Do Biotin supplements really help your hair grow?

Vitamins Hands | Healthline

As you scroll down your Instagram feed, you’ll probably at some point come across some form of advertisement for a hair and skin vitamin that contains Biotin. They usually come in two forms, either a gummy or a pill, and there are countless brands. Most people are familiar with the brand called “SugarBearHair.” A lot of celebrities, even previous Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants, post selfies of themselves taking the vitamin.

Khloe Kardashian Vitamin | Marie Claire


Carly Waddell Vitamin | Refinery29

When you read the back of the label, it says that it contains Biotin (5000 micrograms), along with a list of other vitamins like B12 and Vitamin A that “clinically” prove to support hair growth and skin health. If you take a look the website, it says that 94% of consumers saw results after three months.

But is this actually true or is this just another form of false advertising that is commonly seen in the beauty industry?

Dietitian Andy Bellatti, MS, RD told INSIDER that even if you take it religiously, a Biotin supplement won’t do anything to change your hair, skin, and nails.

First off, what is Biotin? It’s just another name for Vitamin B7. It’s water-soluble, which means that your body doesn’t store it, and it helps convert food into energy. It’s similar to all of the other B vitamins, but Bellatti says what’s different about Biotin specifically is that it is involved in the infrastructure of keratin, which is a protein in hair, skin, and nails. So there is a link, but only if you are already deficient in Biotin. Being deficient in Biotin can cause symptoms like hair loss, thinning hair, and brittle nails and research does show that taking a Biotin supplement when you need it can make a difference.

But Biotin deficiencies are very rare. It’s mostly because it’s found in so many foods and our bodies don’t need much of it. If you are deficient, it’s recommended that people only take about 30 to 11 micrograms per day. Infants would need a smaller dose of 10 to 30 micrograms.

You may be thinking to yourself right now “Am I overdosing on Biotin?” Don’t worry, you’re not. Excess B vitamins are flushed out with your urine and not stored in your body.

So ditch the pill and take a look at some foods that naturally give you the Biotin you need.

1.) Eggs

It’s present in the yolk. Although heat preparation decreases the amount of Biotin in the yolk, you should always consume it cooked not raw. Egg yolks are the most Biotin rich things that you can eat because of the function Biotin serves in the development of an embryo.

2.) Cauliflower

When you eat it raw, it contains 17 micrograms per serving. Since biotin is water-soluble, eat cauliflower raw to get the maximum nutritional benefit.

3.) Cheese

Many dairy products contain some amount of Biotin. Blue cheese, Camembert cheese, Cheddar and American cheese are rich in the vitamin.

4.) Mushrooms

The Biotin content of mushrooms helps to protect them from parasites and predators as they grow. Eating them raw is the best.

5.) Sweet Potato

Contains some of the highest levels of Biotin found in vegetables. It also contains Beta Carotene, which can improve your skin’s appearance.

6.) Spinach

Contains one of the highest Biotin levels among the leafy green vegetables. It doesn’t matter if it’s frozen or fresh because even one serving of chopped spinach that’s been frozen contains 7 micrograms of Biotin.

7.) Almonds

When they’re raw, salted, or roasted they contain high levels of Biotin. Nuts and legumes in general are a source of Biotin. The vitamin can also be found in soybeans, peanuts, green beans, walnuts, and pecans.

References: Insider, SugarBearHair, Medical News Today, and Healthline.