Zinc is one of the most important minerals your body needs to work properly – only iron is found in a higher concentration among other trace minerals. Your body needs zinc for cell division (and therefore growth), wound healing and to break down carbohydrates. Moreover, zinc fuels your immune system and is essential for fetal development.
Topical zinc for hair loss
Topical zinc can be applied directly to the scalp to counteract the effects of DHT (dihydrotestosterone), a hormone that interferes with the nutrition of the hair follicles, causing them to shrink.
There are many positive reviews and testimonials online that encourage men to use topical zinc, but in spite of the benefits, using too much of these products may lead to copper deficiency, which is known to cause hair loss! Therefore it’s better to use a shampoo that contains zinc, rather than a leave-in topical because there is no real risk of consuming too much zinc from a shampoo.
Zinc shampoo for hair loss
Most anti-dandruff shampoos contain zinc pyrithione, an ingredient that moderately improves alopecia. Head & Shoulders and John Masters Organic Zinc and Sage Shampoo are only two of the most well-known hair care products that fit the profile. Certain brands are only available on a prescription, e.g. Dan-gard A-D, as the active ingredient concentration (zinc pyrithione) is higher than 1%. While zinc shampoo may have noticeable effects for most people, ketoconazole proved to be a more effective treatment for hair loss. Your doctor will help you choose the products that suit you best.
Zinc supplementation for hair loss
Hair loss is one of the most common signs of zinc deficiency. As anything that can be cured or reversed by leading an active lifestyle is barely a condition at all, you may find zinc supplements play a very important part in hair health, and are often underrated.
Zinc is a trace mineral, and therefore very low amounts of it are needed for you to stay healthy, so you shouldn’t go overboard with the supplements to notice any improvements! Zinc-gluconate products are highly recommended, as they are low in cadmium, an element that may cause kidney failure in case of overconsumption. Remember it is inadvisable to take any dietary supplementation at all without seeking professional medical advice beforehand.
Based on existing evidence and testimonials, zinc products may lead to a mild to moderate improvement of alopecia and other related hair loss conditions (hair shedding may decrease by 10-20%). Please bear in mind not everyone is the same, and people respond to treatment in very different ways. It is often wise to consider zinc supplementation and lifestyle adjustment before trying any zinc products – it goes without saying you need to check it with your doctor first, as you might have unknown allergies to some of the ingredients, or it might not be ideal for you to use some of these products.