Nioxin: Systems, Ingredients and Reviews

  • Nioxin products are salon quality vendibles used by professional stylists to thicken hair
  • The objective of the Nioxin brand is the cultivation of a healthy scalp, which the manufacturer claims fosters a healthier head of hair
  • If you are expecting miracles, Nioxin may not be the right treatment for you

What is Nioxin?

Nioxin products are salon quality vendibles used by professional stylists to thicken hair. Although not the least expensive hair care merchandise on the market, you can purchase a bottle of Nioxin shampoo for around 20 dollars.

Nioxin claims to make the most of the hair you still  have by removing dirt, debris, and DHT carrying oils that can clog your scalp and inhibit hair growth.

History of Nioxin

When Eva Graham lost half her hair after giving birth to her first child, she lamented the absence of a hair rejuvenating solution and made it her modus operandi to formulate a contrivance that would overcome hair loss. With just 500 dollars, and a vision, Graham partnered with biologists, chemists, pharmacologists, and hairdressers and began experimenting with herbs and botanicals that led her to develop her revolutionary hair care product, Nioxin, in 1987. Twenty-one years later, Proctor and Gamble purchased Graham’s company and the suite of products that help men and women suffering from thinning hair.

How Does Nioxin Work?

The objective of the Nioxin brand is the cultivation of a healthy scalp, which the manufacturer claims fosters a healthier head of hair. Featuring ingredients designed to enhance follicle thickness, Nioxin is also designed to simultaneously inhibit the conversion of testosterone into DHT (dihydrotestosterone)

DHT is an endogenous androgen sex steroid and hormone that activates the androgen receptors on hair follicles. Once these receptors are activated, scientists suspect that hair follicles start to grow more slowly while simultaneously trending towards becoming thinner and thinner until the presence of DHT eventually inhibits hair from being produced entirely.

Although it is believed that oral supplements, vitamins, and medications can reduce the negative impacts of DHT on hair, DHT blockers are not necessarily a sure-fire method to slow down or stop hair loss. And because DHT is present in the bloodstream, shampoo or conditioning treatments, such as Nioxin, that work on the surface to clean and fortify may not be capable of reaching the bloodstream to inhibit the effects DHT on hair.

1: Nioxin Cleansers: Rejuvenate the scalp by removing the daily residue that accumulates on both the scalp and hair.
2: Nioxin Scalp Revitaliser Conditioner: The conditioner is specially designed to improve your hair’s moisture balance.
3: Nioxin Scalp Treatment: Formulated with antioxidants, and botanicals, this topical treatment is designed to refresh the scalp.

Does Nioxin Work?

New York City dermatologist, Dr. Bobby Buka, does not recommend Nioxin. However, he does concede that it is the single leading product for anecdotal cases of improvement. “Patients will often come in and say ‘wow, this really made a difference.’ But because it is only sporadically helpful, I don’t recommend it.”

Dr. Buka insists that it is the lack of dermatological support for the product’s efficacy that rouses his skepticism, but adds. “For those who do experience results, I wouldn’t dream of telling them to stop using it.”

Westport, CT dermatologist Dr. Deanne Robinson concurs, “Nioxin’s claims are more about scalp health than hair growth. The photo-protectiveness of the sunblock that is present in Nioxin products protects the scalp against UV radiation and potential skin cancers that can be common with thinning hair.”

With that in mind, if you are expecting miracles, Nioxin may not be the right treatment for you. Especially when you consider that Proctor and Gamble explicitly state that Nioxin will not reverse hair loss. But what they do contend is that Nioxin will help you to make the most of the hair you still have by removing dirt, debris, and DHT carrying oils that can clog your scalp and inhibit hair growth.

Proctor and Gamble offer a variety of Nioxin formulated shampoos that the company describes as cleansers. Determining which cleanser is right for you depends on whether your hair is all natural, dyed, or chemically treated, and how advanced your hair loss is. Cleansers can be purchased alone or as parts of three-unit “systems” that include a conditioner and a topically applied supplement that is marketed as a scalp treatment.

Nioxin Ingredients

  • Sunscreen: The main active ingredient in Nioxin products is sunscreen. By including sunscreen in Nioxin, the makers ensure that your scalp is protected from sunburn, and as a consequence, creates a healthier scalp environment capable of stimulating fuller and healthier hair growth.
  • Vitamins: Nioxin is fortified with B vitamins designed to nourish your scalp and hair follicles. Often people with thinning or receding hair are deficient in such nutrients. The B vitamins included in Nioxin are pantothenic acid, B5, folic acid, B9, niacin, B3, biotin, B7, pyridoxine, B6, cyano-cobalamin, B12, and thiamine, B1.
  • Other Ingredients: Nioxin also includes the chemical ubiquinone, an antioxidant believed to boost the immune system that promotes a healthier scalp.

Nioxin Systems

Nioxin promotes six different types of hair loss management systems.

  • System 1: For normal to thin looking, natural hair.
  • System 2:  For noticeably thinning, natural hair.
  • System 3: For normal to thin looking, colored hair.
  • System 4: For noticeably thinning, colored hair.
  • System 5: For normal to thin looking, chemically-treated hair.
  • System 6: For noticeably thinning, chemically-treated hair.

Each system contains 3 products:

  1. Cleanser: Used to help remove follicle clogging sebum.
  2. Conditioners: Provides moisture to balance the hair on your scalp.
  3. Scalp Treatment: Adds antioxidants and botanicals to help thicken each strand of hair.

To gauge whether Nioxin is an effective method for your hair loss needs, you will have to use the product for at least six months to see if you respond well to the treatment. A year is considered an even better time frame to determine how well you respond.

Nioxin Side Effects

You’ll probably notice an invigorating feeling on the scalp after using Nioxin. Side effects include:

  • Scalp Irritation: Nioxin contains herbal and chemical compounds that some people may be potentially allergic to. The chemicals can result in scalp irritation, and flaking.
  • Redness of Scalp: Another widespread side effect that is observed while using Nioxin is redness of scalp. One of the compounds in Nioxin is the vitamin Niacin. It acts as a dilator of the blood vessels that may stimulate blood circulation on the scalp, as a consequence the scalp may appear red due to the increased blood flow. A temporary phenomenon, the redness usually subsided in a couple of hours.
  • Hair Loss: Nioxin is a scalp-cleansing agent that causes changes to your scalp when you first start using it. This can result in temporary hair loss during the first few weeks of use as the chemicals in Nioxin settle into your scalp. But if hair loss continues beyond two weeks, you should seek the advice of a doctor.

Nioxin Alternatives

Although many people swear by Nioxin, Dr. Buka notes that  it is unclear on a bio-rational level how the product works. “Its periodic success could be accounted for by the absorption of the product  into the hair shaft, but in general an oral route is more effective than a  short-term, topical contact.”

Rather than a bottle of shampoo to promote hair growth; Dr. Buka recommends Pastilles, a superfood he designed. “Pastilles is a great 60-day “superfood supplement” uniquely crafted to support normal structure and function of skin, hair, and nails. I formulated it by blending the best nutraceutical ingredients with the latest in proven dermatologic science, and the outcome has been fantastic — supported by the science and the results.”

Dr. Robinson is also inclined towards recommending oral supplements. “I am a fan of ISDIN’s Lambdapil Hair Density Capsules which are a nutraceutical supplement to support hair growth, containing B Vitamins, Saw Palmetto and Biotin.”

By spending a bit of time making small lifestyle changes, including a daily scalp massage and/or eliminating the sources of chronic inflammation from your diet, you increase your chances of making hair recovery more probable. And remember that emotional health plays a significant role in triggering unwanted inflammation. It is also important to note that the only FDA approved oral medication for hair loss is finasteride (Propecia).

Nioxin Reviews

According to the reviews of customers from several of the most popular online stores, the vast majority of consumers who purchased Nioxin had a positive experience.

Amazon: 4.5/5

Ulta: 4.9/5

Walgreens: 4.5/5

Verdict on Nioxin

Although Nioxin products are fortified with nutrients that are designed to augment the health of your hair, it is not a miracle treatment that will reverse hair loss. Instead, it aims to help you make the most of the hair that  you still have by both protecting and cleansing your scalp, and creating ideal conditions for thicker, fuller hair growth.

Treating Thinning Hair: Top Nioxin Products and Alternatives

Nioxin offers a range of hair care products that help to clean the scalp and encourage hair growth. While some prefer using Nioxin’s full kits, the brand’s Cleanser Shampoos are also popular options on their own.

What is most important is selecting the product that is right for you. Nixion offers six different systems, with each being specially formulated for different hair thinning situations. Systems 1 and 2 are made for natural hair, 3 and 4 for colored hair, and systems 5 and 6 for chemically-treated hair. Additionally, Systems 1, 3, and 5 have been crafted for those with mild hair thinning, while Systems 2,4, and 6 are ideal for those with advanced thinning.

Nioxin System 1 Cleanser Shampoo

Nioxin System 1 Cleanser Shampoo

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Nioxin’s System 1 Cleanser Shampoo is simplicity at its finest. If you are noticing the earliest signs of hair loss this cleanser offers you a an easy yet effective change to your hair care routine that may have a significant impact down on your hairline. By switching to Nioxin shampoo early in your hair loss situation, your scalp receives the proper care that it needs at this precarious tipping point. By cleaning away sebum, fatty acids and, environmental residue, you are working to keep your hair thick and strong for years to come.

Nioxin System 2 Cleanser Shampoo

Nioxin System 2 Cleanser Shampoo

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Have you been loosing the good fight by using ineffective products or simply hoping that your hair loss will stop on its own? It’s never too late to start using a powerful hair loss solution. Similar to the brand’s System 1 Cleanser Shampoo, Nioxin’s System 2 Cleanser Shampoo efficiently cleans your scalp. However, System 2 is specially formulated for mid to high levels of hair thinning and may help turn the tide of your hair loss battle.

Nioxin System 2 Kit

Nioxin System 2 Kit

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This three step kit amplifies the renewal power of Nixion’s System 2 formula. While the Cleanser Shampoo is present, the kit also includes a Scalp Therapy Revitalizing Conditioner and a Scalp & Hair Treatment, each formulated to best serve those with natural hair and medium to advanced thinning. When combined, the kit leaves your scalp and hair in an ideal condition for hair growth.

Nioxin System 4 Kit

Nioxin System 4 Kit

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Nioxin’s System 4 Kit delivers the same benefits as the brand’s System 2 kit while also helping to maintain hair color. Those with progressed thinning who choose to dye their hair will profit from System 4’s cleansing and rejuvenating properties all while enjoying the hair color of their choice.



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Created by New York City dermatologist Dr. Bobby Buka, Pastilles combines top natural ingredients using scientifically back knowledge. Pastilles helps not only hair growth, but also your skin and nail production. With vitamins and superfoods like vitamin D3, oceanic algae, and tumeric, this 60 day supply of Pastilles may provide you with not only a healthy hairline but improved collagen production and skin elasticity as an added bonus.

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