We put a lot of importance on our hair, but we put a lot of stress on it as well. From daily styling and chemicals to the physical stress of brushing, braiding and using pins, bands and clips, our hair takes a lot of punishment. This leaves many people worried about hair loss, thinning and damage. It also means there are many people out there searching for a way to support hair health and growth.
This is where biotin and keratin come into the picture. These two nutrients turn up in just about every search you can do related to hair, but exactly what are they and do they really help your hair thrive?
What is Biotin?
Biotin is actually B7, a member of the B family of vitamins. You may also see it referred to as vitamin H, but most of the time it’s simply called biotin. This important water-soluble vitamin helps facilitate a number of functions like metabolizing carbohydrates, fats and amino acids. It may be most known for helping with skin, hair and nail health because it stimulates keratin production and may also increase follicle growth.
What is Keratin?
Keratin is a type of fibrous protein that helps form the tissues found in skin, nails and hair. It is also found in some glands and organs. Keratin not only makes up the bulk of the structure of skin, nails and hair, but also plays a role in helping wounds heal properly. You don’t necessarily have to consume keratin; our bodies actually create it, thanks to biotin. You should, however, make sure you get enough biotin to support sufficient keratin production.
Does Biotin Help With Hair Loss or Thinning Hair?
Though research is ongoing, some studies have shown it may improve hair health and strength in those with biotin deficiencies if they consistently take biotin supplements. This may include increased hair volume, coverage and thickness with biotin supplementation. And because biotin is necessary for keratin formation, you might want to include it in your regime if you’re aiming to improve overall skin, nail and hair health. What biotin dose should you take? It is best to consult your dermatologist, family doctor or follow the instructions on the supplement's packaging.
Does biotin result in faster hair growth? We have not found any credible research that supports this theory, but anecdotally, some people claim that increasing biotin may make their hair grow faster. This may be because of the combined effect of increasing hair volume; it may seem like hair is growing faster, when in actuality, it's just healthier.
Does Keratin Help With Hair Loss or Thinning Hair?
Keratin is the main protein that builds up hair, and it is largely responsible for keeping it strong and pliable. This includes protecting the hair shaft and follicle. If you don't have enough keratin, your hair may become weaker and more brittle. In turn, this leaves your hair vulnerable to breakage and thinning from even normal daily activities. Keratin may decrease hair breakage, reduce shedding and protect the hair shaft from damage.
Keratin supplements are safe, as long as you follow the dosage directions and consult your physician or pharmacist before adding supplements to your routine.
Can You Get Biotin or Keratin From Food?
Biotin is a B vitamin and is easily found in many common foods. Keratin is a protein your body produces, which can be supported through diet as well. A biotin-rich diet would include foods like egg yolks, organ meats, bananas, legumes, avocados and mushrooms. A keratin-supportive diet would include foods such as salmon, eggs, onions, mangoes, garlic, kale and carrots. And, if you’re looking for foods for both biotin and keratin, you are in luck because both are found in sweet potatoes, a variety of nuts and seeds and eggs if you eat the whites and yolk.
How Do You Find a Quality Biotin and Keratin Supplement?
You may be able to boost your biotin and keratin levels by taking a biotin and keratin supplement. Look for high-quality supplements that skip cheap fillers, preservatives. You might also look for supplements that are manufactured here in the United States, as all of Trio Nutrition's supplements are.
How Much Biotin Should You Take?
Supplements may help you bridge the gap between your diet and how much biotin you need to help your hair and nails look their best. While it’s important to follow the label on all supplements, it’s recommended that adults and teenagers take from 10 to 100 micrograms (mcg) per day. If you are starting with a deficit, or trying to achieve serious results, you may want to take more than the daily minimum.
Always check with your prescribing physician or pharmacist first before taking a supplement especially if you are taking any medications.
Can you take too much biotin or keratin? Because biotin is water-soluble, your body doesn’t store it up, so extra biotin is probably unlikely to be problematic. Be sure to let your doctor know you are supplementing extra biotin if you have blood work planned.
How Much Keratin Should You Take
Keratin is created in the body due to a chemical reaction involving biotin, so getting more biotin may be a great way to boost your body’s keratin production. If you do want to help your hair and skin look their very best, you might try a biotin supplement that also contains keratin. Taken together, these nutrients may help protect hair health, may increase hair diameter in new growth, and may lead to stronger, more healthy looking locks.
There’s a lot to navigate when you are trying to decide how to start your hair care journey, especially if you’re distressed with breakage or thinning. Fortunately, giving your body a boost with a biotin and keratin supplement may be the way to start. Not only is it simple to start and convenient, it may be the most efficient way to add an abundance of hair-healthy nutrition into your daily routine.
*The information in this article and throughout Trio Nutrition’s blog is for informational purposes only, and should never be mistaken for professional medical advice.