Nioxin Shampoo Review: My Personal Experience

Lady Alopecia with a Nioxin bottle

Lady Alopecia's Nioxin Shampoo Review

One of the most frustrating things about alopecia is the feeling that you can’t do anything about it. And this stress might lead to more hair falling out. It’s a cruel circle that can cause alopecia sufferers to feel pretty helpless.

That’s why I believe it’s important to take whatever measures you can to regain control. Because even if it’s just for the placebo effect, the sheer act of doing something about your alopecia can have a positive result.

Now, don’t get me wrong: this can get tiring. Expensive. And messy.

I’ve tried all kinds of remedies. Stocking up on whatever pills and powders, lotions and potions I could get my hands on. Until my bathroom resembled a very hair-centric pharmacy!

But one treatment really made a difference – hence the reason for this Nioxin shampoo review.

Welcome to Lady Alopecia’s thoughts on Nioxin

Psst… If you want to read up on the full collection of Nioxin’s products, and learn a little bit more about the brand, check out this post instead.

Update, October 2020: While Nioxin still delivers all the benefits I mention in this post, it’s changed up its systems slightly. It’s actually much easier to figure out which one is a better fit than it once was! So even though I talk about System 6 here, the one I’d use now – for natural hair with progressed thinning – is System 2.

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 an affiliate commission. Learn more here.

A Quick Look At Nioxin

CLEANSER SHAMPOO

SCALP THERAPY CONDITIONER

SCALP TREATMENT

STARTER
KIT

What Is Nioxin?

If you haven’t heard of it before, Nioxin is a scalp treatment and hair care system launched in the ’80s. Its founder, Eva Graham, developed it after experiencing hair loss while pregnant. 10 years later, Proctor and Gamble bought the company and the shampoo is still used in salons around the world as a hair-thickening solution. 

You’ll find more detailed information about the system’s history, its ingredients and its reputation in my other posts but I’m here to tell you about my personal experience in this Nioxin shampoo review.

Psst...Yoga & Meditation can help hair loss, too!

My Nioxin Shampoo Review: How It All Began...

I first used this brand 5 years ago. I had just returned from a trip to Bali and was rocking a hard-boiled egg look. During my travels, I’d visited a traditional healer and acquired a homemade concoction of snail eggs and coconut, which I continued to rub on my noggin for the first 2 weeks after landing home. (Despite the eggs turning rotten. I must’ve smelled great.)

A week or so later, I visited a hairdresser friend of mine for further advice and she introduced me to Nioxin’s 3D Care System. She gave me system number 6; although it’s normally reserved for chemically treated hair and I’d never touched a dye in my life, it’s also for those with the most progressed thinning.

And I definitely fell into that category.

Remember: Since I first started using Nioxin, they switched up their formula. So System 2 ended up being the one best for my hair type. This post goes into the new systems in more detail. 

The Nioxin 3D Care System contains:

How Does Nioxin Work?

As I mentioned, there are different kits available. And each shampoo works in a different way, depending on your hair type. But basically, the cleanser removes dirt and debris that normally block hair follicles. It also actively removes follicle-clogging sebum, which often contains a hormone called DHT (seen as a major factor in alopecia). Acting as a DHT blocker, therefore, means that Nioxin cleanser can promote hair growth. Yay!

Note: I do include some other products in this review, purely because I supplemented my shampoo with a conditioner and a scalp and hair treatment. Plus some more items within the Nioxin 3D Intensive Care range. (I went all out!) 

But you could start with just the shampoo, if you like, and see how you go. Or try a trial-sized kit instead.

Here is the brand’s own Nioxin Shampoo Review:

‘System 6 delivers thicker, fuller hair with smooth control by removing follicle-clogging sebum, fatty acids and environmental residues, while restoring the moisture level and providing color protection.’

Salesy, right? Definitely. But it actually delivers on these points. Even though I felt a little silly using something ‘designed to strengthen, nourish and repair thinning hair from its foundation’ when I had no hair at all, I soldiered on.

I used the shampoo, conditioner and scalp & hair treatment every day for 3 months and can report that sprouting did indeed occur! The ‘after’ results showed thicker, healthier-looking locks than the ‘before’.

Nioxin Shampoo: What I Like

Like most things in life, there are pros and cons. And this cleanser ticks many boxes for me. Such as the following… 

1. It starts with the scalp

Unlike many other treatments for alopecia, Nioxin shampoo never actually claims to promote growth. Instead, it talks about boosting the scalp’s health and improving the condition of the hair that’s already present.

After all, an ayurvedic doctor once told me: ‘The hair is like grass. If the soil is all dried up or flooded, how can we expect it to grow?’ So anything that focuses on the scalp sounds like a good idea to me.

With the moisture control and sebum-removing qualities that Nioxin products offer, the scalp becomes neither too dry nor too oily. For instance, the scalp and hair treatment that comes with the 3D kit (and is also available as a standalone product) contains sunscreen – so I was free to bare my patches without fear of burning or flaking.

2. Plus, it’s gentle on the shaft

(I’m talking about the hair shaft, of course. Shame on you.) The thing is, when you do have some hair to bare, Nioxin treats each follicle in a kinder way. For instance, the lightweight conditioner contains vital amino acids for moisture balance. This protects all hair strands against the damages of environmental stresses and reduces breakage.

Meanwhile, the cleanser itself focuses on what Nioxin calls “the 3Ds of haircare” – Denisty, Derma and Diameter. Basically meaning that each strand expands to look bigger than it actually is. Fake it ’til you make it, right?! 

Plus, having thicker-looking hair is a major confidence-booster. You might find yourself less anxious about your barnet and losing less of it as a result. Sweet!

3. You Get L’orealesque Locks

When my natural hair started to fill in after a few weeks of using Nioxin, I noticed that it was stronger than before my alopecia.

Back then, I had a head full of red curls. But its condition was dry, brittle and prone to snapping. Maybe because I used shampoos and conditioners that were full of chemicals and doing serious damage to my already dry locks. Plus, because I never cut my hair, it was basically one giant split end!

That all changed when I started using this shampoo. I had a second chance and a clean, bald slate. My scalp tingled at first, as if waking back up from years of a steroid-induced coma, and then it got to work. The fuzz took root within just a couple of weeks and, somewhat miraculously, I had a full head of it for the first time in 3 years.

It wasn’t thin hair anymore. Nope, the stuff that grew back looked and felt nourished and moisturised. I used the cleanser daily for 3 months to keep it that way. The brand promises a real difference in 30 days, and I can report that it tells no lie.

How This Good Thing Came To An End...

A few months later, the first sneaky patch appeared on the back of my head. Then it got bigger. Then another patch appeared. And, well… it was back to being an egghead.

But maybe if I’d continued using Nioxin, I could’ve prevented the spread? Hindsight, you’re so damn easy.

Still, while I used it, Nioxin cleanser gave me fuller, stronger hair. Most importantly, it gave me hair! So, of course, there’s plenty to like about it. And that’s why my Nioxin shampoo review is, for the most part, pretty positive.

Wanna give your head a hug?

Nioxin Shampoo: What I Don’t Like

In saying that, I can’t give you my full honest review without including some cons. Here we go!

1. It can get expensive

With my advanced state of hair loss, the shampoo alone probably wouldn’t have been enough – so I had to get the full shebang of Nioxin products. (Apparently, more peace of mind, brought on by more pieces of hair, doesn’t come cheap.)

However, those with less extensive hair thinning might see great results by using just a few of the hair products from system 1, 3 or 5. They last for a long time, too.

2. It’s extensive

Second of all, it’s a bit like buying Apple products – once you’re in, it’s hard to get out. You don’t want to keep using it forever but what happens if you stop?

And the company always seems to have a new, better version that you simply must test out. it’s hard to keep up with the changes. Nioxin System 1 suddenly becomes Nioxin System 3. Which might become Nioxin System 4 a few months later. I used System 6 for a while before the products for color treated hair and progressive thinning split into different systems.

Aside from being confusing, these turnarounds can be costly. And quite time-consuming – there’s no such thing as falling into bed without first rubbing an assortment of smelly products into your scalp. (So there goes your social life!)

3. It requires commitment

You have to remember to apply most products daily (sometimes twice a day). And since the times they need to be applied vary – some are in the morning, some before bed – it’s easy to lose track. I’m not the most organised person in the world and the sheer scheduling of Nioxin stressed me out a bit at first. 

But I did get used to it. And actually sticking to a treatment plan for a decent length of time, instead of looking to the next cure, made a difference. Who knew hair care monogamy could be so rewarding?!

A word of warning: You might notice that things get worse before they get better. In fact, some Nioxin customers reported actually shedding more during the first few weeks of use. But this is supposed to be a good thing – as the scalp is ridding itself of unwanted, dead strands, leaving stronger hair free to take its place. This shedding should peter out after 3 weeks or so (if not, consider seeing your doctor).

What Nioxin Reviews Say:

To be honest, reviews for this cleanser vary dramatically. Many people find that it’s really effective after just a couple of weeks’ use (like I did). Thin-looking locks are suddenly volumised. Male and female-pattern baldness patches fill in. Shedding stops and self-esteem soars.

Whereas others, particularly those with fine hair, report that Nioxin causes breakages and increased hair fall. Which (understandably) means they give up on it before regrowth can occur.

The credibility of the hair loss treatment has also been called into question, with customers complaining that Nioxin changed its formula since P&G took over. (It now contains sodium laureth sulfate).

However, from my own research and my own use, I found this hair loss shampoo to be pretty effective. I used Nioxin hair care products long after the takeover in 2008 and they worked for me!

The cleanser has also won the Stylist Choice Awards (in the Favourite Fine/Thinning Hair Product category) for over 15 years. If it’s good enough for professional salons and stylists, it’s good enough for Lady Alopecia.

The Lady recommends...

Nioxin Starter Kit

Common Questions

And is it bad for your hair? These questions pop up again and again in hair loss forums and in Nioxin reviews. Because after all, the shampoo does contain sulfates nowadays, which some people deem harmful.

In my experience, it is perfectly safe. However, if you do have a very sensitive scalp, I’d avoid using the shampoo daily and alternate with more natural products instead.

The immediate side effects are a tingling scalp, a little redness and irritation, and in some cases, flaking of the scalp. When you start using it you might start to notice more hair falling out. But don’t be alarmed. As I mentioned earlier, this is simply ‘dead’ hair making way for a new life.

You can get the products I mention above (or a trial kit for each system) from Amazon. Or you could ask your local hair salon to hook you up. Depending on where you live, you might also be able to buy products directly from the manufacturer’s site.

To get the full benefits, the company recommends sticking to a treatment system for 6 months. However, this is longer than I ever committed so I’m afraid that I can’t give you an honest opinion! I used it daily for 3 months though, and it was really effective.

Remember, those with a sensitive scalp might want to stick to using it 3-4 times a week instead.

In terms of usage, it depends on what product you’re trying out. Some you’ll rinse out, others you’ll leave in. For the cleanser, rub it into your scalp until it creates a lather (for about a minute or two), before rinsing. For the conditioner, leave it to soak in a little longer.

Final Thoughts:

Nioxin For Yourself!

Full disclosure? I had already started to notice a tiny white fuzz in my patches prior to using Nioxin. Whether this was a result of my Bali trip, the effects of that snail/coconut potion or the healthier, more mindful lifestyle I adopted when I got home, I can’t say. All I know is that during the 3 months that I used Nioxin, my hair grew back. Stronger and thicker than ever before.

It took me a while to realise this – possibly because I’d shunned chemicals after years of those harmful injections and wanted a more holistic approach. But when I did go back to Nioxin in the summer of 2018, it proved effective once again.

Unfortunately, I didn’t experience complete regrowth.

But it did make my existing hair a lot stronger. In fact, I only noticed how much I’d come to depend on Nioxin when my little travel bottles of the shampoo and conditioner ran out and I had to use normal shampoo again. The almost instantaneous result was dry, brittle hair, increased hair fall and bigger patches.

One Nioxin shampoo review might tell you it’s the best thing ever. Another might tell you it’s a waste of time and money. And I don’t want to tell people suffering from alopecia that this is a guaranteed cure – I’ve been let down too many times myself!

But Nioxin does:

In other words, it puts you in control. So you can stop feeling helpless as alopecia takes over your head. (And your life.)

So whether the cleanser works or not, I think it’s worth a try. If you can afford the cost and the commitment, try it for 6 months. And let me know how you get on!

Lady Alopecia Signature

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Comments

97 Responses

  1. I blow dry style my hair,but the scalp treatment makes it gummie,can I just apply scalp treatment at night to scalp with dry hair

    1. Hi Yvette, thanks for your question! And yep, no problem at all to apply on dry hair and leave it in overnight. You can just wash it as normal in the morning. While they do recommend using the shampoo and conditioner followed up by the scalp treatment, at least you’d still be applying it daily! 🙂

  2. Hi do you take any supplements as well. I have been taking the baby blues postpartum hair loss vitamins and actually seems to slow my shedding and I have regrowth but of course I want the very best thickest hair possible. Wondering if I should add anything to my routine or take my win for now. thanks, curious if you take anything additional I know these have biotin and collagen, b12, zinc folate, vitamin a, c, etc.

    1. Hi Farah, thanks for your comment! So Nioxin actually do supplements too but I haven’t tried them. The ones I normally recommend have Biotin, Saw Palmetto (a wonderful natural ingredient and DHT blocker that reduces hair loss), lots of B vitamins and also a Chinese herb called Fo-Ti. The supplement is called Folexin and is pretty much the most popular hair growth supplement out there…see my full review here! For healthy immune support I take fish oils, a magnesium complex, Vitamin B12 complex and Vitamin D with K. I talk more about my supplements and nutrition tips in this post, which you might find helpful! The FM doctor I go to really recommended fish oils to lower inflammation and magnesium to lower stress levels…but be careful what brand you take as there are poor-quality ones out there. Great to hear what you’re taking is working for you though…thanks so much for letting me know!

      Emma x

  3. Hiya lady Alopecia, I’ve been using nioxin system 4. For the first week I used it 3 times and I’ve lost quite a bit of hair. The second week I never washed my hair for 5 days and tonight I washed it and oh my goodness the hair loss I experienced was epic. Now I feel anxious and worried. I know I should’nt expect miracles because I’ve only used it 4 times in altogether but I’m getting scared and anxious to even wash or comb my hair now xx

    1. Hi Sherrie,

      I’m so sorry to hear about your bad experience…I know it’s not exactly a nice thing to witness!! But rest assured, seeing more hair loss is completely natural for the first 2 weeks. It happened to me, too (small little curls of hair, all over my shower!) but then it settled down…and that was me using the full system every day. Nioxin say themselves that this is to be expected as your hair gets used to the new formula. I don’t want to advise you on anything you’re not comfortable doing, however my opinion is that 4 times isn’t really enough to get the benefits of using it. If you feel ok to proceed, you could use it every second day and on the alternates, use a very gentle shampoo. Have a look at some natural oils you could try too and even do a DIY hair mask every couple of nights. Always use your best judgement though…even though I think you’d need to use it at least 2 weeks continuously for the shedding to stop, I don’t want to force you into anything!

      Wishing you all the very best of luck 🙂

  4. I am not sure how to use the scalp treatment. I couldn’t find directions with my trial kit. Can I use it at night before going to bed? Do you apply to dry or wet hair?

    1. Hi Anne,

      Thank you for your question. It’s a shame they didn’t include instructions! Have you tried peeling off the label on the bottle? Right under where the ingredients are listed, it should peel away to reveal an extra tab with instructions. 🙂

      If not, I’ll share how I used it! Yes, you can use it at night. I tended to use mine in the morning (after the shampoo and conditioner) and I applied it to towel-dried hair. But it’s fine to use before bed, too! You can apply it to dry hair if you like as it’s non-greasy…but I found that by applying it to towel-dried hair it actually doubled up as a styling product as well (added volume and shine, etc). Hope that answers your question! 🙂

  5. Hi! You said in a comment above that you’ve learned that your alopecia is largely due to an imbalance with your microbiome. How did you find that out? Was it via trial and error with dieting? Or did you consult with a physician?

    1. Hi there! Thanks for your question – and yep, I found out that it’s largely linked to something called “gut dysbiosis”, plus a hormonal imbalance. I went to a Functional Medicine doctor (FM looks at the entire body, so it’s a more holistic approach than say, a dermatologist) and she ran some tests on my microbiome. It wasn’t cheap but it’s pretty amazing how detailed the results can be – and I’ve had a lot more success with this approach than with the zillion other doctors I tried! Have a look at this post for a little more on what she recommended. But in general, alopecia is often linked to gut issues, which can be triggered by inflammatory foods like gluten, sugar and dairy. And I’ve been in touch with lots of alopecians who saw an improvement after giving up these things!

  6. I have very curly hair and my hairline has very prominent hair loss/balding. I have also noticed another spot on the back of my head that is thinning. Just bought system 4 and wanted to know whether i can use my normal styling products on my hair after i use the nioxin system especially after applying the treatment? I also use colour touch spray in between hairdresser appointments to masque my greys. Can i still apply this to my roots after using the nioxin sysrem? I have tried to research it online and cant find the answers to my questions. Hope you can help. Thank you

    1. Hi Lexi, thank you for your question. Yes, it’s fine to use your other styling products in addition to Nioxin, even if it’s right after applying the treatment. I used L’Oreal’s magic root cover-up spray for a while at the same time! Still, I would advocate using as few chemicals as possible, to be honest. As these harsh products aren’t the kindest to your scalp, or your hair…but if it is essential for you to use the touch spray (and if you’re not a fan of headscarves), I would use a natural treatment in addition to Nioxin, to nourish the scalp and keep it in a better condition. Some of my favourites are: fresh aloe vera, coconut oil (with a couple of drops of peppermint essential oil) or a caffeine scrub. Have a look at my post with the best natural oils for DIY hair mask ideas!

  7. i started using this products 23 years ago. yes 23 years! since i reached my 40’s my hair loss has been terrible ( and the last 4 years). blood work doesnt show anything, all things are normal. im not stressed. i figured it was due to me reaching my 40’s, I bought the system for my b/f. after 3 months his hair is also falling out. is anyone else finding this with the system as of late? i feel like the product has changed and not for the better..
    thanks

    1. Hi Tasha, thank you for getting in touch. And I’m really sorry to hear about your hair loss, and your boyfriend’s too. Unfortunately, alopecia is linked to so many different factors (hormonal changes being a major one) that it’s hard to pin down. Have you had a hormone profile done in addition to blood work? Or any digestive/gut problems you may have noticed? I just ask because this is what happened to me, I’m learning that my own alopecia has been largely because of an imbalance in my microbiome (and I’m now taking measures to address that by cutting out gluten, dairy and other AIP diet tips). But anyway, back to the Nioxin! So, as I mention in the post, they did change their formula in 2008 when P&G took over. I can’t say how it was before then as I started using it afterwards, I think around 2014/2015. And it worked for me then. But if you’re not happy with Nioxin, have a look at some of the other shampoos I review, like Pura D’Or…or perhaps natural oils, like I mention here. Wishing you all the very best of luck!

  8. I started using Nioxin couple weeks ago and my hair fall has increased mutifold😫 so i am really thinking to stop using it. Please tell me it will get better.

    1. Hi Mita, I’m really sorry to hear about your experience. However, this is a totally natural reaction for the first few weeks as your scalp gets used to the new formula. It happened me, too – my hair got dry and brittle at first and I started shedding more! However, after around 2 or 3 weeks I noticed that it got softer and thicker, and I had full hair growth after 3 months. 🙂 Now, I know everyone is different…but still, that shedding shouldn’t really go on after 3 weeks. My advice is to use it for 3 weeks and if you still are experiencing hair fall, I’d consider another product – Pura D’Or is quite gentle – or using a mix of coconut oil and peppermint essential oil as a sort of ‘hair mask’ each night to stimulate growth. I have also heard really good things about Folexin supplements although on my current AIP diet, I haven’t been able to try them yet (they contain soy). But you can read more about them here if you’re interested!

      Good luck, and keep me posted!

      Emma 🙂

  9. I’ve tried Nioxin 4 before but it irritated my scalp with awful itch.. I’ve been recommend the scalp recovery kit this time.. I’m a bit apprehensive, is there much of a difference. Thanks Jennie

    1. Hi Jennie! Thanks for sharing…I’m sorry I can’t be of more help but having never tried the scalp recovery kit, I can’t say for certain. I can see that it is specifically recommended for an itchy or flaky scalp though, and that it contains 1% pyrithione zinc, which can relieve symptoms caused by scalp irritation. I’d say go for it!

      I’d also really recommend the Dermabrasion treatment for you, as it’s amazing for removing build-up that might cause this itchiness. in the first place. Remember, the first few applications of Nioxin can cause itchiness, this is a totally normal reaction at first as your scalp gets used to the natural ingredients. This should happen after a few uses though…discontinue use if you’re still experiencing itchiness or redness after 2 weeks.

      Best of luck!

      Emma

  10. I have been using Nioxin for over 3 years now and I see no Change! Was told I have to use it forever. Why am I wasting my money? It doesn’t work for Me! I think I will take a chance an quit using it, if I’m gonna have thin hair so be it. I feel 3 years is long enough to see it don’t work!

    1. Hi Theresa, I’m so sorry to hear you haven’t had a great experience with Nioxin. Unfortunately, it’s one of those things – it will work for many people, but maybe not for everyone. I think you’re right, if you don’t notice any change after 3 years, I would consider trying something else. Maybe something quite natural, like Pura D’Or? You could also use some of the other natural remedies I mention (like coconut oil mixed with peppermint, or aloe vera) to improve the thickness and strength of your hair. You gave Nioxin a fair shot but I agree, perhaps it’s time to move on! 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience, it’s really useful to hear reviews from both sides. x

  11. I noticed one crescent shaped bald patch, about 2″ x 3/4″. I have several more dime-sized areas which are obviously losing hair & is also breaking off easily. I have 2 autoiummune disorders, dermatologist said it’s likely alopecia areata, but he did bloodwork & biopsies to make sure. I generally dye my hair every 3 months (getting rid of the gray & ageism is sadly alive & well,) but haven’t in over 6 months because of Covid & don’t plan to until I know for sure whether it safe to do. Which number of Nioxin would be best for me based on what I just said? My pharmacist highly recommended it.

    1. Hi Lin! I’m really sorry for the late reply, and thank you for your question. I really hope you find some improvements with Nioxin! Based on what you told me, I would recommend System 4. It’s for colour-treated hair with progressed thinning. I know you said you haven’t used dye in 6 months but still, I think that since you used to quite regularly, you’d benefit more from a formula that caters for coloured hair. I would also use a treatment of coconut oil mixed with a few drops of peppermint essential oil – leave it in overnight and do this once or twice a week. Plus, if you are concerned about your other autoimmune disorders, have a look at this post I wrote about the AIP diet I’m on – you might find it helpful! 🙂

      Wishing you all the very best x

  12. I’m just wondering if you might know this! I bleached and colored my hair 6 years ago and since then I haven’t done anything to my hair. All the colored and bleached hair has grown out and been cut off. But would that mean since I did do some processing to my hair that it would be considered chemically treated or natural? I don’t know which to choose for the interactive tool.

    1. Hi Anne, thank you for your question…it’s a good one! I would say go for the “natural” one as you no longer regularly chemically treat or bleach your hair. Those particular systems (5 and 6) are for those who may bleach/perm their hair often so their formulas are slightly different. If your hair now is natural, and not too dry/damaged, I’d go for either System 1 or 2 depending on the rate of thinning. I link to more about the different systems in this post, if you’re interested. Best of luck with it!! 🙂

  13. Hi, I have been using Nioxin shampoo, conditioner, and scalp treatment for about 5 months and saw great new hair growth but all of a sudden I am losing all that new hair. I can tell it’s new hair because of the length (1.5-2” long). I didn’t change anything in my habit of treating my hair.

    1. Hi Estefania, I’m so sorry to hear about your recent, and sudden, hair loss. Unfortunately, I don’t have a simple answer or solution for your as alopecia is such a complex thing. Perhaps you haven’t changed your hair treatment plan but has anything else in your life changed that might have triggered this sudden loss? As it can often be triggered by hormonal imbalances, times of stress or trauma (the effects of which can be delayed for months, even years, thereafter) or changes in your lifestyle/environment. Even something like changes in the water you use to shower, or taking up exercise that might be too physically demanding (to reduce stress/inflammation in the body, slower forms like yoga are recommended, as opposed to high-intensity stuff). I’d also have a look at this post I wrote with nutritional information/advice, perhaps it might be of help?

      I am so sorry again to hear of your trouble but keep up with the Nioxin (at least it was working until now), see if you can figure out what lifestyle factors might be coming into play and how you might regain some control. If nothing else, rest assured that at least you know that your hair is able to grow again – it might just be in the shedding and resting phase (the telogen phase), which normally lasts up to 3-4 months and during which increased shedding is completely natural. Try not to worry about the hair you’re losing now, you could be growing new hair at the same time, it will just take some time until that becomes apparent. Keep doing what you’re doing, and stay positive if you can!

      Wishing you all the very best 🙂

  14. Hello dear, I have been using Nioxin 4 for the 3rd week and didn’t see any changes rather than my hair is falling more and thinning more. I will use it for a last time and see if it brings any change and no more hair loss.
    But I am quite disappointed with the products, however I keep hope that Nioxin will prove itself

    1. Hi Veenusha, thank you for sharing your experience with using Nioxin. I know it’s easier said than done but try not to worry about any initial hair fall – this is totally normal and in fact, is considered part of the process as your scalp gets used to Nioxin. It’s now getting rid of “dead hair” so new, stronger hair can take root! However, this shouldn’t really happen after 2 weeks…if you are starting your 3rd week I’d consider discontinuing use. Perhaps use it to the end of this week and see how you get on. Have you noticed, though, any improvement in the texture, volume or moisture levels of your hair? Or just the thinning you mention?

      In my experience, I did shed more hair at first, like you…but I also noticed softer, shinier and healthier hair. After a couple of weeks, the shedding stopped but the healthier hair remained…and a couple of months after that, the white fuzz appeared. That was purely my experience though, and I appreciate it’s not the same for everyone. Stick with it for another week if you can, and see how you go!

  15. I’ve always had very thick auburn hair, but didn’t really take care of it as much as I should have. Over the last year I noticed my scalp becoming more and more visible when I comb my hair straight. I’m only 32 and (based off my father and grandfather) didn’t expect to be facing this so soon.

    Wanting to fight the thinning, I began using Nioxin System 1 a little over 3 months ago (ordered off Amazon). I try using the scalp treatment every night (admittedly missing a night once or twice) and use the cleanser & conditioner together about 3 times a week.

    Result: None. I thought it might have been working but realized it just hair grown longer, making it easier to style away the gaps. In fact, my scalp seems more visible than before.

    Actually wondering if stopping the process might be better for me since I’ve read “many people’s hair gets worse before it gets better”. Well the “worse” came and I’ve lost hope on the “better”. But I’m worried stopping will make it even worse than before. Am I now dependent on a product that did little to nothing for me?

    1. Hi Brian, thank you for getting in touch and for sharing your story. And I’m so sorry to hear about your recent hair loss, also that you’re not experiencing much success with Nioxin. However, if you haven’t started seeing more shedding (after the first 2 weeks), I’d take that as a good sign. The fact that your hair is growing longer and stronger, that’s a good sign too. (Because it’s when it stops growing, it becomes brittle and more prone to snapping, ie more likely to fall out.) This growth also indicates that you’re in the anagen phase of your hair-growth cycle, which is good too.

      In fact, Nioxin recommends using it for 6 months before any real difference might be noted (in my case, I guess I was lucky, and saw results sooner). But you’re right, yes, some people do experience more shedding when they stop using it. That doesn’t apply to everyone though, and it doesn’t mean you’re dependent on it forever – it’s just that the same thing happens as to when you started using it, the scalp gets used to the new change over a 2 week period and may shed “dead hair” during this time.

      My recommendation is, if you’re not noticing any adverse effects, to continue use for the recommended 6 months. On the nights when you don’t use the products, you could try a gentle combination like Pura D’Or. And try rubbing in coconut oil with a few drops of peppermint essential oil in (leaving it in as an overnight hair mask) once or twice a week if you can. Or if you want to stop using Nioxin, try these methods anyway to maintain the overall health of your scalp. Have a look at this post on nutrition tips, too, if that’s of any help. I’m 6 weeks into the AIP diet I mentioned and, combined with using Nioxin 3 times a week and a variety of supplements, I’m experiencing regrowth in patches that haven’t seen fuzz for years!

      Wishing you all the very best, and do keep me posted as to how you get on.

      Emma 🙂

  16. Is nioxin good for people who have trichotilomania? If i stop using after 4-6 months will my hair fall out? I am currently experiencing shedding more in the shower. I only been using for 3 days now. 2 washes total. Will my hair become weak if I stop using it? Does anyone else with trichotilomania use it? Can you share their story on top of my questions above?

    1. Hi Susan, thank you for your question. To be honest, I’m not positive as I’ve specifically used it for alopecia rather than trichotilomania. It is very good for treating thinning hair, though, and the initial shedding at first is totally normal. This shouldn’t go on longer than 2 weeks, however. Your scalp is getting used to the new product and adjusting but after 2 weeks, this will (or should) settle down. Please have a look at this post for advice around using Nioxin and when – or if – you might consider discontinuing use. I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more help but if I do hear of people using it for trichotilomania specifically, I will of course share this with you.

  17. Hi did my hair again this morn with the nixon shampoo and conditioner no problems this time 🙂 but can you please tell me if I can put a colour through my hair now or do I have to wait a day or to and thanks for your help

  18. Hi just to let you know that I did try shampoo and the conditioner this morning no problems but can you please tell me if I can put a colour through my hair now or do I have to wait a day or two thanks for your help

    1. That’s great to hear, Mary! I don’t actually colour my hair so I can’t say for sure… but I would recommend maybe waiting and using the colour when you alternate with a more gentle shampoo, or even on a day when you don’t use other products. 🙂

  19. Can I use only the scalp treatment to get results? Or do I need to use the shampoo and conditioner along with it? I ask because of the expense. Thank you!

    1. Hi Vickie, I always used at least all three treatments so I can’t say for certain. I know it isn’t super cheap but the shampoo and conditioner do last for AGES (you only need a teeny amount of both). I would recommend getting all three but if you’re not financially comfortable with that, then the scalp treatment combined with a gentle shampoo is a good start. Maybe add some peppermint essential oil to your regular shampoo and a little coconut oil to your regular conditioner, too! Best of luck 🙂

  20. Thanks very much much i will give it another try in a couple of days and let know how I get on hopefully all will be fine 🙂

  21. I yoused nioxin conditioner for the first time today after yousing a colour remover when I yoused the conditioner my scalp went really hot i washed it of straight away as I wasn’t shour if if that was supposed to happen or not or if it was a reaction to me putting it on after yousing colour remover can you please let me know thanks

    1. Hi Mary, thank you for sharing. It’s unusual that you would have a reaction to the ingredients, but it’s not totally unheard of. As I explain in this post, some people might react to its sulfate, others to the natural botanical ingredients. A little redness and inflammation is totally normal (heat, also) but if you experience any of the more severe reactions that I cover in that post, I’d advise switching products. You could always try it again by itself and see what happens this time? As maybe your reaction was to the colour remover, rather than the conditioner. Or for a very gentle brand (no sulfates or parabens), you could try Pura D’Or. Best of luck! Emma

  22. I am 59 years old. Have you ever heard of anyone breaking out in their face from it. I have what looks like a pimply rash on my forehead and every morning i wake up with A few teeny tiny whiteheads on my face. Im 59 years old.

    1. Hi Sue, thanks for your comment and I’m sorry to hear about the experience you’re having. I haven’t heard about that particular side effect but it’s possible you might be having a reaction to some of its botanical ingredients – have a look at this post where I go into the potential side effects in more detail. Can I ask (if you’re comfortable sharing) whether you have alopecia also, or are you simply using Nioxin for thinning hair? Also, how long have you been using the products for? It’s possible that since Nioxin works to remove excess sebum from the scalp, your initial reaction is a build-up in this area instead. It may clear after 2 weeks once you get used to the new product. Another situation, if you are experiencing alopecia, that you might be going through the kind of adult acne that’s present in certain types of alopecia. My advice is to give Nioxin a couple of weeks to adjust and then if you’re still unhappy, to visit your dermatologist.

      Thanks again, and best of luck! Emma 🙂

  23. Have you ever heard of anyone breaking out in their face from it. I have what looks like a pimply rash on my forehead and evey morning i wake up with A few teeny tiny whiteheads on my face. Im 59 years old. I always had clear smooth skin

  24. Hi – love your website. I’ve been using Nioxin System 3 for 20 or so years. I’ve noticed that the ingredients, especially in the shampoo, are not the same as they used to be. Have you found this to make any difference generally or specifically ?

    1. Hi Sandy, thanks so much for your comment – I’m so glad you like the site! And you’re right, Nioxin changed its formula when P&G took over in 2008 (more on that in this post). Some people criticise that it now contains sulfates, whereas it didn’t before. I can only go from my experience though, and that’s that Nioxin worked for me back in 2015 (so after the formula had already changed). It is worth noting, though, that they also reshuffled their systems one or two years ago, you can check this post where I talk more about that or use the consultation tool on Nioxin’s website either. I had to switch from Nioxin 6 to Nioxin 2 so maybe System 3 isn’t actually the one that’s best for you right now. But of course, if it’s working for you, stick with it! Hope that answers your question. 🙂

  25. Hi I only wash my hair every other week as it gets really dry if I do it more than this. I use the Nioxin products and my hair seems to be getting thicker. But it could be my imagination as I only use it every other week. Can I use the scalp treatment without washing in between ?

    1. Hi Melanie! I understand what you mean…it’s great to see that Nioxin is improving the volume and texture of your hair, though! I noticed the same with mine even after a couple of uses so I don’t think it’s your imagination, the effects can be pretty instant! It’s not going to do you any harm to use the scalp treatment without washing it in-between. Perhaps though, you could maybe just apply it every 2 or 3 days rather than daily to see how you go? Try this for a few weeks and see if you notice a difference. Please let us know how you get on! Thanks so much x

    1. Hi April, thanks for your question and I’m really sorry to hear about your hair loss. So, Nioxin have 6 different systems and the number you should use really depends on your hair type (plus how extensive the shedding is). I have natural hair (so not colour-treated) with progressed thinning so I use System 2. I used to use 6, but they changed the formula recently. My extended post on Nioxin explains more, with links to the different systems and what type they’re suited for. I hope that helps! Wishing you all the very best xxx

  26. I’m so glad I find your blog from Asia country.I have alopecia two month ago . Your sharing help me a lot. Sometime I feel so discourage and don’t understand why it happens on me.

    I’m just starting to use Nioxin one month ago. I would like to know if I can you scalp renew dermabrasion treatment ?

    1. Hi Gillian, thank you so much for your lovely comment. I am really sorry to hear about your alopecia, and I know how frustrating it is! I am happy to hear you’re finding some comfort in this website, though…please feel free to sign up for my email newsletter too, if you would like to stay updated about new posts.

      I LOVED the Nioxin scalp dermabrasion treatment – in this post, I talk about it a bit more, if you’re interested! It’s amazing to watch it remove all those dead skin cells (like an exfoliator), which keeps your scalp healthy and helps stronger hair to grow. Good luck with the rest of the products, too!! 🙂

  27. What if the actual hair follicles are dead, due to either exema or lupus? Is there any product you know of that can help bring them back to life?

    1. Hi Ruth, thanks so much for your really great question. I hadn’t actually thought of that one before, and it’s tricky…having done some research though, it seems like you might be able to implant new follicles from the stems of existing ones (check out this NCBI article for more). If a hair transplant isn’t something that’s possible for you, other articles I’ve read stress the importance of boosting blood circulation and using products that are high in keratin to nourish the scalp. You could try Keranique or rub the juice of a red onion on your head every night (fresh ginger is also good) to really boost circulation. I actually thought my own follicles were dead too, until I did the onion thing. Then I saw after a couple of weeks, soft white fuzz (vellus hair) had formed, indicating that they weren’t dead after all. You could try that and if you do see fuzz, use either Nioxin or Keranique to encourage further hair growth. Best of luck!!

  28. Hi, thank you for the awesome review. May I ask, can I only use the cleanser and conditioner or do I need to use the scalp treatment too? I’m thinking of only buying the conditioner and cleanser. Will it give me the same result such as reduced hair fall or promote new hair growth if I only use those two?

    1. Hi Jim, thanks for your question…and I’m so pleased you like the review! I personally used the scalp treatment and a few other Nioxin products so I can’t fully advise on whether just the cleanser and conditioner alone can promote growth. But I do have friends who use Nioxin as their regular shampoo and conditioner and it works great for them in terms of boosting volume and improving the texture of dry hair! Because good hair health starts with a healthy scalp, I would, however, highly recommend you try the scalp treatment. You don’t rinse it out (unlike the shampoo and conditioner) so it has more time to do its job, too. 😉 Best of luck!

  29. Hi, thank you for the awesome review. May I ask, can I only use the cleanser and conditioner or do I need to use the scalp treatment too? I’m thinking of only buying the conditioner and cleanser. Will it give me the same result such as reduced hair fall or promote new hair growth if I only use those two?

  30. Hi. I was using nioxin #1 but didn’t always use conditioner. It didn’t help. My arms get tired of rubbing it in for a minute or two. Then apply the conditioner. Too much. How can it be effective? My hair is very fine and thin.

    1. Hi Melinda, thanks for your comment! How long did you use the Nioxin for? The manufacture recommends using it for at least 6 months…I used it for 3 before I noticed real hair growth (although, I noticed an improvement in the texture and shine of my hair after a couple of weeks). If your hair tends to get quite oily then yes, maybe just use the conditioner every other day. You can alternate your Nioxin treatment with natural remedies like coconut oil or neem oil, which can be great for restoring fine or brittle hair. Good luck!! 🙂

    1. Hi Andreja! Thank you for your question. It really depends on your hair type. Nioxin System 1, for instance, is best for natural hair with light thinning. While System 2 is better for natural hair with more excessive shedding. There are also options for chemically treated or colour-treated hair. This post goes into a little further detail, if you’re interested! 🙂

  31. Hi Emma, very detailed article, and very honest too! Have you ever tried Sulphur for your Alopecia? I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. Also we have something here in the UK called ‘Divine Herbal Hair oil’ which works very well too, not sure if you’ve tried that? I have read about onion juice as a natural remedy but the smell is something I couldn’t get past! How is your Alopecia currently, any better or worse? x

    1. Hi Eliza, thanks for your kind words…I’m so glad you enjoyed the article! I’ve never tried sulphur on its own, no…I tried Iodine when I was younger but it stained my scalp and caused a lot of burning/irritation! But interestingly I see that the sulphur in onion juice is what can make it effective. And rubbing a red onion on my head nightly did work to produce white fuzzy hairs…but like you, the smell turned me off a little! I’ll look into the oil you mentioned, thank you. I also use peppermint oil in a solution of jojoba or coconut, too…that’s also quite effective!

      My own alopecia is, let’s say, “dormant” at the moment; no better or worse! When I started an autoimmune diet it got a lot better, but I “fell off the wagon” around Christmas and during the lead-up to my wedding recently. 😉 But I’ll be back on track soon and sharing my progress! 🙂

      Thanks so much again for your tips. xo

  32. Hi Amy,

    I really appreciate your reviews. My hair is starting to thin out pretty significantly in my early 30s so I’m trying to do whatever I can to slow the process now.

    I have tape-in extensions to make my hair look and feel fuller. Do you think Nioxin is okay to use with them? I haven’t been able to find much on the internet and my stylist was unsure. The main problem I could foresee is that it’s more challenging to shampoo around the extensions and I’ll likely miss spots when trying to cover the whole surface area of my head with the products due to how close the extension tape sits to my scalp (and therefore how hard it is to move around them). So maybe some unevenness. Hopefully no major patches during first few weeks when my own hair is shedding in comparison to the set hair in the extensions. Hopefully no damage got the [medical-grade] extension tape as well. Any thoughts?

    1. Hi Jess,

      Thanks for your question. I actually used to use clip-in extensions too (synthetic), which I attached to my (human hair) wig. I washed both with Johnson’s Baby Shampoo as the lady I bought the wig from recommended using as gentle a possible a shampoo. So to be honest, I’m not 100% sure. I did find this article that recommended using Nioxin for extensions but without having personal experience in this, I’m reluctant to advise you either way. I would say, however, that the extensions might be doing excess damage to your hair. Unfortunately, they do add extra weight to hair that’s possibly already quite weak and, like you say, the difficulty with shampooing them could lead to excess build-up on the scalp, which clogs the follicles. My advice would be to go without the extensions – if you can – and start using Nioxin to volumise your hair that way (it really does make it look thicker!) but I know that isn’t an option for everyone.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help but please do get in touch if you have any more questions. Emma x

  33. Hi I am using nioxin hair treatment 2 and I am having heavy hair fall,I wash my hair with nioxin shampoo and conditioner and them I use scalp treatment in my towel dried(still wet) hair,then next time before I wash my hair I either apply hair oil or hair mask,I wash my hair every alternate day,is it ok to apply any hair mask or hair oil when I already have applied scalp treatment

    1. Hi Shikha, thank you for your question. How long have you been using Nioxin for? The shedding is completely normal at first, however this should stop after 2 weeks. If you are still experiencing hair fall after this time I would try another product instead. Also, what hair oil or hair mask are you using? Since you are using the scalp treatment daily you probably don’t need the oil and mask too – you don’t want to clog your follicles with too many products. I would recommend applying your hair oil or mask once a week instead. It’s ok if you have used the scalp treatment already in that case. Hope that helps! 🙂

  34. Hello,
    Today is my 1st day of using Nioxin and I noticed that Im shedding a lot. May I pls know if this is normal? I did not feel any irritation on my scalp but the shedding is what’s worrying me. Thanks

    1. Hi Arni,

      The shedding is a completely normal side effect at first – Nioxin says that this needs to occur in order for the scalp to rid itself of “dead hair” and also excess build-up so that new hair can take root! Note that this shedding shouldn’t go on any longer than 2 weeks, though. My advice would be to keep using Nioxin, but if you don’t notice that the shedding stops after 2 weeks, discontinue use. Nioxin recommends using it for 6 months for maximum benefits. 🙂

  35. I wanted to thank you for the kind and positive message you give on your page. I’ve had alopecia aerata for my whole life, it started when i was 3 years old. I am constantly trying new things – from Mesotherapy, AIP diet and thousands of supplements and medication.
    Its nice to know i am not the only person who is persistent in the fight with alopecia. Sometimes it feels like i am loosing my mind trying anything that might help.
    After reading your article i decided to try and i just started using nioxin.
    I noticed i had some small sandlike waxy balls on my scalp for a while already.I tried to talk about it with a specialist but he dissmised it completely. I was wondering if maybe you had it too at some point? I have greasy hair and have to wash it every morning. That’s why i also thought Nioxin might help me with restoring balance in my scalp.

    1. Hi Tina,

      Thank you so much for your very kind words – I really appreciate it. And I’m so sorry to hear about your ongoing battle with alopecia, I know how frustrating it is to try a million things with no results! How long have you been using Nioxin for? I don’t recall having a similar experience with the waxy balls, I’m sorry. Maybe try the Nioxin Dermabrasion treatment I mention in this post. It’s a great exfoliator – like a facial for the scalp – and it could help you to get rid of that excess sebum or build-up.

      Let me know how you get on!! Good luck, and thanks again for your message. x

  36. Hi Lisa,
    I apply conditioner, shampoo and scalp treatment daily after shower, is it ok as some of them suggested shampoo and conditioner 2-3/week not more than that. Please share your views on this.

    1. Thanks for your question! It really depends on the person…if you don’t notice any irritation on your scalp then I’d use it daily – that’s what I did, anyway! A little redness is fine but excess itchiness or irritation might mean you have a more sensitive scalp, in which case 3 times per week is probably best. Hope that helps! 🙂

  37. So helpful! Thank you for sharing your experience with it. Nioxin was recommended by a relative and now going into my 3rd year with alopecia, I’m going to regain the fight against. I’ll happily keep you all posted.

  38. I thought Nioxin was bought out by Proctor and Gamble and removed the anti-DHT ingredient that made the product work thus rendering the product to just any old shampoo. There is clearly a difference with the cleansers and conditioners and most health and beauty experts agree. Are you being paid for this review?

    1. Hi Susan, thank you for your comment. And no, I am not being paid for this review – although I do receive a small commission from products I recommend on Lady Alopecia, no individual company has paid or sponsored content. I simply advocate the use of Nioxin because it worked for me! And yes, as I mention in this post, P&G did take over in 2008 and reputedly changed the formula. I cannot find concrete research to say that this includes the anti-DHT ingredient, although I am open to updates on this! All I can say is that the products worked for me – my hair grew back after a few months of use and that was in 2014, long after P&G took over. It might not work for everyone, of course, but what I share is just my opinion! Thank you again for your comment. 🙂

  39. Hi ,

    Could you please tell me whether I can stop using Nioxin after I have myhair grown after 3/4 months or certain point of time in future? I fear my hair starts falling again after stopping to use these products. So, need a genuine advice.

    1. Hi Issac,

      Thanks for your comment. In my personal experience, I had a full head of hair after using Nioxin for 3 months. But when I stopped using it, a small patch appeared at the back of my head…which grew and grew pretty quickly! So I sort of wish I hadn’t stopped using it. And lots of customer reviews say the same thing – that their hair fell out again once they stopped using the product. I know that it might not be financially viable for you to keep using it but my advice is this: If you’ve found something that’s working for you (and if you’re not experiencing any negative side effects) then keep it up! Just replace your regular shampoo with it…or if you’re not comfortable using it every day, maybe you could reduce the frequency to 3 times a week. I’d be really interested in how it works out for you so please keep us posted! Thanks again, and good luck!! 🙂

  40. Hi, I have alopecia areata and I just started using Nioxin. But I only bought the shampoo and conditioner. Do you think that can work without the treatment ?

    1. Hi Julie! Thanks for your message. Personally, I did use the scalp treatment in addition to the shampoo and conditioner – so I can’t say for certain whether just the s&c will work by themselves. But you could always try them out for a month and see how you get on? I liked the way that the treatment doubled up as a suncream and styling mousse (it was good for the curls I did have) but other people find it a little too sticky.

  41. I’ve been using nioxin for like 4 months now and the scalp treatment every day the scalp treatment makes my hair feel sticky did you use it every day ?? Am I suppose to use every day ?? I see hairs growing on scalp but I get discouraged because I could still see my scalp and it makes me sad and depressed

    1. Hi Cecilia, I did use the scalp treatment every day but only a very small amount. If you don’t like how it makes your hair feel, maybe you could use it at night instead? Nioxin does recommend daily use for best results but you could always use it every second day if you don’t feel comfortable. It’s great that you see hair growing on your scalp! And I know it’s frustrating but try not to worry…it might take some time but the fact that you’re seeing growth is a really good sign. It proves that the hair is out of the resting phase and in the growth stage again. Keep doing what you’re doing and I’m sure you’ll experience positive results. xxx

  42. Were you just using the shampoo alone?I’m probably four weeks in and I’m shedding more then normal so not sure if I should keep going

    1. Hi Lisa, thanks for your message. I used the shampoo, the conditioner and the head and scalp treatment. And, like you, I experienced more shedding at first – that seems to be a common side effect. The shedding should cease after about 3 weeks but since we’re all different, it could be a little longer. I would advise discontinuing use if you don’t see any improvement after 6 weeks. Are you just using the shampoo or any other Nioxin products?

      1. Hi I’m just using shampoo and conditioner the scalp mousse feels weird on my scalp I’m going to give it a few more weeks.Do you have alopecia?Im not sure if I do but I do have thyroid issues so I can’t figure out what’s doing it

        1. Great, let me know how you get on with the shampoo and conditioner! I would recommend using the scalp and head treatment maybe once or twice a week (instead of daily) and see how that goes. Yes, I’ve had alopecia areata on and off for 20 years and Nioxin was one of the things that helped me a few years back. But we’re all different! If you have thyroid issues that can certainly be linked to alopecia, as hormonal imbalance is just one of the factors that can cause it. Check out this post for more info: http://ladyalopecia.com/give-me-a-reason-for-alopecia/ xo

          1. Hi Carol,

            Nope, these products aren’t just for people with alopecia – they’re actually designed for men and women with thinning hair, or who may experience some shedding. They’re also great for improving the scalp environment and for thickening individual strands to give more volume. My sister and a couple of my friends use Nioxin, and they don’t have alopecia – they just love how healthy and shiny it makes their hair! Hope that helps. 🙂

  43. My hairdresser has recommended this product. Not sure about it. My hair loss is due to my medications which I cannot stop taking.

    1. Hi Amy,

      My hairdresser actually recommended it to me, too – that’s how I discovered it! Sorry to hear about your hair loss…are you currently using any other products for it? I would definitely recommend trying it out for at least 3 months if you can anyway – you should start noticing a difference in volume and thickness in as little as 2 weeks. And remember, side effects such as tingling or redness are ok but if you experience anything more serious discontinue use. Hope that helps! 🙂

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