Viviscal is one of the leading hair brands. The company sells everything from dietary supplements for hair growth to shampoo to hair serums, and claims their products are "proven effective via 10 clinical studies."
But are Viviscal's products actually proven to work in clinical research or is this just a marketing claim? Do Viviscal's most popular hair products contain ingredients that can promote hair growth and increase hair quality? Do they contain any unhealthy ingredients? And how do real users rate and describe the effects of Viviscal?
In this article we'll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the clinical studies on Viviscal to see if the brand is really proven to work.
We'll also review the ingredients in Viviscal Hair Growth Supplement based on medical studies to give our take on whether it's likely to be effective or if it's a waste of money.
We'll share our concerns about Viviscal Pro and Viviscal Man, document which retailer has the supplements for the best price and feature real, unsponsored Viviscal user reviews.
Is Viviscal Proven to Work?
There are several clinical trials of Viviscal supplements published in legitimate, peer-reviewed research journals. This is a sign of a high-quality brand and is a much higher standard than companies publishing their own "clinical trials" on their website.
A clinical trial published in the Dermatology Research and Practice journal analyzed the effects of Viviscal Hair Growth Supplement.
The supplement was found to be highly effective. Terminal hair count increased by over 32% in only 90 days and shedding decreased. Terminal hair is the thick, full-length hair that grows mostly on the head while vellus hair is smaller, thinner and often white or transparent in color.
A 2015 clinical trial tested the effects of Viviscal on hair thinning in young women. Hair shedding was reduced in the group taking Viviscal pills, but terminal hair diameter was unchanged. This means that hair thickness was not improved.
One would expect a more moderate result in younger women, given that younger women have less hair shedding and hair loss than older women on average.
A third clinical trial on Viviscal supplementation in women reported more impressive results, with terminal hair count nearly doubling.
Viviscal's supplement for men has also been clinically shown to work.
A clinical trial published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology tested whether Viviscal could promote hair growth in middle-aged men with thinning hair. After 180 days, men taking Viviscal had 8% higher total hair count and improved hair thickness.
Based on the available research, we will conclude that Viviscal's hair supplements are likely to be effective in both men and women.
Viviscal Hair Growth Supplement Ingredient Analysis
The ingredients in Viviscal Hair Supplement, which is also marketed as Viviscal for Women, are shown above.
The majority of active ingredients are a blend of vitamins and minerals including vitamin C and zinc. We haven't come across any research suggesting that vitamin and mineral supplementation causes hair growth unless the patient is deficient in that vitamin or mineral.
AminoMar Marine Complex is what we would guess makes Viviscal effective. It's a blend of shark and oyster. We can't find any clinical studies on this complex in isolation, but since the entire Viviscal formulation is already proven to work it doesn't matter as much whether each individual ingredient is proven to work. Perhaps this marine-based complex has anti-inflammatory effects that preserve hair.
There is only one ingredient in this formulation that we consider questionable.
Natural flavor is a broad categorical descriptor that fails to identify the specific flavoring chemicals used. As we referenced in our MCT Wellness side effects article, clinical studies have suggested toxicity related to some natural flavoring agents. We do consider this a much better option than artificial flavors though.
Real, Unsponsored Viviscal User Reviews
A YouTube creator named "GLADYS" reviewed Viviscal's hair supplement and included a variety of before and after images from different angles:
A TikTok user named Helen Avery also includes before-and-after pictures and claims Viviscal helped her regrow her hair:
@helenaverymedia If I get enough YouTube subs I’ll tell you why I STOPPED 😬🤢 #viviscal #hairlosstreatment #hairgrowthjourney #hairregrow #babyhair #BeautyHacks #fyi ♬ original sound - Helen Avery
Our Issues With Viviscal Pro and Viviscal Man
There's a supplement similar to Viviscal Hair Supplement called "Viviscal Pro," but it's not sold on the brand's website. It's listed by a third-party seller with no reviews on Amazon, and we recommend that consumers only buy from brands or authorized retailers directly to reduce the risk of counterfeit product. A third-party seller is someone or some organization selling products on behalf of a brand rather than the brand selling the products itself.
Viviscal Pro is also sold on a third-party website called "LovelySkin," however it's unclear to us whether or not this is an authorized distributor.
Perhaps more importantly, we can't find any clinical studies on Viviscal Pro. It seems illogical to take Viviscal Pro which is 3x the price when regular Viviscal is that one that is proven to work.
Our issue with Viviscal Man is the lack of ingredient clarity.
At the time of updating this article, there is no ingredient list for Viviscal Man either on the brand's website or on Amazon. We're surprised that a brand as high-quality as Viviscal would neglect to publish this crucial information, which is required for consumers to make a safe and informed purchase decision.
Even for supplements clinically proven to work, we recommend that consumers avoid products that do not have a clear ingredient label.
Viviscal vs. Nutrafol
Nutrafol is another popular hair growth brand, so consumers are often curious about which is a better option.
As we documented in our Nutrafol review article, we could find one study backing Nutrafol Women and one study backing the efficacy of Nutrafol Men.
We would recommend Viviscal over Nutrafol to women, because the percentage change in hair count in Viviscal clinical studies is more impressive than Nutrafol, and because Viviscal for women is backed by three clinical trials versus Nutrafol's one.
We would recommend Viviscal over Nutrafol to men because Viviscal's supplement is significantly cheaper. We consider the two supplements to be similarly effective so price is the determinant.
Where to Buy Viviscal for the Best Price
Viviscal is sold at a variety of online retailers. Here's the price breakdown at the time of updating this article:
Viviscal for Women
Brand website: $40 (plus $6.95 S&H, link)
Target: $33.99 (link)
Walmart: $33.48 (plus shipping, link)
Amazon: $33.48 (free shipping link to official Amazon listing)
Viviscal for Men
Amazon: $44.99 (link)
Brand website: $40 (link)
Walmart: $25.70 (third-party seller, link)
We're often surprised by how much prices can vary for the same product across online sales channels. Viviscal for Women is 29% cheaper on Amazon than on the brand's website.
Viviscal for Men is almost 50% cheaper on Walmart than on Amazon, though we would recommend buying this supplement from the brand's website directly because we recommend avoiding products listed by third-party sellers.
Does Viviscal Cause Side Effects?
Viviscal's supplements appear to be quite safe. None of the four clinical trials reported more adverse effects on Viviscal supplements than on placebo pills, nor would we expect there to be any harmful side effects based on the ingredients in Viviscal.
Many prescription hair treatments contain rare but serious sexual side effects because they're hormonal in nature, so Viviscal is clearly superior in this regard. Viviscal's supplements should not disrupt hormone function.
Viviscal's shampoo may cause some local irritation or discomfort due to a few additive ingredients which we'll review in the next section.
What About Viviscal's Shampoo?
The ingredients in Viviscal Thickening Shampoo are shown above.
While there are some potentially effective ingredients, there are a large number of questionable additives that cause us to recommend avoiding this product.
Fragrance is commonly included in personal care products, but a medical review published in the Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health journal concluded that fragranced consumer products can "impose serious risks to human health."
Phenoxyethanol is a synthetic preservative clinically shown to be toxic to human cells as we documented in our Better Not Younger Shampoo review.
Sodium benzoate is another synthetic preservative, and there are several other fragrance ingredients including linalool and citronellol.
We consider Viviscal's supplements to be better-formulated than their personal care products, and we don't recommend any of the brand's personal care products.
The hair growth shampoo we recommend is Acure Vivacious Volume Shampoo.
This shampoo is formulated with effective and non-toxic plant-based compounds like aloe vera juice and argan oil. It also contains rosemary leaf oil which was shown in a clinical trial published in the Phytotherapy Research journal to promote hair growth. It's entirely free of questionable additives.
Interested consumers can check out Acure Vivacious Volume Shampoo at this Amazon link.
Real Customers Review Viviscal
Amazon reviews are a better resource for honest customer reviews than a brand's website in our opinion. Viviscal's Hair Growth Supplement has been reviewed over 14,000 times on Amazon with an average review rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars.
The top positive review comes from a user named "lfpc10" who claims the supplement has been effective for all of the women in her family:
"I wouldn't care about the taste or packaging EVER because the product works! I've been using it for over 2 years now. I've sent it to my mother and my sister who also have hair loss issues and now they are regular users of this product to. I understand it may not be for everyone. Every body has a different chemical makeup. BUT for my family it's worked wonders."
The top negative review is written by a user named "Zoom zoom" who claims the supplement did not cause hair growth within four months of use:
"I am on my 4th month of this. I have zero new hair growth that I can see. I still have huge parts and it’s so upsetting. I will say that my hair stopped falling out as much as it used to. With that being said, sadly it looks the same. I have no new baby hairs that they claimed I would see by now."