Nexxus Shampoo Review: Can it Prevent Frizz?

Nexxus Shampoo Review: Can it Prevent Frizz?


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Nexxus is a popular shampoo brand which claims to both “strengthen hair from the inside” and form “a weightless, invisible barrier around every strand to block out humidity & frizz.”

But are there shampoo ingredients actually proven to prevent frizz, or are these just marketing claims? Does Nexxus shampoo contain ingredients shown to improve hair quality? Does it have any questionable additive ingredients? And how do real users rate it?

In this article we'll answer all of these questions and more, as we highlight some questionable health claims on the Nexxus website.

We'll analyze the ingredients in one of the brand's most popular products to give our take on whether or not it's likely to improve hair quality.

We'll also feature unsponsored customer reviews, and explain why Nexxus was recalled in 2022.

Questionable Health Claims

Nexxus questionable health claim 1

Nexxus makes a number of questionable health claims on their website, including the statement shown above that their shampoo creates an "invisible barrier" around hair follicles to block frizz.

There is no citation for this claim and we do not understand how it would be possible for shampoo to create an invisible barrier around hair.

The company claims that jasmine flower is “known for its ultra-light moisturizing properties” but provides no citation for this claim.

We cannot find a single clinical study showing that jasmine flower (botanical name Jasminum) is an effective topical moisturizer.

The Nexxus website also claims that “18-MEA lipids” can “boost the cuticle cells’ natural hydrophobicity.” This suggests that these ingredients repel water, and again, there is no citation for this claim at the time of updating this article.

18-MEA is short for 18-methyleicosanoic acid, which is not an ingredient in the Nexxus shampoo we reviewed, making this claim even more confusing to us.

We cannot locate clinical studies suggesting that any of the ingredients in Nexxus shampoo can naturally repel water, or what the benefit of that would be to hair.

Overall, we consider all of these questionable and uncited health and beauty claims to be a red flag about the brand.

Ingredient Analysis

Nexxus Shampoo ingredients

The ingredients in Nexxus Ultralight Smooth Weightless Protection Shampoo are shown above.

Coconut acid was shown in a medical review published in the Scientific Reports journal to improve scalp health by increasing levels of healthy bacteria and reducing levels of harmful and inflammatory bacteria.

Hydrolyzed keratin is a a shampoo ingredient we consider potentially effective. A 2018 clinical trial found that a specific type of hydrolyzed keratin (not the one in Nexxus shampoo) fixed damaged hair.

Hydrolyzed wheat protein was shown in a meta-study to be a safe and effective hair conditioning agent.

Unfortunately, while Nexxus shampoo has some effective ingredients, it also has two inactive ingredients we recommend avoiding.

Fragrance is an ingredient with toxicity concerns, as we documented in our Olaplex reviews article, and we recommend sticking to fragrance-free shampoos.

Benzyl salicylate was categorized as a “hazard class 2” by a Japanese regulatory body due to toxicity data. It has potentially endocrine-disrupting effects.

Overall, we consider Nexxus shampoo to be potentially effective for improving hair quality and reducing frizz, but we do not recommend it due to the inclusion of fragrance and benzyl salicylate.

Real People Try Nexxus

A YouTube creator named Nicole Hopkins who claims to have a dry scalp tried Nexxus shampoo and conditioner:


A TikTok creator named "Style by Carla" has a Nexxus review that includes before-and-after images:

@carlahoeven ##NexxusHaircaregiftedme @Nexxus Haircare 🤍 #nexxuslevel #nexxushair . . . . #haircolorshampoo #hairtips #hairtipsandtricks #haircolortransformation #stylebycarla ♬ My Crown - XoBrooklynne

Why Was Nexxus Recalled?

In October of 2022, Unilever (the company that owns Nexxus) announced a recall of Nexxus dry shampoo due to "potentially elevated" levels of benzene, which is a carcinogen.

This means that this ingredient can potentially cause cancer.

There's also an active lawsuit investigation on the ClassAction.org website that lists Nexxus among other shampoo brands that may be facing lawsuits in the future over the ingredients DNDM hydantoin and sodium lauryl sulfate which the attorneys allege may cause hair loss and scalp irritation.

It's important to note that Nexxus has not been sued for any product damage claims at the time of updating this article, but we do find these developments to be concerning.

Nexxus vs. the Competition

A beauty influencer named “hehe it’s mcKenna” reviewed Nexxus along with several other shampoos in a video that includes product demos and before-and-after images.

The review appears unsponsored, and she ranked Nexxus dead last with a 14/50 score:

Real Customers Review Nexxus

Amazon is a better resource for honest customer reviews than a brand's website in our opinion.

The brand's shampoo and conditioner set is currently their most popular product on Amazon, with over 16,000 total reviews and an average review rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

The top positive review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named "Maria G." who gives the products a 5/5 star rating, and suggests they caused aesthetic improvements to hair:

"I have bought all different kinds of shampoos and conditioners to the point all of them have left my hair oily. Nexxus is by far the best. Leaves my hair shiny, manageable without any residue. Very happy with my product, I just placed another order. Fast delivery, well packaged."

The top negative review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named "Marla Larson" who gives the products a 1/5 star rating, and claims they caused hair loss:

"My son and I both had significant hair loss within a week of using this product and continure to have hair loss. We both have long hair. I am not sure what causes this to happen but I would not recommend taking the chance and having it happen to you. Not recommended!!"

Our Clean Hair Care Picks

Ingreendients Daily Shampoo is our top shampoo pick, because it's formulated 100% from plants and contains research-backed active ingredients like acetic acid, derived from apple cider vinegar (ACV), which researchers suggest "can condition hair making it softer, silkier, shinier." 

Happy Head Topical is our top hair growth solution.

This formulation uses FDA-approved hair loss ingredients like minoxidil which is clinically shown to increase hair count by 11%.

The brand also publishes the percentage concentration of each active ingredient, which is a sign of quality and transparency.

Pros and Cons of Nexxus Shampoo

Here are the pros and cons of Nexxus shampoo in our opinion:

Pros:

  • Some effective botanical ingredients
  • Hydrolyzed keratin may reduce frizz
  • Should effectively condition hair
  • Great branding/packaging
  • Positive customer reviews on Amazon

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Questionable health claims
  • Contains fragrance
  • Contains synthetic preservatives
  • Dry shampoo was recalled due to contamination
  • Lawsuits over inactive ingredients may be incoming
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

We do not understand how or why Nexxus claims that their shampoo creates an "invisible barrier" around hair, and not only is this claim uncited, we consider it unscientific.

Nexxus shampoo does contain some ingredients that may prevent frizz, such as hydrolyzed keratin, and we consider Nexxus Ultralight Smooth Weightless Protection Shampoo (the formulation we analyzed in this article) likely to improve hair quality.

The Nexxus shampoo that we reviewed contained fragrance and synthetic preservatives, so we don't currently recommend it from a health perspective.

Nexxus Dry Shampoo was recalled due to a contaminant that may cause cancer, but this doesn't appear to be an ongoing concern since this contaminant should have been removed or severely reduced from the production process.

Amazon reviews for Nexxus are highly favorable at the time of updating this article.