Rice water hair treatment can be traced back to the ancient Japanese Heian period, when women would saturate their hair in fermented rice water to stimulate growth. The combination of antioxidants, amino acids and minerals such as vitamins B and E is thought to provide hair with elasticity, shine, manageability and growth. This ancient beauty treatment is safe to try at home and only requires two ingredients – water and rice. Ready to try something new for your locks? Read all about rice water for hair growth here!
Does Rice Water Help with Hair Growth?
Rice water is the starchy water that remains after soaking or cooking rice. Rice grains contain 70 to 85 percent starch and rice water is thought to contain many of the vitamins and minerals contained in rice. Nutrients like amino acids, inositol (which helps strengthen hair), vitamins B and E and antioxidants benefit your hair and help to strengthen and beautify it. However, just like all beauty regimens, what works for one person may not work for others. Getting great hair results from rice water depends on your hair type, texture, hairstyling habits, lifestyle, diet and genetics. But, we figure it’s worth a shot, right?
5 Benefits of Using Rice Water for Hair Growth
1. Provides Nutrients To The Hair
Rice water provides nutrients to your hair, which will help strengthen your hair overall. Rice proteins can strengthen hair strands and seal split ends. It contains carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins that foster a balanced scalp environment to keep your follicles healthy.
2. Improves Scalp Health
Rice water should be used on the scalp, as well as the hair itself, as it may even provide more benefits on the scalp. If your scalp is healthy, the hair that grows from it will be healthy too. Treating the scalp with rice water infuses the skin with vitamins, amino acids and other minerals found in the water.
3. Boosts Hair Shine
Split ends are one of the leading causes of damaged hair, so since rice water diminishes the appearance of split ends, it can improve the appearance of your hair. It also adds hydration to your strands, boosting shine and making your hair nice and lush.
4. Makes Hair Easier to Manage
People have noticed that rice water makes it easier to make their hair. It’s said to improve elasticity, increase shine and smoothness, strengthen hair, and make hair softer and easier to detangle.
5. Can Keep You From Going Grey
Proponents of the rice water treatment also note its ability to keep hair darker for longer. In the Huangluo village in China, Yao women are known for their exceptionally long, dark hair, which is known to retain colour as they age (up to the age of 80) due to their use of rice water.
2 Drawbacks of Using Rice Water for Hair Growth
1. Could Lead to Brittleness
The heavy starch component of rice water can lead to brittleness and breakage down the road. If you have fine hair or low-porosity hair, be careful with rice water. If you have low-porosity hair, rice water can create a protein build up on the hair that can cause dryness and damage.
2. Can Make Dry Scalp Worse
If you have a bad dry scalp or experience dandruff, tread lightly with rice water treatments. Flaky scalp typically stems from an overproduction of yeast in the system. Leaving that in contact with all the starches and sugar in rice can make the issue worse. Try it one or two times to see how your scalp reacts and if it goes well, you can use it more often.
How to Make Rice Water
You can make rice water 2 ways: boiling and soaking. Soaking the rice and allowing it to ferment for up to 24 hours has been shown to have the most hair-loving benefits.
To soak the rice, pour a ½ cup of uncooked rice into a strainer and rinse well. Then, place the rice in a bowl with 2 cups of water. Soak for up to 24 hours at room temperature. At the 30-minute mark, stir a little bit until the water becomes cloudy to help the vitamins and minerals seep into the water. After the 24 hours is up, strain the rice water into a clean bowl and apply to the hair. Strain and funnel into a spray bottle. Refrigerated until use.
To boil, rinse a ½ cup of rice in a strainer and place into 2 cups of boiling water. Boil until the water is cloudy, then let the water cool. Strain and funnel into a spray bottle. Refrigerate until use.
How to Use Rice Water for Hair Growth: 3 Tips
1. Use It As a Conditioner
Rice water can be used in place of a traditional conditioner. Wash your hair with shampoo as you usually would and rinse thoroughly with water. Pour the rice water onto your hair and massage it into the hair and scalp. Leave it on for up to 20 minutes to reap all the benefits, then rinse thoroughly using warm water.
2. Don’t Over Do It
If you’ve had a negative experience with using rice water for hair growth, it could be that you’re overdoing it. Everyone’s hair is different, but you really shouldn’t be using this treatment everyday. Use trial and error to find out what works best for your hair, but generally rinsing your hair with rice water every one to two weeks should help with hair growth.
3. Mask the Scent
Not everyone is a fan of the smell of rice water – especially if you go the fermenting route. If the smell bothers you, try adding some citrus peel and a few drops of essential oil (we love lavender) to balance the scent.
If you’ve been thinking about using rice water for hair growth, I hope the tips and information in this post prove useful to you!