The 7 Most Exciting Hair Trends For 2023

New year, new you. That’s how the saying goes, isn’t it? One way to refresh your look – and how you feel – is by switching up hairstyles and trying something new. It doesn’t have to be extreme, nor does it have to look like much has changed, but a new cut or styling trick can make you feel like a brand new person. Here, Vogue speaks to the hairstyling experts on the hair trends that will be everywhere in 2023 – inspiration boards at the ready.

A next-level haircut

A starting point for all good hairstyles, Luke Hersheson says that getting a really good haircut – even if it’s just twice a year – is key for creating a modern shape, which can be dressed up or down, depending on your mood. “Invest[ing] in a haircut above just styling products gives hair shape – whether it’s a bob or longer – and allows you the structure and architecture to do lots of things with your hair,” he explains. “Ten years ago, people were just styling hair and not thinking about the haircut underneath it.” It’s a way of approaching your hair that allows you to embrace all manner of trends, from embracing your natural curls to air drying your layers, and gives your hairstyle its unique character.

Meanwhile, hairstylist Larry King agrees, adding that as a result of the pandemic, clients now leave more time between appointments, which means that haircuts need to have a well-crafted structure in order to look better for longer. “It’s all about sharper haircuts that last longer – texture and chopped-up hairstyles have a shorter life span,” he says. “Healthy hair is the order of the year.”

The bob is going nowhere

For those ready for a change it’s time to go a little shorter, with a soft line at jaw length; this gives a nonchalant, contemporary edge. Otherwise, I’m taking inspiration from the 1970s and dropping the length to the shoulder. Shorter and longer lengths are a great way to bring the bob up to date.” 

Northwood is also taking inspiration from Celine’s spring/summer 2022 show, where bobs were shorter at the front and sides, something he says “does wonders for the cheekbones” and is a great shape for thick hair. “I like to keep the edges broken and style with a wave – the result is a little punky and contrary, which feels in keeping with our times.”

Knotless box braids

Intricate partings and patterns have always been popular in African culture,” says Charlotte Mensah. “Detailed cornrows will be popular in the new year, as well as knotless box braids in different sizes and colours – they are everything you want in a hairstyle. Not only do they look cool, but they are also versatile and flattering.

Glossy blow-dries

For a while now, we’ve favoured hairstyles which appear artfully undone, low maintenance and effortless, but many hairstylists are predicting a return to the old-school blow-dry and a more finessed approach to the hair. “Think Adele in Vogue,” says hairstylist Syd Hayes. “Full bodied, glossy, glam hair.” Hersheson also notes that this classic ’90s blowout hair feels a bit “Upper East Side – very polished and luxe” and the rolled brush blow dry, which we used to think was a “bit naff” now feels right again. He has been creating this kind of sleek look for his celebrity clients, including Dua Lipa.

An easy route to creating the look at home is with a hair tool. Hayes touts the BaByliss 9000 Cordless Hot Brush as the tool to try to create a voluminous blow dry look at home, without having to worry about a hair dryer and brush. “It helps to smooth your hair, while adding body and movement,” he says. Meanwhile, Dyson’s AirWrap is also an excellent choice and the new Flyaway head can help smooth frizz if you don’t want to go the whole hog. This look works better on longer hair, says Hersheson, who warns that it can look old fashioned on shorter lengths.

An expensive finish

Even if you’re still not tempted by the glossy blow dry, one way to tap into the luxe-looking trend is with a polished finish to your hair, whatever you’re cut. Northwood is touting Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface as his polished-hair pin-up: “A professional blow dry is the ultimate way to achieve this polished, expensive-looking hair. But if you’re styling at home, seek out products that create that finish for you”. He recommends his Moisturising Cream to smooth flyaways and add shine.

Accessories galore

You saw the big bows braided into hairstyles at Chanel’s recent Metiers D’Art 2021 and French influencer, Camille Charriere’s, delicate beaded wedding hair – both are a sign of things to come for the new year. Mensah predicts that hairbands, bows, barrettes, scarves and clips will be all the rage in 2022: “No matter what your chosen hairstyle is, hair embellishments are in!

Curl-ready hairstyles

This year, hairstyles got given the ’70s treatment, with shags, choppy fringes and wild curls becoming ever-more popular as the year went on. That rock ‘n’ roll finish is going nowhere, which is a good thing as it also goes hand in hand with the continuing movement towards embracing our natural texture and bringing out the best in our curls. While Mensah says this will start off with a “big chop” to start afresh if you’ve been using hair relaxer, it will soon be a case of making the most out of your natural curls, coils and kinks: “In my salon, the rounded Afro is the most requested cut – it keeps your curls healthy and full of life,” she says. Hersheson and Hayes also say that layers, air-drying and body will be big.

VOGUE

An Inventor of Olaplex Just Launched His Own Brand

I was the scientist behind it. It started in my garage.” Eric Pressly is talking about Olaplex, the cult-favorite haircare brand credited with saving damaged, over-processed hair. Olaplex introduced us to the idea of “bond-building” haircare—products that can prevent or repair damage by strengthening the bonds that make up our hair’s internal structure. And now, years after kicking off one of the most successful haircare brands on the market, Pressly is back at it with a brand of his own, Epres, and new products that will be coveted by those seeking hair nirvana. “It’s the best bond builder,” says Pressly.

We’re a trustworthy, science-led brand. So what we say we can do, we prove it. And we do it,” says Pressly. “We make claims about being the best in the space, and you can back it up with the performance of the product.” So what are the products that the newly minted Epres is launching? The first one is the Professional Bond Repair, a salon-only product that helps keep hair strong during chemical services—such as bleaching, perming, and relaxing—without disturbing the pH levels, a common factor that results in hair damage. “A lot of damage that people have is from the bleaching in the salon,” says Pressly. “And if you can stop it before it starts, then you’re in a much better position to deal with it going forward.” The Professional Bond Repair is also formulated without acid, which means professionals don’t have to be too concerned with precise measuring when they use it during chemical treatments.

The second product launching is the Bond Repair Treatment Kit, which addresses damage that’s already occurred. The kit comes with two bottles of an oil-based concentrate—the active ingredients, if you will—and a spray bottle. First, you pour a concentrate bottle into the spray bottle, then you fill it with water. Give it a shake, then saturate your hair with the mixture. “More is more,” says Pressly. “The water part will evaporate out, and then the oil part that we added will stick, and it’ll continue to keep repairing your hair.” The concentrate method serves another purpose as well: “We’re free of as much stuff as possible,” says Pressly. “Silicon, fragrance, preservatives. And part of that is why we have to concentrate. That allows us to go preservative-free.”

We want to be the Apple of haircare.”

After soaking my hair with the Bond Repair Treatment, the effects were nearly immediate. As someone with (bleached, unhappy) curls, traditional cream bond-building treatments can be difficult for me to apply. The mist, on the other hand, made it easy to evenly coat my entire head. When I washed it out the next day, my hair was softer and completely frizz-free. “I recommend [leaving the product in for] either 10 minutes or overnight,” says Pressly. “[The hair is] definitely smoother and shinier and stronger. Frizz is down for a long period of time.

After Olaplex, Pressly didn’t think he would stay in the haircare space. “I was a scientist with a broad background, so I wanted find my next adventure,” he says. “I got hit with a wave of creativity being locked up in a small space in COVID, and part of that wave of creativity led to this brand.” Pressly is well aware that bond-building haircare has exploded over the past decade. “Being around in the beginning of this category, and as an innovator, sometimes you want to make something that didn’t exist before. And then you want to make something better than everything else that exists,” he says. “I’ve done the former, we’re now doing the latter of making it better at solving for inefficiencies. And making things simpler. We say it internally, and it sounds maybe a bit arrogant, but we want to be the Apple of haircare.” 

Epres has officially launched at epres.com. The Professional Bond Repair retails for $79, and the Bond Repair Treatment Kit retails for $48. Additional concentrate refills can be bought separately in packs of two for $34.

ELLE

5 Secrets to Healthier Hair, Straight From a Celeb Stylist

Pro hairstylist Bridget Brager’s list of celebrity clients is as long as it is impressive, and if you follow her on social media, you know her wealth of knowledge is seemingly never-ending. In other words: When she’s giving out hair secrets, we’re all ears.

One major thing we appreciate about Brager as a stylist is that her approach to hair starts with a healthy scalp. It makes sense, then, that among her many bona fides is a partnership with Rodan + Fields. The skincare brand recently launched two derm-designed haircare lines, Volume+ Regimen and Smooth+ Regimen, with products formulated to get to the root of your hair concerns.

1. Try double-cleansing (yes, for your hair).

You’ve heard of this technique as part of your skincare regimen,” says Brager. “Well, the same theory can apply to your scalp.” The idea is that the first round of shampoo breaks down the top layer of dirt, oil, and build-up, and the second actually gets to the root, washing the scalp and ensuring hair is completely clean. If you don’t thoroughly remove product buildup, it can affect hair health and growth, and, she says, “can lead to additional weight in your hair, which makes everything look flat and lifeless.” The Rodan + Fields Volume+ line is designed to be gentle enough for this double-cleansing process. “It makes your hair squeaky clean without drying it out or stripping color, and helps balance your scalp’s natural biome,” says Brager. Follow with conditioner as usual.

2. Focus your blow dryer at your roots for volume. 

Using excess heat on the hair can be damaging, especially on the ends. This is why it can make a difference—in both dry time and the health of your hair—to stick to the roots. Brager says that the technique also provides extra lift.

Here’s what to do: “As you dry, I recommend flipping your head upside down or simply stretching the strands [in the opposite direction] at the root to encourage lift, body, and volume,” says Brager. She adds, “This is a great way to wake up your second day blowout too.”

3. Try a cold rinse. 

One of the best secret weapons for smooth, frizz-free hair is not a product but a quick trick. “Rinsing your hair with cold water helps seal the cuticle and lay flyaways down, and as a result it makes the hair look smooth and shiny,” says Brager. Sealing the cuticle also helps lock in moisture for more hydrated strands. 

The smooth-hair secrets don’t stop there. “Follow up your cold water rinse by using a microfiber towel, and always remember to pat your hair dry instead of rubbing it vigorously with a towel—that can cause the cuticles to expand making your hair look frizzy and dehydrated.”

For an extra glossy finish, Brager recommends styling with the Rodan + Fields Defrizz+ Oil Treatment, which helps lock in hydration and provides heat protection.

4. Maintain distance when using dry shampoo. 

One of the biggest mistakes people make when using dry shampoo? Spritzing it too close to the scalp. Not only will that leave behind a powdery appearance, it can also lead to bigger problems: “Spraying too close to your scalp can cause product buildup and [result in] a flat hairstyle,” says the stylist. 

Instead, pull back six inches when applying a product, like the Rodan + Fields Refresh+ Dry Shampoo, which features rice starch to absorb oil as well as chamomile extract to moisturize and soothe. The added distance will give you more even distribution for best results.

5. Try conditioning before you shampoo. 

OK, we know we suggested following your double-cleanse with conditioner. But if you’re struggling with extra-greasy hair, swapping the order in which you use your products may be your solution. If your hair is heavy, matted, or oily, “condition first and shampoo after to take extra weight away,” says Brager, who recommends the Rodan + Fields Volume+ Conditioner which nourishes, repairs, prevents damage, and promotes fuller-looking hair. This technique—called reverse washing—is suitable for everyone, but tends to work best for oily and fine hair types.

ELLE

This Scalp Oil From Jonathan Van Ness’ Haircare Line Heals Dead Ends and Dry Strands

Ever since Jonathan Van Ness, Queer Eye’s grooming guru with a heart of gold, shared that he created a collection of haircare products, he’s been helping shoppers address their hair concerns and achieve their best manes possible. JVN Hair products range from shampoos and conditioners to hair treatments and stylers. And one of the brand’s most-loved products is the Complete Pre-Wash Scalp Oil.

Van Ness, a true hair enthusiast, is all about quality hair treatments, which is why JVN Hair products are all sulfate-free, vegan, cruelty-free, silicone-free. All of the brand’s products, like said scalp oil, include its “hero ingredient,” clean hemisqualane — which, per the brand, promotes stronger hair strands, starting at the scalp. JVN Hair treatments are that extra boost to help keep your hair hydrated and support your scalp’s health.

Shop now: $29; jvnhair.com

With hundreds of positive reviews on JVN Hair’s website, it’s clear that this Pre-Wash Scalp Oil is suitable for shoppers with all hair types and concerns, including dry and itchy scalps with buildup. Many customers shared that they saw improvements after a few uses and love the fresh and cozy scent of this oil that has notes of lemon, mandarin, amber, and cashmere. 

One shopper with coarse and curly hair said that the restoring scalp treatment made their hair feel “so incredibly hydrated and smooth.” Another happy customer, who has used this product for over a year, said that this oil “worked wonders” on their fine and thin hair. Other shoppers remarked at how well this pre-wash treatment relieves itchiness and flakes, and that their hair feels stronger and looks shinier. One even said it “made a noticeable difference for [their] dead ends.”

This scalp treatment is super easy to use. Add a few drops of this oil directly on a dry scalp, then massage and work through the hair to the ends. Let it sit for about 15 minutes before washing it out with shampoo. 

For softer, shinier, and stronger strands, shop the JVN Complete Pre-Wash Scalp Oil for $29.

INSTYLE

How To Get The Duchess Of Sussex’s Perfect Waves, According To Her Hairstylist

It had been over two years since the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan, and her go-to hairstylist, George Northwood, last saw one other. Like many others, they were separated not just by an ocean, but by a pandemic. “The last time [before the Invictus Games 2022] I worked with Harry and Meghan was on the day of the ‘umbrella’ moment [the viral photo of the couple in the rain outside the Endeavour Awards 2020],” he tells Vogue. “It was an emotional time. I remember being at Buckingham Palace and, at the time, the Invictus Games were planned for the Hague in 2020, so when I said goodbye, it was more of a see you later. Little did we know!

The umbrella moment in March 2020, and the last time Northwood styled the Duchess’s hair.
 Samir Hussein

The Games eventually went ahead over Easter weekend, two years later than planned. As soon as he arrived in the Netherlands, Northwood went straight to visit the couple and “gave them both a cuddle”. The reunion was a sweet one – and not merely because of the hair magic it brought about. Just as he had done so many times before – from that perfectly undone wedding hair to myriad royal tour looks – Northwood created a series of excellent hairstyles on Meghan, as she made a brief return to the spotlight in support of the event her husband founded for wounded military personnel. 

Meghan in Brandon Maxwell at the Invictus Games.
 Patrick van Katwijk

Perhaps most notable of all were the perfect glossy waves that tumbled over Meghan’s cream, belted blazer by Brandon Maxwell at the Games on Sunday. Here, Northwood shares how to recreate the look at home.

Blow dry first

This is a more polished wave – undone, but with a luxe feeling to it. It’s key to create a good foundation in the hair, so instead of a rough blow dry, blow hair out smoothly. If you’re going for a centre parting, blow dry the front of the hair forward – this creates a sweeping motion when you part it afterwards.”

Use a big-barrel tong

Using a large-barrel tong, work your way around the head, taking sections of hair and curling them. Tong away from the face at the front of the hair, and focus on the mid-lengths, rather than roots and ends, to encourage more of a wave than a curl. Once you’ve taken the tong out of each section, pull hair straight so it cools in a softer bend. At the end, use your fingers or a paddle brush to brush through hair.

Up the shine

When it comes to products, focus on shine – aim for a luxe, glossy finish. Shine sprays, creams or serums are great to help smooth it.

VOGUE

Meet Evanie Frausto, Bella Hadid’s Go-To Hairstylist

Evanie Frausto is the reason why you want bubblegum-blue ringlets piled into towering proportions. Think of those extravagant pyramids of colourful confection – the sort you’d imagine Marie Antoinette dining on – but in wig form, and you have just one of the opulent looks Frausto created for Lil Nas X in his video for his hit single, “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)”. Let them wear wigs.

Welcome to Artist Spotlight #94 series on my blog.

A master of the surreal, Frausto has turned Bella Hadid into Poison Ivy, and made artist and photographer Petra Collins brunette; styled model Aweng Ade-Chuol’s hair into peroxide blonde finger waves and locs, and gave Kendall Jenner such long hair extensions that they trailed on the ground behind her. “I push my work to be a little bit offbeat,” the Mexican-American hairstylist tells Vogue. “I hope that people will feel inspired by it.

Growing up in Orange County, California, Frausto moved to New York where he was taken under the wing of legendary hairstylist Jimmy Paul. Manipulating hair and wigs to sculptural effect, since embarking on a solo career, Frausto has worked for everyone from Fenty to Helmut Lang. Here, the rising star shares some of his proudest moments.

What was your earliest beauty memory?

I grew up with my mum and my grandmother and my mum’s four sisters, who are all glamorous. My mum never left the house without her makeup or her hair done. Just being surrounded by such powerful feminine energy made me see how transformative makeup and hair was.

Did you experiment with your own look?

When I was a teenager, I was influenced by the MySpace scene. It had such a specific look: it was so punk, but also I thought it was pretty — making your hair different bold colours and having piercings and wearing eyeliner. I was constantly changing my hair colour and putting new piercings in my face, and just playing around with self-expression.”

Were you confident in your pursuit of self-expression?

I grew up in a traditional Mexican household and everything that I was exploring was against that tradition. I was the first in my family to be born in the US, so it was confusing to still be in this household and yet be queer, different, and feel ‘other’. But once I found my community and my group of friends, I felt confident as that weirdo kid with the piercings and hair extensions.”

What drew you to hair specifically?

Hair was always the crown, the cherry on the cake – it’s a way of finishing off how I felt, it was a mood, a way of expression. I always gravitated towards it. Working with hair now, I love and appreciate the sculptural element of it, getting my hands in there and manipulating it.

How did you go from experimenting with hair to pursuing it as a career?

I owe it to my mentors. They introduced me to a world I never knew existed, especially Jimmy Paul. I fell into it accidentally; the only reason I went to hair school is that I was a crazy teenager and university in the US is so expensive. One thing led to another, I moved to New York and was pulled into the fashion industry.”

Do you approach hair as its own entity or do you view it as part of the whole look?

I see it both ways, especially working in fashion. Sometimes I get those shoots where I can just create the piece or make the sculpture. I’m fortunate to work with teams that trust me to do my thing, bring it to set and they work around it. But there’s definitely a part of it where I’m helping to bring out a specific look or mood. I’m very much into both.”

How would you describe your creative process?

I’ll talk to the stylist or the photographer, and they’ll give me the initial idea or mood. I work off feelings, so I’ll start doing something that’s in my head but if it starts to go another way, I just follow it. I go with the flow versus trying to mimic something exactly. I look for inspiration in everything and it changes.

There was a moment where I was looking through Instagram, but lately I’ve gotten into books and I’ve been going to thrift stores and vintage shops, hunting for old magazines. I just found this amazing Armani book – it’s so inspiring and a lot of it is stuff I haven’t seen on the internet. I also get inspired when I go back home to Orange County and visit the Mexican-American community. The hair looks are so specific to that community – like chunky highlights or warmer tones.”

What’s been your proudest moment so far?

Honestly, it’s such a hard question because I come from so little so every opportunity I get I’m excited about. I’m proud to be working with people I’ve looked up to and who inspire me like [Vogue Italia editor-at-large] Patti Wilson and Bella Hadid, and that I have such good relationships with.

When working with someone like Bella, how much of her personality plays into how you conceive a look?

Oh, a lot. She really works hard and she studies. Whenever I do something with her, I’ll have my references and then she’ll have her references, and we work it out together. I’m so open to being collaborative. I want the models to feel good so I always love hearing what they think.”

What do you want your work to say about beauty?

I can find beauty in everything. It’s more about a feeling or emotion versus trying to achieve something that’s beautiful. But at the end of the day, I find it beautiful. Beauty is embracing individuality and uniqueness, and not being afraid of things that make a person a little different.”

What are your hopes for the future in terms of your own career, and what are your hopes for the industry at large?

In terms of my own work, I hope to continue to grow and learn. One of my favourite parts of the job is meeting all the other creatives, so I want to continue to grow my relationships with people, and collaborate with people who inspire me. In terms of the industry, it’s been a crazy couple of years. The industry has been pushing for diversity and inclusivity, and I hope that it continues to evolve and grow.”

VOGUE

Scandi Waves Are The Beach Style You Need To Try Now

How to reinvent the beach wave? An unrivalled perennial classic, it’s a hairstyle that looks good on everyone. But “Scandi” waves just entered the chat, and they’re here to shake the classic look up. “The Scandi wave is not too perfect or constructed,” explains hairstylist and BaByliss brand ambassador, Syd Hayes, of the trend. “It’s about creating gentle, flatter waves in areas around the face, and in random sections of the hair.” 

A modern (and much cooler) evolution of the crimped hair we all loved so much in the ’90s, Scandi waves are a much looser iteration of the classic beach wave, and are more effortless, polished and bohemian in their aesthetic.

In fact, they aren’t far removed from the Botticelli (or pre-Raphaelite) waves that were all over the red carpet at the Met Gala 2022, where everyone from Kaia Gerber and Sophie Turner to Hoyeon Jung and Olivia Rodrigo sported their take on long, soft Venus-esque tendrils. “In general, hair trends have moved away from the polished look and now it’s all about a loose and undone texture,” says Hayes. “The easiest and quickest way to create Scandi waves are with the BaByliss Cordless Waver – it creates the perfect summer curl.

The Waver is so easy to use that it requires zero expertise to nail the perfect wave. All you have to do is take hair in sections (around two inches wide by one inch deep) and squeeze the tool on the section, hold for a few seconds and move down the hair for defined kinks. Another route is to try plaiting your hair when it’s damp, sleep in it overnight, and then use some texturising spray to muss it up come morning – but admittedly the latter is a more labour intensive process.

Hayes has some tips on how to make the waves work for you: “It’s all about where you start the wave, and where the kinks and bends sit, but it works for any length of hair,” he says. “In longer hair, you can start nearer the top or crown of the hair and work your way down, creating larger kinks throughout. With shorter locks, I would recommend starting at the eye line or lower to create texture in the bottom lengths and layers of the hair, rather than creating too much body at the top.

Another of his top tips is to avoid clamping the tool at the same height on each section of hair: “Ensure the bends start and finish at different points, so you don’t create one large bend in the hair,” he says. As with most undone waves, the less uniformity, the better. And to finish? Mist a texture spray through mid-lengths and ends to add body, definition and movement. And voila, a hairstyle fit for the beach – or wherever you find yourself this summer.

VOGUE

This $5 Biotin Leave-In Conditioner Spray “Smells Amazing” and “Speeds Up the Growth of Your Hair”

If your hair has been feeling extra dry and brittle recently, it’s time to add a new product to your routine. You’ll want one that’s specifically formulated to hydrate and strengthen your locks, leaving behind a silky smooth head of hair. For more than 22,800 Amazon shoppers, that haircare product is the Marc Anthony Grow Long Biotin Leave-In Conditioner Spray, which is on sale for $5.

The popular leave-in conditioner is the best-selling haircare product on Amazon, and it’s packed with nourishing ingredients like biotin and caffeine to encourage hair growth, plus vitamin E to make your hair strong and shiny. For best results, spray the product directly on damp hair from the roots to ends and comb it through.

Shop now: $5 with coupon (Originally $8); amazon.com

In the reviews section, you’ll find first-hand recounts of shoppers’ experiences with the leave-in conditioner. One reviewer, who’s convinced the product “speeds up the growth of your hair,” said their damaged hair became “healthy again and longer” after one month of use. Another shopper assured readers the conditioner “smells amazing” and “leaves your hair so soft.” You can’t ask for much more from a $5 hair product.

Once you fall in love with the Marc Anthony leave-in conditioner, you’ll want to add the brand’s Grow Long Biotin Shampoo to your routine as well. Also on sale for $5, the top-rated shampoo is made with the same powerful ingredients as the leave-in conditioner to reduce future breakage. One shopper went so far as to say it’s “hands down the best thing I have ever bought for my hair.

Shop now: $5 with coupon (Originally $8); amazon.com

Whether you go for both Marc Anthony haircare products or just one, be sure to grab them now while they’re on sale for $5 apiece at Amazon.

INSTYLE

Meet Rice Water, The Ancient Beauty Practice You’ve Been Seeing All Over TikTok

Long before rice water went viral on TikTok and YouTube and ended up on Kardashian blogs, the beauty practice had been used for centuries by women in Asia. According to research published in the Journal of Cosmetic Chemists, court ladies during Japan’s Heian Period (794 to 1185 CE) used Yu-Su-Ru (a.k.a leftover water from washing rice) on their floor-length hair.

The method was then popularized by a village in China called Huangluo. The Yao women, who inhabit the town, are famous for their long hair that averages six feet long. According to Medical News Today, the Yao women credit their strong strands and dark color to washing it in rice water.

While most of rice water’s proof of effectiveness is limited to history and tradition, there is scientific reasoning behind its benefits.

To dive into this further, ELLE.com tapped two hair pros, Dr. Jenny Liu, a board-certified dermatologist, and Richy Kandasamy, a colorist and R+Co Collective Member, to explain the benefits of rice water—plus how you can create rice water at home.

What are the benefits of rice water for hair?

Will rice water turn you into Rapunzel? Not exactly. But it does have properties that restore and promote hair growth. “Scientifically, 18 amino acids have to come together to create the protein to grow hair. Rice water contains eight of these amino acids,” Kandasamy explains. “So when rice water is used on hair, you experience more hair regeneration. The vitamins in rice water (B, C, and E) also boost hair growth. Though there is limited scientific evidence that proves hair growth.”

Dr. Liu echoes the importance of these acids. “We have limited studies, but few out of Korea demonstrate it may help with male pattern hair loss,” she adds. “Rice bran, in particular, has lots of fatty acids—linoleic acid and oleic acid that have been proposed to possibly inhibit the 5-α-reductase enzyme that is the cause of male pattern hair loss.”

How do I make rice water?

Washing your hair with rice water is easy to achieve at home. All you need is one cup of uncooked rice, a large jar or bowl, and a filter.

  1. Put water in a bowl and use a strainer to rinse your rice. You want to make sure all impurities are removed from the grains. Some videos suggest rinsing multiple times, until the water runs clear. 
  2. Fill your jar or bowl with one cup of water and add the clean rice. Stir the rice in the bowl. If you have a jar, you can secure the lid and shake the rice. The water should look milky. 
  3. Let the mixture rest for 24 hours. 
  4. After 24 hours, strain the liquid from the rice. Store the liquid in a jar, empty shampoo bottle, or container.

How do I apply rice water? 

Treat rice water like your typical hair mask or treatment. “First, you should wet your hair with the rice water, especially your scalp area, and massage it for five minutes,” Kandasamy says. “This step targets your follicles, which stimulates growth and strengthens your hair.

Wait five minutes and wash the rice water out using your favorite shampoo. 

Is rice water safe for all hair types? 

The short answer is: yes. Rice water will work on different hair types but consider your hair porosity before using. “All hair types are the same structurally, including African, European, and Asian hair types, but all absorb moisture in different ways,” Kandasamy explains. “It is rich in amino acids which strengthen hair roots, add shine and make it smooth and silky. It also contains a carbohydrate known as inositol, which repairs damaged hair and protects hair from further damage. Since it is a natural remedy, it is safe, and there are no side effects of rice water on hair.”

Hair provides more room for experimentation and trial than our skin. “In general, I would say yes, [rice water is safe for all hair types]. It’s not like moisturizers where greasy moisturizers are less ideal for oily skin,” adds Dr. Liu.

ELLE

Brazilian Blowout vs. Keratin Treatment — Which One Should You Get?

A smoothing treatment can be a worthwhile investment for anyone with frizz-prone hair. So while salon services like a Brazilian blowout or a keratin treatment can set you back $250 on average, they’ll give you smooth, shiny hair that’ll last for months.

Both treatments will spare you the time you’ve been wasting styling your hair with frizz-fighting products that never quite seem to work. So, what’s the difference between the two, and which one should you get? InStyle turned to Christina B. of New York City’s Rita Hazan Salon to spell it out.

What’s the Difference Between Brazilian Blowouts and Keratin Treatments? 

Brazilian blowouts and keratin treatments essentially have the same effect on hair: both eliminate frizz and boost shine. They’re safe for all hair types and can be done on color-treated hair. However, Brazilian blowouts are more customizable.

Since the market is so saturated with keratin treatments you could spend hours googling what you think would be best for the look you’re after, but the Brazilian blowout can be adjusted for different hair textures,” explains Christina B. “The stylist can flat iron the hair at different temperatures and achieve different looks.

What this means is that if you don’t want your hair completely straight, your stylist can tailor the treatment so that your natural hair texture isn’t completely lost. They’ll still seal the treatment with a 450 degree flat iron, and you’ll still have smooth, voluminous waves when they’re all done.

The other way the treatments vary is in their downtime. Following a keratin treatment, it’s recommended that you don’t tie your hair up and you can’t wash it for three or four days. As for a Brazilian blowout, you can go about your regular styling routine.

What Should I Know About What’s In These Smoothing Treatments? 

Although a Brazilian blowout has its benefits, the treatment can’t be mentioned without addressing the controversy surrounding it. There has been concern about the formaldehyde in its formula.

I find that if they’re done properly and in well ventilated areas they are not harmful at all,” says Christina B. “But you can find formaldehyde-free versions if you are worried about that.

Whichever treatment you do choose, research salons in your area that offer the service to find one that’s reputable. You’ll get the results you want without sacrificing the health of your hair.

INSTYLE