I've been using Biotin (a B vitamin) for a couple of years now, on the advice of a dermatologist. I've seen no improvement. When I was younger, my nails were hard and unbreakable. I've come to the conclusion that my nail problem (they break if you look at them wrong and are now prone to splitting) is the result of having to live on thyroid supplements. And my hair has always grown quickly, so I see no change there. The bottom line is that Biotin is pretty safe and pretty cheap, so try it for six months or so. Keep your nails moisturized. I just started using Avon Nail Experts Strong Results Length & Strength Complex, so I'll keep my fingers crossed.
I have been taking 5000 mcg of biotin for almost a year. It has increased my hair growth from about 1/4 of an inch a month to a 1/2 an inch a month. I love this stuff!
For the two months I've been taking 1000 mcg of Sundown botin a day. The tablet is scored, so I'm able to break it in half and take 500 mcg twice a day, along with half of my vitamin tablet. My primary goal is to make my nails stronger, and my secondary goal is to reduce hair loss. I can see a reduction in hair loss, but it's too soon to see stronger nails. Unfortunately, it made my skin break out (and my dry skin never breaks out), so i discontinued taking it
although i take a b complex that provides about 300mcg of biotin per tablet (more than 100% of rdi) i take an additional d-biotin supplement (at 1000mcg). i just buy a good quality but well priced brand, which works to be about 100 tablets for $3usd. no fillers or additives. i take it in the morning with my usual protein, b + c vitamins as this altogether helps with overall absorption.
primarily aiming to increase hair growth -- bad hair cuts! however the most immediate effects are rapid nail growth. although i feel that speedy nail growth is not very useful if the density of the nail does not also improve-- which should be addressed via other dietary changes. i don't tend to have very strong nails, more due to nail bed/cuticle issues (dryness, dietary fats... whole other issue), and excess growth just becomes incredibly annoying when the nail tips begin to split after about 2-3mm of growth.
i have also noticed, in conjunction with using topical castor oil on the eye lashes, taking biotin helps to lengthen lashes, at a very natural rate. there is not much increase in thickness or new lash growth (just perhaps more follicles becoming active).
most noticeably, my bottom lashes were nearly 'invisible' because they are very fine and medium length, however they have doubled in length gradually. whereas the upper lashline has just filled out more to its original density before using mascara, as with the eyebrows as well. i also tend to develop thinning at the front hairline where it is constantly parted, again with topical castor oil, i believe biotin has also boosted new growth
in terms of hair growth (not new growth), definitely has a noticeably effect. i'm currently trying to grow out my fringe, and i am experiencing about 150-170mm of growth each month, as opposed to the usual 80-100mm.
i have not noticed any increase in breakouts with biotin, although i suspect that if you only take biotin without any other b supplements, this will cause a severe b vitamin imbalance in the body and thus have some effect on the skin. i am careful to not take excessive amounts, as 300-400% over the RDI is already adequate to enhance the particular functions associated with hair growth. also in general i take regularly adoptogenic and phytoeostrogen-rich herbals which help with skin related issues.
UPDATE 9/17/09: I stopped taking biotin for 1 1/2 months due to laziness. I had no idea that biotin played a role in clearing up my skin and during the course of a month my acne came back in full force - plus I gained a ton of weight! My skin/makeup routine, eating habits have not changed and going off on biotin I noticed my brows/hair aren't growing as fast anymore, my nails are brittle, skin has so many tiny bumps and I've gained 15 Ibs in less than a month (fat in the most unattractive places)! I'm on biotin again and noticed my skin is slowly clearing up again and I'm not craving food as much when I was off biotin (working out now to rid of this unwanted excess fat). I will update again in a couple of months.
UPDATE 1/26/2010: After 2 1/2 months from my last update, I stopped using biotin again. I really wish I haven't. I gained half the weight I lost when I was on biotin, my nails are brittle again, my skin changed. My hair is still the same, but I noticed my brows don't grow as fast once I stopped :( I'm back on biotin again and for good! The thing I hate is now I have to rely on biotin for the results I want. Before I was on biotin I was on birth control which gave me similar results, minus the nail and hair. Biotin gave more than my bc which is why I liked using it. I don't mind taking biotin I just get lazy. So for me, I need to be on biotin daily to keep results constant.
ORIGINAL REVIEW: I've always suffered with sparse thin eyebrows. As much as I love filling in my brows there are days when I get lazy filling them in and just want to head out the door without worrying about them. After a plucking mishap I decided to do some research on how long brows would normally take to grow. Since I've been plucking my brows back in middle school my brows hasn't grown back to its natural state when I was a kid (before I started shaving them and plucking). Articles I read stated that after constant plucking/threading/waxing some hairs might not ever grow back which is in fact true in my case :( I'm a tweezaholic you see. That's when I found out about biotin supplements. I did thorough research and reviews on different kinds before taking the plunge in trying them out. I decided to go with the GNC Women's Hair, Skin & Nails Formula as I've read so many wonderful things about it and very little side effects from those who reviewed it. I was going to go for a cheaper brand at my local drugstore, but since I have a gold card with gnc I got it for BOGO.
I started with 1 pill (1500 mcg) a day to see if I get any side effects (aka breakouts etc). After 1 week I decided to take the recommended dosage which was 2 pills (3000mcg). I take the biotins with GNC Women's MultiVitamins which also contain 300 mcg totaling of 3300 mcg, but I rounded it down to 3k. So far no breakouts like some reviews I've read. My nails are a lot stronger and I'm able to keep them long without a lot of chipping! My hair also feels healthier and stronger (it already grows at a fast rate so I'm not seeing a difference). I have noticed an amazing growth in my facial hair after using biotin! Not sure if you'd take this as a side effect or not, but for me it's amazing!!! My brows have never looked this thick - EVER! I actually have brow hairs growing in areas I've never seen before :D ***Picture of my brows before and after below*** Besides my brows I've noticed that I started to grow a bit of a stache lol. I never had to remove any upper lip hair before so taking the biotin I had to start. I don't mind though as long as my brows are growing out in places they never have before. I don't mind shaving off a little upper lip hair :)
The one thing I do want to warn those who are planning on taking the GNC biotins is to make sure you take it with a meal. If you don't you will end up suffering with an upset stomach for a couple of hours :( The pills do smell and have a very awful after taste, but I take it with juice so I don't have taste it as much.
Biotin is the recommended natural supplement for nail and hair care and I started taking it awhile back with stunning results. My nails were immediately strengthened and my hair was a bit stronger as well (though this took longer to see than the nails). I was taking about 4,000 mcg per day, short of the advertised of 5,000 mcg a day, but much more than the average person would consume in a normal diet.
At first it caused a bit of upset stomach that would have been avoided by taking it with a meal. The other negative side effect was the one that caused me to stop using it - in sensitive folks it can cause breakouts. Now, what isn't clear to me is if it's the Biotin itself or the fillers/binders in the pill causing the breakouts. Biotin does not naturally appear as a hard, white substance and some have theorized that its the inactive ingredients used in putting the biotin in pill format that causes breakouts. Let's say that you take 5 pills a day or even 7. Vitamin B is water soluble, meaning that any excessive amounts are flushed out in urine. The fillers in the pills, however, do stay around and may be the reason for the breakouts.
At any rate, I wanted to share my results and let you know but the postive effects I had as well as the negative side effects. If you want to try it, but find yourself senstive to fillers remember that Biotin is essentially Vitamin B7 which can also be found in straight Vitamin B tablets (less fillers) or general vitamin supplements, for example Centrium, but in far fewer mcg's per pill. I'm trying to increase my Vitamin B naturally in the foods I eat: tuna, liver and bananas - I'll let you know how it goes.
I buy biotin 5,000mcg way cheaper than $30.00. Walgreens carries it and I buy two for one on sale. Less than $6.00. I take two daily and have for months now along with two extra B complex. It has helped my hair so much. I was losing a lot of it and it was very fine due to medication. It is thicker and healthier and stays on my head and not in the sink or shower. My HG of supplements.
I did not purchase this particular brand, I bought the Biotin 5000 mcg. from GNC. I had to share the good news, biotin is a miracle worker.
I have medium-fine hair, which I had cut into a very short bob (w/ stacked layers in the back), the longest my hair would reach is to my chin. I did this back in August, because it was so hot, it was an impulse haircut. By November, I was tired of short hair, so I got extensions (cost $500), the plan was to wear them until my hair grew out, but since my hair was so short; my stylist had to cut layers (all around my head), to cover the top part of the extensions. I was fearful that if the extensions came all out, I would have a choppy looking hairdo. Anyways, by January, the extensions were looking ratty, so I took them out, my hair was in that awkward in-between stage. I read so many good things about biotin supplements, I decided to give it a try.
I've been on the biotin pills for 1 month now, and it's amazing. What it did is , it made my hair a lot thicker than it ever was. It has added an extra layer of hair (all over), and the hair (that grows around the face) grows in more, as well as thickens. It also made my scalp line (on top of my head) close-up, it's less wide than it used to be. It also made my nails strong, almost as strong as having fake nails.
This is a must have for everyone, I paid 30 bucks for 120 pills, and it's so worth it. The best way to describe it is this, it's like your hair is getting it's winter-coat (like dogs fur comes in more the winter -a dogs winter coat).
My hair was thinning alot. When i took a shower there would be a big chunck of hair in the drain! I'm 26 and i knew i had to do something before i was bald as an eagle! So i started taking biotin about 3 months ago now! WOW is all i can say! I can see baby hairs coming in around the hairline! My hair also feel softer and thicker! Im so happy my hair is growing back in! As for my nails they never use to grow before, now they are thick and long! I will always take biotin!
My hair is growning longer and most of all behaving better. I used to have 2 or bad hair days each week (frizz, lack of volume and general hair assiness) but sine taking 600 mcgs of Biotin I have maybe 1 bad hair day a month if I try a new mousse or hairspray. My nails are growning much faster as well. Its been about 3 months and I saw resluts within a few weeks, I will continue to take this.