Bottles of nioxin products

Nioxin Shampoo for Hair Loss | 3 Big Reasons to Avoid It

Nioxin shampoo has been said to reduce hair loss, but is there any truth to these claims?

In this article, I’m going to review the good and bad points of Nioxin (as scientifically as possible) so that you can make an informed decision. This will include an in-depth look at its claims, as well as the potential scientific research to back them up.

I’ll also offer the possible side effects of Nioxin shampoo use.

Let’s get started!

​​By the way, if you want to find out ​about my hair regrowth story and the 10 steps that made my hair grow again you can click on my photo further down this article.

Why Nioxin?

The Nioxin Systems are a series of product kits designed to wash and cleanse the hair and scalp, and are marketed for the potential to protect the hair by decreasing scalp sebum, inhibiting the production of DHT, and increasing blood circulation within the scalp.

A man washing his scalp using homemade shampoo

While there are many potentially negative aspects to the Nioxin products (which I’ll discuss later), some of the ingredients have shown to have positive effects on hair health and the underlying causes of pattern baldness.

Many of the natural extracts may be able to promote overall skin health, reduce skin irritation and inflammation, and improve circulation in the scalp.

However, due to the significant amount of chemicals like selenium sulfide and natural extracts the likelihood of allergic reactions or negative side effects can be significantly increased.

For individuals who are considering the use of the Nioxin products it is important to consult with their physician to determine the most appropriate method for treating their hair loss, thinning hair, or receding hairline.

What is Nioxin Shampoo?

Nioxin shampoo and the Nioxin line of products were developed to help address issues of thinning and receding hair by making the scalp healthier.

Over time, the product itself has been altered and adapted from its original formula and the line of products was ultimately sold to a larger manufacturer.

For people who are considering the use of Nioxin products, it is important to do the appropriate amount of research on the product and separate information that pertains to the original product from the current product.

Ingredients of Nioxin Cleanser System

Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Sodium Xylenesulfonate, Sodium Chloride, Cocamide MEA, Sodium Benzoate, Salicylic Acid, Mentha Peperita (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, Biotin, Folic Acid, Cyanocobalamin, Niacinamide, Pantothenic Acid, Pyridoxine, Riboflavin, Thiamine, Yeast Polypeptides, Yeast Extract, Saccaromyces (Iron Ferment), Saccharomyces (Copper Ferment), Yellow 5, Phenoxyethanol, Blue 1, Red 33

What Are Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate?

A pair of hands filled with soap suds

Sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate are common detergents in a variety of personal care products, however they have come under some scrutiny due to some negative properties associated with them.

These chemicals have corrosive properties and are known as skin irritants (1). These products may leave skin dry and cause itchiness as well.

These substances are common allergens, and may be one of the leading causes of irritation caused by the use of Nioxin shampoos and cleansing products.

The Potential Benefits of Nioxin Shampoo Products

While I cannot personally back up any of these claims, these are the potential benefits of nioxin shampoo products as claimed by the manufacturer of the products and some of its promoters:

  • Reduced production of DHT, which is indicated in the negative impact of anagen production as it relates to the inability of the hair follicle to produce healthy hair (2).
  • Increased circulation and blood flow, helping the hair follicle receive the oxygen and nutrients necessary to effectively grow and maintain healthy hair
  • Reduced inflammation of the scalp and skin, which allows for appropriate blood flow and decreases the impact of poor skin health on the hair follicle
  • Reduced dandruff levels, which is a sign of unhealthy skin and over activity of the sebaceous glands
  • Anti bacterial and anti-fungal capacity promote overall scalp health and prevent instances of seborrheic dermatitis which is a common cause of hair loss
  • Reduced sensations of itching due to unhealthy skin, which prevents the likelihood that an individual will scratch and cause damage to the scalp and hair

That’s quite an impressive list, but does Nioxin really work?

Does Nioxin Shampoo Really Work?

Nioxin shampoo and the Nioxin systems do not claim to be a hair regrowth product, but are designed to manage a couple of the underlying causes of hair fall.

If an individual’s hair loss is directly caused by the lack of effective blood flow to the hair follicle or the white buildup of sebum caused by DHT, then it is possible for some hair to grow back if it is addressed early enough and significant damage has not been caused.

peppermint leaves and oil on a table

There is limited evidence to suggest that some of the ingredients of the Nioxin products may stimulate hair growth beyond the capacity for Nioxin to promote blood flow and reduce sebum levels on the scalp.

Ingredients such as peppermint oil have been shown to have properties that may promote healthier hair growth, however further research is required to confirm these findings and gain more sufficient understanding of the mechanism of action through which this operates (3).

How Does Nioxin Shampoo Work?

Nioxin shampoo products support the health of the scalp, which ultimately promotes the health of the hair follicle and leads to the growth of thicker, more healthful hair.

There are two ways in which the Nioxin products may promote scalp health: by interrupting the process of converting testosterone to DHT and by increasing the circulation of blood flow through the scalp and to the hair follicle (4).

Nioxin is marketed as containing numerous herbs and botanicals that promote skin health and increase the circulation of blood through the vessels that connect to the hair follicles.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at the potential benefits of Nioxin shampoo and how its variety of ingredients may contribute.

Helping Reduce Scalp DHT Levels

While there are many factors involved in genetic alopecia, one of the ones that’s most often talked about is DHT, or dihydrotestosterone. This is an androgen hormone produced in both males and females and which plays a role in sexual development and maturation (5).

There are many factors that play a role in hair loss, including genetics, environment, and lifestyle. But DHT has long been suspected by researchers to significantly impact the health of the hair follicle and, as a result, disrupt healthy hair growth (6).

In fact, high levels of DHT have been found on the scalps of men and women with Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA), the most common form of hair loss in men (7). This is known to trigger a process known as miniaturization, but it can also impact the sebaceous glans and lead them to overproduce a substance known as sebum. When this accumulates in the follicles, it greatly reduces the ability for healthy hair to be produced.

A few of the ingredients used in Nioxin shampoo – namely, stinging nettle and saw palmetto – have been shown to reduce DHT levels in the body (8, 9). However, their effects on scalp DHT need to be further explored.

So, can Nioxin shampoo block DHT? The answer isn’t clear. But it may play a role in the shampoo’s efficacy when it comes to lessening hair fall and increasing hair density.

Increasing Blood Circulation In The Scalp

The scalp is full of blood vessels which supply the hair follicle with the oxygen and nutrients required to effectively grow hair. However, there are certain processes that can ‘cut off’ this blood flow, and leave your scalp in worse shape.

As mentioned above, DHT plays a major role in AGA-related loss of hair. The androgen connects to the receptors on the hair follicle and, in affected individuals, this leads to inflammation and irritation.

If left untreated, this eventually turns into a long-term process known as hair follicle miniaturization (10).

Essentially, the inflammation becomes permanent and the hair strands will thin and shorten as a direct result.

This directly impacts hair growth, and it can even lead to irreversible baldness.

So, what does all of this have to do with blood vessels?

As miniaturization sets in, the connection between the hair bulb (the ‘bottom’ of the follicle) and the vessels becomes strained. This results in the Dermal Papilla (DP) losing its connection with the hair follicle altogether (11).

With no connection to the DP, the hair follicle can now no longer receive any blood flow. This means no oxygen and nutrient delivery, and no removal of buildup (including DHT).

The hair then becomes even thinner and more brittle, which increases its risk of falling out and breaking off.

Can this process be reversed?

Yes, but only if it’s treated within a reasonable amount of time.

Once the blood supply is reconnected, proper cell division can again begin to take place in the DP. This is required for healthy hair regrowth, and it should be your main goal when dealing with thinning and balding.

One ingredient in Nioxin, sodium citrate, is an effective anti-coagulant which allows for increased blood flow (12).

The Journal of General Physiology discusses the properties of sodium citrate, and determine that this chemical is an effective method for inhibiting coagulation without reducing the presence of calcium in the blood stream.

Since the sodium citrate is being applied topically to the scalp, the uptake of it into the circulatory system that supports the hair follicles will be minimal.

Due to the minimal uptake and the minuscule size of the capillary system in the scalp, this may be enough to promote circulation to the hair follicle without any significant negative impact.

Helping Reduce Buildup On The Scalp

Beyond the need for sufficient blood flow, the scalp and hair follicles are also prone to negative impact from the buildup of sebum or the effects of DHT on the anagen stage of hair growth.

The inclusion of urtica dioica extract (stinging nettle) in Nioxin products increase the capacity of these products to reduce inflammation on the scalp, which can ultimately promote better circulation in the scalp.

In the Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine, the anti-inflammatory effects of urtica dioica are studied on animal models, and the researchers conclude that this plant has considerable capacity to reduce and prevent inflammation (13).

Furthermore, the inclusion of menthol provides the enjoyable tingling sensation as well as reduces the sensations of itching associated with inflammation (14).

With reduced inflammation and decreased sensations of itchiness, there is reduced likelihood that an individual will scratch their scalp which can lead to physical damage to the skin and may lead to hair loss.

Nioxin products may be able to promote skin and scalp elasticity and lead to healthier skin where applied.

The results of a 2013 research study indicate that humulus lupulus (common hop)extracts are useful in preventing the ageing of skin and can even treat skin that has become loose or begun to sag or stretch (15). Similarly, the ingredient citrus paradisi (grapefruit) peel extract has been shown to be effective in its capacity to tone skin and promote overall skin health by reducing levels of yeast and lessen the chance for oily skin or the buildup of sebum (16).

The hair follicles which exist in the dermal layer of the scalp depend on the overall health of the skin to function appropriately and are prone to the buildup of bacteria, yeast, and sebum.

Natural Oils Have Antimicrobial Properties

An article published through the US National Library of Medicine suggests that the essential oils that are ingredients in these products may have antimicrobial capabilities (17).

The mentha peperita (peppermint) oil and mentha arvensis (wild mint) leaf oil have been shown to reduce concentrations of bacteria and have minimal fungicidal properties (18, 19).

The prevention of bacteria from growing on the scalp and within the hair follicle will promote healthier skin and hair follicles, which lessens the potential for negative impact on overall hair growth.

Another ingredient in the cleanser product, camellia sinensis (tea plant) leaf extract, may have anti-bacterial actions that further the abilities of this cleanser to promote positive skin and scalp health.

According to a study published by the Pharmacognosy Review, the camellia sinensis ingredient may be able to disrupt the proliferation of bacterium (20).

This conclusion is based on a variety of past studies, and has not been performed in any human trials to fully understand the capacity of it as it relates to skin or scalp health. In fact, the conclusion of this article determines that further study is required.

Salicylic Acid Helps Remove Sebum From The Scalp

A bottle of salicylic acid

Another ingredient in the Nioxin cleanser product, salicylic acid, is a common treatment for numerous skin conditions including acne, psoriasis, warts, dandruff, and seborrheic dermatitis (21, 22).

This ingredient is highly researched and widely available over the counter, and is included in a significant amount of skin treatment products.

The capacity to address dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis are the most relevant mechanisms of action for Nioxin’s ability to reduce the chances for hair thinning and recession.

While the targeted impact of the products is to promote circulation and reduce DHT levels, there may be some benefit from the other ingredients included in the formula.

These benefits are particularly related to the essential oils and natural products.

It is important to note that there is limited research on the effects of these ingredients as they related to the growth of hair, and that further investigation is need to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the Nioxin shampoo products.

Various Ingredients May Treat Seborrheic Dermatitis

According the journal Pharmacy and Therapeutics, seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that is highly common among the adult population (23).

Seborrheic dermatitis is also one of the most common causes of hair fall, due to the damage it causes to the scalp and the dandruff or scaling associated with this condition.

The mechanism of action for seborrheic dermatitis relates to the buildup of sebum on the scalp and within the pores, and is associated with the activity of the fungi Malassezia.

Nioxin shampoo addresses both the buildup of sebum on the scalp and within hair follicles, and reduces the proliferation of fungi such as Malassezia.

For these reasons, the regular use of this brand of shampoo may reduce the onset or recurrence of cases of seborrheic dermatitis.

Its Antifungal Properties Create a Healthier Scalp

As mentioned above, some of the ingredients in Nioxin products may have antifungal properties, which may promote the overall health of the scalp and reduce the likelihood of associated hair issues.

The colonization of yeast and fungus on the scalp can lead to skin irritation and even conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis (24). But beyond that, one of the most common causes of hair thinning (when AGA is not involved) is trichomycoses, a fungal infection of the hair shaft (25).

Some of Nioxin’s ingredients, such as peppermint and wild mint, can make the scalp inhospitable to bacterial and fungal spores. This means it may be useful in treating such infections.

Potential Side Effects & Reactions of Nioxin Shampoo

The significant amount of ingredients, particularly the use of extracts from a variety of herbs and botanicals, increases the likelihood of allergic reactions to Nioxin products.

The cleanser also contains harsh detergents, sodium lauryl and sodium laureth sulfate, which may lead to irritation of the scalp and hair follicle potentially causing damage to the hair.

If you begin to experience any of the side effects of Nioxin use, it is important to discontinue the utilization of this product and consult a medical professional if the reactions are severe.

The list of possible signs or symptoms of side effects caused by the use of Nioxin shampoo includes:

  1. Redness or inflammation
  2. Itching
  3. Swelling
  4. Flaking
  5. Tenderness
  6. Dry, brittle hair

If you experience any of the above symptoms, it’s recommended that you stop use of Nioxin products immediately.

Reviews of Nioxin Shampoo

The combination of an herbal scent and the peppermint oils create a pleasant shampoo for daily use, and users often report enjoying the tingling sensation associated with the peppermint oil extracts.

As a daily use shampoo, these products also tend to provide a clean head of hair that smells good and does not appear oily or unhealthy.

Typically, users are left with a feeling of cleanliness and freshness they associate with the pleasant scent and cooling sensations of the extracts and the menthol.

According to a variety of users, the changes made to the ingredients and production of Nioxin products has decreased its functionality and user satisfaction.

The production of Nioxin products has moved outside of the United States, where it was originally produced, and is now made in Mexico.

According to long time users of the Nioxin products, the changes that have been made have led to an inferior product that is not similar to the original formulation in contents and results.

What Is The Cost of Nioxin Shampoo?

In order to achieve the best results from the product, it is recommended that people use the full array of products in the Nioxin system.

A single month’s supply of the entire Nioxin system can cost upwards of $40 USD, which can become quite expensive as the manufacturer recommends daily use of the products for the best results.

It is possible to utilize just the daily cleansing product, which does contain the most effective active ingredients and may address the two most important components of reducing the production of DHT and promoting the circulation of blood flow to the hair follicles.

When compared to other products on the market that have similar effects and address the same issues, Nioxin products are one of the more expensive options available.

The products are also intended for more frequent use than comparable products, despite having similar reported outcomes when compared to products that are used less often. These factors will lead to a much higher annual expense than alternatives that are offered.

Conclusion

There are plenty of products on the market that claim to improve the health of the scalp and reduce hair fall as a result.

If you are considering the use of Nioxin products it is important to fully understand this product and its intended uses. This ensures you will have reasonable expectations.

Do you have questions about Nioxin shampoo? Drop them in the comments below!

92 thoughts on “Nioxin Shampoo for Hair Loss | 3 Big Reasons to Avoid It”

  1. After using barely 4 times, Nioxin Scalp Therapy System #3 Shampoo and Conditioner that my hairdresser recommended, my scalp started itching when I had just washed my hair, and I noticed an enormous loss of hair, and I mean a lot! I was using Argan Oil shampoo before, as well as Argan Oil penetrating oil from time to time, not at each washing though.

    I know without a doubt that I hardly saw any hair loss with the latter shampoo but felt that it was not hydrating my scalp as it should. This is the only reason why I went with Nioxin. It did not work for me and I will not continue using it. I even told my hairdresser just that and advised him to explain the side effects to people before they purchase the products and not lose $60 like I did because, no, the hairdresser is not reimbursing me!!

    • Hi Annie, thanks for your feedback. This is really interesting. Clear evidence for people to avoid Nioxin. I would recommend making your own shampoos that contain all-natural ingredients instead.

      • About 3 years ago I used this product while staying at my sisters house during thanksgiving. While in the shower I used the nioxin product my sister had for “thickening.” I applied the shampoo, then the conditioner as I would any other shampoo. However as I started to apply the scalp treatment my hair immediately started to fall off. I screamed for my sister to come into the bathroom. Once she opened the door she yelled, “Hey are you using my Nair. It smells like you are. ” I just started panicking.
        It was such a dramatic experience and for the next three years I had to cut my hair twice a month because it was so weak a uneven. My scalp was visibly burned on my forehead right on my hair line. I had serval bald spots but the product also managed to burn my hair off. It was as if someone took a pair of scissors and cut my hair with a blind fold on. Now my hairs long and my natural curls are back.
        Please I recommend everyone never to use this product.

        • I have been using it for 5 weeks and it is working great. No negative side effects whatsoever and hair is healthier and appears to be getting thicker. Very satisfied. I recommend trying it.

    • Hey! Did you notice hair loss after just a couple uses? I swear nioxin used to work for me but the last year or so I keep going back to it and each time, I see significant hair loss right away

  2. After using this product for about 3 weeks I finally realized why I was breaking out so bad on my face with red bumps, it was Nioxin products. I even went to a dermatologist to figure out what was going on with my skin that hadn’t looked so bad since puberty. My delay in associating the Nioxin was that I had used it a long time ago with no issues. As previously stated by another, ingredients changed and I’ve gotten older, so unfortunately I had a bad allergic reaction. I still have my receipts so I am returning the products to the retailer. Hope to clear up soon to what I used to look like before using Nioxin. Ugh!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Hi there I went to my usual hair stylists and after my colour she washed my hair in Nioxin without me knowing. I smelt the peppermint never smelt it before and asked what it was she told me the name of it and I thought it was for calming the scalp after all over colour. Will my hair not grow or fall out?

          • I just bought this product I was so happy to try it out…it made my hair feel like straw after I washed my hair then the conditioner made my scalp feel tingly…after got out the shower to brush my hair it was a huge poof ball !! My hair was so dry and coarse! Took me awhile to straighten my hair and put oil to calm the frizz… horrible experience ! I tried to take the products back however the beauty supply store said the have a no exchange or refund policy. .I spent $72 for nothing 🙁

  3. What would you recommend to someone with very thin, border line balding on the crown due to chemo and total body radiation 15 years ago? I’ve tried Nioxin many years ago and a beautician told me to stop using it as it was drying my hair and scalp out. I currently use powders and spray-away gray to cover my extremely thin area on the crown. PLEASE HELP! Thank you

    • Hello Nettie, I would recommend a shampoo that doesn’t contain chemicals. Our Grogenix Shampoo fits the bill and contains a number of proven hair stimulating natural extracts.

  4. Hello, after using nioxin started a rhinitis allergy. The second time of use when I put the kit 2 days later began a huge allergy in my face, I was very affected, in the hospital’s emergency I was given allergy and antibiotics,
    Doctor talked about laryngitis, sinusitis and severe allergy in the eyes and whole face. A week ago with medication I still feel very bad. The throat seems to catch fire. The airways are all obstructed. I have good health and I have never had anything like it. I can not prove it was Nioxin. But I was very well and after use occurred all that picture. My ears are deafening buzzing. I do not see much improvement with antibiotics, it leaves a lot of yellow mucus looking like infection. Certain moments begins to burn throat eyes, it is a horror. I hope nobody goes through this. A nightmare. I do not know if it was coincidence to use nioxin and this happens.
    But I felt compelled to comment on why I was looking into this matter.

    • Hello Marisa, this sounds terrible. It sounds like a really strong allergic reaction. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  5. I’ve been using this product for years on the recommendation of my hairdresser. Always have had very thin hair and never seen any positive response in my hair. However, lately my scalp is itchy. I’m torn on if I should continue using.

    • Hi Jennifer, it’s a tough question. If you haven’t seen much positive response from using it then maybe you shouldn’t continue. The problem with these products that use chemicals is that they can help in the short term, but over the long term the chemicals disrupt the natural balance of the hair and scalp. They can negatively affect the delicate balance of pH and good bacteria on the scalp. I always advocate a natural solution. For you I would recommend trying a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar no more than 2x per week. See how it goes.

    • Actually my hair is also falling alot. I am not sure if it is because of nioxin or something else? So should i stop using nioxin or not?

  6. I’m so happy I read this article I’ve been using Nioxin. And not happy my hair used to be OK now I’m stopping this products immediately..thank you so much I’m gonna spread the word this is not very good.

  7. Thank you so much for this information.I was considering using it and now will not! Has anyone heard about the mona t system?

  8. Thank you for the information on Nioxin. I was just about to purchase this product. I have very sensitive skin and this is probably not the right product for me.

    • Thanks Val! I would definitely recommend steering away from this kind of a chemical product, especially if you have sensitive skin. Incidentally, I used to have really sensitive skin as well, one of the things that really helped my skin, and stopping it from being really dry, was to start drinking raw goat’s milk kefir. See if you can get hold of some in your area.

  9. Just used this product last weekend as recommended by hairdresser for my thinning hair. Got extremes headaches for two following days! Gonna try your natural ingredient hair wash.

  10. I went thru chemo and lost all my hair. I started using Nioxin because I was told it promotes hair growth. I didn’t really see/feel side effects you mentioned but want to keep my hair healthy. Any suggestions for me for shampoo and conditioner? Thx for all the info, Diane

    • Hi Diane, I would definitely recommend a shampoo that is completely free from chemicals. Some of the ingredients in Nioxin are known endocrine disruptors and possibly carcinogenic.

  11. Really interesting article, i was away to purchase this for my 12yr old daughter whos hair is falling out from the roots in clumps. Have you any recommendations for this?

    • Hi Jam, I definitely would not recommend giving Nioxin for your daughter to use. You must use an all-natural shampoo instead of one with chemicals.

  12. I’ve tried their system for 6 months and haven’t noticed any improvement at all. My hair might have even gotten worse. Now I am going to try the Grogenix range instead.

  13. You sounded okay until you said something was full of chemicals as if it was the coming of a nuclear holocaust..everything is a chemical, water is a chemical you are a bunch of chemicals, your natural products are full of chemicals..lettuce contains chemicals..nothing worse than stupid people

    • Hi Jane, thanks for your comment.

      How about the ingredients in this shampoo that are known endocrine disruptors? Fine to go on your skin but you wouldn’t want them inside your body right? Well that’s where most people go wrong. The skin/blood barrier isn’t impermeable. Just try putting raw garlic on your stomach and cover with a hot, wet towel. Soon, your breathe will smell like garlic because some of those molecules pass through the skin and into the blood.

      So let me ask you a question… would you eat a teaspoon of Nioxin shampoo knowing whats in it?
      Probably not!
      So why would you put it on your scalp?
      Those ingredients will go through the skin and into your blood.

      Not that I would recommend anyone trying it, but I have consumed all the ingredients in the Grogenix Shampoo.

      To save time I use the word chemical to define something that you wouldn’t put inside your body, of course in scientific terms everything is a chemical but that’s just the way I use it in this context for brevity.

      Thanks
      Will

  14. Hey Will, I am so glad I read your article about this product nioxin the hairdresser that worked in the Wal-Mart shop was highly recommended me for these products cause I have loss all my hair at the top of my head from central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia. Dermatologist couldn’t save the hair I had left. But they didn’t tell me i was gonna lose the rest of my hair.its been 10 years now. The hairdresser telling me she is guarantee my hair to grow and get the inflammation out .

  15. I have female pattern hair loss. I tried Rogaine for 1 year and it didn’t regrow hair but helped retain what I had. I was still shedding and in late July the shedding picked up. I also had swelling around the eyes and black circles. I stopped Rogaine and now the shed is worse. I was just about to purchase Nioxin. I color my hair. Do you have any suggestions? My temples are almost bald and the shed is around 300 on days that I wash.

    • Firstly I would recommend not colouring. This can severely damage the hair and scalp. Have you optimised your diet for hair nutrition. You can check out our meal plan which is free if not. Nutrition is the first step. Sorry to hear about the side effects of the Rogaine, you can learn more about them here. I definitely would not recommend Nioxin. There are so many chemicals in this shampoo, the long term damage to your scalp and your health is not worth any short term benefits. Have you looked into our Grogenix Shampoo which is all-natural?

  16. I have female pattern hair loss. I tried Rogaine for 1 year and it didn’t regriw hair but helped retain what I had. I was still shedding and ladt July shedding picked up. I also had swelling around the eyes and black circles. I stopped Rogaine and now shed is worse. I was just about to purchase Nioxin. I color my hair. Do you have any suggestions? My temples are almost bald and the shed is around 300 on days that I wash.

  17. Dear Will, I totally agree with everything you have said. Thank you for writing this article about Nioxin. My hair dresser whom I dearly love has been pushing Nioxin products on me for years saying how wonderful it is. I’m totally into health and nutrition since early seventies although I have not used this product that long. I have always felt this to not be the best thing for me. I knew there were chemicals in it, but could never find info on it like what you wrote. Over the years, I have used it but have also looked for other natural products. I’ve never really had reactions others mentioned. I have had some other health problems not related to this shampoo. But maybe they are related?? I can now tell my hair dressed I just can’t use it because of the chemicals in it. One thing I was a little surprised about that you didn’t mention is the effect the thyroid has on hair loss. Being hypothyroid (low thyroid) is a great cause of hair loss. Times that my hair has fallon out and my eyebrows got thin was when my medicine was too low or I had not been taking it at all yet. Unfortunately, a lot of doctors Do Not know the proper tests or what the numbers should be and then say it is just aging which infuriates me. There now is a lot of information on internet and in books so people can be more informed. I’ve worked with indigenous cultures and you are so right. I’ve never seen an older indigenous person who has eaten their native food all their life, not the standard American diet, with loss of hair. They are beautiful people with thick white hair. Some even keep their color which I find amazing. Thank you very much putting up this information.

    • Hello Patricia, thanks for your comment. We really appreciate you sharing your experience. That’s so interesting what you say about indigenous cultures. We do have a few other articles about thyroid and hair problems. I totally agree that when a doctor puts something down to ‘aging’ that really is lazy and incompetent of them. I’ll never accept that getting older means hair loss and other medical problems. That’s just the mainstream view for now, but I think it will change in the next ten years.
      Will

  18. I used the original Nixon about 18 years ago and it worked wonders on my hair and scalp. My hair grew long and thick, and when I would go to the hair dresser, they would tell me gouge soft my hair was. Well now to the present. This current Nixon product IS NOT THE SAME. I haven’t seen any good results on my hair so I stopped using it. Whatever they did to this product, is a shame. Many, many moons ago, it grew my hair and my daughter’s hair and worth every penny I paid for it back then. Whatever it is now, they can keep it.

    • Just purchased the system 3 from Amazon, but after reading these comments, I’m afraid of using it. I did notice that it is produced in Mexico, which freaks me out as well. Do you think I would be better off finding another product, or should I give it a try? Thanks

  19. Can’t thank you enough for this information on Nioxin – wow. I have been using this product and it’s whole system for several years. No longer!! I am an older woman of the old school and not aware. Thank goodness for my learning to use the internet and gleening info I never knew I could. What a lifesaver! I will now look up Grogenix Shampoo. And learn to mix my own as well.

  20. Does this work to maintain hair growth or improve it even if taking a medication like lisinopril which may be causing my hair to fall out more?

  21. I got half way through and all you were doing was repeating the same facts over and over. And also, if Nioxin contains skin irritants and itches so bad then how does it soothe the scalp and make hair grow?? I couldn’t tell if you were being a Nioxin spokes person or bringing the product down to promote your product better? One more thing I’m gonna leave you with, hair dye has way way worse things in it and parents let their child get their hair dyed. So if a 6 year old can rock purple hair, I’m pretty sure this product isnt going to hurt anyone who’s old enough to be using it. We live in a world of chemicals, why are you worried now?

    • Hi Kay, it’s an interesting point about the hair dye. Honestly hair dye is going to seriously damage your hair. Anyone who is prone to baldness should seriously avoid it. At the end of the day this article it just my opinion. I try to avoid chemicals like these. After all, the skin/blood barrier is thin and chemicals can easily go through and into the blood. I personally wouldn’t want most of those ingredients on my scalp.

  22. Hi, I’m a Black female having some thinning with my hair. Looks like it’s making a turnaround, but slow going in a few small places. For the most part not too bad. I do have chemically treated hair and I have it colored with permanent hair dye powder. I forget the name, but it needs no developer, no peroxide, or ammonia. My stylist uses Nioxin 4 occasionally from time to time on me and it seemed liked it helped a lot, but now my hair is dry, brittle, dry scalp, flaking. Is the hair growth worth the side affects? I guess I s/h started off with telling you my hair shredded a great deal and thinned when my mom had cancer and I am an only child, father deceased. I’m grown, but very very close to my mother. The sheer worry brought my hair out by the hand fulls at first, I was blessed to have hair on my head. She’s cancer free now 2 years, but the aftermath on my hair is still catching up a bit. I had really really thick hair ALL my life until her illness. Disease diagnosis now Dementia for my mom. I’m devastated once again, I can’t catch a break neither can she of course. So do you feel I should leave the Nioxin alone? And if so replace with what to take to my salon once a week? My stylist keeps telling me not to worry so much that hair takes time to grow back and approaching 50 in 2.6 years some thinning now would be normal even though i have had enough hair for 2-3 ppl all my life. Just hard to accept, but I am going thru a lot taking care of a elderly parent alone. One more question….would you recommend a rinse over permanent hair dye in my situation? Thank you

    • Hi Cindy, it sounds like stress is the primary cause of the hair shedding. Of course there is no easy way to deal with it. However, one small tip I can recommend for stress induced hair loss is breathing exercises. Here’s an article I wrote about the topic. Personally I prefer not to use shampoos like Nioxin because of the ingredients, but it’s your decision. Don’t worry too much about that though, focus on trying to alleviate stress through breathing.

  23. Hi Will, Not sure if you can answer this but how quickly can any side effects reverse when you stop using products like Nioxin ? Or is long term damage done that can’t be reversed ?

    Thanks Nicky

  24. I was on antibiotics last may 2017 for illness (docxycyline) and by the end of August 2017 my hair started shedding. It is now August 2018 and it’s still excessively shedding.i have gone to drs. But no one believes that the antibiotic is the cause. I have used nioxin and then stopped and then just purchase it again. But I am not sure about using it again- I don’t think my hairloss can be helped by this product but I really don’t know what to do. Any suggestions?

  25. Hi Will, I have found all the information here really helpful. I have a young daughter with stunning red ringlets to her waist but after a recent family holiday where we now realise the swimming pool chemicals were too strong or something not right in there she has been losing handfuls of hair after each wash for just over the last month . It’s terrifying how fast this has happened. Even just simple brushing results in a small handful but after washing and brushing it’s much worse. It took a while to really notice the impact but I’d say she’s already lost a third of her hair volume and it shows no signs of slowing. I normally use sulphate free shampoos and conditioners on her hair as I have thinner blonde hair but I really don’t know what to do. My hairdresser recommended a clarifying shampoo to remove any residual chlorine but also said that would strip her hair of its natural oils. My question is after over a month is the chlorine or pool chemical still in her hair and if so what is the best course of action at this stage. I have been using my hair masks and oils and sulphate free shampoos from Pureology and L’anza on it but it’s still feeling dry and coming out. Her once lustrous volumous mane of hair is looking very different. I use apple cider vinegar & coconut oil in daily life so very open to all natural ideas. I recently restored my gut naturally and we are very good with diet so would be really interested to have some advice if you wouldn’t mind,
    Many thanks
    Jackie

    • Hi Jackie, thanks for the comment. Sorry to hear about this, it seems like an unusual case, but yes in general I try to avoid chlorinated swimming pools. I would say there is a really good chance of the lost hair regrowing slowly but it is worrying that the loss has continued over a month after. I don’t know of anything specifically you can try. We sometime recommend a salicylic acid peel but this is more about removing DHT. I would stay focused on cleansing the scalp . Maybe a probiotic hair wash would help, something like this: https://www.chucklinggoat.co.uk/product/break-out-kefir-lotion/. However I’ve never tried it myself so I couldn’t be sure.

  26. Nioxin-Wow I should have done my research yes itchy scalp probably due to all the bloody chemicals in this stuff. My hair is falling out not impressed Nioxin’s reason for this-the reason for this is its old and dying hair that’s why its falling out and will be replaced with new hairs. NO I don’t want my hair to fall out.
    I used to only use baking soda on my hair for years. and then wanted my hair to grow so started with this stupid product.
    Will stop using Nioxin immediately

  27. Nioxin leaves my scalp itchy and actually makes my hair fall out at the roots. I could run my fingers through my hair and pieces would just fall out. So, I stopped using it. I noticed my hair had stopped falling out. Then, I decided to do a trial test just to see. I used Nioxin this morning and sure enough about 15 hairs fell out while I was conditioning. And now, my scalp is itchy. The Nioxin is going in the trash!

  28. Thank you for your informative information.
    Very upsetting reading about the possible side effects of sodium laurel sulfate and other harmful chemicals in nioxin.
    I have been researching for days as to why I am having an allergic reaction resulting in hives. I am wondering if it could be an allergic reaction to the nioxin thinnng hair products that I have been using for 6 weeks. After reading your research, I am thinking there may be a corralation for the hives as a result of the ingredient sodium laurly sulfate (and the potential of 1,4 dioxane if the sodium laurly sulfate is contaminated. ??? lord, I hope not.
    I have been using nioxin products for fine thining hair…: the shampoo, conditioner, the intense treatment and the intensive therapy Hair Booster for about 6 weeks.
    I have gone over all products and foods that’ve eaten since the hives appeared to
    After observing my scalp the past 2 days, I have noticed that the area where I have put the intensive hair booster and scalp treatment is red and very dry..almost scaly around the hairline and down a few inches on my forehead. Also a red splotch in the front where my hair is the thinnest. I was using the intensive hair booster and scalp therapy twice daily as direction. I’ve stopped using the product after hives developed. I am taking OTC benadrly and allegra since last Wed. Symptoms are improving, but I am concerned as the hives have gone on now for 6 days. Have you heard of this allergic reaction from others? I will not be using any nioxin products from now on. I am wondering if the product has to run it course through my vascular system before my hives completly go away. ??
    Any thoughts from you would be appreciated. Thank you, James Harrington

    • Hi James, sorry to hear this. As you know I am not a fan of Nioxin due to it being full of chemicals. It could well be these causing your problems. If it was me I would totally look for something a bit more natural. Our Grogenix shampoo is a good option but the choice is yours to make. I would expect things to clear up for you shortly after you stop using it. Thank you sharing your comment with us. Hopefully people can learn from your experience.

  29. Would your all natural shampoo help with hair that is broken and in serious need of repair due to braiding and other hair styles that just tore my daughters hair up? Thank you

  30. I’ve been using Nioxin shampoo and conditioner for 9 years, and I love it. No side effects or allergic reactions. I lost my hair due to chemotherapy for breast cancer 10 years ago, and my hair has grown back longer and thicker. I use #4 shampoo and conditioner. My oncologist and hairdresser both recommended it!

  31. I have thinning hair and dandruff and wanted to try this product again as I used about 20 years ago and loved it. Since I’ve been using it about 3 months I’ve noticed an increase in my hair loss by about three times! I will stop using this product 🙁

  32. I used NIOXIN and I have Seborrheic Dermatitis hoping I would clear my condition. It made my condition WORSE thanks for nothing. Will tell everyone NOT TO USE. What a waste of money .

  33. I googled Nioxin and found your article, which was very helpful to me. My interest was piqued because after using Nioxin for a short time, I noticed my hair visably thinning and found my scalp to be very itchy. In addition, I experienced some lesions on my face. I am obviousl allergic to the product and intend to stop using it immediately. Thank you for the info!

  34. Not only did my Nioxin make my noticeably thinning hair regrow – it was also cleared up chronic scalp folliculitis. The folliculitis was extremely severe which resulted in cellulitis and a week’s stay in hospital.

    I battled with this condition along with the embarrassing hair loss for over 5 years. I tried everything. Natural, chemical, change of diet, creams, supplements – you name it. Every doctor I went to was useless in helping me.

    Nioxin is the only thing that works.

  35. Hi Will
    I have tried Nioxin in the past had no negative reaction to it but no positive either. It made my hair strands dry and brittle, not good for thin naturally curly hair . I recently started using Monat with the same purpose as Nioxin to cleanse scalp without the harsh chemicals but also benefits the actual hair strands . I researched it to the best of my ability for months before trying it , despite some controversy and claims made by some. Monat can only be purchased through a sponsor like myself so direct marketing might be why there’s some controversy . Monat has worked amazing for me . Was wondering if you’ve heard of Monat and what your thoughts on the non toxic ingredients are ?

  36. I’m told that Nioxin isn’t the cause, but about a week after I started using it, I started having very low blood pressure and very bad head aches. Been using it for 2 months now and haven’t seen any difference in my hair except that it’s a lot dryer.

  37. I’ve been on nioxin 2 three step process for several years and haven’t seen much hair growth at all, tried going off of it now for 8 weeks and lost about half my hair.
    What would you recommend to use ( more natural product if possible!)to start regrowing more hair?

  38. So interesting, my scalp can be terribly itchy and get lots of pimples. When I use nioxin it is really helpful for my scalp. I can’t remember why I stopped using it last fall as things were fine. However after I stopped my hair got really thin the inch around my forehead in the front? I have never had hair thinning problems before? So can this actually cause hair loss? I am so confused. I have never had anything but good responses to this from my scalp. But not sure why when I stopped I developed this issue. Although in the last 4-5 months prior to stopping I was using it every shampoo, as opposed to just every third time like I had in the past when I used it. Any thoughts? I hope I explained well enough. Can Nixon actually cause the thing it is supposed to treat. I love this product, but I love my hair more.

  39. So what are good products to use for hair loss such as shampoo conditioner serum, etc? Is Rogaine a good product to use for female hair loss with family history and use of thyroid and blood pressure medications?

  40. Long story long:
    I used Rogaine works until you stop using. It says not to use it near an open flame. Duh.. it has propane & butane in it. Who wants to put lighter fluid on their hair? Minoxidil is poisonous around cats!
    My hairdresser suggested that I try castor and a carrier oil (to thin) it. It’s a bit labor intensive, because I cover it with a shower cap and a head wrap for 4 hours. The oil sinks into your hair.
    I have used it for less than 2 months…and! I have baby hairs growing in my “landing strip” on the front sides of my hair that usually fall out or break off.. I’m getting comments.
    My hair shines!
    I shake up 3 T castor oil (cold-pressed and hexane-free, lots of brands that do not stink, cheap on Amazon)
    and 1 T jojoba oil.)
    . You can use coconut oil or other kinds of carrier oil.
    This is not an infomercial for castor oil. I’m not selling anything.

  41. I have been using nioxin 2 for 3 weeks, at first I noticed my hair was very dry , but I liked the minty smell and the way my scalp felt . Now 3 weeks later my hair is falling out and my scalp is itchy, I’ve noticed my front crown and scalp is thinner than before , I just touch my hair and a few strands fall out , I also have had acne around my nose, I didn’t think it was the nioxin , but now realize it probably is . Another product straight to the trash, I hope my hair grows back , I’m going back to using coconut oil only if needed for dryness. Very sad because my hair was fine , but recently have moved and my diet is not good right now , hope this helps someone . I have an allergy to sulphur , an ingredient in the supplement MSM.dont know if there is a connection but the result was severe acne also, and in the same spots.

  42. My wife is a transplant recipient and started using Nioxin after transplant to help her thinning hair issue due to medications. It seems to have helped and her hair is much thicker and growing better now. Everyone’s skin is different so besides actual physical health it is hard to have a once size fits all solution it seems to similar issues.

  43. Hi Will,

    why is it that it’s sells very well and for years? Doesn’t that mean it works for most people and maybe not for others? Everyone’s chemistry is different, I believe that what works for some doesn’t work for others.

  44. My old hairdresser recommended me to use it. It has completely RUINED my hair. The first year, I didn’t notice much difference, it helped with some of my hair shedding. Then all of a sudden my hair started coming out in huge clumps.. I’m only 33 and do not dye my hair and don’t wash it every day. Since using Nioxin I have lost almost all my hair and what has grown back in is now a horrible texture, coarse, dry, brittle, breaks off and it even made it like a curly texture. I’m mortified to leave the house. It’s all different lengths and thickness, I lost so much hair I don’t even have enough for a ponytail. I just had a consultation with a stylist and he said to stop immediately. I’m going to have to cut off all my hair and wait years for it to regrow. I’ve never had short hair, this product is awful. I would NOT recommend. I just pray my hair grows back to normal and it didn’t completely ruin it.

  45. hi there, i have been using Nioxin system 2 for over a year, my hair is very baby fine, so you can see the scalp, Nioxin has improved the volume slightly, I have vitiligo, and the whole of my scalp has recently gone completely white, I’m not sure if its the vitiligo spreading, or Nioxin bleaching my scalp, no other reaction apart from that, I rang their support, and of course they have had no instances of people reporting the same problem, your thoughts would be appreciated, thanks

    • Hi Art,

      We’ve never heard of instances of Nioxin bleaching the scalp, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t occurred.

      Of course, since you do have a condition where that may happen, then I’d say it’s more likely to be the vitiligo.

      Regards,

      Steph

  46. I have never had a problem with nioxin. I do; however, have a thyroid problem that has attributed towards hair loss snd nioxin helped control that.

  47. So i am on somewhere around week 2-3 of using Nioxin. Sometimes my hair appears to be thicker only after i get out of the shower. I have just started to notice an increase of shedding all over my head not just on the front where i was concerned for hair loss. I would say im inbetween a nw2-nw3. Now my hair is falling out all over in very obvious amounts. I have read that nioxin can cause some shedding because its unclogs pours so certain hair that was stuck in sebrum build up are being realeased. Should I keep using it and hope that this shedding is a postive factor like mioxidil or should i give it up. After reading alot of negative experiences im leaning towards giving it up. Also these hairs being shed do have some white bulbs would that be normal or abnormal just wondering if the hair loss is directly corelated to the nioxin im assuming it is

  48. I’m a woman in my 60s and getting increasingly concerned about how thin my hair was getting, I hate seeing my shiny scalp through the hair. Nioxin has worked really well for me, my scalp feels great, it felt sort of tender for a while but that has gone. I have to be careful as I don’t like the sticky feeling if I put too much of the treatment on but I can’t see my scalp anymore so I am happy.

  49. Been using Nioxin 4 shampoo and conditioner about 6 month. Saw some regrowth but mostly I am seeing, rather feeling, extremely dry hair. I no linger use the conditioner as it left my hair dry and am ready to stop the shampoo for the same reason. Brittle does not even come close to desctibing it

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