Free shipping on all orders over $39

Hair grows with Nioxin Intensive Therapy Follicle Booster

Reviewed by Marta September 25, 2013 21 Comments
Many people have told me that they have had good results with Nioxin's hair growth products. Since Nioxin Intensive Therapy Follicle Booster ($20) is comparable in price to Folligen Cream, it seemed high time that I gave the two a side by side comparison (Folligen on my right temple, Nioxin on the left). Two weeks into my test, Nioxin has produced noticeable new hair growth, but so far the hairs are the merest baby wisps.

It takes longer - at least three weeks - to see results with Folligen. But, in my experience, the new hair Folligen stimulates is thicker and, well, like proper hair. I will have to give Nioxin longer to see what ultimately happens. In the meantime, it is worth noting that they work in very different ways.

Folligen's active ingredient is copper peptides. Copper is a wound healer and its ability to assist in hair growth was discovered when it was noticed that the hair follicles around treated wounds were exceptionally large. It seems to work on the follicle in two ways: increasing follicle cell proliferation increased follicle size; and copper also decreases programmed follicle cell death, which results in smaller follicles. Nioxin, on the hand, uses a panoply of different ingredients, most of which are vitamins. Nioxin's vitamins are all coenzymes, which means that the vitamin has been bound to a protein. I believe that this makes the vitamins easier for the body absorb - important in the case of the B vitamins because usually they do not do a good job of penetrating the skin.

For Nioxin, the real star of the show is the first ingredient after water, phospholipids. Fairly recently, scientists discovered that they play an important role in cellular regulation. A Japanese study shows that phosphatidic acid has an "intensive" effect on hair growth by targeting the epithelial cells and epidermal keratinocytes. Furthermore, it induces the anagen (growth) phase of the hair cycle, perhaps by having a protective action on transforming-growth-factor-beta1-induced apoptosis.

Most of the rest of the ingredients are not directly related to hair growth, although many of them are useful antioxidants such as alga and yeast. It seems some of the ingredients have been selected to protect hair (and head) from UV damage. These would include the plant extracts, ginkgo and silybum. Humulus lupulus are common hops and the extracts have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, according to at least one study.

Serenoa Serrulata is saw palmetto and is a herbal remedy for a type of hair loss and baldness called androgenic alopecia, or male- and female-pattern baldness. This type of hair loss is typically the greatest at the top of the head or around the temples. No one is sure how it works and there isn’t any convincing research, but it’s believed that it may block an enzyme (5-alpha-reductase) from allowing the hormone testosterone from being converted to another hormone, dihydrotestosterone. Dihydrotestosterone is considered a key contributing factor to the onset and progression of androgenic alopecia. Saw palmetto is in Ookisa's hair thickening shampoo.

I'll report back on how I get on with Nioxin in a few weeks.


Water (Aqua), Phospholipids, Hydrolyzed Algin, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, Propylene Glycol, Ginkgo Biloba, Humulus Lupulus, Panax Ginseng, Serenoa Serrulata, Silybum Maranium, Wheat Amino Acids, Soy Amino Acids, Ethoxydiglycol, Coenzyme A, Coenzyme B5, Coenzyme B6, Coenzyme B12, Coenzyme Biotin, Coenzyme Folate, Coenzyme Nicotinate, Coenzyme Q6-10, Coenzyme R, Coenzyme Riboflavin, Coenzyme Thiamine, Panthenol, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Acetamide MEA, Tocopheryl Nicotinate, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Saccharomyces/Silicon Ferment, Saccharomyces/Magnesium Ferment, Saccharomyces/Copper Ferment, Saccharomyces/Iron Ferment, Saccharomyces/Zinc Ferment, Mentha Piperita, Rosmarinus Officinalis, Swertia Japonica, Polysorbate-60, Polysorbate-80, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Triethanolamine, Sodium Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylates Crosspolymer, Methyl Nicotinate, Parfum (Fragrance).
  • November 4, 2014

    by mark

    I would like to know the final result of your comparison.

  • September 12, 2013

    by Brittany

    I used to have thinning hair, and then it happen to my husband, He used to use Nioxin, but it was too drying for me, and it would strip my hair color. I fell in LOVE with the Shielo Volume shampoo cause it was great for my hair, and actually helped strengthen it. I absolutely love this stuff. It is well worth the money spent on this product.
    I use the Shielo Volume system even though my hair is not thinning anymore. My husband has been using it, and while he does not like the smell (vanilla - which i love!), I have noticed that his hair has gotten stronger.

  • April 15, 2013

    by angela van Rooyen

    I relax my hair, but now it is falling out What can I do

  • January 25, 2013

    by Marta

    Hi Linda, I haven't tried it on brows, but we do have a product specially formulated for brows: Brow Vitality Complex:

  • January 25, 2013

    by Linda

    Can this stuff be used for eyebrows?

Join the discussion! Leave a comment below.

My Comment

Add a comment...

-or- Cancel Comment
* Required Fields
truth in aging's five best

Truth In Aging's Five Best

The very best to choose from for your skin concerns.

Read More

truth in aging videos

Truth In Aging Videos

Helpful how-tos and reviews from Marta and friends.

Watch Now

meet our contributors

Meet Our Contributors

The TIA community consists of our trusted reviewers.

Meet Them

be inspired

Be Inspired

Inspiring thoughts and women who are aging gracefully.

Read More