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.
Viviscal’s active ingredients include a proprietary mix of powders derived from sustainably harvested shark and mollusk species. The result is an “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 and 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.
This is the product that physicians will typically recommend for 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.
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 Hair Restoration Center looks forward to your visit and discussing these matters with you in greater detail.