Copper: Vital for hair health

copper hair

Copper is an essential trace element that is vital to the health of all living things. In humans, copper is essential to the proper functioning of organs and metabolic processes.

The human body has complex homeostatic mechanisms which attempt to ensure a constant supply of available copper, while eliminating excess copper whenever this occurs.

Thus, this trace element is absorbed, transported, preserved and removed from the body as necessary.  It is stored in a range of enzymes within the blood and cells throughout the body.

However, like all essential elements and nutrients, too much or too little nutritional ingestion of copper can result in a unique set of adverse health effects.

The study of copper’s genetic diseases has shed insight into how human bodies use copper, and why it is important as an essential micronutrient and has a wide range of roles, including reducing inflammation, strengthening connective tissues, and boosting immune function.


Copper and Hair Colour

When it comes to hair colour, copper is very important. Every shade of hair colour is provided by melanin. Melanin is produced by the oxidation of the amino acid tyrosine, followed by polymerization. Melanin provides the pigments necessary to form blonde, red, brown or black hair.

For the body to produce melanin, it must have access to the copper-containing enzyme tyrosinase. Thus, if the hair follicles aren’t receiving enough copper, melanin synthesis ceases and hair loses its pigment. Deficiency in copper is one of the common causes of early loss of pigment in the hair.


Copper and Hair Structure

Copper is not only necessary to support hair colour, it’s also essential for maintaining the structure of the hair shaft. Since this trace element plays a key role in the formation of the hair shaft, a deficiency can cause hair to become thin and brittle quickly.


How to get copper into your body

There are a range of foods that are rich in this trace element. Some copper rich foods include: Mushrooms, pumpkin seeds, blackberries, pineapple, Shellfish (oysters, lobster, crab, mussels), dark leafy greens, nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, macadamias), organ meats, cocoa, beans, potatoes, and dried fruits like prunes.

Daily dietary standards for copper have been set by various health agencies around the world. Standards adopted by some nations recommend different copper intake levels for adults, pregnant women, infants, and children, corresponding to the varying need for copper during different stages of life.

If needed copper supplements can be taken. Copper needs to be in a bioavailable form, such as Copper Gluconate. Copper Gluconate is the orally bioavailable copper salt of D-gluconic acid.

The US recommended daily value for copper remains around 1 mg per day, the National Research Council recommends 2 mg per day, and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 1.3 mg per day. The fact is the upper tolerable limit of daily intake is 10 mg for women and 12 mg for men. In Australia the ‘Daily Value’ we use is 2mg.

Combined with other key amino acids, vitamins and minerals, there are some excellent dietary supplement to support healthy hair. Together with a balanced diet, copper deficiencies can be easily avoided.

If eating foods for copper, avoid taking vitamin C or supplements high in zinc–these could inhibit copper absorption. Since copper is needed to help with the absorption of iron (along with vitamin C), many supplements for hair loss contain these three ingredients.

We recommend taking the Hair Fact programme because the supplements contain Copper gluconate.


Hair Fact For Women

Grace Tricho Protein: Amino Acid Complex
Amount per serving: Copper gluconate 1.8 mg (Equiv. to Copper 250 µg) 12.5% RDA

Grace Alexa: Multivitamin and mineral complex combined with Omega-3 Fish Oil, Black Cohosh and Asparagus
Amount per serving: Copper gluconate 7.2 mg (Equiv. to Copper 1 mg) 50%

Grace Tricho Shield: Pumpkin Seed Oil and Japanese Giant Knotweed Antioxidant
Amount per serving: Copper gluconate 7.2 mg (Equiv. to Copper 1 mg) 50% RDA

Grace Sprirulux: Spirulina based multi vitamin and mineral complex
Amount per serving: Copper gluconate 3.6 mg (Equiv. to Copper 500 µg) 25% RDA

Learn more about Hair Fact for Women


Hair Fact For Men

Grace Tricho Protein: Amino Acid Complex
Amount per serving: Copper gluconate 1.8 mg (Equiv. to Copper 250 µg) 12.5% RDA

Grace Tricho Gold: Multivitamin and mineral complex
Amount per serving: Copper gluconate 14.4 mg (Equiv. to Copper 2 mg) 100% RDA

Learn more about Hair Fact for Men