Medically reviewed by Aimee Paik, MD
Written by Apostrophe Team
Last updated 11/2/2022
You may have seen them on Instagram: colorful little bottles full of chewy gummies that claim to make your hair longer, thicker, and stronger. Beauty bloggers and influencers, including the Kardashians, have partnered with companies like Sugar Bear Hair and HUM Nutrition to recommend these vitamin gummies to millions of people around the world. One of the main ingredients in these gummies is biotin. Although it is often recommended as a supplement for healthy hair and nails, biotin may not be the miracle cure many claim it to be.
Biotin is an essential micronutrient that is found in a variety of foods including, but not limited to: eggs, fish, meat, nuts, and vegetables. Because it is so common, very few people are deficient in biotin unless they have an underlying genetic condition or are doing something extreme with their diet like consuming too many raw egg whites (raw egg whites contain a protein that blocks the body’s absorption of biotin).
Because a person who is deficient in biotin often develops rashes, dry skin and eczema, and hair loss or hair thinning, many people believe that supplementing your diet with biotin is the key to healthy, strong hair and that it is the solution for male pattern hair thinning or hair loss. However, there is no data to show this is the case. In fact, biotin can interfere with common blood tests that use biotin technology, specifically thyroid function tests. Skewed test results could result in improper treatment and lead to seriously negative outcomes (always tell your doctor about any supplements you are taking!).
In conclusion, we recommend being wary of brands marketing vitamins as a quick fix to your hair woes. Be sure to double check your facts so you don’t get caught up in the fiction!
Have you tried biotin? How do you feel about it? Let us know on Twitter by tagging us at @hi_apostrophe!
1. Bandaranayake I, Mirmirani P. Hair Loss Remedies—Separating Fact From Fiction. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/59fc/18f65b86908a393a5646aeb3c6a244ac08db.pdf. Published February 2004. Accessed February 26, 2019. 2. Biotin responsive dermatoses. DermNet New Zealand. https://www.dermnetnz.org/topics/biotin-responsive-dermatoses/. Accessed February 27, 2019. 3. Office of Dietary Supplements - Biotin. NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Biotin-HealthProfessional/. Accessed February 27, 2019.
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