Does Biotin Actually Work?

Last summer, I was diagnosed with alopecia areata. Basically, this is a disease that causes my body to attack my hair follicles resulting in my hair falling out in large chunks. Specifically, I developed three large bald spots at the top of my head. If you’ve ever had to wait for an appointment with a specialist (in my case, I was waiting for an appointment with a dermatologist), you know just how painstakingly long the process is. I went to my family doctor about it at the beginning of August of last year, and didn’t actually see a dermatologist until the end of November. That’s three whole months of watching helplessly as the spots grew bigger and more of my hair started to fall out.

I didn’t have very many options available to me, so I decided to try biotin. My intention was to use it as something to offset my hair loss, not as a cure (currently, there is no known sure for alopecia!). I’m sure most of you know that biotin is supposed to promote healthy skin, hair and nails, or you’ve at least seen one Sugarbear Hair ad on Instagram or Youtube. Being the skeptic that I am, I wasn’t about to spend money on Sugarbear hair because I didn’t trust it. So I just went to my grocery store and bought straight biotin supplements.

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I bought the Jamieson Biotin supplements, and each little tablet contained 10, 000mcg of biotin. There were 45 tablets and I took one everyday until I ran out. Then I went and bought biotin gummies at a lower dosage (which I still have because I stopped taking them, so they kind of just sit on my shelf). And long story short, I didn’t notice any change in my hair. There wasn’t anything growing where the bald spots were, and I didn’t notice a change in the length or thickness of my hair either.

IMG_5825 But, I did notice that my nails were stronger and grew faster than normal. I normally wouldn’t be able to grow them out as long because they were usually brittle and broke easily. My nails in this screenshot may not look very long to some, at least in comparison to the claws I have now, but back then, this was considered a big achievement for my natural nails (so you could imagine how cheesed I was that I broke one of them).

From my personal experience, I can vouch for the positive effects biotin has on nails but it didn’t do anything to help my hair. Obviously, my circumstances were quite different from the average person, but I didn’t lose all my hair, so I expected at least some change to occur.

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Taken from: https://www.sugarbearhair.com/collections/popular-vitamins

In terms of Sugarbear Hair, I can’t speak on it because I have never tried it before. On their website, they do have a breakdown of all the ingredients in the gummies. They use more than just biotin in their gummies, so maybe the combination of ingredients helps to better promote hair growth. But I would still take this with a grain of salt. Keep in mind that while Sugarbear Hair says that their products are manufactured in facilities that use FDA approved guidelines, they aren’t actually an FDA approved product.

I asked my dermatologist about biotin at my first appointment, and he said that there hasn’t been solid, conclusive evidence and research that shows that biotin actually helps your hair. And I’m not going to lie, I did try to look for research articles using my school’s database (yes, I ACTUALLY researched this… old habits die hard) and I couldn’t find many articles that supported the use of biotin for hair growth. In fact, a lot of the ones I came across concluded that there is a lack of evidence to support healthy individuals taking biotin for hair growth, and that biotin supplementation is actually unnecessary in healthy individuals as the daily amount that we need is usually obtained through our food.

My hair is still in the process of growing back, no thanks to biotin, but from the Kenalog injections I receive from my dermatologist. My take on this is that I personally don’t think biotin products work for hair growth. I trust my own results and what has been presented in scientific research. I’m not trying to bash anyone that uses or wants to try biotin supplements. But if you want to try other options, my dermatologist told me that Rogaine works (don’t be fooled by the fact that there is a Rogaine for men and women, he said that women can use the men one, and it’s cheaper too), and there’s some evidence (not conclusive) that fexofenadine aka Allegra aka a type of allergy medicine, can help with hair growth in alopecia areata patients as well.

DISCLAIMER: Please use common sense, and don’t start popping allergy medicine like candy or start using a men’s hair growth cream, before talking to your doctor. This advice was given to me by my dermatologist because I was dealing with a disease resulting in major hair loss. Strong hair is nice, but health is wealth!

I hope this post has helped to open your eyes on this topic and I’m curious to know your thoughts on this. If you’ve ever tried Sugarbear Hair or biotin supplements, did they actually work for you?? Let me know!

💖, B

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