Magnesium For Hair Growth – Benefits, Uses, And More

Medically reviewed by Dr. Shruti Chavan, MBBS Dermatologist
Written by Annie Jangam

We are all looking for shortcuts to grow longer hair or miracle cures to fight hair loss. Imagine if you could do that by doing a simple foot soak or hair massages! Shocking, right? Epsom bath salts are known as a solution for many illnesses. But, did you know that they contain magnesium that can also promote hair growth? Keep reading to find out more about the role of magnesium for hair growth and how to use it to get long lustrous locks! 

Magnesium And Hair Growth – Is There Any Link?

A study conducted in Germany found that magnesium can trigger the hair follicles, resulting in hair growth by more than 50%. The study found out that magnesium is absorbed by the body through the skin by spraying magnesium oil on the scalp and an Epsom salt foot soak (1). Though the sample size and the duration of the study were limited, the results prove that magnesium plays a role in hair growth.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that massaging magnesium oil into your scalp is invigorating. You may experience a pleasant tingling sensation that helps you destress and relax. Apart from combating stress (that can cause hair loss), this stimulation of follicles also boosts blood circulation, thus promoting hair growth. That is why it is widely believed that magnesium is beneficial for hair.

At a cellular level, magnesium is one of the most important nutrients for healthy hair growth. It is an essential cofactor for more than 300 enzymes that regulate multiple biochemical processes (2).

Magnesium is also an essential trace metal that is involved in numerous metabolic functions in the body such as protein synthesis, calcium regulation, and activation of vitamin D (3), (3). Both calcium and vitamin D play an important role in the development of hair follicles (4). Thus, it is involved in the overall growth of your hair.

So, we have learned how magnesium helps promote hair growth. But, what happens when you don’t get enough magnesium? Find out below. 

Magnesium Deficiency And Hair Loss

The role of magnesium deficiency in causing hair loss is indirect (5). Since magnesium is involved in multiple metabolic processes, a lack of magnesium can disrupt the mineral homeostasis (mineral balance) (2). This can lead to impaired protein synthesis which, in turn, can trigger hair loss. So, it is recommended to consume magnesium-rich foods such as pumpkin seeds, spinach, almonds, avocado, and rice. (2).

The recommended daily intake of magnesium for adult men and women is 400 mg and 310 mg, respectively (2). This can be met by following a well-balanced diet. You can also get the benefits of magnesium through topical application as it can be absorbed by the skin. Thus, you can massage your scalp with magnesium oil to fight hair loss (1). Magnesium oil is made from a mixture of magnesium chloride flakes and water. You can learn how to prepare it at home.

We have established that magnesium is important for hair growth. Find out in the next section how to use it effectively.

How To Use Magnesium to Promote Hair Growth

1. Magnesium Oil For Hair Loss 

You Will Need

  • 10-15 drops of magnesium oil
  • Water


  1. Take 10-15 drops of magnesium oil and dilute it in water.
  2. Gently massage this mixture into your scalp. Use your fingertips to boost blood circulation.
  3. Wash off the oil with water and shampoo.
  4. Do not keep it on for longer than 30 minutes as it can dry out your hair.

If you notice any itchiness or irritation, wash off the oil immediately and consult a medical practitioner.

2. Epsom Salt Soak

You Will Need

  • 2 cups of Epsom salt
  • Water (for a bath)


  1. Add the 2 cups of Epsom salt to lukewarm water in the bathtub.
  2. Mix the bath water to dissolve all the salts.
  3. Soak in the bath for 15 minutes.
  4. Rinse off or take a shower.

Apply a moisturizer to replenish the lost moisture of your skin.

The magnesium in the bath water is absorbed by your skin and, thus, may help boost hair growth.

3. Magnesium Pill Or Oral Supplements

You can take oral supplements of magnesium as prescribed by a doctor to fight hair loss.

Thus, magnesium can be used in multiple ways to boost hair growth. But, how safe is it? Scroll down to find out about its side effects.

Risks And Side Effects

It is important not to cross the recommended dietary levels of magnesium.

In the case of topical application of magnesium oil, do a small patch test on your forearm to check if you are allergic to it before applying it to your scalp. Some people may experience irritation, stinging, or a burning sensation. Stop using it immediately if this occurs.

Do not take magnesium oil orally. Ingestion of magnesium oil may cause adverse effects such as nausea and diarrhea (2). Consult a licensed dietitian or a dermatologist if you notice excessive hair loss even after these fixes.


Magnesium is an important nutrient for hair health. Magnesium deficiency is linked to hair loss, though research in this area is lacking. The crucial role it plays in regulating multiple cellular functions, especially protein synthesis, makes it essential for hair growth. You can get it through diet and supplements. However, topical application has shown that it penetrates through the skin and enters the bloodstream. Massaging magnesium oil and taking Epsom salt baths or foot soaks are effective ways to promote hair growth.

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  1. Myth or Reality—Transdermal Magnesium?
  2. Magnesium
  3. Role of Magnesium in Vitamin D Activation and Function—Role-of-Magnesium-in-Vitamin-D-Activation-and-Function.pdf
  4. The Transient Role for Calcium and Vitamin D during the Developmental Hair Follicle Cycle
  5. Nutrition of women with hair loss problem during the period of menopause
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Annie Jangam is a Molecular Biologist with 7 years of research experience in Rice Functional Genomics and Nutrient Signalling with International Publications in Abiotic stress, Nitrogen, and G-protein signaling. She specializes in writing on Health and Wellness. She has been an avid reader since childhood and is passionate about stories that help decipher life and its meaning. She believes in Human Rights for all and that one should "love others like we love ourselves."