So you’ve noticed your hair is looking thinner and duller, and your nails short and brittle and you need a beauty SOS. You’ve probably read about the miracle wonder that is biotin; beauty gurus and influencers alike tout the miracle properties of the supplement that’s supposed to transform your hair and nails. But is it too good to be true?
“Biotin is important for energy production and known to improve hair health,” board-certified NYC dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, told POPSUGAR. “Many enzymes need biotin to function properly; biotin also helps keeps nails and skin healthy.” She added it can help nails and hair grow. However, she said that taking biotin won’t negate a bad diet — overall nutrition is important for healthy hair and nails.
“Hair thrives on protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. If you are not getting enough nutrients from your diet, supplements can increase low levels,” dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD, explained. “These nutrients help support hair structure, growth, breakdown carbs and fats, moisturize the scalp, and distribute oxygen to the cells.”
Although it may be beneficial for people who are low in biotin, the results might not be as noticeable for those who already have adequate levels of biotin. Still, taking it is worth a try; Dr. Jaliman said it has minimal side effects and anyone can take it.
Of course, you should always check with your doctor before starting a new supplement, but Dr. Engelman recommends starting with 500 mcg daily. If you are looking to strengthen your hair and nails, it’s worth a shot!