Finding a new ingredient that may help you grow out your natural hair is like hitting the jackpot. Let’s just say the natural hair community hits the jackpot quite often, and MSM powder is no different. Why it’s not some new, never-before heard of ingredient, it is new to a whole bunch of us who never ever considered adding it to our hair growth regimens. Or, really don’t even know what it is!
So let’s take a look at what the powder is, what the benefits are, and how we’re supposed to use it.
What exactly is MSM?
Methylsulfonylmethane, more commonly known as MSM, is a sulfur-rich compound that is often found in plants, animals, and humans. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, MSM is often used as an oral supplement to treat headaches, joint inflammation and swelling, arthritis pain, and muscle cramps.
In recent years, this popular sulfur compound has been studied for its effectiveness in hair growth and retention. A 2009 study revealed that MSM effectively treated hair thinning and alopecia in mice. Though studies on how it impacts hair growth and retention in humans are limited, some research shows that taking MSM supplements may positively improve the appearance of hair and nails.
So, how do you use it and what are the benefits?
Because MSM can be naturally found from various sources in the environment, you’re able to take oral supplements, topically use the powder, or simply consume foods that are naturally rich in the compound, such as coffee, alfalfa sprouts, leafy greens, tomatoes, apples, and raspberries.
For hair growth in particular, MSM is best to use in powder form. That’s because you can make all types of hair masks and washes with it. That way, you won’t have to worry about if you’re consuming too much in your diet or if your oral supplements contain other ingredients that aren’t good for you—just take a few scoops of the MSM powder (like Doctor’s Best MSM Powder with OptiMSM, $9) add it to a conditioner or your favorite oil mix, and you’re good to go.
But before you go, a quick word about the risks.
Everything is not for everybody. While MSM powder (and in other forms) may be perfectly fine for most people, it’s always important to stay safe, but educating yourself on any possible health risks and concerns associated with it.
While MSM powder and it’s different variations are not currently known to be seriously dangerous or life threatening, some supplements have been associated with headaches, nausea, abdominal discomfort, bloating, and diarrhea if too much is consumed.
In any case, make sure to speak with your doctor and/or nutritionist about potential side effects, as well as how it may interact with other medications and supplements you’re currently taking.
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