Sulfur For Hair Growth: Truth Or Myth?

Written by Annie Jangam

Sulfur is the third most common mineral in the body. While it is known widely for its anti-inflammatory properties, proponents also claim that it can boost hair growth. But how far is this true? What does the research say? Here, we discuss how sulfur can affect hair growth and if you can use it on your hair for the same. Keep reading.

What Is Sulfur?

Sulfur is the third-most abundant mineral in the human body after calcium and phosphorus (1). It is an important dietary source needed for metabolism, synthesizing proteins and enzymes, and balancing oxidative stress and inflammation (2).

But does sulfur help with hair growth? Let us understand in the next section.

How Does Sulfur Affect Hair Growth?

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), an organosulfur compound, is also popular as an effective nutritional supplement that supports the growth and overall health of hair, skin, and nails. It contains keratin, a major building block of hair and nails (3).

MSM helps donate sulfur to keratin, strengthening the bonds between the keratin molecules in the hair (3) This way, the sulfur strengthens hair and boosts its elasticity.

This does show that sulfur can promote hair health. But are you getting enough of it?

Are You Getting Enough Sulfur?

Symptoms of sulfur deficiency include dry/brittle hair, skin, and nails. Some research shows that the elderly may not be receiving sufficient sulfur (4).

There are three ways you can include enough sulfur in your diet/routine:

A. Have A Sulfur-Rich Diet:

Have a protein-rich diet. Protein contains 3 to 6 percent sulfur amino acids as per studies (4). The following foods promote natural keratin synthesis (4):

  • fish
  • high quality, grass-fed beef, and poultry
  • eggs
  • Brussels sprouts
  • asparagus
  • legumes
  • garlic
  • kale
  • onion
  • wheat germ

B. Take MSM Supplements:

These supplements are available at most over-the-counter stores. However, speak to your dermatologist before you take them. Do not self-prescribe any supplement.

C. Apply Sulfur-Rich Products And Use A DIY Sulfur Oil Recipe:

Here’s a list of sulfur-rich products you can use to provide your hair the benefits of sulfur:

If you prefer the DIY route, check the next section.

Simple DIY Sulfur Oil Recipes For Hair Growth

Recipe 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon of sublimed sulfur powder
  • 4 oz. of jojoba oil
  • 2 oz. of Jamaican black castor oil
  • 2 oz. of extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 to 5 drops of rosemary essential oil
  • 4 to 5 drops of peppermint essential oil

Directions

  • Use an applicator bottle to mix all the ingredients. The nozzle also allows you to apply the mixture to the scalp easily.
  • Apply to your scalp (without touching your hair length) and gently massage section by section.
  • Leave it on for at least 30 minutes (or overnight) before washing with cool water. You can wear a shower cap if you intend to keep it on overnight.

Recipe 2

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon of sulfur powder
  • 1 cup of coconut/castor oil
  • 10 drops of your favorite essential oil, such as that of lavender, peppermint, or tea tree (optional)

Directions

  • Mix all ingredients in an applicator bottle. Use a funnel to avoid wastage.
  • Shake it and apply the mixture to your scalp.
  • Gently dab the oil on your roots. Ensure not to apply excess of it.
  • Massage gently into your scalp.
  • Leave it on overnight or rinse after 30 minutes.

Recipe 3

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon of sulfur powder
  • 2 oz. of extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz. of jojoba oil
  • 2 oz. of castor oil
  • 4 drops of peppermint essential oil
  • 4 drops of rosemary essential oil

Directions

  • Mix all ingredients in an applicator bottle. Use a funnel to avoid wastage.
  • Shake it and apply the mixture to your scalp.
  • Gently dab the oil on your roots. Ensure not to apply excess of it.
  • Massage gently into your scalp.
  • Leave it on overnight or rinse after 30 minutes.

You also must keep the following pointers in mind while trying out the DIY recipes.

How To Use The Hair Growth Oil Mix: Tips And Recommendations

  • Be mindful of shaking the applicator bottle before use. This evenly distributes the sulfur.
  • Do a patch test on a smaller area to check if you are allergic to sulfur.
  • Do not use sulfur in higher proportions. Do not exceed the recommended amounts.
  • Start by taking half the recommended amount of sulfur and gradually increase the quantity.

Wrapping Up

Sulfur should be an integral part of your diet, more so if you have brittle hair and want to do something about it. Including sulfur oil in your hair care routine may reduce hair loss and boost natural hair growth. While more research is warranted in this regard, using sulfur does not seem to cause any harm. Do a patch test before you use it, nonetheless.

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Sources

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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."