Toronto Hair Transplant Surgeons

How Does Biotin Effect Hair Loss?


The Magic Pill For Hair Loss

Everyone suffering from hair loss is hoping for that magical day when they wake up and turn on the news and there it is, the answer to their prayers; the cure for hair loss. There’s no indication that we’re anywhere close to that day anytime soon. There are lots of products out there though that are being touted as the next big thing in hair loss prevention. One of them is Biotin.

What Is Biotin?

Biotin, also known as vitamin H, is one of the B complex vitamins. These vitamins help the body convert food into energy.

The best way to get your daily biotin needs is from eating a healthy diet. As many people know, however, life tends to get in the way of having a healthy diet. For many busy people, the only way to get the vitamins one needs to function healthily is through supplements.

The word Biotin has its linguistic routes in ancient Greece. Back then, the Greek word bio to had it’s meaning as ‘life’ or ‘sustenance’. It’s not surprising then that B vitamins, specifically Biotin, are crucial in helping keep your skin, eyes, liver and nervous system healthy.  It also plays a very important role in having healthy hair.

Can Biotin Stop Male Pattern Baldness?

No. Although biotin is an important vitamin in having a healthy head of hair, if you are suffering from male pattern baldness taking biotin supplements will not have any effect. Male Pattern Baldness is hormonal and genetic and as a vitamin, biotin cannot affect the variables that are the root cause of the condition.

The key cause of male pattern baldness is a sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone, more commonly known as DHT. When the body produces testosterone, excess amounts can be converted into DHT. It is this DHT that, if you are genetically susceptible, can bind to receptors in your scalp. Over time, this can cause the hair follicles to deteriorate, resulting in a receding hairline or thinning hair. Interestingly, it is because the hair follicles at the front and crown of your scalp have the most receptors, they’re usually the first to be affected by hair loss.

Everyone has a different sensitivity level to DHT. This is why some men start to go bald early in life while others maintain a full hairline as they age. If you’re sensitive to DHT, you’ll eventually start to lose your hair regardless of your diet and vitamin consumption.

When Biotin Can Stop Hair Loss

Most baldness is caused by sensitivity to DHT, but not all. In a few rare occasions, Biotin can stop hair loss, but only if it’s caused by biotin deficiency in the first place.

Biotin deficiency is a very rare condition. On average, one person per 137,400 has a biotinidase deficiency and these symptoms are usually observed within the first few months of life! In fact, biotin deficiency causes symptoms that extend beyond hair loss. People that lack enough biotin often have red, scaly skin around their eyes, nose, mouth, and genitals. Other symptoms include seizures, lethargy, numb hands and feet, hallucinations and depression. Biotin deficiency is extremely rare among healthy, well-nourished adults in the Western World. It is, however, surprisingly common among pregnant women with half of the pregnant women having a marginal biotin deficiency.

What Can Biotin Do For Hair Health?

In a 2015 study, women suffering from thinning hair were given an oral marine protein supplement. This supplement contained either biotin or a placebo. The women took either the biotin pill or a placebo pill twice per day for 90 days. The researcher found that women who took the biotin pill experienced a significant amount of hair growth in the areas affected by hair loss. They also had less shedding.

It is believed that biotin improves a body’s keratin infrastructure. As keratin is a basic protein and key component in the makeup of hair, it is theorized that biotin improves hair quality by improving keratin production.

Research on the effects of biotin on hair growth is very sparse. Currently, there is only limited evidence to suggest that increased biotin intake helps promote hair growth.

The Magic Pill For Hair Loss

One day we might wake up to find science has finally done it. There will be a pill that if you take it once a day, your hair loss woes will finally be over. It’s fun to fantasize about, but in the meantime, the closest thing to a magic pill is either finasteride or minoxidil. Unlike biotin, these drugs specifically focus on the problems that cause baldness, namely excessive amounts can be converted into DHT. These drugs try to combat this problem by widening blood vessels around the follicles to get the nutrients to the hair that the DHT is constricting. This can slow down the hair loss but even these drugs do not deal with the issues that lie at its heart.

For the moment the only sure way to ensure that you have the full head of hair that you want is via follicular transplantation. This technique takes undamaged follicles from the back of the head and physically transplants them into areas suffering hair loss. This hair is permanent and with modern surgery techniques indistinguishable from hair that would have naturally grown in those areas. For more information about hair loss and the options you have to deal with it, please make an appointment with the Toronto Hair Transplant Surgeons.