Zinc and Hair Growth for Alopecia Areata - Hair Loss Series Part 4

Alopecia areata is caused by  genetic immune disorders. Other types of hair loss include Traction Alopecia and CCCA Alopecia which are caused by certain hairstyles and accessories. To view more information about these types of hair loss and treatments, refer to the previous parts in this series. In part 4 of this series, I will be talking about zinc and how it can be used a treatment for Alopecia areata, as well as discussing the differences between different types of alopecia.

Different Types of Alopecia

Traction Alopecia: when the hair is under continuous strain from being pulled back tightly or from constricting hair accessories. Over time this can cause hair loss, itchness, or redness, ulcers, and even infections.

Examples of tight hairstyles include: Braids, tight ponytails, and dreadlocks

Examples of harmful accessories: tight weave caps and elastic headbands

CCCA Alopecia: when hair loss starts at the crown and moves outwards. CCCA can lead to scarring and is caused by similar hairstyling practices.

Examples of hairstyles that can cause CCCA Alopecia: hot combing, chemical relaxing, braids with extensions, weaves, greasing pores with petroleum-based products like mineral oil, tight rollers or curlers, and excessive blow drying

Alopecia areata: means patchy baldness anywhere on the body, so it can also refer to baldness in beard, eyebrows, eyelashes, armpits, or even inside your nose and ears. Alopecia areata can also happen when the scalp develops an oval or round balding patch. The bald patch can be in the crown of the head. “Alopecia” means bald skin and “areata” means patchy. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease, making it different from Traction or CCCA Alopecia. Cells in the body “attack” hair follicles and cause hair loss.

Alopecia Areata Treatment

A 2009 study shows that patients taking a 50mg daily Zinc supplement were able to recover around 60% of hair regrowth with some being a little less than 60% and some being more than 60%.

This study was conducted over a 12 week period with the patients taking the supplements daily and maintained for 6 months without any other treatment. Patients who had a single alopecia patch, showed more improved recovery than those with multiple alopecia patches.

According to the study, “Although these patients had a mild type of long term alopecia areata, zinc supplementation can become a possible adjuvant therapy when combined with other therapeutic methods, and especially for those alopecia areata patients with a low serum zinc level.”

In other words, zinc supplements were shown to have a positive impact on hair growth in people with alopecia areata, especially if they already had zinc deficiencies.

ALWAYS consult your doctor before taking any new supplement, herbal treatment, or pharmaceutical drug.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


The Therapeutic Effect and the Changed Serum Zinc Level after Zinc Supplementation in Alopecia Areata Patients Who Had a Low Serum Zinc Level

Park, H., Kim, C. W., Kim, S. S., & Park, C. W. (2009). The therapeutic effect and the changed serum zinc level after zinc supplementation in alopecia areata patients who had a low serum zinc level. Annals of dermatology, 21(2), 142–146. https://doi.org/10.5021/ad.2009.21.2.142

Traction alopecia: Symptoms and prevention

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