MSM for Health and Hair

Last week I posted an article entitled, The Cycles and Stages of Hair Growth. If you missed this post, it discusses the three different stages that our hair continuously cycles through, throughout its lifetime. These cycles included the anagen (growth phase), catagen (resting phase), and telogen (shedding phase) stages. As stated in the recent post, The Cycles and Stages of Hair Growth, the average anagen stage lasts anywhere from four to seven years, but can be as short as one year and as long as ten years. The length of everyone’s anagen stage is genetically predisposed but what if there was a possibility to lengthen your growth (anagen) phase? Recent studies have shown that this may actually be possible with the supplement MSM.

MSM, also known as methylsulfonylmethane, is an organic sulfur compound and is the third largest compound found in the body (Bewellbuzz, 2012).  MSM is most commonly known for its bone and joint benefits. It is widely used to help treat illness and conditions such as osteoarthritis and tendonitis. Other bone and joint benefits of MSM include, improving joint flexibility, reducing pain and swelling, reducing stiffness, improving circulation, and improving cell vitality (Bewellbuzz, 2012).  Aside from the excellent bone and joint benefits, studies have also shown the huge benefits MSM can have on hair growth. The main component of MSM is sulfur and this component is one of the main building blocks of healthy hair and nails. Recent theories, suggest that MSM also increases hair growth by lengthening the anagen phase (Austin, 2011, pg. 79). By accomplishing a longer growth phase, you will be able to grow more hair within this stage. If the supplement and increase of MSM rich foods does lengthen your anagen phase, you still have to practice the proper hair care techniques to assure that you retain this extra growth. If strength and length retention is your goal, adding this supplement and foods rich in sulfur maybe a huge benefit to you.  Although the cooking process can diminish the amount of MSM found in food, some foods that are naturally rich in MSM include, green leafy vegetables, yogurt, milk, meat, seafood, and a plethora of others. If you do decide to add MSM as a daily supplement to your health/hair care regimen, it is important to only purchase pure MSM. Pure MSM is a white, odorless, tasteless, water-soluble crystalline powder that can be mixed with a liquid and consumed for its benefits. It is recommended to mix the powder with water or take with calcium such as orange juice.  Currently, there is no daily value set for the consumption of MSM or any serious negative side effect to the consumption of the supplement but it is recommended to take the suggested dosage listed on the supplement you purchase. Over or high dosages of MSM can cause nausea, diarrhea, bloating, fatigue, headaches, insomnia, itching, or worsening of allergy symptoms (Austin, 2011, pgs. 79-80). What do you think about the hair/health benefits of this supplement? Will you be experimenting and adding this supplement to your diet? Do you already use MSM, if so what have your experiences been like with the supplement? Let’s discuss below in the comments section.

Until next time, stay beautiful!

 

References

Austin, Phoenyx. (2011). If You Love It, It Will Grow: A Guide to Healthy, Beautiful Natural Hair.

5 MSM Benefits You Should Know About. (2012). Be Well Buzz. http://www.bewellbuzz.com/wellness-buzz/5-msm-benefits/