Behind the Scenes with Biotin
Sometimes the search for healthy hair products can lead down an internet rabbit hole – how do you separate expert research from an internet advertorial?
At Hairfinity, we’re dedicated to keeping you informed of all the ingredients in our products, so you know what you’re using – and why it works.
Today we’re giving you a no-nonsense, behind-the-scenes glimpse of what makes Biotin an important part of a healthy hair routine – and how it’ll help you grow longer, stronger locks.
Get to Know Your B-Vitamins
Unless you’re a regular in the supplement aisle, it’s easy to suffer from vitamin overwhelm. There’s lots to remember, especially when it comes to the powerhouse Vitamin B family – there’s 8 of them, after all!
So, what’s the big deal with B-Vitamins?
“They…play important roles in different aspects of cell metabolism, helping you stay energized throughout the day,” Dr. Frank Lipman told lifestyle blog Goop.
“But they are also important in promoting healthy skin and hair, balancing moods and relieving stress, helping mental clarity and focus, supporting cardiovascular health, preventing migraines, and promoting immunity.”
Biotin is a B-complex vitamin – you might also hear it referred to as Vitamin H – and it helps keep your metabolism humming.
“From a nutritional perspective, biotin helps convert food into energy, facilitate liver detoxification, and improve the production of proteins that make up hair, skin, and nails,” nutritionist Dana James explained to Women’s Health.
It’s this link between biotin and the production of the protein keratin that has most excited women who have biotin deficiencies, or who suffer from hair loss.
“Biotin deficiency is rare and low levels may result in brittle nails and hair loss,” cautions dermatologist Susan Stuart at Huffington Post.
“However, hair loss and brittle nails may have multiple causes and taking biotin supplements may actually halt this process and even help to reverse it.”
When it comes to growing a healthy head of hair, it’s best to get a holistic view, which is why expert dermatologists often point to diet as a solution.
“Biotin supplements show best results if you’re already deficient,” Dr. Dennis Gross confirms at New York Magazine. “You can naturally find biotin in nuts, eggs, and leafy greens.”
Time to hit the salad bar! Read on for more tips on a healthy, biotin-fueled diet.
Fix Your Hair from the Inside-Out
“Chances are the average person is already getting plenty of B vitamins from the food they eat,” dietitian Tanya Zuckerbrot confirmed at DailyBurn.
And in order to make sure you’re eating a healthy-hair diet, here are the foods you should be stocking up on:
These little powerhouses contain about 25mcgs of biotin each, according to Self. Whip up some scrambled eggs for breakfast to start your day right.
Turns out this trail mix staple can fuel your diet in more ways than one. A quarter cup of these tasty nuts contains more than 14mcgs of biotin, along with plenty Omega-6 fatty acids.
This popular “brain food” can help you with what’s on top of your noggin, too. With about 5mcgs of biotin per 3 ounces, salmon is the perfect catch for tonight’s dinner.
Never feel bad about your guacamole habit again! A single avocado contains about 6mcgs of hair-healthy biotin.
By incorporating these nutrient-rich foods in your diet, you’ll be one step closer to longer, stronger, healthier hair.
Give Biotin a Helping Hand
While biotin is crucial for hair and nail strength, there are other vitamins and minerals you can focus on to reach peak hair health, too.
Here are some of the most crucial vitamins and nutrients you need to give your hair, skin, and nails some oomph:
“People who have problems with hair loss or hair growth tend to be iron deficient – especially women,” dermatologist Paradi Mirmirani explained to U.S. News & World Report.
If this problem sounds familiar, then experts suggest you spend some quality time with your local butcher. A single 3-ounce serving of beef has a whopping 5 milligrams of iron – about half of your recommended daily need.
If you’re a vegetarian, then keep an eye out for leafy greens with high iron content, like spinach, beans, and tofu, suggests Audrey Bruno at Self.
Hair feeling lackluster?
“Pump up the protein,” dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner suggested to U.S. News & World Report. “Include a small dose at each meal and with each snack, and you’ll keep your hair follicles strong.”
Think handfuls of nuts, lean red meats, eggs, chicken, and pork.
This super powerful mineral “promotes cell reproduction, tissue growth, and repair,” reports Tina Benitez-Eves at Men’s Health.
So if you’re losing strands or experiencing dry, itchy scalp, fill your shopping cart with shellfish, poultry, eggs, and milk.
America’s obsession with “healthy fats” has probably put this term on your radar.
Omega-3 fatty acids “contribute to brain health and may help reduce inflammation,” writes Amanda MacMillan at Health.
They also happen to keep your scalp from getting too dry, which helps your hair stay full and shiny.
For a diet rich in omega-3s, stock up on tuna fish, nuts, and flax seed.
What’s Up with Keratin Treatments?
At Hairfinity, we think it’s important to treat the hair from the inside-out by focusing on diet and, if necessary, vitamin supplements.
Still, we understand that women who struggle with hair loss or lackluster locks are looking for any solution out there.
And while there are plenty of safe external treatments that will give your hair the nutrients it needs to grow thicker, fuller, and longer, keratin treatments should be approached with caution.
Even though biotin helps to produce keratin naturally in your body, applying keratin chemically to your hair might pose significant risks to your hair and scalp.
According to a story reported in Harper’s Bazaar, some of these treatments use dangerous chemicals, like formaldehyde and methylene glycol, both carcinogens.
Plus, the treatment often requires high heat, which can damage already-fragile hair.
“Subjecting a fine or heavily highlighted head of hair to a 450 degree flat iron…may not leave your hair feeling as wonderful as these treatments tend to claim,” celebrity hair stylist David Babaii told Harper’s.
Instead, suggests beauty writer Nicole Catanese, try boosting the production of keratin through your diet.
“[Load] up on ample protein…with foods such as eggs, poultry, and Greek yogurt, as well as iron, which is found in chia seeds and leafy greens like spinach,” Catanese writes.
The potential risks of keratin treatments serve as a helpful reminder: just because something is naturally made inside your body, doesn’t mean it works as well outside your body. That’s why diet is king!
Take It Easy
If you’ve already fallen in love with biotin, a word of caution.
It’s easy to take too much – and wind up with symptoms like high blood sugar, skin rashes, or low insulin, according to Huffington Post.
The smarter move?
Chat with your doc about your hair health, especially if you plan on supplementing with biotin.
“Many women with thinning hair have low levels of biotin,” nutritionist Gina Keatley told Self.
“But this isn’t the only potential cause of thinning hair, and biotin shouldn’t be a go-to remedy unless blood testing reveals that you have low levels of the vitamin,” she adds.
Until then, use our handy primer to maximize your grocery cart for shinier, healthier hair.
With so many DIY treatments and healthy-hair supplements floating around on the web, it’s smart to know more about the vitamins you’re taking – and how to amp up your diet for more desirable locks.
By incorporating more vitamin B-complex into your diet, along with the minerals and nutrients that help make your skin, nails, and hair super strong and healthy, you’ll be on the path to thicker, more gorgeous hair in no time.
Do you supplement with biotin? Tell us about your success with Vitamin B in the comments below :
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