I wrote a post on Viviscal hair vitamins and decided it would be a great idea to post my thoughts/opinions on mega-dose vitamins and the different types of hair, skin, and nail vitamins that I’ve tried. I haven’t used Viviscal, but I’ve been curious because of some YTers who do. It is quite pricey though…
I’ve taken quite a few things including store brand hair and nail vitamins. I will do a write up on biotin, MSM, Hairfinity, and Fast Grow. At the end if the series, I’ll write about my favorite so far.
First up is biotin. Signs of biotin deficiency include brittle chipped nails and hair loss. Deficiency, however, is very rare. [Source] It seems that amongst the natural hair community, biotin or Vitamin H is hailed as the holy grail in hair growth mega dosing.
I took Spring Valley brand 5,000 mcg pills once per day for a while. What I noticed rather quickly is that the biotin caused extremely painful cystic acne breakouts on my face and back. I get hormonal breakouts now and then but this was nothing like the acne that biotin caused. My spots hurt all the time. Many users have reported something similar. They say take b-complex and drink plenty of water to prevent this. I did take super b-complex (and a multi) with the biotin. I regularly drink 2 liters of water a day and about 24-32 ounces of tea (I know, crazy amount). It made no difference. Biotin did not work for me at all. It took months to cleanse it from my body and get rid of the acne all together. The aftermath was terrible scarring and hyperpigmentation.
I will never take biotin again. What it did to my skin was not worth any growth in my hair. I didn’t really get a chance to take notice of changes in my hair because I was so distraught by everything else. I will say that months and months later, I did end up using some of the biotin in a topical oil mix. I had a bald spot at the back of my head caused by at-home hair coloring. I mixed some castor oil, cayenne pepper, and opened up a few biotin pills and popped the powder in there. After months of being clean bald, I used the oil mix and I finally had some fuzz in that area. I can’t necessarily contribute the growth to the biotin because it was mixed with other stuff, but I did get to use up some of the pills.
The takeaway from this for me is that mega dosing with this particular vitamin did more harm than good. While some people benefit from taking it, I was not one of them. Do you research before supplementing and be aware of (and prepared for) all the possible outcomes.
A lower dosage is perhaps a safer alternative if you are concerned about side effects. And there are a few Biotin conditioners on the market.
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