Medically reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 5/27/2023
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.
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.
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.
Butttt if you’re wondering how to tell if you have biotin deficiency specifically, symptoms may include:
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. It can help give you the vitamins and nutrients your hair needs for optimal growth, reducing your risk of having to deal with biotin-related shedding.
Believe it or not, there are other essential hair vitamins worth knowing about out there, too.
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.
But that doesn’t mean the stuff isn’t working! 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.
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.
While there is no such thing as consuming too much, 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.
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.
We love fast results — who doesn’t? While biotin can work to bolster hair health (especially 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 other hair loss treatments beyond Biotin. 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.