If you’ve had to deal with hair loss/thinning, you must have heard of the several micronutrients implicated in hair growth or hair loss. Sometimes, the myriad of information leads to confusion and you end up not knowing what action to take. How about you take it one step at a time, and for now, focus on one micronutrient: Zinc?
Wondering what zinc’s role in Perfect hair health is? You don’t have to wonder anymore or stumble in the dark about zinc’s role in your hair health.
This article gives you all the juicy information about zinc and your hair.
What is Zinc?
Zinc is one of those micronutrients we refer to as an essential mineral; as the body needs it but does not store it. We can find zinc naturally occurring in certain foods, and in enriched foods and supplements
Some of its very crucial functions include enabling an excellently running immune system, cell growth, wound healing, physical growth/development.
To get the most out of this nutrient, you’d have to resort to animal protein- zinc binds to phytate in plant sources such as legumes and nuts, making it harder to get zinc from these sources.
Does Zinc Affect Your Hair Health?
Research has shown zinc to be a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor (5-ARI); meaning it halts the transformation of testosterone into its active form: Dihydrotestosterone. This might make zinc deficiency leading to hair loss commoner in males.
Another 2013 case study showed how zinc supplementation could help a hypothyroid woman who was suffering from hair thinning. That’s not all; as other research has shown that there are lower blood zinc levels in patients with different forms of hair loss; especially alopecia areata and androgenic alopecia. There is more evidence for zinc supplementation in cases of alopecia areata, however.
As a result of the fact that zinc shows significant promise in abating some types of hair loss, and there is evidence to show how blood and hair zinc levels are lower in men with androgenic hair loss (not to forget that zinc serves as a 5-ARI!), it is used to aid people with hair thinning or hair loss.
Zinc Safety/Toxicity Profile
You don’t go around popping zinc pills because you want to grow healthy hair!
Especially for men with male pattern hair baldness, the recommended daily dose of zinc is about 11mg. At a daily dose over 40mg, zinc toxicity profile is seen as patients start having the side effects of vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, headaches.
A chronic state of toxicity to zinc leads to lower levels of high-density lipoproteins and overall reduced immunity.
- Zinc is one of the body’s essential minerals. It is found in many foods sources- but more available in animal proteins
- An extreme deficiency of zinc can lead to hair loss
- Blood (and) zinc levels are lower in men with male pattern baldness, also called androgenic alopecia.
- Zinc is noted to act as a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor, halting the transformation of testosterone to DHT, and contributing to male pattern baldness in this way.
- Although research has tried to correlate the effects of zinc on hair health, there is no hard evidence to show a direct linkage to zinc slowing hair thinning or balding.
- It associates a lot of risks with excessive zinc supplementation, especially for those taking over 4 times the recommended daily dose.