How Much Biotin Do You Need For Longer Locks? An Expert Explains How To Manage Beauty Supplements

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Whether you're after longer hair or stronger nails, sometimes your diet doesn't give you all of the nutrients you need to reach your beauty goals. So if you decide to turn to beauty supplements, you may be wondering just how much biotin you need for longer locks and stronger tips. Do you go for an extra-strength version? Or is the standard concentration enough? To find out how exactly biotin and other key beauty ingredients work in your body, and what you should look for in your beauty supplements, I emailed with Hum Nutrition head RD, Alex Caspero MA, RD, CLT, RYT.

According to Caspero, biotin, folic acid, PABA, and zinc are some of the key beauty nutrients you need for healthy hair and nails. Caspero explains that "Biotin can help metabolize amino acids, the building blocks of protein, resulting in stronger hair and nails." Folic acid, she says, serves a similar function in that "folic acid deficiency may lead to premature graying and hair loss." PABA, another key beauty ingredient, may also prevent graying when used in combination with other ingredients, says Caspero. And zinc is essential for making proteins found in hair and nails. Even though all of these nutrients are beneficial for reaching your beauty goals, it's important to know the right ratio to take. So you can optimize your beauty supplement intake, here are five other things you should know about biotin and other key nutrients:  

1. Biotin Is Water-Soluble

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The recommended daily intake of biotin, says Caspero, is 30 mcg as this amount is enough to prevent deficiencies. However, because biotin is water-soluble and not known to be toxic, it won't hurt to take more than you need, she explains. Often, biotin supplements can be found in amounts of 5,000 to 10,000 mcg, so Caspero doesn't recommend taking more than one biotin supplement as any excess of the nutrient will just show up in waste.

2. A Combination Of Ingredients Is Better

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"Most hair and nail ingredients work synergistically, so often a combination of ingredients is better than a single ingredient," says Caspero. In addition to biotin, check your beauty supplements to see if it contains other good-for-hair-and-nails ingredients like folic acid, PABA, and zinc.

3. There Are Limits For Certain Ingredients

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Although biotin doesn't have an upper limit of how much you can take, zinc does. According to Caspero, adults should not consume more than 40 mg per day and teens should not consume more than 34 mg per day. When looking at how much zinc is in your beauty supplements (and/or other supplements), Caspero recommends sticking to a maximum of 20 mg as you can also get zinc from food.

4. Consistency Is Key

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Try: NeoCell Biotin Bursts, $11, GNC

After determining how much of each type of ingredient you need to maximize your results, Caspero says it's important to keep up with your supplements every day in order to see those results. She adds that splitting your supplements into two doses per day helps optimize your body's absorption of the nutrients.

5. It'll Take A Few Weeks To See Results

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While it's always exciting to see the results of a new initiative or commitment, improving your hair or nails from the inside out will take some time. Caspero says most people will see results in four to six weeks, so don't be concerned or discouraged if you don't notice improvements right away.

But as long as you balance and manage your supplements, longer hair and stronger nails can be yours.