PDA

View Full Version : Zinc stopped my hair loss



Beloved
December 7th, 2008, 10:31 PM
I'm so happy about this!

I started getting more shedding than usual in the Summer of 07. I was working out really hard at the gym and eating a mostly vegetarian/vegan diet (not out of principle, but I had an awesome farmshare through a CSA, so all I ate were delicious veggies). Anyway, that excess shedding never really stopped. But it didn't get worse, either. My scalp itched a lot.

Then, in May of 08, I had surgery. The next week, my hair was coming out at an alarming rate and my scalp felt like it was on fire. It was actually painful. Telogen effluvium happens sometimes b/c of surgery but that is supposed to start 8 wks after the traumatic event, and it's supposed to stop at some point. My hair loss never stopped or slowed down, and I tried many different things. My thyroid panel was great and the derm didn't think my scalp looked bad.

Finally I decided to try zinc. I had a craving for the taste of a zinc lozenge I had tried montsh ago. I googled zinc and hair loss and found some obscure small studies, nothing really conclusive, showing that in some people, their hair was falling out because of zinc deficiency and it grew back with supplements. There is also a theory that estrogen messes with zinc levels.

Anyway, within days of starting supplementation at 150 mgs/day, my scalp started to feel better. A week later my hair loss had slowed way down. I used to lose like 80-120 hairs after a wash and comb (plus a ton more through the course of a day!), now it's more like 20-30.

To get results I needed 150 to 200 mgs per day. When I dropped down to 75 mgs my scalp started to itch again. I do have pics of my scalp but I'm new so I can't open an album yet.

lawyermom
December 7th, 2008, 11:01 PM
First, welcome!
I'm glad you were able to figure out what was causing your hair loss and that there was a remedy available. I can't imagine how traumatic that must have been to go through.

Bluebell
December 8th, 2008, 09:03 AM
Great, thanks for the information!

berr
December 8th, 2008, 09:28 AM
Good to know. Zinc is also used to help prevent or relieve colds.

Just_Isabel
December 8th, 2008, 11:18 AM
Welcome, and thanks for sharing. :)

jera
December 8th, 2008, 12:56 PM
Something similar happened to me. Lots of exercise on a vegetarian diet = disasterous hair loss. :( It's so important to eat adequate protein, iron, zinc, potassium, etc. when you're athletic or very active.

Hope this thread will help others here to supplement their veggie diets if they suddenly experience a profound hair loss shed. Healthy hair starts from the inside out. ;)

Beloved
December 8th, 2008, 01:24 PM
Something similar happened to me. Lots of exercise on a vegetarian diet = disasterous hair loss. :( It's so important to eat adequate protein, iron, zinc, potassium, etc. when you're athletic or very active.

Hope this thread will help others here to supplement their veggie diets if they suddenly experience a profound hair loss shed. Healthy hair starts from the inside out. ;)

That's so interesting, jera! Did your hair loss stop over time?

You reminded me of something I wanted to add. You need protein to absorb zinc. If you take supplements, take them with a protein-rich meal low in grain products. Grain products inhibit zinc absorption.

I went back and looked at the multi-vitamin I was taking over the past year and a half, and it doesn't contain zinc at all. :disgust: :demon: It does contain copper, though, which competes with zinc. Oh well, what can you do, I didn't know any better then! But I don't want anyone else to have to go through that when the solution might be so simple.

Beloved
December 8th, 2008, 01:25 PM
Lawyermom and Just Isabel, thanks for the welcome!

Just_Isabel
December 8th, 2008, 01:35 PM
That's so interesting, jera! Did your hair loss stop over time?

You reminded me of something I wanted to add. You need protein to absorb zinc. If you take supplements, take them with a protein-rich meal low in grain products. Grain products inhibit zinc absorption.

I went back and looked at the multi-vitamin I was taking over the past year and a half, and it doesn't contain zinc at all. :patrol::disgust: :demon: It does contain copper, though, which competes with zinc. Oh well, what can you do, I didn't know any better then! But I don't want anyone else to have to go through that when the solution might be so simple.

This is interesting, it reminds me of iron, which is also something you can get deficient in if you're not careful - especially if you don't eat meat.

Beloved, how much zinc are you taking and how did you decide on what dose would be best?
Do you take just any zinc supplement, or is it a special one - if so, why did you choose that one?
:flower:

Beloved
December 8th, 2008, 01:50 PM
This is interesting, it reminds me of iron, which is also something you can get deficient in if you're not careful - especially if you don't eat meat.

Beloved, how much zinc are you taking and how did you decide on what dose would be best?
Do you take just any zinc supplement, or is it a special one - if so, why did you choose that one?
:flower:

Yeah, iron deficiency is another big one to cause hair loss. I think that one is much more common than zinc defciency. I remember supplementing with that in the summer of 07 to see if that would help. Well here is another interesting piece of information.... iron competes with zinc absorption! So taking an extra iron supp is going to make the problem worse if what you really have is a zinc deficiency.

I take Solaray brand. They make 50 mg and 75 mg chelated capsules. I take 150 - 200 mg per day, and I will be bringing that down after I've have this under control for a while. Taking too much of one mineral for too long will decrease the amount of other minerals. All things in balance.

The reason I take Solaray brand is that I've used it and liked it for other supplements, and because this product is "chelated" which is supposed to make it easier to absorbed. Use whatever brand you want, but research it first and make sure it's formulated in a way that makes it easy for your body to use. It's one thing to get a mineral in your body, absorption is the big hurdle. One thing is, if you use a brand that's formulated differently, you may need to adjust your dosage. I take 150 mgs of "zinc chelate", not 150 mgs of elemental zinc.

Here is a reference to a study that helped me decide approx how much to take.

"Zinc deficiency has been tied to hair loss in both animal studies and human cases. There is data linking zinc deficiency in humans to both telogen effluvium and immune-mediated hair loss. Zinc deficiency is a well-recognized problem after biliopancreatic diversion/duodenal switch, and there is some indication that it may occur with other procedures such as gastric bypass and adjustable gastric banding. In 1996, a group of researchers chose to study high-dose zinc supplementation as a therapeutic agent for related hair loss2 in patients who had undergone vertical banded gastroplasty. The study administered 200mg of zinc sulfate (45mg elemental zinc) three times daily to postoperative patients with hair loss. This was in addition to the multivitamin and iron supplements that patients were already taking. No labs for zinc or other nutrients were conducted. Researchers found that in patients taking the zinc, 100 percent had cessation of hair loss after six months. They then stopped the zinc. In five patients, hair loss resumed after zinc was stopped, and was arrested again with renewed supplementation. It is important to note that in telogen effluvium of non-nutritional origin, hair loss would be expected to stop normally within six months. Since the researchers conducted no laboratory studies and there was no control group, the only patients of interest here are those who began to lose hair again after stopping zinc. Thus, we cannot definitively say that zinc would prevent hair loss after weight loss surgery, and further study would definitely be needed to make this connection."

http://bariatrictimes.com/2008/09/19/the-latest-on-nutrition-and-hair-loss-in-the-bariatric-patient/

Ms Monnie
December 8th, 2008, 03:29 PM
This is really interesting. I've been wondering about the dosage of zinc to take for hairloss because I've heard that taking too much can even cause hairloss.

Beloved
December 8th, 2008, 03:40 PM
Yep. The research I saw where it caused hair loss was on rats and the dosage they were taking was massive in relation to their body size. But it can interfere with anagen in massive amounts. Too much of any mineral is just plain not good for your body.

BlackfootHair
December 8th, 2008, 03:44 PM
hmm...so do you think as long as I'm taking a time released multi vitamin that has 100% of zinc that I'm okay?

And as far as grain interferring with protein, I have a question. I take flax seed oil...if I take a protein shake, is that going to compete? I'm so confused! :)

Just_Isabel
December 8th, 2008, 03:47 PM
Too much of any mineral is just plain not good for your body.

That's so true. Anything can be bad (toxic) if the dose is high enough. :agree:

Beloved
December 8th, 2008, 03:48 PM
hmm...so do you think as long as I'm taking a time released multi vitamin that has 100% of zinc that I'm okay?

Is your hair falling out? If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

There are a variety of reasons your body could need extra zinc beyond the RDA.


And as far as grain interferring with protein, I have a question. I take flax seed oil...if I take a protein shake, is that going to compete? I'm so confused! :)

I don't really understand your question. It's good to take zinc with protein. It doesn't compete.

BlackfootHair
December 8th, 2008, 03:51 PM
It was mentioned that grains can compete with protein, so I figured flax seed oil was considered a grain...since it comes from a grain. So I was wondering if the flax seed oil would effect the protein absorbtion. I only drink the protein after I work out.

I'm not really loosing any more hair that normal. I usually shed a little more in the winter and I also notice more shedding the longer my hair gets. :)

Beloved
December 8th, 2008, 03:55 PM
It was mentioned that grains can compete with protein,

I never said that. ;)

BlackfootHair
December 8th, 2008, 04:15 PM
You reminded me of something I wanted to add. You need protein to absorb zinc. If you take supplements, take them with a protein-rich meal low in grain products. Grain products inhibit zinc absorption.

It does contain copper, though, which competes with zinc. .


Your right....I'm at work and my brain is slightly on the fritz. :) So, should I be worried about taking the flaxseed oil with my multi that contains zinc? Flax seed is a grain right? Is the oil considered a "grain" then as well? I've noticed my hair growing in really shiny!

I'm wondering if I'm deficient in something because I have Beau's lines on my toe nails. They can be caused from stress, arsenic poisoning, or a vitamin deficiency. I've been taking my vitamins regularly now, but they weren't time released so I'm wondering if my new vitamins will help. Something is interrupting the growth of my toenails. (I'm a nail tech so that kind of thing interests me...I can google nail conditions in pics and not be too grossed out...I'm more like, "oh, interesting...")

I don't wear shoes that would cause trama to my nails, so that can't be it. hmmmmmmm. I'm hoping my ortho tricyclin lo isn't doing it!

Beloved
December 8th, 2008, 04:34 PM
Blackfoot, about flaxseed, I really don't know. My philosophy is if it's just a little bit of something, it probably is ok. ;) There is probably a lot of other stuff in your multivit that competes with zinc, like iron, copper, and calcium. Estrogen, like from birth control pills, is thought to deplete zinc too. If you're healthy, don't worry about it. :)

Funny you should mention Beau's lines! I just read about them today and I've had them on my toenails for years.

BlackfootHair
December 8th, 2008, 04:54 PM
yeah, I can't seem to find a picture online that look like mine. Mine are not super deep, and just look dry. But because the ridging is horizontal, I know it's not just dry nail, something is interupting the nail growth. I emailed this lady who taught my master pedicuring class. She's highly educated and absolutely loves feet. I'm not even joking. So hopefully she'll know! I'll post what she sends if I get an answer. I might have to send her a pic though so she can see what I'm blathering on about. :) I'm seriously wondering!

justgreen
December 8th, 2008, 07:03 PM
Actually when you a have a 'trauma' *shock* to your body, or lose a great deal of weight fast, etc, this can cause hair follicles to just 'die'. This doesn't mean that all the dead hair falls out at once, it takes MONTHS, but eventually it does slow down and stop.

justgreen
December 8th, 2008, 07:06 PM
Biotin helps with lines/ridges on toenails and fingernails.

Beloved
December 8th, 2008, 08:36 PM
Actually when you a have a 'trauma' *shock* to your body, or lose a great deal of weight fast, etc, this can cause hair follicles to just 'die'. This doesn't mean that all the dead hair falls out at once, it takes MONTHS, but eventually it does slow down and stop.

That's called telogen effluvium. When it's caused by a traumatic event it takes about 8 weeks to show up. (Because the hair was shocked into premature telogen, and the telogen phase lasts about 8 wks.) I knew the traumatic event was not what had caused my hair loss after surgery, because my hair started falling out only 1 week later!

Beloved
December 8th, 2008, 08:44 PM
Blackfoot, yeah, let us know what you find out. I hope she can help you out. That's so funny your instructor has a passion for feet. But I don't blame her, feet are sexy! This Beau's line thing is seriously jacking with my pink pedicure, lol. ;)

P.S. Justgreen, I'm loving your blonde locks! So romantic.

BlackfootHair
December 15th, 2008, 04:19 PM
She got back to me. She says that the first thing to come to mind is aggressivly pushing back the cuticles, even if we think we are being gentle. In my case I can see this being true because I tend to have a lot of pterigium.

isenephthys
December 28th, 2008, 02:25 AM
great thread! i had weight loss surgery in august and have lost nearly 80 pounds. so i've got some pretty obvious hair loss. i tried taking 50 mg zinc once daily along with other supplements for hairloss; i had to stop it b/c of nausea. i think i'm going to re-attempt taking it again, since people are having such good results.

Beloved
December 28th, 2008, 01:09 PM
great thread! i had weight loss surgery in august and have lost nearly 80 pounds. so i've got some pretty obvious hair loss. i tried taking 50 mg zinc once daily along with other supplements for hairloss; i had to stop it b/c of nausea. i think i'm going to re-attempt taking it again, since people are having such good results.

Do you take it with food? I have to take it with quite a bit of food. I have a very sensitive stomach.

I take it with a piece of chicken or a meal. You want to take it with protein-rich food. You don't want to take it with milk or grain products because it won't absorb as well.

Was the 50 mgs of zinc for general health? Just curious why you started taking it.

Congratulations on your weight loss! What a tremendous accomplishment. :Star:

maunaloa
January 23rd, 2009, 07:58 PM
Thanks for posting this. I always like to see new information.

liz08
February 5th, 2009, 08:34 AM
This has been a very interesting thread. I did not know that zinc deficiency could cause hair loss. But it is very important to have the correct balance of all essential vitamins and minerals in the body. I always take a woman's multi every day to help compensate for anything I might be missing in my diet. Another note on zinc...long term use can cause a deficiency in copper, because the 2 compete. So if it's something you need to continue to take for a long period of time, then you should look into a copper supplement as well.

Ms Monnie
February 5th, 2009, 06:18 PM
That's very interesting, liz08, I've been noticing that almost all the zinc supplements I've seen available are combined with copper and I was wondering why.

az_sweetie01
February 6th, 2009, 09:19 AM
I'm intrigued by this thread and I'll have to keep an eye on it...On wash days, I'm shedding approx 75+ hairs. From what I've noticed, the days I'm not washing are not the same but, I do still lose about the average of 100 hairs a day. This, I must mention is improvement. But, I am pretty active and my diet is not always what it should be PLUS I do take an estrogen birth control.

I may have to try this out after my body adjusts to the new mulitvitamin, thanks for the info!

Violeta
February 6th, 2009, 09:30 AM
Oh wow, great that you figured that out! And great info, I donít have a lot of shedding right now but I have times when I do so Iíll look into that.

have a great weekend!

~v~ :)

skay
February 6th, 2009, 10:34 AM
Pumpkin seeds (which have zinc & iron) have reduced my hair shed significantly.

Nutrition info on Pumpkin seeds:

Nutrients in Pumpkin seeds (http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=82)

Background: For years, my hair always shed everyday (even before I was vegetarian). It seemed to be all over the place after I combed/brushed my hair. I attributed it to the 100+ hair shed a day principle. It was kind of annoying though.

Last year, I started eating a handful of raw pumpkin seeds (already shelled for easy eating) everyday as a snack and to just ensure I get enough zinc. I'm pleased to say that my hair doesn't shed that much anymore.

If I stop eating the pumpkin seeds for a week (I ran out one time), I noticed the hair shedding coming back. Perhaps I'm on one of those naturally low in zinc.

Here's the kind I eat (it's tasty as it has some Celtic sea salt. It's organic, raw & sprouted & then dehydrated for some crispness - yummy!

Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds (http://www.goraw.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=26&osCsid=769aee77a0b54222326ba8dcd7fc7a72)

They also sell these seeds at places like Wh*lefoods, health food co-ops, etc.

Skay

ShaSha
February 6th, 2009, 01:41 PM
It's been interesting to read about the zinc an hair, since I suffered from hair loss myself. That has stopped now, but I will be checking the zinc in my food.

I'm embarassed to admit, but I've been feeding my horse a zinc-copper supplement for a few years now, to help with his main, tail and coat quality. It's been helping too. And I never made the connection to my own hair. :o

Until now...

aprilshowers
August 27th, 2018, 06:11 PM
Thank you for posting this! I have had hair loss, and am not sure what the cause is. I may try to take a zinc supplement or a vitamin D3 supplement that was from another thread.

LittleHealthy
August 27th, 2018, 11:58 PM
Thank you for posting this! I have had hair loss, and am not sure what the cause is. I may try to take a zinc supplement or a vitamin D3 supplement that was from another thread.

It would be worth seeing your doctor and mentioning this to them, and asking for a blood test. Then you’ll know exactly where you are deficient! I had to do this adter becoming increasingly tired and haggard looking (pale, wrinkly and sick looking) in my pregnancy. Turns out I’d wuietly become anemic :lol: but the blood test pin pointed that and I started an iron supplement which fixed the problem.

Longlegs
August 28th, 2018, 01:24 AM
I've only read about zinc helping acne, interesting it's helping hair as well

Natashap
August 28th, 2018, 02:25 AM
How many mgs is ok?

enting
August 28th, 2018, 08:46 AM
25 is the RDA, 40-50 is considered the upper limit, 50 is what some immunocompromised people take (it boosts immune function). If you're getting nauseated after taking it, you're likely taking too much. If you haven't been taking any before, I'd start out with 25 and see where it gets you.