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Although it’s not physically painful, hair loss, or alopecia, can be a source of great stress and anxiety for many.

Around 1 in 4 people with hereditary male pattern baldness start losing their hair before the age of 21. And by the age of 35, around 2 in 3 experience some degree of hair loss. Additionally, over 50% of women experience postmenopause hair loss, according to a recent study.

Pregnancy, stress, nutritional deficiencies, medications, and health conditions can also lead to thinning hair.

Fortunately, there are products that can help stop hair loss and even promote new hair growth. One example is Nioxin — a clinically proven solution for hair thinning and hair loss.

If you’re experiencing hair loss and thinking about using Nioxin, here’s what you need to know.

Nioxin is a brand of hair loss treatment formulated with minoxidil, a clinically proven ingredient for reducing the effects of thinning hair.

Minoxidil was discovered to treat alopecia in 1986 and has since been used in various hair thinning treatments as the only topical ingredient approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for hair loss.

Eva Graham started the Nioxin brand in 1987 after she experienced losing half of her hair postpartum. Graham consulted with various scientists and hair stylists to create a formulation, and founded NIOXIN Research Laboratories to continue to study hair care.

Today, Nioxin offers a leave-in treatment with minoxidil, various supporting regimens for thinning hair, as well as products targeted for scalp care and dandruff.


  • It’s clinically proven to improve hair thickness and hair loss.
  • Most reviewers are satisfied with Nioxin products.
  • It’s relatively easy to use.
  • Results can be seen as soon as 30 days.
  • There’s a wide range of products, including formulas for color-treated hair and more severe hair thinning.
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  • It doesn’t work for all kinds of hair loss.
  • Maintaining a hair treatment regimen may be overwhelming.
  • The product options may be confusing.
  • Cost can be a factor.
  • You need to use the product indefinitely.
  • It may irritate the scalp or cause unwanted hair growth in people assigned female at birth.
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Nioxin works best for people who have nonscarring alopecia, which means that their hair follicles still have potential for hair regrowth. (In scarring alopecia, the hair follicle is irreparable due to destruction of stem cells.)

The most common type of hair loss is androgenic alopecia, which is nonscarring and can affect both people assigned female or male at birth. It’s usually referred to as pattern baldness or hair loss.

According to board certified dermatologist Dr. Geeta Yadav, products with minoxidil are best for people who are just beginning to observe hair loss at the crown or back of their head.

“If you’re noticing your part widening and more scalp is visible than it once was, you could be a good candidate for minoxidil treatment,” she says.

Minoxidil has been clinically tested and proven to increase hair regrowth. Nioxin claims its products reduce hair fall due to breakage by up to 91%. The company also says that 85% of customers who have tried the Nioxin System Kits “noticed a thickening effect” in their hair.

According to Yadav, the active ingredient in Nioxin, minoxidil (which is also found in hair loss treatments like Rogaine, Keranique, and many others), can stop hair loss in about half of those who use it for androgenic alopecia.

“Minoxidil’s efficacy is best for people with male or female pattern hair loss,” Yadav says. “If you have a receding hairline or sparse hair at the front of your scalp, this product may not be as helpful.”

She says it’s most effective if used before age 40, because “treating androgenic alopecia as early as possible can often be essential to achieving results.”

As long as you’re a good candidate for this treatment, starting minoxidil as soon as possible can be helpful.

Yadav recommends seeking out a board certified dermatologist, who can accurately diagnose the cause of your hair loss.

“Other doctors, like general physicians and endocrinologists, can also work with you to determine if there are underlying causes to your hair loss,” she says. “In many cases, hair loss may not have anything to do with your scalp, but [it] could be caused by nutrition, hormonal imbalances, medications, medical conditions, and many more factors.”

She advises seeking medical help immediately if you see abnormally large clumps of hair fall when you’re washing your hair or more than 50 to 100 strands a day.

Another thing to consider about minoxidil’s efficacy is that products like Nioxin need to be used indefinitely in order to continue working.

“Once a person discontinues these products there is a regression to the hair loss, as the hair will return to its baseline growing pattern,” says board certified dermatologist Dr. Annie Gonzalez. “Due to the need for consistent and long-term use, the cost may be another factor to consider when starting this treatment.”

Gonzalez adds that, oftentimes, minoxidil isn’t the only treatment needed to address hair thinning or hair loss, so it’s not realistic to expect products like Nioxin to completely reverse or cure the condition.

Nioxin offers a wide range of products and systems, and it can be unclear at first glance which products actually contain minoxidil. Here’s a breakdown.

Minoxidil hair regrowth treatments

Nioxin offers two products for hair loss containing minoxidil:

System kits

The brand also offers supplemental hair care kits called System Kits. These are six different kits, which are tailored to natural, color-treated, and bleached hair types.

Each kit comes in two strengths, one for light hair thinning and one for more progressed thinning. These products replace your shampoo and conditioner, but they don’t contain minoxidil.

The idea behind these kits is that they provide the best possible conditions for regrowth.

The System Kits consist of three products:

  • Scalp Shampoo: Like a traditional shampoo, the Nioxin Scalp Shampoo removes dirt and sebum to cleanse the scalp and prepare it for the next steps.
  • Scalp Conditioner: Using delicate moisturizers, this conditioner is meant to strengthen hair without weighing it down.
  • Scalp & Hair Treatment: This leave-in treatment is meant to be used after towel-drying your hair. It includes nicotinate, a compound made of niacin that research from 2005 shows can increase hair fullness.

Hair regrowth kit

Nioxin offers a Hair Regrowth Kit that includes the shampoo, the conditioner and the hair regrowth treatment (the formula that contains minoxidil). You can choose from a kit with the 2% or 5% minoxidil formula.

This is a great option for maintaining the quality of your hair while also getting the proven benefits of minoxidil. Plus, it gives you the most bang for your buck.

Here’s a quick look at how to start a Nioxin regimen for hair loss.

Step 1: Determine which products are right for you

Use the hair regrowth treatment, which contains minoxidil, on its own or in conjunction with a System Kit.

The brand suggests using the treatment with its shampoo and conditioner for optimal results. You can talk with your dermatologist for additional guidance on a treatment plan.

Step 2: Apply products according to the directions

Whether you use just the minoxidil hair regrowth treatment or the treatment with one of the three-step System Kits, it’s important to use the products as directed and continue to use them daily.

If you use both the treatment and the kit daily, know that the hair regrowth treatment should be applied to a dry scalp. You should not wet your scalp for at least 4 hours after application.

Step 3: Be consistent and patient

According to Yadav, a number of people give up on products like Nioxin, because they don’t see results fast enough.

“Consistency is key for any treatment, because hair can only grow about 1 centimeter a month,” she says.

Use the products daily for at least 3 months, so you can determine if it’s really working for you or not.

The active ingredient in the Nioxin hair regrowth treatment is 2% or 5% minoxidil. It also contains alcohol, propylene glycol, and purified water.

The customer reviews for Nioxin products are overwhelmingly positive, both on its website and on Amazon.

Many reviewers of the hair regrowth treatment share their success stories with 5-star ratings.

Some comments include claims of having completely regrown hair within 6 months and restoring thinning hair lines to fullness.

The System Kits also get great feedback from people with hair loss and professional stylists. Reviewers rave about their hair’s health, strength, and overall appearance.

A stylist shared that this is her go-to product for customers with thinning hair, adding she has “seen almost full heads of hair grow back,” after using them.

However, not everyone has success with Nioxin. For some people, the hair regrowth wasn’t significant enough to warrant the price, and they note that using it twice a day was cumbersome.

A number of negative reviews about both the hair regrowth treatment and the System Kits say that their hair became brittle, with one reviewer adding that “[my hair is] like orange straw growing from my scalp.”

The majority of the reviews, however, are 4 and 5 stars, with the hair regrowth treatment boasting a 5-star rating of 61% for the 5% option and 64% for the 2% strength on Amazon.

The Nioxin Minoxidil Hair Regrowth Treatment is $35. The Hair Regrowth Kit (which contains the hair regrowth treatment) is $49.

The cost for the three-product Nioxin System Kit is $45. You can also get a trial size kit with a 1-month supply of the System Kit’s products for $30.

The most common side effects are scalp sensitivity, specifically itching and skin irritation.

Gonzalez tells her patients to test a small area before applying product to the larger areas of concern. “Always consult with a dermatologist if irritation becomes severe, as there are ways to manage it,” she says.

People also report hair loss initially when starting Nioxin, or any product that contains minoxidil as the active ingredient. This is temporary, as new growth replaces the hair you lose.

Some people also report unwanted hair growth when using Nioxin products. Yadav advises being careful not to get product anywhere on the face for this reason. Rinse immediately if contact occurs.

Products in regimen1–414
Options for different genders and sexesyesyesno
Usetwice daily twice dailytwice daily
Results1–3 months3–6 months4–6 months (or up to 1 year)

How long does it take for Nioxin to work?

According to the brand, 9 out of 10 users notice thicker hair within the first 30 days of using the System Kit.

It typically takes 1 to 3 months to see significant hair regrowth from the hair regrowth treatment.

How does Minoxidil work?

Minoxidil was originally used in the early 1970s as a treatment for high blood pressure. Then doctors began to notice that one of the side effects was hair regrowth in balding people. At that point, scientists began developing topical scalp hair regrowth treatments.

Even though these products have been used successfully for years, scientists still only have a limited understanding of how minoxidil stimulates hair growth.

Studies of topical minoxidil suggest that it shortens the telogen (resting) phase of hair, which prompts the follicles to enter the anagen (growing) phase. It seems that minoxidil prolongs the anagen phase and boosts hair follicle size.

How long do I leave on minoxidil before I wash my hair?

You should always apply Nioxin hair regrowth treatment to a dry scalp for optimal results. You then need to keep your scalp dry for at least 4 hours to allow the treatment to work. This means no exposure to water, swimming, showering, or even heavy rain.

After the 4 hours have elapsed, you can wash your hair.

What happens if you stop using Nioxin?

If you stop using Nioxin, you’ll likely notice your hair begins to thin once again. The products encourage hair growth and prevent hair loss only when you’re actively using the products as directed.

Can minoxidil get into the bloodstream?

Yes, in some cases, but absorption through healthy skin is minimal. Nioxin estimates that less than 5% of the topical dose is absorbed from intact skin into the bloodstream.

There are some reports of side effects related to systemic absorption of topical minoxidil. However, if this happens, it’s usually because someone applied the solution to a large surface area, not just the scalp, or they used higher than the recommended concentrations.

You should take care not to apply any Nioxin product to a damaged scalp that has sores or cuts to avoid any side effects. And always follow the recommended dose and usage instructions.

If you’re experiencing hair loss or thinning hair, products like Nioxin can give your hair the boost it needs to look and feel its best, and fullest.

Nioxin Hair Regrowth Treatment contains minoxidil, a proven hair loss treatment for all genders and sexes that’s available over the counter. It’s safe, effective, and has very few side effects when used as directed.

The company also offers System Kits with shampoo, conditioner, and scalp treatment to optimize hair health. The three-part system works together to cleanse, refresh, and nourish the scalp and hair.

If you’re concerned about hair loss or thinning hair, talk with your doctor about possible causes and treatments. In most cases, there’s no need to worry — with the right products and a healthy lifestyle, you can keep your hair thick, shiny, and full.

Natasha Burton is a freelance writer and editor who has written for Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, Livestrong, Woman’s Day, and many other lifestyle publications. She’s the author of What’s My Type?: 100+ Quizzes to Help You Find Yourself ― and Your Match!, 101 Quizzes for Couples, 101 Quizzes for BFFs, 101 Quizzes for Brides and Grooms, and the co-author of “The Little Black Book of Big Red Flags.” When she’s not writing, she’s fully immersed in #momlife with her toddler and preschooler.