One of the most common causes why the hair becomes thin or starts falling off is a lack of zinc. This mineral is indispensable for the hydration of the scalp, which in turn eliminates dandruff and ensures the hair stays healthy and grows fast. The direct effect of zinc on hair growth rate has been proven by scientists. A diet that provides an adequate supply of this essential metal is crucial for the health of nails and skin as well.
The human hair needs zinc in order to have a strong structure. Without this mineral, it will become frail and eventually break or start falling off. It is equally important for its regeneration, a low supply of zinc will lead to slower growth. However, this mineral plays a wider role in the body and is needed in other processes as well. Lack of zinc will also cause slower healing of skin damage and wounds, low appetite, bad immunity, hearing problems and poor vision.
The reason why zinc is so important for the hair is that it is needed in the production of keratin. Keratin is a protein produced by our body that forms the structure of hair. Without enough zinc, we can't generate enough keratin, so the structure of the hair will become weaker. As a result, the deficit of zinc is one of the main causes for bad hair. Without it, the hair will not have enough proteins and will become thin, eventually leading to baldness. A very obvious example is the case of babies, who are unable to assimilate zinc yet, so their hair is very rare and fragile. Zinc deficiency is also common in pregnant and nursing women, as well as people who are fed intravenously.
Any quality commercial supplement for the hair will include a generous amount of this essential element. The composition of these supplements is variable but they will typically also include other essential hair nutrients like iron, biotin or vitamin C. Women need about 22 mg of zinc every day but the amount increases with age and during pregnancy.
Unlike other elements, whose role in human metabolism is not yet fully understood, scientists have established a direct relation between a diet poor in zinc and baldness. Lack of zinc will damage the entire structure of proteins that supports every single hair follicle. When these become weaker, the hair starts to shred and fall off.
This mineral also appears to be a component in the production of DNA and RNA, the molecules that store genetic information. They are needed for cell division, including the ones of the follicle, and can speed up the rate of hair growth.
Another possible explanation why zinc is so effective for hair health focuses on hormonal factors. A balanced level of hormones is needed for all parts of the body. Some scientific studies have even found that elder people who took special supplements for the hair or were given food rich in zinc regained their natural hair color, even if it was previously grays. In addition, more zinc also seems to eliminate scalp dandruff.
People who don't have a proper intake of zinc will usually show discoloured lines on their nails. This is the simplest way to detect a zinc deficiency that also affects the hair.
Many of the radical diets that are so popular today, especially the ones very low on calories, can cause a severe deficiency of important hair nutrients, including zinc. If the hair becomes damaged, you should revert to a proper diet immediately. For a healthier scalp and hair, special products like Elma 11 Hair and Scalp Revitalizer can also have a big impact.
Oysters - Oysters are one of the best natural sources of zinc. Often eaten for their aphrodisiac properties, the shellfish have a massive amount of this essential mineral. Actually, only three ounces of oysters provide almost five times the required daily amount of zinc. Eating them will prevent dry hair by boosting the activity of the sebum oil glands. In addition, oysters are very rich in proteins, which are also required for healthy hair and used by the body to repair and replace lost follicles.
Nuts - Nuts are an excellent choice of food for the hair and can especially preserve its natural color. They should be part of your daily diet because they provide numerous other health benefits. Nuts are a great source of a type of omega-3, named alpha-linolenic acid, which is important for hair health. Almost every nut is good for the hair, including almonds, cashews and pecan nuts. Walnuts are some of the best because in addition to a massive content of zinc they also provide vitamin E, biotin and essential fatty acids.
Eggs - Eggs are great for the hair because they are a cheap natural source of quality protein. Besides, they also provide other hair nutrients like zinc, sulfur, iron, selenium, biotin and vitamin B. A big advantage of eggs is that they can be prepared in many delicious ways and are also an ingredient in numerous popular dishes.
Chickpeas - Beans provide a great mix of essential nutrients for the hair that includes not only zinc but also proteins, vitamin A and vitamin B6. While zinc and the vitamins keep the scalp moisturized, proteins form the structure of hair and add to its strength. Garbanzo beans are a great choice especially for vegans and vegetarians, who need a rich source of protein and zinc. Many other bean types, such as lentils, provide a similar combination of nutrients.
Sweet potatoes - Sweet potatoes have become very popular lately and are considered a super food. They provide numerous essential hair nutrients like zinc, vitamins A, B, C, K and E, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium and fatty acids. These potatoes are also rich in beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A with strong antioxidant properties. Vitamin A is important for the health of skin, nails and hair, boosting the production of sebum.
Spinach - This herb has been known for a long time to be a potent source of iron. Since it is also rich in zinc, folate and beta-carotene, it can be considered one of the super foods of hair regeneration and growth. A very simple method of eating more spinach every day is to add it in salads instead of lettuce.