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Keranique vs Nioxin: What's The Difference?

Mary Lucas, RN

Medically reviewed by Mary Lucas, MSCIS, MPhil, RN

Written by Our Editorial Team

Last updated 12/22/2021

If you’ve ever looked into shampoos for thinning hair, you’ve almost certainly heard of the brand names Keranique and Nioxin.

Keranique and Nioxin are both popular products for stimulating hair growth and treating female hair loss. Both are available online and over the counter, making them easy to access if you’re starting to develop the early signs of hair thinning.

While Keranique and Nioxin are similar, there are a few key differences between them that you should be aware of if you’re considering either product to prevent hair loss.

We’ve covered these below and provided more information about what you can do to keep your hair looking, feeling and growing its best if you’re prone to female hair loss

What Is Keranique?

Keranique is a popular “hair regrowth system” that’s marketed on TV and online. It consists of several products, including a shampoo, conditioner, hair treatment spray, brush and a regrowth treatment containing the active ingredient minoxidil.

Marketed as “America’s #1 selling hair regrowth system,” Keranique guarantees that it helps to promote regrowth for all hair types.

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 Keranique products contain several ingredients that are linked to hair growth. For example, the Scalp Stimulating Shampoo in the Keranique system contains niacinamide — a derivative of niacin.

In a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, researchers found that derivatives of niacin appear to improve hair fullness in women.

It also contains 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 products.

Another ingredient in Keranique’s shampoo is Mentha piperita, or peppermint. Over the years, a small amount of research has found that menthol, which is found in peppermint, improves blood flow to the skin.

This may play a role in promoting healthy hair growth, as improvements in blood flow may help to supply hair follicles with the nutrients they need to grow effectively.

The real star of the show in Keranique, however, is minoxidil, which is the main ingredient in the Keranique Hair Regrowth Treatment for Women. 

Minoxidil is an FDA-approved medication for hair loss that works by moving hair follicles into the anagen — or growth — phase of the natural hair growth cycle. 

It also helps to stimulate blood flow to your scalp, which may further promote hair growth.

Minoxidil works — a fact that’s backed up by lots of scientific research. In one study, researchers found that both 2% and 5% minoxidil produced real, noticeable improvements in hair growth for women over the course of 48 weeks.

In fact, minoxidil foam and minoxidil solution are two of our most popular hair growth treatments for women.

We’ve gone into more detail about how minoxidil works in our complete guide to using minoxidil for female hair loss

One important detail to note is that Keranique’s regrowth treatment contains 2% minoxidil, which is slightly weaker than the 5% minoxidil in our minoxidil foam. 

Those three percent make a difference — in the study above, after 48 weeks of use, the 5% topical minoxidil formula demonstrated “statistical superiority” to the 2% formula. 

Overall, the hair regrowth system that’s provided by Keranique is likely to produce at least some results, provided it’s used as recommended. 

The shampoo contains real active ingredients and the hair regrowth treatment, like all products with minoxidil, will likely stimulate hair growth. 

The only real issue is the price. At a total of $115.95 for a 30-day supply, Keranique’s system is fairly expensive, although it’s often available with discounts and additional bonuses. 

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What Is Nioxin?

Nioxin is a popular brand of hair loss products. Most of Nioxin’s hair growth system kits include a cleanser shampoo, conditioner and scalp and hair treatment. 

Like Keranique, Nioxin also has a 2% minoxidil hair regrowth treatment that’s formulated specifically for women. 

The product range offered by Nioxin is large, with several different shampoos, conditioners and other hair care products to choose from. 

Like with Keranique, the shampoos offered by Nioxin contain several ingredients linked to hair growth and scalp health, including peppermint oil, niacinamide, folic acid, biotin and a range of fruit extracts. 

Many of Nioxin’s products are designed to match the needs of a certain hair type. For example, system kits are available to treat natural, colored and bleached hair, with products available 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, fuller hair. 

Like Keranique, Nioxin’s hair regrowth treatment contains 2% minoxidil and is available in liquid form. 

Pricing for Nioxin’s products can vary, with the brand’s hair care system kits available from just under $30 and the minoxidil regrowth treatment available for $35 per month. 

Differences Between Keranique and Nioxin

Overall, Keranique and Nioxin offer similar hair care and hair regrowth products. However, there are a few key differences between the two brands that you’ll want to consider before purchasing either type of hair regrowth kit:

  • Nioxin offers a larger range of hair care products. Nioxin offers shampoo, conditioner and other hair care 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’s system includes minoxidil as standard. 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 customer reviews of Keranique and Nioxin products are positive, although some customers have reported skin irritation, dry hair and other issues.

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

Other Options for Treating Female Hair Loss

Keranique and Nioxin are both interesting options for treating female hair loss. Both brands sell a selection of hair care and hair regrowth products that contain proven ingredients, and both are widely available online and over the counter.

However, there are other ways that you can treat female hair loss, often at a lower cost than by using Keranique or Nioxin. 

Use Minoxidil on its Own

While brand name hair loss “systems” or “kits” like those offered by Keranique and Nioxin can produce real benefits, you can also deal with hair thinning by using minoxidil with your regular hair care products. 

Research shows that minoxidil is most effective in a 5% concentration. We offer 5% minoxidil foam for women that you can use to stimulate your hair follicles and grow thicker, stronger hair. 

Change Your Habits and Lifestyle

Using the right hair care products is just one part of preventing damaged hair. You can also cut down on hair shedding and promote the growth of thicker hair by making the following changes to your hair care habits and lifestyle:

  • Limiting stress. Stress can cause hair loss. More specifically, it can trigger a form of hair shedding called telogen effluvium. Try to limit your exposure to stressful people, situations or anything else that causes you to feel anxious or worried. 

  • Being careful with heat treatments. Anything that heats up your hair can potentially damage it, causing breakage and thinning. Be careful when using a hair dryer, curling iron or straightener. Use these tools infrequently and stick to the lowest heat settings.

  • Eat a balanced, healthy diet. Hair shedding can often 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. 

  • Use hair growth supplements. Numerous supplements can stimulate hair growth and keep your hair healthy. Try adding our Multivitamin Gummies, which contain biotin and niacin, to your daily hair care routine. 

Our guide to thickening your hair shares other techniques that you can use to keep your hair in optimal condition. 

Talk to Your Healthcare Provider

Sometimes, hair thinning is caused by physical health issues, such as nutritional deficiencies, chronic stress or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). 

If you think you might be shedding hair or developing female pattern hair loss due to a health issue, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider. 

This type of hair loss often improves when you treat the underlying condition. Your healthcare provider may be able to use testing to identify the root cause of your hair loss and suggest an appropriate form of treatment. 

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Are Keranique and Nioxin Worth It?

Keranique and Nioxin both offer a range of hair care and hair regrowth products, with options to suit most hair types. 

While using Keranique or Nioxin products may stimulate hair growth, you’ll likely get similar results by adding minoxidil to your current hair care routine. 

We offer minoxidil, hair loss prevention shampoo and other products as part of our range of hair loss products for women

We also offer a Complete Hair Kit that includes everything you need to stimulate regrowth, from minoxidil to shampoo, conditioner and biotin gummies. 

Want to learn more about protecting your hair from thinning and shedding? Our full guide to the best hair loss treatments for women goes into more detail about the causes of female hair loss, as well as your options for keeping your hair thick, full and healthy. 

7 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. Draelos, Z.D., Jacobson, E.L., Kim, H., Kim, M. & Jacobson, M.K. (2005, December). A pilot study evaluating the efficacy of topically applied niacin derivatives for treatment of female pattern alopecia. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. 4 (4), 258-61. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17168873/
  2. Trüeb, R.M. (2016, April-June). 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/
  3. Craighead, D.H., McCartney, N.B., Tumlinson, J.H. & Alexander, L.M. (2017, March). Mechanisms and time course of menthol-induced cutaneous vasodilation. Microvascular Research. 110, 43–47. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5396183/
  4. Badri, T., Nessel, T.A. & Kumar, D.D. (2021, April 13). Minoxidil. StatPearls. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482378/
  5. Lucky, A.W., et al. (2004, April). A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of 5% and 2% topical minoxidil solutions in the treatment of female pattern hair loss. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 50 (4), 541-53. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15034503/
  6. Hughes, E.C. & Saleh, D. (2021, June 8). Telogen Effluvium. StatPearls. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430848/
  7. How to Stop Damaging Your Hair. (n.d.). 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.

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