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“Will MSM Make My Hair Grow Faster & Longer?” by Dr. Phoenyx Austin

Will MSM Make My Hair Grow Faster & Longer?

By Dr. Phoenyx of DrPhoenyx.com

I recently received this question via email by a young lady who wanted to know if she should start taking a hair growth supplement that “everyone” on a natural hair forum was raving about.

Here’s the email:

Hi Dr. Phoenyx! Thank you so much for all the information that you share about natural hair. I wanted to ask you a question about MSM. I was reading about MSM on LHCF and everyone was talking about how much it made their hair grow. Do you take MSM? Would you recommend it? Does it really speed up hair growth? How much should I take? Where can I get the best MSM?

OK, so we have quite a few questions here and I’ll try to answer them to the best of my ability. Thanks for your inquiry Kayla. I hope my answers help you and any other ladies that are interested in learning a bit more about MSM.

So what is MSM?

MSM, which is also know as methylsulfonylmethane, is a sulfur-based compound that’s found naturally in many foods like milk, seafood, onions, garlic and green vegetables.

How does MSM make hair grow?

MSM is primarily made of sulfur- one of the principle building blocks of hair and nails. So yes, the long and short is that MSM is a supplement that can be taken to help hair growth. MSM helps with hair growth because it gives your body one of its key building blocks for hair. And besides that, it’s also theorized that MSM may increase the rate of hair growth because it lengthens the growth phase (or anagen phase) of the hair cycle.

Where to get MSM?

You can find MSM supplements at any local health food store, at the pharmacy, and at most grocery stores. Like I said before, MSM is found in food, so you can just skip taking the supplement and focus on getting MSM from your food. But there’s a catch. The cooking process does leech MSM from food and thus decrease its MSM content. So, unless you eat primarily raw foods, it wouldn’t hurt to take an MSM supplement This is what I do. I do eat a lot of fruits, veggies and seafood- which are high in MSM. And I also take my own hair, skin and nails vitamins that has been specially formulated with MSM.

Can MSM supplements be used for anything else?

Actually, yes! MSM has been used to treat conditions like pain bone and joint diseases like osteoarthritis and tendonitis. Your body does use sulfur to make things besides hair. In fact, it also uses sulfur to build bones and make cartilage for your joints. So taking MSM isn’t just good for your hair, it’s also good for your body!

A few precautions before taking MSM

Before I close out, I wanted to mention that MSM can have side effects. And as far as how much you should take, there is no Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for MSM. But high doses of MSM might cause nausea, diarrhea, kidney problems, bloating, fatigue, headache, insomnia, itching, or worsening of allergy symptoms in some individuals. Now don’t let this list scare you. MSM is generally safe for most people when taken in appropriate doses. So always follow the manufacturer’s dosage directions on the label when taking this supplement. And finally, if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, it would be wise to get clearance from your doctor before taking this supplement.

And that’s the scoop on MSM! I hope this was helpful and if you’d like to learn more about other hair growth supplements and how to grow healthy and longer hair, check out my book, If You Love It, It Will Grow: A Guide to Growing Long Afro-Textured Hair.  Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes.

Do you take MSM for hair growth? Have you noticed a change in your hair, skin or nails since taking MSM?

Dr. Phoenyx Austin is a physician, author and media personality. Dr. Phoenyx’s new book, If You Love It, It Will Grow: A Guide to Growing Long Afro-Textured Hair is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes. Special autographed book copies can be ordered directly from her blog, DrPhoenyx.com. You can also find Dr. Phoenyx on Facebook and Twitter.

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{ 16 comments… add one }

  • VexintheCity September 2, 2012, 2:19 pm

    Yep, I’ve taken it in the past and found it helped with hair growth. I also rate Silica and Biotin tablets for hair growth too.

  • Naeema September 3, 2012, 2:34 am

    I tried MSM (for joint relief but the thought of hair growth was nice too) but they made me feel very lethargic with a horrible headache (I am very healthy, otherwise). I will not try MSM again but plan to stick to a healthy and balanced diet, which should be sufficient in itself for promoting healthy hair. A multivitamin is about all I can stomach (literally. lol)

  • JewelW June 17, 2013, 1:07 am

    Same here, I had the worst mini-headaches and nausea after 5-days of intake. I was then told to take vitamin C supplement to suppress the side effects. I was taking those HairInfinty supplements & then tried those ‘Healthy Hair 365′ vitamins by Dr. Weaver only to find out they were carbon-copy ingredients of the HairInfinity. Tried them & 4-days I was sick with headaches, nausea & insomnia along with extreme dry mouth, considering I drink 2liters of water daily.

  • Sacha September 9, 2012, 9:54 am

    I think it can help, but not on its own. You have to take it with other hair vitamins like Profoll. Flax seed oil is also very good for the condition. My grandma also takes Msm for her joints!

  • Treasure September 19, 2012, 1:07 pm

    I take Biotin and a multivitamin. But generally, I believe eating right, exercising, getting enough sleep, being gentle with your hair, moisturizing and conditioning – all these things make for more hair retention or longer thicker hair.

  • Denii October 14, 2012, 9:27 pm

    Thanks so much for positing the information about MSM supplements; very informative facts and suggestions. I currently have a scalp problem and I was thinking about taking some supplements so that my hair could grow – such as Hairfinity. I was and still skeptical about taking them because of the side effects but I really want my hair to fill in. I will continue to do research on some supplements and now I can add MSM to my list. Thanks so much again.

  • Nina October 15, 2012, 10:29 pm

    I started taking MSM about 2 months ago. After 2 weeks I first noticed my fingernails became hard as nails and my hair was getting thicker! My nails kept growing longer and my hair kept getting thicker. After 1 -2 months, my hair started growing longer – I couldn’t believe it! I take it with (both Vit C and molybdenum-you can google it). Both of these are supposed to strengthen MSM and give better digestion. MSM does give me the f##ts VERY bad though. I’m also taking the molybdenum to decrease that. It hasn’t helped yet, but it’s only been a few days. My hair is so thick now that I just can’t believe it. The problem is that although I did need for my hair to get thicker, I mainly want longer hair!! My hair hasn’t grown any longer since the first growth spurt. I hope that my body hasn’t just gotten used to it and doesn’t need it anymore. I know that if you don’t drink enough water with it, you can expect harsh headaches. Start off with 500 mg, then work your way up. I’m now taking 10,000 mg per day (don’t worry I did my research lol). I don’t plan to take more than that. I read also that if you don’t take AT LEAST 5000 mg, you’re wasting your time because you won’t really get all of the benefits – if ANY. In the 1-2 months that I’ve been taking MSM, my hair has grown 1″ (1/2″ per month). My normal growth is 1/4″ per month. It hasn’t helped with my weight problem at all. Also, I have a LOT of bloating! (this might just be the detoxification process). I do go the little girl’s room a lot more often and no longer suffer from constipation since taking MSM. It’s supposed to help with so many things including, arthritis, sore muscles, detoxification, etc. I’m growing my hair to my waist by December of this year (and I’m sticking to that!! lol). Hope you have much success with it and come back and let us know about it!!

  • helpful site November 4, 2012, 8:38 am

    There is no quick fix for fast hair growth. Your hair grows in cycles. The best way to make get longer hair is to keep it healthy. You can do this by washing your hair to keep the follicle clean and clog free and to keep your scalp moisturize. Also take care of split ends. It’s not that your hair isn’t growing fast enough. It might just be that the rate of breakage is faster than the rate of hair growth. So, controlling breakage should be the priority.

  • Lanatia February 23, 2014, 3:47 pm

    I believe that there is a quick fix for fast hair growth. It’s just that we haven’t discovered it yet. I realize that our hair grows in cycles, but it’s my understanding that taking MSM lengthens the hair growth cycle (anagen), thereby causing the other two cycles (catagen and telogen) to shorten. Myself, I cannot eat right all of the time. It’s just impossible for me. So I “try” to eat right, but also take my supplements as well as herbs. Also I take good care of my hair. Every week I do hot oil treatments and deep conditioning. I also wash my hair once per week and air dry as much as possible unless I want a sleeker look or am doing a length check (then I blow dry my hair). I keep my hair and scalp moisturized and with the proper amount of protein (mane n tail) and some keratin leave-in conditioners. My hair used to break faster than it grew. But now that I take my supplements and practice good hair care, I’m seeing some positive results. I take garlic capsules also for the shedding that I used to have.

  • Kittkat December 24, 2012, 3:19 pm

    I have been taking hairfinity vitamins. Does anyone used it or know someone that takes it please any suggestions.

  • vhs blog January 14, 2013, 4:09 pm

    Thanks for the info, Dr. Phoenyx. I also believe hair tends to grow faster and healthier if your body is healthier overall so I like the types that have a lot of different vitamins and proteins in them, like Hair Formula 37.

  • Monica February 28, 2013, 2:12 pm

    Msm isnt directed towards hair growth. It is one of the side effects because of it is a sulfur based product. Due to the fact that it is a sulfur based product, it will lengthen the growth cycle of our hair. Taking vitamin c with this product will also help it to work better by supporting the msm. I hear some curlies saying it’s not making their hair “longer” and its generally not suppose to. You can take all the vitamins in the world that says it supports hair growth. If you are not taking care of your hair, eating right, exercising, keeping your hair and scalp clean, then the hair will not grow longer. it will just break off. It might get thicker but not longer. We can not blame it on the supplements for the lack of our hair growth, if we are not doing anything to support it. We have to help the supplements to help us. :)

  • maxine August 11, 2013, 1:18 am

    I would love to learn more about growing hair linger I just do the big chop .

  • Susan November 13, 2013, 5:12 pm

    lol, that’s what I usually do! Been trying to do something a bit different lately, though.

  • Kendra Richards August 20, 2013, 1:53 am

    I take an Organic Sulfur (MSM) in the crystal form by adding it to my water. I didn’t start taking it for hair growth, but for my overall health in general. However, since people are so curious about the stuff and hair growth, I figure I’d add my own experience (briefly.) I have been taking it on & off for right at 3 months now. I haven’t taken it daily, but more like taking it in my water nightly for a week or two, then skipping 2 weeks. No real reason for it, just I get lazy. Lol. Anyways, I do notice a change! My nails were so thin and flexible before MSM. I probably seen a change in my nails before anything, and it happened within a week. They became stronger! Grew much, much faster too. I like to keep my hair cut pretty short, but the MSM makes it very tough! I’ve had at least 3 inch growth since I began the MSM — of course my hair does naturally grow fast and this could be enhanced because of the MSM, the fact that mine naturally grows fast and perhaps the supplements I take (wheatgrass, barley grass, oat grass daily as well as other things for health like Sea buckthorn oil), so I figure it’s a combination of all those things.

    Anyways, what I find so strange is that MSM makes me a bit drowsy! Never heard of this happening to anyone else before. In fact, people I’ve talked to who’ve taken it say they have to drink/take it early because it gives them energy & keeps them up at night! Does the opposite to me. So weird. It doesn’t knock me out or anything, but I’ll start feeling tired and begin yawning and sleep hard every time I take it. I learned really quick to drink it right before bed! :)

  • MizzTisha October 8, 2013, 10:30 pm

    i’am starting msm this week but i have tried biotin 10,000 with keratin and it did wonders my hair has grown a inch or even more within a month i would recommend anyone to try it i will give a update on the msm in a month

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