Viviscal calls itself a ‘hair growth dietary supplement’ and forms part of the Viviscal for Hair Growth Program along with shampoos, conditioners and hair fibres. According to their website, they have been researching hair loss in both men and women for over 20 years.
What’s in it?
Viviscal offers slightly different supplements for men and women. Both formulations contain several different vitamins and minerals that are often associated with hair regrowth, including B vitamins (including biotin), zinc, vitamin C and iron. As we have already addressed, these vitamins and minerals can help to ease hair loss only if your hair loss is caused by a deficiency in one or more of these ingredients.
Along with these usual suspects, Viviscal includes a propriety marine complex called AminoMar. As it is propriety, we could only find out a few scant details about it, including that it is made from shark cartilage and mollusc powder.
What is it supposed to do?
According to the Viviscal website, the supplements keep hair healthy and conditioned by nourishing the follicles with essential nutrients. This means less breakage and a prolonged anagen (growth) phase of the hair cycle which ultimately means more hairs on your head for longer.
Does it work?
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence and customer reviews that seem to suggest it does help to some degree. Many have suggested that this is because a lot of hair loss is due to deficiencies in one or many of the vitamins included in Viviscal, so it might be a safer bet to get your levels tested and take individual supplements only for what you are deficient in.
What about all the research they’ve done?
According to the Viviscal for hair growth website, there has been a number of clinical trials to test the efficacy of the supplements. We had a quick look at them and can confirm that these studies do exist, however, many of them are far from perfect. Rather than peer reviewed, published studies, most of the research listed on the Viviscal website has been undertaken by the company itself which is not exactly the kind of unbiased research we would be hoping to see.
It is expensive? Do I have to take it forever?
Viviscal recommend taking the supplement twice a day for at least 6 months to see results. After the initial 6 months, they recommend a maintenance program of ‘1-2 tablets daily as required’ which would suggest that the supplements stop working when you stop taking them, which would make sense. Packs are $AU89.95 for a month’s supply or $398 for a 6 months’ supply.
So, should I give it a go?
Viviscal is one of the safer, more natural products out there and there’s a chance it could be beneficial if your hair loss is caused by a deficiency. On the other hand, it would be a lot cheaper and arguably make more sense to get a blood test and determine what (if anything) you are deficient in that could be causing your hair loss. That way you and your doctor can work out a diet and/or supplement program that is likely to work better for you without the unnecessary extra ingredients and cost.