Biotin for Hair: The Ultimate Guide to Biotin for Hair Health
If you’re experiencing hair loss on a vegan diet you could be low in biotin.
It’s essential you get enough biotin for hair health. If you’re not getting enough biotin your hair could become brittle and weak.
The problem is that some vegan diets tend to be low in biotin.
But what is biotin - and how do you know if you need more of it?
In this article we explain everything you need to know about biotin for hair health.
Why Do You Need Biotin for Hair Health?
Biotin is vitamin B7.
It’s important to help your body break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats for energy and maintaining good hair, skin and nail health.
Symptoms Of Biotin Deficiency
It’s relatively rare to have a dangerous biotin deficiency.
That’s not to say being low in biotin doesn’t have it’s consequences.
If you’re low in biotin you could experience: (1)
- Dry flaky skin
- Hair loss
- Low mood
Biotin deficiency may be caused by: (2)
- Low biotin intake from your diet
- Drug-vitamin interactions
- Increased biotin breakdown in pregnancy and smokers
- Genetic mutations
How Much Biotin Do You Need?
As an adult you need 50 μg/day of biotin.
If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding you may need a bit more - an additional 5 μg/day to be precise. (1)
This is to compensate for biotin losses through breast milk. (3)
Some people tend to have lower biotin levels than others: (4)
- Elderly people
- Those with a history of recurrent infections
- People with antibiotic-induced dysbiosis
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women
Rarely, some people have inherited biotin deficiency which can cause brittle nail syndrome or uncombable hair. (5)
Is Biotin Good For Hair Growth?
So, the big question is…
Is consuming more biotin good for your hair - and is biotin a solution for hair loss?
Well, in one study of women experiencing hair loss, a whopping 38% turned out to have a biotin deficiency! (6)
Another study found that supplementing biotin can reverse hair loss in people with antibiotic-induced gut dysbiosis (in particular, overgrowth of Lactobacillus murinus which seems to trigger hair loss). (7)
Finally, people with male-pattern hair loss (affecting 30-50% of men!) were found to have lower biotin levels than those without hair loss. In this case, biotin supplements tended to improve hair quality and texture. (8)
So, in answer to the question ‘is biotin good for hair growth’ - it’s definitely worth trying.
Vegan Sources Of Biotin
So where do you get more biotin?
It’s easier for meat eaters to get their biotin intake as it's prevalent in a variety of animal foods such as eggs and liver.
So you’ll need to take extra care to get enough biotin if you’re following a vegan or plant-based diet.
The vegan foods highest in biotin are:
Should You Supplement Biotin?
If you’re not getting enough biotin from your diet you should consider supplementing - especially if you’re experiencing hair issues.
I recommend choosing Vegan Vitality’s Vegan Collagen Complex.
It contains 50ug of biotin, and a range of other ingredients that are designed to provide you with plant based way to boost your collagen, and improve your hair, skin, nails, bones and joints, naturally and sustainably.
To Sum It Up…
Low levels of biotin can contribute to hair loss.
This is especially an issue if you’re following a vegan diet or you’re breastfeeding.
Make sure you’re getting enough biotin - and take a good quality biotin supplement if you’re not getting enough from your diet.
Written by Ellie Busby, Registered Nutritionist (MSc, mBANT) and founder of Vojo Health. Ellie is an expert in nutrigenomics and has been vegan for more than 10 years. Her mission is to make sure you're getting everything you need from your plant-based diet to achieve your goals - and inspire others to eat more plants!
- Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for biotin [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jan 7]. Available from: https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/3580
- Zempleni J, Hassan YI, Wijeratne SS. Biotin and biotinidase deficiency. Expert Rev Endocrinol Metab [Internet]. 2008 Nov 1 [cited 2022 Jan 7];3(6). Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19727438/
- Perry CA, West AA, Gayle A, Lucas LK, Yan J, Jiang X, et al. Pregnancy and lactation alter biomarkers of biotin metabolism in women consuming a controlled diet. J Nutr [Internet]. 2014 Dec [cited 2022 Jan 7];144(12). Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25122647/
- Sh AR, Mohammed SR, Hassan SJ. Biotin Deficiency in Telogen Effluvium: Fact or Fiction? J Clin Aesthet Dermatol [Internet]. 2020 Mar [cited 2022 Jan 7];13(3). Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32308796/
- Patel DP, Swink SM, Castelo-Soccio L. A Review of the Use of Biotin for Hair Loss. Skin appendage disorders [Internet]. 2017 Aug [cited 2022 Jan 7];3(3). Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28879195/
- Trüeb RM. Serum Biotin Levels in Women Complaining of Hair Loss. Int J Trichology [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2022 Jan 7];8(2). Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27601860/
- Hayashi A, Mikami Y, Miyamoto K, Kamada N, Sato T, Mizuno S, et al. Intestinal Dysbiosis and Biotin Deprivation Induce Alopecia through Overgrowth of Lactobacillus murinus in Mice. Cell Rep [Internet]. 2017 Aug 15 [cited 2022 Jan 7];20(7). Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28813664/
- El-Esawy FM, Hussein MS, Ibrahim MA. Serum biotin and zinc in male androgenetic alopecia. J Cosmet Dermatol [Internet]. 2019 Feb 3 [cited 2022 Jan 7]; Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30714301/