Friday, October 7, 2011

Biotin, Yay or Nay...

Remember, when I told you guys that I have issues with severe shedding and thinning hair? It may not look like it in my pictures, but I do. I'm talking about hand fulls of hair being pulled out the comb. My hair use to be pretty thick. It could be a combination of things; stress, hormonal changes, poor eating habits... I don't know. I bought a few clip on extensions in the past but never really wore them. They never looked right on me. The color was always wrong, they were too shiny somewhat artificial looking (yes, the human hair), and when I put them on they never really looked like my natural hair or blended in very well. So, to combat the problem I decided to do away with the extensions and start a little research. I want that full, thick, healthy hair, without the extensions. Now, don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with using them at all. They just didn't work for me. I've seen many girls pull them off quite well!

So, one of my favorite “go to” forums is Here, is where I discovered Biotin. Biotin is a water soluble B-complex vitamin which means that what your body doesn't absorb, will flush out through your urine. Increasing your biotin intake claims to improve the conditions of healthy hair, hair loss, brittle nails, acne, and diabetes to name a few. We all have biotin in our diets anyway (bananas, peanuts, egg, oatmeal...) but the supplement could benefit people that may be biotin deficient. These are the individuals that would notice the most dramatic changes.

Many of the girls at longhaircareforum and other sites said after 30 days of taking the supplement, there was a significant improvement in the thickness of their hair... quite noticeable in fact. Some said they didn't notice a difference at all and a few said that even though their hair got thicker, they were also getting some severe cystic acne. They weren't sure if this was a side effect but they noticed it a few days to a week or so after taking the supplements. It seems that the side effect depends on the individual's threshold. Some notice the acne after taking about 600mcg and some noticed it after about 2500mcg or 5000mcg. I decided to research the side effects as well. Some sites reported that there are no side effects, some say that the side effects are an increase in hair growth EVERYWHERE (ladies?), and there it is... some reported acne as a side effect.

Hmmm... So, thicker hair or possible acne... Is it really that serious? Well, I think I still may want to give it a try. I won't know if it'll help the problem if I don't give it a try, right? Maybe I will start with a low dosage to find my own threshold. Ladies (or fellas)? Tell me what you think. Has anyone out there tried biotin? What has it done for you? Did you also suffer from acne as a side effect? Do you have any other suggestions for increasing hair thickness or to stop shedding? If I decide to give biotin a try (which I probably will), I will keep you updated on my progress. GNC sells it for about $35-$45 for 150 to 250 tablets or capsules. Pretty expensive I know but it looks like Walmart also sells it starting from about $7. Big difference. I smell a challenge... It may be my own personal challenge but I still smell one! To be continued...

Before making the decision to take any vitamin supplement, you should do your research, weigh out the pros and cons, and consult with your health care provider.