Thicker and longer hair is something we all want (well, thicker and healthier, to be more precise) and the choices out there are various and many. From the chemical formulas to the natural ones, as long as you’re willing to try, you cannot complain about one thing: not having options.
What is MSM though?
MSM is a naturally occurring solvent and it’s in, fact the biologically active form of sulfur. In case you don’t know, sulfur is a substance that we find in the soil, atmosphere, ocean, plants and foods. Interestingly enough, even most living organisms have it too.
MSM stands for methylsulfonylmethane and this powder is similar to the liquid solvent DMSO (a topical analgesic).
Odorless and bitter tasting, MSM may be taken with some water early in the morning or between your meals throughout the day. It comes as a white crystalline powder and it’s the best form of sulfur as supplement.
Why is MSM good for the body?
Able to flush away the substances that may collect in various muscle tissue and joints, MSM is definitely one of the strongest anti-inflammatory supplements out there. It’s good for detoxifying the body as it also helps with the removal of heavy metal deposits and other toxins.
MSM is fundamental for collagen production. Loss of collagen leads to dry, cracked skin, but also sagging skin and wrinkles. Working together with vitamin C, MSM is going to help building new healthy tissues, bringing the collagen production to normal levels and making the skin healthier.
Collagen and keratin are important for the production of healthy nails and hair. MSM is that special “beauty mineral” that offers the sulfur for the production of collagen and keratin. It helps the nails and hair get stronger and thicker and you only need to take it a couple of weeks to notice the improvements.
You can use MSM for treating arthritis, headaches, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, joint injuries, allergies and even carpal tunnel syndrome. Taking MSM on a daily basis is going to improve the flexibility in the joints and strengthen the ligaments, tendons, connective tissue and collagen.
Don’t hesitate to take MSM as a preventive therapy in various conditions caused by aging, but also to improve your workout recovery time if you’re a body builder or professional athlete.
Does MSM have benefits for your hair?
One of the benefits of MSM is that it makes the hair stronger and thicker. You can use it both internally and topically and MSM is a popular ingredient in several natural hair treatments.
As Keratin is made of sulfur-containing amino acid cysteine, it’s important to provide more sulfur for healthier and thicker hair. it seems that our hair contains around 14% cysteine, explaining the sulfur smell if burned.
Collagen is the structural protein of connective tissue and it’s the reason for better and healthier hair and skin. MSM is going to improve the collagen production, leading to healthier skin and hair.
There are medical professionals out there that note that MSM may be used as a supplement for boosting the hair growth. Able to elongate the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle, MSM is going to improve the rate of hair growth.
Even if there is no scientific evidence (just yet) about how MSM may significantly increase the rate of hair growth, there is no study revealing the opposite. As a matter of fact, one study from the College of Pharmacy at Yeungnam University in South Korea is determined to find out the effect of MSM on increasing hair growth. the results may be inconclusive so far, but we can only hope for the conclusive evidence sometime in the future.
If anything, what we do know so far is that MSM is going to sustain the hair growth, which is something you want when you’re dealing with hair loss for some time now.
How to use MSM Powder for hair growth?
You can take MSM in various forms, from supplements to food containing sulfur, but another common way is the MSM powder. As a matter of fact, many out there are liking this method more than anything else.
You may use powdered MSM with some water. Swallowing 3 pills 3 times a day may not be the best way for you, in which case the powdered form is the better option. However, keep in mind to check the products instructions for more information about how much powder and water you can actually mix together.
Another way to use MSM powder is to add it to a water-based hair conditioner. this form is going to help your hair grow faster and thicker, but it’s also going to repair the damaged and dry shafts.
If you’re thinking about using MSM powder for boosting a bit the hair growth, here’s what you need:
- 1 tablespoon MSM sulfur powder
- 2 tablespoons water
- 6 ½ tablespoons water-based hair conditioner
As for the steps you need, take a look at them so that you’re using the MSM powder right:
- Step 1
Fill a microwave-safe bowl with the MSM powder and some water. Put the bowl in the microwave for 15 seconds or so. The water needs to start boiling. You should mix the solution once again so that any remained powder is well dissolved.
- Step 2
Add the hair conditioner to the bowl, mixing the ingredients very well with a spoon. You need to let the mixture to cool down so place the bowl aside for a while.
- Step 3
Wash your hair as you normally do and remember to squeeze excess water from the hair.
- Step 4
Apply the hair conditioner to your wet hair and let it work for a couple of minutes. Use some warm water to rinse the hair afterwards. Use also some cool water in the end.
One thing to keep in mind that MSM may pose a risk for allergy, which is why a patch teste on your skin is mandatory. Check out the test spot for 24 hours, making sure you don’t develop an allergic reaction to the sulfur. Never use more than the recommended amount of sulfur powder as too much sulfur may irritate your skin.
What are typical MSM hair growth results?
Even if no medical studies have proven the power of MSM on hair growth, the people out there talking about their hair grow thicker and faster are quite many. many actually had to color their hair as the hair started to grow really fast, showing the grey.
There are many people with thin hair that noticed their hair get thicker. On the side note, the skin texture improved and the nails also started to grow thicker and faster.
It seems that we typically lose around 100 strands daily and our hair is growing half an inch every month. One using MSM on a regular basis may notice a double hair growth rate and a decreasing of shedding, losing only 20 strands every day. Long story short? The hair got thicker and started to grow more also.
You should take all this info with a grain of salt. Our bodies react differently so what may work for some, may not give the same results for others. Therefore, it seems that 15% of the people who started using MSM for hair growth managed to obtain a stabilizing of their hair loss. The hair cycle is quite sophisticated and there are many variation, which is why MSM only gives results to some.
Nevertheless, as there is no documentation just yet proving the efficiency of MSM as regarding hair growth, you should always be patient about the results that may, or may not, show in your case.
Can you use MSM as a treatment for hair loss?
Many taking MSM showed 50% increased nail length, growth and thickness compared with placebo and even 100% of the subjects noticed increased hair growth, compared with placebo. Additionally, 30 % of the subjects taking MSM observed shinier hair too.
These are the numbers from one study out there, so we kind of sitting on the fence about the truth in that. Farther more, how does one identify “100% increased hair growth”?
Truth be told, when it comes to hair, many dermatologists out there aren’t very comfortable about the matter anyways, which only makes it more difficult to prove MSM efficiency on hair loss.
One thing we know for sure is that MSM helps in tissue repairs, which can only mean one thing: improving the growth in hair and nails. MSM helps your body build collagen too, and it’s collagen that makes your hair so supple and radiant. The production of collagen is related to the sulfur in your diet so the more you have it, the better it is for your skin, hair and nails.
No studies have revealed so far an obvious connection between MSM supplements and increased hair growth. this doesn’t elude the fact that keratin does contain sulfur and keratin is fundamental for the hair. in case your diet is right, you shouldn’t be needing more sulfur (aka MSM supplements) for maintaining your hair healthy and thick.
There are plenty of conditions out there (menopause, alopecia, hereditary baldness) that lead to hair loss) that cause hair loss. Did you know that the American Hair Loss Association stated that 99% of hair loss remedies actually don’t give results?
What we do know so far is that there is limited research funds and the MSM story is simply not done at the moment. In addition, some snapshot isn’t going to cut the mustard for us. As long as you’re ready to stay on the safe side, you should still give it a go. It may help your hair not to shed that much.
How much MSM should one take?
MSM supplements are easy to absorb and there are no official recommended daily dosage for either sulfur or MSM. Better yet, no intake of MSM has been proven to be toxic so far.
However, it seems that 2,000mg-6,000mg per day is safe to use on a regular basis. There are studies about the effects of even higher intake of MSM, but it’s better not to take any chances.
Most MSM capsules out there come in sizes ranging between 200mg and 1500mg each and you may take them throughout the day. You may improve the MSM’s performance with some other nutrients, like chondroitin and glucosamine.
No matter how much MSM you’re planning to take, it’s better to talk to your doctor first. As MSM works on many levels, the reason for which you’re taking it has a lot to do with the amount of MSM you’re going to take. Let’s take a closer look:
- MSM dose for joint support
A placebo-controlled study on 100 participants revealed that 6 grams (split in 2 doses) daily of MSM is going to improve the health of your joints after 26 weeks or so. Another study showed that even 3,375 grams of MSM per day is going to make the joints healthier. So, make sure you pay attention to your body and adjust the dosage according to your needs.
- MSM dose for Immune Support and muscle recovery
Due to intense training, athletes are subjected to plenty of stress and research revealed that 3 grams of MSM daily may lower the “cytokine surge”. This translates to English: MSM supports a healthier immune response. The same dosage of MSM is going to work for the muscles, helping them recover faster after intense exercise. However, some voices out there recommend 6 grams intake of MSM daily, especially if the exercises are strenuous.
- MSM dose for skin and hair
3 grams of MSM per day is going to improve your skin tone after just 8 weeks. Your skin is going to get firmer and the signs of aging are going to fade out too.
As for your hair, 500-1000mg of MSM is going to help your hair grow thicker and faster, but you need to pay attention to your body for any side effects.
- MSM powder dosage
6mg of MSM daily keeps you on the safe side and MSM it very well tolerated. However, it’s wiser to take the lowest effective dose. 5 grams of MSM per scoop that you can mix with water/juice once a day is good for nourishing the tissues, keeping your joints healthy and your skin and hair all healthy and thick.
- MSM supplement dosage
Let’s not forget about the MSM supplements that typically come in capsules of 200-1500mg. the MSM supplement level is going to make it all clear for you about how much should you use.
What are MSM Side Effects when using it for hair growth?
MSM is typically very safe. There are plenty of animal toxicity studies out there who revealed that it may be just as safe as pure water and the medical literature hasn’t mentioned any cases of allergic responses so far. This doesn’t mean that the risk for a “mild adverse reaction” is null and it may stop the minute you stop taking MSM.
Some of the adverse reactions out there are caused by the impurities in the MSM and not by the MSM itself. However, some uncomfortable reactions are pretty common even when taking the purest MSM out there and that’s only because MSM is a strong detoxifier. It actually dissolves several compounds and comes in reaction with specific toxins, helping with the toxic wastes removal from the cells.
Reactions are in fact quite individual, though. Like with anything else, you should start out with a small does and increase the dosage. Begin with 250mg of MSM for a few days and see how your body takes it. If you’re very toxic, sick or highly sensitive, you should take even less than 250mg.
MSM may cause diarrhea, nausea, headache, fatigue, itching, insomnia or even worsening of allergy symptoms. If you’re pregnant or breast-feeding, it’s wiser to stay on the safe side and not use it until you’re done. Additionally, if you’re dealing with varicose veins or various circulatory problems, you may also want to stay away from MSM as it could increase the swelling and pain.
MSM Hair Growth Before and After
If your body can take it (and most of the times, you shouldn’t have any problems whatsoever), MSM is going to help your hair look all thicker and better after a while.
Don’t expect results overnight though, as it may take several months until you start noticing the results. As long as you’re not only taking MSM (this depends on which form of MSM you decide to go with), but also drinking a lot of water and living the healthy life style, MSM is going to help you lose less hair and, even better, see how your hair starts growing thicker and healthier.
Sure enough, the results may be more obvious for the skin which is going to get softer and with less hormonal breakouts. additionally, the blemishes are also going to lighten as MSM works not only for the hair, but also for your skin.
Even if the hair isn’t going to grow impressively faster when taking MSM, you’re still going to notice less hair shedding and better looking hair. the same goes for the nails which get stronger when taking MSM.
As long as you’re adjusting the MSM intake to your body, we see no reason whatsoever for which you shouldn’t try get thicker, healthier and longer hair.