Suppose you’re looking to grow your hair. In that case, there’s a high possibility you’ve bumped into a supplement on Google or Instagram having biotin, a B vitamin found in eggs, sweet potatoes, salmon, almonds, and other biotin-rich foods.
Don’t worry; you’re not alone. A particular survey showed that searches like, “what’s the correct dosage of biotin?” “best biotin supplement for hair growth” and “the side effects of biotin,” have risen by more than 80% in the past few months. Other readers also inquired, “can biotin be the cause of headaches?”
Essentially, because hair issues are a very sensitive topic in the present society, it is wise to have all the information. And so, this work addresses all there’s to know about biotin. We specifically address the side effects of biotin, especially headaches.
Do you need biotin?
Biotin, also denoted vitamin B7, boosts the formation of keratin in hair and has been shown to accelerate follicle growth. Like all in all vitamins, the body does not store biotin; most of yours comes from your consumed foods. And so, you must finish it regularly.
Although there is little conclusive proof that biotin prevents hair loss, it remains a common supplement for nail, skin, and hair growth, according to a 2017 review published in the journal Skin Appendage Disorders.
Supplementation with biotin may benefit those deficient in it; however, biotin insufficiency is exceptionally uncommon in the general population. While some shampoos contain biotin to prevent hair loss, there’s no proof that this works. Consuming foods high in healthy minerals and benefits will benefit your hair’s general health.
Some natural sources of biotin include eggs, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and meat. According to the National Institutes of Health, they will strengthen your hair follicles by increasing your keratin levels. By boosting your hair, you can reduce the likelihood of falling out.
The institute recommends that adults drink around 30 mcg per day, and breastfeeding women should increase their consumption to 35 mcg per day with physician direction. Vitamin E-rich foods, including nut butter and avocado, can also help maintain healthy hair. Finally, ensure that you obtain an adequate amount of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids in foods such as fish, walnuts, and chia seeds.
Hair loss is frequently caused by genetics, certain drugs, and underlying illnesses such as depression and stress. Consult a physician if you are concerned about your hair loss. They may perform a physical examination and determine whether your hair care routine or food is to blame.
Furthermore, you may be vitamin deficient, which provides the building blocks necessary to regrow healthy hair. In general, hair loss is pretty standard, and with the right treatments, you can find better solutions than biotin supplements.
Other Hair Loss Options
If your goal is to grow your hair or boost its thickness, rather than immediately reaching for a chewable supplement or pill, it’s critical to discover the underlying cause. Occasionally, seemingly insignificant problems can suggest a more severe problem, so consulting a professional comes in handy.
Common diagnoses include iron deficiency, hypothyroidism, lupus, and zinc and vitamin D deficiency. Certain specialists recommend having your iron levels examined and consuming 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 each day since it aids patients with female pattern hair loss.
You can utilize the component minoxidil topically, commonly denoted using the brand name Rogaine. It is the only topical substance that has been shown to promote hair growth. It is especially beneficial in reversing the course of hair loss, which is the most prevalent benefit.
Does biotin help the hair grow?
Hair supplements that promise “longer, stronger” hair frequently contain more biotin than the standard RDA. However, having an overdose of biotin may not always give the benefits you need for your hair. Biotin is water-soluble, which means that what your body does not utilize is excreted in your urine. While high doses are inappropriate, taking above the RDA is deemed safe.
Another point of agreement among the specialists consulted for this piece is that there is still insufficient data indicating that biotin genuinely promotes hair growth. In a case study released in the Pediatric Dermatology journal in 2007, biotin was discovered to treat a child with a very unusual disorder called Uncombable Hair Syndrome.
To be ‘proved,’ you must conduct controlled clinical trials in which half of the individuals receive biotin, but the other half do not. Nonetheless, biotin has never been the subject of a controlled clinical trial. Yet, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence from those who say it has aided their hair to grow.
The only exception is a small number of patients with an actual biotin deficit. According to research, people in this category react well to supplements. There is little proof that it will benefit you in most other circumstances. Many dermatologists continue to suggest it, and there is no proof that it can harm you.
Another factor to examine is the real reason for hair loss. Telogen effluvium is a disorder that causes you to shed more hair than usual, but it usually resolves itself. In some cases, people mistakenly credit biotin for growth when it has little to do with it.
This [type of hair loss] is produced by some form of stress on the body, whether mental anxiety or physical stress. It can be disconcerting to see plenty of shedding hair on your pillow or in the shower. It can, however, revert on its own; when the stress subsides, the hair regrows. However, many individuals mistakenly attribute it to biotin.
Can biotin cause headaches or migraines?
So to address the elephant in the room, does biotin cause headaches or migraines? Yes, it does. A particular study in eHealthMe.com claimed that biotin caused migraine with aura in females above 60. The study was based on reports of more than 24,000 people who’ve been taking FDA-approved biotin supplements. Although the population in context includes older adults, if you’re experiencing a headache after consuming biotin, you may be on to something regardless of your age.
Anecdotal links between breakouts and biotin supplements have been addressed in online beauty groups like Reddit. According to the specialists contacted for this piece, no clinical trials have been conducted to determine whether or not consuming biotin can cause acne or breakouts.
Interestingly, a few patients claim that taking biotin induced their acne to flare up. An overabundance of biotin, in theory, could limit the uptake of other breakout-fighting vitamins in the gut, particularly vitamin B5. In these circumstances, augmenting with B vitamins or just discontinuing biotin use is advised, as its effect on hair development is unknown.
Because B5 is a component of the skin barrier, this might potentially result in skin barrier disturbance. [It’s] an indirect association — not the most substantial science, to be honest — but some people claim experiencing breakouts after starting on biotin tablets.
Another thing to keep in mind: A 2019 FDA warning stated that taking biotin supplements, especially in more significant amounts, can interfere with the validity of lab test results, using the example of screening for troponin, a biomarker used to determine if you’re suffering a heart attack. Biotin can cause false negatives by showing low troponin levels.
Other Hair Loss Options
Instead of reaching for a chewable supplement or pill, figure out what’s preventing hair growth. Minor symptoms might sometimes suggest a more considerable concern, so you should visit a physician. You could be suffering from hypothyroidism, lupus, iron, zinc, or vitamin D insufficiency.
Experts recommend examining your iron levels and taking 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 each day to aid individuals suffering from female pattern hair loss. They also advise avoiding tight styles, smoking, low-calorie diets, heated tools, and expert chemical services like dyeing, perming, and relaxing. Further, they advise against smoking since it produces inflammation in the body, exacerbating several issues, including hair loss.
If you’re taking care of your hair but still losing it, consider laser and platelet-rich plasma treatments (PRP). Some specialists recommend blood tests to determine if you have a hormonal imbalance that requires a topical DHT (dihydrotestosterone) blocker.
Biotin can cause headaches and other adverse effects such as breakouts and acne. Considering that it isn’t compulsory to take it—unless you’re suffering from severe hair loss issues attributable to vitamin B7 deficiency—always consider other options.
First, you can consume biotin-rich foods such as eggs, meat, and nuts. You can also consider taking iron and vitamin D3 supplements as recommended above. You can also have your blood checked. Your hair loss could be a symptom of a severe underlying medical condition such as lupus and hypothyroidism.