First Impressions Review | Mekhala Regenerative Black Rice Shampoo and Conditioner

I’ve been a sucker for rice-based beauty products, ever since I tried Komenuka Bijin Cleansing Powder made of rice bran. I’m currently using Nature Republic Fresh Farm Rice Foam Cleanser and have seen results, on the other end of the price spectrum, with the sake-derived SK-II Pitera skincare.

So I was nothing short of welcoming to the sample-sized Mekhala poo and dish that I received in last month’s Vanity Trove. Unfortunately, they failed to impress me and I was left quite disappointed with their performance.

The 30 ml bottles that I received were for normal/thinning hair, as well as problem scalps. Perhaps this is why the formulation is so mild – the short three uses that they yielded did very little to moisturise/condition my hair. Instead, my tresses became woefully entangled after shampooing and I could barely run my fingers through my hair even after using the conditioner. In all fairness, I doused my hair with more dollops of the conditioner in the final use and my hair did feel smoother and more manageable. However, it was still far from restorative and conditioning. I reckon this range would work for people with oily scalps but with my current follicular dryness, it’d be foolhardy for me to purchase this range.

I’m not familiar with black rice but the fragrance of this range reminds me of chin chow (an Asian grass jelly dessert-drink). My hair had a distinct treacly scent reminiscent of pandan (a fragrant leaf used in Asian cooking) syrup mixed with the herbaceous whiff of the black jelly. I didn’t mind it initially but the smell became increasingly strong, eventually putting me off. Thankfully, it dissipated as my hair air-dried. I don’t think I could have tolerated it if it had remained!


  • milktea says:

    I’ve always wanted to try a Komenuka Bijin product since I found out that they were rice based. Sadly never got my hands on even one product. :( I think the rice bran oil would work wonders as a facial moisturizer. :)

    • makeupmag says:

      Hi Milktea,

      You have to try Komenuka Bijin! The way the powder dissolves and cleans…I still have the tactile and scent memory. :)

  • Hi Mag! We are sorry to hear that you were disappointed with our Black Rice Shampoo and Conditioner.

    Our signature product is created by fermenting black rice (similar to how SKII creates its miracle water), as this extract precious amino acids, and we do not use any fragrance to mask the natural scent. Hence, the unique fragrance you’ve so eloquently described! Others say it smells of rice desserts. It is rather difficult to experience the full potential of the product with such a small dose – we have customers with scalp and dry hair issues who used the product for 1-2 months and were rewarded with results! As it is a 100% natural product, we encourage our customers to be patient, use the products for a while, and leave them in for 50% longer than when using other chemical-infested versions!

    If you would like to review the full sized items, we would love to send you a couple, including our light and fragrant, anti aging body lotion and soap. In any case, thank you for reviewing Mekhala, and we hope you will give our other products a try some day!

    • makeupmag says:

      Hello Mekhala!

      Thank you for leaving such a detailed response. I do agree with you re: efficacy over time, hence this was tagged ‘first impressions’. Fragrance preferences are subjective; I was sorry the scent didn’t appeal to me. I am, in general, quite fond of rice-based products.

      ‘Chemical-infested’ is quite a loaded description; different strokes (or products) for different folks, I guess? ;) I did leave the conditioner in for quite a long while (I usually handwash my baby’s clothes while I shower and had the conditioner on for the entire time I did her laundry). My hair is very dry now, though, thanks to hormonal changes, so that’s a factor to consider.

      Thank you for the kind offer – I’m currently swamped at the moment but will let you know if/when I’m able to try more products from your brand. :)

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