Category Archives: Nutrafol

Viviscal and Nutrafol Supplements for Hair Growth

When it comes to hair loss supplements, the two most widely cited brand names that I have kept hearing about for years are:

  1. Viviscal.
  2. Nutrafol.

Update: A 2022 study in JAMA found that both Viviscal and Nutrafol were potentially effective in reducing hair loss in men and women.


Many hairdressers and dermatologists have recommended Viviscal and Nutrafol (both trademarked) to me in the past. However, most were too pushy in trying to sell them, so I was skeptical. The prices are also somewhat expensive, especially since you have to take these pills daily.


It should be noted that, nowadays, there are a number of other vitamin and mineral containing hair loss products that seem to be even more popular than Viviscal or Nutrafol.

Among the ones with a huge number of reviews on Amazon include Hair Rush and HairAnew and HairFluence. As always, look out for fake reviews and ratings. Many product reviews on Amazon are based on people getting free samples in exchange for reviews.

Pattern Hair Loss Can’t be Cured by Supplements

Vitamins, minerals and related supplements can never permanently reverse male pattern hair loss (aka androgenetic alopecia). Neither can they usually help stop the progression of hormone driven female pattern baldness.

Having said that, some can modestly reduce testosterone and its hair destroying derivative dihydrotestosterone (DHT). See my post on natural DHT blockers. However, usually, all this does is reduce your hair shedding slightly and cause modest hair regrowth in absolute best case scenarios. Even then, the effect is often temporary in nature.

Natural products for hair loss can almost never match the efficacy of synthetically made drugs Finasteride and Dutasteride. Even the latter two drugs do not work in many people, or often stop working and loose efficacy after a few years. People often prefer to start with natural products due to fears of side effects.

Vitamins and Minerals for Thicker Hair

For a very small fraction of hair loss sufferers, nutritional deficiencies are causing their hair loss rather than genetic susceptibility to DHT. Sudden changes in diet can cause telogen effluvium. In such cases, vitamin and mineral supplements could help boost hair growth and reverse thinning hair.

Sadhu with Long Hair
An Indian ascetic (sadhu) with great long hair. Most of these holy men partake in prolonged periods of fasting, and are usually vegetarian.

However, it should also be noted that in many poor countries with massive starvation and nutritional deficiency problems, residents often have better hair than in developed countries.

In fact, high-protein and fat heavy meat based diets in Japan have been blamed for increased rates of hair loss at younger ages. So it is also possible that excessive nutrient and caloric intake can worsen hair loss. Perhaps via altering hormones such as estrogen, testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

In my life, I have known numerous people who were anorexic or had extremely strange and unhealthy diets. Many of them still had excellent scalp hair and no baldness in old age. Genetics usually trumps lifestyle in the case of hair loss. All of us know homeless people, alcoholics and drug addicts with great heads of hair.

I am not too much of a believer in nutritional deficiencies causing permanent hair loss. Nevertheless, I am not a doctor or medical professional and you should always take my theories with a grain of salt.

Viviscal vs Nutrafol Comparison

Both Viviscal tablets and Nutrafol capsules are oral dietary supplements and nutraceuticals that have to be taken daily. The Viviscal women’s tablet is supposed to be taken twice daily. The Nutrafol women’s capsule is supposed to be taken four times daily. Best results are seen after at least 3 months of daily ingestion.

It seems like for both brands, the women’s product is far more popular than the men’s product. Viviscal has a separate site for its men’s products. Nutrafol’s Instagram is filled with women’s before and after photos and testimonials.

Both Nutrafol and Viviscal also sell shampoos. And you can buy their products in various versions such as Viviscal Extra Strength and Professional; and Nutrafol Women’s Balance. Neither of these neutraceutical and dietary supplement brands require FDA approval. Make sure to search Reddit for opinions on Viviscal versus Nutrafol for your receding hairline.

Dosage and Price of Viviscal and Nutrafol

Viviscal recommends taking 2 tablets per day. Nutrafol recommends taking 4 capsules per day.

As of 2020, the price of 120 capsules of Nutrafol Women’s Supplement is $88. And the price of 60 tablets of Viviscal is $34.

So taking 4 Nutrafol capsules per day would cost around $3 per day. And taking 2 Viviscal tablets per day would cost around $1 per day.

Both the companies that make these products tout their clinical trials. However, I have not tried to analyze the quality, rigor and thoroughness of these trials. Nor whether there is any potential bias in the various trials’ sponsorship or otherwise.

Clinical trials and research pdf booklet for Viviscal.

Clinical trials for Nutrafol, with before and after photos.

Nutrafol Ingredients

Among the main ingredients in Nutrafol, the ones that stand out in uniqueness are: Marine Collagen (made from North Atlantic Cod); Ashwagandha (root and leaf); Japanese Knotweed Extract; Horestail Extract; Curcumin; Tocotrienol Complex; and Resveratrol.

Well known hair growth promoters such as biotin, zinc and saw palmetto are also contained in the Nutrafol Synergen Complex. In the Nutrafol Blend, one also finds L-Cysteine, L-Lysine, L-Methionine and Keratin.

For vegetarians, vegans and those concerned with mercury in seafood, this product is not ideal.

Nutrafol Ingredients
Nutrafol Hair Loss Supplement Ingredients.

Viviscal Ingredients

Viviscal Ingredients
Viviscal Ingredients.

The most unusual ingredient in Viviscal hair loss supplements is its AminoMar Marine Complex (trademarked). It is derived from shark cartilage and oysters and supposedly nourishes hair.

I wish they would find some other ingredient from the ocean to replace this marine complex shark powder. Especially since there are so many studies from Asia that show various seaweeds and sea vegetables to be helpful in growing hair.

Other ingredients in Viviscal include Vitamin C, Niacin, Biotin, Iron, Zinc and Horsetail Extract.

For vegetarians, vegans and those concerned with mercury in seafood, this product is not ideal.