As women, our relationship with our hair is complicated, almost verging on primal. It’s our crowning glory. Our security blanket…
Full, shiny hair signifies vitality and youth. Lank, thinned-out hair is – naturally - the opposite. It’s no wonder then that, for women, losing our hair is about as terrifying as being told we can never wear heels or lipstick again (say it isn’t true!). In fact, global research by Nioxin of 4,000 adults across six markets found that people with thinning hair hold back from living a fuller life. I concur, I definitely feel flat when my hair is looking thin.
I expected to lose some density after my kids were born, but I didn’t expect for the follicular fall out to re-occur years later, once they were both out of nappies.
Thankfully, although my hair is fine there’s quite a lot of it, so losing a bit isn’t going to send me running for the wig store, but it’s still very unnerving seeing clumps of it on the bathroom floor every time I wash and dry it.
I’ve heard that Nioxin products are great for people experiencing thinning and I’m told it’s also the number one salon brand for thicker, fuller hair.
Tick, tick, tick. When I chat to the brand about their new product launch, they invite me to trial the product for thirty days and report my findings on the site. First up? A consultation with the experts from Nioxin. I front up to the high ceilinged industrial-styled Wella Studio in Sydney’s Surry Hills on a blustery Autumn day, ready to be wowed.
Gina Thomas, Education Director for Nioxin, welcomes me and explains that I’m about to undergo a consultation which will take a deep-dive into my lifestyle, hair and scalp health and lastly to prescribe my Nioxin regimen including a 3-part System Kit, intensive care and styling products. And the first thing I want to understand is …
WHY HAIR FALLS OUT
Gina explains that a common cause of hair thinning is your body reacting to stress. It can be from something severe: like a death in the family, or something crazy going on with work, or it can be something as seemingly unrelated as medication. And we’re not talking chemotherapy or hormone replacement, it can be as simple as taking too much Panadol, Nurofen or strong vitamins. “Anything that your body hasn’t naturally created - and you’ve put into your body - it can react to, and almost work as a defence mechanism”, she adds. It can also be hormone and hereditary related. Although hereditary hair loss generally affects men more than women.
THE CONSULTATION PROCESS
The simple questionnaire (this can be done in salon or online at www.nioxin.com) is conducted on an iPad and helps us to identify which Nioxin System Kit and treatments I need and is best suited to my level of thinning and current hair and scalp condition.
I tap in my selections from the multiple choice questions as the consultation uses a small lens on the camera’s iPad to take some photographs of my scalp.
“We’ll use these to determine your hair and scalp health” she says, snapping away, explaining that it’s also possible to be diagnosed at your nearest Nioxin salon – check out the salon finder.
The screen flashes up my prescription – the Nioxin 3D Care System Kit No. 3. This is specifically for coloured hair with light thinning. The kit includes a cleanser, revitalising conditioner and a scalp treatment for easy application over the 30-day challenge period. The Nioxin System Kit includes new, reformulated 3D Color Lock Technology (Pro-Color Shield) which works specifically on coloured hair, to ensure vibrancy is maintained throughout the treatment process, protecting and maintaining coloured hair whilst increasing thickness and density.
Nioxin was founded by Eva Graham, a beauty industry pioneer who worked from the scalp up in developing a ‘healthy environment’ to grow the best quality of hair. Much like skincare (cleanse, tone and moisturise) the 3-Part System works similarly, cleansing, optimising and treating the scalp for ultimate hair health from root to tip. As an extension of the facial skin, the scalp needs the same attention and care. Nioxin's 'skincare' approach to thinning addresses hair density and diameter from its foundation - the scalp.
Supporting the System Kit, there are additional treatment products such as Diaboost, Nioxin Night Density Rescue, and my new favourite – Nioxin Instant Fullness Dry Cleanser, which has all the attributes of the full range in a handy, throw-in-your-handbag bottle that you can use on the go. Fully equipped with my consultation and products, I head off home to begin my Nioxin 30 Day Challenge…
That night I start with the shampoo – lathering well with water as instructed – and then apply the conditioner to my scalp and strands (contrary to most conditioners which are best on the mid lengths and ends). The thing I notice straight away is how fresh my scalp feels. The products contain peppermint oil (which you can feel a cool tingle almost instantly) and caffeine, along with ingredients to thoroughly cleanse the scalp and remove follicle-clogging sebum and fatty acids - which can contribute to hair and density loss. Apparently if the follicle is properly clear at the root, the strand has more space to grow fuller, thicker and healthier. Imagine your hair strand as toothpaste, being squeezed out of a tube… the more ‘blocked’ the tube is, the thinner the amount can escape – it is a similar process with hair. I was concerned at first that the tingle would irritate my sensitive scalp but was pleasantly surprised that it caused no problems over the 30 days, and even soothed my scalp when it started to flare up. Cue relief!
After washing, the next step is to spray the roots generously with the Nioxin Scalp and Hair Treatment. This contains Vitamin E, A and Niacinamide to work at the root of the hair, boosting the growth and giving the feeling of fuller hair. I then apply the Nioxin 3D Intensive Diaboost here, before styling and blow drying my hair. Diaboost is a leave-in gel which you apply when wet to plump upthe thickness of each strand.
Some nights I also amp up the routine with Nioxin Night Density Rescue which is almost like a night cream for your scalp. As before – just like skincare and your face – the scalp regenerates best at night when we’re resting, absorbing ingredients as we sleep. I put this one next to my toothbrush to remind myself and use the dropper - distributing a drop every 2-3cm across my head and massaging in before hitting the pillow.
And that’s it… 3-steps to follow, with additional treatments should you need to boost your results. The online consultation includes these additional treatments into your ‘diagnosis’ – depending on your level of thinning and hair type.
Well it’s been 30 days – 33 in fact, as I write this, and honestly? I have no plans to stop using the products. My hair is definitely, without a doubt, fuller than it has been in months. Funnily enough, it doesn’t seem to have stopped my strands falling out – I still see a bit of hair on the floor after I blow dry it, but I feel like I can afford to lose it! And I never thought I’d say that.
The strands themselves feel denser and I’m absolutely addicted to Nioxin Diaboost – that little gem will be my blow dry secret weapon for years to come. I’m so glad I committed to the challenge and am looking forward to seeing how the products continue to work over the coming months.
Shop The Look:
The new and improved Nioxin range is available now in all Nioxin salons. To find your nearest NIOXIN salon, use the salon finder at https://www.nioxin.com/en-EN/salonfinder and for an online Nioxin consultation visit: https://www.nioxin.com/en-EN/consultation-tool
You can also share your journey to thicker, fuller hair using #NIOXIN30Days.
Story by Sigourney Cantelo; Photography by Alice Mahran, Nioxin and Sigourney Cantelo