This post was originally published in May 2020. Updated in December 2022.
Rice water suits all hair types even those with bleached or heat-damaged hair. Applying rice water to your hair can protect it from damage and keep it manageable. Plus, it can boost hair growth and increase hair shine. So how to use rice water for hair properly to guarantee the best results? There are 3 easy methods you can try to use rice water safely.
In this article, I will include what research says about rice water, how to make rice water, how to use rice water for hair growth, the benefits and potential side effects of rice water, and more FAQs.
Let’s dive deep into it…
How To Make Your Own Rice Water?
First Method ( Soaking ):
- 1 cup of uncooked rice.
- 2-3 cups of water.
- Rinse and strain rice to get rid of dirt and impurities.
- Mix rice with water in a medium bowl and leave it to soak for 30-40 minutes.
- Strain the mixture into a clean bowl before use.
Second Method ( Fermented Rice Water ):
- 1/2 cup of uncooked rice.
- 2 cups of water.
- Rinse and strain rice then soak it in water for 30 minutes.
- Strain the water into a bowl then put it into a clean jar and cover it.
- Let it sit at room temperature for 24-48 hours, this gives it time to ferment which boosts vitamin and mineral levels in it.
- Then, store it in the fridge. Fermented rice water is super strong so add a cup of warm water to it before use.
Some people believe that fermented rice water can be more effective than plain rice water.
A study showed that fermentation can enhance antioxidant activity in rice water. Those antioxidants can protect your hair and skin from damage and keep them healthy.
So, fermented rice water helps stimulate hair growth and balance your scalp pH while conditioning and softening your hair.
Third Method ( Boiling ):
- 1 cup of uncooked rice.
- 1 cup and a half of water.
- Rinse the rice then put it into a pot and cover it with water.
- Boil the rice then strain the water into a bowl.
- Rice water should be cloudy and concentrated.
- Let it cool then use it.
You can use any rice type you have to make your own rice water like brown, white, basmati, jasmine, long-grain, or short-grain.
How To Use Rice Water For Hair?
- Add to your rice water one tablespoon of olive oil or moringa oil and five drops of lavender essential oil.
- Mix them well then apply the mixture to your hair from roots to tips.
- Leave it on for 30 minutes then wash it off with your shampoo and condition your hair.
- Add 5 tablespoons of rose water to rice water.
- Mix them well then apply the mixture to your hair and scalp.
- Massage for 3-5 minutes and leave it on for 20 minutes then rinse your hair with water.
- Add 4 drops of rosemary essential oil to rice water.
- Mix the ingredients well then apply them to your hair and scalp.
- Massage for a few minutes and leave it for 20-30 minutes then rinse your hair.
Rice Water Rinse
- Pour the rice water into a spray bottle.
- After using your favorite shampoo and conditioner, spray your rice water in.
- Focus on the scalp and gently massage for a few minutes.
- Leave it for 20 minutes then rinse.
History & Science Behind Using Rice Water:
Asian women have used rice water as a hair treatment since ancient times to stimulate hair growth, increase hair shine, and boost moisture.
Rice water is packed with vitamins and minerals that rice originally had. It contains antioxidants, vitamins B and E, zinc, potassium, and amino acids.
These nutrients help improve hair health and strengthen it. Also, this homemade hair treatment won’t cost you much money as all you need is rice and water to make it.
In a 2010 study, they mentioned that rice water may play a role in reducing surface friction and increasing hair elasticity. But this study relies on historical examples to confirm the results.
Elsewhere, Researchers believe that women in japan used to have floor-length hair during the Heian period due to using rice water.
Now, women in a Chinese village called Huangluo use rice water to nourish their hair. Their average hair length is about 6 feet.
The Guinness Book Of World Records mentioned them as the “world’s longest hair village”. Also, Their hair doesn’t turn gray until they reach their 80s.
That’s why rice water become widely known these days and hairstylists recommend using it. Plus, TikTok users and Kim Kardashian swear by it due to its powerful benefits.
Keep in mind we still need more studies to confirm the benefits of using rice water on hair.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Rice Water On Hair?
Applying rice water regularly as a treatment can do wonders for your hair:
- A study showed that rice water contains a substance called inositol, It can repair damage and reduce surface friction. Inositol can also protect your hair and strengthen it.
- Amino acids in rice water can promote hair growth and improve hair health. Also, it helps to add shine to your hair and boost its texture.
- Rice water is packed with vitamins B, A, C, E, and D which can stimulate healthy hair growth.
- Protein in rice water can prevent split ends and keep your hair healthy. Plus, rice water increases elasticity and reduces damage.
- It can be used as a conditioner to add more volume to your hair, improve its texture, fight frizz, and soften strands.
- Rice water can also be used as a natural remedy for dandruff, it can fight fungi that are responsible for causing dandruff.
- Using rice water as a hair mask can smooth and strengthen your hair and add luster to it.
Rice water is also good for curly hair due to its high protein content that can condition and improve the pattern of your curls.
Most of the benefits are supported by anecdotal evidence so we need more studies to confirm the benefits of rice water.
Does Rice Water Have Side Effects?
Usually, rice water is safe for all hair types but it may dry out your hair If you have a dry scalp. It could irritate your scalp and makes it even drier.
Also, overusing rice water could cause protein overload which can harden and damage your hair and lead to breakage.
Furthermore, fermented rice water has not so great smell, so it’s best to add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to it to avoid a lingering smell.
It’s recommended to use rice water only once a week to improve your hair health without damaging it.
Do You Use Rice Water Before Or After Shampoo?
You can use rice water as a hair mask before shampooing your hair or as a conditioner after shampooing your hair to boost hair health and improve its texture.
How Often Should I Use Rice Water On Hair?
Experts recommend applying rice water to your hair once a week as a hair mask or conditioner to increase hair shine, boost hair growth, and detangle and soften your strands.
Can I Spray Rice Water On My Hair Everyday?
No. You can’t spray rice water on your hair daily. Avoid using rice water more than once a week as overusing can dry out your hair and scalp.
Can I Leave Rice Water On My Hair Overnight?
No. It’s not recommended to leave rice water on hair overnight as it can dry out your hair and scalp and cause protein overload.
Rice water has been used as a natural hair treatment for centuries due to its powerful benefits. It can smooth and condition your hair, boost hair growth, and improve hair and scalp health.
Making rice water is super easy and will save you money. You can use rice water as a hair mask or conditioner. You can also add other ingredients like rose water, essential oils, or ashwagandha oil to rice water for a healthier and voluminous look.
The benefits of rice water are still unproven and we need more research to confirm the benefits. But still, many women who used it believe it’s a miracle! So, you should give it a try!