Hair loss can be treated through different methods including shampoos, lotions and supplements. Concealers can also aid in hiding bald spots without being too obvious in its use. Medication in the form of minoxidil and finasteride has helped suppress the progression of hair loss as well. It should be noted that there are side effects when using these Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drugs. Spironolactone is another medication that has been receiving positive results. It does not however, enjoy FDA backing. Progression of hair loss is often treated by advanced procedures such as surgery. This is exemplified by the follicular unit transplantation and follicular unit extraction methods. Scalp micropigmentation is also a very popular treatment for those losing their hair.
Biotin is regarded as a vitamin supplement to address hair loss. It belongs to the vitamin B family that can be found in several foods such as cooked eggs, peanuts, bananas, liver, carrots and yeast. It is also naturally produced in one’s gastrointestinal tract. Taking this supplement can improve a person’s keratin infrastructure that is the protein basic in the skin, nails and hair.
The recommended dosage is at 2.5 milligrams per day. It is unclear however, on how much biotin it would take to overdose. Signs of too much biotin in the system include low vitamin C levels, skin rashes, slow release of insulin and high levels of blood sugar. The symptoms of biotin deficiency aside from hair loss are brittle nails, loss of appetite and loss of pigment in the hair. It has been found to be most prevalent in athletes, the elderly, epileptics, people with metabolic disorders and those that had some parts of their gastrointestinal tracts taken out. Being biotin deficient however, is a rare occurrence. Though there are numerous cases that indicate biotin deficiency leads to hair loss, there is no hard evidence in the form of an actual clinical study that taking it as a supplement can specifically address alopecia.
It is the cause of hair loss that should be determined first before considering biotin as a supplement. Hair loss is not only exhibited by a deficiency in biotin levels. It can also be brought about by one of the most common instances of hair loss, the genetic condition of androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness. There is also its less common occurrence, the autoimmune condition of alopecia areata and its more severe state of alopecia totalis. Then there are the self-inflicted causes such as stress, excessive alcohol intake, smoking, poor diet and an unhealthy lifestyle. These rob the hair follicles of the essential nutrients it needs to grow hair. Other causes are life events such as giving birth, major surgery, accident and the loss of a loved one. This is exhibited by telogen effluvium or the gradual shedding of hair due to the sudden shift between the hair growth cycles. An appreciation of these other causes is necessary before attributing hair loss to a biotin deficiency that is again, rare.
Taking amounts beyond the actual recommended daily dosage might risk an overdose and cause its symptoms. Consultation with a qualified physician should be a pre-requisite before taking any biotin supplement.