DEBUNKED: Can Rice Water Make Your Hair Grow?
Good news: The internet brings us a lot of information quickly and easily.
Bad news: The internet brings a lot of information quickly and easily.
Take the concept of RICE WATER for example. There are hundreds upon hundreds of pages, all with clickbait-y titles like ‘Grow Your Hair with Rice Water Rinse in Under 10 Days!’ or ‘I Rinsed My Hair with Rice Water – And It Changed My Life!!!!’ that abound in the interwebs.
And if you look a little bit more with ones that are formatted to look like a scientific article, stuffed with loads of science-sounding mumbo-jumbo about how rice water is the new miracle cure-all for all hair issues.
But isn't it based on research?
Here’s the thing: there is not enough science to absolutely believe the effectiveness of rice water on hair growth. The most cited reference that most of these rice water peddlers promote is a supposed study on a group of Japanese women who use rice water to rinse their hair and they have great hair! What could be wrong with citing this for proof?
You mean, where do we begin enumerating the problems with these claims? For one, it has not been compared with other factors. Other variables like other hair products used, lack of exposure to chemical treatment, weather, diet, etc., have clearly not been considered. Second, the sample size is too small and too limited!
Oh, and did we mention that the study tried to analyze the effect of rice water on the hair of women that lived during the Heian period? That was between 794 to 1185 CE (AD). That was around 1000 years ago!
From a scientific (and logical) perspective, it sounds like a whole lot of lucky coincidence! Take the concept of RICE WATER for example. There are hundreds upon hundreds of pages, all with clickbait-y titles like ‘Grow Your Hair with Rice Water Rinse in Under 10 Days!’ or ‘I Rinsed My Hair with Rice Water – And It Changed My Life!!!!’ that abound in the interwebs.
And if you look a little bit more with ones that are formatted to look like a scientific article, stuffed with loads of science-sounding mumbo-jumbo about how rice water is the new miracle cure-all for all hair issues. You can learn more about the effective, holistic, and science-backed up method of hair growth in our 14-day haircare challenge.
What can we really say about this method?
It may work, or it may not work. What we do know, based on science, is that what you apply on the strand – like this rice water miracle rinse/cure-all – does not have any effect on hair growth; not on volume of growth, not on the speed of hair growth.
That's because your strands are just dead cells, like your fingernails. It doesn't grow from the tip, it grows from the root.
The closest thing that we can possibly surmise based on whatever available information there is regarding rice water and hair is that it can possibly reduce the hair’s surface friction and thus help reduce breakage – but that is just pure guesswork, is not backed by science, and even if it were, it is still largely dependent on many other factors, particularly the hair type.
We get the whole appeal of rice water rinse. It’s accessible. It’s easy to do. And the promised result is so big! And there also lies the problem: the promised result is way too big and too grandiose. It’s a too-good-to-be-true situation. Hair problems are rarely solved by just one approach.
It's a combination of using the right hair care products for your hair profile and environment and optimizing your lifestyle for hair health and you can learn it here.
As far as rice water is concerned, it needs more studies and experiments – the real, legitimate, scientific kind – before we can actually come close to believing that rice water rinses can even do so much as making the hair even the littlest bit better. Otherwise, it’s all a placebo effect on your end and a lot of cash from clicks and Adsense for the questionable peddlers of this practice.
Is there another Haircare Myth that you would like us to analyze? Please let us know in the comments!