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Zinc And Hair Loss: Too Little Or Too Much Can Affect Your Hair

Zinc And Hair Loss

Yes, zinc and hair loss are commonly connected. Hair loss can be caused by either an excess of zinc in the body, or not enough. So, striking the right balance of zinc in your diet is the best way to make sure you don’t experience hair loss due to your zinc intake. 

Zinc is only a trace element in our bodies, (meaning only a small amount of it is required) but that amount is used for so many chemical processes that help the body function correctly, it can become a real problem if we have too much or too little. 

The recommended dietary allowance of zinc is 11mg for men and 8mg for women (11mg if pregnant, 12mg if breastfeeding).

As with many hormones and chemicals circulating our bodies via our blood, even the balance being a little ‘off’ can lead to side effects. You may be more familiar with vitamin deficiencies, such as Vitamin A and Vitamin B - but these are connected to your zinc intake, too.

When you lack certain vitamins, you then also may not be able to store minerals like zinc that your body needs to keep your hair happy and healthy. So, as you can see, zinc is intrinsically linked to hair loss!

Below you’ll learn more about the connection between zinc and hair loss, and all about how the right levels of zinc can benefit the hair.

Zinc And Hair Loss: Why Does It Affect Our Hair?

One of zinc’s key features in the body is to keep your hormones regulated. If you consume too much zinc, your body can start to produce higher levels of DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) – the androgynous hormone widely thought to cause premature hair loss by shrinking hair follicles.

However, if you don’t manage to get enough zinc into your diet, you may experience some of the following unpleasant side effects:

  • hair loss
  • diarrhea
  • psoriasis (red, scaly skin patches)
  • and in some severe cases, skin lesions

Keeping a healthy balance of this trace mineral in your body is obviously extremely important.

Zinc Benefits For Hair: The Link Between Zinc & Our Hair

To understand why zinc may be affecting your hair, it’s important to understand why it plays a key role in the health of it. Zinc benefits for the hair are incredibly significant.

Zinc affects the structure of our hair.

A deficiency in zinc can begin to affect the protein make up of the hair, which begins to weaken the hair’s structural integrity. Hair may begin to shed quicker – meaning you might notice more hair loss when washing or brushing – and the new follicles will not be strong enough to grow new hair.

This gap between ‘old’ hair falling out quickly, and ‘new’ hair not being able to grow quick enough to fill in the difference, presents itself as hair loss on the scalp. 

Making sure you get your recommended dietary allowance of zinc helps ensure hair tissue growth and repair, proper maintenance of the hair growth cycle, and the expected functioning of the oil glands surrounding the hair follicles on your scalp.

Which Foods Provide Zinc Benefits For Hair

Our bodies don’t have a specialized zinc storage system - which means we need to continually keep on top of our zinc levels. Therefore eating a healthy diet, including plenty of foods enriched with zinc, can ensure you’re reaping those brilliant zinc benefits for hair, as well as keeping the rest of your body in tip-top condition!

So, where can you find zinc in the food you eat?

  • Many breakfast cereals, including oatmeal, are fortified with zinc. Just read the label!
  • Dairy products, such as milk and cheese, are a great source of zinc when consumed in moderation.
  • Seeds and nuts are a natural way of ensuring you get your daily zinc intake, pumpkin seeds in particular – and make for a good snack, too!
  • Fish and meat, particularly oysters and beef, can provide you with your necessary zinc levels.  Make sure you eat the recommended portion size for you and always try to opt for organic or free-range meat where possible, so you know the quality of what you’re eating is high.

Read more on the do’s and don’ts of foods for hair growth here!

You can buy zinc supplements over the counter in many pharmacies and health stores.

Zinc can also be found in Cel’s Advanced Hair Supplement! This hypoallergenic oral supplement is designed to encourage high cell turnover to promote new hair growth and support the maintenance of a healthy, hydrated scalp. It’s also packed with Vitamins B & C which are essential for collagen synthesis which supports hair in growing and they also provide antioxidants to help protect against oxidative stress caused by free radicals.

And remember, when you lack certain vitamins (like Vitamin B), you then also may not be able to store minerals like zinc that your body needs to keep your hair happy and healthy!

It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before taking any new supplement.

If you’re looking to introduce targeted products into your routine to aid any hair loss or thinning you may be experiencing, look to Cel’s cruelty-free Microstem Shampoo & Conditioner, which is formulated with specific, hair-loving ingredients, to encourage an optimum hair growth environment.

The Microstem Shampoo & Conditioner duo contains a variety of active ingredients that help to nurture the hair, great for hair that has been impacted by your zinc intake! Ingredients include Saw Palmetto, Active Panax Ginseng, and Biotin. Try them today!

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MEET THE AUTHOR

Clara Hallifax

As an avid follower of all things hair care, I love to create content that educates and entertains, while also learning more myself! I’ve been a writer for a few years now, specializing in scientific research on hair growth and hair loss. When I’m not typing away, I’ll be doing crosswords, or attempting to do a tricky yoga pose.