When people hear the word “nutrition,” they usually think about keeping their body healthy and staying in shape, but you may not realize that nutrition also affects your hair. Micronutrients like vitamins and minerals are especially important for keeping hair healthy.1
The micronutrients Biotin and Vitamin B12 are two of the most recent additions to our Avacor® All Natural Nutricap, a dietary supplement specially formulated to improve the health of your hair and scalp.*
In this post we have collected a few pieces of information about Biotin and Vitamin B12 that we thought were particularly relevant to healthy hair.
Biotin May Improve Hair Quality/Thickness
Biotin, also known as Vitamin H is a micronutrient that is known to be essential for maintaining healthy hair and skin.1 (According to some sources the H actually stands for "haar und haut", German for "hair and skin".)
Biotin is absorbed into the shafts of hair, where it “moderates the damage environmental or other factors may have caused, and increases the diameter of the hair shafts.” 2
“It is well documented that biotin deficiency in humans and animals causes pathological changes in the skin and its appendages such as desquamative dermatitis and alopecia,” 3 and in animal studies, a biotin-poor diet leads to dandruff-like skin irritation and causes hair loss.4
But biotin supplementation may also be beneficial for people who do not suffer from a known biotin deficiency:
“pharmacological doses of biotin have been shown to improve… the quality of nails and hair in humans in the absence of apparent biotin deficiency.” 3
Our All Natural Nutricap now contains 300 micrograms of Biotin to make sure you are getting enough of this important micronutrient.
Vitamin B12 for “Optimal Hair Growth Potential”
Vitamin B12, a water-soluble vitamin containing the element cobalt, is involved in cell metabolism and macromolecular synthesis in all cells throughout the body.
According to the scientific literature, “optimal hair growth potential” requires adequate levels of Vitamin B12 in the body.5 An article from WebMD quotes one doctor, a clinical professor of dermatology, as saying “it's not uncommon to find a B12 deficiency in women who come in seeking treatment for hair loss.”
Since Vitamin B12 is only found in certain foods, our All Natural Nutricap is now supplemented with 6 micrograms of Vitamin B12 to ensure that your body is equipped with the proper nutrition it needs to keep your hair healthy.*
Thanks for reading, we hope you've learned something new about hair and nutrition and that you enjoy the benefits of these improvements we've made to the Avacor® All Natural Nutricap!
1. Daniells S, Hardy G. Hair loss in long-term or home parenteral nutrition: are micronutrient deficiencies to blame? Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2010 Nov;13(6):690-7. Link
2. Goldberg, M.E. Hair enrichment composition and method of use. US Patent No. 5,069,898. December 3, 1991. Link
3. Limat A, Suormala T, Hunziker T, Waelti ER, Braathen LR, Baumgartner R. Proliferation and differentiation of cultured human follicular keratinocytes are not influenced by biotin. Arch Dermatol Res. 1996;288(1):31-8. Link
4. Morganti, P. Medicinal formulation for promoting keratinogenesis and reducing seborrhea of the face and scalp. US Patent No. 4,863,950. September 5, 1989. Link
5. Rushton DH. Management of hair loss in women. Dermatol Clin. 1993 Jan;11(1):47-53. Link
6. Photo above form Properhealthtips.com
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Losing your hair is never easy. In addition to the obvious physical changes, premature hair loss can cause anxiety and fear about sexual attractiveness, social acceptance, and even mortality. Feelings of isolation and loneliness can make the process even more depressing.
(For a heart-felt article on this topic, read Spencer Kobren's "Depression and Hair Loss: You’re not Alone" on TheBaldTruth.com)
Finding other people with similar stories and sharing your experiences with each other can help with the psychological "trauma" that frequently accompanies hair loss. Internet forums are a great way to connect with people around the world with common interests and can serve as a sort of "virtual support network".
But when it comes to medical treatments for hair regrowth, be cautious about taking advice from other forum members. As you will see below, forums can sometimes contain treatment suggestions that may be ineffective or potentially harmful.
Hair Loss Forums
A recent book on online social support states that “[t]he electronic social network an online support group creates can potentially provide the benefits of social support traditionally conveyed face-to-face without conventional limitations of material resources, proximity, and temporality.”1
Two of the most popular internet forums for hair loss topics are the communities at TheBaldTruth.com and at HairLossTalk.com. These sites have forums areas for both men and women, but another popular site called Her Alopecia is specifically dedicated to women's hair loss discussions.
Internet forums can be great for support during difficult emotional times, but it is important to remember that other forum members may not know much more than you do and are not likely to be reliable sources for medical/scientific information on hair loss and hair regrowth.
Don't Try This at Home! (treatment advice from an internet forum)
We have seen countless posts that either get the science wrong or simply advocate dangerous, painful, and unproven treatments.
For example, one forum thread on Regrowth.com was dedicated to users discussing their attempts at an experimental approach to hair regrowth that they had adapted from early-stage research studies.
This approach involved wounding the scalp with sandpaper, needles, or organic acids and applying chemicals like cayenne pepper (in 90% alcohol) and lithium to the wounded areas in the hope of stimulating new hair growth.
“We're making it up as we go”
A new visitor to the site praised the other posters for having “more knowledge than any of the other forums” and asked for their recommendations on what chemical substances to incorporate in his wounding routine because he didn't “have the education to figure it out on [his] own.”
One of these 'knowledgeable' posters described his wounding regimen as "heavy sanding" and applying glycolic acid to the raw skin, leaving a "red mess of raw flesh" (although he didn't recommend other readers take their "wounding to that level"). In another post he admitted: “We're making it up as we go along armed with both scientific and anecdotal evidence. The quantities I use are measured in the most unscientific way possible as we don't really have any data on quantities.”
Another poster recommended applying cancer drugs to the scalp after wounding, which he suggested the forum members could purchase at a group rate from a cheap Chinese source he had found through an internet trading site. He also offered to "whip up" solutions of experimental drug combinations for the other forum members. Fortunately one poster drew the line at this point: “Personnaly I won't take anti cancer drugs just to regrow hair, it is far too dangerous...”
No proof that it even worked
As the thread developed, several posters asked for pictures of the results that some members claimed to be achieving. Here are some quotes from the discussion:
“anyone taking pictures?”
“Due to just having a cell phone camera, I'm not quite ready to take pictures yet”
“So how about some pics?”
“I don't own a digital camera but should the results (if any) warrant it, I shall obtain one and endeavour to post pics.”
“Looking forward to those pics.”
“For the pictures, I'll take them tomarrow because I have no working batteries”
“be sure to post the promised pics”
“When I'm comfortable taking a picture (when the skin heals better and hair grows out more) I definitely will.”
“I'm dying to see your results pictures. Day 26 and I have minimal growth and nothing cosmetically significant..”
“I've been so swamped with laser helmet requests lately[...] My regrowth seems to mostly be on the left side of my scalp, a few odd sprouts here and there. Perhaps I'll take some pics after my haircut this Saturday, haven't had a good cut in months!”
“I shaved the whole front of my scalp up about 2 inches just above my recession and sanded the entire area, been applying the same formula. So far I don't see a single new hair, this is pretty disappointing.”
In the end, no pictures were ever posted and there was no evidence that the painful and potentially dangerous treatments had any benefit for the self-proclaimed "guinea pigs".
Hair loss forums on the internet can provide a free and immediate social support network that can be helpful for meeting other people who are experiencing similar issues. This support can potentially help with some of the psychological issues that often accompany hair loss, such as anxiety and depression.
These forums also contain discussion threads about members' personal experiences with hair regrowth treatments. While most people mean well when they offer advice on the internet, they may not necessarily be qualified to give a professional opinion.
When it comes to scientific or medical issues, make sure to double check what you read on forums with a reputable source, preferably a physician or an expert in the field.
If you ever want to know more about something you've read online, feel free to contact us and we will be happy to answer your question or help you find an appropriate expert who can.
Thanks for reading this Avacor® Hair Regrowth Blog post and come back soon for more of the latest information on hair loss and hair regrowth.
1. Bambina. A. (2007). Online Social Support: The Interplay of Social Networks and Computer-Mediated Communication. Youngstown, NY: Cambria. Link to GoogleBooks