When it comes to everything from boosting your natural hair growth to reversing damage from heated styling or chemical hair treatments, it seems like you can’t escape a mention of the wonderful powers of biotin. Biotin is included in everything from hair growth supplements to hair care serums and specialized shampoos and conditioners, and it is clear that it is a valued ingredient in the hair care community. But what exactly is biotin, anyways, and what are its benefits for your hair? Read below for more information on this incredible ingredient!
What is Biotin?
Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, is an essential vitamin, meaning the body cannot create it on its own, and thus requires it from our diet. Aside from boosting cardiovascular health and enhancing the body’s ability to break down amino acids and carbohydrates, biotin is a crucial component in helping the body produce energy and sustenance for nearly every biological function.
How Does Biotin Help Your Hair?
By being able to help break down amino acids and other vital energy-producing ingredients, biotin helps to also boost the production of keratin, which is the essential building block of our hair, skin, and nails. By improving the production of keratin and boosting protein growth, biotin can theoretically boost the growth of the hair, skin, and nails, allowing for healthy growth cycles. When added to one’s diet, biotin can potentially aid in boosting one’s overall hair growth while helping to curb hair loss, along with helping to create stronger, thicker hair.
What Foods Have Biotin?
Since biotin is an essential vitamin, the body can’t produce it on its own and thus needs to obtain it from diet and supplements. When it comes to diet, some of the best sources of biotin are also some of the most nutritious, protein-rich foods imaginable, providing an all-around boost for your physical health. Egg yolks, for instance, contain a significant amount of biotin within its protein-dense structure, making them a perfect addition for boosting hair growth. Other biotin-rich sources include salmon, avocado, legumes (peas, beans, and lentils), nuts, seeds, and sweet potatoes, among other food options.
What Happens When You Don’t Have Enough Biotin?
Because biotin can only be obtained from diet or supplementation, it can be far too easy to become biotin deficient. But how does one know if he or she is biotin deficient? Some symptoms of biotin deficiency in the hair include rapid hair thinning, shedding, and decreased hair growth. In the skin and nails, this can be seen in random skin rashes and skin thinning, along with thinning nails or brittle nails on the hands and feet. While many of these symptoms can be ascribed to other conditions or causes, one must always ensure he or she is properly supplementing with adequate biotin in his or her diet to prevent any chronic or long-term issues from flaring up in a variety of physical avenues.