Sulfur For Hair Growth: Truth Or Myth?

This abudantly available mineral does a lot of good to your hair than you can imagine.

By Annie JangamAnnie Jangam  • 

Our body requires various nutrients, including minerals like sulfur, for proper functioning. Although it is mostly known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, rumor has it that there are many benefits in using sulfur for hair growth. But is there any truth to this? Keep reading to find out if sulfur can really stimulate hair growth and how you can use it effectively if it does.

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 compoundi  XA compound containing sulfur that occurs in our body in the form of essential amino acids, enzymes, and hormones. , is also popular as an effective nutritional supplement that supports the growth and overall health of hair, skin, and nails. It contains keratini  XA fibrous protein that forms the structure of your hair and the outermost layers of your skin and regulates cell growth. , 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?

Are you getting enough sulfur?

Image: Shutterstock

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

The word 'sulfur' surrounded by sulfur-rich foods

Image: Shutterstock

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

MSM supplements and powder beside the chemical struction of MSM

Image: Shutterstock

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. Use A DIY Sulfur Oil Recipe

Simple DIY Sulfur Oil Recipes For Hair Growth

Woman massaging oil on her scalp and hair

Image: Shutterstock

Recipe 1


  • 1 teaspoon of sublimed sulfur powder
  • 4 oz. of jojobai  XAn evergreen shrub that bears seeds containing oil that possesses healing and lubricating properties. 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


  • 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.
Did You Know?
Look for hair care products for straight and wavy hair types containing sulfur. You can also add sulfur powder to hair masks and packs.

Recipe 2


  • 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)


  • 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.
Quick Tip
Coconut oil is ideal for all hair types. But it is recommended for wavy and straight hair as it isn’t very greasy and thick. You can add sulfur powder to warm coconut oil and massage it on your scalp.

Recipe 3


  • 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


  • 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

Woman showing how to properly apply oil to your hair

Image: Shutterstock

  • 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.

The benefits of sulfur for hair growth are indirect. It is an important component of keratin, the protein that makes up your hair and nails. Low levels of sulfur results in brittle hair. Hence, you need to add sulfur to your diet. Incorporating sulfur oil into your hair care regimen may minimize hair loss and promote natural hair growth as well. Though more research is needed to fully understand its benefits, anecdotal evidence suggests that you can apply moderate amounts of it to your hair safely. If you experience any adverse effects, stop using it immediately and seek medical advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is sulfur water good for your hair?

Although anecdotal evidence suggests that consuming sulfur or soaking in sulfur water has hair benefits, there is little scientific data to support the claim.

What is the difference between sulfur and sulfate?

Sulfates are a type of substance known as surfactants that are crucial to the efficiency of shampoos. Surfactants reduce the surface tension of the liquid in which they are present, making it simpler to mix with water and form a foam.
Sulfur is an element that has many advantages for the hair, particularly for people with brittle, dry hair. Sulfur is supposed to help strengthen the hair and improve its elasticity. It is also believed that taking sulfur supplements may assist in enhancing the overall hair health because keratin, a crucial protein in the hair, is composed of sulfur. However, more research is required to understand the benefits of sulfur for hair.

Key Takeaways

  • Sulfur may strengthen the hair and boost its elasticity.
  • You can get sulfur through dietary sources that are rich in protein, sulfur supplements or sulfur enriched scalp oil.
  • Sulfur oil should only be applied to the scalp and can be left overnight or rinsed within half an hour.


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