How to Use Rice Water for Hair

Is rinsing your hair with rice water the key to Rapunzel locks?

Taking ingredients from the kitchen and using them as hair treatments is nothing new, with things like coconut oil, avocados and eggs all well known for their mane benefits. But the hottest store cupboard ingredient TikTokers are obsessed with using on their hair right now? Rice water. With Google searches for ‘how to use rice water for hair’ up 200%, you might be wondering how to do a rice water rinse on your hair and whether the results really live up to the claims.

Although it is yet to be proven by more scientific studies, rice water has been used for centuries as an alternative hair treatment as it’s rich in amino acids, B vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Historical research shows that women in the Heian period in Japan brushed their hair with rice water. Also, women in the Huangluo Village in China only cut their hair once in their lifetimes (giving them the nickname ‘village of Rapunzels’), and they use rice water as their secret to keeping their hair healthy, shiny and strong.

If you want to try rice water for your hair, here are the benefits that your mane can thank you for.

1. It Helps Improve Hair Growth

Woman with dark brown hair in bouncy blowdry waves
Healthy hair is bouncy and light. Credit: Hariono Halim

If you suffer from hair loss and don’t want to use commercial hair growth products, rice water treatment is a great alternative to try. It contains amino acids and Vitamins B, C, and D, which regenerate hair and stimulate growth.

2. It Reduces Split Ends

Nobody likes to see split ends on their hair. And if you’re looking for a way to treat this hair problem, try rice water. It is rich in proteins that can help repair your damaged hair and minimise the look of frazzled ends.

3. It Keeps Hair From Getting Damaged

Rice water has carbohydrate content called inositol that can improve your hair’s elasticity and reduce surface friction. This can help prevent damage and breakage.

Editor’s tip: Suffer from a lot of hair breakage? You can get in on the rice water hype and heal your damaged hair at the same time with the Nexxus Keraphix Shampoo and Conditioner.

This duo cleverly combines black rice with Keratin Protein and other essential nutrients together to help you achieve healthier-looking strands.

And, if you really want to return your hair to its optimum state, you also add the Nexxus Keraphix Masque to your mane routine.

4. It Acts as a Great Conditioner

After shampooing, it’s always good to apply conditioner for softer and smoother hair. Rice water can also be an eco-friendly alternative to your regular conditioner. It is rich in Vitamins A and C and phenolic and flavonoid compounds that improve your hair’s texture and volume.

5. It Boosts Shine

Woman washing her natural hair in the shower
Credit: Rupert Laycock

Shiny hair, here we come! As this hair ritual is all about making hair grow and helping it get healthy, your mane will start to look shinier as your hair health improves.

Interested in trying this eco-friendly hair care treatment? Here are the super-easy steps for preparing rice water for your hair at home.

You’ll need:

  • a cup of rice
  • a cup of water

Step 1. Start by washing the rice with tap water to remove impurities. This ensures that dust and dirt are removed. You can use a strainer when washing the rice.

Step 2. After draining, put the rice in a bowl, add water, and stir them together. Continue mixing until the water becomes cloudy, preferably for 30 minutes.

Step 3. Strain the rice and keep the water in a covered plastic container.

Step 4. Let the rice water sit at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours to let the vitamins and minerals come out. Do not let it sit over 24 hours because it can make the rice water go bad.

Step 5. After shampooing, apply the rice water as a conditioner, massaging it gently all over your scalp. Leave it on for 20 minutes for best results.

Step 6. Rinse your hair thoroughly with clean water afterwards.

DIY Rice Water Hair Recipe

You’ll need:

  • a cup of rice
  • a cup of water
  • castor oil

Step 1. Rinse a cup of rice, use your hand to remove the impurities, chemicals and dirt. Repeat 1-2 times.

Step 2. Add boiling water and cook the rice for 10mins.

Step 3. Strain the rice, and let the water cool down before transferring it to a spray bottle.

Step 4. Store the rice water for 28-48 hours, and then add some drops of castor oil.

Step 5. Section hair into 4 parts, and begin to spray from roots to ends. Cover with a cap for 30-45mins.

Step 6. Rinse off with warm water and style as desired.

See? Pampering your hair doesn’t have to be expensive or involve having to go out and buy all new products. You can even do it right in the comfort of your home using household items you already have in the cupboard. Plus, it’s natural, which makes it an excellent eco-friendly way to pamper your hair.

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Eco-friendly treatments are great for your hair. Try this DIY banana hair mask that you can make at home using those brown bananas sitting in your fruit bowl.

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