The Biotin Experiment
A Review of taking a daily Biotin Supplement for healthier hair, skin, and nails for two years.
I have been growing my hair out since 2011 and it is currently several inches longer than it has ever been in my life! Along the way I have had to make choices (like doing less color/chemical services, mastering curling iron waves that last for three days without heat styling again) to maintain the health of my hair so that I could push past the long bob length.
In early 2017, I began to feel like my hair was thinning and it was starting to make me panic a bit. I could brush my hair and throughout my whole head I would find hair that was a length half as long as the rest (and we're not talking layers here). This was something I had seen before while working with clients and it was typically the result of a stressful phase in life having passed months earlier or post-pregnancy hair. In my case it wasn't the latter... it could have been stress, or something else.
Since we know that we grow something like 100 new hairs each day, I wondered if this was the simple explanation for the large amount of shorter hairs. I figured that there must be some truth to this idea and I just didn't notice it during all of the years that I wore my hair at shoulder length or shorter. Regardless, my mind still wasn't fully at ease and I decided it was time to try out a Biotin supplement and see for myself if they really work.
Through a little research (on WebMd) I have learned that Biotin supports the health of the skin, nerves, digestive tract, metabolism and cells. While it is present in many foods making a deficiency rare, there are no known risks from having too much Biotin in your diet, resulting in an unknown maximum allowance.
The Downside to Biotin
I only have two complaints when it comes to taking Biotin.
I have a lot of fuzzy short hairs all around my front hairline. This is annoying in the instance that it poses a styling challenge. I need to try and blend them into the rest of my hair and when there is humidity they frizz out again. However, my hairline is much fuller now and the recession near my temples is less noticeable- so I'll take it.
My second complaint is my whisker! Yes, unlady-like as it is, need to share the full picture. Since taking Biotin, I have one coarse light hair that will grow just to the right of my chin. I check for it most every day and I always pluck it at my earliest opportunity! I must also mention that I am 37 years old and I have heard from other women that this is something that happens as we get a little older, so there is a chance that Biotin may not be the cause.
All the Details
As mentioned earlier, I began taking a daily Biotin Supplement in early 2017. While the results were hard to measure (minus the whisker mentioned above), I will admit that come Summer time the feeling of worry about my hair thinning had gone away. This might have been a placebo effect, but since I knew that I couldn't be hurting anything by taking it I thought that I might as well continue.
Fast forward to the Summer of 2018, and during a run to Walgreens, I found that the brand of Biotin I was accustomed to was sold out! I considered my options and went home with VitaFusion Extra Strength Biotin 5000mcg Gummies.
I continued with life as usual and was crazy busy since this was peak Wedding Season. One day I looked down at my nails and realized that I hadn't trimmed them in over a week and they were perfectly fine. This was around the same time that I began to grow a fuller front hairline. Then another week passed, and then another with no sign of a chip or a tear.
My old routine was keeping my nails polished and short to avoid breaking one at work and catching it in a client's hair all day. Now I can grow them as long as I want to!
Since these new results were blowing my mind, I decided to compare my new variety of Biotin to the old one and realized that I was now consuming double the quantity (from 2500mcg- 5000mcg) of what I was used to. That explained it!
While I haven't observed any changes in my skin, the benefits to my nails and hair have made me a believer, and I will continue to take this supplement and recommend it to others!