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The Pros & the Cons of Taking Biotin for Hair Growth

White pills falling out of bottle.

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If you're on a hair-growth kick, chances are you've heard of biotin, a vitamin that's widely used in over-the-counter products and supplements to promote fast hair and nail growth. What you might not be aware of is the lack of scientific proof as to how well biotin actually works. There have been case reports supporting the growth claims, but as of yet, there have been no high-quality studies performed by reputable organizations. Lack of proof aside, you'll find plenty of women willing to try it out to grow their hair quickly. 

As with any supplement, there are good and bad points, so what are the pros and cons of taking biotin in a quest for longer hair? Here we'll weigh the pros and cons of the water-soluble vitamin.

Biotin Pros

  1. Biotin is budget-friendly and accessible. Biotin supplements are easily found in drugstores, mass-market retailers, and online. You'll find various dosages, with 5000mcg being the suggested amount for anyone using it primarily for hair and nail growth. Along with the easy availability, it's not a pricey supplement, so it works for the budget-conscious consumer. 
  2. You may see stronger, longer nails. This supplement is not only purported to help with your tresses, but it's also believed to help grow stronger nails. It makes sense when you consider that hair and nails both contain keratin.
  3. Your metabolism may benefit. Biotin helps the body metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, which may, in turn, give you more energy.

Biotin Cons

  1. Biotin may not work well with other prescriptions and supplements. Any time you begin taking new medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription, you should consult with your doctor. Certain medications may lower biotin levels, including some antibiotics and anti-seizure meds. In addition, if you have a pre-existing condition or are pregnant or nursing, it's best to ask your doctor before taking biotin or other supplements.
  2. You might develop breakouts. Some women report that although they drink the suggested amount of water (or more) while taking biotin supplements, their complexions still suffer. It's discouraging to suddenly develop a case of bad acne, especially if you've never had issues with pimples before. If this side effect does pop up for you, stop taking the supplement and make an appointment with a dermatologist to get some professional guidance. 
  3. Consistency is key. To see results, you have to remember to take your supplement each day. If you're the forgetful type, try setting an alarm to keep yourself on track. The Pill Reminder Medication Alarm app comes highly-rated and can help you remember to take other medications as well. 

If you're the forgetful type, try setting an alarm to keep yourself on track. The Pill Reminder Medication Alarm app comes highly-rated and can help you remember to take other medications as well. 

The Bottom Line

If you think your body is suffering from biotin deficiency, check in with your healthcare provider for advice on how to adjust your diet and add supplements to your daily routine. Since biotin is found naturally in foods like nuts, legumes, and eggs, you may want to add more of these foods to your diet, of course, after consulting with your doctor. 

 

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