Go Natural or Chemical?
Comparing Viviscal vs Rogaine feels like comparing apples to oranges. But since they’re two of the top brands in terms of hair loss treatments, I thought I’d give you the lowdown.
On what products are on offer, what ingredients they include, how they can help hair loss and which option is more suitable for you – if any!
Because I’ve had alopecia for over 20 years. And since suffering some pretty bad side effects of chemical-heavy treatments, I’ve become in favor of the natural route. But that doesn’t mean the stronger stuff doesn’t work, and it works for many people!
So this comparison post will give you an honest breakdown of each brand – the pros and cons, plus potential side effects – to help you make an informed decision.
Viviscal make a range of topical hair growth products for both men and women: including a shampoo, a conditioner, an exfoliating scalp scrub and a hair serum. But they’re best known for their hair growth supplements, with separate options available for men and women.
All Viviscal products are 100% drug-free. Their natural ingredients help to promote hair growth with marine proteins like mollusk powder and shark cartilage, Omega-3 Fatty Acids and other key vitamins and minerals that aim to reduce hair thinning and improve scalp health in general.
Viviscal claims to extend the anagen (hair growth) phase of the natural hair cycle. And from several clinical studies, it actually seems to work: with participants noticing “a significant decrease in hair loss” and a great improvement in hair density after only 90 days.
Psst…Check out my full Viviscal reviews post to read about more studies and how these haircare products can stimulate hair growth. Note: due to those marine proteins, Viviscal isn’t suitable for those with a fish or shellfish allergy, and it isn’t recommended during pregnancy, either. For a safer hair growth supplement (that’s cheaper, too!) I’d recommend taking Folexin.
Viviscal offers a Pro and Extra Strength supplement – with similar ingredients, only a higher dosage. The key active ingredients across the supplements and topical treatments are:
Rogaine is the brand name for topical minoxidil – which is a popular hair growth treatment and one of only two hair loss treatments that’s FDA approved. Many top brands, like Nioxin and Keranqiue, include minoxidil in their intensive leave-in treatments, as it has been proven to stimulate hair growth.
The recommended dosage of minoxidil for women is 2%, while minoxidil for men is 5%. However, Rogaine does make a stronger, 5% minoxidil hair growth foam for women, too.
Rogaine was created in the 1980s, originally as a high blood pressure medication. When hair growth was discovered as a side effect, Rogaine soon became one of the top hair loss treatments around – and its popularity has continued today.
Although the ads are still primarily targeted towards men, there are separate topical treatments for both men and women, both of whom are really positive about Rogaine.
However, the side effects can be pretty nasty and include facial swelling, scalp acne, chest pains and weight gain. When I tried minoxidil, I got dizzy spells and severe migraines. Bleurgh.
Minoxidil is a vasodilator class of drug, which dilates blood vessels and allows blood to flow smoothly. Meaning it increases circulation to the scalp and can deliver essential nutrients to penetrate deeper and support healthy hair.
However, as minoxidil and other chemicals/alcohols are the only ingredients in Rogaine, your scalp isn’t really benefiting from key nutrients, like it would with Viviscal. So if you really want to try minoxidil, I’d recommend using it in something that contains plenty of essential vitamins, minerals, and natural hair growth promotors, like Keranique.
You could also try a version that works the same but has much fewer side effects – like the new innovation from DS Labs, Nanoxidil serum. Check out my full review on that or see how it compares to minoxidil for more.
There’s plenty of differences between Rogaine and Viviscal – which is again, why it’s like comparing apples to oranges!
Viviscal offer a range of various hair care treatments in addition to hair supplements. Rogaine only offers 2 kinds: a topical treatment and a foam (although it has different versions for men and women).
Viviscal incorporates a natural, drug-free approach, whereas Rogaine leans into the chemical-heavy aspect. One that I personally aren’t a big fan of (thanks to those side effects I mentioned), but that can be effective in stimulating hair growth.
Both are massive brands, with big marketing bucks behind them and a lot of positive customer reviews – but perhaps Rogaine are a slightly more established and well-known company in the hair loss industry.
And Rogaine is very clear on its aim: to prevent hair loss and promote regrowth. Whereas Viviscal are more about encouraging thicker hair and supporting hair health in general. I feel that Rogaine offer a more targeted, “quick fix” approach…but in my opinion, I’d prefer to take the long game of maintaining a healthy scalp and hair, without the harmful side effects.
Finally, price. Viviscal’s topical treatments (the shampoo, conditioner and serum) are around $13 and their supplements are $36 for a one-month supply. Rogaine for Women is around $20 for a 2-month supply – so both options are pretty affordable, really.
For an even more affordable option, you could try Folexin supplements, a Lady Alopecia reader favorite!
Time for a quick recap: with the pros and cons of each hair growth brand.
If you want to double up on your chances for hair growth, with a natural supplement and haircare range, plus a stronger topical treatment, then yes, you can use both! I’d recommend starting with Viviscal first though, and give the brand at least 3 months before trying Rogaine, too.
Rogaine might offer a quick fix but it could mean negative side effects. And it’ll only work for as long as you use it. Viviscal is safe for using long-term, meaning you can keep healthier and stronger hair for longer.
Having gone down the strong chemical route before to treat my hair loss, and suffered the consequences, I’m more inclined to choose a gentle, more holistic approach.
I’m not saying all chemicals are bad – in many cases, they’re lifesaving, and we need them – but from my own experience, it’s better to treat the root cause of hair loss rather than the symptom of hair loss itself.
Which is why lifestyle changes, including diet and nutrition and potentially, the right supplements, could be a far more useful approach than slathering your head with a strong topical treatment like Rogaine. So I’d prefer to use Viviscal, which has a range of supplements as well as natural, hair nurturing products that won’t damage your scalp.
I hope this post has helped you decide which option is best for you – natural or chemical – and feel free to share your own thoughts and experiences in the comments below!
Love & hugs,
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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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