Nioxin 1 vs 2 – The Nioxin Scale Explained

Nioxin is one of the most popular hair loss shampoos that you’ll find on the current market. If you’re looking for something that can help to mitigate your current hair loss, the chances are that you’ve heard of using Nioxin as a brand. But, their 1-6 branding system can be confusing to those who haven’t used Nioxin before – in fact, it’s a little confusing in general.

Generally, the Nioxin numbers are used as a scale depending on how damaged your hair is, but also the style of your hair too. Nioxin 1 is for relatively fine hair, whereas Nioxin 2 is for even finer hair than this. 

Actually, the Nioxin scale can be quite confusing because it doesn’t necessarily follow the order of what you might think. It’s important to know which Nioxin you should opt for, because one of them may be far more suitable for your hair than another.

Nioxin 1 vs 2 – The Categories

Generally, the Nioxin’s are separated into three different categories. Firstly, they’re divided by whether they’re used for normal to thin hair, or noticeably thin hair. The odd numbers 1, 3 and are designed to work with normal thin hair, while even numbers 2, 4 and work better with noticeably thin hair. If you aren’t sure what category you fit into, then it’s a good idea to visit your local salon – they should be able to give you a good idea of your hair situation.

Then, they’re separated by whether your hair is naturally thin, or whether your natural hair is more coarse and thick. Nioxin and are designed specifically for those with coarse hair, so if this is you then you should opt for either of these models.

Finally, Nioxin is divided by whether you have natural hair, or whether you color your hair regularly. If you don’t color your hair regularly and it’s not currently colored, you might be better off just going for the regular natural hair option. Nioxin and are for natural hair, and are for colored hair and and is for naturally thicker hair so you can use it on both natural or colored hair.

Here’s I’ll give you a short guide to each Nioxin and what you should expect from the different options available.

Nioxin 1 – Normal-to-thin, Fine, Natural Hair

The standard Nioxin, number 1 is one of Nioxin’s most popular products (along with Nioxin 2). It’s generally made for those who are just starting to experience thinning of the hair – whether this be due to diet, stress or just aging, Nioxin 1 is the go to if you’re just starting to deal with hair loss.

It’s relatively gentle on your hair, which is important. Not everyone needs some extreme hair loss shampoo to help rejuvenate their scalp, so it’s worth getting the best hair loss shampoo for your scalp. Whether that be full strength Nioxin 6 or the softer Nioxin 1, each option may prove beneficial to different individuals.

Nioxin 2 – Noticeably thin, Fine, Natural Hair

If your hair is a little more than just a little thin, then it’s probably a better option to go for Nioxin 2 as opposed to Nioxin 1. This is because it’s designed for noticeably thin hair, but it still isn’t particularly strong if you compare it to the Nioxin’s made for colored hair. Nioxin 2 works well for adding strength and depth to your hair, so you should consider it if you’re dealing with quite severe thinning but you still have your natural hair.

Nioxin 3 -Normal-to-thin, Fine, Colored Hair

Nioxin 3 and 4 are designed specifically to deal with people who have colored their hair extensively. If you’ve done this, don’t feel guilty – there’s nothing wrong with coloring your hair! It just means that the formula of your shampoo will have to be a little different due to the chemicals that are used in hair dyes. The number of women using hair dyes is increasing dramatically, so there’s nothing to worry about if you do this.

Nioxin 3 is perfect for those who only need to make their hair a little thicker, but also have to deal with colored hair and ensure that they get a shampoo that works.

Nioxin 4 – Noticeably thin, Fine, Colored Hair

Nioxin 4 and Nioxin 3 are extremely similar – the only difference being that whilst Nioxin 3 is designed for those with slightly thinning hair, Nioxin 4 is made for those with noticeably thin hair. Whether you regularly dye your hair or you just go to the salon regularly, it’s important to get the right shampoo treatment for you – often, salons use a lot of chemicals in their products. This might mean that you need a higher number Nioxin, even if you don’t color your hair at home.

Nioxin 5 -Normal-to-thin, Medium to Coarse Hair

Nioxin 5 and 6 are made for those with thicker hair than the norm. Depending on your heritage, you may or may not fit into this category. You can easily find out ways to determine your hair type without having to go to see a dermatologist.

Nioxin 5 is designed for those who have thick, coarse hair but haven’t necessarily experienced much thinning yet. In my experience, it can be much harder to determine whether your hair is thinning dramatically when you have thicker hair.

Nioxin 6 – Noticeably thin, Medium to Coarse Hair

And the last of the Nioxin’s, Nioxin 6 is made for those who have drastically thin hair that’s also pretty coarse naturally. It doesn’t matter whether you have your hair natural or you dye it, you can still use Nioxin 6 for your hair. This is because coarser hair can naturally take a stronger shampoo than if you naturally have very fine hair – it isn’t an issue.


Overall, these are the different options that you have if you’re looking to use a Nioxin shampoo. They range from 1-6, so you’ll have plenty of choice to find the right product for you. Of course as well as this, you’ll get Nioxin’s mousse too if you buy their full kit – this is all the same for each number. It’s a good way to deal with temporary hair loss and rejuvenate your hair back to it’s former self.

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