Biotin for hair: does it really work?

Biotin, often touted as a key component of hair products, is attracting growing interest from those looking to improve the health and appearance of their hair. This B vitamin, known as B7 or H, is increasingly popular for its potential role in strengthening hair and promoting hair growth. With so much hype, one question remains: how effective is biotin really for our hair?

What is biotin?

The biotin is a water-soluble vitamin part of the B vitamin complex. Naturally produced in the intestine by our microflora and eliminated in the urine, it functions as a coenzyme, participating in a number of important biochemical reactions:

  • It is involved in lipid metabolism, proteins and carbohydrates, essential for the nutrition of hair follicle.
  • It facilitates absorption and the body's use of fats, which is important for maintaining the structure of the skin and scalp.
  • It plays a role in transformation of glucose, helping to maintain stable blood sugar levels, a factor which can indirectly influence hair health.
  • It contributes to amino acid synthesis, the building blocks of proteins such as hair keratin which is the main component of hair.
  • It is involved in synthesis of other B complex vitamins, including vitamins B9 and B12, which are also important for healthy hair.

Although biotin exists in eight different chemical forms, only the D-Biotin form is biologically active and has a vitamin activity that benefits our body and the health of our hair.

Biotin: good for your hair?

Biotin for hair: does it really work? 1

Biotin is renowned for its beneficial effects on hair. Thanks to its role in the metabolism of essential nutrients, it can be the key to healthy and luminous :

  • Keratin stimulation : Biotin contributes to the production of keratin, the protein that forms the main structure of hair. An adequate amount of biotin could therefore help to strengthen hair structure and potentially increase the rate of growth.
  • Damage prevention : By supporting cell health, biotin can help prevent hair brittleness and protect against dryness and environmental damage.
  • Improved radiance : Healthy hair reflects light better, making it shinier. Biotin can contribute to better overall hair health, improving shine.
  • Scalp support : a healthy scalp is essential for a healthy hair growth and biotin, by taking part in the metabolism of fatty acids, could promote a well-nourished scalp.

Biotin promotes hair growth: true or false?

Biotin is often presented as a key nutrient to stimulate hair growth, but the reality is that the a little more nuanced. 

Although it is a vital component of protein metabolism - and by extension, of the production of keratin, which is a constituent protein of hair - there is no conclusive evidence that biotin supplementation promotes hair growth in people with recommended biotin levels (15 and 30 micrograms per day for adult men and women).

The widespread belief that biotin accelerates the hair growth. comes from the observation of cases of biotin deficiency, which are rare and can lead to symptoms such as hair loss and the brittle nails. In these cases, biotin supplementation can actually improve hair condition and stimulate hair growth.

For individuals with no deficiency, there is not enough data to state categorically that biotin has a direct effect on hair growth. Nevertheless, it remains an essential component of a balanced diet and may play a role in the maintaining the overall health of the hair.

Beware of over-consumption of biotin!

Although biotin is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that the excess is generally eliminated in the urine and that an toxicity is rare, excessive consumption may cause side effects or interfere with certain medical tests. 

It is always advisable to consult a healthcare professional before starting a biotin supplement, especially if you are taking other medications or have underlying health conditions.

How can vitamins and minerals complement the effectiveness of biotin?

Certain nutrients work better together. For example vitamin C helps with the absorption of iron, an essential mineral for hair growth. Biotin, when taken with other B vitamins, such as B12, can promote healthier hair.

Biotin is involved in the production of keratin, and other nutrients, such as zinc and proteins are also essential for this function. A sufficient intake of zinc, for example, can help maximise the production of keratin stimulated by biotin.

An balanced diet is generally sufficient to provide all these nutrients without the need for supplements. However, in some cases, health professionals may recommend supplements to help fill nutritional gaps.

Which foods are richest in biotin?

To increase your biotin intake, it is advisable to include foods naturally rich in this vitamin in your diet. 

Among them, the salmon is an excellent source, as are eggs, which are particularly rich in biotin when cooked. Sweet potatoes almonds and oats are also good options, as are bananas, which can be a handy snack.

Biotin for hair: does it really work? 2
Biotin for hair: does it really work? 3

Among the foods rich in biotin, salmon, but also almonds and oats

However, given that biotin is water-soluble and is not stored by the body, these foods should be eaten regularly in order to maintain an adequate level of biotin.

How can I promote hair growth?

For promote hair growth, Adopting a balanced diet is fundamental. A diet rich in proteins, vitamins and essential minerals, such as biotin, iron, vitamin C and omega-3, can help improve hair health and growth. 

In addition to diet, the use of hair products designed to target and nourish the hair follicle is also important. hair bulb can also help to stimulate growth.

It's also crucial to understand the current state of your hair and scalp. A hair diagnosis performed can reveal underlying problems such as dryness, breakage, hair loss, or scalp imbalances that can impede hair growth. Based on this diagnosis specific treatments can be recommended to treat identified problems and promote healthy hair growth. 

Finally, avoid harmful practices such as excessive use of heating tools, Tight hairstyles and aggressive chemical treatments are also beneficial for hair health.

Biotin, known for its key role in the metabolism of nutrients and in the production of keratin, is often cited as an important factor in hair health and growth. Although it can offer significant benefits, particularly for people with deficiencies, biotin alone is not a miracle solution for hair growth. 

For optimise hair health, it's essential to maintain a balanced diet, rich in proteins, vitamins and essential minerals, and to look after your hair and scalp with the right products.

Jean-François Cabos

Jean-François Cabos is the creator of a unique hair care method based on the research he coordinated, which led to the publication of the book "Cheveux, Racines de Vie" with Hélène Clauderer by Robert Laffont (Collection "Réponses/ Santé").

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