For most people, a matter of constant concern is how to get their hair to grow long and strong. While most people rely on what they have learned from their mothers and grandmothers, there are those who prefer to believe in science. So, in a bid to grow their hair long, they choose to take supplements, which will increase their hair, or at least that is what most of them claim to do. If you are thinking of taking supplements for hair growth, then there are some things that you should know beforehand and you need to make informed decisions, rather than just blindly believe what you have heard from someone you know.
Biotin, or vitamin B7, is a supplement for hair growth that is becoming quite commonplace and while it is being touted as a miracle ingredient, there are things about it that you need to know, before starting to use.
What exactly is Biotin?
Biotin is a B vitamin that is found in small amounts in foods such as nuts and eggs, but it is most commonly added to oral supplements that are used for hair growth. If you have thinning hair or discoloration in your hair, chances are that you have a biotin deficiency. Biotin can not only ensure healthy hair for you but also healthier and stronger nails.
How does Biotin prevent loss of hair?
Biotin, also known as Coenzyme R, is a water-soluble compound, which is essential for the synthesis of glucose, fatty acids and also some amino acids, such as valine. This vitamin is also required by the cells so that it can metabolize nutrients and control sugar levels in the body. However, this vitamin is best known for its ability to give you healthier hair and nails.
While biotin deficiency is extremely rare, it is not completely unheard of – because biotin is a water-soluble vitamin, the body normally does not store it and if you are not eating foods that have biotin, the chances of deficiency become plausible. Biotin ensures that your body has the immunity to fight off infections and remain healthy, which is actually important for your hair to grow long and strong. Although there is no published proof, studies have shown that lack of biotin in the body could lead to alopecia. A study conducted at the reputed Harvard University established that biotin was extremely important for not only the strength of hair but also its texture and overall appearance.
Why do you need biotin?
- If your body does develop a biotin deficiency, you can be sure that you will start to lose the luster and life of your hair. What is even more worrying is that your hair loss will not be just your head, but also your eyebrows and eyelashes too.
- For your hair follicles to be healthy, you need to have healthy skin cells, and for healthy skin cells, you need to have biotin in your body. With sufficient biotin your body, you can be sure that hair follicles will be able to regrow and that your fallen hair will be replaced.
- Biotin is necessary for the body to absorb protein from the food, and when there is not enough biotin in the body, the protein absorption is also reduced. Protein is extremely important for healthy hair.
- There is a reason that all the B vitamins are clubbed together – they need each other to help the body function properly. So, naturally, without biotin, a powerful combination is left incomplete.
How can you include biotin in your life?
These days there are several supplements that have biotin in them, and while most of them are available over the counter, it is better that you talk to a doctor or specialist first and then starts using them. There are also topical solutions that can be applied to the hair, but studies have shown that the oral supplements tend to work better than the topical solutions. If you are planning to take the oral supplements then you need to find out in what dosage you should be taking the same. When you start to take these supplements, you might notice some side effects, such as cystic acne, but once the body adjusts to the absorption of these extra nutrients, the acne should start to reduce and eventually vanish.
It is also important to remember that biotin will not be able to work in isolation – you need to ensure that you have a nutritive diet, in combination with which, the biotin will be able to work. If you include Biotin-rich foods in your regular diet, you should be able to see an improvement in your hair, nails and even your skin. Some of the easiest ways to include biotin naturally in your diet include vegetables such as cauliflower, mushrooms and Swiss chard, whole grains, beans, and nut butter and peanuts. If you are a non-vegetarian, you can include sardines, liver, and eggs, both in cooked and raw forms.