Zinc Hair Loss Treatment: How Zinc Can Reverse & Prevent Hair Loss
Just how many anecdotal hair loss treatment options exist out there? There is a good chance we will never know the real answer to that question. What we do know is that quite a few stories are stating that zinc can actually help with your hair’s health and it might even be the one thing you need to prevent hair loss. So, does the zinc hair loss treatment really work?
There are studies showing that zinc is an important mineral for healthy skin, hair,and even nails. These studies are given credence by the fact that even dermatologists often recommend zinc treatments for hair growth. So, is it true that taking zinc supplements can help prevent hair loss? If so, what is the science behind it?
How Does Zinc Affect Your Hair Growth?
To fully understand the link between zinc and hair growth you must first understand the connection between a zinc deficiency and hair loss. It is believed that having a zinc deficiency could lead to the deterioration of the basic protein structure that makes up hair follicles. It is this weakening of the hair follicle that leads to hair shedding and loss.
Apart from that, it is important to note that although zinc is an essential mineral for human beings, our bodies do not store it! As humans, we need zinc for several reasons including:
- Keeping our immune systems functioning properly
- Cell division as well as growth
- Wound healing
- Physical development and growth
- Our sense of taste and smell
All these are important functions attributed to the ingestion of zinc. It is therefore important to find the best zinc sources to which we can turn everydaybecause, unlike fat, our bodies do not store zinc.
The Connection Between Zinc Deficiency and Hair Loss
According to the National Institute of Health, the best and most common source of zinc for human beings is animal protein. While it is true that some plant foods are great sources of zinc as well, it is important to note that these plants also have antioxidant compounds and phytates that bind with that zinc and prevent it from being absorbed by the human body.
Technically speaking, even though plants are excellent sources of zinc purely relying on a vegetarian diet could lead to severe zinc deficiency since the zinc present in these plants cannot be absorbed by the body.
But what does that have to do with hair loss? Well, severe zinc deficiency can be symptomized by extreme hair loss! However, to get a definitive diagnosis, other symptoms of zinc deficiency would have to be present as well. Symptoms such as:
- Night blindness
- Delayed sexual maturity
- Chronic diarrhea
- Skin lesions
All that coupled with a generally poor immune health are signs that you have a severe zinc deficiency that needs to be addressed immediately.
Evidence that Zinc Helps Hair Growth and Can Reverse Hair Loss
You might be thinking to yourself: “Well, I don’t have night blindness and I certainly do not have chronic diarrhea; my only problem is that I have some hair loss and I would like to reverse that. Can zinc help?” Yes, zinc can help reverse your hair loss. To a degree!
There is scientific evidence showing that zinc can help reverse hair loss and most importantly, foster better hair growth and health. Here is the evidence:
- Zinc supplements may slow or reverse hair loss in hypothyroidism: There was a case study conducted by the International Journal of Trichology showing that an underactive thyroid gland is a major catalyst for hair loss. This study also found that the hair loss in a woman with hypothyroidism was slowed and gradually reversed once zinc was added to her regimen.
- Patients with various forms of hair loss exhibit lower zinc levels in their blood: A research paper published in the Annals of Dermatology found that there was a general trend of low zinc levels in the blood of all their patients experiencing hair loss. An important point to note is that the study showed a significant zinc deficiency in those patients who had telogen effluvium and alopecia areata.
While it is true that these studies may only offer mixed evidence that a zinc deficiency is responsible for hair loss, it is also true that the addition of zinc to the diet or treatment regimen of those suffering from hair loss only helped to slow down the process and, in some cases, reverse it.
So, we must conclude that zinc is not only good for the health of your body,but it is also great for your hair.
How Can You Add Zinc to Your Diet and Prevent Hair Loss?
Assuming you want to do more than just take zinc supplements, there are certain steps that you must take to increase your zinc intake and with it, reduce your probability for hair loss and even reverse it.
The two most important factors to consider are:
- Make sure you consume zinc with copper
- Make sure that you stay away from calcium-rich foods when taking zinc-rich meals
This is mostly because calcium goes towards blocking zinc absorption into your body. It is therefore important to separate foods rich in both minerals. As for the copper thing, when you consume a lot of zinc it tends to reduce the amount of copper in your body while consuming foods rich in copper tends to reduce the zinc in your body. These two, therefore, counterbalance each other. That is why they need to be consumed together.
There are many different sources of zinc that you can try including:
- Egg yolks
- Swiss cheese
However, if you have a strict no-meat diet then you should consider eating a lot more of:
- Soy products
- Pumpkin seeds
- Dry roasted cashews
You should also strongly consider taking zinc supplements with your diet and making sure that your scalp is generally well taken care of by keeping it moisturized using natural moisturizers such as coconut oil.