If you’re experiencing hair loss, or are looking to grow your hair healthier and thicker, then this is the article you’ve been looking for.
We’re going to be covering the benefits of zinc for hair, zinc-rich foods, and other zinc sources, as well as how it works as a remedy for hair loss!
Zinc is an element found in trace amounts in the human body despite how essential it is.
It is important for bodily functions like cell reproduction, hormone production, and maintenance, as well as the breakdown of proteins, vitamins, and other minerals.
When there is not enough zinc in the body, we experience zinc deficiency or hypozincemia.
Zinc deficiency can be caused and exacerbated by other illnesses and vitamin deficiencies.
The Benefits of Zinc for Hair
Unfortunately, one of the most common signs of zinc deficiency is hair loss. This is because zinc is so important for healthy bodily functions such as:
- Cell growth and repair
- Production and balancing of hormones
- Protein breakdown and absorption
- Vitamin and mineral breakdown and absorption
As we’ve learned from all our other tips, these 4 functions are some of the most important in the body for hair growth.
You can learn more about these in our articles about the benefits of protein for natural hair, as well as how to use Tea Rinses for Hair Loss.
The benefits of zinc that are specific to hair health and growth are the following:
- Improvement of the color and overall appearance of hair
- It improves the efficiency of the anagen stage (aka growing stage) of the hair growth cycle
- When applied to the surface of the scalp, it has been shown to reverse hair loss by acting as a 5- alpha-reductase inhibitor (5-ARI). This means it inhibits the transformation of testosterone into DHT, a more potent hormone associated with hair loss.
In addition to what zinc can proactively do in the body, here are things that the LACK of zinc does in the body.
Zinc deficiency leads to the weakening of the hair follicle structure. In other words, it makes it easier for hair to fall out faster.
As great as this all sounds, too much zinc in the body is not a good idea either.
How much Zinc is Too Much per Day
Just as too little zinc can lead to hair loss in the body, so can TOO MUCH zinc. So you really want to make sure you’re getting just the right amount of zinc every day – no more, no less.
This is because zinc is designed to be a trace element in the body. If it is found in large quantities, it can create other mineral deficiencies — which can then lead to hair loss.
Remember that zinc also produces and balances certain hormones in the body – one of these is DHT or dihydrotestosterone. DHT is also one of the primary hormones responsible for male and female pattern baldness.
You read that right!
While increasing zinc intake could be a great remedy for hair loss, taking too much zinc could actually CAUSE it!
Some other side effects of too much zinc include nausea, vomiting, appetite loss, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and headaches. So you really want to be careful with this nutrient!
Keeping this in mind, the recommended daily amount of zinc for the average healthy adult female is 8mg.
Common and Accessible Zinc Sources
If you’re looking to naturally increase the amount of zinc you consume per day, here are some whole food sources of zinc.
These are zinc-rich foods that are relatively easy to find – with options that cater to any dietary preference (vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, keto, paleo, etc.)
- Oysters: 74mg (3 oz)
- Beef: 7mg (3 oz)
- Crab: 6.5mg (3 oz)
- Lobster: 3.4mg (3 oz)
- Baked Beans: 2.9mg (½ cup)
- Breakfast cereal: 2.8mg
- Dark meat chicken: 2.4mg (3 oz)
- Dried pumpkin seeds: 2.2mg (1 oz)
- Low-fat yogurt: 1.7mg (8 oz)
- Cashews: 1.6mg (1 oz)
- Chickpeas: 1.3mg (½ cup)
- Oatmeal: 1.1mg (50 g)
- Low-fat milk: 1mg (1 cup)
- Almonds: 0.9mg (1 oz)
- Kidney beans: 0.9mg (½ cup)
- Chicken breast: 0.9mg
- Cheese: 0.9mg (1 oz)
- Peas 0.5mg (½ cup)
- Flounder 0.3mg (3 oz)
The food sources above of zinc are arranged in order from the most to the least concentration of zinc.
If you’re eating a balanced diet and keeping zinc in mind, then you should be able to get all your zinc requirements from whole foods.
However, if this is impossible because of your diet or lifestyle there are other sources of zinc you can look into.
Other Sources of Zinc
Zinc supplements contain several forms of zinc like zinc gluconate, zinc sulfate, and zinc acetate. There are no reported differences between how these forms of zinc get absorbed into the body.
You can also find zinc in tons of cold medication because of its immune-boosting abilities!
Personally, I tried taking zinc in an effort to combat thinning at my hairline. I took a zinc supplement every day for one month after seeing this YouTube video and doing some research about zinc.
I took one zinc pill a day with a glass of vitamin c (it has been proven to boost the absorption of other vitamins and minerals).
Not only did my hairline grow in thicker and fuller, but I also noticed my skin had a nice glow to it throughout the experiment!
You can follow NaturallyPhilo’s results in this video as well:
Don’t forget to write down what your experience was with using this in your state of the union list!
You can find one in the free Hibiscus Roots hair journal here!