When it comes to combating the dreaded hair loss condition, zinc could be one of the most inexpensive and natural ways to help stimulate hair growth. Compared to store-bought hair products, which may contain chemicals that can be harmful for hair in the longer run, using zinc is a completely natural remedy that works for most people. Experts believe one of the main causes of hair loss is due to a zinc deficiency so topping up on this essential mineral could help combat your hair loss woes.
In a study published by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, the use of zinc in helping with zinc deficiency-related alopecia was investigated.
The study noted: "Zinc is crucial for maintaining human body homeostasis and is one of the major components of hormones, signal molecules, and enzymes.
"In order to test whether oral zinc administration can successfully improve zinc deficiency-related alopecia, we treated five patients with zinc deficiency-related telogen effluvium with oral zinc administration.
"In all patients, hair loss was cured or improved.
"The administration of zinc for zinc deficiency-related alopecia may recover appropriate activities of metalloenzymes, hedgehog signalling, and immunomodulation, all of which are required for normal control of hair growth cycle."
In another study the therapeutic effect and the changed serum zinc level after zinc supplementation in alopecia areata patients was analysed.
The study said: "It has been reported that some alopecia areata patients have zinc deficiency.
"There have also been several reports published concerning oral zinc sulphate therapy, with encouraging results, in some alopecia areata patients.
"The purpose of this study was to evaluate the therapeutic effects of oral zinc supplementation for twelve weeks in alopecia areata patients who had a low serum zinc level.
"Oral zinc gluconate supplementation was given to alopecia areata patients without any other treatment for twelve weeks.
"The serum zinc level was measured before and after zinc supplementation.
"Positive therapeutic effects were observed for nine out of 15 patients."
The study concluded that zinc supplementation needs to be given to the alopecia areata patients who have a low serum zinc level.
The study suggests that zinc supplementation could become an adjuvant therapy for the alopecia areata patients with a low serum zinc level and for whom the traditional therapeutic methods have been unsuccessful.
What is zinc?
Zinc is a nutrient that people need to stay healthy.
Zinc is found in cells throughout the body. It helps the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses.
The body also needs zinc to make proteins and DNA, the genetic material in all cells.
Zinc plays an important role in hair tissue growth and repair.
It also helps keep the oil glands around the follicles working properly.
Hair loss is a common symptom of zinc deficiency.
Studies show zinc supplements reduce hair loss caused by zinc deficiency
Zinc can also be found in foods such as oysters, beef, spinach, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds and lentils.