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 storecupboard ingredient everyone’s 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.


Editor’s tip: Minimize breakage by using TRESemmé Biotin + Repair 7 Shampoo, which is formulated with a Biotin and Pro-Bond Complex to help make your strands stronger.

2. It Reduces Split Ends

Woman with long red wavy hair holding a strand of her hair
Keep split ends at bay with rice water. Credit: Rupert Laycock

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 Acts as a Great Conditioner

Brunette woman applying conditioner to wet hair
Conditioners are necessary to make your hair softer and smoother. Credit: Rupert Laycock

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.

4. It Keeps Hair From Getting Damaged

Brunette woman with a long braid
Healthy hair cannot be easily damaged. Credit: Hariono Halim

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? Shampoo your hair with Dove Intensive Repair Shampoo which is infused with Nutri-Keratin Repair Actives to repair damage and nourish your hair.

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

Wooden bowl filled with rice water
Rice water has a lot of hair nourishing properties. Credit: Shutterstock

You’ll need:

  • a cup of rice
  • a cup of water

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

6. Rinse your hair thoroughly with clean water afterwards.

You 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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