By Dr. Phoenyx of DrPhoenyx.com
I recently received this question via email by a young lady who wanted to know if she should start taking a hair growth supplement that “everyone” on a natural hair forum was raving about.
Here’s the email:
Hi Dr. Phoenyx! Thank you so much for all the information that you share about natural hair. I wanted to ask you a question about MSM. I was reading about MSM on LHCF and everyone was talking about how much it made their hair grow. Do you take MSM? Would you recommend it? Does it really speed up hair growth? How much should I take? Where can I get the best MSM?
OK, so we have quite a few questions here and I’ll try to answer them to the best of my ability. Thanks for your inquiry Kayla. I hope my answers help you and any other ladies that are interested in learning a bit more about MSM.
MSM, which is also know as methylsulfonylmethane, is a sulfur-based compound that’s found naturally in many foods like milk, seafood, onions, garlic and green vegetables.
How does MSM make hair grow?
MSM is primarily made of sulfur- one of the principle building blocks of hair and nails. So yes, the long and short is that MSM is a supplement that can be taken to help hair growth. MSM helps with hair growth because it gives your body one of its key building blocks for hair. And besides that, it’s also theorized that MSM may increase the rate of hair growth because it lengthens the growth phase (or anagen phase) of the hair cycle.
Where can I get MSM?
You can find MSM supplements at any local health food store, at the pharmacy, and at most grocery stores. Like I said before, MSM is found in food, so you can just skip taking the supplement and focus on getting MSM from your food. But there’s a catch. The cooking process does leech MSM from food and thus decrease its MSM content. So, unless you eat primarily raw foods, it wouldn’t hurt to take an MSM supplement This is what I do. I do eat a lot of fruits, veggies and seafood- which are high in MSM. And I also take my own hair, skin and nails vitamins that has been specially formulated with MSM.
Can MSM supplements be used for anything else?
Actually, yes! MSM has been used to treat conditions like pain bone and joint diseases like osteoarthritis and tendonitis. Your body does use sulfur to make things besides hair. In fact, it also uses sulfur to build bones and make cartilage for your joints. So taking MSM isn’t just good for your hair, it’s also good for your body!
A few precautions before taking MSM
Before I close out, I wanted to mention that MSM can have side effects. And as far as how much you should take, there is no Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for MSM. But high doses of MSM might cause nausea, diarrhea, kidney problems, bloating, fatigue, headache, insomnia, itching, or worsening of allergy symptoms in some individuals. Now don’t let this list scare you. MSM is generally safe for most people when taken in appropriate doses. So always follow the manufacturer’s dosage directions on the label when taking this supplement. And finally, if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, it would be wise to get clearance from your doctor before taking this supplement.
And that’s the scoop on MSM! I hope this was helpful and if you’d like to learn more about other hair growth supplements and how to grow healthy and longer hair, check out my book, If You Love It, It Will Grow: A Guide to Growing Long Afro-Textured Hair. Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes.
Do you take MSM for hair growth?
Have you noticed a change in your hair, skin or nails since taking MSM?
Dr. Phoenyx Austin is a physician, author and media personality. Dr. Phoenyx’s new book, If You Love It, It Will Grow: A Guide to Growing Long Afro-Textured Hair is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes. Special autographed book copies can be ordered directly from her blog, DrPhoenyx.com. You can also find Dr. Phoenyx on Facebook and Twitter.
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Jenell Stewart, formally known as BlakIzBeautyful is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Kinky Curly Coily Me. Jenell has a MS in special education and dedicates her time to educating and uplifting women with kinky, curly, coily hair. She big chopped on March 26, 2010 and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.View all Jenell posts.