The Vitamin You Need To Take If You Want Healthier Hair

Those who have always struggled to grow their hair into long, luscious locks might finally have a solution — biotin supplements. As registered dietitian nutritionist Sonya Angelone, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told Allure"Although there isn't good scientific evidence that taking biotin supplements will help thinning hair to grow or nails to get stronger, people who take biotin supplements will often see a benefit." But what exactly is biotin and what are these hair benefits Angelone speaks of?

According to Gretchen Frieling, M.D., a dermatopathologist, biotin (also known as vitamin B7) is B-complex vitamin. "It's a water-soluble vitamin, meaning it's not stored in the body and any excess is eliminated through urine," she explained to Shape, adding, "It's useful in metabolizing carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into energy, meaning it's important for metabolic health, as well as for maintaining nervous system functions." But more interestingly, it's an essential nutrient for skin, hair, and nails.

Biotin supplements can help promote hair growth

For those who are biotin deficient and experiencing side effects like thinning hair and hair loss, biotin supplements can work to promote growth. As dermatologist Wilma Bergfeld, M.D. told the Cleveland Clinic, "Biotin improves hair growth and helps with inflammation. The hair follicle, the skin, and the nails all benefit." It is particularly useful for those with alopecia.

However, it's important to note that there is such a thing as too much biotin. Dr. Jessica J. Krant, a board-certified dermatologist at the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York, revealed to Into The Gloss, "Many reports indicate that excess ingested biotin can lead to rashes and acne breakouts." She continued, "There are no real scientific, blinded, placebo-controlled research trials to prove this, but if you start taking biotin and get worsening of your acne, the biotin may indeed be the culprit." 

If you're interested in taking biotin supplements, consult a medical professional for guidance to make sure it's right for you.