The growing TikTok trend, Rice Water Rinsing, has been recently circulating on social media. Many claim the ancient tradition is key to their long locks; repairing damaged hair while encouraging hair growth. Although hair extensions are the quickest and easiest solution to longer, thicker hair; we always try to find alternative ways to speed up and encourage healthy hair growth. This article looks at the beauty benefits of rice water for hair treatments and whether scientific research backs up the purported results.

I. History of Using Rice Water For Hair

 According to historical research, women in Eastern Asia have been using Rice Water for centuries and insist the process is the key to growing their floor-length locks.


 In the Heian period (794 to 1185 CE) in Japan had floor-length hair they kept healthy by bathing it in rice water. A modern-day equivalent of this story can be found in China. The Yao women, who live in a village called Huangluo in China, are famed for having hair that averages 6 feet long.

Japenese Women In Heian Period Wash Their Hair With Rice Water

 In addition to its incredible length, the Yao women’s hair is said to keep its color for longer, as they do not begin to get gray hair until they reach their 80s. The Yao women credit the length and color of their hair to the fact they bathe it in rice water.

The Yao women credit the length and color of their hair to the fact they bathe it in rice water
The Yao women credit the length and color of their hair to the fact they bathe it in rice water

 In recent years, beauty advice websites and product developers have caught on to this tradition. Now, the rice water trend is spreading.

II. How is Rice Water Beneficial To Our Hair?

 Rice water is the starchy water left over after rice is cooked or left to soak. Rice water is filled with many beneficial nutrients to the hair, including Vitamins B and E, which support healthy hair growth and make the hair smooth and shiny. The solution also contains Amino Acids, Inositol, and Antioxidants.

  • Make The Hair Stronger: Just as protein is an essential part of maintaining a balanced diet, it also plays an important role in keeping hair healthy. The protein in rice water is believed to help improve the overall condition of hair.
  • Can help hair grow: Rice water may promote hair growth because it contains amino acids that support hair regeneration. Besides, one of the main ingredients, Inositol, is a chemical compound and is commonly used in hair loss treatments. It helps to increase the growth rate of new hair whilst strengthening each strand. It also contains vitamins C, B, and E, which promote hair growth as well. Vitamins C, B, and E help strengthen the hair shaft, and the stronger the shaft, the longer the hair can grow.
  • Increases shine: In addition to the extreme hair growth, it has been claimed that the natural solution is beneficial in keeping your natural hair color for longer; many Asian women credit their excessive length and long-lasting color to this homemade treatment.
  • Rebalance overly moisturized: Although hair needs moisture to stay healthy, excess moisture can actually do more harm than good. To rebalance overly moisturized locks, try a protein treatment like a rice water rinse.
  • Smooths Hair: Damaged and/or high porosity hair has difficulty retaining moisture, which can result in frizz and split ends. However, the nourishing proteins found in rice water may counteract this, reducing breakage and therefore, improving hair’s texture. In addition, Inositol also repairs damaged bonds in the hair and protects the hair from future breakage.

 Whilst the benefits of using rice water remain scientifically unproven, it is a safe natural remedy. With such simple ingredients – the recipe is, quite literally, rice and water, even the DIY averse may want to try their hand at making the treatment at home.

III. How To Make & Use Rice Water For Hair As A Hair Treatment?

 There are several different ways to make rice water, including:

1. Soaking

Soaking is the quickest way to make rice water. To use this method:

  • Take ½ cup of uncooked rice
  • Rinse thoroughly
  • Place rice in a bowl with 2–3 cups of water
  • Leave to soak for 30 minutes
  • Strain the rice water into a clean bowl

2. Fermented Rice Water

 According to a 2012 study, fermented substances have a higher amount of antioxidants. Antioxidants may combat hair and skin cell damage, which is why they are typical ingredients in beauty products.

 To ferment rice water, follow steps 1-4 of the soaking method. Before straining, leave the rice water to stand at room temperature for up to 2 days, allowing it to ferment. Strain the rice water into a clean bowl before use.

3. Boiling

 Another way to make rice water is by boiling the rice.


 Cover ½ cup of rice with double the water typically used for cooking. Cook the rice in boiling water and strain the rice water into a clean bowl before use.


 While it’s not your average sweet-smelling shampoo, rice water that is soaked or boiled and refrigerated before use (up to 24 hours and a week, respectively) should not make your hair smell. However, if you are using fermented rice water, it is recommended to combine it with essential oil (we love peppermint or lavender) to avoid a potential lingering smell.

IV. How To Use Rice Water?

Rice water can replace a conditioner. To do this, a person should:

  • Wash hair with shampoo
  • Rinse thoroughly with water from the tap
  • Pour rice water onto their hair
  • Massage the rice water into the hair and scalp
  • Leave it on for up to 20 minutes
  • Rinse hair thoroughly using warm water from the tap

V. Whether Rice Water For Hair Have Side Effect Or Not?

 Those who have used rice water claim side effects may include protein overload, making a dry scalp worse, and causing breakage to hair. If this happens, you may need to invest in a good clarifying shampoo to break down the extra protein.

VI. The Best Products With Rice Water:

 If you don’t want to DIY rice water or are afraid of an uncomfortable smell from fermented rice water, you can refer to these products below:

1. Healthy Hair & Scalp Follicle Energizer


Healthy Hair & Scalp Follicle Energizer

Formulated with rice amino acids and protein - not to mention, biotin and caffeine—this aptly-named Healthy Hair & Scalp Follicle Energizer by BosleyMD aims to stimulate hair growth and bring you thicker-looking strands. Apply just one to two drops of this leave-in treatment to your scalp. Then, flex those fingers to give yourself a good ol' fashioned scalp massage - or better yet, invest in a scalp massager.

2. Mielle Rice Water Moisturizing Milk

Mielle Rice Water Moisturizing Milk

Part of Mielle Organics rice water collection, this moisturizing milk gets Friese's seal of approval. With ingredients like rice water, castor oil, and coconut oil, it's a dream for those with curly hair, strengthening and hydrating a dull, dry mane. The result? Bouncy curls, soft texture, and raving five-star reviews among users.

3. Shea Moisture Purple Rice Water Strength & Color Care Shampoo

Shea Moisture Purple Rice Water Strength & Color Care Shampoo

You've heard of purple shampoo but what about purple rice water shampoo? Ideal for color-treated tresses, Friese recommends this cleanser with its blend of butter, oils, and let's not forget, rice water to strengthen and nourish hair. And thanks to its wild orchid and sweet violet extract, it smells like springtime in a bottle.

4. BosleyMD BosRevive Non-Color-Treated Hair Nourishing Shampoo

BosleyMD BosRevive Non-Color-Treated Hair Nourishing Shampoo

You've heard it before and you'll hear it again: Healthy hair begins with a healthy scalp. Formulated with rice amino acids and a host of other nourishing ingredients—saw palmetto, rosemary extract, and panthenol, to name a few—this sulfate-free shampoo is like fertilizer for the scalp.

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