Updated: Dec 11, 2020
Every single person on this planet is different. This rings especially true when it comes to hair loss, and more specifically how people respond to treatments.
It is hard to know if a hair loss treatment will work for you unless you try it. Some people may use just one treatment and be able to get all of their hair back, while another person might use several and see no results at all. I’ll say it again: everyone is different.
Of course there are treatments that work better, and on more people, such as finasteride, minoxidil, and Low-level laser therapy. That is great and all, but the problem arises because those are essentially the only treatments that are available. There will inevitably be some people who do not respond to those treatments, what are they to do?
Tip: It is important to note that if you are using any of the treatments mentioned above that sometimes you need to be patient for results, they won’t happen overnight. We recommend waiting at least 6 months (although a year is better) to determine whether or not a treatment is working for you.
If you do not seem to respond to the more “popular” hair loss treatments there are alternatives, one of which is called Zix.
The purpose of this article is to dive deeper into what Zix is, the science behind it, and its potential to benefit hair loss.
What is Zix?
The acronym “Zix” refers to the ingredients included in the formula: zinc and vitamin B6.
Zix is a homemade hair loss remedy that was first introduced in 2016 through online hair loss forums. Not only was it brought to light through those forums, but it quickly gained traction and popularity throughout the hair loss community, and now has many people that swear by its benefits for hair loss.
Zix is not a treatment that you can buy in stores. You need to purchase each ingredient separately and create it at home (here is a full guide on how to make it).
Essentially, Zix is a mixture of zinc, vitamin B6, and distilled water, and in some formulas other ingredients such as saw palmetto and ethyl alcohol are added as well. The theory is that the mixture of those specific ingredients creates a potent DHT blocking formula that can be applied topically.
This sounds like a breakthrough innovation that should be on shelves everywhere, right? Not quite. Let’s break it down a little further.
Can Zix’s ingredients block DHT?
Again, the main thing that made Zix so popular were the claims surrounding its ability to topically block DHT. Let’s take a closer look at the two main ingredients to see if that is true.
The speculation surrounding zincs ability to affect hair loss has largely not been understood by the hair loss community for years, and for the most part still isn’t.
One theory is that zinc inhibits 5-alpha reductase, the enzyme responsible for converting testosterone into DHT. There was even a study done that found orally supplemented zinc to be a “potent inhibitor if 5-alpha reductase activity.” Unfortunately, the study was conducted in 1988 making it quite outdated, it is the only one of its kind.
There have also been several studies conducted about how the body reacts when zinc levels are low. One study was able to find a link between low zinc levels and thyroid issues, those of which can lead to diffuse hair thinning. Another study found a correlation between low zinc levels and androgenic alopecia (pattern balding).
All of this sounds great, but there just is not enough data to fully support any of these claims. One meta-analysis gathered up data from multiple studies about zinc and hair loss and essentially concluded that much of the data is conflicting and inconclusive.
Unfortunately, there is even less evidence supporting topical zinc. On a positive note, the one study done was able to show that topical zinc initiated the growth (anagen) stage in hair when used for 6+ months, but this still has nothing to do with blocking DHT. Not to mention that the zinc wasn’t isolated, it was a compound called zinc-thymulin that gave those results.
In conclusion, there is just not enough evidence to support zincs ability to benefit hair loss, and certainly not for topical application. That’s not to say taking zinc orally doesn’t have benefits, because it does, just not necessarily for your hair. Zinc is relatively safe, but do not take more than 50mg a day, it may lead to zinc toxicity.
Vitamin B6 is involved in protein metabolism in the body. Specifically, it acts as a catalyst for the metabolism of keratin and melanin, two very important components of healthy hair.
One (bold) claim that is often made is that B6 may bind to testosterone receptors in the body, which would stop the formation of DHT.
The problem that arises once again is the lack of evidence supporting these claims. The one study conducted on vitamin B6 alone, although it showed some positive results for hair growth, ultimately had B6 injected into the scalp, unlike how it is applied topically with Zix, therefore having no implications for topical use. Also, all studies surrounding vitamin B6’s effects on hair were studied in conjunction with one, or several other ingredients, meaning no study was conducted on B6 alone, therefore leading to more inconclusiveness about B6’s effect on hair.
But, just like zinc, vitamin B6 still has many health benefits and is relatively safe, meaning it’s not a bad idea to take in a multivitamin.
In conclusion, is Zix worth it?
The purpose of this article was not to knock Zix, it was simply to dive deeper into the ingredients. Although there is a lack of evidence supporting it, there is also a lack of evidence disproving it. There is also a whole community of people online that swear by it, therefore it might not be a bad idea to try it.
Here is our suggestion…
There are treatments available that have been scientifically proven to help reduce hair loss and regrow hair. Try using those treatments first, make sure you give it at least 6 months, and if after that you aren’t seeing the results you want then try Zix. Expect the worst and hope for the best when using it because no one can predict how you will react to Zix, or any treatments for that matter.
There are also proven natural DHT blockers that you can try.