If you believe growing head-turning, healthier hair is an unattainable feat for anyone outside of Hollywood, think again! Although hair growth cycles do vary from person to person, the average rate of how fast hair grows is roughly six inches per year. Of course, overall health plays just as an important of a role in your hair wellness as it does the rest of your body. Other health factors can also impact the different stages of hair growth cycles and hair health. These include:
- People with diabetes, Type 1 or Type 2
By incorporating supplements that focus on holistic health and wellness, such as adding in extra vitamin B and taking biotin, you can build essential proteins, strengthen and generate new growth. Here's how to elevate the health of your hair, skin and nails.
What Is Biotin?
Biotin, which is also called vitamin H or B7, is one of the most popular vitamins that is commonly taken for the health care of hair, skin and nails. Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin — meaning the body doesn’t store it. And because there is no absorption of biotin, there's a relatively low risk of adverse side effects associated with biotin supplements.
Biotin intake helps the body convert food such as carbohydrates, fat and protein into energy. Biotin acts as a coenzyme in metabolic pathways, making it a necessity for the breakdown of food into fatty acids and amino acids. These building blocks are what the body then uses to generate new cells and proteins within the skin, muscles, bones, nails and hair. An adequate intake of biotin, via routine diet, the addition of biotin supplements or a combination of the two, is essential for eye, hair and skin health. The building-block effects of biotin are also needed to ensure proper brain and liver function.
Biotin Benefit 1: Healthy Hair
If long, lustrous, stronger strands are what you're seeking, biotin may speed-track you to style success. There are four phases of the hair growth cycle, including the anagen phase, which is your hair’s growth phase. Approximately 90% of your hairs are in the anagen phase at any given time, which is good news, especially for those experiencing thinning hair or hair loss.
“There have been medically reviewed studies that have shown taking a B vitamin, such as biotin, every day helped in seeing new hair growth in as little as 90 days,” said New York City hairstylist Jasmine Anna Galazka. While most people do get an adequate intake of biotin in their regular diets, higher doses of biotin supplementation have been associated with improved hair growth and increased strength. Taking biotin supplements can also make hair less susceptible to damage, such as breakage, split ends, thinning hair or hair loss.
“Biotin has so, so many benefits, but nothing can beat that natural shine it gives your hair,” said New Jersey hairstylist Michelle Arriaga of Up & Out Salons. As it supports the breakdown of amino acids, it ensures that there is ample biotin supplementation to create a healthy supply of keratin. This will, in turn, bolster both the strength and shine of your hair.
It is possible that those following a vegan diet may not be receiving the recommended daily amount of biotin from plant-based food sources. If this is the case, hair wellness supplements can help. Try a daily biotin supplement such as GRO Biotin Gummies, which includes biotin, folic acid, vitamins B-5, 6 and 12. These nutritional powerhouses can stimulate new cell generation and keratin production, which will encourage healthier, stronger hair. Or our GRO+ Advanced Hair Care Gummies, which feature all the same great nutrients as GRO Biotin Gummies, with the added boost of full-spectrum CBD.
Try It: Biotin Gummies & Hair Foam Kit
Biotin Benefit 2: Clear Skin
While a biotin deficiency is rarely found in the majority of people within the United States, pregnant women can experience it. In these instances, pregnant women can take a prenatal multivitamin containing biotin to help alleviate or prevent further complications.
Some studies also noted that biotin can help regulate blood sugar levels, controlling spikes and fluctuations in glucose and triglyceride levels for those with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, as well as reduce pain from diabetic nerve damage.
Biotin deficiency is also associated with seborrheic dermatitis, a common skin issue that mainly affects the sensitive skin on the scalp. This typically causes red skin, scaly patches and stubborn dandruff. Seborrheic dermatitis also can affect other oily areas of the body, including the face, along the sides of the nose, eyebrows, ears, eyelids and chest.
Applying a nourishing scalp serum, such as GRO + Advanced Hair Serum, can help soothe and treat irritated scalps while fostering healthy hair growth. It also allows for active ingredients such as mung bean, red clover, curcumin and Nicotiana benthamiana to increase the length of hair's growth cycle while strengthening and thickening hair.
Biotin Benefit 3: Strong Nails
Biotin may be a cure for thin or brittle nails, thanks to its protein-building amino acids. It promotes healthy cell growth. Studies have shown a significant increase in nail thickness in those with brittle nails after having taken daily biotin supplements. Biotin supplements are especially helpful for people who bite their nails or frequently wear gel or acrylic nail polish. If you find that your nails tend to break or chip easily, consider adding an increased intake of biotin to help improve nail thickness and strength.
Try It Yourself: Vegan Biotin Gummies With CBD for Strong Hair and Nails
Biotin as a Beauty Booster
“Biotin has long been used for hair health,” said Dr. Michelle Henry, dermatologist and clinical professor at Weill Cornell College of Dermatology. “This vitamin was initially studied for nail health, where it was proven to strengthen the nails. This data was then extrapolated to hair and has been used for years with reports of success. However, there is no strong data suggesting that it works.”
Although scientific evidence may not have provided concrete, conclusive data on the effectiveness or health benefits of biotin supplements, the doctor's medical advice is that taking biotin supplements can help people who are somewhat biotin deficient.
“I would recommend biotin for patients with a biotin deficiency,” said Dr. Henry. “Although the medically reviewed data isn’t strong, it does not hurt to take moderate doses. And, as it is water-soluble, there is a lower risk for toxicity or side effects. However, I don’t recommend excessive[ly] high doses of biotin.”
How Do You Know If You're Taking Enough Biotin?
The U. S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t provide a specific recommended dietary allowance for biotin. However, opting for a daily biotin supplement of as much as 2 mg-5 mg (2,000-5,000 mcg) just might be the beauty booster to a healthy trifecta — otherwise known as your hair, skin and nails.
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Additional members of TEAM VEGAMOUR contributed to the reporting for this article.
Photo credit: VEGAMOUR