I, like most of you, had a particularly bad haircut in high school. It was an overly layered cut ““ the zombified remains of the Rachel. My fragile self-esteem was crushed, so my mom rushed to the rescue with what may have been a placebo: Biotin, a vitamin that would supposedly make my hair grow faster. Did it work? I can’t really remember how quickly it grew out. Like so many mini-crises, it’s faded in my memory.
But now, 12ish years later, I don’t have a bad haircut, but one that’s growing out awkwardly from a cute Winona-in-Reality-Bites crop to a mid-length bob. As someone who has pretty slow-growing hair, I decided to revisit my old friend biotin to see if held up to the scrutiny of a wiser, more jaded 20-something.
Biotin is a B-complex vitamin that is credited, in that non-FDA-approved way of all vitamins, with aiding digestion, as well as skin and hair health. The digestion piece was new to me, but if that happened as an added bonus, I wouldn’t complain.
The bottle that I purchased provides over 1000% of the daily requirement for biotin. Seeing four digits in front of a percent sign makes me a little nervous, so I decided to take on every other day instead of daily.
After three weeks of taking it, I can say for sure that it’s made a difference for my hair. I got a trim about two weeks before starting, and my hair is already longer than it was pre-trim. You know how your hair grows slowly enough that you don’t really notice it? It might be the first time that my hair is growing faster than my ability to adapt to it. Very interesting.
As far as the rest of the supposed benefits of biotin, results are mixed. Keep in mind these were secondary benefits that I may not have been scrutinizing as much as the hair. My skin hasn’t broken out since I started on biotin. Three weeks of clear skin isn’t unheard of for me, but breakouts are common, so thus far this is a promising sign.
For the digestion component, I had to do more research before making a decision. I couldn’t figure out from the bottle if “aiding digestion” referred to keeping me regular or helping me lose weight. After some internet research it appears that it supposedly helps one’s metabolism, and aids in converting carbs and fat to energy more efficiently. While that sounds like quite a perk, I have to report that for me, I didn’t notice a marked change. No increased energy. No weight loss. Boo-urns.
So, what did we learn today? That vitamins are mysterious things, and that people’s bodies probably react to them differently. The one thing I am saying conclusively is that for me, I had a remarkably rapid growth spurt with my hair, and hair growth is less subjective than “more energy” or “fewer toxins.” If you’re looking to grow out of a bad haircut, or just transition to a new look, maybe biotin can give you the boost you need!