Physical Health, Trends, Wellness / Self-Care

What happened when I tried rice water in my Hair

For three months…

words by: Natasha Marsh
Jan 23, 2022

As gross as it might sound, rice water that has sat for three days is good for your hair. Rich in minerals and vitamins, rice water is beneficial for your hair and skin.


If you’re grossed out, so was I when I was reading about the benefits. But, having done this dry hair remedy treatment for about three months now, I’ve been so shocked at the results (shiny, long, and moisturized hair), that I’ve decided to convince you.


And if you don’t take my word for it, take TikTok ,who has famous influencers attributing rice water to their long, flowing hair. So, I’m sure now, you’re wondering how it actually works, what the potential benefits are, and how to incorporate in your own hair routine, right?


Below, we are breaking down everything you need to know about the hair treatment and all the tips for trying it out yourself. You’re welcome.


What is rice water?

Slightly gross, but put simply, rice water is the milky liquid that remains after soaking and rinsing grains of rice. Typically when you are making rice, you will rinse the grains and get rid of the water as well. But in Japan, where rice water for hair originated, people have been saving the water and using it on their hair for centuries. In fact, the earliest dates as far back as 794 A.D—crediting their long hair to rice water increasing their hair elasticity.


Years later, studies have found that the compound found in rice water, called inositol, has the ability to permeate the hair shaft gradually. This process allows rice water to remain in your hair long after you’ve rinsed it out (sans smell, of course). By doing this, the rice water helps the hair look and feel healthier for a long time. Rice water also contains Vitamin E, oryzanol, and ferulic acid—compounds known to protect the scalp from free radicals that can cause hair damage.


Cool, so what is the process?

It should be noted that most salons don’t have rice water treatments on their service menus, so this is a complete DIY kind of treatment. Start with freshly washed hair, and apply the rice water throughout your hair from root to end. Cover hair with a shower cap for added penetration and let the rice water work into your hair for 20 minutes before rinsing out.


Pro tip: Don’t leave it on for more than 20 minutes. If it stays on too long, the water will harden to your hair and create dry, brittle, and lackluster strands. Once you’ve rinsed it out, you can go about your hair routine with conditioner and any styling products.


To make the rice water, follow the below steps:

Step 1: Take 1 cup of uncooked rice and rinse it thoroughly.

Step 2: Add 2 cups of water to rise and let sit for up to 30 minutes. Then strain rice into clean bowl.

Step 3: Let rice soak in 2-3 cups of water for 3 days.

Step 4: On the third day, use rice water.


How often can I use rice water on my head?

To reap the full benefits, you’ll want to apply rice water at least once a week. Of course, you can do it multiple times if you like, but since the rice has to sit for three days, we recommend once a week. And, make sure you use your rice water within five to seven days to keep it from going bad.


Pro tip: To avoid build-up on the scalp and hair, we recommend a clarifying shampoo once a week.


The results

If you’re looking for long, shiny, and more manageable hair, rice water is one of your best options. After the first use, I noticed it was way easier to detangle my curls and my hair felt softer than ever. Now, having used it for three months, I’m never going back!


For more trendy haircare, check out the ingredient that is the key to dandruff-free hair and which essential oils are good for hair growth.