6 Nutrients that are Good for Hair Growth AND Body Health

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By Christina of The Mane Objective

I’ll be the first to admit, that a lot of my healthier habits are rooted solely in benefiting my hair. But as it turns out, many healthy habits, products, and supplements can be of benefit to your body holistically as well. Check out some healthy hair practices that have what I like to call collateral benefits:

Biotin

When most people first look for a vitamin or supplement to work on hair growth from the “inside”, they are pointed in the direction of Biotin. Biotin aka Vitamin H supports the growth and strengthening of healthy hair and nails. It is also beneficial in metabolizing fats and amino acids (energy production), and can help stabilize blood sugar levels. So if you’re feeling sluggish, consider Biotin to give your hair and your metabolism a boost!

MSM aka Methylsulfonylmethane

When you visit a health store like The Vitamin Shoppe, you’ll find MSM in the section for supplements related to joint health. We’ll learn why in a second. As far as hair is concerned, MSM has shown some promising effects on hair growth. The life cycle of your hair consists of 3 phases: growing, resting, and shedding. Not only is sulfur a building block for your hair, it also has been shown to lengthen the growing phase of your hair. A longer growing phase (before resting and shedding) means longer hair. Now back to the first point. MSM is often found in the joint health section, generally alongside Glucosamine and Chondroitin. It provides the essential sulfur foundation that the body needs to form proteins and connective tissue. It also helps synthesize and activates vitamins, and maintain the immune system. MSM is helpful in relieving swelling, inflammation and pain. So think of all the conditions that are a result of inflammation in the body. Yeah. MSM has the potential to solve that (it has done wonders for my joints and allergies). Note: I am not a licensed medical professional, and do not take my advice as a prescription for MSM. As with any supplement, check with your healthcare provider first.

H2O

Everyone knows, or at least I think everyone knows, that our bodies are comprised of over 70% water. Water is simply put, essential to the functioning of our bodies. I started out drinking more water when I learned about its hydrating effects on the hair (our hair is relatively 25% water). In the process of increasing my water consumption, I have not only slashed the sugary calories I’d normally chug (which totally helps with this whole getting healthy thing), my skin is clearer, and it supports my insides running like clockwork (tmi? perhaps). If you’re not a fan of plain ol’ water, try tossing in a few slices of citrus like lemon, lime, or orange. It makes for a great daytime refreshing beverage. Alternatively, have a cup of tea — just don’t add sugar and cream and whatnot…that totally defeats the purpose. Right now I’m sipping on a mug of Tazo “Zen” spearmint lemongrass green tea with a wedge of lemon.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is hands down one of the best moisturizing and nourishing oils out there. It is my personal favorite, and an undeniable staple (although Vatika Oil is clamoring for the top spot something fierce!)… In addition to being one of the few oils that is able to penetrate the hair follicle and actually moisturize, it is versatile enough to use on your skin, and in your food! Coconut oil as a health supplement is believed to support healthy cholesterol levels, weight loss, promote immune system and metabolism functions, and more. I haven’t exactly made the switch to eating it but…if I cook with it, I will let ya’ll know. I do however, use it on my face every day. I also did a small experiment with my elbows (rough skin + psoriasis), and they are ridiculously smooth — after about 2 weeks of use!

Aloe Vera

I’m still trying to wrap my brain around this one. But in addition to being a moisturizing and sealing agent in hair, Aloe Vera promotes internal health and digestion (and some claim it supports weight loss), and has external healing properties. It’s no wonder most skin rejuvenating and healing products include Aloe Vera in their ingredient list. It is an anti-inflammatory (great for cuts, burns, psoriasis, eczema and other skin conditions), full of minerals, can help fight dandruff and dry scalp, and even helps fight acne and blemishes. Are you really waiting for another reason to grab some Aloe Vera?

Castor Oil

Castor oil isn’t just great for sealing moisture into hair, it’s also great for treating a variety of skin conditions, reduce pain, stimulating the immune system and as a natural laxative.

What are some other great products and practices with collateral benefit?

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Christina Patrice

Christina Patrice

Born, raised, and living in Los Angeles, Christina is BGLH's resident transitioning expert and product junkie. In addition to loving all things hair, she is a fitness novice and advocate of wearing sandals year-round. For more information on transitioning, natural hair, and her own hair journey, visit maneobjective.com. Or, if you like pictures follow Christina on Instagram @maneobjective.

 

34 thoughts on “6 Nutrients that are Good for Hair Growth AND Body Health

  1. awesome! i live in the Caribbean and i have the aloe plant growing right in my back yard ^.^ I’m transitioning to natural, and my biggest trouble is combing through my hair, because the hair tangles at the roots and where the line of demarcation is. But when i put aloe in my hair and leave it in overnight, after washing it out my hair is soooooo soft, so i can comb through easily and painlessly! seriously!

    • I know! I live in Cuba and I have it growing in my yard as well. But its smell bothers me! lol And the odor sticks. When I first used it to twist my hair, when I would eat not only did I smell it, but there was also a bitter taste in my mouth because I usually end up using my fingers to eat :)
      But other than that it works great!

  2. I sure know about the castor oil….My Grandma used to make us kids drink it as a “wash out” before the school year started. I still gag when I smell it…..I do like to use it as a sealant but I have to cut it with another oil so I don’t feel sick when I smell it.

    • LOL my mom (Bajan) is always talking about having to drink castor oil before the school year started and I was always frightened she would make me do it, too. Thank goodness I dodged that home remedy but castor oil has always been in my house and used for hair.

    • Omg, my jamaican parent’s would say the same thing to me and my sis too! We would squeeze our nose so that we couldn’t taste it.

    • Hi Barbara, where did you read this?…ok, I’m about to go Google. Thought I was gonna start a new regimen like today, but you may have burst my bubble. :(

    • Vivid dreams, absolutely! I cannot take MSM after 5pm, else I will have the strangest dreams that night. I had one about a shark kidnapping my boyfriend and extorting money from me to get him back. I’ve had others that were crazy but I don’t remember them.

      • MSM when taken with Vitamin C like with orange juice or any other citrus fruit detoxify your body. When taking at least 3 teaspoons per day (morning, noon, and evening), it starts to kick off enough natural detoxification for the body on a daily basis to allow it to deal with the everyday world we live in and gradually repair any physical damage that has accumulated over the years.

        So that means, your dream is telling you something.

    • I take it everyday, dreams and nightmares is a not associated with this. thats a whole different subject. I never have nightmares and never have, i love msm its great for your joints. i didnt know the hair thing though pretty cool!

  3. I’ve heard and experienced MSM causing terrible gas. However if that happens just reduce the amount you are taking. I think I recall people saying that starting out gradually then increasing the amount you take can help with the prevention of bloating and bad gas.
    Some people on some blogs were reporting acne with MSM usage, this I heard was being remedied by taking it with Vit. C not sure by which mechanism this attenuated the acne.

  4. I personally don’t use products to accelerate my hair growth but it is good to know my options should I want to.i believe in techniques and a consistent routine as that is free.

  5. Biotin broke me out terribly but MSM has so far worked better for me and yes it is necessary to combine it with Vit. C to get it to work better. The significant hair growth I have noticed has been while I am taking MSM. For the vivid dreams, I have heard that but I have heard that it happens when MSM is taken later in the day which does not give it time to be absorbed by the body by the time you go to bed. It takes about 12 hours to be absorbed by the body so taking it earlier in the day is best

    • I have sensitive skin, so I drink a lot of water. Instead of pure biotin pills, I purchased biotin shampoo and conditioner from vitamin shoppe. So far so good, I’ve noticed new growth, and it hasn’t been a month yet.

  6. Please be very very careful about taking biotin and msm! I started taking them hoping to boost my hair growth. They made me break out HORRIBLY! I used to have gorgeous skin. Two years later I still haveflare ups and the dark spots. And yes I am certain they were the cause.

    • Biotin is a water soluble product so if you r not drinking enough water while taking it, it will pull water from the rest of your body including your skin, causing break-outs. Drinking lots of water is necessary with biotin, and good for your body overall.

    • Most teas do not contain caffeine. The ones that do (green, black, white, oolong) have very small amounts and contain substantially less caffeine than coffee.

  7. I mix MSM liquid in my products like conditioners, water spritz and ayurvedic treatments. If you are hesistent in taking MSM as a supplement, try it that way. All you need is a teaspoon..

  8. As stated previously, not everybody either likes or reacts positively to certain nutrients. My hair does not like Coconut oil, Aloe Vera or Argan oil.I initially didn’t understand since it seemed everybody in the Natural hair World seemed to rave about these nutrients and not only does my hair hate these with much gusto but the fact that I love eating, cooking and using these nutrients, just not in my hair!!!

  9. Biotin is great for the hair, just need to take with niacin to control the acne breakouts and drink lots of water daily. I take my biotin along with a women’s multi-vitamin (containing niacin)tablet. MSM has helped with my periodic sciatic nerve in my lower back. I take all my vitamins including MSM before bed and never experienced and vivid dreams. Again i take with multi-vitamin which includes vitamin C. I was not aware that MSM is also good for hair. This is my first time on this site. I Love it and thanks for the great tips ladies!!

  10. Pingback: MSM For Hair Growth - Is It Worth It? | My Hair Growth Options

  11. I cook with coconut oil everyday. with eggs, meats, potatoes, everything. it is a great way to loose belly fat and boost your metabolism. if u love coconut and can have the taste on everything u eat then do it.

  12. I know this is super old article but I going to try anyway.

    Would it be more affective to apply methylsulfonylmethane and biotin both directly to the scalp since they are both water soluble and recently found to be absorbed into the skin where the hair root presides?

    Note pub med has two separate studies showing absorption of each of those nutrients.

  13. I take biotin and msm everyday with a womans vitamin & I have noticed a considerable difference in my hair growth. I have been taking them for about 2 months straight. I recently cut about 2 inches from my hair & in less than a month it has grown back longer. I understand it is not for everyone but it does work for me. I have not had any strange dreams. I take mine at night & my skin is fine but I also use coconut oil in my hair & on my skin.

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