What Is The Best Zinc Supplement For Hair Loss?
When it comes to hair loss, zinc deficiency can be one of the overlooked reasons for hair loss in both men and women. I’ve personally experienced the effects of zinc deficiency from being on a vegan diet for many years, and it affected my health in many different ways, including obvious hair thinning. Fortunately, correcting zinc deficiencies can be relatively easy, but it’s important to choose the best form of of zinc that will be most bioavailable to the body.
Why does zinc deficiency cause hair loss?
When a person is deficient in zinc, it can affect the entire body and how it functions. Zinc is important for proper gene regulation, enzymatic reactions, hormone production, and regulation of the immune system. So as you can imagine, if you’re low in zinc, then it’s certainly going to have an effect on your hair growth as well.
Zinc deficiency has long been known to cause telogen effluvium, a condition where the hair sheds in large amounts because the hair goes into the resting phase of hair growth, otherwise known as telogen phase.
Another condition that is common with zinc deficiency is called Alopecia Areata. This is a result of the immune system attacking the hair follicles and affecting growth.
Zinc deficiency may cause hair loss for various reasons, these include the following:
- Autoimmunity from dysregulation of the immune system
- Cause low levels of thyroid and sex hormones
- Increased level of DHT from higher conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone
- Depressed cell proliferation and dysregulation of cell cycle.
Taking a zinc supplement stopped my hair loss and made my hair much thicker again!
As I said earlier, I’ve been a vegetarian and vegan for a long time (since 2007), and it was only recently that I became more complacent about my diet and supplements. After some time, I noticed some strange things happening, such as getting sick a lot, dry skin, acne, and my hair was becoming much thinner. There were some other odd things going on, but those were the main things.
When I began to look for a cause and got a few blood tests, I started looking at my diet in some detail by using an app to crunch all the numbers to see what nutrients I was lacking in. It seemed like zinc was an obvious issue for me, especially considering that I eat a plant-based diet which is loaded with copper. It makes zinc deficiency much more likely as zinc and copper both compete for absorption in the gut.
I also had stumbled across a forum post on long hair community which gave me a bit of hope that this was the solution. It was pretty soon after that I began taking a zinc supplement and my whole world changed. My immune system got much better, and haven’t been properly sick since. My hair took a bit longer to recover though! It’s been over a year now, and the difference is huge compared to what it was like back then.
I should mention also that I had been using zinc in the past, but it was a one from the local store, and after doing a bit of research, it seemed it was the least bioavailable! It was zinc oxide. You’ll probably run across this one in supermarkets more of often than some others which are much more effective in correction zinc deficiency.
Who is at most risk of developing a zinc deficiency?
Anyone can develop a zinc deficiency, but certain groups of people might be more prone to be low in this mineral.
- Strict vegetarian or vegan
- Eat a plant-based diet which is high in copper but low in zinc
- Breastfeeding women
- Excessive alcohol use
- Digestive disorders which impair absorption
- Low calorie intake and restricted diets.
Which zinc supplement should you take to stop hair loss?
There are many different forms of zinc. The mineral is hard to absorb by the body, so it’s usually attached to amino acids or chelated
You might also get along better with some forms of zinc than others. I personally take Zinc Picolinate because I feel it works great and doesn’t give me any stomach problems, even at high doses of 50-100 mg. Such dosages are not recommended long term, because of risk of toxicity.
Now Foods – Zinc Picolinate – 50 mg
Now foods is one of my favorite supplement brands that I’ve stuck to for years. It was this supplement which helped me to correct my own zinc deficiency, and this is why I’m recommending it. But not only that, Zinc Picolinate is one of the most bioavailable forms of zinc.
This zinc supplement is suitable for vegans and vegetarians. This supplement is also not recommended for long term use. If you are considering taking it long term, please consult with your doctor.
Bulk Supplements – Zinc Gluconate
Zinc gluconate is a favorite form of zinc for many people because it’s much easier on the stomach and has a relatively high bioavailability. Being a powder, and not in capsule form, you can easily mix this supplement with your favorite juice or drink of your choice.
Are there any side effects from taking Zinc?
It’s recommended that you take zinc with some food to avoid any stomach upset. However, the two forms of zinc that I have recommended here are quite easy on the stomach and shouldn’t give most people any problems.
Do not take over the stated dose on the supplement.
Signs of taking too much zinc include: nausea, pain, vomiting and diarrhea. However, large doses of zinc are needed in the excess of 300 mg a day.
Taking zinc has literally changed everything for me in the past year. It has made me feel much more healthy and not only improved my hair, but also has improved my immune system, my skin and I have a lot more energy.
Zinc deficiencies are quite common in the world, but severe deficiencies are more often seen in poor areas of the world.
Give zinc a try and see if it helps you! 🙂
1 The Therapeutic Effect and the Changed Serum Zinc Level after Zinc Supplementation in Alopecia Areata Patients Who Had a Low Serum Zinc Level
2 Zinc Deficiency Associated with Hypothyroidism: An Overlooked Cause of Severe Alopecia h https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3746228
3 Oral zinc therapy for zinc deficiency-related telogen effluvium https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22741940
4 Analysis of Serum Zinc and Copper Concentrations in Hair Loss https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3870206