How & Why You Should use Biotin for Hair Growth

How & Why You Should use Biotin for Hair Growth

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Biotin is a special nutrient that may help curb hair loss. 

The catch?

It must be used appropriately, in the right people, at the right dose, and for the right length of time. 

Clinical studies have shown that daily use of biotin does indeed improve hair strength probably through its powerful effects on the protein keratin. 

This effect helps improve the structural integrity of both your skin and your hair. 

But does that mean you should start supplementing? 

Let’s find out…

Learn more about using biotin for hair growth in this post: 

Does Biotin Actually Work for Hair Loss?

Will taking biotin actually help you regrow your hair?

Actually, yes, it just might. 

Biotin is a special co-enzyme that is involved in various metabolic reactions ranging from fatty acid synthesis to amino acid catabolism. 

In addition, it has been shown to be critical to the maintenance of healthy skin and hair. 

Believe it or not, researchers don’t really know how exactly biotin is involved in either but they believe it has to do with the fact that taking biotin has been shown to strengthen the protein keratin and keratin is the basic building block for hair, skin, and nails. 

So now that we know that taking biotin can actually improve hair loss does that mean that you should use it?

That’s a different story. 

While studies have certainly shown that taking biotin can regrow hair, it seems that the people who benefit the most from taking biotin are the ones who are deficient in this nutrient. 

Studies have shown (1) that up to 38% of women who complain of hair loss actually have suboptimal (or low) biotin levels that may be contributing to their hair loss. 

Why not 100%?

Well, many conditions cause hair loss and we will go over those a little bit later. 

So how do you know if taking Biotin will help with your hair loss?

People who tend to have low biotin levels often have several risk factors: 

Who is at risk for having low Biotin levels (2)?

biotin absorption in the intestines

Those with gastrointestinal issues (Celiac disease (3), non-Celiac gluten sensitivity, SIBO, IBS, IBD, chronic constipation/diarrhea, etc.), people with a history of repeated antibiotic use (especially for GI conditions, skin conditions such as acne or chronic sinus infections), and those taking certain medications (like anti-seizure medications). 

These conditions result in changes to both the absorption and the metabolism of biotin in the body. 

If you have trouble absorbing biotin then obviously you will have low levels, but likewise, if you have issues in metabolizing it (meaning your body can’t use it properly) then you will also suffer. 

People with biotin deficiency also often present with other symptoms (4) such as alopecia, dermatitis (Seborrheic-like), depression, and even numbness/tingling. 

If you have any of the risk factors listed above AND you are suffering from hair loss then there is a good chance that taking biotin may reduce your hair loss and even help with hair growth. 

The key to using biotin really has more to do with HOW you take it (including how much you take and for how long you use it). 

Before we talk about how to use it for best results let’s briefly discuss other causes of hair loss that may limit the benefits of taking biotin. 

What Really Causes Hair Loss

We know that biotin helps with hair loss but does that mean it will help everyone?

Not necessarily. 

When we talk about treating hair loss it’s very important to understand that MANY conditions and diseases can cause hair loss. 

I bring this up because you need to know that taking Biotin won’t help with every single condition out there. 

You can also use this as a brief guide to help you figure out what is at the root cause of your hair loss. 

The top 3 causes of hair loss in both men and women:

#1. Sub-optimal Nutrient status

This is probably the #1 most common cause of hair loss in both men and women. 

This section is also the most important because it’s frequently missed by physicians.

Most conventional physicians are great at prescribing medications, but they lack a basic understanding of how to use nutrients and vitamins correctly.

 Because of this many patients may walk around with so-called “normal” nutrient levels, when in reality they are actually suboptimal. 

For instance:

Studies have shown that women need at least a ferritin level of 30ng/mL (5) for proper hair growth. 

But the conventional lab reference ranges show that you can still be “normal” with a ferritin as low as 10 ng/mL! 

low ferritin lab tests

The moral of the story?

You can’t always trust the standard and conventional reference ranges if you are suffering from hair loss. 

Beyond iron (and ferritin), you also need adequate levels of biotin, B vitamins, amino acids, and other minerals (6) (selenium and zinc) in order for hair growth. 

If you have suboptimal levels (this doesn’t mean an overt deficiency) then taking these supplements WILL help with hair growth. 

This is one of the reasons that women often report an increase in hair growth once they start taking prenatal vitamins. 


Because prenatal vitamins contain iron! 

#2. Hypothyroidism

Another very common reason for hair loss among women is hypothyroidism. 

Hypothyroidism refers to low levels of circulating thyroid hormone and is often identified with a slight increase in the TSH concentration in the serum. 

Recently some studies suggest (7) that a TSH level of < 2.5 is normal, despite the standard reference range which defines normal function anywhere between 0.350 to 5.500 uIU/mL. 

Abnormal TSH kathy

If you have hypothyroidism (up to 15-20% of women in the US do) then it will be necessary to fix this problem if you want your hair to grow back. 

Hypothyroidism is also complicated by the fact that it can cause nutrient deficiencies as well. 

You can learn more about how to evaluate TSH levels and how to improve hair growth if you suffer from hypothyroidism here. 

#3. Excess androgens (testosterone & DHEA) in conditions such as PCOS

Next on the list is hair loss caused by changes to androgen levels in the body. 

Women who suffer from conditions such as insulin resistance or PCOS often suffer from hair loss which mimics the male pattern (8) of hair loss. 

Women who experience male patterned baldness (and even excessive facial hair growth) need to address these testosterone levels in order to reverse hair loss. 

male pattern baldness in women


Hair loss in most women is not caused by one single problem. 

Instead, several conditions may be contributing which makes the problem both difficult to diagnose and treat. 

For instance:

Those with hypothyroidism tend to have hair loss as one of their main symptoms. 

Hypothyroidism ALSO tends to cause iron deficiency and deficiency in other nutrients such as B vitamins (up to 50% of hypothyroid patients are also vitamin B12 deficient). 

In this case, hair loss may be caused by 2 separate conditions: iron deficiency and hypothyroidism. 

The trick here is that giving this person thyroid replacement medication won’t fix the iron deficiency problem – for that problem the patient would need to also take iron. 

See how that works?

So the bottom line is this:

If you take biotin (and other nutrients) and notice SOME increase in hair growth, but not all, then you should start looking for other conditions which may also be contributing. 

Combining Therapies for Hair Loss

Because hair loss tends to be multifactorial (meaning multiple conditions tend to contribute to hair loss), it’s best to take an approach that includes more than just 1 therapy. 

Biotin is great for hair loss, don’t get me wrong, but it can be insufficient by itself. 

This may explain why so many women get variable results when they take biotin supplements for hair loss all by themselves. 

The combination of biotin plus silica plus choline tends to get far superior results than just biotin alone. 

This has been confirmed in clinical studies (9):

hair regrowth study

Why this occurs is not exactly understood, but it most likely has to do with the synergistic effect that nutrients tend to have on one another. 

The easiest way to explain this phenomenon is this way:

When you eat foods that contain nutrients you will ALWAYS get several different types and doses of nutrients. 

There is no such thing as a food that contains ONLY biotin or ONLY iron. 

Instead, food often contains a blend of nutrients in various quantities and it may be the specific set of nutrients (and their dose) that really bring on the best effects. 

It’s also worth pointing out that taking excessively high doses of biotin (without other nutrients) can actually make hair loss worse. 

The exact mechanism for this negative side effect is not well understood but I suspect it occurs in individuals who take near-excessive doses (10,000mcg per day) of biotin each day when they don’t actually need it. 

These individuals most likely have other hormonal causes of hair loss such as hypothyroidism or PCOS and attempt to treat their hair loss with vitamins instead of addressing the primary problem. 

If you have noticed an INCREASE in hair loss after taking biotin, make sure to discontinue your dose immediately. 

For all of these reasons, I recommend taking biotin in combination with other nutrients such as Silica and Choline

How to use Biotin

For optimal results, I recommend that you use a complex that includes more than just biotin. 

The studies linked above show that biotin, when complexed together with both silica and choline, gives superior results compared to just biotin alone. 

Some individuals may still get results by taking biotin alone, but with the risk of hair loss, I generally recommend against this. 

If you aren’t sure where to start then I recommend that you start with a combination hair regrowth supplement that contains biotin and other nutrients. 

If you don’t get results on this supplement then you may need to look into hormone imbalances. 

Supplementing with Biotin

Also contains both Choline & Silica in a stabilized form

Highly absorbed (great for those with intestinal issues)

Clinically proven to help regrowth hair if used for 90 days

May also improve skin and reduce fine lines & wrinkles

How to Use
  • 1 capsule twice per day (for active hair growth) or 1 capsule per day for maintenance of hair
My Recommended Brand and Product

What dosage should you be taking?

The amount of biotin you take is very important. 

To get the recommended RDA of biotin you need to take 2.5mg or 2,500mcg per day. 

If you take this amount you will be getting 100% of the % daily value. 

Having said that I find that patients often need around 5,000mcg per day, or double the amount of the daily recommended amount. 

As long as you are taking 5,000mcg of biotin with other nutrients you shouldn’t experience any issues with hair loss. 

How long do you need to take it?

For best results, and based on clinical studies, it’s best to continue daily use for at least 90 days. 

Results reach a peak around 180 days (3 months) to 6 months of daily use. 

Most people do notice a difference in their hair quality within a few weeks, however. 

How fast will Biotin make my hair grow?

If biotin will help with hair growth it often helps very rapidly!

Most people notice a difference within 1-2 weeks but some people may not notice a difference for up to 4 weeks of daily use. 

Can Biotin cause hair loss?

Yes, biotin can cause hair loss. 

Most people who experience this side effect tend to have hair loss if they use biotin by itself. 

This side effect can be avoided by complexing biotin to other nutrients such as choline, B vitamins, silica, zinc, and/or selenium. 

What should I do if biotin doesn’t work?

If you have been taking biotin daily for 3 months and you haven’t noticed a difference then it is time to take a look at your hormones!

Medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, PCOS, or excess androgens can all contribute to hair loss. 

You can check for hypothyroidism by assessing a full thyroid lab panel (learn more about that here).

You can assess for PCOS by checking testosterone, estradiol, and progesterone levels (read more about PCOS here). 

Rarely autoimmune disease can cause hair loss (10) as well which can be very difficult to manage.

Does taking biotin cause side effects?

Generally, biotin is very well tolerated. 

Biotin falls under the category of water-soluble vitamins, meaning any excess dosing will be urinated out (assuming you have properly functioning kidneys). 

Because of its water solubility, it’s very hard to take toxic doses of biotin. 

Some people do experience mild nausea if taking extremely high doses and rarely some people may also experience hair loss if they take it by itself in very high doses. 

Back to you

Biotin, especially if complexed with other nutrients, may dramatically increase hair growth and stop hair loss. 

The people who tend to get the most benefit from taking biotin are those who are deficient prior to supplementation. 

People who have intestinal issues, take certain medications and those with a heavy history of antibiotic use are at risk for having biotin deficiency. 

If biotin supplementation doesn’t work for you make sure to check your hormones!

Now I want to hear from you:

Has taking biotin improved your hair growth?

Did it stop your hair loss?

If it didn’t work for you, what did?

Leave your comments below! 











using biotin for natural hair growth

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About Dr. Westin Childs

Hey! I'm Westin Childs D.O. (former Osteopathic Physician). I don't practice medicine anymore and instead specialize in helping people like YOU who have thyroid problems, hormone imbalances, and weight loss resistance. I love to write and share what I've learned over the years. I also happen to formulate the best supplements on the market (well, at least in my opinion!) and I'm proud to say that over 80,000+ people have used them over the last 7 years. You can read more about my own personal health journey and why I am so passionate about what I do.

P.S. Here are 4 ways you can get more help right now:

#1. Get my free thyroid downloads, resources, and PDFs here.

#2. Need better symptom control? Check out my thyroid supplements.

#3. Sign up to receive 20% off your first order.

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30 thoughts on “How & Why You Should use Biotin for Hair Growth”

  1. I used Biotin for a few months. I was eating two eggs every day, but since I have been losing hair I figured I would take 30,000 mcgs per day just to see. It didn’t seem to do anything. I also stopped using hair dye for one year, still falling out. I do have Hashimotos, talked to my doctor who looks at me from across the desk and says your hair looks fine to me. Upped my testosterone, because it was low. My thyroid markers are pretty normal with taking 65mg of Naturethroid and my ferritin is really good. So I have pretty much given up.

    • Hi Robin,

      Most of the time the problem is in the sub optimal levels of certain hormones (and nutrients) in the body. These are often missed unless the person looking understands “optimal” over standard and “normal” ranges. I have seen many patients with so-called “normal” labs only to find out they are anything but.

  2. Any time I have taken biotin, as little as 3000 mcg, it caused cystic acne. Only when taken as part of a B complex have I not suffered acne, but then the biotin dose was not been higher than 2000 mcg.

    I have tried Viviscal whose key ingredient, AminoMar C marine complex, is an organic form of silica; this also caused acne.

    I have never tried biotin with silica and choline. Zinc and selenium are a regular part of my regimen.

    • Hi Cleo,

      The key to improving hair growth is to find the main issue causing hair loss and treat that. In many (but not all) that issue has to do with micronutrient deficiencies but some people definitely can have hair loss for other reasons.

  3. I just started taking biotin 5000 mcg and natures bounty hair skin and nails my skin is already starting to look great now im just waiting to see a change in nails and hair! Ill keep you updated

  4. I have taken 3 tablets Florisene (which is a hair supplement from Lamberts).

    It has 50 mcg Biotin per tablet.

    Since taking it I have noticed more hairloss.

    Lamberts tells me it is impossible to get hairloss from 150 mcg Biotin.

    Can 150 mcg Biotin cause hairloss or Telogen Effluvium?.

    Thanks a lot for your help!

  5. Hi, I m having PCOS and I take duphaston tablets for 3 days on the 21st day of my periods (1) at bed time, I have facial hair and hair fall. Please advise which supplements should I take and the dosage.
    Thank you in advance!

  6. Hi Dr. Childs,
    Not sure if this is covered elsewhere, but I recently read that taking a Biotin supplement too close to having blood work might interfere with certain test results. If this is true, how long should one wait, and can Biotin be taken with Thyroid meds?

    • Hi there!

      Yes, biotin can potentially interfere with your thyroid lab tests. If you avoid it 2-3 days prior to your labs you should be good to go.

  7. Dear Dr. Childs,

    Could you please respond to my question above about biotin in Florisene causing hairloss?.

    Thanks a lot in advance for your help!.

  8. Dear Dr. Childs,

    Could you please tell me if a dose of 150 mcg biotin can cause hair loss?.

    I take 3 Lamberts Florisene tablets and it has given me hair loss.

    Lamberts tells me that biotin can not cause hair loss.

    Please tell me if it is possible.

    Thanks a lot for your help!.

    Kind regards


    • Hi Conny,

      In medicine almost anything is possible but you need to look at it in terms of whether it is likely or not. It is unlikely that it caused your hair loss but you could be the 1 in 1,000 where it does.

  9. Dear Dr. Childs,

    I have some more questions about biotin and I really hope you can help me.

    I have lowered my dose of Florisene to 1 tablet a day. Now I only get 50 mcg of biotin.

    Do you think such a low dose of biotin could still cause hair loss?

    You wrote in the article above that biotin can cause hair loss.

    Could you please explain to me how biotin can cause hair loss (by which mechanism and dose?.)

    Every dermatologist I have asked if biotin can cause hair loss, tells me over and over again, that biotin can not cause hair loss, even Professor van Neste, who is one of the best dermatologists in the world.

    Please give me your opinion.

    Thanks a lot in advance for your help!

    I look forward a lot to hearing from you!

    Kind regards,

    Conny van Rijswijk

    • Hi Connie,

      It typically causes hair loss if it’s used in high doses by itself and without other nutrients. A low dose probably won’t be an issue, but if you have hair loss there are about 10 other important factors you should be looking at which are far more important than biotin.

  10. Dear Dr. Westin Childs,

    Please excuse me fot bothering you again but I have another
    question about biotin.

    Could you please explain me by which mechanism biotin can cause hairloss?.

    Every dermatologist I consult tells me biotin can not cause hairloss
    at all.

    I have read an article on internet saying biotin can cause hairloss because it increases hairgrowth.

    Everybody around me takes mega amounts of biotin and is extremely glad with the results.

    It seems I am the only one who says it causes me hairloss even if I take 1 2 0r 3 Florisene tablets which has only 50 mcg biotin per tablet.

    Please help me explain how biotin can cause hairloss so I can
    understand it.

    Thanks a lot in advance for your time and advice!.

    I look foreward a lot to hearing from you!.

    Kind regards,

    Conny van Rijswijk

  11. Dear Dr. Westin Child,

    Please answer my questions above.

    Thanks a lot in advance for your help!.

    I look foreward a lot to hearing from you!.

    Kind regards,

    Conny van Rijswijk

  12. Dear Dr. Westin Childs,

    Please excuse me for bothering you again but

    you have not answered my questions above yet.

    Please help me and give me your opinion.

    I look foreward a lot to hearing from you!.

    Thanks a lot in advance for your help!.

    Kind regards,

    Conny van Rijswijk

  13. Dear Dr. Westin Childs,

    Can biotin in supplements increase testosterone levels in females and so increase female hairloss?.

    Thanks a lot for your help.

    Happy New Year!.

    Kind regards,

    Conny van Rijswijk

  14. Dear Dr. Westin Childs,

    I have one more question from my Professor dermatologist about biotin.

    Have you ever seen in one of your patients they got hairloss from 100 mcg biotin daily (in a combined supplement as in 2 Lamberts Florisene tablets with 50 mcg biotin per tablet)?.

    Thanks a lot for your help!.

    Kind regards,

    Conny van Rijswijk

  15. Dear Dr. Westin Childs,

    I have one more question from my Professor Dermatologist about


    He would like to know if biotin can increase adrenal hormones.

    Thanks a lot for your help!.

    Kind regards,

    Conny van Rijswijk

  16. Dear Dr. Westin Childs,

    I have a question from my Professor Dermatologist for you.

    He asks : Have you ever had a patient who got hairloss from

    biotin,and,if the answer is yes,how can biotin cause hairloss?.

    Thanks a lot for your help!.

    I look foreward a lot to hearing from you!.

    Kinds regards,

    Conny van Rijswijk

  17. Dear Dr. Westin Childs,

    In an article in England was mentioned that taking more than

    the RDA of 50 mcg of Biotin can trigger Telogen Effluvium.

    My 2 Professor Dermatologists (Rushton and Van Neste) tell me

    that biotin can not cause hairloss especially not in the small

    amounts I take it of 3 tablets of 50 mc biotin in Florisene.

    But since taking 3 tablets Florisene I have a lot of hairloss and

    there are not any other hairloss triggers.

    Please help me.

    Can biotin cause hairloss and if yes how can it cause hairloss?.

    I look foreward a lot to hearing from you.

    Kind regards,

    Conny van Rijswijk

  18. Dear Dr. Westin Childs,

    Could you please give me your opinion about the following text?.

    “‘When you first start taking biotin you might experience some extra shedding because your hair will start growing at a faster rate and the rate of hairfall might increase”.

    ”So biotin can alter your hairgrowth cycle”.

    “‘Generally this early stage loss will stop after continuing to use
    biotin regularly”.

    Thanks a lot for your help.

    I really appreciate it a lot.

    Kind Regards,

    Conny van Rijswijk

  19. Dear Dr. Westin Childs,

    Please excuse me for bothering you again about biotin,but you are such an expert,so I really hope you can help me.

    I have again tried 3 Florisene tablets which have 50 mcg biotin in each tablet.

    And again it has given me massive hairloss.

    The old Florisene without biotin always gave me thick beautiful hair.

    It was a miracle pill.

    This new Florisene formula with biotin is a complete nightmare.

    I have asked a lot of Professor Dermatologists (like Professorra Tosti and Professor van Neste) how such a small amount of biotin can give me hairloss.

    And they all tell me over and over again that BIOTIN CAN NOT CAUSE HAIRLOSS!.

    You write in your article that biotin can cause hairloss.

    Please explain me HOW biotin can cause hairloss so that I can understand it?.

    Have you had many patients who has got hairloss from biotin?.

    And are there any medical papers,where it is mentioned that biotin can cause hairloss,so I can give them to my Professor Dermatologists?.

    Please help me!.

    Thanks a lot in advance!.

    I look foreward a lot to hearing from you!.

    Kind regards,

    Conny van Rijswijk


  20. Dear Dr. Westin Childs,

    I have read in an article:

    When you first start taking biotin you might experience some

    extra shedding

    because your hair start growing at a faster rate

    and the rate of hairfall might increase.

    Could you please give me your opinion?.

    Thanks a lot in advance for your help!.

    I look foreward a lot to hearing from you!.

    Kind regards,

    Conny van Rijswijk

  21. Dr Childs,

    Last year, in June 2022, I bought your thyroid hair regrowth with biotion 5000mcg, choline 100mg and silicon 5mg.
    I have hypothyroidism and take supplements (synthroid and T3 compounded) the compounded medicine is wonderful and I found out about it reading your articles.
    I had recently and awful problem with hair loss and finally decided to take your thyroid supplement – about a month ago. It is amazing how wonderful it is working. From a handful of hair (the size of a golf ball) to an incredible little hair falling. I am speechless!! I started also taking multi vitamin that also includes biotion.
    I wanted to re order from you but your new hair growth formula does not include biotion. May I ask why?
    Thank you!
    Leila Saheli

    • Hi Leila,

      Glad to hear it worked well for you! And, just so you are aware, the newly reformulated Thyroid Hair Regrowth Complex contains 4x the silicon dose as the previous version and the same amount of biotin. This new version is just all-around way more effective than the previous version and includes all of the same ingredients, just at higher doses (the biotin dose remained the same but the silicon dose increased).


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