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How Long Does It Take for Biotin to Work? | Complete Guide

Biotin has become the unofficial vitamin for healthy hair, skin, and nails. Its growing popularity may prompt you to try it out for yourself. But how long does it take for biotin to work? Don’t worry — we did the research so you don’t have to. Read on to learn more.

Disclaimer: We sourced information from what we consider trustworthy sources, but we are not doctors. Before taking any supplements, we highly suggest consulting your doctor. This piece is an objective summary of our interpretation of product data and user reviews.

How Long Does It Take for Biotin to Work?

You’ll see hair influencers on social media making some extravagant claims about their results on a biotin supplement. Some of these are legitimate and some are dubious at best. Biotin is not an overnight remedy to lengthen and thicken your locks.

According to The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, it takes around 90 days to start seeing results on biotin, if you see any at all (more on that later). Trying biotin for hair growth means a commitment of at least three months.

Many people see no difference in their hair growth for the first few months. Around the third or fourth month, they see some encouraging results. You can’t stay on biotin indefinitely, though.

What Is Biotin?

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Biotin is the common name for the water-soluble vitamin B7. Recent research shows that it has a role in cell signaling and epigenetic regulation.

It is thought to work by helping restructure keratin in the hair and speed up keratin production in the hair follicles. Its properties may be why it helps some people to have healthier hair, skin, and nails.

The Effect of Biotin on Hair Growth

While not everyone has the same results, the perceived benefits of biotin supplements are:

  • Stronger hair. biotin supplements and products seem to reduce breakage and shedding.
  • Preventing hair loss. it appears that this vitamin can reduce hair shedding, which in turn can reduce rollout and hair loss. Some biotin users are making a preemptive strike against hair loss by taking this supplement.
  • Increased hair growth rate. there is uncertainty surrounding the validity of claims that biotin makes your hair grow faster. Research results are mixed at best.
  • Increased shine. individuals who report great results on biotin often cite that their previously dull hair is now sparkling in the sunshine like never before.

Every person has unique hair and chemical makeup. The results you see on a biotin regimen are as individual as you are. You can experience all or none of the benefits listed.

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Who Should Take Biotin?

Woman looking at her thin hair and wondering how long it takes biotin to work

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Biotin supplements are only necessary for:

  • People born with a biotin deficiency
  • People who develop a biotin deficiency during their lifetimes

The American Academy of Dermatology Association does not recommend biotin for hair loss issues not related to biotin deficiency. There is no clinical evidence to prove that biotin helps your hair, skin, or nails, despite the testimonials all over the internet.

Even though results for biotin vary according to the research, dermatologists often recommend biotin as a low-risk solution to hair loss.

B7 is a water-soluble vitamin that your body eliminates through urine when you have too much in your system. It might work, but it won’t hurt you if it doesn’t help your hair.

How Much Biotin to Take

Woman taking a few biotin pills

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To avoid biotin deficiency, adults need about 30 micrograms (mcg). Most of us get the daily amount through our diet. Taking a biotin supplement gives you a large dose in the hopes that the excess will stimulate hair growth. Most doses vary between 5,000 and 10,000 mcg.

Factors That Affect the Results of Biotin

How well biotin works to grow your hair depends on your body chemistry, whether you have a biotin deficiency and three other factors.

How Do You Take Biotin? 

Food sources include organ meat, fish, nut butter, egg yolks, and bananas. Getting the recommended daily amount through your diet may not be enough to see accelerated hair growth. Supplementing with pills or gummies could yield results in about 90 days.

Consistency

Taking your biotin diligently is more likely to yield the results you want. Skipping or forgetting doses makes it less likely to boost hair growth with biotin. 

A Reputable Vitamin Brand

Not all vitamins are equal. Buy a trustworthy brand so that you know the vitamin is potent and not loaded with ineffective filler ingredients. Using an inferior product could make it take longer to see positive results.

Tips to Maximize Hair Growth on Biotin

When you make a months-long commitment to finding a solution to your hair problem, you want to get the most out of the experience.

The tips below will help to maximize your potential results with biotin:

  • See a dermatologist. In general, you should see a physician before starting any new vitamin regimen. A dermatologist can help you choose the right dosage, adjust your diet, and track your progress on the vitamin. 
  • Use a quality supplement. There are lots of shady vitamin and supplement brands on the market. Choose a well-known, established vitamin manufacturer. Don’t get taken in by exaggerated claims online and waste your hard-earned money on useless products. It’s a good idea to check labels to make sure a product contains biotin only. 
  • Try other forms of biotin. Most supplements come in pills or gummies that you can order in one or two-month supplies. You’ll find hair products such as shampoos, conditioners, oils, and leave-ins that contain biotin. You can also add biotin-rich foods to your diet. 
  • Take a minimum of 5,000 mcg. Our daily need for biotin is small. Taking larger doses is thought to stimulate hair growth and yield other positive results. Check the amount of biotin in each pill or gummy. If you are unsure what dosage is right for you, reach out to your dermatologist or primary care physician for guidance. 10,000 mcg is the maximum daily dose you can take before seeing some possible side effects.
  • Massage your scalp. You can help hair growth by giving yourself a 5-minute scalp massage once a day. Use scalp oil and your fingertips (not your nails). Gently massage the oil into your scalp using circular motions.

Frequently Asked Questions

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We’ve done a deep dive into how long it takes for biotin to work. Here are answers to a few more questions you may have.

Is it OK to take biotin every day?

Yes. Faithfully taking your biotin every day while on the regimen is more likely to give you positive results. However, you should not use a biotin supplement for more than six months consecutively.

Can you trust biotin claims on social media?

Take all claims with a grain of salt. Many influencers are brand ambassadors and paid sponsors. They may be exaggerating their claims and sharing before and after photos that are not quite genuine. If you want to try a biotin regimen to see if it makes a difference in your hair health, stick with a reputable brand like Nature Made, Nature’s Bounty, or Vitafusion.

Is it better to take biotin in the morning or at night?

Consistency is key when on any vitamin regimen. Taking biotin at the same time every morning is best. Biotin is most effective when you take it on an empty stomach about an hour before you eat or two hours after your last meal. Most of us find it easier to keep a routine in the morning, so taking it first thing may help you stay consistent.

How effective is biotin?

No two people will have the same results on biotin. You could reap all the great benefits above or see no change to your hair. Biotin is generally safe for anyone to take for up to six months, so it’s worth a try to see what happens. If you don’t see any results in that timeframe, it’s safe to conclude that biotin is not working for you.

Are there any side effects to using biotin for hair?

Yes. A biotin overdose is extremely rare because biotin is a water-soluble vitamin. That means that excess biotin in your system is easily eliminated through urine. You could have a few minor side effects when taking large doses.

  • Frequent urination
  • Sleeplessness
  • Early waking
  • Unquenchable thirst

One more possible consequence involves skewed results on blood and urine tests. Having an inflated amount of biotin in your system can affect lab tests and mask your actual health condition. To avoid this problem, stay below 10,000 mcg per day when taking biotin.

If you experience negative side effects that become a concern, discontinue using any biotin products. Your doctor can recommend other, more reliable hair growth products.

So, How Long Does It Take for Biotin to Work?

Biotin is not a magic potion guaranteed to work at all. But if you give it a try, you’ll likely see results in about three months. Taking it consistently during that time helps yield the results you want. 

If you don’t see any changes in your hair growth rate in five or six months, then you should seek another solution to boost your hair growth.