Rice water for hair: How to make and use rice water for hair growth

Rice water for hair: What is the rice water trend and does it really boost hair growth?

20th March 2024 | Author: Victoria Woollaston-Webber

The rice water trend is making a comeback but what benefits can you get from rice water for hair and why is it so good for hair growth?

Having dipped in and out of favour in recent years, the rice water for hair trend is making a comeback with fans across social media raving about how it’s been the answer to their hair growth woes.

As its name suggests, the trend involves involves using rice water — the cloudy liquid that’s left after rinsing or soaking rice – as a hair treatment.

It’s not a new trend. In fact it’s said to have been used for centuries, most notably among the Yao women in Huangluo Village, China. These women are renowned for having long and healthy hair, which they attribute to using rice water on their tresses.

It then became really popular again during lockdown as people had time to try homemade recipes.

But is there any truth to the trend or is it just a fad? We explain everything you need to know below.

Rice Water for Hair

The idea behind using rice water for hair care is that it is thought that the rice water contains nutrients that healthy hair loves.

“Rice is high in starch meaning it contains many beneficial vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin E, magnesium, zinc and antioxidants,” according to trichologist and hair loss specialist Hannah Gaboardi. “These ingredients create a healthy environment for hair to grow.”

Inositol is another key ingredient found in rice that’s used in hair loss treatments, as it’s known to repair hair from the inside out, as are a host of amino acids.

“These ingredients work together to minimise breakage, leading to smoother, longer and stronger hair,” continued Gaboardi.

FURTHER READING: How to make hair grow faster: Expert tips, advice and what NOT to do

Is rice water good for hair?

Rice Water sprayBiofusions

Advocates of the rice water hair trend claim it offers a number of benefits including:

  • Strengthening hair: Amino acids in rice water can help repair damaged hair and strengthen it from the roots, reduce hair breakage and promoting hair growth.
  • Improving hair texture: Regular use of rice water is said to smooth the hair, making it feel soft and look shiny.
  • Encouraging hair growth: The antioxidants and nutrients in rice water are believed to stimulate hair follicles, helping your hair to grow faster.
  • Detangling hair: Rice water can make the hair smoother and easier to manage, helping to detangle it and reduce frizz.

However, while many people have reported positive outcomes from using rice water for hair, there is little scientific research about its effectiveness.

Plus, like with anything, individual results will vary, and what works for one person may not work for another.

It should be noted, too, that there have been reports that overusing rice water can potentially lead to protein overload for some hair types, making the hair stiff and brittle. So we recommend approaching in a considered way!

How to make rice water for hair

Rice water is simple and easy to make. You only need two ingredients – rice and water.

  1. Rinse 1 cup of rice to remove any impurities.
  2. Soak the rice in four cups of boiling water.
  3. Leave this to soak for up to 24 hours.
  4. Strain the water into a bottle and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

You can also buy rice water sprays and mists, like the AS I AM Rice Water spray (£12), or the £23 version from Biofusions.

How to use rice water

How to hair oil for hair growth and hair thinningShutterstock

The best results, in our experience, come from applying rice water to our hair before shampooing and conditioning.

We start by applying it at the scalp so it can target the hair follicles before letting it run down the hair shaft.

Leave it on your hair for a few minutes before rinsing your hair and continuing your usual hair washing routine as normal.

Alternatively, try using the rice water as a 20-minute conditioning mask but stick to these longer treatments one or twice a week to avoid overloading the hair.

FURTHER READING: Kerastase K Water: What is the lamellar water hair treatment?

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