How Does Zinc Reduce Oily Hair And Scalp?
Zinc is one of the body’s trace elements that have been linked to a number of health benefits including helping your immune system and thereby lowering your risk of getting a bacterial infection as well as reducing the amount of oil found on your hair and scalp. Because it is a trace element, the body doesn’t need a lot of it in order to function properly. When you have a deficiency however, you can see certain side effects, such as oily hair or a decreased immune system. Zinc inhibits oil secretioins to the scalp - thus reducing accumulation.
How Too Much Oil Is Produced
Before understanding how zinc can help with oily hair and scalp, it is important to first know where the problem can occur. Sebaceous glands are key to this process as they release sebum which is the body’s own natural oil. They are found all over the body on the skin but when the sebaceous glands are overactive, they can release more sebum than normal, resulting in oily hair and skin. If you suffer from hair with too much oil, it can actually be unhealthy as it can lead to an itchy scalp and clogged pores. In a worst case scenario, these clogged pores may actually cause problems with your follicles which in turn may cause hair loss
How Zinc Helps
It comes either as Zinc PCA or in salt form. Zinc’s main function in reducing the oil in your hair and scalp is its role with
the sebaceous glands. Primarily it limits DHT (Dihydroxytestosterone) production by inhibiting the enzyme catalase. DHT is behind sebum production of the sebaceous gland as well as blood flow restriction to the scalp.
The slowed oil production in the sebaceous glands will effectively reduce the greasy feel to oily hair
. In addition it aids in fighting against fungi and bacterial overgrowth. Other bodily reactions with zinc will aid in controlling odor as well as moisturizing the individual hair strands. Zinc can also help inhibit an enzyme, 5-alpha-reductase, that produces DHT which is one of the causes of hair loss. Therefore, in addition to reducing the oil, zinc can actually help prevent hair loss as well.
Where To Find It
You have a few options of where to get the zinc to help reduce your oily hair and scalp. Because of the research showing its benefits in terms of hair health, many shampoo manufacturers are beginning to include it in "zinc shampoos" like Follicleanse®
designed for oily hair. You can find many options that advertise being a zinc shampoo. You can take a zinc supplement or simply add more zinc to your diet.
In general you will notice that the foods with the highest quantities are cooked dried peas, beans and lentils, seafood, seeds and meat. The foods that offer the most zinc per serving include oysters, toasted wheat germ, veal liver, roast beef, roasted squash and pumpkin seeds, dried watermelon seeds, cocoa powder and dark chocolate, lamb (mutton), peanuts and crab.
Zinc and its derivative, Zinc PCA, both are very useful and effective for reducing oiliness on the scalp and hair. Its ability to naturally reduce secretions help reduce the itching and irritation that can be caused when excess oils combine with bacteria, yeast or other contaminants inflamming the scalp. Manufacturers like Healthy Hair Plus® carefully utilize zinc in hair products that address oily hair, itchy scalp, dermatitis, scalp psoriasis and other scalp problems.