Viviscal – Vitamin Supplement for Hair Loss

What Is Viviscal?

Viviscal is an oral supplement intended for promoting hair growth in men and women.

At this time Viviscal is not FDA-approved for the treatment of hair loss or male pattern baldness and its benefits are still being studied and determined. The product was first introduced to the U.S market in 2008 by Lifes2good Inc. and it has been recommended by some physicians as a hair growth supplement since that time.

viviscalViviscal’s active ingredients include a proprietary mix of powders derived from sustainably-harvested shark and mollusk species. The result is a “amino marine complex,” called AminoMar®, and it is blended with vitamin and mineral nutrients such as zinc, niacin, biotin, and vitamin C, as well as other natural extracts that are known to play a role in promoting good scalp health and circulation.

One potentially beneficial aspect of Viviscal is that it contains a group of long chain sugar molecules called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which are very adept at attracting and retaining water. Some Scandinavian research suggests that ingesting these GAGs may contribute to healthy hair and skin. The research came about when a Scandinavian scientist noticed that Inuit people possess resilient skin and hair and conducted a study that isolated GAGs from their fish and protein-rich diets.

Only a thorough consultation with a qualified doctor can determine the cause of your hair loss and what treatment options are best for your specific case.

Is There Any Other Research?

Two decades of various published studies exist, many of which hint at Viviscal being able to promote hair growth, but none that conclusively provide evidence that it definitively does.

Dr. Glynis Ablon, of the Ablon Skin Institute Research Center, Manhattan Beach, California, has attempted to determine the viability and efficacy of Viviscal in female patients.

Among the most noteworthy yields from recent research was a 2012 pilot study led by Dr. Ablon which found that Viviscal increased the number of terminal hairs by 211% and 225% after three months and six months, respectively.

Dr. Ablon later reported finding a statistically significant increase in the number of healthy, terminal hairs after prolonged use of the product Viviscal Professional to the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology.

After six months of treatment, patients reportedly showed an almost 80% increase in terminal hairs and an increase in hair diameter of 11.67%.

When compared to a placebo group, patients taking Viviscal for six months showed 77% more terminal hairs, an almost 10% larger hair diameter.

Is Viviscal Appropriate As A Hair Loss Option For Women?

Viviscal is mainly marketed to women due to the limited number of effective hair loss treatments available for female patients.

The most widely used and effective hair loss medication on the market for male pattern baldness, Propecia (finasteride), is not safe for use in women due to poor efficacy and the risk of reproductive side effects.

A great many women with genetic hair loss are also unable to benefit from hair restoration surgery because their alopecia becomes a diffuse thinning all over the entire scalp.  In such particular cases, a hair transplant is not an option because the donor hair is also susceptible to miniaturization, and once transplanted, prone to thin again.

For this reason, Viviscal has the potential to supplement current hair loss treatments or provide an alternative for patients not well suited for surgical hair restoration or medical treatment.

What Are The Differences In Viviscal Products?

Viviscal markets three different products, and different amounts of AminoMar® are blended with plant extracts, vitamins, and minerals to create the three varieties offered.

Viviscal Professional

This is the product that physicians will typically recommend hair loss patients. The “professional” variety of Viviscal contains the largest amount of AminoMar® compared with the other varieties (475mg), and contains Vitamin C and biotin. Viviscal Professional has additional calcium, apple extract powder, procyanidin B-2, L-Cystine, and L-Methionine. Removed from the ingredients list are iron, zinc, and the horsetail and millet seed extracts.

Viviscal Extra Strength

Viviscal Extra Strength, contains 450mg of AminoMar®, plus the metabolism boosting B vitamins biotin and niacin. Vitamin C is present to improve the production of collagen, the crucial material that forms the building blocks of hair. Zinc and iron are also included, along with extracts of horsetail stem and millet seed.

Viviscal Man

This variety is intended exclusively for men, and is not unisex like the other varieties. Viviscal Man contains 452.9mg of AminoMar®, as well as Vitamin C, zinc, horsetail extract, and flax seed extract.

Contact The Gabel Center

To learn more about hair loss, the latest medications and the latest techniques in hair restoration and hair transplant surgery, contact Dr. Gabel’s Hair Transplant Oregon office. Our team at the Gabel Center look forward to your visit and discussing these matters with you in greater detail.

Learn About Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)

Dr. Steven Gabel offers his patients a wide array of hair restoration treatment options and strives to stay on the cutting edge of modern medicine while doing so. One of the most sought after surgeries in the field is follicular unit extraction (FUE), which can cosmetically benefit many patients suffering from hair loss or hair thinning.

Our goal here is to cover the basics about FUE and which patients can benefit the most from having the procedure. It is important to remember that each individual patient is unique and not every case should or can be treated exactly like another. Only a thorough consultation with a qualified doctor can determine your best course of action for having a hair restoration procedure.

What Is Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)?

Follicular unit extraction, or FUE for short, is the technique where individual follicular units are removed from the scalp one at a time using a tiny, round instrument. The result are small tiny, round scars in the scalp where each follicular unit was extracted. FUE stands in contrast to follicular unit transplantation (FUT), also known as the “strip” method, where an elliptical incision is made in the back of the scalp and all the follicular units are removed at once. The result is a linear scar in the back of the head where the strip was removed.

Each follicular unit graft contains 1, 2, 3, and sometimes 4 hairs. The advantage that FUE has over traditional strip surgery is that while patients will develop scars with either procedure, the FUE method allows patients to keep their hair shorter without noticing the scars, while patients who had strip surgery may need to keep their hair a little longer to hide the scar. Also, some patients do not like the idea of having a long incision and scar in the back of their head – these patients are also ideal candidates for the FUE technique.

The goal from both procedures is a natural appearing result.

Who Is An Ideal Candidate For Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)?

The ideal candidates for FUE are prospective patients who have good density in their remaining hair at the back of the head and like to keep their hair short. They should have stabilized their hair loss (usually with help from medications, vitamins, or low light laser therapy which Dr. Gabel goes over during his comprehensive evaluations) by the time they choose to undergo surgery. It’s important that patients have realistic expectations about the surgery and what it can achieve, as well as the results.

It is not unusual for FUE procedures to be smaller sessions than FUT (strip) procedures, and it may require more sessions than FUT to achieve the desired cosmetic results.

Is Scalp Laxity An Issue With Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)?

Some patients have very tight, non-mobile scalps which makes it very difficult to remove the hair via the strip procedure. These patients are ideal for the FUE technique since as the follicular units are removed individually irrespective of how tight a scalp is.

Is Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) Useful To Correct Scalp Scarring?

Absolutely, FUE tends to be an ideal surgery for people who have scalp scarring from prior procedures. In these specific cases, Dr. Gabel is able to extract several hundred grafts and insert them into a prior strip scar to hide it. Additionally, FUE is often called upon to help blend in hair transplant procedures such as mini grafts and plugs.

Contact The Gabel Center

To learn more about what’s best for your individual case as a hair loss sufferer, please reach out for a FREE consultation with Dr. Gabel. The staff at the Gabel Hair Restoration Center are experienced medical professionals committed to providing each patient with a positive, personalized experience to achieve the best possible results.