The Best Supplements for Longer, Stronger Hair—According to Nutritionists

My freshman-year dorm mate, a Paris Hilton lookalike who hailed from a wealthy Northern California suburb, was very clued into the fish oil craze of the early 2000s. Each day, she choked down one of those amber, egg-shaped pills to fortify her French manicure and color-treated tresses. It was, as far as I can remember, my first introduction to the idea of beauty supplements. Fish oil has fallen out of favor since then, clearing the way for biotin to take over as today’s beauty buzzword of note, but I remain as skeptical of the latter as I was of the former back in 2008. Of course, now that my own color-treated hair has started to thin out in my 30s, I find myself—against my better judgment—hunting for the best biotin for hair growth while wandering the grocery aisles.

So I decided to find out once and for all: does biotin really work at strengthening hair and nails? And what are the tried-and-true brands that actually live up to the hype?

Featured image from our interview with Babba Rivera by Belathée Photography.

Woman with dark curly hair and a pink top

The Experts

For guidance, I tapped two of my favorite experts, celebrity chef and nutritionist Serena Poon, and Camille Styles resident nutrition consultant and double-certified integrative nutrition health coach, Edie Horstman. Keep reading for answers.

Does biotin really improve hair and nails?

Biotin is a B vitamin that most people derive from a well-rounded diet (particularly when foods like fish, eggs, sweet potatoes, and almonds are incorporated). If you aren’t getting enough biotin, this may lead to brittle nails and hair loss.

“A handful of small studies has shown how biotin supplementation helped strengthen already brittle nails,” shared Poon. “Unfortunately, there is no evidence that supplementation with biotin will help already healthy hair and nails grow or strengthen. ”

Woman with long brown hair at the mirror in the bathroom

Is it okay to take biotin every day?

This question earned a resounding yes from our experts, though both noted that a well-rounded diet should have a sufficient amount of biotin for an adult.

“Biotin is safe to take—even at high doses,” says Horstman. “That being said, taking too much can sometimes cause side effects like stomach aches and sleep issues, but these are pretty rare.”

How much biotin do I really need each day?

The daily recommended intake of biotin for all adults is 30 micrograms.

“To give you an idea of how much food you need to consume to reach your daily value, one egg contains 10 micrograms of biotin, one-fourth cup of sunflower seeds contains 2.6 micrograms of biotin, and half a cup of sweet potato contains 2.4 micrograms of biotin,” Poon explains. “It is unlikely that you need to take a biotin supplement, but you can always check with your healthcare provider if you are unsure.”

Woman reading on couch.

The Best Biotin for Hair Growth Available in 2024

The following supplements were culled from past nutritionist recommendations, along with Horstman’s current favorites.

Wellbel Women Hair Skin and Nails Supplement

“These science-backed vitamins support hair, skin, and nail health, from the inside out. Evidence-based, Wellbel only uses vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO ingredients. These ingredients, like betaine HCL and saw palmetto, have been used in human clinical trials and published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.” — Edie Horstman

Pros: Physician formulated, vegan, gluten free, non GMO.

Cons: A serving is three capsules instead of just one.

  • Serving size: 3 capsules
  • Servings per container: 30
  • Amount per serving: 500 mcg
  • Key ingredients: Betaine HCI, Saw Palmetto, MSM, Biotin
  • When to expect results: Between 90 days and four months

Cymbiotika Liposomal B Vit Complex

Horstman loves this mood-boosting B vitamin complex, which increases energy in addition to promoting cellular health.

Pros: A tasty, sugar-free liquid supplement that makes getting your B vitamins easy.

Cons: Some may prefer a capsule or gummy option.

  • Serving size: 12 pumps
  • Servings per container: 30
  • Amount per serving: 1000 mcg of B12
  • Key ingredients: Vitamin B12 + B6
  • When to expect results: Two months

Ora Beyoutiful Skin, Hair & Nails Support

This is one of the most unique plant-based hair products available, according to Horstman. It packs a powerful punch with organic B vitamins, organic algae, and 1 billion probiotics.

Pros: Includes niacin, which supports your skin after it’s been exposed to UV light, as well as astaxanthin, which helps your skin’s moisture, elasticity, and hyperpigmentation.

Cons: Niacin may cause an allergic reaction for some.

  • Serving size: 2 capsules
  • Servings per container: 30
  • Amount per serving: 60 mcg
  • Key ingredients: Biotin, niacin, astaxanthin and fucoidan.
  • When to expect results: Two months

Nutrafol Women’s Balance Hair Growth Supplement

There’s a universal sentiment about Nutrafol: this stuff actually works. One way the physician-formulated product performs its magic is by addressing the root cause of hair thinning, such as stress or hormonal imbalance.

Pros: A supplement that’s clinically tested and whole body approached.

Cons: The most expensive supplement of the round-up.

  • Serving size: 4 capsules
  • Servings per container: 30
  • Amount per serving: 3000 mcg
  • Key ingredients: Biotin, Ashwagandha, Saw Palmetto, Tocotrienol complex 
  • When to expect results: 3-6 months

Act+Acre Plant Based Hair Capsules

“This cutting-edge supplement is committed to clean and unique ingredients, like horsetail extracts, which are rich sources of silica to add volume and shine. The addition of biotin promotes a healthy and consistent growth cycle and the combination of plant extracts and vitamins promotes hair growth, resilience, and visible strand thickness.” — Edie Horstman

Pros: Bamboo and Horsetail Extracts add shine and volume to your hair.

Cons: The high dosage of Biotin may cause side effects such as nausea, cramping or skin rashes.

  • Serving size: 2 capsules 
  • Servings per container: 30
  • Amount per serving: 5000 mcg
  • Key ingredients: biotin, vitamin C and amino acids, bamboo and horsetail extracts
  • When to expect results: 30 days

HUM Nutrition Hair Strong Gummies

A good gummy vitamin is always welcome, but HUM’s biotin-packed gels also happen to be the real deal (with thousands of five-star reviews to back it up).

Pros: I’m personally more prone to remember taking my supplements when they’re in the form of a delicious gummy.

Cons: Includes artificial colors and flavors, and is not sugar free.

  • Serving size: 2 gummies 
  • Servings per container: 30
  • Amount per serving: 5000 mcg
  • Key ingredients: Biotin, folic acid, B12 & zinc
  • When to expect results: Over the course of six months

Moon Juice SuperHair

Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K address many of the nutritional deficiencies that get in the way of healthy hair, while organic adaptogens (ashwagandha and ginseng), follicle protectors (saw palmetto and pumpkin seed), and micronutrients (from horsetail and kelp) support strands from the inside out.

Pros: Third party tested and clinically proven. Also promises results in just a month.

Cons: Some reviews share that side effects include cystic acne, nausea and heartburn.

  • Serving size: 4 capsules 
  • Servings per container: 30
  • Amount per serving: 500 mcg
  • Key ingredients: Biotin, ashwagandha, ginseng, saw palmetto and horsetail
  • When to expect results: 4 weeks

Thorne Biotin

This small capsule packs a punch with 8,000 mcg of Biotin per serving. Thorne keeps it simple with minimum ingredients and a reasonable price tag for anyone who wants healthier hair, skin and nails on a budget.

Pros: Incredibly affordable.

Cons: Highly concentrated, may not be the best option if you’re not sure how your system reacts to biotin.

  • Serving size: 1 capsule 
  • Servings per container: 60
  • Amount per serving: 8,000 mcg
  • Key ingredients: Biotin, Vitamin B7
  • When to expect results: Between 90 days and four months

GRO Biotin Gummies

This strawberry-flavored vegan gummy not only contains Biotin, but a number of vitamins to support collagen and keratin production, leaving you with thicker, fuller hair

Pros: Over 400 four and five star reviews.

Cons: Includes sugar and dextrose.

  • Serving size: 1 gummy
  • Servings per container: 30
  • Amount per serving: 5,000 mcg
  • Key ingredients: Vitamins B5, 6, 12, A, C, E
  • When to expect results: Three months

Hers Biotin + Minoxidil

If you prefer to work directly with a medical professional before diving into the world of supplements, hers is a great option. This biotin and minoxidil chewable is available to you after connecting with a professional who will determine if the supplement is right for you.

Pros: Since you work with a medical professional, you receive a personal prescription based on your needs.

Cons: Getting the product into your hands may take a bit longer, since you need to connect with a provider first. Also some may not prefer a chewable tablet.

  • Serving size: 1 chewable
  • Servings per container: 30
  • Amount per serving: To be determined by a medical professional 
  • Key ingredients: Biotin and Minoxidil 
  • When to expect results: 3-6 months

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