Biotin is often the most recommended product for hair loss and hair growth, but is it actually as beneficial as everyone claims? According to Bay Area dermatologist Dr. Kaveri Karhade, the answer is no.
“There’s so much misinformation about using biotin for hair loss,” she revealed to Mane Addicts over email. “It doesn’t actually help hair loss and actually poses some risks.”
Dr. Karhade shared some of the major misconceptions about biotin with us and what she really wishes people knew before using it. Read what she had to say below!
Misconception #1: Biotin is the best over-the-counter option for hair loss.
Biotin may be the most recommended option for hair loss, though that doesn’t make it the best.
“While biotin is marketed frequently for hair, there are many more efficacious over-the-counter options.” Those include “other supplements, topical medications, and vitamins.”
So if biotin doesn’t work for you, all hope is not lost.
Misconception #2: You should try biotin before seeing a dermatologist.
Dr. Karhade encourages everyone speaks with their dermatologist before trying biotin themselves.
“I recommend patients see a dermatologist at the earliest onset of hair loss, before starting therapies,” she says. “With most kinds of hair loss, the earlier and more aggressively you intervene, the better results you can expect.”
Misconception #3: Biotin is harmless.
Dr. Karhade points out that “biotin can interfere with some of the lab tests [dermatologists] order to rule out internal causes of hair loss.” But it goes much deeper than that.
“A well-documented risk of biotin supplementation is that it can interfere with various lab tests, such as thyroid tests, cardiac tests, or other hormonal tests,” Dr. Karhade says. “While taking biotin, a person can be misdiagnosed with thyroid disease.”
Misconception #4: Biotin is necessary for hair growth.
Unfortunately for most people, “biotin supplementation doesn’t do much for hair.”
“There are several disorders in which biotin deficiency impacts hair growth,” Dr. Karhade notes. “However, the majority of the population is not biotin-deficient.”
Misconception #5: Biotin has no benefits.
Though it may not help with hair loss and hair growth, biotin isn’t entirely useless.
“Biotin can help to strengthen nails, so those with brittle nails may benefit from biotin,” Dr. Karhade mentions.