Kitsch Review: Do Shampoo Bars Actually Work?

Kitsch Review: Do Shampoo Bars Actually Work?

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Kitsch is a unique shampoo brand that sells bars that resemble soap as opposed to liquid shampoo. The company sells shampoos for hair growth, toning and more. 

But does Kitsch shampoo contain research-backed ingredients for improving hair quality? Does it contain any questionable additive ingredients? How do real users rate and describe the effects of Kitsch shampoo? And which retailer sells their products for the best price?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more, as we analyze the ingredients in two of Kitsch’s most popular shampoos based on medical studies to give our take on whether or not they're likely to be effective, and which has a better formulation.

We’ll feature unsponsored customer reviews of the brand, and provide a cost comparison to show which retailer sells Kitsch for the best price.

Ingredient Analysis - Rice Water Shampoo

Kitsch Rice Water Shampoo Bar ingredients

The ingredients in Kitsch Rice Water Shampoo Bar for Hair Growth are shown above.

Glycerin can have a naturally anti-dandruff effect according to a clinical trial published in the Skinmed journal.

Castor oil has been shown in some clinical trials to improve hair shine, according to a 2022 medical review.

Hydrolyzed rice protein may promote hair growth based on early research documented in a 2022 meta-study.

Iron oxide is clinically shown to be a penetration enhancer, meaning it can increase absorption of other active ingredients in a formulation, making them more effective.

Fragrance is the only ingredient that we consider potentially questionable from a health perspective.

As we documented in our Hairitage review article on another shampoo brand, fragranced consumer products may pose a health risk according to one well-cited medical review.

Kitsch claims that their fragrance is “Natural fragrance derived from plants,” but without knowing the specific chemical compounds used, we can’t share our thoughts on their safety.

Overall, we consider Kitsch Rice Water Shampoo Bar likely to improve hair quality and appearance, but we don’t currently recommend this product due to the inclusion of fragrance.

But how do real users rate and describe the effects of Kitsch shampoo? We’ll feature some real user reviews in the next section of this article.

Real People Try Kitsch

A YouTube channel called “2 Average Gals” reviewed Kitsch’s shampoo:

A YouTube creator named Britt Witkin compared Kitsch to another popular rice water shampoo bar:

Ingredient Analysis - Castor Oil Shampoo

Kitsch Castor Oil Shampoo Bar ingredients

The ingredients in Kitsch Castor Oil Shampoo Bar are shown above.

This formulation is nearly identical to the Rice Water formulation. 

In fact, both contain castor oil, so the product name is differentiated for marketing purposes.

Ultramarine is a term for a naturally-derived colorant, which is a healthier choice than artificial dye.

Given that this shampoo doesn't contain rice protein, which is clinically shown to support hair growth, we consider it to be the worse of the two formulations.

Like the Rice Water shampoo bar, Castor Oil Shampoo Bar also contains fragrance, so we don't currently recommend it.

Environmental Benefits of Kitsch

One huge benefit of Kitsch over other shampoo brands in our opinion is their environmentally-friendly packaging.

Packaging in cardboard without any plastic reduces single-use plastic waste that ends up in our oceans, and a YouTube video from the "Insider Business" channel shows how production of plastic-free shampoo really works:

Our Clean Hair Care Picks

Ingreendients Daily Shampoo is our top shampoo pick, because it's formulated 100% from plants and contains research-backed active ingredients like acetic acid, derived from apple cider vinegar (ACV), which researchers suggest "can condition hair making it softer, silkier, shinier."

Happy Head Topical is our top hair growth solution.

This formulation uses FDA-approved hair loss ingredients like minoxidil which is clinically shown to increase hair count by 11%.

The brand also publishes the percentage concentration of each active ingredient, which is a sign of quality and transparency.

Real Customers Review Kitsch

Amazon is a better resource for honest customer reviews than a brand's website in our opinion.

Kitsch Rice Water Shampoo has been reviewed over 5,000 times on Amazon, with an average review rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars.

The top positive review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named "Kathryn Magendie" who gives the product a 5/5 star rating and appreciates its aesthetic effects:

"After rinsing: The shampoo rinsed away easily. My hair was also easy to Wet-brush. And after blow-drying, I was very impressed with how silky and shiny my hair was! A marked difference in how my hair was looking the day before. Shiny, silky, pretty hair. Next morning, it still looks shiny and silky. I keep touching my hair - that's how silky it feels."

The top negative review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named "Philana" who gives the product a 1/5 star rating and claims it caused hair loss:

"I found that this caused excessive hair fall for me. I used it 4 times within a period of 2 weeks (every 3 to 4 days to wash my hair). Followed with the Kitsch coconut oil conditioner which seemed moisturising when using it, but after air drying my hair, my strands were left very dry. Worst of all, while washing, I noticed 3 times more hair coming out than normal."

Kitsch Rice Water Shampoo Bar has an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars on Google.

Kitsch has an average review rating of 3.78 out of 5 stars on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, and the company responds to all negative reviews and customer complaints, which is a sign of a high-quality brand.

Where to Buy Kitsch for the Best Price

Kitsch shampoo bars are sold at a variety of online retailers. Here's a price breakdown for a one-time purchase at the time of publishing this article:

Rice Water Shampoo Bar

Brand website: $14 (plus shipping, link)

Ulta: $14 (plus shipping, link)

Amazon: $13.99 (free shipping, link to official Amazon listing)

Castor Oil Shampoo Bar

Brand website: $14 (plus shipping, link)

Ulta: $14 (plus shipping, link)

Amazon: $13.99 (free shipping, link to official Amazon listing)

Pros and Cons of Kitsch

Here are the pros and cons of Kitsch in our opinion:


  • Affordable
  • Should improve hair quality
  • Should improve hair apperance
  • Environmentally-friendly
  • Dye-free
  • Simple formulations
  • Highly positive online customer reviews


  • Contains fragrance
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews


We appreciate how environmentally-friendly Kitsch shampoo bars are, and for that reason alone this brand will resonate with some consumers.

Kitsch shampoo contains fragrance, so even though the brand claims this fragrance is naturally-derived, we don't currently recommend these products.

Without knowing what specific chemical compounds are used for the fragrance, we can't make an assessment of safety.

Kitsch shampoo bars are likely to improve hair quality and appearance because they contain multiple research-backed active ingredients.

We appreciate this brand's simple formulations and affordable prices.

Kitsch has some of the most favorable average customer review ratings of any shampoo brand we've reviewed to date on Illuminate Health.