Add this to the list of things that suck about middle age: thinning hair. We know, it’s a big list, but thinning ought to be high up there.
Hence my use of Nioxin and their Thinning Hair System 2 ($25). How many systems are there? Six. One, three, and five are for normal to thin hair, and two, four, and six are for “noticeably thin hair”, which, in my case, means more than three people have commented on it in the past two weeks. One, two, three, and four are for fine hair, and five and six are for medium to coarse hair. One and two are for natural hair, and three, four, five, and six are for chemically treated hair.
So, since my hair is a) fine, b) noticeably thinning, and c) hasn’t ever been chemically treated, System 2 is my default system. It promises hair that looks both thicker and denser in thirty days.
The system consists of three things: a shampoo, a conditioner, and a “treatment”, which is basically a foam.
The shampoo promises to clear your scalp of sebum, fatty acids, and environmental residues. It does, as far as I can tell. More importantly—to me, anyway—it takes some of the oil off of my scalp. I started noticing less hair on the shower floor a week into starting with the shampoo. Be warned: there is a strong peppermint smell to this shampoo.
The conditioner is supposed to “promote hair resistance and control moisture balance”. Don’t know about that, but I started losing less hair to the comb. This conditioner is pretty light too, which my oily scalp appreciates.
Now, the treatment. It works like an inoffensive mousse. You apply to the scalp after showering, rub it in, and leave it all day. It contains antioxidants, botanicals (that peppermint again), and methyl nicotinate. If you’ve ever rubbed tea tree oil into your scalp, that’s what this feels like. Well, a less intense version, anyway. It causes about twenty minutes worth of redness, so I found it worthwhile to get it done in the morning. Also helpful: the treatment contains some SPF 15, which, if your hair is actually thinning, comes in handy.
So, moment of truth: thirty days later, my hair did, indeed, seem thicker and denser. Was it actually? Not sure—I don’t own a microscope, so I don’t have anyway to actually pull out a hair and see if it’s gained a few microns of thickness. But my hair looks thicker, and that’s all I really care about.