Biotin is an essential nutrient that our bodies need to function. It is part of the B-complex family of vitamins and is often referred to as vitamin H because of its role in strengthening our hair, skin and nails. Biotin is found naturally in many foods including nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables. However, the amount of biotin in our diets is usually small, which is why some people choose to supplement with a biotin supplement for extra health benefits.
Increasing biotin intake is said to promote hair growth and improve skin health, including the skin on our faces. In particular, biotin may be beneficial for men who want to grow a thicker and fuller beard. Natural beard growth requires a high amount of biotin, so many men take biotin supplements to aid their beard growth.
What is the Right Dosage?
The recommended daily dosage of biotin is 300 micrograms or 0.3 mg per day, which is the equivalent of 3000 micrograms (3 milligrams) per day. This amount is suitable for people who do not suffer from any biotin deficiency. For men specifically, who may have higher biotin requirements for promoting beard growth, the dosage can be increased to double the recommendation, or 6000 micrograms (6 mg) per day. However, it is important to note that the safety and efficacy of this higher dosage is still unproven.
It is also important to note that the body absorbs biotin best when taken with a meal, as it is fat-soluble. Therefore, taking biotin on an empty stomach may lead to decreased absorption. Lastly, biotin supplements come in a variety of forms, such as capsules, tablets, and liquid, and can all be equally effective.
Are There Side Effects?
The side effects of taking biotin such as nausea, dry skin, and rashes are commonly reported but are usually mild. Taking too much biotin can lead to more serious side effects, such as altered thyroid function, immune system suppression, and changes in hormone levels. Before taking biotin, it is important to consult with a doctor to make sure that it is the right supplement for you.
It is also important to note that biotin supplements can interfere with other medications. If someone is taking metformin for Type 2 Diabetes, for instance, biotin is known to increase the risk of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Therefore, anyone taking medications should always consult with a doctor or pharmacist before taking biotin.
What are Other Benefits?
Studies have shown that biotin can have many other health benefits aside from promoting hair and skin health. For example, biotin supplements may support healthy cholesterol levels, promote nerve functioning, help to regulate blood sugar, reduce joint pain, and even improve mental health. Biotin is also essential for the growth of cells, so it may have anti-aging benefits as well.
Does Biotin Really Work?
Studies suggest that biotin is effective at improving hair health. A study conducted on women with thinning hair, for example, showed that after taking a biotin supplement for 6 months, almost two thirds of the women reported denser, thicker hair. This evidence suggests that biotin could be beneficial for people with thinning hair, including men wanting to grow a thicker beard.
That said, there is limited evidence to suggest that biotin has any direct benefits for beard growth specifically. It is believed that biotin can promote healthy hair growth in general, which could then contribute to thicker beard growth, but this is yet to be clinically proven. Overall, biotin is most likely to be beneficial for people with an existing biotin deficiency as well as those with thinning hair.
What Foods Contain Biotin?
Some of the best sources of biotin include egg yolks, salmon, beef liver, almonds, peanuts, cheese and some fruits and vegetables like onions and carrots. These foods are beneficial for overall health and wellness, as biotin helps to produce important enzymes that the body needs for energy production and cell growth. Eating a balanced and diverse diet is the best way to ensure adequate biotin intake.
Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin found in various foods that is said to help promote hair and skin health. The recommended daily dosage for biotin is 300 micrograms (0.3 mg) per day, although people wanting to promote beard growth may need to increase that dosage to double or even triple the daily recommendation. Biotin supplements are generally safe and well-tolerated, but can interact with certain medications and should always be taken with food to promote absorption.
Finally, while biotin may be beneficial for improving general hair health, there is limited evidence to suggest that it has any direct benefits specifically for beard growth. Its effectiveness may be highly individualistic, so it is best to consult with a doctor or healthcare professional before taking biotin or other supplements.
Alternatives to Biotin
Although biotin is popular for improving hair health, there are other supplements that may also be beneficial for beard growth. Two of the most popular are hair, skin and nails supplements, which contain a variety of vitamins and minerals to support overall hair health. These supplements are usually high in B vitamins and minerals such as zinc and selenium, which are essential for healthy hair growth.
In addition, some men may find that a protein supplement helps to improve beard growth. Protein helps to strengthen the hair follicles, making them less susceptible to the effects of environmental factors that cause hair loss. For those looking for an even more natural approach, eating a balanced diet that is high in proteins, vitamins, and minerals is the best way to promote healthy hair growth.
Herbal remedies are also gaining popularity as natural sources of hair growth and health. Herbs such as saw palmetto, fenugreek, and horsetail are said to aid in the growth of facial hair and make it stronger. In addition, rosemary oil is a topical remedy that is said to stimulate the scalp and encourage hair growth. While these natural supplements are not as well studied as biotin or other supplements, they may still be beneficial for improving beard growth.
Hormones play a huge role in beard growth, as testosterone is responsible for triggering hair growth on the face. If a man’s testosterone levels are too low, his beard may not grow as thick or as full as he would like. To help balance hormones, some men turn to natural supplements such as maca root, ashwagandha, or tribulus terrestris, as well as lifestyle changes such as increasing exercise or reducing stress.
On the other hand, some men find that using prescription medications helps to balance their hormones and improve their beard growth. Medications such as DHEA and minoxidil may be beneficial for promoting facial hair growth for those who struggle to do so naturally. The best approach for hormone balance will depend on the individual, and a doctor should be consulted before beginning any hormone-balancing therapy.
Finally, laser treatment is a modern option for improving facial hair growth. This procedure uses low-level laser light to stimulate the hair follicles on the face and encourage thicker, fuller beard growth. It is painless and requires no downtime, so it can be a viable option for those who don’t want to take supplements or undergo hormone therapy.
Laser treatment has been shown to be effective in some studies, although its long-term effects are still not fully understood. As with any medical procedure, it is important to consult with a doctor or dermatologist to determine whether this is the right option for you.