MSM as a Treatment for Hair Loss?

MSM as a Treatment for Hair Loss?
May 16 00:12 2016 Print This Article

Dr. Marty Sawaya reviews the supplement MSM, and its ability to treat hair loss, naturally… I know the internet discussion forums on the various hair loss sites have so much information from people who have taken things like: MSM, beta-sitosterol, and of course my long time favorite is biotin, not to mention a half-dozen others or more. I will try to review some of the frequently used herbal/nutritional supplements such as: MSM (Methyl-sulfonyl-methane), beta-sitosterol, pygeum, nettles, green tea, biotin and fish oil (Omega-3).

Overall, some of these things “may work for some people” and this just happens to be so, where about 10-15% of folks will swear it really helped their loss, and shedding, or helped to stabilize the hair loss. We don’t know why it works for some, and not others, except that with the human scalp hair cycle, there is a regrowth of the hair, then a cycle where the hair that grows back is thinner, shorter and less pigmented. The hair cycle becomes shorter and shorter with each successive cycle. The hair cycle is a very complex thing to understand, and there is variation to some extent in everyone, but once you understand the hair cycle, it is easier to understand hair loss and why the regrowth that we see is just a part of the shortened hair cycle.

As for some of these herbal agents, let’s review some of them and try to get a handle on them with regard to hair growth.

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, 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 standardized photography, and how these parameters were assessed. I didn’t see any hair counts, computerized 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 skeptical. 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.

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  • Charlotte Williams

    hmmmm. it is amazing to me how scientist negate the possibility of Gods natural remedy to internal issues. I have had hyperthyroidism taken various medications and had the radiation therapy to no avail. I had taken medication to compensate for the hypothyroidism due to the radiation therapy. Needless to say, it left me more tired and did not bring down my T3 level no matter what I took. I had taken two medications to ward off my T3 level being almost three times the normal. thyroxine was one of the medications I cannot recall the other at this time. So, I prayed and asked God for an answer. I tried various natural juices that I made with various fruits and vegetables turmeric flax seeds. after a month or so the results of my blood levels all of them were in normal range. I thank God for that whole hardly. I was totally bald on the back of my head. The dermatologist I had a the time said there was no possibility of hair regrowth because I lacked any umm I believe noticeable hair follicles or something of that nature. needless to say I have tried several home remedies to get hair to grow in that area, thank God it is not totally bald anymore. There are still some areas that are bald. still working on rectifying those areas. I just started the msm. noticed considerable thickness. no length as of yet but it has not been a month yet. I also noticed when I used the inversion method I did have approximately an inch growth within a month. 53 y/o black female. thick hair is genetic on both sides of my family. my mom has thin out due to nerves dad has also I do not know why because all of his older brothers had a head full of hair till they died. My parents are 73 both has high blood pressure and both have had multiply stores. I have been blessed with not having high blood pressure. Both of my brothers have high blood pressure. Maybe because I was more active. I do however have common St Louis issues. sinus (maybe due to the fact that I worked around black mold for over 20 years). asthma. (dad smoked around me til I moved out at about 21 more or less. went to college oot for 2 years) and my maternal dad had asthma. phew. thanks for listening.

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