What is the Best Biotin Supplement For Hair Growth & Hair Loss in 2017?
Hair loss is, unfortunately, an inevitable aspect of aging. However, this doesn’t mean you can forget about nourishing your hair until you reach a certain age.
Regardless of age, your hair may be naturally thin or suddenly lose volume due to certain illnesses or medication side effects. That’s where biotin supplements come in.
You’ve probably heard about biotin. It has quickly become one of the most popular supplements for hair growth and hair loss in recent years. But is it all hype or can a tiny pill really restore those thick, luscious locks in a matter of months (or even weeks)?
In this article, I’ll explain exactly how biotin supplements work and who can benefit from taking them. I’ll also be reviewing some of the best biotin supplements currently on the market and sharing my personal favorite product at the end.
What is Biotin?
Biotin is also known as vitamin B7. It’s sometimes referred to as “vitamin H”, which comes from the German words, Haar and Haut, meaning ‘hair and skin’.
You may have seen biotin listed as an ingredient in various beauty products. Biotin is not well absorbed through the skin so lotions and other topical treatments are not very effective. This is why you should consider taking an oral biotin supplement instead.
Who Needs Biotin Supplements?
The traditional function of a biotin supplement is to treat a biotin deficiency. However, biotin deficiencies are quite rare. Only about 30 micrograms (mcg) of biotin are required per day for an adult (source). To put this into perspective, one whole egg contains 13-25 mcg of biotin (source). Other foods which contain biotin include salmon, liver, yeast, nuts and avocados (source).
However, if you do have a biotin deficiency, you may experience some of the following symptoms:
You may benefit from a biotin supplement if you experience any of these symptoms, especially brittle hair or hair loss (source). Your doctor can quickly and easily diagnose biotin deficiency with a blood test.
Even if you don’t have a biotin deficiency, you may experience hair loss or hair thinning naturally as you age. Changes in hair quality can also occur during pregnancy or if you are consistently stressed out (source). Biotin supplements are also useful for those unlucky folks among us who are victims of hereditary hair loss.
Hair can also become thin due to excessive use of harsh treatments such as straightening, blow drying or dying.
Finally, when taking certain medications (such as immunosuppressants, acne medications or antidepressants), hair loss can be a side effect.
In all of these cases, a biotin supplement may be able to help.
What Do Biotin Supplements Do?
So, how exactly does biotin help hair growth? Is it actually legitimate or another hyped up hair treatment?
First let’s review some basic facts. As you may remember from science class, your hair is made up of the protein, keratin. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, but something needs to set off a chain reaction in order to start the building process.
When it comes to keratin, biotin is that special something. It reacts with cell enzymes and produces the amino acids necessary for constructing keratin (source). So, taking a biotin supplement will allow your hair to grow as fast and thick as it possibly could.
If you’d like to learn more about the health benefits of biotin, check out this video:
How To Choose The Right Biotin Supplement For You
There are countless biotin supplements on the market, making it difficult to find the best biotin supplement for you.
What should you look out for? Take a look at this handy list.
As with anything you’re going to put into your body, quality is king. You should avoid biotin supplements with unnecessary or synthetic ingredients. Many of these ingredients may not have been tested for their efficacy and you may be be diluting the quantity of biotin with every added ingredient.
Safety and Dosage
There’s no doubt we all want to be safe when using nutritional supplements. In fact, safety and quality go hand-in-hand. So, when choosing a biotin supplement, look for one that is manufactured in a facility which is certified under good manufacturing practices (GMP) or approved by the FDA.
If you have allergies, you’ll want to make sure the supplement is allergen-free, too. Though a supplement’s ingredient list may not contain a particular allergen, the supplement may potentially be contaminated if the company’s facilities deals with other products containing the allergen.
Finally, you should consider the dosage provided per serving. Does the supplement contain enough biotin to do what you need it to do? Biotin supplements for hair growth typically have a dosage of 5,000 to 10,000 mcg. However, some people may find that 10,000 mcg is a bit too much for them.
If you are vegetarian, you will want to check the label to see if the product is vegetarian-friendly. Many brands use a gelatin capsule from an animal source, which is sometimes unexpected. Pectin is a plant-derived alternative.
You may also be wondering what the side effects of biotin are. Well, there are virtually no side effects because biotin is a water-soluble vitamin. This means that your body will get rid of any excess amounts.
However, if you consume a biotin supplement in very large doses for a prolonged period, it may lead to adverse effects. These rare overdoses can lead to eosinophilic pleuropericardial effusion, a potentially life-threatening condition (source). Again, this is very rare and no adverse effects have been found for doses of up to 5,000 mcg per day (source).
And remember, as is the case when starting any other supplement, it’s recommended that you speak to your doctor or pharmacist before taking a biotin supplement. This is especially important if you take a regular prescription medicine or have an ongoing health condition.
Our Picks for the Best Biotin Supplement
Now that you understand what to look for in a biotin supplement and more importantly why, I’m going to review five of the most popular options on the market at the moment. I’ve listed the major pros and cons so you can compare brands easily. Hopefully, my reviews will help you make an informed decision.
These biotin supplements were all very close in terms of ratings, making it tough to pick just one as the winner. In my opinion, out of the five supplements reviewed, the best biotin supplement is Just Potent’s 5000mcg supplement.
First of all, I think 5,000 mcg is a safe amount of biotin to ingest. It does cause some people to break out (as many biotin supplements do), but not the majority. It also works well for the purpose of preventing hair loss and stimulating hair growth.
On top of that, Just Potent’s biotin supplement formula contains ingredients with antioxidant properties, which protect against grey hair and hair loss. There are no fillers in this product, so I know I am really getting what I paid for.
I like that Just Potent is a high-quality company, too. Their supplement is verified non-GMO and processed in a GMP-compliant facility. This means you don’t need to worry about it being unsafe or low in quality.
I am so glad this product is stearate-free, yet easy to swallow and seems to work very well. The price is also pretty good, so you don’t need to feel as though you’re spending a fortune just to get your hair back!
For all of these reasons, Just Potent is my top pick for biotin supplements.