December 01, 2016
While the go-to expert advice for optimum hair health is to fiddle with it as least as possible, there really is no standing in between a woman and her hair stylist. We enter the salon a meek and humble caterpillar, with pictures of celebrity hair pegs in hand and expectations up in the air to undergo a minimum two-hour metamorphosis that can go in either of two polar-opposite directions: “OMG I love it!” or, “Oh dear God.”
If it’s the first, we can expect a temporary spike in selfies posted. If it’s the latter, and growing your hair out seems to be the only option, and those heavily Kardashian-marketed hair supplements are starting to look really good, take a few minutes to understand that the rate at which your hair grows, and its other characteristics (thickness, texture, potential length, among others) are affected by a bunch of factors.
I admit the following: I was once a cigarette smoker, I have a love-hate relationship with dieting, I dye my hair, and I have anxiety. Needless to say, it’s a little like living with a sheepdog when you hang out at my apartment. So, after a lot of research (Pro Tip: You can never do enough research on something you plan to ingest), and despite many mixed reviews, I got my hands on a two-pack of biotin 2,000mcg capsules – a 2-month supply.
In a nutshell, vitamin H a.k.a. vitamin B7 a.k.a. biotin is a nutrient that helps your body better metabolize fats and produce energy. It’s easily found in everyday food items, such as, eggs, sardines, nuts, soybeans, whole grains, cauliflower, and bananas. While there’s no solid evidence to back claims that biotin supports fuller, thicker, and longer locks, I figured bald wouldn’t be a good look on me when I’m 80, so I took one capsule a day, every day, for 2 months.
I hate to disappoint, but in one word, my experience taking biotin was unremarkable. My hair and nails still grew at a normal rate over the 2 months, but I continued to shed. Apparently, biotin – if its effects were to manifest at all in the average person – does more for your strands’ luster than length and thickness. So, if it’s a matter of hair loss, thinning, and breakage, you’re better off addressing the roots of the problem – pun intended.
Reevaluate how you’re exposed to the factors listed above, and make small steps towards reducing them. After my biotin disappointment in June, I turned to the following positive lifestyle changes – partly to help save my hair in the long run, but mostly to just be healthier:
While its always a little bit of a let down when “magic pills” don’t work as advertised, it’s comforting to know that most of what your body needs to function properly is very fundamental. I don’t know when I’ll notice a decrease in my hair fall, but I’m certain that if I keep making these positive lifestyle choices, I shouldn’t be far behind.