Viviscal Hair Growth Supplement Review: Does It Work?

By Lydia Noyes
HighYa Staff
Updated on: Dec 12, 2019

Going bald may be thought of as a men’s problem, but more than half of all women will experience noticeable hair loss at some point in their lives.

Despite its prevalence, thinning hair is a psychological struggle for many women, and there is an enormous market of products and supplements that claim to combat it.

Viviscal is a brand of haircare products designed to combat the effects of thinning hair. It promises to give you the nutrition you need for thicker, healthier hair for as long as you take them.

The company offers a range of shampoos, conditioners, and styling products, but this article will focus on its hair growth supplements for women. Read through our analysis of this product’s purported benefits, ingredients, and customer reviews to learn whether you should consider taking it.

Pros: Cons:
  • Clinically proven effective for slowing hair loss and speeding hair growth
  • Discounts available when ordered on a subscription basis
  • May cost about $1.50 per day
  • Must be taken long term for results
  • Results may reverse if you stop taking it
  • Some users experienced side effects
  • Results may be subtle

How Viviscal Hair Growth Supplement Works

Female hair loss is more common than many people think. Daily stress, a poor diet, post-pregnancy hormonal shifts, menopause, medications, and your genetics all impact the amount of hair on your head at any given time.

Viviscal approaches hair loss from a nutritional standpoint. These supplements claim to help you foster a healthy scalp and supply each hair follicle with what it needs to stay in the anagen (growing) phase longer.

The supplement’s proprietary blend is the key to its effectiveness, says Dr. Peterson Pierre, a board-certified dermatologist.

“This drug-free nutritional supplement addresses hair growth from multiple different angles to maximize your results,” he told us. “It nourishes the follicles, strengthens and promotes the growth of existing hair. The resulting hair is noticeably stronger, healthier, and more vibrant.”

The main idea is that certain nutritional deficiencies can affect the strength and condition of your hair.

“The primary active ingredient in Viviscal is the proprietary AminoMar marine complex, Dr. Pierre elaborated. “This is made of fish protein molecules and essential fatty acids derived from the Inuit’s diet because they have great skin and hair, presumably as a result of their fish and protein-rich diet.”

Ingredients

Viviscal hair supplements contain a mix of nutrients and a proprietary blend of marine-based material, and horsetail and millet seed extract.

Nutrient Amount Percent Daily Value
Vitamin C 59 mg 65%
Niacin 12 mg 75%
Biotin 120 mcg 400%
Calcium 60 mg 5%
Iron 10 mg 56%
Zinc 11mg 100%
AnimoMar Marine Complex (shark cartilage, oyster extract powder) 450 mg N/A
Horsetail (stem) extract 36.7 mg N/A
Millet seed extract 7.5 mg N/A

Let’s look closer at their benefits from a haircare perspective:

AminoMar®

Viviscal’s proprietary blend contains a marine complex made from shark cartilage and oyster extract powder. Beyond calcium, collagen, proteins, and other nutrients, these extracts contain glucosamine, all of which will purportedly stimulate the growth of hair tissue.

There’s little clinical research available to prove these benefits beyond a double-blind study from 2012 that looked specifically at Viviscal. This study assessed the effectiveness of the supplements compared to a placebo and found that it significantly increased hair growth after 90 and 180 days, based on the subjects’ self-perceived results.

This study didn’t uncover any adverse effects in participants who took the supplement.

Biotin

Also known as vitamin B7, biotin helps the body to metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and amino acids. Biotin supports both hair and growth, and it has gained attention in recent years as a supplemental ingredient to improve them.

One study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, found that participants who took 10,000mcg of biotin a day experienced improvements in the strength and growth rate of their nails. However, participants didn’t experience any noticeable improvements in their hair.

There isn’t much clinical evidence available to support the idea that biotin can cause improvements in hair for people who aren’t already deficient in the nutrient.

Vitamin C

This versatile vitamin is a powerful antioxidant. It builds up your collagen levels and helps your blood absorb iron, which can promote hair growth.

Again, there’s minimal evidence that vitamin C can improve hair health in those who aren’t deficient. And, as vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, your system will flush out any excess you ingest each day.

This means that there’s little benefit to taking large doses of the vitamin for your hair.

Iron

This essential mineral is critical for dozens of biological processes, including red blood cell functioning. Thinning hair is often one of the first visible symptoms of iron deficiency, as your hair follicles depend on blood cells to carry oxygen to their shaft.

Those with a deficiency will benefit from additional iron, but supplementing your levels beyond this amount likely won’t make much difference.

Horsetail Herb

Long used for its anti-inflammatory effects, horsetail herb is valued in traditional medicine. It’s often included in cosmetics and shampoos as a treatment for balding and hair loss. Taken as a supplement, the herb gives your system silica, which Viviscal claims will promote the structural integrity of your hair while adding shine.

Key Takeaways

All of the ingredients in Viviscal supplements are important for maintaining good health and show evidence of supporting healthy hair.

Though there’s clinical evidence that the supplement as a whole can make a difference in hair growth rates and slowing down hair loss, the research for each individual ingredient is less robust unless you are deficient in one of them.

Possible Side Effects

The clinical study that looked at Viviscal’s effectiveness didn’t find any side effects associated with using the supplement.

However, the company website specifies that the supplement isn’t suitable for anyone with a fish or shellfish allergy and that it might be manufactured in facilities that process dairy, soy, nuts, eggs, or wheat.

Some people believe that taking excessive amounts of biotin can lead to breakouts, though the science doesn’t back up this association. Viviscal states that no correlation has been found between taking the supplement and increased acne.

A few Viviscal customers state that the supplement caused issues like nausea and stomach pain. We couldn’t find any connections between the supplement’s ingredients and these side effects, though it’s common for some people’s systems to take a while to adjust when they first take a dietary supplement.

If you notice these symptoms, there’s a good chance they will disappear after a few weeks if you continue to take the supplement.

Cost and Buying Options

The cost for Viviscal Advanced Hair Growth supplements depends on the amount you purchase. A one-month supply (60 tablets) costs $49.99, while a three-month supply (180 tablets) is $119.97 on the company website.

You can also sign up for an auto-ship program that gives you a three-month supply of supplements four times a year, for the price of $39.99 per month ($119.97 per delivery).

You’ll pay $6.95 in shipping costs for a one-month supply of Viviscal. A purchase of a three-month supply will qualify for free shipping.

All purchases from Viviscal qualify for a 90-day money-back guarantee. This means that you can return any purchase you find unsatisfactory to the company within 90 days of receipt for a full refund, including shipping charges.

Viviscal Supplements are also sold at various retail locations, including CVS, Walgreens, Target, Walmart, Rite Aid, and others. The return policy will vary based on the retailer.

You can contact Viviscal directly at (888) 444-9073 or info@viviscal.com with any questions related to the company’s products or thinning hair in general.

Analysis of Customer Reviews

We read hundreds of customer reviews on many websites and here’s the summary of the main points:

Supplements Lead to Real Hair Growth

Across all review platforms, the overwhelming consensus seems to be that users think these supplements work. Many people wrote that they had used them for six months or longer and that they were dealing with fewer loose stands and thicker hair overall. Some wrote that even their stylists noticed the difference and asked them what they had changed about their routine.

A few also noted that the high vitamin content within the supplements seemed to benefit their immune system, as they were dealing with fewer colds.

May Cause Problems for Allergy Sufferers

A few reviewers expressed concern with the AminoMar proprietary blend, as it contained shark cartilage and mollusk powder, which could potentially pose problems for anyone with a seafood or shellfish allergy.

Effective But Pricy

Some people wrote that while they saw improvements to their hair after taking these supplements, they weren’t sure that they were worth the monthly cost.

A few people also noted that they started losing their hair again once they stopped taking the supplement, which made them upset that they now seemingly needed to take the pricy product for life to maintain the results.

Nail Improvements

Beyond better hair, some reviewers believed that Vivisical supplements improved the strength and appearance of their nails as well, most likely due to the biotin content.

Unpleasant Side Effects

Some Vivisical Hair Growth users experienced unpleasant side effects after taking the supplements, including nausea, dizziness, digestive problems, headaches, and more acne.

A few wrote that the symptoms improved after several weeks, but others found them so extreme that they stopped taking the supplements altogether.

Not Effective for Everyone

Despite that most reviews for this hair care supplement seem positive, some wrote that they didn’t notice any improvements or changes after taking the supplement for several months. Most of these users wrote that they eventually discontinued taking it.

Viviscal vs. Hairfinity and SugarBearHair

The following chart compares Viviscal supplements to two other hair supplement brands, Hairfinity and SugarBearHair.

Viviscal Advanced Hair Growth Supplement Hairfinity Hair Vitamins SugarBearHair
Price $39.99-$49.99/ 60 capsules (30-day supply) $24.99/60 capsules (30-day supply) $29.99/60 gummies (30-day supply)
Price Per Daily Serving $1.33–$1.66 $0.83 $1
Main Ingredients/ Daily Serving Per Dose Vitamin C: 59mg (65%), Niacin: 12mg (75%), Biotin, 120mcg (400%), calcium, 60mg (5%), iron: 10mg (56%), Zinc: 11mg (100mg), AminoMar Marine Complex: 450mg Biotin: 2500mcg (833%), Pantothenic acid: 100mg (2,000%), Vitamin B12: 20mcg (833%), Thiamin: 5mg (417%), Riboflavin: 5mg (385%) Vitamin B6: 5mg (294%) Vitamin D: 400 IU (100%), Biotin: 5000mcg (1667%), Vitamin B-6: 2mg (100%)
Delivery Mechanism Capsule Capsule Fruit-flavored gummy candy

Each of these supplements comes in a two-a-day format that you are meant to take long-term if you want to improve your hair.

SugarBearHair markets itself slightly differently than the other two, as its packaging is highly Instagrammable, and the gummies taste like candy. They might be an easier commitment for those who don’t like taking daily vitamins.

The only ingredient that all three have in common is biotin, though the dose varies significantly between them. In fact, Viviscal contains less than 2.5% of the biotin contained in SugarBearHair. However, there’s scant evidence that more of this compound makes much difference in your hair.

Though biotin is an essential ingredient for healthy hair and nails, there’s no clinical evidence that going beyond the daily recommended dose will give you thicker, stronger hair.

Viviscal is the only supplement of the three with clinical evidence to support it. A study is seemingly in the works for Hairfinity, but the results hadn’t been published at the time of writing.

Key Takeaways

Deciding which type of hair supplement to take depends on your price point and preferred delivery method. SugarBearHair gummies are cute and taste like candy, but they will cost you $1 a day and likely won’t do much for you if you aren’t nutritional deficient in their key ingredients.

Viviscal supplements are more expensive and must be taken as a regular supplement. But for that inconvenience, you’re getting a supplement that seems to make a clinically significant difference in the hair loss and overall thickness—so long as you commit to taking them.

The Bottom Line: Should You Try It?

If your hair is thinning and it’s not due to an underlying medical issue, then there is a good chance that taking Viviscal Advanced Hair Health Supplements will make your hair thicker and slow down hair loss.

However, you need to keep your expectations realistic. Any hair improvements are likely to be subtle. You may also need to commit to taking the supplements for the long term, as many reviewers wrote that they lost their hair progress when they stopped taking them.

Overall, we think that Viviscal is best for anyone dealing with subtle hair loss or thinning hair and who is willing to take these supplements daily for several months. They aren’t ideal for anyone looking for a quick fix or anyone who is suffering from hair loss due to hormonal imbalances or other medical problems not related to nutrition.


Read 20 Viviscal Hair Growth Supplement for Women Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Customer Rating: 1.7
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 2 4 star: 2 3 star: 0 2 star: 0 1 star:  16
Bottom Line: 20% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 20
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  • 36 out 55 people found this review helpful

    My Viviscal trial

    • By Betty Smith,
    • Alabama,
    • Apr 26, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am trying something new here with Viviscal. I purchased the product from a CVS pharmacy a month ago. I was having thinning hair and a lot of hair loss with bald spots as well before I started using the product.

    Well, here is what has transpired within this short time span. I have seen some dramatic improvements with my hair thinness, hair loss, and the texture of my hair. I declare that my hair has never looked so healthy, and the texture has never been so beautiful!

    It has a fishy smell, but you can expect that with the shark cartilage ingredient. My hair is much fuller, and the thin places in my hair are filling in nicely. Also, the texture of my hair is smoother, and my hair follicles are stronger and longer. I truly cannot believe the improvement!

    This is not a lie, I promise you, this is the absolute truth. I am not being paid to say this, nor am I in contact with the company in any manner. I just wanted to share my results just after a short month of using Viviscal. It really, really works! I want to thank the company for making such a product for helpless people as myself with such hair loss issues. Thank you again, and God bless you all.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 24 out 46 people found this review helpful

    Definitely worth the $50.

    • By Jay M.,
    • Virginia ,
    • Jan 9, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I started this product a month and a half ago after trying several different types of hair growth products for a receding hairline that was beginning to get out of control, along with thinning on top of my head. Viviscal man definitely works for me. After 30 days I saw a big drastic difference in minimal hair shedding and regrowth already happening. 50 days of using the product and my hair is growing in so thick, and my receding hairline is pretty much on its way back to being a complete hairline. My wife uses the women's Viviscal and is just as satisfied. In my experience, definitely worth your money. Not much different price than Rogaine, except Viviscal truly works.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 41 out 53 people found this review helpful

    Definitely thicker hair for me and no side effects

    • By Sandi Davidson,
    • Newmarket, Ontario, Canada,
    • Oct 31, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been using Viviscal for 9 months. All close to me have noticed that my hair is thicker as do I. It took at least 6 months for me to notice that my hair had become thicker.

    Unlike other reviewers, I have not had any side effects except much more healthy nails as well.

    I ordered the first 3 months as a special through our Shopping Channel in Canada. I did not like the hair building powder fibers and find Toppik a far superior product. I also did not like their shampoo or conditioner, but the tablets are working for me (extra strength). You can also find this product at retail stores, and each box provides a $5 off coupon so if you will be in it for the long term, perhaps you’ll see the benefits that I myself have experienced.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 66 out 76 people found this review helpful

    It's working for me

    • By Vicky A.,
    • San Diego,
    • Aug 14, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am 63 and take hormone replacement. My thyroid medication made my hair start falling out. I had to keep it very short as an attempt to grow it out, it was disappointing, and split ends were rampant. I had to have a haircut every six weeks to keep the split ends down. I learned about Viviscal at my dentist office reading a magazine in which Minnie Driver hawks this product. The ad said available at Target.

    I went to Target and picked it up for $35.00. If you have a Target credit/debit card, it's 5% less. I have just finished my second pack. Up until now, I knew nothing of shampoos and serums. The box does NOT say extra strength. Maybe that's why there are side effects in some women. I have not had a haircut in twelve weks and do not need one. I have zero split ends. None. My hair is clearly more healthy and last week I noticed brand new black hair growth in my temple area. I'm stoked.

    I have only posted a review for anything online once before. But based on some of the negative reviews you have posted, I feel strongly that ladies reading this site should know that not everyone is disappointed. So, I am seeing real hair growth around sixty days in. For the first time in years, I can twist my hair and clip it up. Before, I didn't have enough hair to twist; couldn't make a ponytail. I have not had any of the side effects stated by others. And, I would never buy through the website or get on auto refill. I learned the hard way years back that it is hard to get off auto and customer service usually sucks. Just go to Target and get the regular strength, the only choice they have on the shelf, and give it a try. It's not a huge investment over the website. I'm cheap. No way would I have paid fifty bucks for this. But $35.00 minus the five percent with my debit card for a couple of months is doable. Then, after sixty days or so as in my case (the box says ninety) either quit or keep going.

    Oh, and don't know how someone's friend could read the ingredients and declare them "fraudulent". How is that determined? Good luck ladies.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 60 out 62 people found this review helpful

    No Side Effects and No New Hair

    • By Al McManus,
    • SW Iowa,
    • Jul 21, 2015
    • Verified Reviewer

    After three months of use, there were no side effects of any kind. On the other hand, I'm finding no improvements to hair texture or density outside more rapid growth of facial hair. The travel size shampoo/conditioner included with the initial shipment are largely unused. The shampoo imparts a strange squeaky feel to my long hair that can't be good for it. Plus, I already use high quality salon and dermatological brands that work well for volume and condition.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 57 out 61 people found this review helpful

    Weight Gain

    • By Mary ,
    • Pittsburgh, PA,
    • Apr 27, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    Experienced abdominal weight gain, approximately 3-4 lbs after taking for 3 weeks. Discontinued. Also experienced lower abdominal cramping. I'm 5 years post menopause. Should not happen. Will never take these again. Initiating refund. Would not recommend.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 62 out 66 people found this review helpful

    One of the most regretful purchases I've ever made for sure.

    • By C,
    • Illinois,
    • Oct 24, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    Made my hair UNBELIEVABLY greasy, like while I was blow-drying it after thoroughly washing it, and within 30 minutes of applying dry shampoo, it would look just completely coated in oil. Also made my scalp smell TERRIBLE. Oh, and made me break out like CRAZY on my chin, which has not been a problem area for me for a long time. There were no other diet, lifestyle, health, supplement changes in my life at the time of taking it that could have caused this. Really, really regret even trying it. Wondering how long it is going to take for my trashed hair and skin to return to normal so I can stop feeling disgusting all the time. The minor improvement in hair and nails or decrease in hair loss is negated by this repulsive side effect.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 76 out 79 people found this review helpful

    Worst Company Ever

    • By Mary,
    • Toronto,
    • Nov 15, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    If you're looking to be ripped off, Viviscal is the place to go. Not only do they put you on a membership when you don't ask for one (this was an agent by telephone that took my order), they never ever call you back although they say they will every time you call in. Aside from their horrible low class customer service and scripted talk, the product doesn't do anything at all. Let's face it, as a woman, if it worked I would be delighted to be on their "membership". I have been using their product for many many months and no help at all. Prior to this product I was using Boitin and had the same exact results. I WILL NEVER RECOMMEND THIS COMPANY NOR IT'S MAKE BELIEVE PRODUCT. Shame on you Viviscal for ripping the honest class off.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 91 out 115 people found this review helpful

    Tiny regrowth, not worth the health risks and side effects!

    • By MG,
    • Florida,
    • May 25, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I've been taking the Women's Extra Strength for several months. I allowed my body to adjust by starting with one per day for the first two months, then two per day. I've dealt with the cystic acne I've developed (plenty of scars on my face at this point) and small pimples on my chest and back. I dealt with gaining back the 10 lbs I lost before Viviscal, plus five additional pounds.

    I was desperate to have a nice head of hair again and made tons of excuses for the new changes to my body. I've also had a major change to my voice. It's deeper, and I now get called, "sir" at a drive-thru or on the phone. I freaked out on my landlord that it must be mold or something in the A/C vents that's doing this to my voice. I also ignored the massive cold sweats at night, chalked it up to aging. So, LOTS of side effects, LOTS of excuses. Until now.

    I've been so busy that I forgot to order my supply for several weeks. I started again a couple of weeks ago, then stopped after a week when I realized that the tingling in my fingers reappeared along with serious muscle pain in my back (my back was going "out" constantly), shoulders and thighs. I again began getting the migraine pain over my right eye daily, and new cystic acne appeared, etc., so I stopped.

    Days later I had severe flank pain (first time ever) and went to the ER. Turns out that I have what seems to be a cyst in my spleen and two nodules in my left adrenal gland. Bingo! The reason for all the hormonal problems, the fingers tingling, skin issues, muscle issues, fluid under my eyes and swollen hands in the morning, and the horrible change to my voice! Needless to say, no more excuses.

    Viviscal claims all this research, blah blah, and no adverse effects. I call BS. I had a tiny bit of hair regrowth, but it is NOT worth your health. Maybe I'm an exception, but I doubt it. I'm sure there are tons of women who are 40+ making excuses and contributing each side effect to something else. But when ALL of these things occur within one year, and all while on Viviscal, you can still make excuses as I did. But, when it's eliminated from your system and you restart it only to have all these things that you became sort of accustomed return, you just can't deny the culprit.

    Please don't chance your health. Find something else, use topicals, whatever, just not this stuff. If I had ignored the flank pain, I wouldn't even know of these masses in my organs. What if you don't get the warning pain that I got?

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 82 out 88 people found this review helpful

    Don't buy Viviscal on their website

    • By Brenda,
    • Illinois,
    • Jan 5, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I ordered on Viviscal.com. You have to do auto-pay to get each product for $39.99 for three months. Plus, I had a first-time customer discount. When I ordered it, I had all sorts of charges on my account and ended up getting charged $129. Not at all what I authorized during checkout. It's cheaper to buy somewhere else without committing to a program.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 93 out 103 people found this review helpful

    Total scam

    • By Robin D.,
    • Chicago, IL,
    • Jan 14, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I thought I was being charged once for the package I received. I was charged three times. Totally unclear marketing. Total ripoff. Total scam. I am shocked at how they advertise this. I am not a stupid person, but this was totally sketchy.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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