Review - Deciem's HIF Growth Support
Three months after the birth of my beautiful daughter, I noticed my hair started falling out. It wasn't just more hair on the hairbrush. My hair was falling out in clumps in the shower every single morning. There was hair in the plughole, all over the bathroom floor, and on the carpet everywhere in the apartment - I almost tripped over a clump of my own hair. A couple of weeks later, bald spots appeared on my scalp. Even I was warned well in advance that this might happen, to have it actually happened was very alarming - especially I never had any issue with hair density and volume - I always complained I had too much hair.
The first set of treatment shampoo and conditioner I used was Viviscal. After 2.5 months I was convinced that it was not working (I was very impatient because I didn't have much hair left). I have also considered Aveda invati and Nioxin (both with mixed online reviews). I actually came across the HIF range when I was researching some of Deciem's NIOD and The Ordinary products, and because I like Deciem I decided to give it a go. (I have nothing to lose apart from $60, and more hair!)
The HIF range
The whole HIF range of "cleansing conditioners" are sulfate-free and silicone-free. This range is huge. There is a variant for every hair condition that I can think of. The problem though, is that they are always out of stock online!
Ingredient - copper peptide complex
It is difficult to comment on all the ingredients in HIF Growth Support because Deciem changes its formulation constantly. However, the key ingredient in this preparation is "high-strength copper peptide complex". It is listed in the ingredients list as "Copper Tripeptide-1". Copper Tripeptide-1 is also known as GHK-Cu, which is a copper complex of a 3-amino acid peptide "glycyl-L-histidyl-L-lysine" (G for glycine; H for histidine and K for lysine). A quick search (which brought me to wikipedia as the first hit) of this compound reveals that there are a number of studies to support its role in stimulating hair growth. The same compound also has anti-wrinkle and firming benefits for the skin.
This cleansing conditioner is a very thick gel - pictured is the amount I use for my shoulder-length hair. I like the smell which is quite "herbal", but I suspect the smell comes from fragrance (third in the ingredients list), and not the botanical ingredients. I use this every morning in the shower. One tube lasts well over 6 weeks (more than 42 uses).
It lathers a little but not a whole lot - it is the only thing that annoys me because I like my shampoo to lather. I have to constantly remind myself that this is not an actual "shampoo". It is a "cleansing conditioner"! However, being a "cleansing conditioner" means that it is a 2-in-1 and it is not necessary to use a separate shampoo or conditioner. This really saves me time in the morning. I only have to use this one product in my hair, leave in for 3 minutes (I do my face wash and shower gel in the time being) and then rinse it off. It also means that I actually use less product overall, and I also use less water.
I cannot be more impressed with this stuff. It is as close to a miracle as it can be.
My hair loss stopped within a couple of weeks (no more hair in the plughole/drain). New hair also started to grow within about 5 weeks (this picture was taken about 8-10 weeks post-use).
I also found that my hair breakage has improved significantly. My hair is noticeably stronger. My hair still looks dry and damaged (sadly I have accepted that it is always going to look like that), but its smoothness and manageability is comparable to when I was using Redken Diamond Oil shampoo and conditioner (my favourite inorganic and unnatural shampoo and conditioner :) Considering HIF are silicone-free, I am more than happy with these bonus benefits that I was not expecting.
I did consider whether my hair loss has coincidentally settled by itself - perhaps it was going to stop with or without using the Growth Support. But given that I had been using Viviscal for 2.5 months without any improvement, and my hair loss stopped quickly once I switched over to Growth Support, I am quite convinced that it was not a coincidence.
There are already 2 more variants (Volume Support and Hydration Support) sitting in my bathroom vanity that I can't wait to try!
Full ingredients list
Aqua (Water), Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Parfum (Fragrance), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Methyl Oleoyl Taurate, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Acacia Senegal Gum, Xanthan Gum, Behenamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Copper Tripeptide-1, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Guaiazulene, Acacia Concinna Fruit Extract, Balanites Aegyptiaca Fruit Extract, Gypsophila Paniculata Root Extract, Cetyl Betaine, Tocopheryl Acetate, Propanediol, Panthenol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Benzoate, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Lactic Acid, Lauryl Betaine, Sodium Chloride, Lecithin, Pentylene Glycol, Linoleamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Propylene Glycol, Carrageenan, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Cinnamal, Eugenol, Geraniol, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Linalool.