There are many ways to DIY your way to strong and healthy hair! From deep conditioning hair masks to hot oil treatments that are good for your roots, these at-home fixes can give you an advantage in hair care. While you should never rely on them for “curing” serious issues, they can be used to enhance the natural state of your hair and add some extra TLC. One of these DIY treatments that is good for your mane (and so easy to do) is rice water!

The use of rice water for hair is a well-known practice in many cultures. But does it really work? And why is it so popular? Well, we are answering your most pressing questions about this age-old hair ritual, check it out.


1. Prevalence of using rice water for hair

Prevalence of using rice water for hair

Using rice water is in no way a recent discovery. Chinese, Japanese and South Asian women have been using it for centuries for hair upkeep. In fact, the use of rice water for hair goes way back to the Hein period (794 to 1185 CE) in Japan, where court women sported their floor-length hair as a sign of health and vitality. The secret? Bathing and conditioning their hair in rice water every single day!


2. Benefits of using rice water for hair

Benefits of using rice water for hair

  • It detangles hair -

Infused with many vitamins, the slick texture of rice water helps soothe your strands and detangle them, making your hair more manageable and easier to brush without causing breakage.

  • It makes hair smoother -

Rice water is known to have the beneficial properties of amino acids, which can bond with your hair strands and nourish them from within.

  • It makes hair shinier -

Rich in vitamin E, rice water lends a shiny and glossy finish to frizzy and dull hair.

  • It prevents greying -

The antioxidants present in rice water help reverse age damage on your hair and promote cell regeneration from the inside. This also strengthens it to fight environmental damage from dust and pollution.

  • It aids hair growth -

Regular use of rice water can supply your hair with growth minerals, resulting in envious lengths that are thick and strong.


3. How to prepare rice water for the hair

How to prepare rice water for the hair

Follow this step-by-step guide to prepare rice water:

  • Step 01: Clean your rice -

It is important that you clean the rice to get rid of any dirt or impurities; they can ruin the rice water otherwise. Rinse and strain your rice until the water runs clear. 

  • Step 02: Extract the water -

After washing, it is time to extract the rice water. Mix the clean rice in a bowl with purified water and stir until the water turns cloudy. Strain the rice and keep it for later.

  • Step 03:

Allow the rice water to ferment - Store the rice water in a glass container and cover it with a lid. Let it ferment at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours. The fermentation process is what brings out all the vitamins and minerals that nourish your hair. Do not let it sit for more than 24 hours, as it can go bad.

  • Step 04: Apply -

It is best to use your rice water right away for the desired results. If you do wish to store it, you can do it in an empty shampoo or spray bottle and keep it in the refrigerator for up to a week.


4. How to use rice water for hair

How to use rice water for hair

There are a couple of ways to use rice water for your hair. Make sure you are storing it in an easy-to-use air-tight container to get the most out of it. Use it as a rinse after you shampoo and condition your hair for a quick glossy texture. You can also use it as a hair mask by mixing aloe vera and a few drops of your favourite essential oil for added benefits. Some even like to spray rice water on their hair on a daily basis as a leave-in conditioner. So do what suits your hair routine best!


5. Precautions to take while using rice water for hair

Precautions to take while using rice water for hair

Using rice water on hair is free of any side effects. It is one of the easiest DIY ways to get strong, shiny hair without worrying about adverse effects. However, there is one thing you need to be careful about. After all, you are fermenting the rice water before using it. The fermentation process alters the pH value of your scalp, so you have to make sure it is not ruined beyond safe use. Smell your batch of rice water before using it every single time. When a sour smell appears, it is time to discard it and make a fresh batch!


6. Did you know?

Did you know?

As mentioned before, rice water has been used by women in Asian cultures for ages. The modern-day equivalent of the Heian women is the Yao women living in China. With hair lengths averaging 6 ft, these women are known for fermenting rice water and using it in their beauty routines. They also show no signs of hair greying before their 80s!


7. FAQs about rice water for hair

FAQs about rice water for hair

1) Can I use rice water in my hair overnight?

A. Yes, you can use rice water as an overnight mask for your hair. But make sure you do not leave it on for more than 18 hours as there are chances of bacterial growth with rice water, which can lead to itching and flaking of the scalp.

2) Can I keep rice water in a spray bottle and use it daily?

A. Rice water can be stored for up to 24 hours at room temperature and for up to a week in the refrigerator. The batch will ferment and degrade after that time period. It is recommended to use rice water either on the same day or the next and not more than once a day.

3) Do you follow up on a rice water rinse with a conditioner?

A. No, if you're just rinsing the hair with rice water, there is no need for a conditioner after. But if you are using a rice water hair mask for more than 10 minutes, do follow it up with a deep hydration conditioner to introduce moisture back into your tresses.