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While our family doesn’t eat a lot of rice and other cereals, they can still be used. Rice water for natural hair care may be trending on TikTok, but it’s been around for thousands of years. Here’s how to use this simple, age-old remedy for thicker, stronger hair.
History of rice water
Rice water is exactly what it sounds like. It simply uses water to soak the rice. The Yao women of Huangluo village, China have been using rice water with herbs for hair for thousands of years. And the Asian tradition continues to this day. Traditionally, women of the tribe do not cut their hair when they reach adulthood and keep their hair long, dark, even in old age.
Recently, it has become a tourist attraction, with locals demonstrating how they wash and style their hair at the local theater. Visitors can even bring a bottle of rice water home.
Rice water is probably not the only reason for their impressive locks. Traditional cultures eat foods rich in nutrients to healthy teeth, hair and body. And then there are environmental factors that contribute to overall health (including hair health).
While a healthy diet is still important for healthy hair (and everything else!), rice water seems to offer some impressive benefits.
Benefits of rice water for hair
Rice has amino acids, antioxidants, inositol, vitamin E, vitamin C and other nutrients that are great for hair health. Rice water adds protein and nutrients to make hair softer, stronger and shinier.
One study found that rice bran extract quadrupled collagen in hair follicles. Researchers also report that it helps calm inflammation and may help reduce hair loss and hair growth.
A review from 2022 shows that there is a growing body of research on the effects of rice water on hair. The researchers found that rice water increased the expression of growth factors, kept hair in the active growth phase and reduced scalp inflammation.
Here are some other ways using rice water can improve your hair:
- Can help prevent hair loss
- Improves hair elasticity to reduce breakage and damaged hair
- Helps prevent split ends
- It separates and softens the hair
- Protein supplement for strong hair
- Improves hair texture and moisturizes to reduce frizz
- Improves hair growth and can help thinning hair
- Increase hair volume
- Strengthen the follicles
- Repair hair cuticle damage
- Helps treat dandruff
Soothes scalp inflammation
Who Can Use Rice For Hair?
Since this hair treatment has only two natural ingredients (rice and water) it is generally very safe. Rice water for hair growth and health has been used successfully and safely for many years. However, there are some hair types that will not benefit much from this hair treatment.
- People with low porosity hair will not be able to absorb nutrients from rice into their hair cuticles. Low porosity hair also does not absorb hair care products and is more common in people with straight hair.
- People with dry hair and scalp types may find it even drier when washing their hair with rice water. Other experts recommend using it for curly, dry hair to give it more volume.
Don’t know what the porosity of your hair is? This is a simple quiz to learn. Place a lock of your hair in a cup of water. If it floats, the porosity is low, and the faster it sinks, the higher its porosity will be.
How often should you use it?
Too much water to wash your hair will add too much protein for hair. This can cause dryness, frizz and breakage if overused. The frequency of use depends on your hair type, but in general, it should not be used more than 1-2 times a week. If your hair is frizzy, stiff and brittle after using it, it means that your hair has been left for too long or you have used it too often.
How to use rice water
There are several different methods for making your own rice water. You can boil rice in water, soak or ferment it. It is said that the fermentation method is the most effective and good for the health of the hair. Just like other foods, Fermentation opens up more nutrients for our body to use.
- You can use rice water as a hair mask and keep it for up to 20 minutes. Or just use it as a simple rinse. The simplest way is to use a spray bottle or spray to apply to the hair and scalp. Be sure to work in sections so that you get the entire hair and not just the top layer.
- Wash your hair as usual, apply rice water (up to 20 minutes), then rinse and use conditioner. If you’ve just washed your hair, then simply apply the rice water and rinse when you’re done.
There are many rice water recipes that call for different ratios of rice and water. The ratio of rice to water doesn’t really matter as long as the rice is submerged in water.
Rice water for hair
This fermented rice water helps in hair growth and makes it stronger, shinier and stronger.
Productivity: 15 ounce
- Cup uncooked rice
- 2 glass country filtered
Put rice and water in a bowl and cover with a towel to prevent dust and other impurities from getting in.
Let the rice soak for 24-36 hours at room temperature. As it ferments, it will have a slightly sour smell.
Strain the rice out with a fine mesh cloth or cheesecloth and retain the water.
Pour water into a spray bottle or spray bottle.
Use 1-2 times a week. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
For a quicker version, soak the rice for at least an hour, then strain and use. It won’t ferment, but you’ll still get a lot of benefits.
You can add other beneficial herbs to your hair conditioner. Make some strong herbal tea and mix it with rice water after it ferments. Chamomile, lavender, sage, or rosemary are all good choices. Here herbal shampoo recipe discuss different healthy herbs and their benefits.
Have you ever used a hair conditioner before? Do you have any favorites? Let us know in the comments section!
- Hashemi, K., et al. (In 2022). Systematic review: Application of rice products for hair growth. Journal of medicine in dermatology: JDD, 21(2), 177–185.
- Inamasu, S. et al. (2010). Effect of rice washing water obtained from washing rice (YU-SU-RU) as a hair treatment. International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 44 (1).
- Kim, YM, et al. (2017). Rice bran mineral extract increases the expression of anagen-related molecules in human skin papillae via the wnt/catenin pathway. Food and nutrition research, sixty one(1), 1412792.
- Lambert, B. (2022, February 4). Rice water for hair: Benefits and uses. Byrdie.
- Shaw, S. (2022, July 18). How to increase shine, health and hair growth with rice water. CNN
- Yaeger, L. (2019, February 4). Meet Chinese women who only cut their hair once in their life. Vogue.