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Zinc and Hair Loss

Is there a connection between zinc and hair loss? Does zinc deficiency lead to hair fall? Read the following article to find out all related facts.
HairGlamourista Staff
Hair brings one's self-image into focus; it is vanity's proving ground. Hair is terribly personal, a tangle of mysterious prejudices.
~ Shana Alexander

Well, Vanity of self is a pretty serious issue for most of us - we are always preoccupied with the concern that what will people think of us based upon our appearance rather than their opinion of us based upon our conduct or intellectual content. Now, if hair be the proving ground of such an important aspect of the personality as Vanity, it becomes all the more important to preserve its health and vitality so as to coax it never to leave the scalp and distance Vanity from her proving ground. Snapping out of all that drama, no matter what you consider it, the hair that grows on your head is something very dear to you no matter what color, texture or length it is. Ask someone with rough, gray, tangled-beyond-recognition and dry hair if he/ she would be willing to get rid of his/ her (seemingly) unattractive cranial mop and you'll invariably get an answer on the lines of "A hair in the head is worth two in the brush." (as famously quoted by Oliver Herford) or any variation thereof! Anyway, speaking of the connection between zinc and hair loss, it is a well-known fact that despite being made up of dead proteins cells, hair requires certain nutrients and minerals in order to grow in length and retain a healthy architecture. More of it in the next segment....

Zinc Deficiency and Hair Loss

There! The caption gave it away! Yes, hair growth and overall health is as significantly determined by the levels of zinc in the body as by the presence of any other hair-friendly nutrient. So, what could, possibly, be zinc's role in maintaining the health and well-being of these integumentary follicles that we consider our crowning glory? Well, first of all, zinc is an antioxidant that ensures that the body gets rid of all unnecessary free radicals and is able to absorb maximum amounts of beneficial minerals from dietary source. This automatically means that the body stays healthier and is able to better optimize from nutritional sources with, rather than without, adequate zinc levels. The results? Where do we start - stronger immune system, lower cellular stress, better resistance to diseases and infections, healthier metabolism...... you name it! As soon as the body gets rid of unsavory free radicals and is charged up to extract more nutrients form the same quantity of dietary intake, a healthful chain reaction ensues the result of which is exhibited by glowing, flawless skin, stronger and smoother nails, luxuriant hair growth and shiny hair and a decrease in the rate of hair loss.

An interesting thing to note at this juncture is that our hair contains some amount of zinc naturally as it aids in the absorption of proteins. Hair being made up of proteins, this does not seem surprising at all. However, when the body finds itself deficient in zinc, it looks to the integumentary system for covering the zinc deficits, thereby, depleting hair and skin of essential zinc contents. This invariably results in hair loss and development of rough patches on the skin. Also, besides this relation between low zinc and increased loss of hair in women and men alike, zinc deficiency also leads to difficulty in healing wounds and scars as the body is unable to absorb sufficient proteins from dietary sources without which no tissue replacement, reparation or healing can take place in the body.

Beside aiding the absorption of proteins, various vitamins and other minerals by the body, zinc plays a significant in maintaining hormonal balance. As most of you must be knowing, any imbalance of stress and sex hormones can lead to abnormal hair growth patterns (such as alopecia, hirsutism, etc.) and this can be avoided by maintaining a normal zinc level in the body. On the flip side, that also means that overdosing on a zinc supplement for hair loss (okay, I can understand the hurry but trust me, it definitely won't be worth the unsightly aftermath!) can be detrimental to your overall physical health and appearance. It is, therefore, strongly advised to consult a trichologist, or your family physician, instead of going ahead and slathering your scalp with those much-advertised commercial hair-fall solutions. Remember, prescription medications may take longer than cosmetic solutions but their effects are more likely to last longer with fewer adverse side effects as your specialist will prescribe medications based upon your overall physiological suitability, and not just your topical condition.