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Life isn’t perfect but your hair can be! Here’s how zinc can help

Published on:23 April 2021, 17:46pm IST
Nutritionist Sonali Bansal swears by zinc to strengthen hair and stop hair fall, giving way to healthy regrowth. Here are the benefits of zinc for hair.
Sonali Bansal
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You have to take active steps to ensure your hair stays frizz-free during the rainy season. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Dealing with busy schedules and stress, only to watch your hair shedding down to earth and not growing downwards is a matter of concern important enough to seek your attention if it hasn’t already. Maybe you’re already tensed about the issues and are seeking the right solution to nourish your tresses.

Contemplating which hair shampoo to buy next is simply not enough. You need to give an equal amount of attention to what you put on your plate every day. Hair nutrition starts from what you put inside your body, taking the right amount of vitamins and micronutrients that are essential for healthy hair. 

Hair revival and regrowth don’t come easy but providing your body with the appropriate quantity of zinc, biotin, other hair-friendly vitamins and self-love is necessary. Here are some things to keep in mind before you start looking for a way to reverse thinning hair!

The role of zinc in the body 

Zinc plays an integral role in building and repairing hair tissues, ensuring that the oil glands around the follicles work seamlessly. A deficiency of this micronutrient often leads to hair loss and thinning. 

Zinc is more important for your hair than you think. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Zinc deficiency results in protein structure changes of hair follicles, weakening their integrity that leads to new hair falling out quicker than usual. There have been recorded cases of how people revived their hair colour, texture and strength with a zinc-rich diet.

This hair regrowth specialised micronutrient plays a crucial role in DNA and RNA production, being a requirement for the efficient division of follicle cells, leading to an improved anagen stage through the hair growth cycle. Zinc also helps to facilitate complex body functions such as physical growth, immunity, wound healing, development and more. 

Zinc inhibits the formation of steroids associated with male pattern baldness as per the study published by the National Institutes of Health in the USA (1988).

Hence, keeping zinc deficiency at bay is better but always with a fine line to walk on either side because consuming a high dosage of zinc can lead to  further hair loss. 

Strike the right balance with zinc 

It isn’t discussed too widely but long and luscious hair is an excellent sign of a healthy diet. Hence, to maintain and flaunt your hair, the right balance of this micronutrient is quite pivotal. Nourishment and care always go hand in hand.

Keeping an eye on your diet and maintaining an active lifestyle is important not just for your body, but hair as well. Excess of any vitamin or mineral can have a negative impact on the body. Just as zinc deficiency can cause hair loss, so can an excess of zinc. The presence of a high level of zinc impacts the absorption of other minerals, promotes the production of testosterone and other hormonal imbalances leading to hair thinning and hair loss.

Zinc, being an essential trace element found in the human body is required but in lower quantities. An average adult male requires up to 11 mg of zinc daily, while a female adult needs to take 8 mg of zinc every day.

Gorge on these easy zinc rich foods to fight hair fall. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

A healthy diet would ensure that you meet these requirements, but some conditions such as gastrointestinal disorders, vegetarianism, alcoholism, pregnancy, etc. can lead to lower zinc levels in the body. That’s where you need to keep a check!

Keep a constant check on your zinc levels

The body does not naturally produce zinc, so it needs to be ingested from food or other supplements. Fortunately, there are all kinds of delicious foods that contain zinc! You can eat what you want and still get enough zinc through a regular healthy diet without supplements.

Here are a few natural sources of zinc that can work wonders for hair health: 

  • Seafood such as prawns, crabs and lobster

  • Oysters

  • Red meat and poultry

  • Pumpkins seeds

  • Chickpeas

  • Cashews

  • Almonds

  • Baked kidney beans

  • Egg Yolk

  • Dairy and Soy products

Zinc is your answer to quick hair growth. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Plant-based foods such as whole-grain bread, legumes or cereals also contain phytates, a substance that binds zinc and inhibits its absorption into our bloodstream. Surely, as per the studies by NIH, animal proteins are considered to be the best source of zinc in comparison to plant-based or food-based sources. Hence, people who consume plant-based meals or a vegan diet are usually at a higher risk of zinc deficiency, and subsequent hair loss. This is where having the right vitamin supplement comes into play!

Sonali Bansal Sonali Bansal

Sonali Bansal is a Nutrition Educator and a certified Health Coach from Institute of Integrative Nutrition, New York, USA. She has been in the field of Health and nutrition since past 6 years, with a certification from Yoga Alliance, USA for Registered 200 hours yoga teacher.