Biotin is a popular supplement used for hair loss, but the question is does biotin work? There are many types of hair loss and it depends upon many factors, that’s why, to address the hair loss problem, we must address the root cause of the problem. And one of the major causes of hair thinning is nutritional deficiencies. How does biotin address this? Let’s explore.
Symptoms of a biotin deficiency
The effects of biotin deficiency depend upon the severity of the deficiency. Symptoms of mild deficiency are fatigue, skin rashes, and mild depression. Whereas, severe deficiency leads to severe symptoms like hair loss, brittle nails, and neurological problems.
Of course, Ayurveda has always shown us the way to maintain proper health. To that end, there are certain ways you can reduce hair fall and regrow hair back. But before that, you have to understand the type of hair fall you are experiencing, to address the root cause of the hair fall.
Which one of these hair losses are you going through?
Chances are experiencing one of these types of hair loss
a) Androgenetic alopecia: This is very common and the root cause is hair follicles shrink over time. Men and women both experience it differently. For Men, it results in a receding hairline and a bald crown of the head. Whereas, women experience a widening part or thin hair.
b) Telogen effluvium: Every hair follicle goes through three phases: growth, transition, and resting. During the resting phase old hair falls and new hair grows from the same hair follicle. However, when a large number of hair follicles goes into the resting phase it leads to overall hair thinning.
c) Alopecia areata: This often starts in childhood or adolescence when the immune system of the body attacks hair follicles. Hair loss can happen in patches or entire scalp, or the entire body.
Apart from these, hair loss can occur due to many other factors like tight hairstyles, chemotherapy, injury to the scalp, etc.
Now you know what type of hair fall you are going through the truth is hair regrowth depends upon many factors and when you look into the cause of hair loss you’ll realize what needs to be done.
The root causes of hair loss
Genetic factors: Genes play a huge role in male and female baldness. And it’s because of the inborn sensitivity to DHT. In the scalp, DHT attaches to hair follicles causing them to shrink, and then eventually stop regrowing hair. this results in hair thinning for both men and women. However, taking supplements with DHT blockers is fraught with risks as they are responsible for proper sexual functioning. So consult with a doctor before you order them.
Hormonal changes: can play a significant role in hair loss. Factors like PCOS, thyroid dysfunctions (especially hypothyroid), and menopause mean a great turmoil of hormones and hair loss.
Stress: activates the body’s immune system which attacks hair follicles causing them to shrink. Second, it weakens the body’s ability to absorb vitamins and minerals causing deficiency and making things even worse.
Our bodies need micronutrients like vitamins and minerals to maintain healthy hair. When we are deficient in these vitamins hair becomes weak, and brittle. And new hair growth slows down. It is a very common cause of hair loss. and some of the nutrients important for healthy hair growth are:
a) Biotin: or vitamin H, is needed to nourish hair follicles with oxygen. It also encourages the production of keratin that provide structure to the hair.
b) Zinc: it’s an important mineral for many functions including hair growth. And it also plays a key role in the regulation of hormones which are needed for hair growth.
c) Iron: iron helps carry oxygen to the hair follicles and nourishes them.
d) Vitamin B12: Low level of B12 is linked to scalp inflammation which is directly linked to poor hair growth.
A deficiency in all or one of these nutrients can contribute to hair fall.
How to fix hair loss with biotin
Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin so it must be taken daily. And we need Biotin for healthy skin, hair, and nails. A meta-study(1) that reviewed 18 studies on biotin for hair loss found that biotin does work to improve hair regrowth.
Although biotin works when it’s combined with collagen its effectiveness goes even higher. As collagen provides the core structure of the hair – the keratin protein. So when the hair follicles have the keratin protein, and more biotin then more and more hair follicles go into the growth phase from the resting phase. That means you will see less hair fall and more regrowth. However, this is a slow process and can take up to six months.
Additionally, to overcome factors of nutritional deficiency you would want to take your daily dose of vitamins and minerals. Ayurveda provides us with shilajit which has 85 minerals and vitamins and can help you overcome deficiencies.
Apart from this, as we have already seen that hormonal changes and stress are two other major factors for hair loss, of course, for hormonal changes talk to any doctor, but stress needs to be tackled if you want to see good progress on this front.
For stress, the best way to handle stress would be to incorporate meditation, exercise, or yoga into your daily activities. Apart from you can use the power of Ayurveda by using Ashwagandha which is an adaptogenic compound. This means it helps you fight off stress. The roots of the Ashwagandha plant are the most potent part of the plant as it is in the ground.
The final verdict is yes biotin does work, but hair loss has many causes and unless those underlying causes are fixed it is very hard to regrow hair. One of the major causes is nutritional deficiency and stress. Biotin with collagen works better as collagen provides the base structure protein for hair, they work in synergy for hair regrowth. Apart from that as stress is also a major factor for hair loss you want to address that with Ayurvedic medicines like ashwagandha KSM and shilajit apart from addressing lifestyle issues.