nioxin vs olaplex

Nioxin Vs Olaplex Review (2023) | Which Hair Care Brand Is Better For Damaged Hair?

Nioxin Vs Olaplex. What products to use if you have damaged hair and which brand is better for thinning and hair loss? Find out here.

Both the Nioxin and Olaplex hair care brands have a lot in common. 

They are known for having multiple hair systems which includes a range of products like shampoos, conditioners and hair serums, etc. which target a particular problem.

Olaplex comes in a range of products labeled number 1-8. For example, the Olaplex number 1 is a hair multiplier system which helps repair damaged strands  while number 3 is a shampoo.

Similarly there are different Nioxin hair system kits including system 1, 2, 3 all the way up to 8, which contains a hair cleanser, conditioner and mask that helps solve different hair issues.

 Here, for example the Nioxin system 1 is for treating hair loss while the Nioxin system 6 is for damaged bleached hair and the Nioxin system 3 is for color treated hair with mild thinning. 

So as you can see these two brands have several similarities so  there are bound to be comparisons between the two.

I decided to take a look at both hair care brands and test out products from each of them to see how they fare against one another.

Nioxin Vs Olaplex 

Variety of ProductsShampoos, Conditioners, Hair Serums, Hair Masks, Styling ProductsShampoos, Conditioners, Hair Masks, Oils, Bonding Treatments
Pricing Average (starting at $7)High (starting at $20)
SulfatesScalp care range and colored hair range is sulfate-freeAll of Olaplex is sulfate-free
IngredientsUses Coenzymes, Nut Oils, Glycoproteins, and proprietary blends Patented formula mainly including Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate.  
FragranceSome products added perfumesSome products added perfumes

About Nioxin Hair Care

Nioxin was the brainchild of Eva Graham who created the brand when she herself experienced a Lot of hair loss after the birth of her child.

 In 1987 Graham teamed up with a bunch of pharmacologists, hair specialist, trichologist and other experts to create the Nioxin Hair Research Laboratory. 

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The aim of this brand is to create products that can tackle hair loss and help your thinning hair regrow quicker and healthier. 

 In 2008 Nioxin Hair Care was bought by Procter and Gamble. 

Nioxin hair care systems has the following ranges:

  1. Treatments For Light Thinning:
  • System 1 –  For Natural Hair
  • System 3 –  For Colored Hair
  • System 5 –  For Bleached Hair/Damaged Hair 
  1. Treatments For Progressed Thinning
  • System 2 – For Natural Hair
  • System 4 – For Colored Hair
  • System 6 – For Bleached Hair/Damaged Hair 

There are also other hair products you can buy a la carte if you will. These include hair masks, serums, hair supplements, hair gels, sprays, and several others that cover a wide range of hair issues. 

About Olaplex

Olaplex is a relatively new brand compared to Nioxin as it was established in 2014 in California. Unlike Nioxin, Olaplex focuses more on healing damage and reducing hair breakage.

This brand has over 100 patents and focuses on creating formulas that can help in Bond building. 

Which means that Olaplex products exclusively focus on repairing protein bonds in hair that have weakened due to damage, making these products excellent for Natural African American hair, colored hair, bleached hair, keratin-treated hair and other hair types that are prone to damage. 

Also unlike Nioxin, Olaplex does not have different systems but it does classify its products from 1 to 10 depending on the order in which you are supposed to use them. The 10 Olaplex products in order are:

  • Olaplex No.0 Intensive Bond Building Treatment
  • Olaplex No.1 Bond Multiplier
  • Olaplex No.2 Bond Perfector
  • Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector
  • Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo
  • Olaplex No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner
  • Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil
  • Olaplex No. 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask

Comparing The Two Brands

which is better olaplex vs nioxin

Formula Basics

I think the chief difference between Nioxin and Olaplex hair care is that Nioxin is exclusively a drug free system developed to treat training and hair loss while Olaplex is focused on bond maintenance which helps in reducing header image. 

Now let’s take a look at the ingredients. 


The ingredients used in these systems are also quite different.  Nioxin prefers to use a blend of patented components including silk protein, Kukui nut oil, Coenzymes, glycoproteins and other botanicals. 

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On the other hand, Olaplex makes use of its patented formulas that are often top secret.  However, one of the game changing ingredients in Olaplex is the Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate. This helps repair the loss of protein due to excessive heat styling, bleaching and coloring on hair. 

Here’s what my colored hair look like a few weeks after using the Olaplex Shampoo, conditioner and bond builder.

olaplex treatment effects


While the Olaplex shampoos, conditioners, etc. are very easily available as single products, you might often find Nioxin come in a package as a “system”. However, there are single Nioxin products available online.

So you are basically advised to use these Nioxin products together. With Olaplex you can mix it up and use a different shampoo or hair mask. But Nioxin has to be used together for best results. 

I had very light hair loss so I chose the system 3 as I also had bleached and colored hair.

how many times a week should i use nioxin


Both of these hair brands have a very similar price markup. There are some Nioxin items that are cheaper individually on sites like amazon. But Nioxin systems as a whole are more expensive than the Olaplex combo packages.

For example, I purchased 8 Fl. Oz. bottle of Olaplex shampoo while the Nioxin System 4 Cleanser was $28 for 16.4 Fl. Oz, which is double the quantity for almost the same price. 

Here I could see the results of the Nioxin systems working as I saw new baby hair grow near my scalp thinning areas.

nioxin ruined my hair

FAQs about the Nioxin Shampoo Vs Olaplex Shampoo 

Does Olaplex treatment actually work?

This isn’t a yes or no question as the answer is a bit complicated.  The Olaplex treatment cannot regrow your hair for control hair loss but it is excellent for treating damage and reducing breakage thereby making your tresses grow long and strong. If you use the Olaplex treatment correctly and for a longer period it will definitely show its effects.  A lot of users who swear by olaplex have said that they had used the product for at least two months before seeing the results.

Does Nioxin damage your hair?

Does Olaplex help with thinning hair?

No it does not. Every hair product has its own use and most Olaplex products focus on reducing breakage by fighting and reducing the signs of damage on your hair. This involves reducing split ends, frizz, breakage due to tangles,  loss of Keratin protein, etc. The formula of Olaplex products will not contribute to thinning your hair however they will prevent breakage.

How many times a week should I use Nioxin?

Each Nioxin system comes with a shampoo conditioner and aftercare treatment. The official statement is that you should use Nioxin at least four times a week. However this isn’t feasible if you have curly hair or excessively dry hair. So you can adjust the number of times you use Nioxin according to your hair type and texture. 

What shampoo can I use instead of Olaplex?

Olaplex is quite an expensive brand and people often look for its cheaper dupes to use. If you are looking for a drug store brand that can mimic the effect of Olaplex shampoo and conditioner you should check out the L’Oreal Paris Elvive Total Repair and OGX Bonding Plex Hair Care lines. These products are also formulated to reduce breakage by repairing the bonds between damaged hair cells and replenishing the lost keratin in them.

Summary on Olaplex Vs Nioxin

Both Olaplex and Nioxin have different functions for hair but are often clubbed together as they both have subdivided their products numerically to help buyers identify what they are good for. 

Olaplex has a patented “bond building” formula that helps reduce excessively damaged hair by rebuilding the protein bonds between the hair molecules. 

So this hair care brand is best suited for those with damaged hair due to coloring, bleaching, heat styling, etc.

Nioxin, on the other hand, is a hair care brand that caters to treating hair thinning and hair loss. Its “systems” are focused on reducing hair thinning that is either too progressed and mild by adjusting the formulas used for each case. 

This brand also further divides its products to be suitable for natural hair, colored hair and excessively damaged (by bleaching) hair. 

Pricing wise, Olaplex is definitely the more expensive option. 

When it comes to effectiveness, both Olaplex and Nioxin work wonders on hair, but for different issues. 

Also Read:

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