Viviscal vs Nutrafol

Which Supplement is Better for Hair Loss?

Viviscal vs Nutrafol

Over the past 20 years, I’ve lost count of the many hair growth treatments I’ve tried. The only thing that’s really helped my hair loss was when I cut out inflammatory foods and took key supplements: to reduce inflammation, balance my hormones and address some nutritional deficiencies.

Unfortunately, the supplement industry is dominated by big pharma companies out to prey on people’s vulnerability. You could spend a fortune trying every vitamin or mineral going. Supplements aren’t FDA approved as hair loss treatments, either.

BUT… in my experience, supplements really can reduce shedding, improve hair growth and help other issues: like brain fog, headaches and menstrual issues. I’d advise working with a licensed practitioner, to see what could be triggering your hair loss (as each scalp is different!) 

If you can’t afford that, you could try a general hair growth supplement, which targets common causes of hair thinning, includes proven hair growth ingredients and improves skin and hair health, from inside out.

Which is what I’ll cover in this Viviscal vs Nutrafol post!

Emma's 'I'm 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. I also keep the lights on by selling my own headscarves and alopecia merch.
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What is Viviscal?

Viviscal is a hair health industry leader, best known for its hair growth supplements for both men and women. The brand also makes topical hair growth products with natural ingredients, including a shampoo, conditioner, exfoliating scrub and serum – which, like the supplements, are 100% drug-free.

Viviscal uses a patented AminoMar complex made from marine proteins like shark cartilage and mollusk powder, plus plenty of omega-3 fatty acids and some top other vitamins and minerals to reduce hair thinning and promote scalp health.

They work together to nourish each hair follicle and extend the anagen (growth phase) of the hair cycle – giving you a higher change of hair growth.

With the best results appearing after 3–6 months and, as one clinical trial showed, a “significant decrease in hair loss” after only 90 days, Viviscal hair supplements offer an exciting (and natural!) alternative to treating hair loss.

Psst…Check out my full reviews post for more about Viviscal.

Viviscal: Top Products

Viviscal Supplements

Gorgeous Growth Elixir

Shampoo & Conditioner

Top Ingredients in Viviscal

Viviscal has plenty of great natural ingredients to boost volume, reduce hair thinning and promote existing hair growth from hair follicles. You can also get a Pro and Extra Strength version – with similar ingredients, in a higher dosage.

Viviscal has 8 active ingredients but these are my favorites:

  • AminoMar complex: A formula derived from marine collegen proteins and fatty acids found within Inuit diets to boost volume and assist in hair growth
  • Horsetail extract: Balances hormones by stabilizing calcium and magnesium levels in the body
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3): Supports healthy bood circulation to deliver more nutrients to the hair follicles, which can stimulate hair growth.

What Is Nutrafol?

Nutrafol is another drug-free hair supplement with clinically backed ingredients. It has more options though, as these hair growth supplements are targeted towards the various reasons that can lead to hair loss, and for different stages of life. 

Check out my full review post for the lowdown on Nutrafol but basically, their range includes: one supplement for men, one for women, and another hair growth pill for women in their first year postpartum. Their fourth supplement is for women experiencing peri or postmenopause, and the hormonal changes they incur. 

Many of us are deficient in key vitamins or minerals that are needed to support healthy hair growth. Or maybe we eat well, but our body can’t absorb the nutrients from our food due to underlying gut problems or hormonal imbalances.

Nutrafol aims to address these specific issues while extending the anagen (growth) phase of the hair cycle and delaying the exogen phase, where your hair naturally falls out.

The best thing about Nutrafol is how personalized the treatment plan is. After taking their Hair Wellness Quiz, you’re recommended hair supplements for the root causes of your own thinning hair.

You can also support hair growth further with targeted immune system boosters and avail of ongoing support with naturopathic doctors, plus a free hair mineral analysis every 6 months when you choose a subscription.​​

It sounds like you can’t lose with Nutrafol…but plenty do! Check out my bad reviews post for more.

Key Ingredients in Nutrafol

Nutrafol has plenty of vitamins and minerals that naturally help your hair grow stronger and what’s more, help your body to absorb them more efficiently. This is great news for anyone with an autoimmune condition as often, we can’t aborb the nutrients we need from food alone.

The ingredients that help to address these imbalances most are:

  • Ashwagandha: Also known as Indian ginseng, this amazing medicinal herb helps to balance cortisol levels, with proven effects of reducing the anxiety and depression that can lead to chronic stress in the body and symptoms like hair shedding.
  • Saw Palmetto: A hormone-balancing, anti-inflammatory ingredient that has been clinically proven to improve hair density and quality by acting as a natural DHT blocker. It’s effective for many types of hair loss, including telogen effluvium and female or male pattern hair loss.
  • Resveratrol: Reduces oxidative stress in the body and stimulates a move from the telogen (resting) phase into the anagen (growth) phase of the hair cycle.
  • Curcumin: Another anti-inflammatory that can boost your metabolic function to support your immune system and help hair growth. Nutrafol also contains black pepper to help you absorb curcumin easily.

Nutrafol: Top Products

Nutrafol Women

Nutrafol Men

Nutrafol Women's Balance

Viviscal Compared to Nutrafol: Key Differences

Both Viviscal and Nutrafol include clinically tested plant extracts, marine collagen and other great hair growth ingredients: such as zinc, iron, a Vitamin B complex (although Nutrafol contains a wider variety) and biotin.

Biotin has long been hailed for its hair growth properties – but scientific evidence on this is limited and it can mean side effects like nausea or cramping for those with a sensitivity.

I think Nutrafol has the edge when it comes to its ingredient list. First of all, it’s 100% drug-free and natural (Viviscal is also 100 drug-free, but not entirely natural as it contains some fillers and additives). 

Secondly, not only does Nutrafol have a lot more vitamins and minerals, it contains proven DHT blockers, stress adaptogens and hormone balancers which target the main causes of thinning hair and hair loss.

Plus, its ingredients differ depending on what supplement you choose (and what might be triggering your hair loss) so you’re more likely to get to the root cause. However, with more ingredients, you get more potential side effects.

Viviscal offers a more generalized approach for thicker hair, without the targeted boosters or the ongoing support. But some skeptics of Nutrafol would say they only adjust their ingredients list and offer more options to sell more hair growth supplements. So you might prefer a catch-all option that’s kinder to your wallet.

Another main difference between Viviscal and Nutrafol is that Nutrafol isn’t actually a supplement; it’s a nutraceutical. Plus, it’s mainly in pill form (apart from the serum and scalp exfoliator), while you can get more Viviscal products for a comprehensive hair care treatment plan. (Although I’d still recommend Revita as the best natural shampoo for supporting hair growth!)

Viviscal hair supplements are much cheaper than Nutrafol – plus, you only take 2 pills a day instead of 4, so a bottle will last you longer. If you choose an auto-ship option, you can get discounts on your order too.

Nutrafol also offers auto-ship subscriptions but you don’t get those discounts when you buy in bulk. You can get free hair mineral analysis and doctor consultations but there are caveats involved in buying direct…see this post for more.

Nutrafol vs Viviscal: Pros and Cons

Ok, we’ve covered a lot here so let’s recap with the pros and cons of each hair growth brand.

Viviscal Pros

  • Special AminoMar complex that’s exclusive to Viviscal
  • Celebrity endorsed and hugely popular in the hair health industry
  • Plenty of clinical studies prove its effectiveness
  • Few reported side effects – mostly, of nausea due to the fishy taste and smell

Viviscal Cons

  • Minimum recommended dosage of 6 months
  • Includes some artificial additives and binders (so not 100% natural ingredients)
  • Not suitable for pregnancy, breastfeeding or those with a fish/shellfish allergy

Nutrafol Pros

  • Results may be quicker (recommended minimum is 3 months, with advice to discontinue use after 6 months if you don’t notice a change.)
  • Bigger and better hair vitamin ingredient list – it contains many of Viviscal’s star ingredients, plus a bunch more for healthy hair
  • Targeted, personalized strategy to treating the root causes of thinning hair
  • Ongoing support and expert recommendations with a subscription

Nutrafol Cons

  • Very expensive
  • No discounts for larger orders
  • Boosters only available when you buy one of the main supplements
  • Dosage is twice that of Viviscal (so you’ll go through a bottle more quickly)
  • More biotin, so potentially more side effects like gassiness and nausea
  • Not suitable for pregnancy or for people on blood thinners
  • Complaints about customer service

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Viviscal vs Nutrafol: Which One is Best for You?

Each brand has different hair growth supplements and topical treatments available so it can be hard to know where to start. I’ve outlined below the products I’d personally recommend for a few issues people might struggle with – but for a more comprehensive view, try Nutrafol’s hair wellness quiz.

Best for Lightly Thinning Hair

Take 2 Viviscal supplements daily. They’re better value and you can probably still afford their shampoo and conditioner for a more targeted approach to treat hair shedding. Try Viviscal

Best for Extensive Hair Thinning

Two options: You can take Nutrafol (whichever of the 4 supplements best matches your needs) plus one of the hair boosters available on their website. Or, you can take a proven hair growth supplement that clocks up amazing reviews for a third of the price (yep, you heard me!) Try Folexin

Best for Promoting Hair Growth

Any of the above supplements plus a scalp treatment, like Nutrafol’s exfoliating scalp mask or Viviscal’s scalp scrub can assist with healthy hair growth.

Best for All-Round Healthy Hair

I’m a big fan of supporting your immune system to help skin, nails and hair health in general. Folexin supplements offer the most affordable way of doing this, and one of the most effective options, too!

folexin supplements

Common Questions

Can I take both Nutrafol and Viviscal?

You could – but why hedge your bets?! I’d recommend choosing the option that you feel you can afford and sticking to it for at least 3 months (although remember, Viviscal recommends a 6-month minimum for best results).

Is Viviscal or Nutrafol better for hair growth?

I can’t say for certain but in my opinion, Nutrafol offers a more personalized approach, with ongoing support so you’re more likely to find and treat the root cause.

You could further support hair growth with a gentle shampoo like Revita or Pura D’Or.

Final Thoughts: Which Wins The Drug War?!

While I don’t think there’s a miracle pill to regrow hair, I fully believe in supporting your immune system, correcting the deficiencies or imbalances which so many of us have (especially women) and treating the ‘root cause’ of hair loss – not just the ’symptom’ of hair loss itself.

Both Viviscal and Nutrafol act as clinical proof that hair doesn’t need chemical-heavy treatments, with often negative side effects, in order to grow.

When comparing the two, Nutrafol has better ingredients, a more targeted approach and doctor support – so it would most likely be better for hair growth. Still, it’s A LOT more expensive and you need to take 4 pills a day. Viviscal is cheaper and you only need 2 pills a day, plus it contains many of the same ingredients.

There is that third option I mentioned, though – one that’s cheaper, is all-natural and contains proven hair growth ingredients. That option is Folexin. It’s so, SO much cheaper and has great deals and discounts when you buy a few bottles at once. Plenty of clinical studies have shown its effectiveness in terms of its ingredients and it comes without nasty side effects, too. 

Ok, so maybe you haven’t heard of it like the other two – but probably because Nutrafol and Viviscal can spend millions on marketing (which, FYI, drives up their product price). Folexin has a very similar formula, without the giant pricetag. Meaning it largely relies on word of mouth, and that word of mouth is very positive indeed: check out my Folexin review here

I hope this post has helped you see how effecive hair loss supplements can be as opposed to harsh topical options – and that I’ve helped you narrow down your choice in terms of Viviscal vs Nutrafol!

As always, feel free to share your comments and experiences below.

Love & hugs,

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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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