Hey guys and gals,
UPDATE: February 2016: After trying Viviscal for like, 9months? I would NOT recommend the product. It’s way too expensive for the VERY little benefits that you get from it. It is annoying to continue taking it morning and night with food and water, with a weird taste, and if you skip doses you definitely notice it later. While it did help with the reduction of lost hairs, it wasn’t worth it. I found a much MUCH better product. Plus, it has shark fin extract in it, and I’m completely against the harvesting that is going on oversees with sting rays and their fins (because that’s what the ‘shark fin’ is… it’s the sting ray’s wings). With that being said, if you’re still interested in my story and the symptoms/side-effects/benefits/etc please continue reading below! But again, I highly DO NOT recommend this product. Please see my new post on Sugar Bear Hair, and much better option with almost immediate benefits.
Everyone is always asking me about my hair and how I keep it so healthy. Well, usually I keep it healthy with the products I use and the way I treat my hair. However, ever since a bad haircut in November, and a bad bleach job just shortly after that, I have been unable to return the length of my hair back to normal. And this is my story on my attempt to get it growing back long and strong again.
My hair length is usually somewhere between my hips and natural waist. Unfortunately after having a bad haircut and then 2 weeks later getting it re-cut to fix the bad hair cut, my hair was near my shoulders. Nothing against short or medium length hair, but I’m tall and I like my extremely long hair. So…
I first started with Biotin supplements. I grabbed a 5000mcg bottle from Walmart and started taking the recommended dosage on the back (I wanted a Biotin supplement that was strictly just Biotin, no fillers or extra supplements). I believe the bottle was about ten bucks. It took about 10 days to see any changes, and none of them were to the hair on my head. However!! My nails have been growing really strong, and my eyelashes are noticeably longer as well. I did this for about a month (27 days).
Not being completely disappointed, but wanting better/faster results, I began taking Viviscal. I chose this product because I had done a lot of research and it was recommended by Ulta. It states on the packaging (as well as on any online review) that you probably won’t see a difference within the first month of taking the supplement, but after that you should see great improvements. It’s not cheap, at $49.99 a box I was extremely hesitant to fork over the money. Luckily Ulta had a special BOGO sale and you always rack up your points when you shop there. So, I grabbed a box and started.
It’s extremely simple, you take one pill in the morning and one in the evening. Always after food, but with lots of water. Personally I am not good at taking pills and usually have to take anything larger than an M&M with food, but these are about the same size as an M&M. Either way, I had read that they’re not the best tasting things in the world, so as a precaution to prevent myself from having to taste them I always toss it in with the last bite of my meal (that’s almost ‘after’ your meal 😉 right ). So I just chew up my last bite of my meal, and then before I swallow I just toss my Viviscal in the back and swallow everything together. This is also how I down large pills when I get sick.
Day 1-5: no noticeable differences.
Day 5-10: I’ve definitely noticed some extra oil on my face. Particularly around my nose, and on my chin. Nothing a little blotting paper, brown paper towel, or face powder can’t fix, and it’s already evening out.
*As of day 10, I have already figured out why you are advised to take this pill after a meal and with lots of water… you WILL bloat IF YOU DON’T DRINK YOUR WATER! I typically just chug a glass (8oz) of water after I toss back the pill. There were a few times I didn’t accidentally, and then I did it on purpose to test out my theory. SO, I’m positive about this statement. Also, I later noticed, if you take the pill before your meal and not after… it’ll clog you up. Meaning, you’ll have a hard time going #2. 🙁
Day 11-20: My face is no longer oily. There is less hair loss in the shower as well as in my brush, but no noticeable difference in the total length of my hair yet. However, by day 19 I noticed that my fine baby hairs are growing in very strong, and long. They typically break off before they can reach my ponytail (about a couple inches in length). So, they always look like fuzz on the back of my neck, but now!! they’re ALMOST able to be pulled up in to my ponytail with the rest of my hair. And I noticed a lot of reviews saying they had to shave more often, but I haven’t seen a change in that.
UPDATE: Feb. 2016: The baby hairs being healthy may also have been a cause of healthier eating, and all the water you’re taking in order to help with the upset stomachs that may be caused by the pills.
Disclaimer: Days 11-16: I do have a type of dandruff (I’ve had it most of my life) that flakes off in scales and can sometimes leave scabs if I itch it. I usually use Nizoral dandruff shampoo once a month or bi-monthly and it takes care of it, but lately I have been needing to use it more often (bi-weekly). It may be because I don’t do much to my hair right now, besides wake up and throw it in a bun, but I wanted to make sure I included this is my ‘research’.
I did start taking my biotin supplement again, alongside the morning Viviscsal pill because I noticed my nails and lashes stopped growing fast like they were before I had originally started taking Viviscal (and was only taking Biotin supplements). I did not consult a doctor about this, however I did take note that I was taking 10,000mcg of Biotin a day (2 pills at 5,000mcg daily) as directed on the bottle. And Viviscal only has 120mcg per pill (so your daily intake is only 240mcg of Biotin). So I only added one Biotin pill to my regiment.
Addendum to most recent comment about my nails…My nails are back to growing strong, as are my eyelashes. I think that extra boost of biotin really helped.
Addendum to disclaimer: Days 17-20: I no longer need to use the Nizoral like I stated earlier. I wanted to leave that disclaimer on there, to show you that you may hit a few spots where you need to shampoo more often. But I am no longer using it as often, i.e. back to normal as far as the dandruff situation goes.
*NEW PRODUCT ALERT!! I was really having a hard time with my hair breaking at the ends, so I did a bunch of research on hair products and switched my conditioner, and my leave-in conditioner. And IN JUST ONE USE I noticed a huge change in texture and softness. I have been using Tresemme Split-End Conditioner and Split End Mender (Leave-In Condition) together for years. The new combo is OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Conditioner, and OGX Anti-Breakage Keratin Oil Instant Repair Weightless Healing Oil. I started using them on the same day so I don’t know if it was just one or both of the items together that did the trick, but I am in awe of how soft my damaged ends are, and how silky my roots are. I will post a how-to in the hair care drop down menu. But it’s pretty simple…follow the directions on the back of the bottles 🙂
Day 21-30: So, everything is still the same. No significant changes. I did notice my chin and nose got a little oily for about 2 days but it went away promptly. Other than that, I’ve been using my OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Conditioner, along with my OGX Anti-Breakage Keratin Oil Instant Repair Weightless Healing Oil religiously. I believe it to be helping, even if it’s not… my hair is so soft now. I think the next step is getting another hair cut. As I typically only get it cut once a year, the last time I got it cut was in November, and my ends are super damaged from the last bleach job it received.
Day 31-60: Noticed my eyelashes starting to really grow! My nails are strong. Still very little hair loss in the shower, and when brushing my hair. Just waiting for my hair to actually grow!!
*After day 31… haven’t noticed any dramatic changes or improvements of any kind. Sort of in a plateau I guess. I can’t wait for my hair to start growing, and I’m really praying that I’m not wasting my money on this stuff. Just being honest.
Day 31-60: Unfortunately, during the last sheet of my Viviscal pack (just at the 3 month mark) I got really really sick on Vacation. I broke out in hives so bad that they merged into one giant hive on my entire body, and had terrible swelling. Due to all these complications, I had to refrain from taking any medications/supplements while the doctors figured out what was wrong. After 2 weeks they chalked it up to unsanitary conditions at the hotel pool that we were at in St. Kitts, with dehydration, and the sun just made everything worse. For the record, I WAS drinking a lot of water, I was still working out (lightly), I was eating extremely healthy, and I WAS wearing and reapplying sunblock every hour.
With all the said, I have finally just completed my final day of 3 months of Viviscal. And while I’m still getting back in the swing of things with it… I’m happy to report that my hair is definitely growing longer slowly but surely), and my fine baby hairs are so crazy now!! They’re always in the way and they never stay up in a pony or bun (because they used to be non-existent…so they’re growing out nicely). My eyelashes are still lovely and growing (I would say that is the most noticeable thing that has grown), and my nails have slowed down in their growth speed as well as not being as strong (they’re just always breaking lately, may be because we moved and I’ve been rough on them but it never mattered before). And while I was off of the Viviscal, I did notice an increase in hair loss on my brush and down the drain. So that one is very obvious.
Since I started Viviscal, they changed their formula for their pills. They are much flatter now, a little wider, and smoother. A lot easier to swallow.
I also changed some of my hair routines. I try very hard to sleep with my hair in a clip instead of an elastic. I sleep on a silk pillowcase. I do bi-weekly coconut oil treatments, and started using “It’s a 10” Leave in spray. Instantly I noticed a huge difference in the softness of my hair, however, it no longer holds curls (with an iron) as well as it did before. But I’ll take long and soft over not holding a curl any day!!
In conclusion: I would say the price you pay for the Viviscal kind-of ISN’T worth it for the length of time it takes for the pay off. Instead, it may be a better use of your money to put it towards clip in extensions and then take care of your hair and take Biotin pills. I will continue to update this page as I continue the Viviscal… yes I’m going to continue to pay for it. And the reason being…YOU!! I want to see what 6 months of taking it does. They claim the longer you take it the faster and better it works. Well, I hope their right!! Plus, Ulta sells this stuff, and I would like to think that they actually care and trust in the products that they carry and sell in their stores.