Zinc is Vital for Healthy Hair Growth and Scalp Health - TELETIES

Zinc is Vital for Healthy Hair Growth and Scalp Health

Zinc is a critical mineral for healthy hair growth due to its essential role in helping cells grow and proliferate, such as helping keratinocytes multiply to produce the building blocks of your hair, and a zinc deficiency can lead to epidermal (skin) disruptions that trigger a negative spiral of inflammation resulting in hair loss. Fortunately there are tons of delicious foods with zinc including shellfish like oysters and blue crab, as well as cereals and cheddar cheese.  

And if you don’t like zinc rich foods, don’t worry!  Zinc supplements are readily available. Maybe you're not a fan of supplements, well we have good news for you here too.  Zinc can be absorbed through the skin which is one of the reasons it is a key ingredient in many medical shampoos.

Because of zinc’s role in cell regeneration and healing, it is a potent inhibitor of hair follicle regression, and accelerates hair follicle recovery after temporary damage. Zinc deficiency comes from poor diet choices as well as several chronic disorders and typically causes hair loss in the form of alopecia areata (sudden hair loss that starts with one or more circular bald patches that may overlap) or telegenic effluvium (a condition in which hair falls out after a stressful experience), both of which are reversible with zinc supplementation. And while the evidence is somewhat limited, some studies like this one have shown an increase in hair thickness from zinc supplementation.

Zinc is also a powerful antioxidant and helps keep your scalp healthy according to the NIH with its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that are more than skin deep and may even help control sebum production if you struggle with oily hair. This is why you’ll often see ingredients like pyrithione zinc in shampoos for scalp irritation and even for hair regrowth (or keeping what’s left according to this article on Google Scholar).  But too much zinc can have negative effects on your body.

Too much zinc is a bad thing and can cause symptoms like nausea, vomiting, stomach ache, diarrhea, and head aches. Getting too much zinc over a long period of time can also cause low levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL), decreased immune function, and even copper deficiency, which itself can lead to several hair disorders as seen in this study

But not to worry, getting enough zinc is easy, just follow the table of recommended daily consumption below.






Birth to 6 months*

2 mg

2 mg

7–12 months

3 mg

3 mg

1–3 years

3 mg

3 mg

4–8 years

5 mg

5 mg

9–13 years

8 mg

8 mg

14–18 years

11 mg

9 mg

12 mg

13 mg

19+ years

11 mg

8 mg

11 mg

12 mg

But make sure not to go overboard for oysters if you already have sufficient amounts as they’re jam packed with this crucial nutrient.


MG per Serving

Percent DV

Oysters, Eastern, farmed, raw, 3 ounces



Oysters, Pacific, cooked, 3 ounces



Beef, bottom sirloin, roasted, 3 ounces



Blue crab, cooked, 3 ounces



Breakfast cereals, fortified with 25% of the DV for zinc, 1 serving



Cereals, oats, regular and quick, unenriched, cooked with water, 1 cup



Pumpkin seeds, roasted, 1 ounce



Pork, center loin (chops), bone-in, broiled, 3 ounces



Turkey breast, meat only, roasted, 3 ounces



Cheese, cheddar, 1.5 ounces



Now you know how Zinc helps with hair growth, and how to make sure you have enough of it in your system.  If you found this guide to healthy hair helpful, subscribe to our blog for more just like it.

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