BSG Ingredients: Biotin
Biotin, a B-complex vitamin also known as Vitamin H, is vital in cellular proliferation, or the body’s processes of creating new cells. Biotin has also been shown to serve an important role in hair growth by helping the body to process energy and transport carbon dioxide through cells.
Unfortunately, ingesting biotin is unlikely to have any immediate and noticeable effect on the strength of hair and nails unless you have a severe biotin deficiency. Biotin deficiencies are rare as biotin is naturally occurring, as it is produced by the body and found in the foods that we eat. While there are lots of biotin supplements advertised as being for hair and nail growth, ingestible biotin supplements are only approved in cases of biotin deficiencies and not specifically for hair growth. Usually the body will simply clear excess biotin in the urine, however there are a few accounts of biotin overdoses. Signs of a biotin overdose include rashes, high blood sugar, and lowered levels of Vitamin C and B6 levels.
As with any highly concentrated supplement, be sure to only consume it under the advisement of a trusted doctor who is familiar with your health history. When taking ingestible biotin supplements, results will not be discernible, if they occur at all, for three to six months. In addition, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that ingesting biotin supplements can lead to acne and cystic acne breakouts, for some resulting in breakouts more intense and disruptive to the skin than what they had experienced during puberty.
For hair care and restoration, local application of biotin is ideal. “Applying a hair product that is made with biotin will help strengthen the surface of the strands,” says celebrity hairstylist Richard Collins in an interview with The Fashion Spot. In addition to being good for the maintenance of the hair shaft, biotin has recently been shown to be absorbable through the skin and scalp, making it a great choice for scalp care as well. Localized application of biotin aids the scalp in transitioning amino acids into complete proteins such as keratin, a structural protein and crucial component in hair and nail tissues.
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Nancy Cantine is a New York City based movement specialist, anatomy nerd, ex-ballerina, Yin and Vinyasa yoga teacher, and currently holds AAC rank in the Society of American Fight Directors in addition to her writing endeavors. She is tiger mom to a Siamese cat. Her work can be found online at nancycantine.com.