Friday, April 5, 2013

Viviscal Extra Strength Hair Growth Supplements - Review, Pictures


This is a long review. If you're like me you have a short attention span and just want to get to the point. That's why I have broken this post up into sections.  Just scan through the headers and find the section you want to read and skip the ones you don't.

Before I even start to review this product. Please note that the statements made by Viviscal have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  My statements about my experience with Viviscal are not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider. A consultation with your health care professional is the proper method to address your health concerns. You are encouraged to consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition or this product. Rapid advances in medicine may cause information contained here to become outdated, invalid or subject to debate. Accuracy cannot be guaranteed.  Basically, what I'm saying is that what may have worked for me with no side effects may not work for you.  Use at your own risk.

What I'm Reviewing:
I was sent the Viviscal Extra Strength Hair Growth Supplements about three months ago.  I was sent two months worth of supplements, and then I purchased another month to test out the minimum recommended 3 month growth period.  If my experiences do not match yours with this supplement it is because everyone is different. I make no guarantees about the performance of this supplement.

The Condition Of My Hair:
First let me tell you about my hair.  In the winter,  my hair grows sloooowly. My hair is fine and color treated. I have dry hair that can be porous and is prone to breakage.  My hair is naturally wavy, and with the proper coaxing I can make it curly or straight.  When I was pregnant 6 years ago, my hair grew like a weed. It was all the hormones in my system. My hair, nails and skin looked phenomenal.  Once I gave birth to little Darthypie my nails started to break, and my hair started to FALL OUT! Like, a lot of hair was falling out. I panicked. Then I read that many new mothers experience this and it is merely a side effect or after effect of being pregnant and giving birth.  OK. Fine. So why, after 6 years was my hair still coming out in big clumps when I washed it (after combing through conditioner)?  Why was my hair not growing as fast and why was there so much hair in my brush? I think a combination of Age, Stress and hormonal changes contributed to my hair thinning and excessive hair loss.

Some Causes Of Hair Loss:
According to Viviscal, the story about stress, while cliché, leading to hair problems is actually true.
"In extreme stress, the adrenal gland goes into overdrive, and the resultant increase in adrenaline sometimes leads to a consequent increase in the production of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone which, without enough estrogen to counterbalance it, can lead to hair not being as healthy as it should be."
What causes more stress is seeing my hair fall out. It becomes a vicious circle.
"It can be difficult to pinpoint a specific stress episode as the reason why hair becomes unhealthy, but it is often acute and chronic stress that will bring on conditions such as telogen effuvium (hair shedding) and alopecia areata (patchy hair loss)."
Now I was not experiencing patchy hair loss, but excessive shedding was my main issue.
There are also many other factors that can contribute to my thinning hair.  Aside from post pregnancy and stress, age, some medications, poor diet, and hormonal changes (Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome {That's me} can experience problems with their hair due to a hormone imbalance and increased sensitivity to the male hormones) can also contribute to hair loss.

What Is Viviscal?:
The Viviscal Extra Strength Hair Growth Program is supposed to nourish thinning hair, and it is supposed to promote existing hair growth from within (please see disclaimer above).  According to Viviscal, the "...Extra Strength dietary supplements are scientifically formulated with the exclusive marine complex AminoMar™ which helps to nourish thinning hair and promote existing healthy hair growth [see disclaimer above] from within. These nutrients help nourish your hair during the Anagen phase of the hair growth cycle.  Only Viviscal supplements contain the proprietary marine complex AminoMar™ (450 mg per serving)."  Bbasically it is a supplement that you take twice a day to help promote hair growth.

The Ingredients In Viviscal:
AminoMarTM Marine Complex 450 mg 
Vitamin C (from Acerola Powder and as Ascorbic Acid)  59 mg 
Niacin (as Niacinamide) 12 mg
Biotin 120 mcg (micro gram)
Iron (from Ferrous Fumarate) 10 mg
Zinc (from Zinc Oxide) 11 mg
Horsetail (stem) Extract 36.7 mg
Millet seed extract 7.5 mg
Other Ingredients are : Microcrystalline Cellulose, Maltodextrin, Hydroxypropyl Methyl Cellulose, Silicon Dioxide, Magnesium Stearate, Sodium Carboxymethyl Cellulose, Artificial Orange Flavoring, Modified Starch, Glycerol. CONTAINS FISH INGREDIENTS (SHARK).
OK. so the Shark ingredient concerns me. I wonder how they procure it as some species of shark are being hunted to extinction. I also wonder if they are using something from the cartilage of the shark or what?  I need to look into that more.

How It Worked For Me:

After taking two Viviscal pills a day for three months, I did notice a significant decrease in my hair shedding.  When I washed my hair, less and less fell out when I combed conditioner through.  My hair was slightly thicker than normal, and a side effect I did not mind, my nails grew like crazy.  Now  will say that in general I have inhumanly strong nails. They don't bend, split or flake, and when they do break, it is because I put undue stress on them and they literally break off horizontally.  My nails are the longest they have been in 6 years.  All I have been doing is normal shaping with a file and my Dermalect Makeover Ridge Filler before every manicure.  Look a them!

I know, right? Now this growth may be mostly because of my genetics, but I must say that after taking Viviscal I did notice that they grew stronger.  However, Viviscal does not make any statements about nail growth nor do they promise any if you take this product.

In addition to the slowing down of my hair shedding, I did notice that my hair grew rather quickly. Even when I was sick for an entire month in February my hair still stayed "strong" and grew like a weed.  Here is a picture of my hair right before I colored it.  This is 10 weeks of growth.  In 10 weeks,  my hair grew almost 2 inches! (The average growth is half an inch a month) That's not too shabby if I do say so myself.  Also, my stylist/colorist mentioned that my hair looked remarkably healthy and despite using box dyes and different reds every time I colored my hair I showed no signs of banding. Banding is when different sections of your hair hold on to color differently. The roots to 2-3" are the strongest and least porous. They hold the color the longest. the middle shaft of the hair will sometimes look lighter than the roots because of the fact that is tends to be slightly more porous and loses color easily, and the ends are the most porous and sometimes damaged and they lose the color the fastest.) ANYWAY. My hair was not only shedding less, but it was growing faster too! That's a win in my book.

I urge you to consult a physician before starting any supplement regimen. I also urge you to consult a physician if you are experiencing hair loss. I have taken the Viviscal Supplements for three months and noticed a significant change in my hair. I would recommend using it if your physician says it is OK.  I cannot guarantee that your results will be the same as mine.  However, I am extremely satisfied with the results and will continue to take the supplement on a daily basis.  You can purchase Viviscal Extra Strength Hair Growth Supplements at, Ulta, Walgreens or Shop Now. at CVS

What say you?  Did you actually read this entire post? (Just kidding) Have you used Viviscal in the past? What was your experience? Have you used other supplements specifically for improving your hair?  How did that work for you?

I received word back from a Lindsay Kenoe at Viviscal in regards to the shark component of the product. This is what she had to say:
"With respect to shark, we agree that over fishing of any fish species is unacceptable. In this regard we can confirm that the shark cartilage used in Viviscal is sourced from non-endangered and sustainable species of shark.  We can confirm that no fins are used in the shark cartilage ingredient included in Viviscal. The  exact details of the manufacturing process are proprietary,  however it does cover a conventional  digestion, drying, milling and sieving process.  We can confirm  that  no sharks are fished directly for  the shark cartilage ingredient within  Viviscal – the cartilage is  available purely as a by-product of the  fishing industry."
I hope this helps answers any questions you had. It answers it for me.


  1. Yes I read the whole post ;)

    I'd really like to know more about the shark ingredients--if you find out, would you please do a follow-up? I am not a vegan/vegetarian but as you mentioned, since sharks are not always hunted responsibly, this is a concern to me.

    As for your nails, I have seen other products (a now discontinued tea from Republic of Tea) was for hair and nails and had some of the same ingredients. Minus the shark.

    I would LOVE to try this! My illnesses/meds are very hard on both my hair and nails. I lost a lot of hair while on methotrexate (for my psoriatic arthritis) and it just never grew back : / Plus the PsA is attacking my nails--and I've found good results from things like Butter London's Nail Fertilizer--but one more thing won't hurt! My nails used to be strong like yours--a few still are--but my thumbnail cracked right off yesterday (NO clue what I did).

    Now, if you read all that, you get a gold star ;) Thanks for a fabulous review!!

    1. I read your entire comment! :-P And yes. As soon as I hear back from Viviscal Customer Service about how they harvest the shark, what part of the shark do they use, and what species of shark do they use, I will update my post here

    2. Sorry to hear about your PsA. My husband has it too, but fortunately it is in remission. He took methotrexaste until he read a scientific paper (we are both biochemists) on research related to the use of celebrex to put the PsA into remission. He discussed it with his rhumatologist and they decided that it wouldn't hurt to try it out. And it worked. I don't know it they are using that as a treatment or not, but you might want to do some investigation and discuss it with your doctor.

      Hope things get better for you really soon. :)

  2. I tried Viviscal myself awhile ago and it didn't do anything for me, wah! Nothing for nails or hair. I wasn't aware of the shark ingredient though and definitely would not have taken it if I had known that! Definitely a huge concern...

    1. See? That's why I urge people to remember that your results may vary. THANK YOU for leaving your comment so others can see that this may not be the "miracle cure" they were hoping for. : -)

  3. thanks for the review. I am so interested to try this- I've been reading that this product makes a big difference for a lot of people for awhile now,and was very tempted to invest in a trial when CVS had them on sale. I may take the plunge soon-I have the same shedding problem. Seems a hormonal thing. the only thing that has made a bit of difference was a biotin supplement I took for awhile. Viviscal seems to contain similar ingredients to that(mine also conained fish oil- maybe from a sharK? LOL).

    1. I hope they source the shark in a conscientious manner, but I worry. I have a call into Customer Service for more information.
      Thy are on sale at CVS and but they look to be on sale a lot so you might want to wait until you have a % off coupon you can apply as well.

  4. I'm curious-would this *also* promote the growth of hair in places one doesn't want it...?

    1. I did not start sprouting hair out of places I never had before,:-) but I did notice that the hair on my legs grew a little quicker.

  5. A friend of mine was on a hair growth supplement (i don't think it was this one). Her hair grew but she had a lump in her breast that also grew at a crazy rapid pace. The doctors were surprised that it was growing so fast. She is in remission now.

    I wonder if supplements that make things grow will make bad things (like tumors) grow faster too?

    1. I'm not a doctor so I can't tell you if the two things are related or not. As I suggested, always consult your physician before starting any cosmetic therapy or before taking any vitamins or supplements.

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  7. This is really interesting, I also have thin hair that grows verrrrry slowly. I took biotin for a couple months to see if it would help w/ my hair & nails (which are thin & bendy), but I eventually realized that it was breaking me out pretty badly.

    Did this supplement have any effect on your skin?

  8. Good for you, it was effective on your hair. I have also a problem in having a hair loss, I've read a blog which says that stress is a big factor in having this kind of situation and I'm really eager to solve this problem, I might give this a try and let's see how will it work for me. I hope that it will have an effect, though.

  9. I like Viviscal Extra Strength Hair GrowthProgram because its ingredients are really great which help to growth hair.

  10. Hi!

    Did you hear anything about mercury content in the Marine Extract? I know that shark has a very high marine content and I am wondering if it is filtered out or not.



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