Lady Alopecia’s Viviscal Reviews

Does It Work? And Is It Safe?

viviscal reviews

I’ve been an alopecian since I was 11. (I’m now 37). I’ve gone from having a tiny bald spot to watching my alopecia areata patches spread across my head to finally shaving the rest off.

Over the years, I’ve tried almost every treatment going – and I’ve begun to favor supplements over topical treatments for hair loss (although there are many great ones out there!)

This Viviscal reviews post explains how the key nutrients and vitamins included in supplements can reduce hair loss and even promote hair growth.

To be clear: I don’t think there’s a magic pill for hair loss. But many of us are deficient in essential minerals, or we can’t process them properly, and we need extra help for immune support.

Viviscal supplements (and their wider range) may not be a ‘quick fix’ – but they do offer a longer-term approach towards treating the root of the issue. And from the positive customer reviews I’ve read, it really does work – but be warned, for a small percentage of people, there can be negative side effects.

Lady Alopecia

Emma’s ‘not a doctor’ disclaimer
Hi there, I’m an alopecian, I’m not a doctor! Any advice I give is based on my own research and personal experiences. This site is, however, reader-supported. When you buy through external links, I may earn a tiny affiliate commission. Learn more here.

Top Seller: Viviscal Hair Growth Supplements

viviscal hair supplements

What is Viviscal?

Even if you don’t have hair loss, you’ve probably seen Viviscal supplements or shampoo on the shelves. They’re HUGE in the hair growth market and have been industry leaders for over 25 years.

Viviscal are best known for their supplements (for both men and women) – but they also have hair growth products, including a shampoo, conditioner and serum. Many healthcare professionals will recommend Viviscal for those experiencing excess shedding.

What gives Viviscal their edge? Marine proteins. A Scandinavian researcher discovered that the key to full, healthy hair was in these proteins, found in Inuit diets.

The team isolated nutrients like shark cartilage from this diet to create their patented AminoMar formula: which Viviscal claims is scientifically proven to nourish thinning hair, revitalize existing strands and encourage hair growth.

Vivical’s key ingredients provide a clinically proven solution for people with thinning hair to a achieve thicker, fuller mane in 3–6 months. In one clinical trial, 75.3% of participants also experienced a “significant decrease in hair loss”. 

There’s plenty of positive customer reviews; although the complaints in the negative reviews makes me wonder if the side effects are worth it. But more on side effects later. For now, let’s focus on those positives!

8 Viviscal Active Ingredients and Key Benefits

Viviscal’s trademarked AminoMar marine complex, plus the other natural ingredients in its “100% drug-free formula” nurture hair follicles and balance hormones to boost hair growth. 

Time to evaluate ingredients! The active ingredients in Vivical supplements, and their individual benefits, are:

  • AminoMar: A proprietary blend of shark cartilage and mollusk powder, containing proteins to help with hair growth and volume.
  • Fish oil: Promotes hair growth as omega-3 fatty acids nourish follicles and minimize hair thinning
  • Horsetail extract: Also present in Nutrafol supplements, this extract contains a naturally occurring form of silica that stabilizes calcium and magnesium levels to balance hormones and strengthen hair strands.
  • Biotin (Vitamin B7): Thinning hair or brittle nails may indicate a biotin deficiency – so many top hair growth treatments include it to improve thickness and reduce shedding.
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3): Supports healthy bood circulation to deliver more nutrients to the follicles, which can stimulate hair growth.
  • Iron: Iron deficiency is common for those with hair loss (especially women). Older populations may find iron particularly difficult to absorb – so it could help to take a supplement. But check with your doctor first, especially if you’re postmenopausal, as excess iron stores may pose risks.
  • Vitamin C: This antioxidant-rich vitamin helps the body absorb iron. Vitamin C also promotes collagen production, which strengthens hair.
  • Zinc: Helps immune system and metabolic function to strengthen hair follicles, reduces dandruff and balances hormones to encourage healthy hair growth. Again, check with your doctor first because both zinc deficiency and excess zinc levels can be a factor in hair loss.


Remember, there are no quick fixes here. And going down the supplementation route will take longer than say, a harsh topical corticosteroid or treatments like Rogaine.

But it’s all about treating the root case of hair loss in a more natural way…then using a gentle shampoo and conditioner to support hair growth further. In my mind, at least, this long game is a far better strategy!

Top Viviscal Products

Viviscal recommends a “two-part hair care system”, where ideally, you’d use their hair growth supplements and their topical treatments. But you can continue using your favorite existing shampoo and conditioner in conjunction with the supplements, if you prefer. Here’s one that I love.

So without further ado…here’s the Viviscal range!

1. Viviscal Hair Growth Supplements

viviscal hair supplements

Specifically designed to promote hair growth in women suffering from temporary thinning hair, this oral marine protein supplement (MPS) is a great alternative to many male-focused hair loss treatments (like finasteride), which unlike Viviscal, aren’t safe for women to use.

MPS doesn’t contain any hormones or other drugs: just a blend of marine extracts, sourced sustainably, that provide essential nutrients to nourish the follicles in a natural way.

Benefits: Can prolong the anagen / growing phase. Contains nourishing ingredients like biotin, vitamin C, zinc and fish oil.

Use: Take one hair supplement twice a day, after meals. Each pack contains 60 tablets.

Price: $40 for a one-month supply; less with a subscription

2. Thickening Shampoo


Designed to nourish and stimulate the scalp for fuller, healthier-looking hair. The shampoo contains the company’s proprietary Ana-Tel™ formula, which includes pea sprouts, marine collagen, zinc and seaweed extract.

Benefits: Natural formula that’s free from harsh chemicals and kind to your scalp, just like another of my favorite brands: Pura D’Or. Contains proteins that can build and strengthen hair fibers, like keratin, biotin, collagen and zinc.

Price: $13, or less with a subscription.

3. Strengthening Conditioner

Many conditioners are loaded with parabens to give you that silky feel; which can be quite damaging, not to mention being far too creamy/heavy for those with oily hair. Viviscal’s conditioner is lightweight and therefore suitable for all types of hair; whether it’s oily, dry or brittle or has been chemically damaged.

Benefits: A moisturizing conditioner that not only gives the appearance of healthier, fuller hair but can reverse damage, too. Delivers hydration and nourishment without weighing you down.

Price: $13, or less with a subscription.

4. Hair Thickening Serum


An enhanced version of the former Gorgeous Growth Elixer, this lightweight,leave-in treatment is formulated to boost volume, thicken strands and add a healthy shine – without harmful sulfates or parabens.

The former elixir was made with AnaTel: a patented hair treatment containing keratin, biotin, zinc and pea sprouts, which Viviscal claimed would “transform hair” in less than a week. 

Now also containing marine collagen and seaweed extract, this new thickening serum comes with even more conditioning properties, plus added density, softness and manageability. It works to reduce the effects of environment damage, too (like brittle hair and breakage), which could cause hair loss. 

Benefits: Suitable for all hair types, thanks to its non-greasy formula, the anti-frizz serum can be applied to both wet and dry hair – so it’s easy to add to your routine.

Price: $15, or less with a subscription.

Psst… Get a Bundle!

For the best value, I’d recommend their Essentials collection: a 3-month supply of hair growth supplements, the thickening shampoo and strengthening conditioner to support hair health.

How to Use Viviscal Supplements:

Take one supplement twice daily after mealtimes: ideally, one in the morning and one in the evening. (If you’re a forgetful type, this nifty pill case can help you keep track.) For the other products, follow the instructions on the bottle.

The manufacturer recommends taking Viviscal supplements consistently for at least 6 months, so you’ll need 3 packages of the supplements at a minimum. Once the course is over, they suggest you keep taking one supplement a day for 2–3 months and observe whether the quality of your hair stays the same or if shedding starts again.

My Top Supplement for Alopecia?

Discover the Lady's number one supplement for hair loss.

Does Viviscal Really Work? Research Says Yes!

Ok, so we’ve covered the ingredients, benefits and what’s available. Now let’s talk results. Viviscal hair growth supplements have been proven to nurture hair follicles, boost new hair growth and accelerate overall hair growth. Clinical trials on the company’s website showed the following noticeable improvements in these areas after just 3 months:

  • 32% increase in terminal (thicker) hairs at 3 months against baseline.
  • 39% reduction in shedding hairs at 3 months against baseline.


In another study, 92% of women saw an increase in hair strength, volume, thickness and scalp coverage after 3 months of taking Viviscal. (However, this sample size only had 35 participants, and they were self perceived thinning hair results (based on self-assessment.) 

What’s really interesting is this 2015 placebo controlled study evaluating the effects of Viviscal. 60 women aged 24–65 took Viviscal hair growth supplements twice daily for 90 days. These women had not been diagnosed with alopecia or another autoimmune condition, but had experienced either female pattern hair loss or other forms of hair thinning. 

Among the clinical study participants, there was a significant increase in terminal hairs, from 178.3 at baseline to 235.8. Meanwhile, the placebo-treated patients had a very minor increase, from 178.2 to 180.9.

There was also a significant increase in vellus hairs for the Viviscal group, but not for the placeo, and a massive decrease in shedding for the former group, in addition to improvements within the categories of: hair growth, volume, scalp coverage, thickness of hair body, hair strength, growth of eyebrow hair, and overall skin and hair health compared to the placebo group.

That’s a vast improvement after only 90 days. The other studies on Viviscal’s website show positive results after 3 months. So just imagine what can happen within the 6-month timeframe they recommend for best results!

viviscal hair supplements

How It Works: Science Bit

Unlike many topical treatments and shampoos, Viviscal hair growth supplements start at the root of the issue, if you’ll pardon the pun. They target the blood vessels that are attached to hair follicles. With more essential nutrients and minerals getting to these blood vessels, plus ingredients known to balance hormones and improve blood flow, the result is healthier, nourished follicles. 

Healthier hair follicles provide a better environment for hair to grow. Because when we don’t have a healthy scalp environment, we can get stuck in one of the stages of the hair growth cycle. 

This cycle consists of:

  • Anagen: The growth phase, which lasts 2–7 years. (The length of a hair is determined by the amount of time it spends in this phase.)
  • Catagen: An interim phase, which only lasts around 10 days. It’s when the follicle shrinks.
  • Telogen: The resting phase for older hair, which should last around 3 months. In an ideal world, new thick hair will grow as the old hair rests but for many alopecians, we enter this phase too early or hang out in it for so long that our hair goes into a state of extended rest without any new growth.
  • Exogen: An extension of the telogen phase, where the old hair disconnects from the follicle and sheds as the incoming hair grows. Again, sometimes that new hair doesn’t come, so we just end up shedding hair with nothing to replace it.


When we do have a healthy growth cycle, things work great! However, things like stress, hormonal imbalance, abnormal menstrual cycles, nutritional deficiencies and environmental factors can disrupt this cycle. So it’s useful to use a supplement that can get us back on track and specifically, to extend our hair’s time in the anagen phase to boost growth. 

Viviscal claims that’s exactly what its hair growth supplements do. And that these supplements are particularly useful as we age (because as we do so, the length of the anagen stage typically decreases, meaning aging hair has less time to thicken and build strength). Viviscal can give us that little extra new hair growth time, without the use of harsh chemicals.

Real Customer Reviews

The celebrity endorsements and the majority of customer reviews for Viviscal products are overwhelmingly positive – and there’s a lot of them, with almost 17K on Amazon alone! Their customer service is supposed to be great, too: far better compared to brands like Hair La Vie

But those complaints in the one-star reviews are alarming – with reported side effects of nausea, cramping and vomiting. It’s a small percentage and typically from people with a shellfish allergy – but it’s worth noting, this vitamin-dense supplement may be too much for some. 

One Viviscal review mentioned how the formula in Ireland and the UK is only half the potency of the US supplements, so it’s worth checking where your supply will come from.

Reliable service and good product which helps keep my very fine (thin!) hair in as good a shape as I can expect. I consider it a daily essential.
– Ross, Feb 2023, UK

I am hypothyroid and have had Covid. These things both can contribute to hair loss. This product has really helped with my thinning hair. I have seen 50% less hair loss when I wash my hair (less clogged drains)… It has also made my brittle nails thicker. I have been taking it for about 2 months now as can’t wait to see further results.
– Rose, February 2023, UK

Due to bouts of hair thinning and hair loss in the past, I began taking Vivascal and have not suffered hair loss/thinning issues since. My hair is thicker, healthier and also in superb condition. My hairdresser often remarks and asks what I use. 
– Nadine, December 2022, UK

Other Viviscal Products

Exfoliating Scalp Scrub

Contains mollusk powder to exfoliate and clear build-up for a healthier scalp environment, and optimal conditions for hair regrowth.


Viviscal Man Supplements

Designed to nourish thinning hair and promote existing hair growth. Clinical trials of men taking Viviscal supplements over a 6-month period reported an increase in terminal hair density, total hair count and total density.

Viviscal Man does not contain: iron, biotin or niacin – instead, it includes flax seed extract to support healthy hair growth for men.

Side Effects and Contraindictions of Viviscal: When to Avoid

Due to the fish derived ingredients, Viviscal is not suitable for people with an allergy to fish or shellfish. It isn’t suitable for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, either. And as I mentioned before, older populations may not be advised to take any extra iron – so be sure to check with your doctor first.

Viviscal cannot confirm that the manufacturing site is free from cross-contamination of dairy, eggs, nuts, wheat, and gluten. Their supplements for women also contain millet seed, which may not be suitable for those with a gluten sensitivity. (They haven’t been FDA approved, either – but currently, the only FDA approved hair loss treatments are slightly harsher ones like minoxidil, finasteride and JAK inhibitors.)

So what about the side effects? To be honest, they sound pretty alarming. Potential side effects, and the harsher health claims reported by some Amazon users are:

  • Nausea, due to the “fishy taste and smell”
  • Stomach cramps
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhoea
  • Acne breakouts
  • Kidney stones or hemochromatosis (excess iron)


It’s worth mentioning, many of these reviewers had bought from Viviscal direct before and had no issues. The main complaints were over the company changing their formula. So I’m wondering if the problem lies with the Amazon supplier and not the product itself?

A similar problem occurred with another great supplement brand – Hair La Vie – where people had issues ordering through Amazon. (Psst…check out my comparison post between the two brands here!)

So to be on the safe side, I’d buy directly from the manufacturer…or avoid Viviscal entirely, if you have any of the sensitivities mentioned above.

How long before you’ll see results

Hair regrowth results won’t be immediate – that’s why Viviscal recommends using their supplements and other products for 6 months.

However, most people will see a difference between two to four months’ of use. This is a product that requires continuous use for visible results – so your hair may return to its original state if you stop using Viviscal.

Alternatives to Viviscal

There’s a lot to like about Viviscal – but it isn’t for everyone. If you have any shellfish allergies, other food intolerances or if you’re pregnant/breastfeeding/postmenopausal, you might prefer one of the these other hair supplements…


The original hair loss pill that got me interested in them in the first place! Contains amazing hair growth natural ingredients like saw palmetto and caffeine, without any harsh side effects.

Many Lady Alopecia readers have written to me to say how much they love it – and it’s much cheaper, too! In all honesty, Folexin is my top pick as a hair growth supplement.

folexin supplements

Vegamour Biotin Gummies

Vegamour’s CBD gummies are highly rated and they could be a tasty natural alternative to treat your thinning hair and restore it to its crowning glory. After taking the gummies for just a week, I already noticed an improvement in my energy and mood.

Plus, having used Vegamour shampoos and serums too, I’m happy to vouch for this brand. They’re awesome!

vegamour gummies


These guys offer the most popular hair regrowth supplement around. My readers told me about it and now I’m keen to try it, too!

I can imagine how it’d support regrowth, with hormone-balancing ashwagandha root and other great active ingredients like marine collagen peptides, kelp and turmeric. It’s pretty expensive but apparently, effective. See how it compares to Viviscal supplements in this post.

Nutrafol for women

Toppik Hair Fibers

Want to cover those bald spots in the meantime? These natural keratin fibers are a handy way to start. They offer full coverage to smaller patches or to disguise a thinning parting…without spraying toxic chemicals onto your scalp.

Hair fibers may not be a long-term solution but they can give you much-needed confidence and the appearance of natural hair while you continue with your supplementation plan.

Common Questions

Stock up on Viviscal from Amazon, from the manufacturer’s site or from your local Walmart. Due to reported inconsistencies in the formula (from Amazon reviewers), I’d recommend buying direct. You can also benefit from discounts and extra goodies with their subscription services.

Up to $40 for a pack of 60 (which is one month’s supply). If you want to order a 3-month’s supply, which is the minimum recommended time, you can get a subscription offer through Viviscal’s website – paying $96 instead of $120 for the full treatment.

Take one tablet, twice a day for a minimum of 3 months – but Viviscal recommends 6 months for best results.

Not for everyone, no. See my section on side effects for more.

Let’s Recap!

Pros Of Viviscal

  • Suitable for all hair types
  • 100% drug-free supplement 
  • 10 published clinical studies: scientific evidence shows it to increase hair density
  • Great customer service when ordering direct
  • The haircare products are good value
  • Free shipping for subscriptions and orders over $110
  • 90-day money-back guarantee

Cons Of Viviscal

  • Not suitable for those with fish or shellfish allergies
  • Not suitable for those who are pregnant
  • The supplements are more expensive than Folexin (but cheaper than Nutrafol!)
  • Not FDA approved 
  • Use of additives like coloring, fillers, binders and flavors

Final Thoughts: Get to the Root Cause!

I like that Viviscal is a household name. I’ve seen their shampoos and conditioners in my friend’s bathrooms and I’m almost sure I used the supplements when I was younger. They didn’t regrow my hair but I used them fairly sporadically, and they still made my nails grow strong and healthy!

I don’t love some of the company’s messaging, however – they’re flogging the idea that we need more hair to be our true selves. As they say, quite patronisingly, on their website:

“We believe hair is a part of what makes you, you. We’re here to offer hope. Hope in the form of a proven solution” – Viviscal.

I’m of a different opinion. That there’s more to us than hair. But I get what they’re trying to say, that you might feel more like yourself again with the promise of regrowth. It’s still a far kinder approach than sticking steroid injections into your scalp – and it can treat the root cause of hair loss, too (not just the symptom itself).

I think hair loss supplements offer genuine value. Not like a magic pill – but most of us could do with a helping hand in terms of vitamins, especially if we can’t absorb them fully from our food. 

I can’t say if Viviscal is the best daily supplement out there, because it has dodgy side effects for some people. But for others, it’s given them thicker hair, less shedding and more confidence. Not bad, for a little bundle of marine extracts…

Have you tried Viviscal? What about a different supplement? Share your experiences below!

Love & hugs,

Lady Alopecia Signature

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Emma in a bubble


Lady Alopecia

Alopecian. Yoga Teacher. Copywriter. Here to share information, offer support and show people the adventures that can lie in hair loss. I’m proud to have alopecia and I want to help others embrace their baldness, too!

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