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Does Nioxin Work for Hair Loss?

Knox Beasley, MD

Reviewed by Knox Beasley, MD

Written by Shannon Ullman

Published 11/12/2021

Updated 01/11/2024

No one wants to experience hair loss, but it happens. Medical conditions, hormonal imbalances, medications and aging are a few factors that can contribute to hair thinning or loss.

Many companies sell hair loss products promising to give you a head full of hair, but it can be hard to decipher which ones are actually worth your money.

Nioxin® is a brand you may have encountered while searching for hair loss treatments. The company makes hair care products, such as Nioxin shampoo, cleanser, conditioner and hair loss “system kits.” 

Nioxin’s hair products are formulated specifically for thinning hair, and most make bold claims about their ability to reduce hair fall, prevent breakage and increase thickness. 

The brand also offers science-based hair loss medication.

Slick marketing can make it difficult for consumers to see past flashy ads and figure out what products are truly effective. But don’t stress — we’ll help you make the best decision for your hair type.

Below, we’ll look into Nioxin’s offerings for hair loss and thicker hair, discuss which products might not be worth the hype and go over other treatment options to consider.

What Is Nioxin?

Nioxin was founded in 1987 by Eva Graham. The company sells hair care formulations and scalp treatment products.

Graham was motivated to create Nioxin when she experienced hair loss after giving birth. She partnered with biologists, chemists, pharmacologists and hairdressers to create hair loss products with herbs and botanicals.

Throughout the 90s and 2000s, Nioxin’s products became popular non-drug alternatives for promoting fuller hair. In 2008, the brand was acquired by the consumer giant Procter & Gamble, joining other hair care brands such as Head & Shoulders and Wella. 

Nioxin’s range of hair care products is extensive, with more than 50 hair loss shampoos, leave-in conditioners, scalp treatments, oral supplements and other products to choose from.

  • Nioxin hair care products. These include shampoo, conditioner, leave-in treatments, hair growth vitamins and other products designed to keep your hair in optimal condition and stimulate healthy growth. 

  • Nioxin system kits. These contain multiple products designed to prevent hair thinning, strengthen, stop breakage and remove dirt, oil build-up and other residues.

  • Nioxin hair styling products. These include gel, hairspray and mousse formulated to boost hair volume and give hair a thicker, fuller appearance. 

  • Nioxin hair growth medications. These contain minoxidil in 5% form for men and 2% for women. Minoxidil is the active ingredient in Rogaine®, a well-known medication for stimulating hair growth.

Our article on Nioxin versus Rogaine goes over the differences between the two.

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Does Nioxin Work for Treating Hair Loss?

Are Nioxin hair loss products effective for conditions like male pattern baldness? Some work, and some don’t.

Before we break down the effectiveness of the products, we’d like to point out that brand names aren’t that important for growing hair and maintaining a healthy scalp. Active ingredients are what really matter.

Nioxin Hair Care Products

Nioxin’s shampoo, conditioner and leave-in treatments form the core of its hair system kits. The brand recommends using all three products together to promote thicker, denser-looking hair.

Nioxin hair care products contain a few key ingredients: saw palmetto, peppermint oil, vitamin B5 and niacinamide.

These ingredients are linked to improvements in hair growth. For example, one study involving 50 males aged 20 to 50 with androgenetic alopecia showed that saw palmetto increased average hair count over 24 weeks. 

Saw palmetto is a berry extract that may reduce local dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels. Your body produces DHT as a byproduct of testosterone.

DHT plays a vital role in the development of male features, like genitals and facial hair. It’s one of several hormones that make males, well…male. But over time, DHT can cause hair follicles to spend less time producing new hairs, leading to thinner, shorter follicles.   

Learn more about how saw palmetto works and the most recent research on its potential hair benefits in our guide to saw palmetto and hair loss

A study involving 60 participants with female pattern hair loss showed that topical niacin — a category including niacinamide — significantly increased hair fullness over six months. However, we don’t know the dosage amount or frequency used.

Some Nioxin hair care products may relieve an itchy scalp. While an irritated or dry scalp doesn’t directly cause hair loss, itching your scalp may damage strands and contribute to brittle hair. Our blog discusses the connection between itchy scalp and hair loss.

Nioxin’s hair care products may improve the look and feel of your hair, but they aren’t the be-all and end-all for improving male pattern baldness. Also, on a side note, some of Nioxin’s products contain ingredients like sulfates, which can affect the amount of protein in your hair follicles. 

Nioxin Hair Styling Products

Nioxin also sells several hair styling products specially formulated for people with thinning or fine hair. These products can help you style your hair while adding volume.

Now, if you want products that’ll help grow your hair, these shouldn’t be your go-to. Nioxin recommends using its minoxidil treatment (we’ll get to this next) and system kits first for hair loss. The styling products are just a volumizing bonus.

Nioxin Hair Medications

Nioxin has a medicated hair regrowth treatment containing minoxidil, a hair growth stimulator for men and women. Minoxidil works by shortening the telogen phase of the hair growth cycle (when hairs shed). In turn, the anagen (growth) phase is longer.

Minoxidil can be an effective active ingredient for hair growth products. In a study with about 900 male participants, 62 percent had noticeable hair growth after using the topical medication for 12 months.

Learn more in our guide to applying minoxidil for hair growth.

Pros and Cons of Using Nioxin

Are the products sold by Nioxin good for hair? Like any company, Nioxin for hair loss has its benefits and downsides. 

We’ll save you some time reviewing countless YouTube and Google reviews by giving you all the pros and cons of using Nioxin.

Here are a few benefits of using Nioxin:

  • Nioxin is somewhat effective for hair loss. Based on the active ingredients previously mentioned, Nioxin’s hair care products can help stimulate hair growth to a degree.

  • There’s a wide variety of products. Nioxin can be a one-stop shop for all your hair care needs if you have hair loss or hair thinning problems. From peppermint shampoo to hair gel, the company has a wide selection of products to choose from.

  • The products are simple to use. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to use Nioxin’s products. The brand provides easy-to-follow instructions for its topical minoxidil solution.

These are the potential drawbacks of using Nioxin:

  • Results don’t last long. Unfortunately, clinical trials have shown that Nioxin’s hair regrowth treatments don’t last longer than 48 weeks.

  • Products are expensive. Depending on your budget for your hair care regimen, Nioxin products may put a dent in your wallet. Prices start at $30. 

  • Once you stop using the products, you can lose new hair. If you stop using Nioxin minoxidil treatment, your hair may fall out in three to four months. 

Will you join thousands of happy customers?

4.5 average rating

Before/after images shared by customers who have purchased varying products, including prescription based products. Prescription products require an online consultation with a healthcare provider who will determine if a prescription is appropriate. These customers’ results have not been independently verified. Individual results will vary. Customers were given free product.

Alternatives to Nioxin for Hair Growth

While Nioxin has an extensive line of hair care and treatments for hair loss and thinning, it’s not the only maker of effective products.

And if you’re dealing with male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia), Nioxin alone won’t be effective enough for treating the condition. Men with signs of hair thinning, a receding hairline or other early signs of hair loss might want to consider the following hair loss treatments.

Finasteride

Finasteride is a medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat male androgenetic alopecia. 

A study involving over 500 Japanese men with male pattern baldness showed that a 10-year daily treatment of finasteride was highly effective in improving symptoms. 

Finasteride was formerly sold as Propecia® but is now available as a generic medication. Don’t want to see a dermatologist in person? We offer finasteride online, following a virtual consultation with a licensed healthcare provider who’ll determine if a prescription is appropriate.

Biotin

Biotin (vitamin B7) is an essential nutrient found in some foods and available as a dietary supplement, such as biotin gummies

When you’re biotin deficient, you can develop thinning hair that progresses to hair loss across your body. In that case, taking biotin could help promote healthy hair, but we don’t recommend relying on this supplement as your only treatment.

Other DHT-Blocking Shampoos

Many companies (beyond Nioxin) make shampoos and conditioners that block DHT and prevent hair loss.

These products often contain ketoconazole and saw palmetto to help wash away follicle-clogging sebum and promote healthier hair. If you have issues with dandruff, ketoconazole can be a great dandruff detox shampoo.

Our thickening shampoo with saw palmetto helps boost volume. Our guide to DHT-blocking shampoos goes into more detail about how these products can help prevent shedding and maintain a healthy head of hair. 

If you feel like your hair’s a little flat, try our volumizing shampoo and volumizing conditioner.

Other Minoxidil Treatments

Nioxin’s hair regrowth treatment contains the medication minoxidil. We also offer minoxidil products with minimal side effects.

If you’re experiencing hair loss or thinning, our topical finasteride & minoxidil spray, minoxidil foam or liquid minoxidil solution might be the ticket to your best hair ever.

Hair loss treatments, delivered

Most popular

Topical Finasteride

If a pill feels like an overwhelming way to treat male pattern hair loss, this spray with finasteride & minoxidil could be for you.

Minoxidil Solution

Generic for Rogaine®, this FDA-approved over-the-counter version of topical minoxidil is used for regrowth on the crown of the head.

Finasteride & Minoxidil

This is the FDA-approved dynamic duo. When used together, men saw better results in clinical trials compared to using either alone.

Oral Finasteride

If you’re looking for something effective but don’t want too many steps in your routine, this once-a-day pill could be right for you.

Minoxidil Foam

Clinically proven to regrow hair in 3-6 months, no pills required.




Nioxin for Hair Loss: Is It Worth It?

Nioxin’s hair care products and hair regrowth treatments could be worth a shot if you’re dealing with mild hair loss and thinning.

However, if you have severe male pattern baldness, it’s better to seek alternative hair loss treatments that have shown to be more effective.

In the end, the choice is yours. Use products that work for you, and keep this in mind:

  • Nioxin is a line of hair care products. Its offerings include FDA-approved topical minoxidil solution.

  • Other active ingredients in Nioxin products include saw palmetto, peppermint oil, vitamin B5 and niacinamide.

  • Some of these have limited research showing improvement in hair growth, but minoxidil is the only Nioxin ingredient proven effective for hair loss treatment.

  • Alternatives to Nioxin include finasteride, biotin, DHT-blocking shampoos and minoxidil treatments from Hims.


Want to learn more about stopping hair loss? See our guide to the best treatments for thinning hair.

21 Sources

  1. Asfour, L. (2023). Male androgenetic alopecia. Endotext - NCBI Bookshelf. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK278957/
  2. Draelos, Z. D. et al. (2005). A pilot study evaluating the efficacy of topically applied niacin derivatives for treatment of female pattern alopecia. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 4(4), 258–261. Retrieved from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17168873/
  3. Evron, E. et al. (2020). Natural hair supplement: friend or foe? Saw Palmetto, a Systematic review in Alopecia. Skin Appendage Disorders, 6(6), 329–337. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7706486/
  4. FAQS: Find Answers To All Your Nioxin Questions | NIOXIN. (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://www.nioxin.com/en-US/about-hair-loss/expert-faq#
  5. Finasteride: MedlinePlus drug information. (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a698016.html
  6. Hair loss: Who gets and causes. (n.d.-b). Retrieved from: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-loss/causes/18-causes
  7. Ho, C. H. (2022, October 16). Androgenetic alopecia. StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430924/
  8. Hughes, E. C. (2023). Telogen effluvium. StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430848/
  9. Kinter, K. J. (2023). Biochemistry, dihydrotestosterone. StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557634/
  10. Nioxin. (n.d.). Amazon.com. Retrieved from: https://www.amazon.com/stores/node/17795887011?ref_=dp_csx_lgbl_n_luxury-beauty
  11. Nioxin Company & Brand Heritage | NIOXIN. (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://www.nioxin.com/en-US/brand-heritage
  12. Nioxin hair regrowth treatment for women. (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/fda/fdaDrugXsl.cfm?setid=3dc552e9-5b85-4663-88aa-bde8c8c5a422&type=display#
  13. Nioxin Hair products for hair loss & thinning | NIOXIN. (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://www.nioxin.com/en-US/products
  14. Office of Dietary Supplements - Biotin. (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Biotin-HealthProfessional/#h12
  15. Patel, P. (2023). Minoxidil. StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482378/
  16. Rundegren, J. (2004). A one-year observational study with minoxidil 5% solution in Germany: results of independent efficacy evaluation by physicians and patients. Retrieved from: https://www.jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(03)03692-2/fulltext
  17. Sinawe, H. (2023). Ketoconazole. StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK559221/
  18. UPDATE 1-P&G acquires scalp treatment company Nioxin. (2008). U.S. Retrieved from: https://www.reuters.com/article/procter-nioxin-idUKN0339119220080903
  19. Wessagowit, V. et al. (2015). Treatment of male androgenetic alopecia with topical products containing Serenoa repens extract. Australasian Journal of Dermatology, 57(3), e76–e82. Retrieved from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ajd.12352
  20. Yanagisawa, M. et al. (2019). Long-term (10-year) efficacy of finasteride in 523 Japanese men with androgenetic alopecia. Clinical Research and Trials, 5(5). Retrieved from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/337105943_Long-term_10-year_efficacy_of_finasteride_in_523_Japanese_men_with_androgenetic_alopecia
  21. Zito, P. M. (2022). Finasteride. StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK513329
Editorial Standards

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Knox Beasley, MD

Dr. Knox Beasley is a board certified dermatologist specializing in hair loss. He completed his undergraduate studies at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY, and subsequently attended medical school at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, LA. 

Dr. Beasley first began doing telemedicine during his dermatology residency in 2013 with the military, helping to diagnose dermatologic conditions in soldiers all over the world. 

Dr. Beasley is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Originally from Nashville, TN, Dr. Beasley currently lives in North Carolina and enjoys spending time outdoors (with sunscreen of course) with his wife and two children in his spare time. 

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