Hair loss is a natural process that progresses with age, but many nutrients have been shown to improve circulation to the scalp, prevent hair thinning and hair loss. Adding simple nutrients from food and vitamins can both repair hair and help to regrow hair, starting at the roots. Biotin is an important nutrient to help prevent hair loss. Genetics play a part in predicting who will lose hair and when, but diet can delay or prevent hair loss and age-related balding. Treatments applied topically, such as hair masks, conditioners and vitamin treatments can also help but the best results occur when nutrients such as biotin are added to the diet.
Biotin or Vitamin B7 (originally known as vitamin H) is one of the components of the B complex of vitamins. Biotin is required to turn sugar into energy. It is also part of the pathway for synthesizing fat in the body because it enables the function of the enzyme acetyl Co-A carboxylase, which builds fat molecules, and fat is an important component in the walls of every cell. Biotin is especially important to the skin cells as they are frequently replaced due to their exposure to the outside environment. Symptoms of biotin deficiency are cradle cap in infants and seborrheic dermatitis in adults. Biotin also protects the nervous system, preventing seizures, ataxia and loss of muscle tone. Biotin has been shown to regrow hair and even reverse premature graying. An added benefit to biotin supplementation is a reduction in stress reactions, as biotin is also an important component of the nerves. Stress can cause hair loss, so adding biotin to the diet gives protection both to the hair follicles and to the nerves that support their proper function.
Dosage of Biotin
Daily doses as high as 60 mg a day can be taken for long periods, as there have not been any reports of biotin toxicity. Studies with biotin supplementation of 500 mg a day have shown results in hair restoration and reversal of hair graying.
Other Nutrients Needed for Hair Growth
Other nutrients are also needed to spur hair growth, especially those that are a part of the hair itself. Silica is one of these components and can be added to the diet by eating grains such as rice and oats. Protein is also needed to grow healthy hair. The addition of iron to the diet spurs hair growth as well. Iron deficiency, or anemia, can cause hair to fall out. Another important nutrient for hair growth is vitamin E. Vitamin E stimulates the circulation and improves both heart health and hair health.