Biotin, Keratin, and Vitamins, Oh My! Demystifying Hair Growth Using Biotin

Main image courtesy of Curl Centric.

Hair. It’s that stuff that grows all over (thicker in some places than in others). The stuff that people take immense pride in having on top of their heads in the correct amount and color. We shave it, tweeze it, sculpt it, curl it, and straighten it back out again just for giggles. Not many parts of your body have a hit musical named after them! It’s just Hair. Please note the “hit” musical qualification. I’m sure there’s a musical out there called Arms and Legs, but they’ve got nothing on Hair. 

A lot of time, energy, and thought goes into the stuff above your thinker. The question that pops up time and time again for the follicly challenged and style interested among us is as follows. “I know it grows by itself, but how can I get more of it?” Evidently unsatisfied by the answer of “wigs,” an alternative route was discovered. Biotin! Used carefully, Biotin can encourage hair growth and help strengthen what’s there. Let’s take a look at:

  • What biotin is  
  • How you can use biotin for hair growth

Biotin and Where It Comes From

Nothing To Do With Tin, a Good Bit To Do With Bio

woman with long hair

Want longer hair? Consider adding biotin for hair growth!

Biotin, on its initial discovery in 1935, was briefly known as vitamin H, and is now today more commonly referred to as vitamin B7. Its origins have much to do with its purported qualities in relation to hair. After feeding lab mice a diet with a slight additive of uncooked egg white, the mice showed issues including rashes and hair loss. A deficiency of Biotin was later discovered to be the cause, and was later chemically isolated. 

It was hoped that it would be the “silver bullet” that mankind had been looking for for so long. Treatments for hair loss are as old as medicine itself, with Hippocrates (that’s the guy whose oath doctors have to take) tried a variety of them on himself. His treatment included a wonderful smelling mix of opium, pigeon droppings, beetroot, horseradish, and several spices. He had little luck, and further cases of clinical hair loss were referred to as “Hippocratic Baldness”. 

There have been plenty of attempts afterwards, the pictures and ingredients of which would shock the average modern viewer.

  • Hippo manure and honey (Ancient Egypt)
  • Giving up and wearing powdered wigs (17th century Europe)
  • Barry’s Tricopherous (discovered to be water, alcohol, and dye)
  • Giving up and wearing hats (20th century, everywhere)
  • Electric Combs (19th century America)

Most hair growth formulas take after that original, and are failures. They try to provide an additional chemical aid to a natural biological process. However, Biotin is notable for being naturally occurring and in plenty of foods.

  • Egg Yolk
  • Spinach
  • White Mushrooms
  • Oats
  • Brie Cheese

However, with the advent of supplemental forms, Biotin has received fresh attention as a source of hair and nail growth in a natural and safe way. Useful for the promotion of keratin growth, it is often combined with other vitamins and minerals known for healthy hair and nails, such as Collagen and vitamin D. 

What Does it Actually Do? 

A Surprising Amount for a Micronutrient

woman outside with a cup

By adding a biotin supplement to your routine, you may notice your hair feeling stronger and healthier.

The most relevant effect of Biotin is that it promotes the body’s natural keratin production and makes the individual follicles grow at a faster rate. This is why so much attention is paid to it by the health and beauty industry, but it is far from the only thing that it does. 

It is also known to aid in the metabolization of amino acids, glucose, and acids, as many vitamins do. This is the primary reason it is needed in the amounts that it is by the human body. Interestingly, it also seems to have something to do with gene regulation and the regularity of how DNA expresses itself. 

Most importantly, it’s absolutely crucial to the maintenance of the nervous system. It helps maintain motor control, stress functions, and muscular ability. 

How to Use Biotin for Hair Growth

Adding a biotin supplement could be just what you need

Dr. Emil collagen

If you want to add a biotin supplement for hair growth, you’ll also want to include collagen and vitamin D. Image courtesy of Dr. Emil Nutrition

The average person will intake plenty of Biotin and face no more hair loss or growth than given to them by their parents, their diet, and their environmental stress factors. Where Biotin steps in is when there is either a vitamin deficiency causing issues with hair growth, where disease may rear its ugly head, or even just a desire to supplement natural consumption. 

What is notable here is that Biotin must be consumed to take any sort of effect. Shampoos and oils that contain Biotin provide no more vitamin B7 to you than rubbing a bunch of spinach on your head does. This is why Biotin intake is important in the dietary sense, through either food or supplements. Incidentally, this is also true of most other vitamins and oils; there is very little reason to rub most substances that you wish to have work internally on your skin, scalp, or hair. 

Notably, vitamin B7 is also a water soluble vitamin. There is little danger of having “too much” Biotin, as most people will pass it if their system takes on too much. This makes it quite safe in terms of medicinal and dietary use compared to several other vitamins, and is why you can enjoy a greens-filled summer salad without worrying about a trip to the emergency room. 

If you want to add this helpful supplement to your hair-growing routine, make sure to pick up Dr. Emil’s Multi Collagen Plus Biotin and Vitamin D and let us know how it goes! 

You should consult a licensed health care professional before starting any supplement, dietary, or exercise program, especially if you are pregnant or have any pre-existing injuries or medical conditions.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

@dremilnutrition