Like up to 5 million American women, I have polycystic ovarian syndrome, and one of the major symptoms is androgenic hair loss—also called “androgenic alopecia,” which sounds only slightly less horrifying. For about a year and half now, I’ve been using a hair-care line called Nioxin. At the salon where I get my hair cut, the stylists recommend it for anyone—male or female—who wants thicker, fuller hair. Specifically, I’ve been using Nioxin’s styling products, Type 1 conditioner and Type 1 shampoo. The latter can also be used as a facial cleanser for people with hormone-related breakouts. They’ve worked well enough—no dramatic improvement but no dramatic worsening either, which has been something of a win for the battle of inches that is hair loss.
In 2011, Nioxin released a serum called Diamax, and all the stylists at the salon were enthusiastic. One might even say they were ebullient.
“Try it! It’s amazing!” they said.
“That’s what you said about the other stuff, and it was just okay,” I said. (I was not ebullient. I was not even enthusiastic.)
“No, this is really amazing.”
“But it’s also really expensive—forty-five dollars for just 3.4 ounces?”
“Yes, but it works. You can get your money back if you call the company within fifteen days and mail your receipt back within sixty.”
“Who has time for that? I’m still trying to get my taxes done!”
I passed. They shrugged. And then one day, we had Diamax here at the office, and I absconded with it in my bag with the promise that I would return and review. So here I am.
At least for me it does. For about a month now, I’ve been using Diamax in tandem with Nioxin’s shampoo, conditioner, and styling products; it hasn’t worked miracles, but it’s worked well enough that I’ve been able to recognize a difference in my target areas (the only areas to which I’ve been applying it; sorry, directions), and so have others. Two weeks after I started using Diamax, my mother and two friends commented, on separate occasions, that my hair looked fuller. Also, I went on a trip last week and left the Diamax at home to make room in my plastic baggie o’ beauty. After two days without using the serum, I noticed that my hair felt thinner again. Came home, resumed Diamax, and my hair bounced back in two days.
The price is likely to keep me from being ebullient—even on the Web, it’s hard to find for less than $40—but at least the product is effective. I plan to keep using it, and I’d recommend it with enthusiasm for others looking to fill out their thin spots.