September 16, 2019 3 min read

Hair cells are the 2nd fastest growing cells in the body (2nd only to intestinal cells) but as hair is a non-essential tissue, your body will never send nutrients its way if another part of you is lacking. Hair needs a mixture of vitamins, minerals and trace elements to grow, with Zinc being one of these essential trace elements. Zinc plays an important role in hair tissue growth; repair and it helps keep the oil glands around the follicles working properly.

Zinc is very important to health and well being generally. In fact, it helps support over 100 chemical reactions within the body, such as the formation of hormones and enzymes. It is especially significant to maintaining a healthy immune system and wound healing. As well as this, zinc helps our bodies to process carbohydrates, fats and proteins – the building blocks of hair.

What is Zinc?
Zinc is an essential trace element, which means that the body cannot generate it on its own and the body doesn't store it. Because your body doesn’t keep a stockpile of zinc, a steady supply is needed for it to aid in all these important functions. Zinc is found naturally occurring in some foods, while its added to some foods that have been "enriched" and you can find zinc in supplements. The main dietary sources of zinc are fish and meat.

Zinc Deficiency
You will be astonished to hear that 25% of world’s population (about 2 billion people) could be zinc deficient. As our soils are running out of essential minerals through intensive farming and pesticides, reliable food sources are not as reliable as they once used to be.

Zinc deficiency can cause hair loss, and also anaemia – which can further exacerbate hair shedding. While you should be able to get all the nutrients you need through a balanced diet, it can be difficult for anyone to eat correctly all the time. Diet is therefore often supported and aided by including vitamin and mineral supplements.

Some people are more at risk of zinc deficiency than others. They include: premature infants, and people receiving IV nutrition, those that are malnourished, suffering from severe and chronic diarrhea, or diagnosed with sickle cell anemia, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, or liver disease. Alcoholics, the elderly, and strict vegetarians are also at an increased risk of zinc deficiency.

Zinc and Your Hair:
Many studies have looked at the effects of zinc on different types of hair loss. Analysis of Serum Zinc and Copper Concentrations in Hair Loss -

It’s believed Zinc acts as a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor (5-ARI). This means it inhibits the transformation of testosterone into DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, a more potent androgen associated with enlarged prostate and hair loss. Prescription drugs like Finasteride (Propecia) also act as 5-ARIs. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is an androgen hormone, a type of male sex hormone found in both men and women. It’s thought that DHT attaches to androgen receptors on the hair follicles. The DHT then causes hair follicles to shrink. As a result, the Anagen, or growing, phase of the hair growth cycle decreases in length while the Telogen, or resting, phase of the hair cycle is extended. The anagen phase becomes shorter over time, until eventually no hair grows past the scalp line. Additionally, the hair shaft becomes thinner as the hair follicle shrinks, so hair begins to thin and is more prone to breakage.

If you are zinc deficient, there will be a need to increase your zinc intake. The recommended daily allowance of zinc for adult men is 11 milligrams per day and 8 mg for women. With a diet rich in protein, most people shouldn’t have trouble reaching this level. However, those with known deficiency or at risk of known deficiency, can supplement with zinc.

There is no concrete proof that zinc supplementation can unequivocally aid in slowing or reversing pattern hair loss. However, in the scientific world, there is an extremely heavy burden of proof -- you’d be hard pressed to find a study that unequivocally proves anything!

HairMax market the Essential Dietary Supplements for men and women. These are scientifically designed to contain the most specific essential vitamins including zinc and the supplements to help maximise hair health.

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