Zinc is an option for people who experience hair thinning or hair loss. While losing about 50 to 100 strands of hair a day is normal, shedding more than the average amount is cause for alarm. Losing an abnormal amount of hair can be caused by hormones, genetics, poor diet, age, radiation, stress, infection, chemicals, weight loss or disease. Often, hair loss is caused by poor nutrition. Zinc can help restore hair health and promote hair growth.


Zinc Deficiency

Without enough zinc, you may notice abnormal hair shedding due to weakened hair shafts. Your hair will break and regrowth will be slow.


How it Works

Zinc is a trace mineral found in the body. This mineral helps with cell reproduction, hormonal balance, absorption of vitamins and protein synthesis. All of these bodily processes are necessary for hair growth. A sufficient amount of zinc is necessary for hair loss prevention.


Benefits

Zinc enhances the immune system’s function to fuel hair growth. The required amount of zinc will promote cell reproduction, repair of broken tissues and tissue growth. Also, zinc sustains the glands that secrete oil and are attached to your hair follicles.


Dosage

Zinc is taken to combat a zinc deficiency and to fight hair loss. It is recommended to take 11 mg of zinc daily; to fight hair loss, 50 to 60 mg of zinc gluconate daily for two weeks is effective. Do not exceed 100 mg of zinc daily. Other zinc supplements are zinc chloride, zinc oxide and zinc sulfate.

Hair Loss

Too much zinc can trigger hair loss. Taking a too-high dosage of zinc for longer than three weeks can harm your hair. If the body has too much zinc, essential minerals cannot be absorbed. These minerals, including copper, iron and magnesium, are essential for healthy hair.


DHT

Our bodies contain a hormone called DHT which can hinder hair health. Since zinc raises testosterone levels, which can be linked with increased DHT levels, some fear that zinc will ultimately raise DHT levels. Fortunately, zinc actually limits DHT production. While it cannot completely block DHT, it can monitor it. By balancing hormone levels in the body, zinc reduces the chance of hair loss.


Diet

To incorporate zinc naturally into your diet, eat oysters, mussels, shrimp, red meat, poultry, liver, wheat germ, egg yolk, nuts and soy. Keep in mind that the body only absorbs approximately 30 percent of the zinc in these foods, so you may still need a supplement.