MSM as a Treatment for Hair Loss?

Soure: Marty Sawaya.  

I've heard a lot of good things about MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) and the positive effects it can have on hair growth, so, I decided to try a pure powder format for myself, just to see if any changes occurred in the pattern of my hair growth.

Here's a quick breakdown of what MSM actually is: Methylsulfonylmethane is an organic sulphur compound that occurs naturally in some plants and foods. It is usually sold as a dietary supplement or powder, and is commonly used to treat a variety of ailments. 

MSM has been found to be beneficial in treating osteoarthritis, and it is thought to possibly be helpful in treating other conditions including allergies, snoring, asthma, and back pain-although these uses need more clinical research to substantiate MSM's effectiveness. 

Most recently, MSM has become a popular supplement for promoting fast, healthy hair growth.

So, I decided to purchase MSM Powder by MyProtein, and took 1g every day for four weeks. It should be noted that I already take MSM orally through HR23+ hair health supplement that I use, so it will be hard to identify the exact results of the powder.

What I like about MSM is the fact it acts as a flexible bond between proteins for your hair, skin and joints. This multi-purpose formula is a must try if you are looking to get the very best out of your hair and skin. Some men even swear it helps grow facial hair, but there have been no scientific studies to back this claim.

After four weeks of taking MSM powder, I have not noticed any difference in my facial hair, but being very sporty, the powder certainly seems to have decreased some of the pains I usually experience in my joints. 

My hair hasn't changed dramatically, but I didn't really expect it to. I would probably get a clearer understanding of how effective MSM is for my hair if I wasn't already using HR23+, of which has stabilised my hair. I guess it's hard to know for sure how effective any products I take in the future are, as long as I am still using treatments that seem to have worked for me already.

All in all, I would still recommend adding MSM to your diet if you haven't already done so. The benefits, not only for your hair, are pretty decent, and what's more, this stuff only cost me £5.99!

MSM for hair loss

Methyl-sulfonyl-methane (MSM): a naturally occurring sulfur compound found in the body, as well as in various foods. Reviewing the website:, it states that MSM is found in milk, coffee, tea, vegetables, etc. It is sold as capsules, tablets, powders (above), as well as topical preparations. 

According to the website, MSM is supposed to maintain structural proteins, form keratin proteins which make up the hair fiber and help the immune system. MSM has also been stated to help with pain, inflammation, increase blood flow, soften scar tissue and reduce muscle spasms. 

Reviews on the website also mention studies using MSM to help those with arthritis. From these reports, the users stated improvement to their nails and hair. “Those taking MSM showed 50% increased nail length, thickness and growth compared with placebo, and 100% of the subjects showed increased hair growth compared with placebo. In addition, 30% of the subjects taking MSM showed improvement in hair brilliance”.

Wow, those are pretty good numbers, but I wish I could see their standardised photography, and how these parameters were assessed. I didn’t see any hair counts, computerised systems for hair counting, biopsies, macro or microphotography. 

It’s really tough to determine what they mean by “100% increased hair growth”. So, until you see the full-published report done by the most rigorous testing methods, it is best to be sceptical. 

The website describes physicians who conducted the study, but to be honest, family practitioners don’t know enough about dermatology and hair growth to conduct such a study. Many dermatologists in general, are not comfortable with hair disorders and will even tell you so. It’s probably best to get the few who know anything about hair to do these studies.

Data Supporting MSM for Hair Loss Treatment

When a product is used for so many purposes, such as MSM, (used for inflammation, arthritis, blood circulation, scar tissue, etc,) it is best to review any human and animal studies that may have been done. It’s really tough to assess hair brilliance, as this is so subjective, but at least they could have done hair counts by macro photography, which is really the way to go these days, and it wouldn’t cost that much. 

If they could test it in the appropriate “accepted methods” which hair studies are done today, and they prove to be positive, imagine how much money they could really make?

The website suggests doses of 1,000 mg taken by mouth, three times a day with meals. It is stated that MSM is non-toxic at extremely high doses, but it is best to review how this was assessed and what animal toxicity studies were done. 

I wouldn’t suggest taking doses this high unless I really did some investigative homework to know all toxicology that has been done in human and animal studies.

MSM May Help Stop Hair Loss, but…

From my past research and experience, it is true that there are many enzymes in skin that are important for adding sulfur and taking sulfur away from hormones and proteins, such as the keratins. 

During my doctoral years of studying the male-hormone enzymes that convert testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and other pathways, there are sulfhydryl-oxidizing and reducing enzymes that make the hormones water soluble to be transported in the blood. There are a lot of sulfhydryl bonds in hair fiber, and keratin-proteins which make-up hair. The sulfur mediating enzymes and their pathways are so complex and not totally known.

It is doubtful that taking them by mouth will have any effect at the intracellular (inside the cell) level where they need to be to influence hair fiber growth.

Because of limited research funds, a lot of the “sulfur-mediating enzymes” story is just incomplete. We don’t really know, but it sure sounds good, and it could be possible, but it is best to have a company spend about $100,000 for some limited clinical trial testing, done by experienced physicians, in a double-blind fashion for a 6 month to 1 year period of time to really test any claims for hair growth.


There have been so many herbal supplements containing MSM that have hit the marketplace, and for some people taking them who have hair loss, they swear they are seeing improvements in their hair. 

For now, cation is advised for any nutritional/herbal supplement you decide to take to treat your hair loss. For many, like biotin, they may not hurt you, therefore there's little risk in taking it.
MSM supplement for hair growth

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