Does biotin make your hair grow longer? We ask the experts

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Does biotin make your hair grow longer? We ask the experts


Longing for longer hair? Chances are you’ve Googled ‘biotin for hair growth’ at some point. A big name in the supplement sphere, biotin plays a starring role in most, if not all, hair growth vitamins and pills due to its alleged ability to promote stronger strands and reduce hair shedding. But does it really work?

According to the mass of social media posts promoting hair growth pills, it does. But dig a little deeper into the research (or lack of), and it’s clear to see that many of the claims are likely inflamed. To shed light on the supplement’s supposed superpowers, we’ve reached out to industry experts. Buckle in.

What is biotin?

“Biotin, also known as vitamin H and vitamin B7, is a water-soluble vitamin that’s found naturally in many foods including eggs, salmon, sweet potato, almonds and milk,” says Annabel Kingsley, brand president and consultant trichology at Philip Kingsley. It plays an important role in the body, converting carbohydrates, fats and proteins into energy.

And, as the experts confirm, it also plays a role in your hair and scalp health. “Biotin’s involvement in protein synthesis and keratin (the key structural material of hair) production allows this vitamin to contribute to healthy nail and hair growth,” explains Purvika Patel, formulation chemist for Dermatology M.

Do we need biotin?

While we do need biotin to help the body convert food into energy and maintain healthy hair, according to the NHS, we only need it in very small amounts (between 30-100 micrograms). And most healthy individuals will meet this requirement from eating a balanced and varied diet alone.

“A true biotin deficiency is very rare,” points out Kingsley. But if your body is deficient in biotin, “you may experience thinning hair and brittle nails,” adds Patel, which is where biotin supplements come into play.

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Does biotin help improve hair growth?

“Biotin is very unlikely to cure a hair loss issue,” says Kingsley, “that is unless you do actually have a biotin deficiency.” In this case, supplementing biotin can be helpful, but it’s important to see an expert first who can evaluate biotin levels along with other potential nutritional deficiencies.



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