MSM For Hair Growth: Does It Work?

Medically reviewed by Dr. Shruti Chavan, MBBS Dermatologist
Written by Ramona Sinha

Over the last few years, MSM or methylsulfonylmethane has gained a lot of popularity for its anti-inflammatory properties and healing abilities. Many claim that this dietary supplement can also promote healthy hair growth. Is that true? What does the research say about the benefits of MSM for hair growth? Scroll down to find out the truth.

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 several health benefits, and they may help promote hair growth and keep your hair healthy. However, there is not much evidence to support their hair growth-promoting properties. If you want to improve your hair volume, you may try taking MSM supplements or apply MSM powder to your scalp. Consult with your doctor for the recommended dosage and proper guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put MSM powder directly on the hair?

Yes, you may mix MSM powder with topical creams and apply it to your scalp. However, consult a doctor before doing so.

How do you use MSM powder for hair growth?

You can consume MSM supplements as per the doctor’s recommended dosage.

How long does it take to see results from MSM?

The results depend on the dosage. However, it may take anywhere between 4 to 8 weeks to see results.

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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
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Ramona is a journalist-turned-content writer. She holds a Master’s degree in English Literature and has been writing for the digital world for over five years. She specializes in writing for Skin Care. She has done a certificate course titled ‘Dermatology: Trip To The Skin’, offered by Novosibirsk State University. She believes that beauty begins with a good skin care regimen and is on a mission to eliminate all toxins from her routine. She helps and guides readers in selecting products and ingredients specific to their skin type/issue. When Ramona is not working, her books and passion for music, good food, and traveling keep her busy.