna, H. M., Ahmed, A. A., Tsatalis, J. P., & Tosti, A. (2018). The role of vitamins and minerals in hair loss: A review. Dermatology and Therapy, 9(1), 51–70.

Basit, A., Faiza, A., Sadaf, S., Akhtar, W.M., (2018). Health Improvement of human hair and their reshaping using recombinant keratin K31. Biotechnology Reports, 20.

Evron, E., Juhasz, M., Babadjouni, A., Mesinkovska, N.A. (2020) Natural hair supplement: Friend or foe? Saw palmetto, a systemic review in alopecia. Skin Appendage Disorders, 6(6), 329-337.

Raymond, O. (2023). The role of keratin in protecting hair. Hair Therapy and Transplantation, 13(2),1-7.

Saleem F, Soos, M.P. (2023) Biotin deficiency. In StatPearls. StatPearls publishing.

Trueb, R.M. (2016). Serum biotin levels in women complaining of hair loss. International Journal of Trichology, 8(2), 73-77.


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