If you are experiencing hair thinning or male pattern hair loss, it is normal to start looking everywhere for potential remedies to help out the situation. And, while most people prefer to begin by addressing a problem through more “natural” routes like adding on a supplement, it is important to first verify if that supplement may even potentially make a difference.
Below, we will go over the connection between not getting enough Biotin and hair loss, why male pattern hair loss may not respond to Biotin supplementation, what Biotin may actually be able to help with, and how you may want to use this supplement if you go forward with it.
There is a connection between not getting enough Biotin in your diet or supplements and developing a deficiency that can lead to hair loss. However, for the vast majority of people, they are getting plenty of Biotin through the food they eat every day. It turns out, that you even produce a certain amount of Biotin in your intestines. Overall, it is very rare to find a true Biotin deficiency in people who are eating even a kind-of well-rounded diet.
Many foods contain a significant amount of Biotin, including:
If you regularly consume some or all of the foods listed above, or you have Biotin in supplement form like a multivitamin, it is likely that you are getting enough.
In adults over 19 years of age, the adequate daily intake for Biotin is only 30mcg per day. For reference, 1 whole egg will cover about ⅓ of this already.
If for some reason, you did have a Biotin deficiency that led to hair loss, if you resumed eating Biotin-rich foods or supplemented with Biotin, it is likely that you will see hair improvements. However, if you are already getting plenty of Biotin, adding more into your supplement regimen is not proven to speed hair growth or slow hair losses.
When men are experiencing hair loss, most of the time it is male pattern hair loss, also known as androgenetic alopecia. This is the type of hair loss that commonly presents as a receding hairline and/or a bald spot forming at the crown of the head.
For androgenetic alopecia, we know the root cause of why the hair follicles become damaged -- DHT. DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, is a hormone that is derived from testosterone, and in men that are genetically more sensitive to DHT, it can damage and shrink the hair follicles. This shrinkage tends to lead to thinner and finer strands over time, and eventually, the potential loss or dormancy of that follicle. Basically, it is a combined hormone and genetic issue, not a vitamin one.
And, while supplementing Biotin may help your hair if a deficiency was the root cause, it is unlikely to help with slowing or stopping DHT-related hair loss like androgenetic alopecia. Biotin is a B-vitamin and does not have an effect on the DHT levels in your scalp.
Now, just because Biotin will not help grow back your hair if you have losses due to androgenetic alopecia, it does not mean that it may not have other positive effects on the appearance of your hair.
One small-scale study had 15 women take either a Biotin supplement or a placebo for 180 days. After 90 and 180 days the participants were followed up with and their hair was analyzed. After 90 days, significantly more women in the Biotin group perceived improvements in hair volume, scalp coverage, and thickness of hair. After 180 days, the Biotin group perceived improved shine, skin moisture retention, and skin smoothness.
These perceived aesthetic improvements in hair may be due to Biotin helping with the infrastructure of the protein keratin in your body, which is the main building block of hair, skin, and nails.
So, there is not currently evidence that Biotin can help with rapid growth or hair growing in from the balding areas of your scalp in men with male pattern hair loss. But, the hair that does grow, may have a healthier appearance.
If you do want to add on a Biotin supplement as part of your well-rounded approach to hair loss and overall hair health, there are likely no dangerous side effects from its use.
Biotin is a water-soluble B-vitamin, so if you take or consume more than your body needs, it will just be excreted.
However, it is important to always tell your doctor about any supplement usage to make sure it is appropriate for you.
There are reports of high Biotin supplementation throwing off testing done for thyroid or cardiac markers. So, if you are being measured for these items, always let the medical professionals know about your recent supplements.
If you are dealing with male pattern hair loss, it is unlikely that Biotin will be the answer to your hair loss woes. However, paired together with medications to help lower the DHT exposure to your scalp, Biotin may be able to help the hair that does grow in look or feel a little healthier.
At Strut Health, we carry a range of medications to help lower DHT including topical or oral Finasteride or Dutasteride. Our compounded Dutasteride capsules even combine 0.6mg of Dutasteride with up to 5,000mcg of Biotin for a dual-approach to hair health.
If you are interested in seeing if topical or oral DHT lowering medications are a good fit for your hair loss, you can have a free online questionnaire and image-based telemedicine consultation with our U.S. licensed doctors in 10-15 minutes.