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Keranique vs Nioxin: Which Is Better for Hair Growth?

beth holloway

Reviewed by Beth Holloway RN,M.Ed

Written by Rachel Sacks

Published 12/21/2021

Updated 09/14/2023

If you have thin or thinning hair, it’s hard not to get jealous of those with heads of full, luscious locks. Our hair goals often include being able to do hair flips that would make Beyoncé jealous (just us?).

So if you’re experiencing hair loss, you’ve probably looked into all kinds of haircare products to stop hair shedding — including hair growth shampoos like Keranique and Nioxin.

Keranique and Nioxin are popular products for stimulating hair growth and treating hair loss in women. Both are available to buy online or over the counter at drugstores and supermarkets.

So, which is better for hair growth?

What is Nioxin, exactly — does Nioxin have minoxidil? And what are the Keranique ingredients? We’ll answer all these questions below and cover everything you need to know about Keranique versus Nioxin.

You don’t have to sift through hundreds of Keranique and Nioxin hair regrowth treatment reviews. This blog will help you make the most informed choice for your hair loss treatment.

What Is Keranique?

Let’s start with Keranique.

A popular hair regrowth treatment, Keranique guarantees its ability to promote regrowth for all hair types.

The brand has several products, including shampoo, conditioner, hair treatment spray, regrowth treatment and a brush.

But the most critical question you’re probably wondering is: Does Keranique work?

Keranique products contain several ingredients linked to hair growth. The three main Keranique ingredients that help stop hair thinning are niacinamide (a derivative of niacin), biotin and minoxidil.

A small pilot study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that derivatives of niacin appear to improve hair fullness in women. (Full disclosure: This study received funding from the skincare company Niadyne, which may present a conflict of interest.)

Niacinamide may help promote hair regrowth by keeping damaging oxidative stress at bay. It might also prevent hair follicles from prematurely entering the catagen (or transitional) phase of the hair growth cycle.

Keranique shampoos and other products from the brand also contain biotin, an important B vitamin. Research suggests that women with hair loss are often deficient in biotin, although findings are mixed on the efficacy of topical biotin, such as that found in shampoos, conditioners and other haircare products.

The real star ingredient, however, is minoxidil (also known as the brand name Rogaine®). Minoxidil is one of two FDA-approved treatments for hair loss and is available as a liquid solution or foam.

Minoxidil is considered one of the best hair loss treatments for women. This hair loss treatment can also be taken as an oral medication and is effective at treating androgenetic alopecia (the medical term for female pattern baldness) with few side effects.

Think of minoxidil as fertilizer for your hair. Although exactly how this medication works isn’t entirely clear, it’s thought to treat hair loss in women by moving hair into the growth phase of the hair growth cycle.

With all three of these active ingredients combined, Keranique shampoo and other hair regrowth products from the brand are likely to produce at least some results — provided they’re used as recommended.

What Is Nioxin?

Nioxin is another popular line of hair loss products. The brand’s hair growth system kits typically include cleanser shampoo and conditioner, plus scalp health and hair treatments.

Like Keranique, Nioxin hair regrowth treatment products for women contain several ingredients linked to hair regrowth and stronger hair, such as niacinamide, folic acid, biotin and minoxidil.

Many of Nioxin’s products are designed to match the needs of a particular hair type. For example, system kits are available to treat natural, bleached or color-treated hair, with products formulated specifically for light thinning and more progressed hair thinning.

Nioxin also offers a range of hair styling products, some of which are formulated to produce the appearance of thicker hair.

Does Nioxin work, though? The active ingredient in Nioxin is 2% minoxidil, an amount that’s been proven effective in treating hair loss in women with few side effects.

So how do Nioxin versus Keranique stack up? Keep reading for insight.

Keranique vs. Nioxin

At first glance, there don’t seem to be too many differences when you compare Keranique versus Nioxin.

However, knowing a few key distinctions about each brand can help you figure out which hair regrowth kit or products to buy.

  • Nioxin offers a larger range of haircare products. Nioxin makes shampoo, conditioner and other haircare products to suit every hair type, as well as several supplements and other products for promoting optimal hair health. In contrast, Keranique’s range of products is slightly smaller, with a greater focus on hair regrowth systems.

  • Keranique includes minoxidil in its kits. Minoxidil is always included in the Keranique Regrowth System, whereas it’s offered as a separate product in Nioxin’s system kits.

  • Both products are generally well-reviewed. Most Keranique and Nioxin hair regrowth treatment reviews are positive, although some customers have reported skin irritation, dry hair and other issues. Skin irritation is one common minoxidil side effect as well as telogen effluvium, a temporary form of hair loss that occurs when hairs are shed in the resting phase of hair growth.

  • Keranique offers a 120-day money-back guarantee. If you don’t experience at least some degree of hair regrowth within 120 days of using Keranique products, you can return them for a full refund.

Other Options for Female Hair Loss

Keranique and Nioxin are potential options for treating female hair loss. Both brands offer a selection of haircare and hair regrowth products containing proven ingredients.

However, there are other ways to treat female hair loss, often at a lower cost than by using Nioxin or Keranique shampoos or other products.

Using Minoxidil Only

You don’t have to shell out hundreds of dollars for brand-name kits or products containing this proven hair growth ingredient — especially if you like the haircare products you currently use.

Instead, you can deal with hair thinning by using minoxidil along with your regular products.

Research shows minoxidil is most effective in a 5% concentration, although the trade-off is a higher risk of side effects. We offer 5% minoxidil foam for women you can use to stimulate your hair follicles and grow thicker, stronger hair.

We also offer 2% minoxidil drops in a liquid solution applied directly to the hair. Or, if you don’t want to worry about properly applying the solution, you can try oral minoxidil.

You might also consider topical finasteride & minoxidil spray. Finasteride is currently only approved by the FDA for hair loss in men but may have positive hair growth effects in postmenopausal women. Our guide on finasteride for women has more details.

finasteride for women

the only hair loss spray of its kind

Try Other Hair Boosting Products

If you’ve noticed your hair is thinner, it doesn’t necessarily indicate hair loss. Still, fine hair can get some oomph with regular use of volumizing shampoo and conditioner.

Our guide to thicker hair shares other techniques to give both your locks and your confidence a boost.

Use the Right Ingredients

When it comes to over-the-counter hair growth products, it’s always more important to look for active ingredients than to compare brand names. The ingredients in your haircare products can make a difference in your hair health.

Ingredients that might be bad for hair include sulfates, parabens and formaldehyde. On the other hand, some key ingredients can treat certain conditions that cause hair loss, such as zinc pyrithione, ketoconazole and others.

Next time you’re out buying shampoo for hair loss, take a few seconds to look at the back of the bottle for sulfate- or paraben-free products.

Change Your Haircare Habits

Using the right haircare products is just one part of getting healthy hair. You can also reduce damaged hair, prevent breakage and promote the growth of thicker hair by changing or avoiding these haircare habits:

  • Using shampoo from the middle to the ends of hair (instead of just at the roots)

  • Skipping conditioner

  • Rubbing hair with a towel

  • Brushing hair while it’s wet

  • Using heat styling tools often

  • Wearing tight hairstyles

  • Coloring, perming or relaxing hair

Keep scrolling for a rundown of supplements that might help your hair game.

Take Hair Growth Supplements

Numerous hair vitamins and supplements can stimulate hair growth and keep your hair healthy. This includes biotin, saw palmetto, iron and vitamin D.

Hair shedding can also occur as a result of crash dieting or nutritional deficiencies. Make sure to eat a balanced diet that provides your body with the macronutrients and micronutrients it needs for optimal hair growth.

If epic hair flips are the goal, try adding our biotin gummies, which also contain folic acid and niacin, to your daily haircare routine.

minoxidil + biotin chewable

fuller, thicker hair in 3-6 months? yes please

The Verdict on Nioxin vs. Keranique for Hair Growth

Although not physically painful, hair loss can definitely bring a great deal of anxiety and stress — not to mention a blow to your self-confidence.

Keranique and Nioxin are two popular hair loss treatments that aim to grow your hair back. But when it comes to Nioxin versus Keranique, which is better?

Here’s what to keep in mind:

  • Keranique offers several products, such as shampoo, conditioner and hair regrowth treatment. Ingredients like niacinamide and biotin can help hair growth, while the main ingredient, minoxidil, is a proven-effective treatment for hair loss.

  • Nioxin makes shampoo, conditioner and scalp treatments. Many of these products also contain hair growth ingredients like niacinamide, folic acid, biotin and minoxidil.

  • When it comes to Keranique versus Nioxin, both are fairly popular and well-reviewed. Nioxin offers more products, while minoxidil is a key ingredient in all Keranique products.

  • There are other options for female hair loss, such as using minoxidil on its own, checking your hair product ingredients, using a volumizing shampoo and conditioner and taking hair growth supplements.

Hair thinning or hair loss is sometimes caused by other health issues. Talking to a healthcare provider can help you figure out the root cause and find the right hair loss treatments.

You can also browse our wide selection of haircare products for women in the journey to reach your hair goals.

10 Sources

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references.

  1. Label: KERANIQUE HAIR REGROWTH TREATMENT FOR WOMEN- minoxidil 2% spray. (n.d.). DailyMed. Retrieved from https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=8d580c01-a13d-81f8-e053-2a95a90a7426
  2. Draelos, Z. D., Jacobson, E. L., Kim, H., Kim, M., & Jacobson, M. K. (2005). A pilot study evaluating the efficacy of topically applied niacin derivatives for treatment of female pattern alopecia. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 4, 258–261. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Myron-Jacobson/publication/6630887_A_pilot_study_evaluating_the_efficacy_of_topically_applied_niacin_derivatives_for_treatment_of_female_pattern_alopecia/links/5c4eef05a6fdccd6b5cf3145/A-pilot-study-evaluating-the-effic
  3. Choi, Y. H., Shin, J. Y., Kim, J., Kang, N. G., & Lee, S. (2021). Niacinamide Down-Regulates the Expression of DKK-1 and Protects Cells from Oxidative Stress in Cultured Human Dermal Papilla Cells. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 14, 1519–1528. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8536842/
  4. Trüeb R. M. (2016). Serum Biotin Levels in Women Complaining of Hair Loss. International journal of trichology, 8(2), 73–77. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4989391/
  5. Suchonwanit, P., Thammarucha, S., & Leerunyakul, K. (2019). Minoxidil and its use in hair disorders: a review. Drug design, development and therapy, 13, 2777–2786. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6691938/
  6. Vañó-Galván, S., Pirmez, R., Hermosa-Gelbard, A., Moreno-Arrones, Ó. M., Saceda-Corralo, D., Rodrigues-Barata, R., Jimenez-Cauhe, J., Koh, W. L., Poa, J. E., Jerjen, R., Trindade de Carvalho, L., John, J. M., Salas-Callo, C. I., Vincenzi, C., Yin, L., Lo-Sicco, K., Waskiel-Burnat, A., Starace, M., Zamorano, J. L., Jaén-Olasolo, P., … Bhoyrul, B. (2021). Safety of low-dose oral minoxidil for hair loss: A multicenter study of 1404 patients. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 84(6), 1644–1651. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33639244/
  7. NIOXIN HAIR REGROWTH TREATMENT FOR WOMEN- minoxidil solution. (n.d.). DailyMed. Retrieved from https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/lookup.cfm?setid=3dc552e9-5b85-4663-88aa-bde8c8c5a422
  8. Sung, C. T., Juhasz, M. L., Choi, F. D., & Mesinkovska, N. A. (2019). The Efficacy of Topical Minoxidil for Non-Scarring Alopecia: A Systematic Review. Journal of drugs in dermatology : JDD, 18(2), 155–160. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30794366/
  9. Hughes, E.C., Saleh, D. Telogen Effluvium. [Updated 2023 May 29]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430848/
  10. How to stop damaging your hair. (n.d.). American Academy of Dermatology. Retrieved from https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-loss/insider/stop-damage

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Beth Holloway RN,M.Ed

Beth Holloway is a Master’s-educated registered nurse. The early years of her practice focused on family practice care delivery, college-level instruction, patient education program development, and healthcare provider training.

Her career led her to focus on the use of technology in healthcare, developing clinical content for electronic health records (EMRs), web-based organizations and smartphone-based apps.

Beth researches and writes content that is evidence-based, accurate and appropriate to the audience. She continues to be passionate about content, striving for best-in-industry outcomes. 

Beth started her work in Ohio and has also practiced in several other states (Virginia, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina). She holds degrees in nursing and public health from Youngstown State University and in education from Kent State University.  Find her LinkedIn profile.

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