With a variety of chemical-laden hair growth products on the market today (such as Rogaine and Propecia), natural treatment methods seem almost outdated. What if I told you, however, that an all-natural supplement, one which is found naturally in our bodies and abundantly throughout the world, could help to lessen hair loss and even promote hair growth?
Today, I’m going to introduce you to MSM, a sulfur-rich compound which has been slowly gaining some buzz over the years. You’ll learn what MSM is, as well as how MSM is believed to work to promote hair growth.
What is MSM?
MSM stands for methylsulfonylmethane. This sulfur-rich, organic compound is used in a variety of industries, including health and beauty, pharmaceutical, and food.
Sulfur is a chemical element which may promote hair growth. Known by a few other names, including DMSO2, methyl sulfone, and dimethyl sulfone, MSM is found abundantly in nature, as sulfur is one of the building blocks of life.
How Does MSM Work?
To understand how MSM works to promote hair growth, let’s first take a look at the structure of hair.
The shaft of the hair is made up of a three-layered structure. On the inside is the medulla. Surrounding the medulla is the cortex, the most fibrous part of the hair strand which contains mostly keratin and structural lipids. On the outside of the hair is the cuticle, consisting of dead skin cells which form a protective layer around the hair.
Focusing in on the cortex and it’s keratin-based structure, we find a sulfur-rich environment.
Now, as mentioned above, sulfur is a building block of life. It’s the 7th or 8th most abundant element within the human body, and there’s no doubt that it contributes significantly to health and wellness.
But how does sulfur (and thereby, MSM) contribute to hair growth?
The hair growth cycle consists of three stages. They are anagen (growing), telogen (intermediate), and catagen (resting or shedding).
For those looking to promote hair growth and reverse hair loss, anagen is the sought-after stage. MSM is thought to either promote the conversion of telogen to anagen or lengthen anagen, mainly due to the deliverance of sulfur to the middle layer of the hair. This both strengthens the strand and encourages further growth.
Additionally, MSM also produces significant amounts of both collagen and keratin. These are essential in the development of healthy hair strands.
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