by MJB of Trials N’ Tresses
Back in February I did what most would consider the “big chop”. After 11 months of transitioning I took out my protective style and cut off all the remaining relaxed ends. I was excited and nervous but most of all I was impatient. I wanted my hair to grow back as quickly as possible. I heard all of these great things about so-called “miracle” hair growth pills and decided to dive in head first. I went to my local GNC and bought their “Be-Beautiful Hair Skin & Nails” dietary supplement with a whopping 6000mcg of Biotin in them. The bottle states taking one tablet a day and will provide 2000% of the Biotin you need for the day.
For those of you who are unaware, extremely high levels of biotin are the “miracle” workers that can be found in 99% of these hair growth medications that are being sold on the market today. Biotin is a water soluble B vitamin that produces keratin, increases hair elasticity, and protects the hair from becoming dry. It also helps thicken the hair to give the appearance of fullness. It is usually paired with MSM which my vitamins did contain 100mg of.
I started taking the pills and decided to talk to my other natural friends about their success and experiences while taking Biotin. I was shocked to hear more negative than positive responses but still wanted to give it a try for myself. After all, just like hair products, pills also work differently for different people. I went home to do some research on biotin myself (which I should have done before I started taking the pills) and saw a lot of people had issues with acne. Again I wrote it off and still decided to proceed to gather my own experiences.
The first two weeks I didn’t notice any major changes to my hair, skin, or nails but I noticed a few small pimples formulating around my lower cheek area close to my jaw. I wrote it off as poor eating for that week but also decided that if this was the worst that Biotin would do then that would be just fine if it would make my hair grow at rapid speeds. About a month into the process I was terribly disappointed and upset with myself more so than with the actual supplement. My face had completely broken out all over and I noticed no major changes to my hair’s length of thickness. I stopped taking the pills immediately and decided maybe the Biotin levels in this supplement were too high and my system did not agree with it. I moved on to taking Trader Joe’s “Women’s once Daily Multivitamin & Mineral” dietary supplement which only possessed 150mcg of Biotin (50 percent of my daily value). Along side the multi vitamin I began taking their Vitamin C complex.
That seemed to make the problem even worse. I’ve always had very clear skin except for my short battle with puberty back in high school. I just couldn’t get my face to stop breaking out and it was driving me crazy. I drink more than the daily recommended amount of water but just couldn’t seem to flush the vitamins out quickly enough. It was at that point that I decided to just stop taking the pills all together.
I was fighting a losing battle and my face was taking the worst part of the beating. My regular skin regimen wasn’t working even after I stopped taking the pills. I had to create a more aggressive regimen to get my skin back to normal. I started using 100 percent tea tree oil to decrease the pimple size. I would pair it with my face wash diluted in water to prevent excessive drying of my skin. For the really big pimples, I’d place the tea tree oil undiluted directly on there with a Q‑Tip as the applicator. I started using Queen Helene face masks once a week to tackle the oiliness that was building up around the breakouts and would finish off with an Aveeno moisturizer.
I can finally say after almost two months since I took my last “miracle” pill my face is at about 90% where it was before. The breakouts have stopped. The face masks helped quite a bit but it was the tea tree oil that really did the trick.
So… my overall experience with Biotin was unsuccessful the negatives outweighed the possible positives that might have come had I continued to take them. This doesn’t mean that it may not work for you. Again, my body just personally did not respond to it well. I suggest reading into Biotin a little further and testing out a lower level before diving into 6000mcg like I did. My body my have been shocked and refused to go into submission. Therefore, my over all recommendation for those who want to give it a try is to start with the Trader Joe’s multi vitamin first and see how your body responds. Then you can slowly increase the levels of Biotin you are willing to ingest. I personally will just take the normal patient route from now on and enjoy my hair grow at its own speed.