Scalp Serum Reviews: Nioxin vs. Viviscal

I have sensitive skin, and it doesn’t end at my face, I also have a sensitive scalp. Every-time I go to the hair dressers they peer into it and declare it’s slightly pink and therefore should buy ‘said product’ for sensitive scalps. I don’t ever buy from hairdressers when in the salon chair because they are working their sales targets and I feel like I am getting the hard sell. As a beauty blogger I like to do my own research and share my findings.

So back to this sensitive scalp situation. What causes a sensitive scalp; several factors, such as pollution, stress, hormones or even the products you use that are too harsh and full of unnecessary chemicals and silicones. It can also just be genetics; if you suffer from hay fever or eczema you may be prone to scalp sensitivity as well.

Do you have it?

If you notice you have tightness, itchiness, at the roots of your hair, dandruff and hairloss are all associated with a sensitive scalp. Treating your sensitive scalp can be a tough call. The situation can worsen if you laden it with products creating a build up on the scalp, causing more irritation. On the flip side using stripping shampoos to over clean the scalp can also be an aggressor. This causes the natural PH balance on the scalp to become modified and microorganisms multiply. The skin cells over the scalp are renewed at a much more rapid pace, causing dandruff to form. Sometimes it can seem like a losing battle…

The key is flexibility and balance; find a routine that works for you! Over the years I have learnt to pay attention to my skin and adapt my routine as needed. Sometimes my scalps needs can change depending on the weather, my stress levels or the foods I eat. It is likely that a set 3 products will not work for you for a lifetime, so be flexible.

An interesting product group, which has been gaining momentum in the industry, is the scalp serum. I have been given 2 to test out: Nioxin Intensive treatment and Viviscal Hair & Scalp Serum. Both brands have a background in scalp health and treatment for hair loss.

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Nioxin Hair Booster Treatment 30ml £22: This product is for areas of thinning hair and is said to boost those areas to create a fuller more dense look.
“The ultra-concentrated formula has CoZyme-10® Vitamin Complex and keratin which repairs cuticle damage from irritain so fragile hair has a better chance of growing.”

Texture & Application: The bottle confuses me because it’s quite big yet there is a smaller tube inside the bottle that holds the product, which means you get 50% less product than it would have you believe. The pump applicator is okay, but it means it is a little difficult to control how much product you dispense. It comes with a little clip which stops the product from dispensing should you take it on your travels, however, I have lost this clip twice and it is super fiddly. Recommended usage: twice daily.

The product has a lovely texture; a super lightweight serum. Don’t baulk at the idea of putting this on dry hair because it absorbs very fast and doesn’t leave residue. The smell is slightly medical with a whiff of menthol. They say you may experience some redness on application but I didn’t get any!

Results: I noticed about a 20% increase in volume around the areas I put the serum. I would recommend using on wet hair before you dry.


Buy here for £21.85

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Viviscal Hair & Scalp Serum 60ml £24.99: This serum claims to help support healthy hair growth by improving condition of the scalp whilst boosting hair volume. Viviscal Hair and Scalp Serum is made of 99% naturally derived ingredients including: Menthol & Creatine sourced from pea sprouts and grape seeds.

Texture & Application: This serum comes in a white tube with a small nozzle and cap. Aesthetically this product looks better that Nioxin and I liked how easy it was to control the amount of product you use. It holds double what the Nixoin tube does but is about the same size  also. Recommended usage: twice daily for 3-6months.

The product, like Nioxin is a super lightweight serum which virtually disappears on contact with the scalp. The smell of menthol is a lot stronger in this product and it has an intense tingle (about 50% more that the Nioxin one).

Results: This product is very good at boosting volume at the roots (40% more volume) and I only used 3 pea sized amounts across the whole scalp. It travels a lot further than Nioxin as well and I really enjoyed the tingling sensation on my scalp. It does however cause redness after application, but this faded after 5 minutes.


Verdict: I think Viviscal is the superior product, not only does it feel like it’s working more on the scalp but it creates a lot of volume at my roots and felt really lovely as well on my scalp. Would I consider adding this product to my routine? When I first experienced drastic hair fall then I would have reached for this product on a daily basis! However, my Viviscal supplements have done the trick and I now have over 45% new hair growth all between 1-4 inches long which means my scalp is rather dense with baby hairs, so I no longer have the need for a scalp boosting serum. I will however use it as a treat if my head is feeling a bit tight or itchy.

I would definitely recommend this to someone who is experiencing hair fall and a sensitive and irritated scalp. 

Have you tried these or another hair serum brand? Let me know your findings below.



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