Topical Biotin for Hair Loss: Does It Work? -

Topical Biotin for Hair Loss: Does It Work?

Biotin is included in loads of hair loss treatments — shampoos, topicals, supplements. But does it actually increase hair growth? And if so, how exactly?

Biotin increases keratin production indirectly by acting as a cofactor for enzymes involved in various metabolic pathways. Keratin is a fibrous protein that forms the structural basis of several tissues in the body, including hair, skin, and nails. The synthesis of keratin requires several enzymatic reactions, and biotin plays a critical role as a coenzyme for some of these enzymes.

The process of keratin synthesis involves the following steps:

1. Amino acid metabolism: Proteins, including keratin, are composed of amino acids. Biotin is involved in the metabolism of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. It helps in the breakdown of amino acids and supports the production of essential amino acids that are required for keratin synthesis.

Therefore it’s possible that by increasing the amount of biotin available, the cells in the scalp will be better able to generate keratin.

2. Fatty acid synthesis: The synthesis of certain types of keratin involves the incorporation of fatty acids into the protein structure. Biotin is necessary for the production of fatty acids, which serve as the building blocks for various lipids in the body, including those involved in keratin formation.

3. Carboxylation reactions: Biotin is a coenzyme for enzymes known as carboxylases. These enzymes are responsible for adding carbon dioxide molecules to specific proteins, including those involved in keratin synthesis. This carboxylation process is critical for the proper folding and stability of the keratin protein.

4. Gene expression: Biotin also plays a role in regulating gene expression, influencing how certain proteins, including keratin, are produced in the body.

The process of keratin synthesis begins in the cell nucleus, where the DNA is transcribed into messenger RNA (mRNA). The specific genes responsible for keratin production are activated, and corresponding mRNA molecules are formed.

Could applying topical biotin to the scalp increase hair growth then?

When biotin is applied topically to the skin, its absorption through the skin is limited, and it may not effectively penetrate the deeper layers to reach the hair follicles or have a significant impact on the underlying tissues. As a result, the benefits of applying biotin directly to the skin for hair growth or other purposes are not well-established and remain a subject of debate among researchers and healthcare professionals.

Is it worth trying?

Biotin can be purchased relatively cheaply, but I don;t think it’s going to have any major impact on hair growth. Is it worth trying? Not in my opinion.