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How To Use MSM For Hair Growth, Dosage, And Side Effects

How To Use MSM For Hair Growth, Dosage, And Side Effects

While these supplements may appear miraculous, self-medication may prove to be harmful.

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) for hair growth has gained popularity over the last few years. This is because of its anti-inflammatory properties and healing potential. It is said that taking MSM as a dietary supplement aids in healthy hair growth. If you want to know what research says on this, read the below article.

What Is MSM?

MSM or methylsulfonylmethane is an organosulfur compound that occurs naturally in animals, humans, and plants.

MSM supplements have anti-inflammatory properties and are widely used (1):

  • To maintain joint health
  • To improve immune function
  • For antiaging effects
  • To reduce swelling and pain

MSM supplements are sources of sulfur for the essential amino acid methionine. The sulfur-rich amino acids can detoxify harmful free radicals, toxins, and reactive oxygen species in the body and help maintain the cellular systems (1).

These benefits have also led to the belief that MSM can promote hair growth. What does research have to say about this? Find out in the next section.

MSM For Hair Growth: What Does Research Say?

There is not much scientific research regarding the hair benefits of MSM. However, some inconclusive research has explored the efficacy of MSM for hair growth.

A study found that a high dose (3 g/day) of MSM improved hair shine and volume within eight weeks (1). Another mice study found that a blend of 10% MSM and 7.5% MAP (magnesium ascorbyl phosphate) could promote hair growth and be used to treat alopecia. However, the study concluded that the result depended on the concentration of MSM (2).

Our hair and nails are composed of keratin, which contains cysteine, a sulfurated amino acid. MSM provides sulfur to these amino acids, which, in turn, strengthens the hair (1).

However, more studies are required for a definite answer. Meanwhile, you can consume sulfur-rich foods or take MSM supplements for hair growth. In the next section, we have discussed the ways to use or get MSM for hair growth.

How To Use MSM For Hair Growth

Mix MSM powder with any hair cream, shampoo, or lotion, and apply it to your scalp. Consuming sulfur-rich foods is one way to cover the sulfur deficiency (if any). You can eat:

  • Whole grains
  • Tomatoes
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Raspberries
  • Apples
  • Coffee
  • Beer
  • Raw milk
  • Tea
  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Onion
  • Garlic

For the best results, incorporate these foods into your daily diet. However, you may not always meet the dietary requirement of sulfur or MSM with a well-balanced diet and may need MSM supplements. In the next section, find out the recommended dosage of the MSM

Recommended Dosage Of MSM Supplements For Hair

You can have anywhere between 500 milligrams and 4 grams of MSM per day.

MSM supplements fall under the GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) category by the FDA and are well-tolerated (3). However, do not self-medicate. Using MSM (orally and topically) may cause a few side effects.

Side Effects Of MSM For Hair Growth

You may experience mild side effects like:

  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Skin irritation

You do not need a prescription to buy MSM. In the next section, learn how you can get MSM for hair growth.

Where To Get MSM Pills And Powder For Hair

MSM supplements are over-the-counter products available in any drugstore in powder and pill forms. You can also buy the supplements from any supermarket or online e-commerce store. However, consult a doctor for the right dosage before using MSM. Considering the lack of research on the effects of MSM, pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid taking the pills.

MSM supplements have many health benefits, and they may encourage hair growth and maintain overall hair health. However, there is not enough scientific evidence to prove the hair growth benefits of MSM. Therefore, consult your doctor if you want to try MSM for hair growth. You may consume MSM supplements or apply MSM powder to your scalp. However, never take any supplement without consulting the doctor and knowing the proper dosage instructions. Also, do a patch test (if using MSM powder) to avoid the risk of allergic reactions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I take MSM and biotin together?

Yes, you may take biotin and MSM together to help stimulate hair growth. Consult your doctor for the recommended dosages.

Does MSM affect hormones?

Yes, MSM may inhibit cortisol levels and suppress negative hormones responsible for the growth of cancer cells (4), (5).

Are MSM and magnesium the same thing?

No, they are not the same thing. MSM is an organic sulfur compound found in humans, animals and plants.

Key Takeaways

  • Keratin in our hair contains sulfurated amino acids. MSM provides sulfur to these amino acids, potentially strengthening the hair.
  • You can use MSM powder on your scalp by mixing it with shampoo, hair creams, or conditioners.
  • Your body may not get enough sulfur or MSM through your diet, so MSM supplements may come in handy.
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women are advised to keep off from MSM products.


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

    1. Beneficial Effects of a Sulfur-Containing Supplement on Hair and Nail Condition
    2. The Effect of Methylsulfonylmethane on Hair Growth Promotion of Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate for the Treatment of Alopecia
    3. Methylsulfonylmethane: Applications and Safety of a Novel Dietary Supplement
    4. Methylsulfonylmethane inhibits cortisol-induced stress through p53-mediated SDHA/HPRT1 expression in racehorse skeletal muscle cells: A primary step against exercise stress
    5. Methylsulfonylmethane Suppresses Breast Cancer Growth by Down-Regulating STAT3 and STAT5b Pathways,through%20its%20multi%2Dtargeted%20action.
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