Can MSM Cause Hair Loss?

a woman with short curly hair

Using MSM internally and externally is a great way to help promote healthy hair growth and decrease hair shedding. But even with the best supplements, they could come with some undesired side effects.

There is nothing worse than taking a supplement to help promote hair growth only to find out it could potentially do the opposite. This is very scary to many people, which is enough to get one to stop taking MSM completely and calling it a bad supplement.

Before jumping into a conclusion and calling MSM a bad supplement, let’s find out some of the reasons why MSM can cause hair loss.

Knowing these things will help to better prepare you to deal with some of the initial unpleasant side effects, that way there won’t be any surprises.

So without further ado, let’s dive right in.

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Hair Loss While Taking MSM?

can msm cause hair loss - a guy that is balding So the question is “Can MSM cause hair loss?” The short answer is yes, but does that mean you should avoid MSM completely? Of course, No.

Please let me explain.

When you first start taking MSM, you may experience unpleasant effects such as nausea, vomiting, gastrointestinal discomfort, or headaches.

These are actually detoxification symptoms which are completely normal. Once your body gets enough MSM regularly, the symptoms will subside.

Personally, it took me about 2 weeks to get over these discomforts.

Another unpleasant effect of MSM is increased hair loss. Personally, I’ve never experienced that, but I’ve heard other people and seen my relatives experienced increased hair shedding initially when starting to take organic sulfur(MSM).

Some experienced a lot of hair loss, some experienced a small amount of hair loss, and some experienced none.

If one didn’t know about the possible increased hair loss when taking MSM, they are likely going to stop taking it and possibly going to miss out on the benefits. But if you stick to it for a few months, I know this is easier said than done, the increased hair loss will go away.

Although I have not personally experienced hair loss while taking MSM so I can’t speak from my experience. I do know people who stuck to it for several months and in the end, they experienced faster hair growth, stronger and thicker hair. And they also no longer experienced the hair loss as they did in the beginning.

Related Posts:

How to use MSM powder for hair growth?

How Does MSM Help With Hair Growth?

28 Impressive Benefits of Organic Sulfur (MSM)

5 Reasons Why MSM Causes Hair Loss

#1 Taking Too Much MSM

  • Taking too much MSM can cause hair loss.
  • Always follow the product’s recommended dose. If you are taking the crystal form of organic sulfur (MSM), be sure to check out this post for more information. 

#2 Using Low-Quality Organic Sulfur (MSM) Product

  • If you are experiencing hair shedding, it could also be due to the quality of the product you use.
  • Not all organic sulfur(MSM) products are created equally and the quality does differ a great deal from brand to brand.
  • Low-quality MSM products could cause many undesired side effects, including increased hair shedding.
  • According to West Coast Organic Sulfur Project, it estimated that 70% of organic sulfur products that are available on the market are imported from China and India and many of these products are produced inexpensively from petroleum derivatives.
  • If the price range is $12 to $20 per pound for sulfur (MSM) crystals, it’s more than likely the cheap and inferior product made in China or India. This is certainly not a guarantee, but a safe bet.
  • It’s also important that you buy organic sulfur(MSM) products that are made in North America.

#3. The Impurities In The MSM Product

  • Increased hair shedding could also be due to the impurities in the product.
  • I’ve tried many MSM products and found this one made the biggest difference in my health. Although I haven’t experienced a huge difference in my hair growth, I’ve definitely noticed my hair is a lot shinier and softer than before. I mostly taking MSM internally. I’ve just recently started using it externally on my hair. Once I notice any significant hair growth, I will be writing a post to update that.


#4. Stress And Certain Health Conditions

  • Sometimes stress and certain health conditions can contribute to hair shedding. Some people would mistakenly contribute hair shedding to MSM without realizing that it could be due to other things, such as stress, certain medications, and certain health conditions.
  • The only way to really know for sure whether or not MSM is the cause is to discontinue MSM. If shedding continues, then it’s not due to MSM. If shedding decreases, then you’ll know it’s due to MSM.

#5. Normal Unpleasant Effect

  • Hair loss can also be completely normal if none of the reasons above is pertinent to you. Sometimes even with the purest MSM product, you can still experience some undesired effects. 
  • Sometimes when something stimulates the hair to grow, the existing hair that is in the telogen phase of the hair cycle (this is the resting phase when your hair is released and falls out) will be shed more quickly. So that it can be replaced by the new hair in the growing phase of the hair cycle, also known as the anagen (growth phase). That’s why some people experience increased hair loss initially and then a few months later, they don’t experience as much hair loss as they did in the beginning.
  • Hair loss is a way for the body to get used to the MSM. Once your body gets used to MSM, the hair shedding will decrease and the hair growth will increase. This will likely take several months. I know this can be very scary to many people. After all, you are taking a supplement to increase hair growth. One body wants to take a supplement to lose their hair, right? 


Although MSM can cause hair loss, it’s most likely temporary for many for several months before they experience hair growth. I understand the fear of losing your hair and not being able to grow them back.

Even though I’ve never experienced hair loss while taking MSM, I do know people who had experienced initial increased hair loss that stuck with MSM for several months and saw a positive change in their hair growth.

Now that you are aware of the reasons that can cause hair loss while taking MSM, making some changes in your supplement brand, regimen and dosage could help decrease hair loss. Although this is not 100% guaranteed, in my humble opinion, it’s worth trying. 

I hope you found this post helpful. And if you did, please help me share this post with others. This will help with the growth of my blog and I greatly appreciate you for that.

Have you experienced hair loss while taking MSM? What did you do to stop hair shedding? Let me know in the comments below your thoughts, concerns, or questions.

Thank you for visiting and I wish you a good luck on your MSM journey.


8 Comments on “Can MSM Cause Hair Loss?”

  1. Hello Hong! Very good article! I’ve been taking MSM for a couple of months now and just recently noticed an increase in shedding. But I’ve also noticed that my nails are getting longer and stronger. And even though my hair is shedding more, it’s also getting alot thicker. I must admit that the shedding was more than a little alarming at first, but after some research and coming across articles like yours, I can see how perfectly normal and even common it is for some. Thanks for the informative article! Because of it, I think I’ll stick with the MSM for awhile and wait out the shedding. At the very least, I’ll finish what I have and reevaluate my results…

    1. Hi Sherry,

      Thank you for sharing. I would love to know your results. Please keep me posted.

      Bet regards,

  2. I have a few questions. I have been losing hair for several years now and tried just about every product on the market. If I just use MSM externally on my hair, is there still a chance it could fall out more for a while?
    If I take MSM orally does it leave a foul odor or taste in my mouth? Does the external shampoo leave a foul smell? I would hate to have my hair start getting healthier but repel everyone with my smell. This may be the next thing I try to get my hair back to a semi normal state. Thank you

    1. Hello Maryann, thanks for commenting. I am sorry to hear about your situation. It must be very frustrating to try so many products and none seemed to have helped. I see you have several questions regarding MSM. I am going to answer your questions to the best of my knowledge.

      1. If I just use MSM externally on my hair, is there still a chance it could fall out more for a while?

      Since everyone is different, we will all react to MSM differently in our body. Some people will experience hair loss while others won’t. Personally, I’ve been taking MSM in the form of organic sulfur crystals since 2016, I have never experienced any increased hair shedding. For most people, increased hair loss is temporary. It usually stops about several months of taking MSM. And then they expereince faster and thicker hair growth after the intital shedding.

      2. If I take MSM orally does it leave a foul odor or taste in my mouth?
      MSM is odorless. MSM in the form of organic sulfur does have a bitter taste to it, but it does not leave any foul odor taste in your mouth. You can also take MSM in the form of capsules. They don’t taste bitter and will also not leave any foul odor or taste in your monuth. If a bitterness is an issue for you, be sure to check out my top 10 best MSM brand.

      3. Does the external shampoo leave a foul smell?
      MSM is ordorles, so when you make homemade MSM shampoo, it will not leave a foul smell on your hair.

      I hope I answered your questions. I highly recommend you give these MSM recipes a try. Let me know how everything works out for you. If you have any other questions,let me know in the comments below.

      All the best,

    1. Hello Stepania, thanks for your comment. You are welcome. I’m glad you found this helpful and informative.

      All the best,

    2. Hi Hong, I’ve been taking MSM for about 3 weeks and experiencing hair loss since starting from 7-10days. Now I can see that the top of the head is not dark as before..and it is highly possible that the hair loss is caused by MSM.

      I’m thiking about have treatment such as Finasteride and Minoxidil for hairloss while taking MSM, instead of stop taking it. Would there be any conflict between MSM and medication for hairloss? I hope not because I’m feeling that MSM is greatly helping my joint and skin to be healthier.

      Hope to hear your advice! Thanks in advance.

      1. Hi Kim,

        I a not sure if there is any conflict between MSM and medication for hair loss. I recommend you ask you physician.

        Best regards,

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