Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. Like chocolate. Or cheese. Or sex.
Of course, they’re some of life’s greatest pleasures. But we can’t enjoy them all the time. We need to have some boundaries – otherwise, we’d never get anything done!
And that thing which seems so very good for us in the moment can suddenly turn on us.
Welcome to my post on when to stop using Nioxin.
It has worked for me in the past, just like it works on the many people who use it, love it and rave in Nioxin reviews about it. But I don’t think it’s good to use something with so many chemicals on an ongoing basis. I think it’s better as a temporary solution.
Obviously, everyone is different and we’ll experience different reactions to its formula. But here is Lady Alopecia’s take on when to give this good thing a break.
Emma’s ‘not a doctor’ disclaimer
Hi there, I’m an alopecian, I’m not a doctor! Any advice I give is based on my own research and personal experiences. This site is however reader-supported. When you buy through external links, I may earn a tiny affiliate commission. Learn more here.
Like I mention in my post about potential side effects, a little redness is normal. That’s just certain vitamins and herbal ingredients hard at work. Irritation and itchiness are ok, too – these indicate that your scalp environment’s coming back to life.
However, if the redness spreads to your face and neck or if you experience hives or swelling, you could be having a systemic reaction to some of these herbal and chemical ingredients.
In which case, you should stop using Nioxin and consult your GP for further advice. Or your trichologist, if you have one – which is just a fancy word for a hair doctor.
The manufacturer recommends using one of its systems (containing a Cleanser, Conditioner and Scalp Treatment – I used System 6) for at least 6 months.
I only ever used Nioxin for 3 months so I can’t comment on what a difference that extra time would make. But for me, I noticed a big difference in 3–4 weeks of use. Others experience changes after 2 weeks. Like I said, we’re all different!
The first thing to look out for is increased hair fall. Don’t worry – this is just part of the process! Your scalp is getting rid of unwanted or “dead hair”, allowing new, stronger strands to take root. This period shouldn’t last longer than 2 weeks… so discontinue use if it does.
I’d also quit using Nioxin if you don’t notice any difference at all after 4 months. You definitely should be experiencing something by now – if not, well, it might not be the product for you. So you might be better off exploring other options.
Again, I’ll share my own experience so that, hopefully, it can help you with yours!
After 3 weeks of using Nioxin, I noticed that my existing hair became silkier, softer and in much better condition. And around the 6-week mark, my patches started to fill in with soft and downy vellus hair, which slowly turned into darker terminal hair. After 3 months, I had a full head of hair again!
But then I stopped using it. It had done its job, so I didn’t feel the need to continue. I wanted “normal”, sweet-smelling shampoo that didn’t result in a tingling scalp or make me feel like a human breath mint. Plus, I travel a lot so it didn’t seem feasible to cart big product bottles around wherever I went.
Well, nothing. At first. But then I was in Manchester getting my hair cut – in a trendy barber shop, no less – and the barber pointed out a tiny patch on the back of my head. (Thanks, dude!) Before long, this small patch began to spread.
I used my favourite concealing spray to hide the damage for a while but eventually got sick of it and decided to shave my head all over again. Back to Square 1.
So if Nioxin works for you, it might make sense to stop using it – or you might want to keep it up. That’s your call.
Nioxin is like a Band-Aid – it can do a great job of hiding the “injury”. But what happens when you suddenly rip it off? Are you suddenly healed? In my opinion, no. But if you’re ok with keeping the Band-Aid on, of not worrying about the underlying issues, that’s ok too.
I ask myself that sometimes. Would I still have hair if I’d continued use?!
Maybe one day I’ll try Nioxin again. And I’ll keep using it, even if it works and my hair grows back. Well, maybe for just an extra month or two.
In any case, I think my hair loss stems from a deeper cause than simply using the wrong line of products. And I don’t believe in a temporary “fix” of the symptoms – rather I’d prefer to get to the root of the problem.
For now though, I’m pretty comfortable in my alopecia. And I’ve stopped chasing a cure. Because I’m truly happy being Lady Alopecia, just as she is.
Psst: Ever tried Nioxin? If so, are you still using it or did you decide to stop? I’d love to hear your experiences – so please share them below!
Get free, semi-regular alopecia-related news things and musings.
Psst… If no welcome email shows up, check your spam.
Alopecian. Yoga Teacher. Copywriter. Here to share information, offer support and show people the adventures that can lie in hair loss. I’m proud to have alopecia and I want to help others embrace their baldness, too!
Just stick in your email to join the gang.
If no welcome email appears, please check your spam. Oh, and don’t worry, I won’t give your details to Zuckerberg and you are free to unsubscribe at any time.
Do you remember which Nioxin you were using? Some contain minoxidil and others do not. As you know, the hair grown when using minoxidil will fall out if the medication is stopped but according to Nioxin customer service the same should not happen with their products that do not contain minoxidil. I just started using System 4 (no minoxidil) and seeing some, albeit very slow, results and hopeful.
Hi Susan, thanks for your question! Yes, I used Nioxin System 2: the shampoo, conditioner and scalp treatment. I also used the scalp dermabrasion treatment and the night rescue serum: you can read my full experience in this post. And you’re right, some of their treatments contain minoxidil, which I’m REALLY not a fan of! The ones I used didn’t have it and I think you’re sensible to avoid it too. But still, keep using System 4 as long as you can…no point in stopping really if you’re seeing positive results from it! Hope it continues to work for you and thanks again for writing in!
Emma / Lady Alopecia x
I am new to alopecia and really appreciate advice from someone who has been dealing with it for awhile I am about to start the bio in 2 as I have several random bald spots.
Hi Gail, thanks so much for the positive feedback! I hope you start to see some success from Nioxin System 2 (or did you mean, biotin? Sorry, there was a typo in your comment so I wasn’t sure!!) Anyway, whatever treatment you try, I wish you all the best with it. Remember, there are no miracle cures here but there definitely are some great treatments out there to support healthy hair growth…which you can boost further with things like nutrition, supplements and some home remedies.
I’ve been using a topical Minoxidil/Fenasteride solution for the last 2 years with success, but now seems a majority of the hair that grew in is falling out again. I’m questioning autoimmune issues and considering changing my diet to carnivore. I’d like to discontinue/taper use of the Minoxidil solution without continued, drastic hair loss. Any recommendation on how to do this? Thank you!
Hi Nancy, I’m really sorry to hear that. Unfortunately these topical treatments often just address the symptom (hair loss) rather than the root cause (the other factors leading to autoimmune issues like hormonal imbalance, food allergies, genetics and so on.) I actually write more about that here if you like. It’s definitely a good idea to look at your diet as autoimmune problems are often linked to inflammation as a result of gluten, dairy or other sensitivities. Please check out this post for more! Unfortunately, as we’re all so different, I can’t say exactly what would happen on if you discontinue Minoxidil. In most cases though, people will experience a little more shedding when they stop using a product like this, maybe for up to 2 weeks. But you can taper it off as you suggest, maybe once a week and keep circulation to your scalp flowing with a nightly head massage of peppermint oil and coconut oil. More on peppermint oil’s effectiveness in this post. I really hope that helps, and wishing you all the very best!
Emma / Lady Alopecia 🙂
Can you please tell me how long after using this happened?
I only ever became dizzy or faint after using Minoxidil.
Hi Carolyn! Do you mean, how long after using did my patch appear again? It was around 2 months after, I think…I used Nioxin up until May of that year and I noticed the patch during a trip to Manchester in mid-July. The patch got bigger and bigger over the next 3-4 months until I decided to shave off the lot again just before Christmas.
Aw, likewise…I bloody hate Minoxidil! It also made me feel dizzy and faint, and gave me really bad headaches. That’s why I always try to steer people away from it, and to use a more natural treatment instead! I hope that helps. 🙂
I have been using nioxin from the past 6 months and still on, it has worked for me definitely specially in hair loss problem but its like an addiction i want to switch to new organic shampoo with less chemicals can you suggest me one for hair fall ?
Thanks for your message and I’m glad to hear you’ve found success with Nioxin! I totally understand why you’d like to switch, that’s actually what I did, too. I’d like to refer you to my new favourite shampoo for hair loss (because it’s all-natural)…it’s called Revita and you can read my full review here or check it out on their website. It has amazing natural hair growth ingredients, like biotin, caffeine, rooibos and emu oil, without the nasty chemicals. Pura D’Or is also really good as a gentle shampoo that’s natural – full review here. Just note that when you do stop using Nioxin, you may experience a little hair fall initially. But since Revita and Pura D’Or are great for your scalp and hair anyway, that shouldn’t last long. 🙂
I’ve been using Nioxin also and have some regrowth but have a ways to go. Does the Nioxin you’re using contain minoxidil? I’m using System 4 which does not contain minoxidil and trying to figure out if I should switch to something else.
I used Nixion on and off for 2 years. The first round I saw a massive improvement over 6 months. Then it just stopped and the hair fall started again. I gave the nixion a break and I maintained with thin patches and not much regrowth.
I switched to solid shampoo with no sls or parabens and found an impeovement in my hairs textute, but none in growth.
I’m considering alternating between washes with the solid shampoo and nixion. Even if it’s just to finish the 1L bottles I purchased.
Hi Nicola, thanks so much for your comment! And sorry to hear that Nioxin stopped working for you after this time, that’s such a shame. Had you stopped using it after the 6 months when you noticed the hair fall? Or were you still using it at the time? Unfortunately sometimes the hair will just fall as part of the natural hair-growth cycle and often it’s seasonal (with many people seeing hair loss around Feb/March). If you did keep using Nioxin, this would be a way to manage that…maybe not to stop the shedding entirely but to provide that optimal scalp environment for regrowth and keep hair fall to a minimum. Or like you say, you could alternate it with your more gentle shampoo…that’s what I did, I alternated it with Pura D’Or!
I definitely saw the biggest improvements when I used Nioxin alone, and consistently, but I understand if you want to mix it up with another option. Wishing you all the very best!
Hi, I started using Nioxin because I have such thin hair, and thought it would help buy it has been a couple months now, and the severe itching of my scalp has not stopped..I am considering stopping it, because I am constantly itching my head. Is there a better alternative? Also my hair is very dry since using it.
Hi Lisa, thanks so much for your question, and I’m sorry to hear it hasn’t been effective for you. May I ask how long you’ve been using it? Nioxin recommends 6 months and the minimum I’d advise is 3. Although I don’t like the fact that you’re still experiencing severe itching, that should’ve cleared up. In that case, I’d either recommend Shapiro MD (you can read my full review here) as it’s been developed by dermatologists and I haven’t heard of any bad side effects. Pura D’Or is also a very natural shampoo so its ingredients would hopefully be kinder on your scalp. I’d also recommend rubbing some fresh aloe vera (the gel straight from the plant, if possible) to further ease inflammation. I hope that helps! And thanks again for getting in touch. 🙂
I was using Nioxin Shampoo and Conditioner for a long time not sure how long? Because I noticed some hair thinning because I was getting older. But been noticing some dizziness and thought it was from my meds. They all 3 have that as a side effect. But then I ran out of my shampoo and was going to order more online. I noticed when I looked it up it had complaints. I thought I better read these. The first one was dizziness or faintness or rapid heartbeat, etc. Well that was enough for me I am not taking any changes I am going to stop using it and hope and pray my side effects clear up some. I am not really sure if it helped me or not.
Hi Dianna, thanks for sharing your experience. I actually have never heard of these side effects of using Nioxin before – I personally didn’t experience them either. I only ever became dizzy or faint after using Minoxidil, that’s why I stopped! But thank you for letting me know, perhaps you are one of the few people that might be allergic to some of its botanical ingredients. Hopefully, like you say, those side effects will stop when you discontinue use!
Wishing you all the very best.