Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a sulfur chemical compound, which is generally found in animals, plants, and humans. However, it can even be produced chemically. This sulfur compound is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
But commonly MSM is used as a popular oral supplement for treating swelling, arthritis pain, and various other conditions like muscle cramps, osteoporosis, tendonitis, joint inflammation, and headaches. However, recently, studies have found it to have hair-growth properties as well.
MSM for Hair Growth
According to certain studies, MSM for hair growth is highly beneficial because of its ability to form essential bonds for strengthening hair follicles and improving hair growth. The study even reported that MSM can also treat alopecia.
Daily dosage: MSM has been recognized as an approved substance. This GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) supplement can be found in pharmacies and health stores in the form of a pill. As per the toxicity studies, MSM is considered to be safe for consumption in higher doses that range from 500 mg to 3 gram daily. It is also found in powder form and also good for using along with hair conditioner.
But it’s recommended to consult a doctor before including this compound into your diet.
How Does MSM Work for Hair Growth?
For understanding how this chemical compound works for hair growth, you need to have a look at hair structure.
The hair shaft is made from three-layers. The inner one is the medulla and the next to it is the cortex, which is the most fibrous part containing structural lipids and keratin. The outermost part is the hair cuticle that consists of dead skin cells to form a protective layer around your hair shaft.
If we focus on the keratin-based structure, cortex, there is a sulfur-rich environment. Since sulfur is known to be a building block of life and one of the most commonly found elements in the human body, it does have significance to wellness and health.
Now the question arises how does MSM (or sulfur) help in hair growth?
Well, the hair growth cycle depends on three stages – anagen (growing stage), telogen (intermediate stage), and catagen (shedding or resting stage). For improving hair growth, anagen is the most sought-after stage.
MSM is known to either lengthen anagen or convert the telogen stage to anagen due to the presence of higher sulfur content in the middle layer of your hair. Both stages strengthen and improve hair growth.
Furthermore, MSM triggers the production of keratin and collagen. Both keratin and collagen are important for better growth and development of hair strands.
Can MSM Treat Hair Loss? According to certain studies, MSM is beneficial in the promotion of hair growth. Therefore, it can treat alopecia or hair loss effectively.
How to Supplement with MSM
There are two effective ways to add MSM supplement into your diet:
- Consume MSM-Rich Foods
It is best for getting nutrients from various food sources like vegetables, fruits, beer, coffee, port wine, tea, grains, and cow’s milk. But you can’t digest MSM from basic food sources, that’s why you need to consider including it in your diet in the form of supplements.
- Consume as a Supplement
There are so many MSM supplements available in the market. Most common supplements are found in the form of a capsule, powder, and tablet.
You can either add MSM powder into plain water or smoothies or have it in the form of tablets or capsules. It is recommended to take it with food if you are highly sensitive to certain gastrointestinal side effects that might occur due to this supplement.
For reducing the impact of side effects of MSM supplements, you need to consume less does than recommended.
Although MSM is known to improve hair growth, more detailed studies need to be done for a better understanding of MSM’s effect on hair growth. But as per current research, this compound does give some hope to people suffering from hair loss. No treatment can be considered perfect for now. You can consider adding MSM supplements to your diet to take a multi-prolonged approach to deal with hair loss issues. However, it’s best to consult a doctor before using MSM for hair growth, especially when you’re thinking of consuming it in the form of a supplement.