Nutrafol is touted to be “the #1 dermatologist-recommended hair growth supplement brand.” That's a bold claim, but what about the other leading contender – Viviscal? While Viviscal advertises less on TV than Nutrafol, you can argue that Viviscal may be the better choice for some people. Here are several reasons worth considering that may make you change your mind about Nutrafol.
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With Viviscal, You Take Fewer Pills
Viviscal directions for use call for taking only one tablet twice a day. So, at most, you are taking only two pills per day. However, if you decide to try Nutrafol, you take twice the dosage – four capsules per day. For many, this may not be a significant factor when trying to answer the question of what's better, Nutrafol vs. Viviscal. Still, for those who do not like swallowing pills-and, I count myself among them- it is something to consider.
Nutrafol Has More Ingredients Than Viviscal
As you can see from the Supplement Facts Label, Nutrafol contains 22 key ingredients. This may be something to consider if you prefer a cleaner supplement containing fewer ingredients.
Nutrafol Supplement Facts
|Nutrfol ingredients (4 capsules)||Percent Daily Value|
|Vitamin A (Beta Carotene) 1500 RAE (5000 IU)||167%|
|Vitamin C (Camu Camu fruit) Ascorbic Acid 100 mg||111%|
|Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol) (2500 IU) 62.5 mcg||313%|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 3.5 mg||23%|
|Biotin 3000 mcg||1000%|
|Iodine (From Organic Kelp) (Laminaria digitata) 225 mcg||150%|
|Zinc (Amino Acid Chelate) 25 mg||227%|
|Selenium (Selenium Amino Acid Chelate) 200 mcg||364%|
|Synergen Complex 1680 mg composed of the following :||N/A|
|Hydrolyzed Marine Collagen Type I & III|
|Sensoril Ashwagandha Extract (10%Withanolides)|
|Saw Palmetto Fruit CO2 Deep Extract (>45% Fatty Acids)|
|BCM-95 Bio-Curcumin (Rhizome) Extract (95% Total Curcuminoid Complex|
|Full Spectrum Palm Extract (20% Tocotrienol/Tocopherol Complex)|
|Nutrafol Blend 530 mg composed of the following:||N/A|
|Horsetail extract (Stem and Leaf) Extract|
|Japanese Knotweed (Root Extract) (50% Resveratrol)|
|Black Pepper (Fruit) Extract (95% Piperine)|
|Capsicum (Fruit) Extract (2% Capsaicinoids)|
On the other hand, two capsules of Viviscal have only 10 ingredients.
Viviscal For Women Supplement Facts
|Viviscal (1 tablet)||Percent Daily Value|
|Vitamin C 59 mg (from Acerola fruit powder and Ascorbic Acid||65%|
|Niacin (Niacinamide) 12 mg NE||75%|
|Biotin 120 mcg||400%|
|Calcium 60 mg||5%|
|Iron 10 mg (from Ferrous Fumarate)||56%|
|Zinc 11 mg (from Zinc Oxide)||100%|
|AminoMar Marine Complex 450 mg composed of||N/A|
|Oyster Extract Powder|
|Horsetail (Stem) Extract 36.7 mg||N/A|
|Millet Seed Extract 7.5 mg||N/A|
In theory, more ingredients might mean more interactions with other supplements and medications you take. It's a myth that a supplement with more ingredients is superior. It's also a myth that a hair growth supplement with fewer ingredients is less effective. Instead, this is about what you are comfortable with taking.
What Ingredients Do Nutrafol and Viviscal Have In Common?
Here are the ingredients both hair growth supplements have in common.
|Vitamin C 100 mg||Vitamin C 59 mg|
|Biotin 3000 mcg (3 mg)||12 mg|
|Zinc 25 mg||Zinc 11 mg|
|Marine Collagen||Shark Cartilage|
|Horsetail (amount not known)||Horsetail 36.7 mg|
Viviscal Has More Proof Than Nutrafol
The real test of which supplement grows hair better would be to compare Nutrafol to Viviscal in clinical experiments and see which one comes out on top. But unfortunately, a study like this does not exist. So, the next best thing is to look at what proof each hair growth supplement has.
Nutrafol Clinical Research Results
The Nutrafol company has sponsored one clinical study, which they call the “Woman's Trial” on their website. The study is peer-reviewed, so this is a plus. One of the researchers was dermatologist Sophia Kogan, a researcher at Nutrafol. The investigation lasted six months and compared women taking Nutrafol to women who took a placebo pill. Women taking the Nutrafol supplement had significantly more hair after three months, and the hair was thicker too. These benefits continued throughout the six months of the study.
In addition, a paper about nutraceuticals used for treating hair loss highlights four reports of individuals who used Nutrafol to boost hair growth successfully.
Viviscal Clinical Research Results
Thus far, the makers of Viviscal have supported at least six clinical investigations of how well their supplement works. Here's a summary of some of those experiments:
The Viviscal Pilot Study
This paper was probably the first investigation and was not peer-reviewed or published in a medical journal. So that's a downside. This report indicated that hair loss was reduced by 46% when 16 women took the supplement for nine months.
1992 Viviscal Study
In this investigation, out of Helsinki, Finland, 38% of young men who took Viviscal for six months showed significant growth in non-vellus hair compared to men who took a placebo pill. Non-vellus hair, also called terminal, is the thick hair on the head.
2012 Viviscal Study
This was a small study containing just 1o woman; however, they ranged from 21 to 75 years of age and were diagnosed with thinning hair. Compared to women who took a placebo, those taking the Viviscal supplement increased their hair counts from 271 to 609 after six months of daily use.
2015 Viviscal Study
In this high-quality investigation, 60 women took either extra strength Viviscal or a placebo for three months. Following the study, the women who took the extra strength supplement experienced less hair shedding and had significantly more hair on their heads. In addition, the women taking Viviscal also reported improved quality of life.
2016 Viviscal Study
This high-quality study reported that men who took Viviscal for six months had more hair and thicker hair on their heads than men who took a placebo.
Visual Proof Video: Nutrafol vs. Viviscal
Watch this video to see Nutrafol and Viviscal before and after pictures and clinical research.
Nutrafol Contains Iodine
Iodine is an essential trace mineral found naturally in milk, seafood, seaweed, like kelp, and, of course, iodized salt. Most notably, iodine is one of the nutrients needed to make the thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) which regulate metabolism. The T4 hormone gets converted into the more active T3 hormone. To better understand this mineral's importance, iodine makes up 65% of T4 and 59% of the T3 hormone.
Hypothyroidism (having a sluggish thyroid gland) can trigger various symptoms, including hair loss. Nutrafol contains kelp (Laminaria digitata), a rich iodine source. Therefore using kelp may be a way of naturally maintaining healthy thyroid hormone levels and thus reducing the chances of hair falling out. In theory, this makes sense.
Iodine is necessary for thyroid hormone production. However, the problem is that elevated intakes of iodine might cause us to make more of the T4 hormone and not as much of the more active T3 hormone. In other words, too much iodine might lower active thyroid hormone levels. This effect is usually temporary and improves when iodine consumption is reduced. Prolonged consumption of high intakes of iodine has also been implicated in developing antibodies that attack the thyroid gland, making hypothyroidism more likely.
The recommended intake of iodine for adults is 150 micrograms a day. Four capsules of Nutrafol contain 225 micrograms or 150% of the recommended amount. While that is not a very high dose, consider that foods and some medications may have iodine too. Do you add salt to your food? Consider this too. There is no evidence that Nutrafol causes hypothyroidism. Because it's been around for a long time, Nutrafol is likely very safe for most people. If you have a thyroid disorder, discuss Nutrafol with your physician to determine if it's right for you.
Nutrafol Has Saw Palmetto (The Pregnancy Controversy)
Saw palmetto is a popular ingredient in hair growth supplements. This is because saw palmetto inhibits an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase, which converts testosterone into the more powerful dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Elevated levels of DHT are considered to be a cause for hair to fall out. So, the higher the DHT level, the more hair you could potentially lose from your head. Thus, herbal ingredients like saw palmetto are usually considered suitable for hair loss prevention.
However, some women are against the use of saw palmetto in hair loss formulas because they have heard that this herb might interfere with birth control pills. In other words, is it possible that saw palmetto might cause an unwanted pregnancy? Fueling this controversy, some heavy hitter websites (looking at you, WebMD) even mention the contraceptive failure controversy. This can reinforce women's fear and reluctance to use saw palmetto hair loss supplements.
This reporter has investigated whether saw palmetto interferes with birth control pills. Human proof seems lacking. In other words, no reports of a woman accidentally getting pregnant while taking birth control pills and saw palmetto appear to exist. That said, saw palmetto can reduce estrogen levels. In one report, men taking 480 mg of saw palmetto had lower estrogen levels after taking the herb for three months. But men are biologically not women. In spite of the lack of proof, some women are adamant about not using saw palmetto. To them, it's not worth the risk.
Viviscal Has a Superior Money Back Guarantee
Truthfully, there will be people who use these supplements religiously for several months who do not see a difference in their hair growth or hair loss. For those, the ability to get a refund, if necessary, is essential. Viviscal comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee when you purchase from Viviscal.com. Just send back the unused portion to get a refund (minus shipping, of course). This guarantee is better than Nutrafol, which only has a 30-day refund window when you purchase from Nutrafol.com. In addition, with Nutrafol, the supplement you return needs to be unopened.
Viviscal Is Less Expensive Than Nutrafol
This might be the most significant factor to consider when deciding which alopecia supplements to take. Nutrafol is significantly more expensive than Viviscal. While the supplement may be cheaper on Amazon, here are the prices listed on the official company website:
- Nutrafol for Women: $88 ($79 per month with auto-delivery)
- Nutrafol Postpartum: $88 per month ($79 per month with auto-delivery)
- Woman's Balance: $88 per month ($79 per month with auto-delivery)
- Nutrafol for Men: $88 per month ($79 per month with auto-delivery)
Total yearly Nutrafol cost: $948 to $1056
In contrast, Viviscal is more reasonably priced:
- Viviscal for Women: $40 per month ($36 per month with auto-delivery)
- Viviscal for Men: $33.99 per package ($33.33 per month with auto-delivery)
Total yearly Viviscal cost: $432 to 480 (women's supplement) & $396 to $408 (men's supplement)
What's Better, Nutrafol or Viviscal?
A recent review suggests that Nutrafol and Viviscal would be modestly effective at promoting hair growth in men and women. That's good news. Each leading hair loss supplement brand has legions of happy customers, and no arguments to the contrary will sway them from what they feel is the best. However, for that person who is losing their hair – or wants some protection to keep what they have, Viviscal may be the way to go. This is because of the lower price and the greater number of clinical studies attesting to its effectiveness. However, no matter which alopecia supplement you try, remember your results may vary. Also, if either of them really works, it will take at least 3 to 6 months to see improvements in hair growth.