Many women dream of having long and beautiful hair. The question is, can biotin (a water-soluble B-complex vitamin) help make hair grow faster and longer? Although there is a lack of research into the hair-growing properties of this B-Complex vitamin, what is known is that a deficiency of this vitamin can lead to hair loss, thin and brittle hair, and split ends. When hair is unhealthy it becomes fragile, breaking easily, and tending to fall out. Biotin is found in food such as nuts, egg yolks, fish, raspberries, soy, and whole-wheat bread. It may also be taken in supplement form, although the body’s gastrointestinal bacteria should be able to produce ample amounts of this vitamin. Biotin is nevertheless generally associated with hair growth, and consequently longer hair.

So, what is biotin? Biotin, or vitamin B7 or vitamin H, plays an important part in cell production; particularly the creation of protein: hair being made of the protein keratin. Biotin reacts with cell enzymes, creating amino acids, which in turn creates protein.

What Is The Impact Of Biotin?

The scalp has around 300 000 hair follicles, with 90% in the growing phase (split between the active and intermediate stages) and 10% in a resting phase, in which no hair growth occurs. Each day, about 150 hairs are shed. Taking vitamins such as biotin can assist the growth of hair. Consuming biotin is therefore vital to ensure that your hair receives sufficient protein to keep it healthy, and growing. However, this vitamin works better if it is combined with ingesting zinc and topical clobetasol propionate. Many shampoos contain biotin, which is said to treat scalp conditions such as dryness and flakiness. By keeping the hair follicles healthy, the hair growth process may be enhanced.

How Much Biotin Should You Take Daily?

On average, you should ingest sufficient vitamin B7 by eating a healthy, balanced diet; biotin is also produced in the gut. Supplementation is therefore normally not needed. In addition, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not have a recommended daily dietary allowance for this vitamin. Some researchers suggest that 35 to 70 micrograms daily should suffice, although the Oregon State University’s research indicates that up to 30 micrograms daily should be a safe dose. Still, biotin supplementation is normally only suggested for pregnant women or nursing mothers, those with a biotin deficiency, smokers, and people on kidney dialysis. Nonetheless, taking some biotin can help to maximize the chance of faster-growing hair.

The Bottom Line

Biotin is relatively safe to use, with limited chances of an overdose or toxicity, even if high dosage is used. Taking this vitamin does not assure hair growth, but it is associated with faster hair growth. However, it is essential to eat a diet containing the right vitamins, proteins and minerals to allow for optimal hair growth conditions; also, high stress levels are unhelpful. Adding biotin to the diet, is likely to make your hair grow faster and stronger. A restricted diet and raised stress levels mitigate against faster hair growth.

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