Rice Water for Hair: Preparation, How to Use, Benefits & Side Effects

Most of us have likely heard the term “rice water”, but what is it, and how can we use it for our hair? Rice water for thick, long, and beautiful hair is quite a popular topic on social media. However, is rice water good for hair, or it’s just one of those trending social media topics? 

This post discusses how to make rice water for hair and use it on your hair. We also share some rice water benefits for hair, as well as the effects of rice water on hair.

Using rice water for hair growth is not a recent technique. Research reveals that women of Southeast Asia, Japan, and China have used rice water for centuries. In ancient times, especially during the Heian Period, women in Japan had long, beautiful hair, and the secret was rice water.

Rice water is nothing else but water left over after cooking rice. Loaded with amino acids, vitamins A, B, and E, and antioxidants, rice water also contains minerals that are excellent for your hair, such as phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium.

What is rice water?

As mentioned earlier, the leftover water after cooking rice is rice water. And believe it or not, it’s good for our hair! Rice water is a rich source of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and protein-forming amino acids. These are great for hair, as they help keep it healthy and strong and promote growth and shine. 

How to make rice water for hair?

Making rice water is relatively easy and quick. Do it using just two ingredients: rice and water. 

Here is a simple process to prepare and use rice water for hair:

  • Cook a pot of rice.
  • Let the rice cool down.
  • Pour the rice water into a bottle or a jar.
  • Apply the rice water over the hair length.
  • Allow it to rest for 20-30 minutes.
  • Rinse hair with cold water.

There are a few things to mind while using rice water for hair growth:

  • Use fresh rice water and not leftover water from the day before.
  • Do not apply too much rice water to the hair, as it can make it greasy. When it comes to rice water, a little goes a long way!
  • After application, let the rice water rest for at least 20 minutes to be effective.
  • Rinse hair with cold water to seal in the nutrients.

How to use rice water for hair

You can use rice water on its own or combine it with other ingredients to create a DIY hair treatment. However, if you are not into DIY too much, you can buy ready-to-use rice water shampoo, conditioner, and hair masks. Multiple brands make products with rice water. 

You can use rice water in a few different ways:

As a conditioner after shampoo: Pour some rice water on wet hair. You can also pour rice water into a spray bottle and spritz it on your hair. Massage it into your scalp and leave it on for a few minutes. Then, rinse it out. 
As a hair mask for hair treatment: Pour a cup of rice water into a bowl, then add some of your favorite essential oils (like rosemary or lavender oil). Apply the mixture to the hair, cover your head with a shower cap, and leave it on for an hour or two. Rinse well with shampoo followed by conditioner.

Benefits of rice water for hair

Here are some ways in which rice water benefits hair: 

  • It works as a natural conditioner. Additionally, it strengthens and softens hair texture, which is why it’s often used as a pre-shampoo treatment.
  • It is a good source of antioxidants, which protect hair from damage. Rice water can help get the shine back if you have dull hair.
  • It contains inositol, which helps strengthen hair. So, if you have weak and brittle hair, use rice water for hair fall control.
  • It can also help promote hair growth. It has amino acids, aiding the regeneration process and helping grow hair faster. 
  • It also helps soften hair strands, so if you have rough, tangled hair, using rice water can help detangle hair easier.

Side effects of rice water for hair

You might be wondering if there are any side effects to using rice water on your hair. And the answer is, yes, there can be. 

Some side effects of rice water on hair are mentioned below:

  • Rice water is high in starch and can stiffen hair, making it difficult to manage. It can also leave a film on the hair, making it look greasy.
  • If you have a protein sensitivity, avoid using rice water on your hair, as it’s high in protein.
  • Rice water can also dry out hair, so if you have dry hair, to begin with, use the rice water hair treatment sparingly.
  • If you have a dry scalp, restrain from using rice water. 

Now the question arises, is rice water suitable for colored or chemically treated hair? The answer is yes. Even if you have colored hair or go for smoothing or straightening or any other hair treatments or therapy, you can still use rice water for your hair. Rice water helps enhance protein in hair, which benefits any hair type, be it natural, damaged, or treated.

Hopefully, this article answered the question, “is rice water good for hair?” Rice water is a traditional hack used in multiple parts of Asia for years. However, thanks to social media, it is well discussed now, and we know about this century-old secret. 

So why wait? Give rice water a try and see how it works for you!

FAQs on rice water for hair

Are there any side effects of using rice water? 

Using rice water for your hair might worsen the situation if you have a dry scalp. Also, rice water is rich in protein, so if you have protein sensitivity, you should not use rice water for your hair. 

Does rice water make hair smelly?

Your hair shouldn’t smell if you use freshly made rice water. If you use rice water that has been boiled and refrigerated for 4-5 days, blend rice water with essential oils like lavender or peppermint oil to avoid pungent hair smells.

How to store rice water for later usage?

We suggest storing rice water in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Pour rice water into a jar or bottle, close the lid, and keep it. However, it may need to be diluted with water before use.

How often can rice water be used?

While rice water is good for hair growth and strengthening, we recommend using rice water once a week. Using rice water every day can make your scalp and hair dry.

Is rice water suitable for all hair types?

Our research shows that rice water is suitable for all hair types. However, avoid using rice water if you have dry hair or dry scalp issues. Rice water might make it worse.

Does rice water cause hair damage?

Studies show that rice water is a good source of protein and vitamins that your hair requires. However, as rice water is high in protein, if you have protein sensitivity or dry scalp and hair, abstain from using rice water as it might damage your hair.

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