Magnesium For Hair Loss


Understanding magnesium for hair loss

Does magnesium intake promote good hair health or does magnesium deficiency cause hair loss?

The answer to both of these questions is Yes.

This article will help you understand the importance of magnesium in our body and how magnesium deficiency is related to hair loss.

Magnesium is one of the least hyped minerals present in the body, available naturally in many foods or food products such as magnesium supplements, laxative medicines etc. Various biochemical reactions like

  • protein synthesis
  • blood pressure regulation
  • controlling blood glucose
  • muscle and nerve function
  • DNA and RNA synthesis, etc. are carried by more than 300 enzymes in the body and with the assistance of magnesium.1

Keratin is the major component of the hair shaft and hair shield and is responsible for hair elasticity and shine. Cysteine, the key keratin component, occurs in the highest amount in the hair. The rate of hair growth, protein synthesis and hair diameter depend upon cysteine. Magnesium deficiency or a low level of magnesium can disrupt protein synthesis and leads to hair loss and eventually prevent hair growth, showing signs like:3

  • Thinning of hair
  • Hair loss
  • Premature greying
  • Poor hair follicles

Effects of magnesium on hair

Bad and good

Magnesium has a direct and indirect effect on hair growth. Usually, intake of excess magnesium supplements does not cause hair loss since the kidney flushes out the excess magnesium from the body. But too much of anything should always be avoided.

Magnesium chloride acts as a laxative and is used to treat constipation. Intake of magnesium during an upset stomach should be carefully observed. Magnesium chloride has a calming effect and it promotes a night of good sleep. It helps combat stress and anxiety, rejuvenating stressed nerves and promoting new cell growth. It has a high absorption rate and is one of the best magnesium supplements.

Magnesium glycinate- magnesium and amino acid glycine, is a magnesium compound that boosts bioavailability and is available in the form of a magnesium supplement. It doesn’t disturb the stomach.

Long-term medications, low intake of magnesium, chronic illnesses, and chronic alcoholism lead to magnesium deficiency. Early signs include fatigue, loss of appetite, weakness, hair loss, etc. As the level of magnesium drops more, muscle cramps, coronary spasms, seizures, and abnormal cardiac rhythm follows.

The good effects of magnesium on hair care are

  1. It promotes proper blood circulation to the scalp
  2. It prevents the building up of excess calcium in the scalp
  3. It smoothes gastrointestinal motility
  4. Magnesium keeps a check on the hormonal level

How does magnesium affect hair loss

Hair loss is disappointing. Although it is not a disease, it affects an individual both physically and mentally.

The build-up of excess calcium in the scalp prevents proper blood circulation to the scalp. Magnesium deficiency inhibits protein synthesis. As a result, the excess calcium prevents blood flow to the scalp and results in deposits on the scalp in the form of dandruff.

Calcium deposit- calcification thickens the scalp and restricts blood flow. It leads to rashes, inflammation and thinning of hair.

An imbalance of nutrients causes zinc deficiency, iron deficiency, etc. in the body along with magnesium deficiency.

Women with vitamin D deficiency also have a low level of magnesium in the body.

Alopecia is an autoimmune disorder characterised by poor hair follicles and a bald patch on the scalp seen in individuals with zinc deficiency.

Magnesium for hair loss: How much and when to take

The Recommended Dietary Allowance of magnesium per day is:

Adult men - 400-420 mg

Adult females - 310-320 mg

It is important not to cross the recommended dietary levels of magnesium.

A magnesium supplement can be taken once per day depending on the requirement or as advised by the doctor.

Magnesium oil- It is an excellent remedy for hair loss. It provides essential nutrients to the scalp. However, the topical application of magnesium oil needs to be carried out carefully. Magnesium oil can be applied directly by massaging your scalp for a few minutes and then leaving it for 30 minutes before taking a shower.4

Using magnesium and Epsom salt together can help moisturise the hair follicles and provide essential nutrients to the scalp preventing hair loss.

How to test if your skin is allergic to magnesium oil?

Try a small patch test where you put a small portion of magnesium oil on your forearm and wait for a few seconds to a minute. Some people experience a tingling sensation, irritation or a burning sensation. If you experience any such sensations, it is better to stop and switch to other alternatives or consult a dermatologist.

Another useful ingredient is aloe vera. Aloe vera with magnesium helps relieve itchiness, controls dandruff and reduces inflammation.

Best source of magnesium for hair loss

Magnesium is available in foods like:

almonds, bananas, legumes, soy milk, oatmeal, dark chocolate, raisins, dark leafy vegetables, whole grain, brown rice, fish, etc. Wwhen magnesium is not absorbed in these mentioned nutrient forms, a magnesium supplement or multivitamins are prescribed. 

Magnesium supplements are available in the form of magnesium chloride, oxide and citrate.

Magnesium salts like Magnesium citrate and glycinate are well absorbed in the body and have great bioavailability with less effect on intestinal motility, great to include in your hair care routine.


Magnesium helps in the proper functioning of the heart, bones, teeth and all the organs of the body. Magnesium deficiency or low magnesium interrupts the process and gives rise to many complex diseases.

However, many clinical trials have shown that magnesium-rich foods or dietary magnesium supplements can help fix magnesium deficiency or low magnesium in the body.

Magnesium prevents calcification on the scalp, and promotes blood flow and hair growth, prevents hair loss. Massaging magnesium, intake of magnesium supplements or taking a shower with Epsom salts is beneficial for hair loss.

It is always recommended to consult a dermatologist before ingesting any kinds of supplements or tablets and keep a check on other nutrients like iron, zinc, potassium, etc.


  1. Office of dietary supplements - magnesium [Internet]. [cited 2022 Dec 16]. Available from:
  2. Boston 677 Huntington Avenue, Ma 02115 +1495‑1000. Magnesium [Internet]. The Nutrition Source. 2019 [cited 2022 Dec 16]. Available from:
  3. Goluch-Koniuszy ZS. Nutrition of women with hair loss problem during the period of menopause. Prz Menopauzalny [Internet]. 2016 Mar [cited 2022 Dec 16];15(1):56–61. Available from:
  4. Magnesium oil for hair: everything you need to know [Internet]. Byrdie. [cited 2022 Dec 16]. Available from:
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Bhashwati Deb Barma

Bachelor of Physiotherapy,M.S., Ramaiah Medical College, India

Bhashwati is a Physiotherapist with a firm grasp of Paediatric physiotherapy and is currently working with special children in the community.

She has 6 years of experience working in hospitals and non-profit organizations set up. As a writer by passion, she is putting up her practical and academic knowledge into her articles.

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