Many people who want to stop or reverse hair loss turn to special shampoos that are marketed to solve this problem. Nioxin shampoo is one of the most popular of these kinds of products. But does Nioxin work? Does it actually help to treat hair loss?
In this article, we will break down the key scientific information regarding Nioxin shampoo and give you a full Nioxin review so that you will know what to expect from it.
What is Nioxin Shampoo?
Nioxin shampoo is a hair care product that is a part of a larger suite of products offered by the Nioxin company. This company was founded in 1987 by Eva Graham. Most of Nioxin’s products, including Nioxin shampoo are designed to help people with alopecia and thinning hair to optimize scalp health in order to strengthen and regrow hair.
Nioxin Company History
Eva Graham was inspired to create the company after she lost about fifty percent of her hair following childbirth in the mid-1980s. She desperately wanted to find a way to get her hair back, so she started attending hair-related conferences and lectures in addition to reading everything that she could about hair regrowth. She also sought the help of dermatologists and other health professionals. One day she realized that “The scalp is simply an extension of the face: it needs gentle ingredients to breathe and function correctly.”
With this basic but powerful premise and with $500, Eva set to work building her own company. None of the products that were on the market at the time were helping her, so she decided to create her own. She founded Nioxin in 1987. While starting the company, she experimented extensively with botanicals and herbs at a desk in her bedroom.
Eventually, she teamed up with hairdressers, chemists, pharmacologists, and biologists. Within a few years, she had built a substantial network and a company with some high-quality products. Eva and her team successfully ran and grew Nioxin throughout the late 1980s, the 1990s, and the early 2000s. Nioxin was bought by Proctor and Gamble in 2008 for S300 million.
Today, Nioxin has a wide variety of products for men, women, and even teenagers. In 2019, Proctor and Gamble decided to move manufacturing for Nioxin products from Atlanta to Mexico. Speaking about this, Proctor and Gamble said that, the move “will enable P&G Salon Professional to create better long-term economics, generate additional manufacturing scale, a more robust research and development infrastructure and greater organizational capability.”
The Nioxin Systems
Nioxin products are organized by “systems.” Each system is designed to treat a certain type of hair: natural, colored, or bleached. Each system also contains three parts, a shampoo, a conditioner, and a leave-in conditioner. According to Nioxin, it is possible to get results just from using the shampoo. However, Nioxin recommends using all three products in the system in order to get the best possible results. Here is an overview of Nioxin’s systems:
Treatments for Light Thinning:
- System 1: For Natural Hair
- System 3: For Colored Hair
- System 5: For Bleached Hair
Treatments for Progressed Thinning:
- System 2 for Natural Hair
- System 4 for Colored Hair
- System 6 for Bleached Hair
The Nioxin systems are the primary products that are offered by the company. However, there are many products that the company offers in addition to the Nioxin systems products. For example, Nioxin also offers hair sprays, hair gels, scalp relief soothing serums, and vitamin recharging products with biotin and zinc for healthy hair growth.
Nioxin also has many shampoos, conditioners, and leave-in conditioners that are not a part of the flagship Nioxin systems 1-6. So, if you don’t want to get involved with the systems and just want to buy individual products for hair care, you can do that too on the Nioxin website
There are around 80 products in total available on the Nioxin website. You can see a full list of Nioxin’s products here.
Nioxin uses a wide variety of ingredients in its products including natural ingredients derived from plants and ingredients derived from chemicals. The ingredients vary from product to product and the products are not dependent upon one primary ingredient like many other brand products are.
Nioxin products include both plant-based and chemical-based ingredients. Some of the ingredients that are common in a number of Nioxin shampoo products include:
- Common hop
- Grapefruit extract
- Saw palmetto
- Stinging nettle
- Peppermint essential oil
- Wild mint essential oil
- Folic Acid
- Magnesium Ferment
Saw palmetto is a natural ingredient that is believed to prevent hair loss by blocking 5-alpha-reductase an enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT. DHT is one of the key molecules that are responsible for creating hair loss. There is limited research into the effectiveness of saw palmetto as an effective treatment for hair loss, but one study showed an 11.9 percent hair increase among 50 % of participants after 4 months of use.
There have also been studies that show that stinging nettle also blocks 5-alpha-reductase. So, this ingredient too, has the power to block DHT and thus help to stop hair loss. Between saw palmetto and stinging nettle alone, there are some quality natural ingredients in Nioxin shampoo. The other ingredients have hair loss prevention benefits as well.
- Sodium lauryl sulfate
- Salicylic acid
- Sodium laureth sulfate
Salicylic acid is included in Nioxin shampoo products because of its anti-dandruff capabilities. Studies have been done which proved the effectiveness of salicylic acid to reduce dandruff on the human scalp. Sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate are both used as cleansing and foaming agents and help to clean the scalp. That is the purpose that these ingredients serve in Nioxin shampoos.
Sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate have come under scrutiny in recent years because there have been claims that they can be skin irritants and can have a drying effect on skin.
Below shows the complete list of ingredients from the bottle of the Nioxin System 1 Shampoo Cleanser.
Water/Eau, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Sodium Xylenesulfonate, Sodium Chloride, Cocamide MEA, Sodium Benzoate, Salicylic Acid, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Menthol, Mentha Arvensis Leaf Oil, Tetrasodium EDTA, Methylparaben, Propylene Glycol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Cystine Bis-PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Lecithin, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, Serenoa Serrulata Fruit Extract, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Peel Extract, Saccharomyces/Magnesium Ferment, Blue 1, Biotin/Folic Acid/Cyanocobalamin/Niacinamide/Pantothenic Acid/Pyridoxine/Riboflavin/Thiamine/Yeast Polypeptides, Yeast Extract/Extrait De Levure, Saccharomyces/Iron Ferment, Saccharomyces/Copper Ferment, Saccharomyces/Silicon Ferment, Saccharomyces/Zinc Ferment, Phenoxyethanol.
Does Nioxin Really Work?
Nioxin shampoos are designed to do several things that can potentially lead to hair thickening and hair regrowth. These are: unclog pores on the scalp, increase blood flow to the hair follicles, reduce scalp inflammation, and block molecules that lead to hair loss such as DHT. All of these things can potentially help to prevent hair loss and possibly even lead to hair regrowth.
It is difficult to find scientific, peer-reviewed studies proving that using Nioxin for hair loss actually works in the way that many people online claim that it does. However, there is an abundance of positive Nioxin reviews that can be found on the internet such as this one. There are also compelling before and after video testimonials on the Nioxin website.
Further, many NIoxin products contain ingredients like saw palmetto and stinging nettle, which have been proven to boost hair growth in many people by blocking the formation of DHT, as mentioned above. The inclusion of these ingredients increases the chances that Nioxin products will actually work.
So, although it is not one-hundred percent guaranteed that Nioxin shampoos will prevent or reverse hair loss or hair thinning for everyone, there at least seems to be a good chance that it will provide at least some level of benefit to many people who use it. We think that it is worth a try at least if you have been asking yourself the question, “does Nioxin work?” Nioxin does consultations to give you recommendations for exactly which products to use for your situation. This can be beneficial as it gives you the best possible chance of success.
Nioxin Side Effects
Nioxin claims that there are no major side effects for its shampoo products. We find this easy to believe since most of the ingredients are either natural plant-based substances or are relatively gentle chemicals that are used in many other shampoo products.
However, for some people with sensitive skin, or who are prone to skin dryness, there is a chance that Nioxin shampoo might cause mild irritation because of its inclusion of chemicals like laureth sulfate. But, for the vast majority of the people who use this shampoo, there should be no side effects.
A one-month supply of the Nioxin System 1 Kit costs $29.99. You can buy the kit directly on Amazon. This makes it very easy to get it quickly, especially if you have Amazon Prime. So, if you just want to quickly start trying it to see if it works for you and if you like it, it is very easy to access and get started with.
There are currently 745 ratings on Amazon for the Nioxin shampoo product and it has an average rating of 4.3 out of five stars. This is a pretty good sign that the product is at least decent.
Many products that have come on the market for hair regrowth and hair strengthening fail within a few years or a decade. The Nioxin brand has been going strong for well over three decades and has achieved a valuation of hundreds of millions of dollars.
The fact that it has been succeeding for so long and has been acquired by Proctor and Gamble is highly indicative of at least some level of product effectiveness. Also, the costs are reasonable and the products are loaded with natural ingredients, a number of which have been scientifically proven to help hair regrowth and prevent hair loss. This combined with the plethora of positive reviews on the internet is very promising.
However, there are a few downsides of Nioxin products. For example, the products have to be used every day for best results. Also, with six different systems to choose from, some people will find this overwhelming and confusing. Many people probably accidentally buy the wrong product then have to go through the return process.
Further, the Nioxin products do contain some chemical ingredients that have questionable benefits. For some people who only like 100% natural products, this will be a deal-breaker.
But, all-in-all, we believe that Nioxin is worth a try. All that you have to do to know if it will work for you is to invest a few hundred dollars tops and try it for 3-6 months. This should be long enough to see if you will achieve any results from the products. If it does work for you, then it could be one of the best investments that you ever make. If it doesn’t, then you will be out a little bit of money. Considering that there are no major side effects from the products, we believe the cost-benefit ratio is fully in favor of trying the products.
Does Nioxin have products available for men and women?
- Yes, Nioxin makes products for both sexes. It also has products available for teenagers.
How many products does Nioxin offer?
- Nioxin offers roughly 80 products in total.
Where can I order Nioxin products?
- You can order it online from places like Amazon.com and Walmart.com. You cannot buy Nioxin shampoos directly from the Nioxin website.
How long does it take for results to be seen?
- If Nioxin is going to work for you, it will take anywhere from several weeks to several months to start seeing results.
How much does Nioxin cost?
- Nioxin products range from about $13 – $60. You can buy a Nioxin trial kit that includes a one-month supply of Nioxin products for $29.99 on Amazon.com
Does Nioxin use natural ingredients?
- Yes, most of the ingredients in Nioxin products are natural, but Nioxin does also use some chemical ingredients like salicylic acid.
How often should you use Nioxin products?
- You should use Nioxin products on a daily basis if you want to get results. This includes the shampoo, the conditioner, and the leave-in conditioner.
Jolene Anderson is the proud Co-Founder of Kiierr Hair Growth Experts. She has 11 years experience in natural healing, laser therapy hair loss. She’s a caring mom of 2 and passionate about helping others. Connect with her on LinkedIn: Jolene Anderson – Co-Founder @ Kiierr.com