You may have heard of oral supplements of biotin for hair growth, but did you know that biotin shampoo can also make a difference? Those with thin or limp hair should absolutely seek out shampoos with biotin for their hair.
In this article, we’ll explain exactly what biotin is, with a brief background of its functions as a supplement. We’ll concentrate on its benefits as a shampoo and answer the real question: can biotin shampoo really help with hair growth? To finish things off, we’ve got some important tips on how to get the most out of your biotin shampoo.
In this article:
- What Is Biotin?
- Biotin Benefits for Hair
- Does Biotin Shampoo Really Help with Hair Growth?
- How to Use Biotin Shampoo
What Is Biotin?
Biotin is the most commonly used name for vitamin B7 (sometimes also referred to as vitamin H or coenzyme R). As the US National Institutes of Health’s website explains, this essential vitamin takes a catalysing part in our body’s metabolism, particularly when it comes to processing fats, sugars and amino acids.
Biotin has other useful roles as well. It is present in a variety of food sources and can come from both plants and animals, the government factsheet goes on to explain.
While there is very little scientific evidence backing it up as a supplement, there are many positive reviews all over the Internet, with those who take biotin finding that it strengthens their hair and speeds up its rate of growth. Many others, however, deride its positive effects as mere placebo. Others suggest that biotin for hair growth will only work if the person taking it was actually experiencing biotin deficiency in the first place, which is rare.
Topically, for example in shampoo or conditioner, there is even less research on biotin’s effects. It appears as though some biotin can be absorbed by the scalp, in which case it may help improve hair growth.
Biotin Benefits for Hair
Biotin’s main benefit for the hair, when it’s in a shampoo, is its volumizing effect. Biotin can bind to the hair shaft in a way that fortifies and bulks it up. This is why biotin shampoos have such a quick volumizing effect, even though in the long term it doesn’t necessarily contribute to hair health.
However, as a whole, biotin shampoos absolutely do make the hair healthier! This is because biotin shampoos are usually very well formulated. They tend to be sulfate-free, which is excellent for keeping the hair from getting dry while still keeping it clean.
Biotin shampoos also usually include other B vitamins, like moisturizing panthenol and antioxidant niacinamide. They may also contain polymers or starches that help add volume to the hair even more. If you have brittle, dry, or thin hair then a biotin shampoo will absolutely help.
Does Biotin Shampoo Really Help with Hair Growth?
As much as I can appreciate biotin for hair, I haven’t seen convincing evidence that it’ll help increase hair growth – at least not topically. A little bit of the biotin might penetrate into the scalp from your shampoo, in which case it may help improve skin functioning and somewhat increase biotin levels in the body, but its main benefit is by far its volumizing effect, which is indeed extremely useful for those dealing with thinning hair since it makes the hair appear fuller.
How to Use Biotin Shampoo
When it comes to biotin supplements as well as other health supplements, it’s very important that you speak to your doctor before starting it, particularly if you have health issues. According to the FDA, biotin can interfere with lab tests, which is why they issued a warning about it in 2017.
It’s also worth noting find that many people notice an increase in acne breakouts once they start taking supplements of biotin for hair growth.
Topically, however, and especially in rinse-off formulas, biotin’s impact on the body is significantly reduced, and as such you don’t need to fear an unusual or adverse reaction. This makes biotin shampoos excellent for frequent use!
In general, it is best to limit shampoo use as much as possible. Every other day is ideal for those with oily hair, while those with more of a dry scalp can shampoo as infrequently as once a week.
It’s always a good idea to follow up your biotin shampoo with a matching conditioner or a nourishing leave-on mask. Once you’ve rinsed everything out and got out of the shower, maintain the integrity of your hair by squeezing or patting it dry with a soft towel instead of rubbing it.
Photos via @ingridnilsen, Instagram