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  Zinc Oxide, is it a legitimate hair loss treatment? - continued  

More links to hair growth?

In a study done on three different animals, a rabbit, guinea-pig and mouse with different types of topical Zinc formulations, one of the effects noticed was increased hair growth. In the study: Interspecies variations in response to topical application of selected zinc compounds animals; Zinc oxide, zinc sulfate and zinc pyrithione were found to cause increased hair growth.

One interesting study that showed the possible way that Zinc Oxide may stimulate hair growth was one a study titled: "Topical zinc oxide treatment increases endogenous gene expression of insulin-like growth factor-1 in granulation tissue from porcine wounds. In this study done on pigs it was shown that Topical Zinc Oxide increased IGF-1 concentrations by 50%.

This is very interesting and good news since it has been theorized in a published paper that increasing IGF levels may stimulate hair growth. In the paper titled Insulin-like growth factor 1 and hair growth it was suggested based on research that IGF-1 may be able to stimulate the proliferation of hair follicle cells through cellular signaling pathways of its receptors. The authors looked at existing research that had shown that local infusion of IGF-1 into sheep has been reported to be capable of stimulating protein synthesis in the skin and may also increase the production of wool keratin. Also recently, transgenic mice overexpressing IGF-1 in the skin have been shown to have earlier hair follicle development than controls. The authors went on to suggest that studies should be done on IGF-1 and hair growth.

So in conclusion, separate studies have shown that Zinc Oxide increases wound healing, increases IGF-1 and that other forms of zinc reduce 5 alpha-reductase activity. So it definitely appears that zinc oxide is a useful addition to any hair growth routine.

How to use it?

The original idea to use Zinc oxide for hair loss came out of a patent where Zinc oxide and Boric acid were combined and applied as a hair growth stimulant. The patent is titled: Pharmaceutical composition comprising starch, a compound comprising boron, a compound comprising zinc, and water, and a method of using same to encourage hair growth.

The patent describes the method used to create the Zinc Oxide mixture which has been tried by many people in their kitchens. Hair loss sufferers have been experimenting with creating their own formulations and variations of the mixture and substituting Ascorbic Acid since Boric Acid is not recommended. Boric Acid ingestion is considered harmful and may be fatal. It can also be harmful by inhalation, is an irritant, and may cause congenital malformation in the fetus. Therefore it is not recommended to use Boric Acid.

The need for cooking up the ingredients and the cost of buying them have put a lot of people off using it. However it may not be necessary to go to such lengths. The original formulation comes from Hokkaido, Japan where it was used as a wound healing preparation. The good news is that there was a study done by the Japanese to determine if the same results could be obtained without Boric Acid and the results were that it could. In a study Clinical studies on zinc oxide ointment replacing boric acid and zinc oxide ointment, it was shown that the zinc oxide ointment without boric acid had the same effect on wound healing as the boric acid and zinc oxide ointment.

This study suggests that Zinc Oxide on its own is sufficient and there is no need to create a special mixture with boric acid.

How to get it?

There are several creams on the market that contain zinc oxide, zinc oxide is used is various diaper rash and skin creams. The formulation that we recommend and that is used by many people is the Zinc Cream made by Margarite. The cream is designed for application to the face and is flesh tone tinted. It contains 30% zinc oxide, sulphur and is in a greaseless base. If you use this cream you will not need to add anything into it as its already formulated for application to the skin.

How often should you use it?

There is no specific amount of times to use zinc oxide. Since it is a cream its better applied at night and washed out in the morning. Ideally it should be used 3-5 times per week. If you are using other topicals its better to apply them first and then apply the zinc oxide afterwards. It is recommended that if you are using zinc that you also use a copper-based product like Tricomin or Folligen. The reason for this is that copper and zinc compete for absorption so they need to be kept in balance. One way to do this is to apply the zinc at night and the Tricomin in the morning.

How safe is it?

Zinc is one of the least toxic of the trace elements. Oral zinc supplements in large amounts (for example, 70 to 100 times the recommended amounts) may cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and vomiting usually occurring within 3 to 10 hours of the ingestion of the supplements. The symptoms diminish within a short period of time after the discontinuation of the supplements. Topically, zinc oxide does not appear to be likely to cause any overdose. In this study: Release and absorption of zinc from zinc oxide and zinc sulfate in open wounds, zinc oxide delivered zinc ions to wounds over an extended period of time which resulted in constant wound tissue zinc levels.


Zinc Oxide is a cheap addition to any hair loss regime with proven benefits in wound healing and it very likely stimulates hair growth in humans as it does in animals. Users can take advantage of pre-made creams and do not have to rely on home made concoctions to get the benefits of zinc oxide. We recommend adding zinc oxide cream into a hair loss treatment regime for additional benefits.

Where to buy it
(The following sites have not been checked out to determine their level of service, buy from them at your own risk)


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