Monday, March 26, 2012

Can Nioxin Thicken Thinning Hair?

A concerned father contacted me with this question about his nine-year old daughter’s hair. “Her hair used to be down her back. After several relaxers were applied, it is now broken off up past her shoulders and so thin I can see her scalp and it is affecting her self-esteem.” After conducting some online research on his own, he called me to ask if Nioxin shampoo will help thicken his daughter’s hair again.  Well, as I told him, the answer to this question is – no. Now let me explain.

Nioxin is a brand of shampoo designed to address thinning hair caused by Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a male sex hormone that causes hair loss in both males and females as a consequence of changes in the metabolism. Male pattern baldness is caused by the sensitivity of hair follicles to DHT, where the hair follicles shrink causing abnormal hair production. DHT effects the hair follicles ability to absorb nutrients necessary for healthy hair growth.  Nioxin’s claim is that it dissolves and removes sebum so the follicles can get the proper nutrition, however, its ingredients contain no medications.  Most importantly, any hair growth that may be achieved while using Nioxin is lost again when usage is stopped. 

The critical message here is that thinning hair resulting from relaxers cannot be resolved by using Nioxin. Relaxer thinning is caused from a caustic chemical being pushed into the pores during smoothing, which causes the hair cells to stop producing hair at its once normal rate. This is very different from DHT issues where the metabolism is the cause.

Who should use Nioxin? It should definitely not be used on a nine- year old. It was designed to be used on adult males and females with non –relaxer balding issues.  Nioxin will not thicken hair that is the result of misapplied relaxer chemicals.

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