Q. Many hair loss products contain Biotin and/or Saw Palmetto. Do they work?
A. Both Biotin and Saw Palmetto are totally useless in growing hair or slowing the progression of hair loss. Unfortunately, they sound important and are naturally occurring, so they are great for marketing products that contain them. Unfortunately, a lot of desperate people with hair loss will be duped. Worse, they will postpone seeking a doctor’s advice and getting prescriptions that do actually work.
As usual, myths often start with some basis in fact. Saw Palmetto does offer some benefit for older men with prostate enlargement and both prostate enlargement and hair loss are due to the same chemical, DHT. And biotin deficiency can cause thinning hair.
However, Biotin deficiency does not occur in those eating a healthy American diet, as Biotin (vitamin B7) is a vitamin found in many foods such as eggs and milk. For vegans, bananas, peas, beans, peanuts, lentils, and soy are all rich in Biotin.