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It Is Not Scientifically Conclusive Whether Rice Water Helps With Rapid Hair Growth.

It Is Not Scientifically Conclusive Whether Rice Water Helps With Rapid Hair Growth.

Rice Water for  Increased Hair Growth, or Is it a scam?

Willow Smith’s Whip My Hair was that song we all danced to, for the best part of the year 2010. I remember waiting for the chorus, so we could “wiggle” our heads, or quite literary whip our hair. However, the irony was that our heads were always shaven every other month, as a norm for most boarding schools in my country Uganda,  so basically, there was no hair to whip, so we just enjoyed the groove.

Years later, we’ve encountered different remedies that are said to help hair grow faster and stronger, especially with the natural hair movement. Rice water has been one of the many but how true are the claims that it would be a credible solution, and the road that leads us to a proper Whip…


“Using rice water for hair is a centuries-old Japanese and Chinese practice,” said Jeannette Graf, MD, a board-certified Dermatologist in Great Neck, New York, and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, while speaking to Melanie, a Chicago based beauty writer for the  Self website, a lifestyle news outlet in the US.

A PharmaEasy blog post also adds to the belief that rice water for natural hair growth has been around for centuries before among the ancient court ladies of the Heian period 

More information has been brewing in support of the claim, ranging from various video reviews on TikTok and YouTube by people aiming to achieve their ponytail hair goal. 

Now despite the good testimonies upon using rice water, there are still mixed reactions among women as to whether the concoction really works or it’s a hoax. 


From a scientific perspective, the concoction has no supporting evidence to the claims of increasing hair growth and strengthening the strands. Citing a research publication under the National Library of  Medicine, Dr Caren Campbell a board-certified dermatologist in San Francisco says, the liquid may help prevent hair loss coupled with enhancing hair growth, but the research needs to be more conclusive and has some limitations.

In an article by Real Simple, Dr. Yoram Harth, MD, Board-Certified Dermatologist and MD Hair  Chief Medical Officer shared the benefits of using rice water; however, he noted that the mixture also has its side effects which affect hair growth.

An article authored by Dr Jonathan Palmer for  Hair Know How explains the rate at which hair grows. “On average, hair grows at a rate of about 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) per month or approximately 0.3 to 0.45mm per day. However, this can vary depending on the individual. Generally, the growth rate is the same for women and men and for hair that grows on different areas of the body,” he said

Therefore with or without rice water hair still grows at different rates depending on person per person.

Experts have gone ahead to warn against the excessive use of rice water, for its side effects of it. Toia Barry a natural hair content creator wrote in an article with Mielle Organics, a blog catering to hair care of people with natural hair notes that rice water helps with things like hydration, frizz, and reducing split ends, encouraging natural hair length, however, the use can also have side effects like protein overload, can cause dry scalp worse among others which affect hair growth.


The claims are not conclusively supported by science, and research that supports that rice water helps with faster hair growth, was found with limitations. So “A magic potion for hair length?”,  No.

 But the use of the concoction and incorporating other things to one’s hair regimen to the scalp, will, coupled with genetics may help with hair retention and length.

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