Rice water has made waves in the world of hair care enthusiasts. But does it really give your hair the boost everyone says it does?
Read on to discover whether or not this popular DIY treatment will give you the long, strong, healthy hair of your dreams.
What Is Rice Water?
Rice water is the leftover liquid after rinsing or cooking rice.
Its use in self-care is not new, as it has been used to elevate the look, feel, and health of hair and skin in many East Asian countries for centuries! For reference, the practice has been traced back to Japanese court ladies from the Heian period (794 and 1185), who rinsed their floor-length locks in fermented rice water to ensure healthy and luscious hair growth.
Rice water is also widely used in India to treat eczema - it’s that versatile!
Does Rice Water Help Your Tresses Grow?
Rice water contains many vitamins and minerals and the hormone inositol, which is associated with treating balding and thinning hair. It can improve hair health and growth by strengthening hair follicles, improving hair density, sealing split ends, and elevating the look and feel of your tresses to make every day a #goodhairday.
How does it do that?
Well, the starches in rice water provide a kind of coating to your hair, making it appear smoother and boosting its strength.
Rice water also contains amino acids that act as a protein treatment to strengthen and protect your hair. It reverses dry scalp and treats damaged follicles to give you a clean, well-functioning scalp - which will facilitate the growth of healthy, strong, and shinier hair.
How to Make Rice Water
Making rice water is easy. Just follow these simple steps:
- Rinse rice in a strainer to remove dirt and other impurities. You’ll know it’s good for step two when the water runs clear.
- Add two to three cups of water for every cup of rice and leave it to ferment for up to 24 hours.
- Separate the rice from the water using a strainer. Place the fermented rice water in a spray or shampoo bottle, and there you have it - your own magic potion.
You can store it in the refrigerator for up to three days.
You can also take the lead of some beauty influencers and add a few drops of essential oils or grapefruit peels to your rice water to counteract its pungent smell.
How to Use Rice Water on Your Hair
You can use rice water to saturate your hair as a leave-in treatment post-wash or use it as a shampoo - it’s totally up to you.
- Pour or spritz rice water on your scalp
- Massage it into your scalp and hair strands
- Let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes
- Rinse it off with water
*Limit this treatment to once per week to avoid any residue buildup, protein overload on the hair cuticle, and dryness, which can cause hair loss - the opposite of what you were aiming to achieve.
Who Can Use Rice Water?
Rice water is suitable for all hair types. But if you have low porosity hair, we recommend that you do a patch test before using it. This solution might make your hair even frizzier.
Rice water works best for damaged hair, hair that has been chemically treated, and high porosity hair.
What Does Science Say?
Well, it's not all black and white.
Rice water has high vitamin content, so soaking and rinsing your hair in it may elevate your hair’s vibrancy. A 2010 study has affirmed this. It found that rinsing with water decreases hair friction and increases the hair’s elasticity to boost strength.
But will it help with hair growth? We don’t know for sure quite yet. There has been no scientific research to attest to its efficacy on this front.
That said, many people claim to have seen changes in hair growth after using rice water, so it may be worth the try!
So, What’s the Verdict? Does Rice Water Actually Help with Hair Growth?
Using rice water in hair is an ancient practice, so if it’s still being used in modern times when there are so many new products and treatments available, it’s a good indication that it works.
We know it can boost hair health and vibrancy. But it may do little to help in the growth department. We’ll know more when research is conducted in this area. Bear in mind that rice water is a home remedy, and like all home remedies, it can take its sweet time to show visible results.
If you want targeted hair growth, topical minoxidil or PRP injections will be your best options. Talk to a dermatologist to get the long, flowing hair of your dreams - with little downtime!