A controlled, randomized, double-blind, parallel-group study compared the effects of ViviScal (a new food supplement incorporating special marine extracts and a silica compound) with those of a fish extract in the treatment of young males with hereditary androgenic alopecia. The pretreatment histological diagnosis was alopecia with a mild to moderate perifollicular inflammation zone. The study consisted of 20 subjects who received two tablets of ViviScal once daily and 20 who received two tablets of fish extract once daily for 6 months. The mean patient age and mean duration and severity of baldness compared well between the two groups. Most patients had been treated with long-term topical 2% minoxidil for 1 year or more prior to the study. At baseline and after 6 months' treatment, a biopsy was taken for histological examination. A non-vellus hair count was performed at baseline and after 2, 4 and 6 months. In the fish extract treatment group three patients withdrew from the study before the fourth month due to lack of therapeutic effect. After 6 months' treatment, patients receiving ViviScal showed a mean increase in non-vellus hair of 38% compared with a 2% increase in the fish extract treatment group (P < 0.0001). In the ViviScal group, 19 (95%) subjects showed both clinical and histological cure, whereas none treated with fish extract showed any clinical or histological difference after 6 months' treatment (P < 0.0001). In both groups, a minimal decrease in the erythemal index was observed. In conclusion, ViviScal appears to be the first highly active treatment for androgenic alopecia in young males.