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Biotin Results After 1 Week: How Long Does It Take to Work?

Sara Harcharik Perkins, MD

Reviewed by Sara Perkins

Written by Sheryl George

Published 01/21/2021

Updated 11/14/2023

We know — you’ve probably heard about the magic of biotin for hair growth. We’ve all had that friend (or TikTok influencer) who swears by it. But for real, does biotin actually work? And if so, how long does biotin take to work?

In this piece, we’ll dive into all the basics of biotin — from what it is to how much you should take.  Then we’ll see if the science really lives up to the hype — because if biotin can work in one week, color us impressed.

We know — you’ve probably heard about the magic of biotin for hair growth. We’ve all had that friend (or TikTok influencer) who swears by it. But for real, does biotin actually work? And if so, how long does biotin take to work?

In this piece, we’ll dive into all the basics of biotin — from what it is to how much you should take.  Then we’ll see if the science really lives up to the hype — because if biotin can work in one week, color us impressed.

What Is Biotin?

First of all, in case you're wondering what the heck biotin really is, here’s your 101. Biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin and an essential nutrient found in various foods. 

For optimal hair health and strong nails, biotin and other B complex vitamins are vital for optimal hair health and strong nails. If you’re dealing with hair breakage, thinning hair, baldness, alopecia or brittle nails, biotin — or a lack thereof — may be at the root of it. That said, it’s important to note that biotin deficiency is rare.

Many foods naturally contain biotin, so if you eat a balanced diet that includes sources of biotin like eggs (including the yolks), meat, fish, nuts and seeds, you’re probably covered. In fact, there has never been a reported case of severe biotin deficiency in a healthy individual consuming a normal mixed diet.  

Butttt if you’re wondering how to tell if you have biotin deficiency specifically, symptoms may include: 

  • dry skin

  • hair loss 

  • fatigue

  • dry eyes

  • Insomnia

  • depression

  • skin rashes

If you’re nervous that you may have a biotin deficiency, you can up your levels with a biotin supplement like our Hims & Hers Multivitamin Gummies. Or, you can connect with a healthcare provider to talk about your hair, the potential reasons it could be thinning or damaged, and the available options for treating hair loss — such as medications like minoxidil.

Believe it or not, there are other essential hair vitamins worth knowing about out there, too. 

How Long Does Biotin Take To Work?

Ever heard that Rome wasn’t built in a day? Well, you can’t exactly turn into Rapunzel that fast, either. 

If you’re hoping for a miracle after just one week of biotin supplementation, it’s probably time to pump the brakes a bit. Realistically, you won’t notice any real results from biotin supplements for at least the first two to three months of regular use - and if a biotin deficiency wasn’t the problem to begin with, you probably won’t notice any real results from biotin supplements then, either.

But that doesn’t mean the stuff isn’t working if biotin is what your hair needs!! It’s essential to set level expectations when it comes to supplements like biotin — you likely won’t be letting your hair down after a mere seven days. 

Like most things, hair growth takes time. On average, at your prime, hair grows about half an inch a month and up to six inches per year. That’s slower than a snail’s pace, so just be patient. 

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How Much Biotin to Take for Hair Growth

Because biotin is a supplement, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t established any recommended daily doses for it in the same way they do with prescription medications.

That said, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends a daily intake for biotin supplements of 30 micrograms for adults 19 years of age or older. In most cases, you can meet that 30mcg recommendation through your daily diet. 

While there aren’t representative estimates of biotin intakes in the United States, the NIH reports the average biotin intake from foods in other western populations is about 35–70 mcg/day.

So, there’s no real standard here. The good news, however, is that even if you eat well beyond the round-about recommended daily allotment, you won’t suffer any rough adverse effects. For instance, our gummies have 300mcg of biotin in one gummy. For those keeping score at home, that’s 1,000 percent of your suggested daily value.

Also, quick public service announcement: since biotin is water-soluble,  your body can’t store it. That means you need to take it daily…. popping a supplement every few days will definitely not do the trick. Like many other things in life, consistency is key for healthy hair. 

Additionally, having extra levels of biotin may offer little to no real benefits for your hair. It can also increase your risk of showing false, inaccurate results on certain lab tests and blood tests.

Biotin Side Effects

Now, before you add a biotin supplement to cart, you’re probably wondering, “Well, what are the biotin side effects for females?” 

And the answer is: generally, none. You may experience an upset stomach, but typically, this B vitamin is perfectly safe and side effects of biotin are super rare.

However, it’s always a good rule of thumb to talk to your healthcare provider to make sure any nutritional supplements won’t conflict with any medications you take or any medical conditions you may have. And as we mentioned, biotin supplementation can also interfere with certain heart and thyroid tests — so it’s important your provider be aware if you are taking it.

minoxidil + biotin chewable

fuller, thicker hair in 3-6 months? yes please

The Takeaway: Does Biotin Really Work After 1 Week? 

We love fast results — who doesn’t? While biotin can work to bolster hair health (if you have a deficiency), you won’t see results in just one week. Over time, that can change.  Here’s what you need to keep in mind: 

  • If you choose to supplement, stay consistent with taking it daily since biotin can’t be stored in your body.

  • If you choose to supplement, the NIH recommends 30 micrograms for adults 19 years of age and older

  • Be patient. There isn’t definitive research yet showing that biotin can help promote hair growth (if you’re not deficient).  

If, after all that, you still feel like you’re craving longer hair or need a little extra oomph for your natural hair, we have some more advice.

Styling with the right hair care products can also help add volume and body if you’re feeling like your hair is lacking fullness. And there are hair loss treatments that are proven to work. Spironolactone and minoxidil have clinical data to show efficacy in hair growth, so you may want to speak with a healthcare provider to see if they could work for you. 

If you want to make bigger moves, start your consultation right from your own home.  No matter what you choose, patience and consistency are key.

9 Sources

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references.

  1. Saleem F, Soos MP. Biotin Deficiency. (2023) retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK547751/
  2. National Institute for Health, Biotin Fact Sheet retreived from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Biotin-HealthProfessional/
  3. Murphrey, M. B., Agarwal, S., & Zito, P. M. (2022). Anatomy, Hair - StatPearls. NCBI. Retrieved April 25, 2023, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK513312/
  4. Zempleni, Janos, Wijeratne S.K, Subhasinee & Hassan, Yousef I. (2016) Biotin, National Library of Medicine. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4757853/
  5. Katoulis, A. C. (2023, January 23). Integrative and Mechanistic Approach to the Hair Growth Cycle and Hair Loss. NCBI. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9917549/
  6. Biotin - StatPearls. (n.d.). NCBI. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK554493/
  7. Vitamin H (Biotin) Information. (n.d.). Mount Sinai. Retrieved May 17, 2023, from https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/supplement/vitamin-h-biotin
  8. Patel, Deepa P, Swink, Shane M & Castello-Socio, Leslie (2017 Aug) “A Review of the Use of Biotin for Hair Loss.” PubMed, Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28879195/.
  9. Liang, X., Chang, Y., Wu, H., Zhao, J., Wang, L., & Zhuo, F. (2022, July 11). Efficacy and Safety of 5% Minoxidil Alone, Minoxidil Plus Oral Spironolactone, and Minoxidil Plus Microneedling on Female Pattern Hair Loss: A Prospective, Single-Center, Parallel-Group, Evaluator Blinded, Randomized Trial. NCBI. Retrieved April 25, 2023, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9309533/

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Sara Perkins

Sara Harcharik Perkins, MD, FAAD is a board-certified dermatologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine. She is the director of the Teledermatology Program, as well as the Associate Program Director of the Yale Dermatology Residency Training Program. Her research focuses on telemedicine and medical education. Her practice includes general medical dermatology, high-risk skin cancer, and procedural dermatology.

Dr. Perkins completed her undergraduate education at the University of Pennsylvania and obtained her medical degree at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She completed her medical internship at the Massachusetts General Hospital, followed by residency training in dermatology at Yale University, after which she joined the faculty.

Dr. Perkins has been a member of the Hims & Hers Medical Advisory Board since 2018. Her commentary has been featured in NBC News, Real Simple, The Cut, and Yahoo, among others.

Publications:

  • Ahmad, M., Christensen, S. R., & Perkins, S. H. (2023). The impact of COVID-19 on the dermatologic care of nonmelanoma skin cancers among solid organ transplant recipients. JAAD international, 13, 98–99. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10518328/

  • Ahmad, M., & Perkins, S. H. (2023). Learning dermatology in medical school: analysis of dermatology topics tested in popular question banks. Clinical and experimental dermatology, 48(4), 361–363. https://academic.oup.com/ced/article-abstract/48/4/361/6869515?redirectedFrom=fulltext&login=false

  • Belzer, A., Leasure, A. C., Cohen, J. M., & Perkins, S. H. (2023). The association of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma with solid organ transplantation: a cross-sectional study of the All Of Us Research Program. International journal of dermatology, 62(10), e564–e566. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ijd.16700

  • Ahmad, M., Marson, J. W., Litchman, G. H., Perkins, S. H., & Rigel, D. S. (2022). Usage and perceptions of teledermatology in 2021: a survey of dermatologists. International journal of dermatology, 61(7), e235–e237. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ijd.16209

  • Asabor, E. N., Bunick, C. G., Cohen, J. M., & Perkins, S. H. (2021). Patient and physician perspectives on teledermatology at an academic dermatology department amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 84(1), 158–161. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7491373/

  • Belzer, A., Olamiju, B., Antaya, R. J., Odell, I. D., Bia, M., Perkins, S. H., & Cohen, J. M. (2021). A novel medical student initiative to enhance provision of teledermatology in a resident continuity clinic during the COVID-19 pandemic: a pilot study. International journal of dermatology, 60(1), 128–129. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7753449/

  • Cohen, J. M., Bunick, C. G., & Perkins, S. H. (2020). The new normal: An approach to optimizing and combining in-person and telemedicine visits to maximize patient care. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 83(5), e361–e362. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7316470/

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