Nioxin Shampoo Review: Does It Work To Grow Hair Back?

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By using pregnenolone cream or pregnenolone supplements, the levels of the compound in the body increases, and this brings about various benefits such as fatigue relief, and delay of the aging process.

If you look at facial care and scalp care as two sides of the same coin, you could safely say that Nioxin products are some of the best for such applications. Check this Nioxin Shampoo review and find out the benefits.

In fact, many of these products are used by professional hair stylists because of Nioxin’s effectiveness in managing various hair issues. Some dermatology clinics likewise often recommend it as a nonprescription drug for the treatment of mild hair loss and thinning hair.

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What’s even better is that the people behind Nioxin do not make outrageous claims about their products. Still, the question remains: Can shampoos really slow down, if not completely stop, hair loss? We’re going to take a look at the top 5 Nioxin products and go from there.

What Is Nioxin?

Founded by Eva Graham in 1987, Nioxin products had taken toehold as a great solution for hair loss and thinning hair.

The basic logic behind Nioxin is to promote a healthy scalp environment to stimulate hair growth. It aims to make the hair thicker by infusing each hair strand with essential hair proteins AND allowing hair to have access to the nutrients it needs.

The basic logic behind Nioxin is to promote a healthy scalp environment to stimulate hair growth.

Over the years, the Nixon Company has developed a plethora of technologies for specific hair problems that today has became quite confusing which Nioxin product is appropriate for one’s hair type.

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Nioxin for Hair Loss Treatment

Nioxin products can complement any hair loss treatment. It may go well with low-level hair regrowth laser treatment, finasteride oral medication, dietary supplement such as biotin for hair growth and with hair restoration surgery.

Because of its natural and mild synthetic ingredients, the Nioxin Cleanser and Scalp Therapy combination is usually a safe choice for a healthy scalp and hair care after a hair transplant.

Nioxin shampoo and conditioner may also go together with minoxidil topical treatment. However, it is advised not to use minoxidil with some of Nioxin’s intensive therapy, especially the ones that use coenzymes Q10 as active ingredient (e.g. Nioxin Hair Booster leave-on).

Coenzymes Q10 and minoxidil are drugs classified as nutraceutical and miscellaneous topical agent, respectively. While there are no official records of drug interaction between these two, the risk of interaction may outweigh the benefits.

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Nioxin Systems

The Nioxin website provides a consultation tool to easily determine the right hair loss treatment for each type of hair.

The 3-part Nioxin systems are categorized according to hair type and level of damage:

  • Nioxin System 1 – Normal to thin-looking, fine hair (Natural hair)
  • Nioxin System 2 – Noticeably thinning, fine hair (Natural hair)
  • Nioxin System 3 – Normal to thin-looking, fine hair (Chemically-treated hair)
  • Nioxin System 4 – Noticeably thinning, fine hair (Chemically-treated hair)
  • Nioxin System 5 – Normal to thin-looking, medium to coarse hair
  • Nioxin System 6 – Noticeably thinning, medium to coarse hair

Each system constitutes a cleanser (shampoo), scalp therapy (conditioner) and a scalp treatment.

A Quick Look at The Best Nioxin Shampoos

The Nioxin System 1 Kit is a complete package of shampoo, conditioner and treatment for fine and chemically untreated hair. Since it is made for basic hair types, it is the least costly among all Nioxin hair care systems.

With Nioxin Cleanser and Scalp Therapy Duo, you’ll get a pair of follicle-stimulating shampoo and conditioner. Both the Nioxin Cleanser and Scalp Therapy conditioner are formulated only for normal or thin-looking natural hair.

The Nioxin Scalp treatment is a daily leave-in serum for normal and thin-looking hair. The active ingredients in its Activ Renewal technology are proven effective in thickening the hair through the inside and out.

The Nioxin Cleanser is a shampoo that uses the proprietary Transactive Delivery System to care for chemically untreated, thin hair. Fused with botanicals concentrate, it thickens the hair by promoting a healthy scalp environment.

The Nioxin Scalp Therapy is a conditioner made for fine and normal to thin-looking untreated hair. The enzymatic complex in its BioAmpTM provides intense moisture to the hair without feeling weighed down or greasy.

Reviews of the Best Nioxin Shampoos






Nioxin System 1 Hair System Kit


  • White tea extract
  • Peppermint oil
  • Cleansing agents
Nioxin System 1 Cleanser & Scalp Therapy DUO Set


  • Blend of botanicals
  • Humectants
Nioxin System 1 Scalp Activating Treatment


  • Bionutrients
  • Antioxidants
  • Botanicals
  • Peppermint oil
Nioxin Cleanser, System 1


  • Tea lauryl sulfate
  • ​Prunus africana
  • Citric acid
  • Biotin
  • Niacin
Nioxin Scalp Therapy, Conditioner System-1


  • Mentha Piperita
  • Panthenol
  • Lauramine Oxide
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Coenzyme Thiamine

The Nioxin 1 hair system kit consists of a cleanser shampoo (300mL), a scalp therapy conditioner (150mL) and a scalp leave-in treatment (100mL).

With this 3-in-1 kit, the user gets the best price for all its worth. The hair technologies featured in the Nioxin systems complement each other in providing the best hair care possible.

Nioxin System 1 Hair System Kit

The cleanser shampoo, conditioner and leave-in treatment are all particularly formulated to prevent the onset of thinning hair caused by aging.

Things We Liked

  • Least expensive among Nioxin systems
  • Complete hair care package
  • Suitable even for people with normal hair

Things We Didn't Like

  • Limited choice from among a range of sizes
Nioxin System 1 Cleanser & Scalp Therapy DUO Set

This 2-in-1 product offers a sizable amount of cleanser shampoo and conditioner at 1L each. Like the Nioxin system 1 Kit, the combination offers a better price than when the products are bought individually.

The cleanser and conditioner work together to restore the pH balance in a perfectly fine, untreated hair. The cleanser shampoo exfoliates the scalp while the conditioner infuses essential oils to keep the hair moisturized.

Things We Liked

  • Large supply of cleanser shampoo and conditioner
  • Inexpensive
  • Works also for people with normal hair

Things We Didn't Like

  • Not a complete solution as it does not include a 1-liter Nioxie Scalp treatment serum

The Nioxie Scalp treatment is a 200mL leave-in serum for thin and untreated hair. It activates the scalp and thickens the hair shaft with its Activ Renewal technology.

The white tea extract and peppermint oil in Nioxin Scalp treatment are topical antioxidants that leave the scalp refreshed. The peppermint oil is also a scientifically proven ingredient that promotes hair growth without causing toxicity.

Nioxin System 1 Scalp Activating Treatment

The treatment is applied by massaging the scalp with the serum. No rinsing. It is usually applied onto damp hair after a shower or at night before bed.

Things We Liked

Things We Didn't Like

  • May cause redness after application
Nioxin Cleanser, System 1

The Nioxin Cleanser (300mL) is a hair thickening shampoo. The purifying agents and botanicals are formulated to leave a nutrient-rich and clean scalp for optimal hair growth.

Among the many ingredients in the Nioxin Cleanser are glycoprotein, pantothenic acid, biotin, coenzymes and other scalp cleansing vitamins. Humectants are also added to the formula to preserve hydration.

Things We Liked

Things We Didn't Like

  • Contains sodium laureth sulfate (SLS)

This is a 1-Liter lightweight conditioner that strengthens the hair shafts while providing intensive moisture. A 500mL bottle is also available.

The active ingredients in BioAmpTM are cystine amino acids. These are are represented by a water-soluble oxidized form of cysteine, one of the building blocks of keratin that protect against hair breakage.

Nioxin Scalp Therapy, Conditioner System-1

Cysteine deficiency is a common cause of hair loss and thinning hair especially in menopausal women. With the BioAmpTM hair system, each hair strand is targeted to reduce hair loss and provide an overall thick-looking hair.

Things We Liked

  • Thickens the hair by penetrating nutrients into each hair strand
  • Lightweight and not greasy
  • Promotes hair growth with amino acids

Things We Didn't Like

  • Sensitive scalps may be allergic to its sorbitol-based emulsifier
old man hair loss

Does Nioxin Work for Androgenic Alopecia?

Topical minoxidil and finasteride are the only FDA-approved treatment for hereditary hair loss in humans, be it man or woman.

The Nixon Company does not claim at any time that its products can re-grow hair with scientific certainty.

The products are primarily formulated to treat hair loss problems caused by stress, breakage and other environmental factors. Nixon products, however, are still commonly used by hair loss sufferers to hinder the onset of androgenic alopecia.

The Nioxin Cleanser, for instance, is a recommended product for seborrheic dermatitis. Excess sebum production is related to the prevalence of DHT or dihydrotestosterone in the hair follicles, which is believed to be largely influential in male pattern baldness.

Many users of Nioxin are positive to the performance of Nioxin products as part of a hair care regimen for any kind of hair loss, including men with androgenic alopecia.

Ingredients in Nioxin

To see if the generally positive take on Nioxin reviews has valid basis, we sought to examine the ingredients and the so-called technologies in its products.

Coenzymes Q10

The CoZyme-10® Vitamin Complex – the trademark that made Nioxin a popular hair regrowth product – is the active ingredient in Nioxie Scalp treatment and Nioxin Intensive Therapy.

As found out in a study, the topical application of products that contain this as active ingredient significantly replenishes the skin via its antioxidant properties. It is also proven to penetrate the skin easily.​

There are no scientific studies to support that the coenzyme Q10 can penetrate the scalp and stimulate hair growth. But the topical treatment with coenzyme Q10 for hair loss seems to work for many people.

Some hair stylists opined that the effectivity of this Nioxin ingredient probably rests on the assumption that the scalp is an extension of the skin.​

Enzulizole and Sulisobensone

Representing 4% and 1% of the total product, respectively, Enzulizole and Sulisobenzone are two active ingredients in the Nioxie Scalp treatment.

The capability of Enzulizole to prevent the sun’s damaging UV rays from getting into the skin is well-documented in a scientific review. It is a water-soluble compound usually incorporated in daily facial cosmetics that are meant to be light and not too oily.​

Zinc Pyrithione

Zinc pyrithione is the active ingredient in most anti-dandruff shampoos, and Nioxin has it in its Scalp Recovery product line. Like the other system in hair loss treatment, the Nioxin Scalp Recovery Kit consists of a medicating cleanser (shampoo), a moisturizing conditioner and a scalp recovery serum.

This anti-seborrheic active ingredient in the Nioxin Scalp Recovery kit works by inhibiting the production of excess sebum and skin cells. This is because zinc pyrithione has properties that inhibit the growth of fungi and bacteria, allowing you to manage seborrheic dermatitis.

Aside from zinc pyrithione, the salicylic acid (3%) as active ingredient in anti-dandruff shampoos is also used to treat seborrheic dermatitis. Salicylic acid promotes the sloughing off of excess sebum and dandruff flakes from an oily scalp.​

Niacinamide, Panthenol and Caffeine

The combination of these active ingredients in Nioxin Diaboost is billed by the brand as HTXTM or hair thickening technology.

Nioxin Diaboost addresses hair thinning by targeting the hair strands. The three active ingredients in Nioxin work together to create a crystalline microfiber enclosure with each hair shaft, hence, increasing its diameter right away.

At the same time, the active ingredient niacinamide penetrates the hair shafts and into the roots for stronger hair. Niacinamide is also a major ingredient in anti-aging cosmetics because of its replicative potential.

The topical application of Niacinamide, caffeine and panthenol is scientifically known to be capable of significantly increasing the diameter of each hair strand.​

The onset of hair thinning in some cases may be prevented by medication or by using high-quality cosmetics (shampoo and conditioner) particularly formulated for this problem.​

However, the pitfall in the potential of both prescription and non-prescription medications for hair regrowth is that these treatments have an eye only on increasing hair counts.

This makes the HTX technology an innovative approach to hair thinning issues because not many medical or cosmetic hair loss treatments have given attention to the diameter of each hair strand and its contribution to hair thinning and eventual hair loss.​

Side Effects of Nioxin Products

Hair Loss

Initial hair loss is a common reaction to Nioxin Cleanser within the first two weeks of use. Since Nioxin hair loss shampoo works by unclogging the accumulation of excess sebum from the hair follicles, some of the trapped hair strands will also have to go with it.

Scalp Irritation

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are some of the inactive ingredients in Nioxin Cleanser or shampoo. It is a surfactant or foaming agent commonly used in shampoos, soaps and other hygiene products.

Sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate are controversial ingredients because of the possibility that they may contain traces of 1,4 dioxane and ethylene oxide – two possible carcinogens.

However, it is believed that even traces of these carcinogens are found in SLS-containing products, the amount of concentration is too low to cause a potential harm in human health.

In Nioxin shampoo reviews, these two ingredients are found to be drying even at low concentrations. To avert this common side effect, the Nioxin shampoo in the Nioxin systems is followed by Nioxin Scalp Therapy – a conditioner infused with moisturizing botanical extracts – to maintain moisture balance in the scalp and hair.

For people with sensitive and hypoallergenic scalp, the sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate in Nioxin Cleanser may cause irritation if not rinsed thoroughly.​


Nioxin is definitely a high-end product for scalp treatment and hair care. Keep in mind that while there is sufficient scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of the active ingredients, these compounds are not particularly designed to regrow hair in severe cases of hair loss.

If you have mild hair loss or a hair thinning problem at its early stages, Nioxin just might work for you. All the products in our list work differently, but the clear winner is the Nioxin system 1 Kit for the sole reason that it is a complete Nioxin package. If it is well within your means, you should try it. If you’re looking for a cheaper solution, the Nioxin Cleanser and Scalp Therapy Duo would suffice.

Overall, the Nioxin products are as effective as any other high-quality shampoos and conditioners for keeping your scalp and hair healthy.

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Alex Eriksson (Research Analysis)

Alex Eriksson is the founder of Anabolic Health, a men’s health blog dedicated to providing honest and research-backed advice for optimal male hormonal health. Anabolic Health aspires to become a trusted resource where men can come and learn how to fix their hormonal problems naturally, without pharmaceuticals.

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