Zinc is a mineral that plays an important role in the production of cells and DNA within our bodies.
It helps to repair and grow tissues – including hair tissues – and stimulate the production of oil in our scalp so that our hair follicles function correctly.
Therefore, it may come as no surprise that zinc is an effective treatment for hair loss.
Men and women who suffer from hair loss may take zinc as a supplement to treat this condition, and many people who are not suffering from hair loss often take zinc to help maintain healthy hair.
Why does it matter?
Your hair is an important part of your overall appearance and may be directly linked to your self-confidence.
For men, hair is a sign of strength and virility. For women, hair signifies beauty and seduction.
For everyone, hair symbolizes youth, confidence, and personal expression. In other words, our hair plays a major role in how we feel about ourselves and how other people see us.
People who suffer from hair loss can certainly understand the importance of hair, so it is refreshing to see that a simple solution like healthy eating can have such a major impact on our lives.
Does it really work?
It is commonly known that the foods we eat have a direct impact on the health of our hair.
There are wide variety of vitamins and minerals that have proven to be effective in the treatment of non-scarring alopecia and other hair loss conditions.
In particular, studies have shown that women with a zinc deficiency may be susceptible to alopecia areata and other common types of hair loss.
Men with androgenic alopecia, also known as male pattern baldness, often also have lower zinc levels.
Note that there is no hard-and-fast evidence that zinc will make your hair grow at massive rates.
However, it has been proven that a zinc deficiency is directly related to hair loss. This occurs because zinc prevents our hair follicles from retracting and it promotes faster recovery when are hair follicles are damaged.
A lack of zinc in our systems means that our hair follicles will be less productive and that their capacity to grow hair will be diminished.
There is also a large body of evidence which indicates that zinc has a positive impact on reversing hair loss.
For example, hypothyroidism, which occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, is a known cause of hair loss, and zinc supplements are known to treat hypothyroidism.
Research shows that women with hypothyroidism are able to improve their hair loss by taking zinc supplements.
How much zinc should I take daily for hair loss?
For a balanced diet, men should consume at least 11 mg of zinc per day and women should consume at least 8 mg of zinc per day.
This can be achieved relatively easily with a balanced diet that includes lean red meat and shellfish, especially oysters.
However, if you would like to boost your opportunity to slow down hair loss, you can take up to 40 mg of zinc per day without creating major health issues.
What type of zinc is good for hair loss?
Many people are surprised to learn that there are several different types of zinc supplements. This is because it is difficult for our bodies to absorb zinc alone, so the zinc is generally combined with different types of acids to help it bond within our body for optimal absorption.
Research has shown that significant hair loss may actually be reversed by taking zinc supplements, such as 600 mg of zinc sulfate each day. The different types of zinc include:
- Zinc acetate: This form of zinc is most common in cough drops. It is the active ingredient in lozenges to help reduce the symptoms of the common cold and help speed up the rate of recovery.
- Zinc citrate: A very popular form of zinc, this supplement is combined with citric acid to help our bodies absorb this supplement faster. However, it does have a bit of a bitter taste.
- Zinc gluconate: This form of zinc is probably the most common of all over-the-counter zinc supplements. It is common in cough syrup, cold lozenges, and nasal sprays.
- Zinc orotate: This version is combined with orotic acid, which is found in dairy products, and helps our bodies metabolize folic acid and vitamin B12.
- Zinc oxide: Zinc oxide does not absorb in our bodies very well. Therefore, although it has a wide variety of health benefits, it is often the least recommended because our bodies are not able to attain the optimal level of benefit from taking this form of zinc.
- Zinc picolinate: By combining zinc with picolinic acid, this version of zinc is said to be the most easily absorbed by our bodies and therefore thought to be the most effective for fighting hair loss.
- Zinc sulfate: This form of dance may be most effective in helping to treat skin irritations and acne.
Zinc picolinate is the best type of zinc for hair loss, but any zinc supplement can help you prevent hair loss.
What else should I take to maximize my hair growth?
Making sure you have enough zinc in your system will give your hair the ability to grow, but you may need to supplement your diet with some additional vitamins and minerals to achieve your maximum growth in the shortest period of time.
In addition to taking zinc supplements, you should consider taking vitamin A to keep your hair moisturized,
as well as a vitamin B super complex to make sure you get the right amount of vitamins B5 (pantothenic acid), B7 (biotin), and B12 (cobalamin), which all promote hair growth.
Additionally, vitamins C, D, and E each have an important role in helping to prevent hair loss and promote hair growth.
You might even increase the level of iron in your system to get more oxygen to your hair follicles, and take protein supplements to help prevent hair loss.