Update 12/8/22. Does Viviscal help thinning hair grow thicker and stronger or is it a scam? Viviscal is one of the best-known hair growth supplements. And for good reason. There are several clinical studies on this dietary supplement. In this review, you will learn about the research on ViviScal to help you decide if it really works or not. In addition, I'll also address the side effects some people are reporting too. Does it really work? Let's see.
Other Hair Reviews
- Viviscal vs. Nutrafol Review
- PHYTO Re30 Review
- Castor Oil: Does It Grow Hair?
- Gray Hair Supplements Review
- Pseudocatalase Review
- Halo Beauty Review
- Amla Fruit and Hair Growth Review
- Does Creatine Cause Hair Loss?
- Hair Essentials Review
- Rosemary oil for Balding and Regrowing Hair (video)
According to the Supplement Facts label, 1 tablet of Viviscal Extra Strength has the following ingredients:
|Ingredient||Amount per serving||Percent Daily Value|
|Total Carbohydrates||<1 g||<1% DV|
|Vitamin C||59 mg||98% DV|
|Niacinamide (Niacin)||12 mg||60% DV|
|Biotin||120 micrograms||40% DV|
|Iron||10 mg||56% DV|
|Zinc||11 mg||73% DV|
|AminoMar Marine Complex||450 mg||N/A|
|Horsetail Extract||36.7 mg||N/A|
|Millet Seed Extract||7.5 mg||N/A|
No prescription is needed to buy Viviscal.
AminoMar Marine Complex
The AminoMar complex is said to be the main key ingredient. The AminoMar Marine Complex is composed of:
- Shark Powder (shark cartilage)
- Mollusk Powder (from Oysters)
What parts of sharks and mollusks are used in Viviscal, I can't say. But, these ingredients do come from “sustainable marine sources.”
I called the company that makes the supplement and was informed shark cartilage is part of the AminoMar complex. The name “AminoMar” complex is the name the company gives to the shark and mollusk powder combination.
The scientific name for this is Equisetum arvense. While they don't tell us what extract of horsetail Viviscal contains, we are told it comes from the stem. What I can say is that when I searched the National Library of Medicine for “Horsetail and hair growth” and “Equisetum arvense and hair” no studies showed up.
Horsetail does appear to have some anti-inflammatory properties and I wonder if this might help “support” hair growth. I am speculating about this.
Millet Seed Extract
The scientific name for this is Sorghum bicolor. It's also called “broom corn,” a reference I believe comes from when this stuff was used to make brooms. The role it plays in human hair growth, I can't say.
I located one study on vitamin C and hair growth. Technically this study was on a vitamin C-like compound called L ascorbic acid 2 phosphate. Basically, the compound caused the elongation of hair shafts in mice and also in isolated hair follicles in a test tube.
This is intriguing but as far as can be determined by this reporter, no study has shown that L ascorbic acid 2 phosphate caused hair growth in a human. What about vitamin C itself? Does vitamin C grow hair? Well, it does help us make collagen. Collagen is a protein in our hair. But, I could not find any direct proof for vitamin C supplements promoting hair growth.
Viviscal Before & After Proof
See the research and before and after pictures
Watch on my Youtube channel if you prefer
This is the type of niacin found in the product. My guess is niacinamide is used because it does not cause facial flushing and redness.
Some may have heard of an anti-aging supplement called nicotinamide riboside (NR). While NR is not in Viviscal, it does contain one of its building blocks – niacinamide.
See the nicotinamide riboside review for more on that supplement.
Biotin, a B vitamin (sometimes called vitamin H) is found in many shampoos and other hair products. While a lack of biotin may lead to hair loss in some people, I'm not convinced that most of us are lacking in it because many foods provide it. Bacteria inside of us can make it too. Either way, while a lack of biotin might lead to hair loss, I'm not aware of any evidence that biotin supplements grow hair.
Iron and Zinc
Viviscal provides a good amount of both of these minerals and both of these minerals have been linked to hair loss. For more on this see this review of iron and hair loss and zinc and hair loss.
There is a Viviscal for Men but it does not have iron. I think this is wise because too much iron may not be healthy for men.
Viviscal also contains these “other ingredients” according to the product website:
- Microcrystalline cellulose
- Hydroxypropyl Methyl Cellulose
- Silicon dioxide
- Magnesium stearate
- Sodium carboxymethyl cellulose
- Artificial orange flavoring
- Modified starch
Ingredients are listed in order as they occur as they appear on the label. These ingredients don't play any role in the hair growth benefits of Viviscal.
Let’s review the Viviscal research next.
Pilot Study #1 (not published)
Study title. “A 10-week pilot consumer perception test to evaluate the overall acceptability of a viviscal oral supplement when used by females with self-perceived thinning hair.”
This study involved 40 women and lasted 40 weeks. Results indicate that Viviscal reduces hair loss by 46%.
Problems with this study. This investigation does not seem to be a published peer-reviewed study Also, it's said they started with 40 women, but only 16 completed the study. Why did so many drop out? This high dropout rate reduces the significance of the study.
Clinical Study #2
Researchers in Finland published what appears to be the very first published Viviscal clinical study. The investigation lasted 6 months and involved 40 young men. Half the people got ViviScal and half received a placebo (fish extract).
After 6 months, those taking Viviscal had a 38% increase in non-vellus hair (in other words hair that’s not “peach fuzz”). Those getting the placebo saw a 2% increase in non-vellus hair. That's pretty good.
Clinical Study #3
Study title. Treatment of Alopecia Areata, Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis with Oral Viviscal® for 12 months.
This study appears to have been conducted in 1994.
Study problem. This does not seem to be a published, peer-reviewed study.
Clinical Study #4
Revista Brasileira de Medicina. 1997. Vol 53; No. 3; p 1-5. Pareira, Jose Marcos.
This study does not appear to be in English and can’t be located.
From what I could gather, researchers looked at 200 men with male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia). After 6 months of ViviScal treatment, 75.3% had decreased hair loss. 14.6% of men showed partial hair re-growth.
Researchers in the US conducted a small study of 10 women, aged 21-75 years of age, who had thinning hair. The women took either Viviscal (10 women in this group) or a placebo (5 women in this group) twice a day for 6 months.
After 6 months, those taking Viviscal showed significantly more hair growth, compared to the placebo group, which showed more hair loss. Those taking Viviscal also reported more hair shine and skin improvements.
This investigation lasted 3 months and involved 60 women (21-65 years of age) who were either given Viviscal Extra Strength (2x per day) or a placebo. After 3 months of use, women who took Viviscal:
- Had more hair in the areas of their scalps measured
- Had less hair shedding
Women also reported they felt better also. It's possible they felt better because their new hair growth helped their confidence and outlook on life.
This investigation involved men with thinning hair. For 6 months, 60 men with thinning hair were given either a placebo or ViviScal. After 6 months, men taking the supplement were shown to have significant improvements in
- total hairs counted
- density of hairs
- more terminal hairs (terminal hairs are the thick hair on the head)
When researchers performed the “hair pull test' fewer hairs were removed. This appears to show ViviScal strengthened hair too.
See the video review of ViviScal for before and after pictures.
Summary of Research
Here is a quick summary of the research. Refer to the studies above to see specifics on them.
|Pilot Study (unpublished)||Viviscal works|
|1992 study||Viviscal works|
|1997 study||Viviscal works|
|2012 study||Viviscal works|
|2015 study||Viviscal works|
|2016 study||Viviscal works|
Viviscal vs. Viviscal Extra Strength
There are different types of Viviscal. When I called Viviscal, I was told that this mostly has to do with the amount of Amino Mar complex they have. Here are the differences between them:
- Viviscal Extra Strength: 450 mg
- Viviscal For Men: 450 mg
- Viviscal Professional: 475 mg
When I called the company, I was told the professional version (Viviscal Pro) is to be not sold to the public. it's only available through doctors or salons.
Viviscal For Men
I get a lot of questions about which hair growth supplements are best for men. Here are the ingredients in Viviscal Extra Strength vs. Viviscal For Men side by side:
|Viviscal Extra Strength||Viviscal For Men|
|Total carbs <1g (<1%DVP||Total carbs <1 g (<1%DV)|
|Vitamin C 59 mg (98%DV)||Vitamin C 30 mg (50% DV)|
|Niacin 12 mg (60% DV)||Zinc 8 mg (53% DV)|
|Biotin 120 mcg (40% DV)||N/A|
|Iron 10 mg (56% DV)||N/A|
|Zinc 11 mg (73% DV)||8 mg (53% DV)|
|Amino Mar Complex 450 mg||Amino Mar Complex 452.9 mg|
|Horsetail 36.7 mg||Horsetail 24.5 mg|
|Millet seed 7.5 mg||N/A|
|Flaxseed extract 50 mg|
In the table above % DV = percent daily value. “N/A” = does not contain that nutrient.
As can be seen, both the men's and women's versions are very similar. They both have the same key ingredients. In fact, the Male version has a tad more of the Amino Mar Marine complex and Horsetail extract compared to Viviscal Extra Strength. Also, note that Millet Seed Extract has been replaced with Flaxseed Extract in the Men's version. I liked that the Men's version did not contain iron. Too much iron might not be good for men.
Bottom line: I believe men could take the women‘s' version and have the same results as if they took the men's‘ version. Since the men's version may be more expensive, this is something to consider.
Viviscal vs. The Competition
Let's now take a look at how the supplement stacks up to other popular hair growth supplements.
Viviscal vs. Nutrafol
Nutrafol is another very popular hair supplement. Like Viviscal, there is a version for men and women. Nutrafol is said to work by reducing inflammation and inhibiting a hormone called DHT. Nutrafol has more ingredients than Viviscal. Nutrafol does have 1 clinical study showing it might work. So which is better? It would be nice to see a head-to-head comparison of Nutrafol vs. Viviscal. I won't hold my breath for that to happen anytime soon.
Watch this video: Nutrafol vs. Viviscal
Viviscal vs. Provillus
The Provillus website (Provillus.com) states that it is “Clinically Proven and FDA Approved.” And they are correct. It is. This is because Provillus is minoxidil (Rogaine), the hair growth drug we've all heard of. Provillus is not a supplement. Provillus is a 5% solution of minoxidil that's applied topically to the scalp. It's no different than any other kind of minoxidil you've seen.
In theory, Viviscal might work better with minoxidil. They both have studies showing they can help women and men. Fortunately, Rogaine (minoxidil) is available without a prescription and it's not too expensive.
Viviscal vs. Keranique
Keranique is touted as a hair growth system. There is Keranique shampoo, conditioner, Keranique Regrowth Treatment, and hair spray. The Keranique Regrowth Treatment contains “the only FDA approved and clinically proven non-prescription ingredient to regrow hair and revitalize hair follicles.” It does – the ingredient is minoxidil (Rogaine). Keranique may be a fine product that can help support hair growth, but it's the minoxidil in it that regrows hair.
While there are no head-to-head studies comparing Viviscal to Keranique, in theory, they may work better together when combined with the minoxidil in Keranique's Regrowth Treatment serum.
Viviscal vs. Halo Beauty
Halo Beauty is a skin, nails, and hair supplement by YouTube star Tati Westbrook. Halo Beauty is a combination of various vitamins, herbs, and other compounds. While there is a little crossover between these two supplements (Halo Beauty has vitamin C and horsetail too), it doesn't have the Amino Mar complex. So, how they stack up to each other is unknown.
Viviscal vs. Joyome
Joyome is an anti-wrinkle cream developed by the makers of Plexus Slim. As far as can be determined Joyome has no effects on hair growth or hair loss. As such, I don't think these products are comparable to each other. Here's my video review of Plexus Joyome:
Viviscal Side Effects
I believe Viviscal is safe for healthy people. Few side effects and adverse reactions have been reported. Here is a brief list of things to consider when taking this supplement. This list is not complete:
- Start with less than is recommended for the first week to see how you respond
- Speak to your doctor first if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Stop taking at least 2 weeks before having surgery
- Show the supplement to your pharmacist if you take any prescription medications like blood thinners
- if you are vegan, remember Viviscal contains fish
- Speak to your doctor first if you are allergic to fish. Viviscal contains shark cartilage and mollusk powder.
- Viviscal has iron and vitamin C. Speak to your doctor if you have hemochromatosis (iron overload disease)
- There's no good proof Viviscal causes liver damage. However, if you have liver disease speak to your doctor first
In “scientific study #1” summarized above, there is mention of a study participant getting headaches which caused the person to drop out of the study. In the Pdf file of this study – which you can view on the Viviscal website – they make reference to “Appendix V” which lists the reasons why people dropped out of the study. Unfortunately, Appendix V is not part of the Pdf file.
Viviscal And Sleep Problems
If you read the comments below, you'll notice several people reporting Viviscal may cause insomnia. I saw no mention of insomnia in any of the Viviscal clinical studies so it's not known how common this is.
Horsetail does contain small amounts of nicotine. It's very little, but, could this cause sleep problems? I can't say. For more on this topic, read the comments section below.
Does Viviscal Contain Mercury?
I called the company that makes this supplement – Church & Dwight Co. I was told Viviscal does not contain mercury. The controversy over this involves shark cartilage powder. Previous research has noted shark cartilage supplements may contain mercury, a toxic substance. But this doesn't mean Viviscal has mercury. When I called the Viviscal company, I was told their latest testing showed level of mercury were 0.02 mg per kg which is lower than the amount permitted by both US and EU standards.
I was also told the version of Viviscal sold on Amazon does not contain any mercury at all. It's at a zero level. This is because of the rules Amazon must follow when shipping internationally. Church and Dwight formulates a different version for Amazon that does not contain any shark cartilage, a source of mercury. Because the Amazon version does not contain shark cartilage, this means it also does not contain any mercury.
Does Viviscal Contain BMAA?
β-Methylamino-L-alanine, also known as BMAA, is a brain toxin that is produced by some types of bacteria (called cyanobacteria) and other microorganisms. BMAA has been implicated in the development of Parkinson's disease and ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). Because BMAA has been found in shellfish, this is of concern some who use Viviviscal. Thankfully, this is not a problem. I called the Church & Dwight company and asked about the amount of BMAA in Viviscal. I was told Viviscal does not contain any BMAA.
Viviscal And Gaining Weight
Some people have also reported Viviscal has caused them to gain weight. None of the studies reported this side effect. I am not sure how common weight gain side effect is or if it might be a fluke? See the comments for more on this.
Who Makes Viviscal?
Viviscal is sold by Lifes2good (Lifes2Good.com), a company that markets many health and beauty products. While the global corporate office is located in Ireland, in the US, they can be found at 355 N Canal Street Chicago IL 60606. They also have an office in London as well.
Lifes2Good is part of a larger company called Church & Dwight Co., Inc, located in New Jersey. This organization has several familiar brands including OxyClean, Kaboom, Orajel, and even Arm & Hammer Baking Soda. Church and Dwight is a publicly-traded company (stock symbol CHD).
I was told they are phasing out the Lifs2good name and just using Church & Dwight in the future.
The Lifes2good company has been in business since 1997 according to the Better Business Bureau. The BBB gave this company a rating of C- when this review was updated. See the BBB file for updates and more information.
Church and Dwight has an A- rating with the BBB. See the BBB file for updates and more information.
According to the company website, customer support can be reached at 877-333-4581. The Better Business Bureau also provides this number: 312-454-6167. The address for Viviscal is 355 N Canal St, Chicago, IL 60606-1207. The product website states the supplement is made in Ireland.
Church and Dwight, which now owns Viviscal is located at 500 Charles Ewing Blvd Princeton South Corporate Center Trenton, NJ 08628-3448. The phone number is 609-683-5900.
Finola Hughes And ViviScal
Previously, actress Finola Hughes has appeared in Viviscal ads. She is listed on the website as a spokesperson. I assume this means she’s a paid spokesperson.
Viviscal And Molly Sims
Actress and model and author, Molly Sims is also a spokesperson. She is listed as a 20-year user of Viviscal. Her story of how she started losing her hair in her 20s is on the product website. I assume she is a paid spokesperson.
This supplement is VERY popular and can be purchased at a wide range of stores like Walgreens, Costco, BJs, Sam's Club, Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid, Ulta, and Target as well as on Amazon. Here is Viviscal on Amazon
Viviscal extra strength costs $99 per bottle according to the supplement's website. There is also a scalp lotion which is $19.99 but it doesn't have the same ingredients as the pill– and there is no good proof that the scalp lotion helps re-grow hair. The same thing is true for Viviscal shampoo and other products.
My advice: stick with Viviscal tablets. Don't worry about the shampoo or scalp lotion.
Interestingly, the shampoo does not contain caffeine, which is part of Thicker Fuller Hair I reviewed previously.
Here is Viviscal on Amazon
Viviscal Elite is an auto-ship program where they send you a 90 day supply every 3 months (90 days) so you don't run out. Shipping is free with the Elite program and some free gifts are included also. It looks like the Elite program is for combo products.
Viviscal Pro & Con
|Supplement has research||May take 3-6 months to see changes|
|All studies show it works|
|Company supports studies|
|The company is well known|
|Reports show no side effects|
|Seems to work in women and men|
Other Hair Products
Several people have told me that they have gotten good results using a product called Toppik. This is not a hair growth supplement but rather a fine powder that binds to existing hair, making it look thicker and fuller. I have met people with thinning hair who have used this product and they give it high marks.
The Church and Dwight Co now own Toppik (smart move if you ask me).
Does ViviScal Work?
Viviscal has various clinical studies to prove it grows thinning hair and/or slows hair loss. For the most part, the studies appear to be well done. In the testimonials below, several people have stated it does work. Based on the research and testimonials, this may be something worth trying.
Here's Viviscal on Amazon
Joe Cannon says
I’ve posted a review on My Biotin Pro Clinical which is being advertised on TV
Jenna Intersimone says
As some other reviewers who took Viviscal for a long period of time also shared, it has taken me a good month for my insomnia and stomach pains to begin to recover after stopping Viviscal. I’m glad that some people had good results from this supplement – it did improve my hair, to be fair – but the side effects were so intense that it was SO not worth it. I believe the insomnia could be due to several things:
– Viviscal’s ingredient millet seed extract affects hormones, and personally, I already have a hormonal imbalance from my polycystic ovarian syndrome, so this could have set them off further
– Viviscal contains a high amount of zinc, which can deplete magnesium, and magnesium helps with sleep
– Viviscal is made from shark, which is one of the highest mercury-content fish, and mercury builds up in the body over time with a long half-life and can cause insomnia
– Since AminoMar is a proprietary formula, there is no way for any of us to know exactly what’s in it, or what inactive ingredients could cause reactions in our bodies
This experience has made me feel like I will never take a supplement again. I think of it this way – even medications that have been approved the FDA are not-uncommonly updated with new warnings and reported side effects. Supplements are not even approved by the FDA, although they “follow FDA guidelines.” Do you really want to put something like that in your body?
I understand that the severity of my reaction was uncommon – although the side effect was not, since so many people have reported Viviscal caused insomnia to the point it’s difficult for me to imagine there isn’t a link – but I just want other people to be aware. It has been one rough month and I feel immensely grateful to finally be getting better.
Joe Cannon says
Jenna, thanks so much for sharing what happened to you. That is an interesting angle on magnesium depletion. I didn’t see anything specifically showing viviscal does this but it might in theory lead to some of the sleep issues some people are experiencing. Just as a test, I did try viviscal myself for 6 months and did not notice any problems sleeping. I admit, things may be different for women. I did a bit more looking into on the mercury issue and didn’t see anything specifically. I found one online FB comment where it was stated viviscal contained very low levels – 0.02 mg/kg – lower than that permitted by either the US or EU.
Either way, I am really glad to hear you are feeling better now. That’s whats most important.
Jenna Intersimone says
Hi Joe, thanks very much for your review and noting that some reviewers have experienced insomnia. I stopped taking Viviscal one week ago as I suspect it may be the cause of my sudden insomnia. From what you have learned about Viviscal and others’ reviews, how long do you think it will take for my insomnia to dissipate? So far it has been one week for me with no Viviscal and I have no relief.
Joe Cannon says
Hi Jenna, thanks so much! While I still have not seen any research on viviscal and insomnia (wish the company would look into it), my hunch is viviscal key ingredients are cleared from the body pretty fast. I have to think that after a week or so you should be sleeping normally again. How long did you take viviscal? Keep me posted on how long it takes for your insomnia to go away.
Jenna Intersimone says
Thanks Joe. I took what seems to be one formula of Viviscal for three months, then I bought a new pack, which had a different appearance, and it seemed my insomnia started at that time (I didn’t experience insomnia with the prior packs.) From what I’ve read, they changed the formula at one time, and maybe something in that later formula messed with me? Or, who knows, maybe it cleared from my body and now I’m just anxious about sleeping. I have been very susceptible to insomnia side effects from medications in the past. Here’s to hoping that next week is better… I’m off to see my doctor on Monday.
Joe Cannon says
Keep me updated Jenna. hopefully, this is just a transitory thing. Horsetail contains a small amount of nicotine, which is why I wouldn’t suggest taking viviscal at nighttime. Thats the only stimulant Im aware of.
Joe Cannon says
What about rosemary oil? Here’s a video I posted to my YT channel on the proof for rosemary oil regrowing hair. I included before & after pics too
Ref Viviscal, I have heard that the ingredient microcrystalline cellulose is bad for us. Do you know anything about this? Also, as a post menopausal female, since I can no longer eliminate excess iron in the usual way via menstruation, is there a risk of iron overload over time from the amount in this product?
Joe Cannon says
Hi Carol, cellulose is an undigestable fiber. It’s basically what paper is made from. Microcrystalline cellulose is very small crystallized particles of cellulose. Sometimes this comes from wood but not always. Its commonly used in dietary supplements.
Sometimes it’s used to thicken things up or to help other ingredients mix well together. We don’t directly absorb microcrystalline cellulose but our microbiome can break it down. From what I know most draw attention to the microcrystalline aspect of the molecule, rather than cellulose itself. In other words, microcrystalline means it’s a nano-particle- very, very small. Does this mean it can enter our cells? If yes, what does it do when it’s in the cells?
Most of what I saw was research on animals or cell studies. I didn’t see any human studies showing microcrystalline/nano cellulose was harmful to us. That could be due to a lack of human research? My hope is those studies are in the pipeline and will come out eventually. Nanoparticles are found in many products – even cosmetics. I’d like to see more human studies on small cellulose particles but for now I don’t see anything bad. There is not much microcrystalline cellulose in viviscal.
About the iron, have your iron levels increased on blood tests since you entered the premenstrual phase? That may be something to pay attention to after you start taking Viviscal. When I see iron in a supplement I think the same way you do – iron overload disease. But for what it’s worth I have not heard of any issues with Vivical raising iron levels.
Does anyone else here have insights on Viviscal raising iron levels?
I used viviscal for 3 months (1/day) and although my hair condition improved, my health worsened. I am healthy. I dont have any health conditions. But taking vivscal for 3 months wrecked my health. I suspect its the mercury in the shark cartilage they use, but who knows. These are my symptoms:
1. Headache and sleepiness in the day but insomnia at night.
2. Feeling tired all the time,like i need rest and vacation although my life is relatively stress free.
3. Low amount of pee, even when i drink a lot. But also i don’t drink because i am feeling tired all the time.
4. Indigestion, constipation although i dot eat junk food and in general, i normally eat home cooked food.
Basically i was feeling sick, and different from my old self. I was thinking its a process of getting older, so i didn’t blame viviscal. And then i decided to just stop viviscal just in case. And after 2 months, i can say i feel normal again.
The experience with viviscal made me so phobia to go near it again. And? I lose all the hair i gained and the some. But i prefer to have thin hair than to be sick,tired and miserable.
I am writing comments because I want those who research about viviscal to be aware of the side effects. Perhaps it only happened to me, but the side effects are no joke! Since i also suspect it is due to the mercury content, which not many articles highlight, I wish to bring that to light.
Joe Cannon says
Hi Sarah, so sorry to hear what you have been going through. Im going to look into if viviscal has mercury. Stay tuned I hope to have an answer for you soon.
Joe Cannon says
Hi Sarah, just wanted to follow up on the question of mercury in viviscal. I called the viviscal company (also known as Church & Dwight). the customer service person I spoke with confirmed that there is no mercury in Viviscal. I also had her read off every ingredient in the supplement. Mercury was not listed. Viviscal contains shark cartilage. I have seen reports that shark cartilage supplements can contain mercury. My guess – I cant confirm this -is the company removes this from viviscal. The Church and Dwight company is very well known and has been around many years. I would be suprised if they did not do this.
I looked further into this and did see other websites mentioning mercury in Viviscal. But none of the sites I saw gave proof that the Viviscal supplement contains mercury. Rather, they mention shark cartilage supplements can contain it. I have seen that research. For example, in this 2014 study, mercury was indeed found in shark cartilage supplements : https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24755394/
I read this report for you. Viviscal is not mentioned.
Im always open to seeing more proof for this. If you ever find any, I would love to take a look at it. Same thing goes for anyone else reading this too.
Im not sure if I gave you a good answer or not? At the end of the day you were having very strange side effects when you took viviscal. I don’t know what caused that? I don’t think anyone else who left a comment here (there are over 800 comments) had similar side effects.
Question, have you seen a doctor about this?
Jenna Intersimone says
Hi Sarah, I am also experiencing extreme insomnia although I stopped taking Viviscal one week ago. How long did it take for your insomnia to go away? Thanks!
Jenna Intersimone says
Hi Sarah, how long did it take for your insomnia to stop after stopping Viviscal?
Maria Sweetman says
SUPER GREAT FULL OF INFO ARTICLE . I give you a A+++++! Thank you! One question for you, does Viviscal cause hair to fall off the root? I have been on Viviscal since July 2nd religiously. I noticed that my hair is coming out like crazy. No bald spots, but It’s falling out. I know 100 strands is normal but I am finding my hair everywhere in my home. The only other vitamins that I use along with it flax seed oil 1000mg ( 2 a day) and injuv hyaluronic acid ( 140 mg ) 2 a day. The pharmacist says that is ok. Help. Thank you Maria S.
Joe Cannon says
Hi Maria, I’ve never heard of viviscal causing your hair to fall out. Did it just start after you started taking Viviscal?
Did you start taking viviscal flaxseed and hyaluronic acid at the same time?
Tamara Engleman says
Thanks for your honest complete reviews of all these products, Viviscal, Serovital and others. I like to make informed decisions before I make what seems like a serious personal & financial commitment. I’ve had many health issues, I’m female and 52y and considerable long-standing stress. I used to have thick dark brown hair now I have patchy thin gray hair that I have to dye.
I’ve tried several products, essentially I’ve found the best supplement
“ Procaps”. Hair, Skin and Nails. Exercise & eat healthier.
Pro-caps vitamins are all natural, non-gmo & all that other stuff.
They have many different kinds of products, I don’t work for them nor do I know anyone who does, I’ve just taken vitamins for my whole life and these actually work.
Thanks again for your reviews on the other products.
Hi Tamara, thanks so much for reaching out. Im glad you found my Viviscal, SeroVital and other reviews helpful. So glad to know Procaps has been helping you. I’ve heard of them but have not reviewed them. Either way, the important thing is they have been working for you and that’s whats important.
BTW, In my review of Raspberry ketones – a weight loss supplement – I found a study showing it might help hair growth. I will be taking a closer look at this in the near future but here’s a video review I did which shows some of the before/after pics
Stay tuned for my formal review of raspberry ketones and hair growth.
Thanks again for stopping by and let me know if you see anything else out there that’s interesting and worthy of a review.
We cannot recommend the PURA D’OR shampoo you mentioned under “Other Hair Products” in this review. My Wife is suffering from hair thinning and hair loss. This product has worked well in the past for her stopping the shedding and promoting hair growth.
In fact, it had been the only product that has worked for her. Recently, the company revamped the formula and that is when it stopped working and her hair loss returned. They eliminated ketoconazole (a proven ingredient) from the ingredients and added Korean seaweed.
The change has been night and day. The majority of the glowing reviews on Amazon for the product are from before this change. Some sellers have been disingenuous in promoting this product as the same reliable formula but it’s not. We feel that the elimination of ketoconazole has had a significant impact on its efficacy.
If you are looking at this product solely as a hair thinning/hair loss solution, it may not work for you.
Hi Kacy,thanks for that information. I did not know Pura D’OR shampoo contained ketoconazole. I looked it up. ketoconazole is an anti-fungal medication. The Wikipedia page for this stuff notes it seems to have anti-angrogen activity and some research has shown it can help reduce hair loss
I wonder why Pura D’OR took Ketoconazole out of their shampoo?
Hi and thank you for this fantastic review. I’d like to try this, but I’m wondering if I should also supplement with vitamin D, as research points to a vit D deficiency as a hair loss culprit, and Viviscal doesn’t seem to include it. Thoughts?
Hi Sandy, thanks so much. So glad you found my review helpful 🙂 As for vitamin D, do you know what your vitamin D levels are? That might be a good first step. If you are low in vitamin D, then it might make some sense because as you say there does seem to be some evidence low D can lead to hair loss. Here’s one such study I located: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5387874/
The good news if you add it in to the mix is vitamin D is pretty inexpensive.
In my vitamin D facts review I cover a bunch of other facts about this hormone/vitamin.
Any other questions, just ask 🙂
Thanks so much, Joe. This is a huge help. I’ve bookmarked both articles and I’ll see about getting my D levels tested.
Sandy, sounds good. keep me posted on how you are doing 🙂
I’m particularly interested in the topic of amino mar and possible toxic levels of mercury (in the shark cartilage) specifically in Viviscal Extra Strength. I’ve been taking it for 9 months or so. It’s helped immensely with minimizing hair loss and adding new hair growth.
Hi Eileen, I called the company about this. I was told they regularly check Viviscal for toxins like Mercury. They told me while there is some present, its very low and below what the US gov permits. They told me there was .02 mg of mercury per kilogram of Viviscal. A kilogram is 2.2 pounds
This means So every 2.2 pounds of viviscal would have less than .02 mg of mercury. That comes to 0.0004 of a teaspoon -in 2.2 pounds.
Even a whole box of viviscal doesn’t have 2.2 pounds.
Joe, thank you for going above and beyond in calling the company about this important issue. I truly appreciate it! Thanks so much for being so thorough in your explanation.
Eileene, you are most welcome. Any other questions, just ask. I am very glad viviscal is helping you too 🙂
Mich C says
Thank you for this unbiased report. Very helpful.
Hi Mich, you are very welcome, so glad my review helped you 🙂
Hi, I have been taking Viviscal professional for a few months now. Although my hair doesn’t seem to be falling out and my thinned patches aren’t as noticeable, I’ve noticed a strange side effect….I’m growing hair EVERYWHERE!
Places where I did have hair (aka my forearms) are now thicker and longer and places where I’ve never had hair (on my upper thighs and face) now have lots of hair….I’m dying here.
Do you know if this is a side effect of Viviscal? Please help.
Hi Elizabeth, I dont believe Ive ever heard excessive body hair growth was a side effect of Viviscal. It sounds like what you are describing is a medical condition called Hirsutism.
Have you went to your doctor about this? have you tried stopping viviscal to see if the hair growth stops?
Hi, I actually called the doctor to inquire about this. I’m also using a topical product called 82M on my scalp. Apparently, use of this product can lead to excessive hair growth everywhere 🙁 scheduled a followup appointment with him.
Hi Elizabeth, I looked up Formula 82M. It looks like Minoxidil (Rogaine). Are you taking Formula 82M from Bauman Medical? If yes they call it a “compounded” version which means its minoxidil with other things that are supposed to help the minoxidil work better. I have not hear of minoxidil causing all over body hair growth though. If you were taking it as a pill, then maybe I could see it but it looks like Formula 82M is topical, applied to the scalp only.
Do let me know what your doctor says about this. I’m very interested.
Hi Joe, I went to the doctor the day before yesterday and he believes it’s the 82M, not Viviscal, that is causing the excessive hair growth. He told me that I was using too much of it and to stop for now until the hair ‘recedes’ and I can start taking 82M again in small, spread out doses. He said for me, the laser cap would be a better alternative.
Hi Elizabeth, that makes more sense since. Formula 82M has minoxidil. Its a topical solution so Id expect the hair to grow where you put it. But, that does make more sense than Viviscal. How much Formula 82 did you use? Just curious.
I’ve heard good things about the laser cap. I’ve heard it’s is FDA approved to grow hair. I dont know how much it costs or if insurance covers it. Did your doctor tell you how long the laser cap might take to work?
Skip Martin says
Thanks for referencing the “$64,000 Question” in your comments instead of the “$64 Question” or the “$1,000,000 Question” like most idiot commentators do. Drives me crazy.
And thanks for this great website. You’re one of the most credible and educated individuals online when it comes to this subject matter.
Hey Skip, thanks so much for saying that! I really appreciate your support – and glad you got the $64,000 reference too 🙂
T. Bowers says
I’ve been using viviscal for a little over a year and at first my sides that had almost disappeared was coming back and my hair was getting stronger and I was so happy, but over the last four months or so it all thinned back out! I’m so disappointed ???? and don’t know what to do. Help!!. If you have any suggestions please let me know.
T. Bowers, have you made an appointment to see your doctor about this? Just wondering if there might be an underlining hormone issue (thyroid hormone etc) behind this? Have you changed your diet? Have you tried doubling up on viviscal to see if that helps?
So I came across this looking for Viviscal examples online to show my mother, and I feel compelled to comment.
I had surgery last year (July 2017), and it was a really stressful time. 3 months later, I lost a large patch of hair at the side of my head. It freaked me out something awful. My hair had also been shedding like mad for years. I’m someone who was born with a ton of thick, dark hair. My shower drain would often be clogged from the shedding, and I have joked that my bathroom looked like it’s haunted by a Japanese ghost.
But this patch falling out was so noticeable. I had just taken my hair for granted. So I ran to a dermatologist.
I was diagnosed with “telogen effluvium”. It’s when high stress causes a patch of hair to fall out. So basically you’re hair is shocked into another phase of hair growth and it’s signaled to all shed at the same time, when hair is usually staggered so we don’t notice it. On top of that, my hair was weak and thinning all over.
The dermatologist recommended Viviscal, or Minoxidil. I did my own research on top of everything, and Viviscal was more appealing as a first try. But I went all out (I was really determined, and scared). I got the Viviscal shampoo and conditioner (it’s paraben free- I would imagine any shampoo of this sort would be fine, not just this brand). I’m in my mid-thirties, and have a few greys I hate. I refrained from dying them for 6 weeks, and when I did, I switched to an all natural. herbal hair dye. I had been using whatever was on sale, never thinking how harsh it could be to use monthly.
*Had my blood tested. Discovered I was a bit low in iron and b12. Viviscal provides a safe, low dose of iron for women, so that was good. Also took krill oil supplements, and a vitamin complex for stress + B12- checked out my nutrition.
Went back to my gym program. I had been out of it from the stressful year. Also didn’t use heat on my hair (no straightening iron, hair dryer on cool).
* also used rose hip oil on my bald patch twice a week for 4 weeks. Then I got lazy with it.
So my results may haven been a combination of all these factors. But I’m a week away from taking Viviscal for 3 months, and the difference is pretty incredible.
Many people are noticing my hair without any prompting or knowing my situation. I lose so little hair in the shower now. My hair feels much stronger, and the natural curl is back (haven’t seen that since I was a teenager). My bald patch, thank the heavens- is really growing back in.
It’s not noticeable to anyone but me now, It has a bit to go, but so much better. My hair is a lot shinier, and it’s growing like hell all over my scalp, and in length. I can see new growth all over the place. It’s not dry anymore. I kind of have to wash it more often or else it will look oily.
I’ve experienced no side effects. I don’t see how any of the ingredients could possibly cause weight gain. Doesn’t make sense. I’ve seen that some report some zits. It didn’t happen to me, but makes sense that if the hair is producing more oils, so might the skin?
So anyways, I’m pretty stoked about it all. Very relieved. My mother wants to try it for 3 months now. I see some people saying that they expected more new hair growth, but then describe themselves as always having thinner, fine hair. I think Viviscal is limited to one’s genetics. It can’t make your scalp spontaneously produce more hair follicles. It *can* help wake existing follicles up and make some of them start producing hair again. It can help hair that suffers breakage from dryness, poor nutrition, over-processing or harsh chemicals to grow back faster, I think.
I’m even taking before and after pics because I’m rather amazed.
I need a haircut so badly now.
Just wanted this here because it might help someone who was in a frenzied state like I was lol.
Hi Michelle, thank you for sharing that and I am so glad Viviscal has been such a benefit to you. I hope it works for your mom too – let us know. I can definitely empathize with having a stressful life lately too…
Does this product contain mercury? As i have read that shark cartilage contains mercury…kindly verify please…
Hi Ssroy, I called the Viviscal company for you (Church and Dwight). They told me they regularly test each batch of Viviscal and the product does test low in mercury. Yes, there is some mercury present naturally but its lower than US standards. I was told their latest test showed less than .02 mg per kilogram of Viviscal. So every 2.2 pounds of viviscal would have less than .02 mg of mercury. I did some math and that equals 0.0004 of a teaspoon.
Taini Carlsson says
Hi Michelle and thank you so much for sharing. I have done some extensive research which aligns with your comments. I have just started the first month supply of Viviscal, and also using Kerastase Densifique containing 5% Stemoxidyne.
I will (patiently) wait and be hopeful of a positive outcome in 90 days
Hi Taini, let us know what happened. I have not heard of Stemoxydine before but just did a quick search for it and want to do a deep dive into its research. Look for this review to be posted soon.