There are so many benefits to using rice water for hair, it’s a case of why wouldn’t you use it?! Here are some of the amazing benefits, but it takes time, patience, and consistency to see long-term improvements in the hair. If you want to get the best results from using rice water, you need to do it consistently (weekly) for at least 4-6 weeks, sometimes longer.
- Increases hair elasticity, and bounce
- Strengthens and thickens the hair
- Adds volume, softness, curl definition and shine
- Smooths hair cuticle
- Reduces dandruff
- Promotes and stimulates hair growth
- Dissolves hard water build up
- Reduces hair loss
- Relieves dry, irritated, itchy and flaky scalp
- Penetrates the hair shaft to repair the hair from within
- Continues to repair damage after use, shampoo and rinsing
- Moisturising, antioxidant and repairing properties
- Improves manageability
- Prevents hair from future damage
- Gentle, mild cleanser
- Improves overall condition of the hair
- Stimulates blood flow to the scalp
- Nourishes hair follicles at the root
Tik Tok Trend or Backed by Science?
The many benefits of rice water are not just a “TikTok Trend.” Rice water rinses date back thousands of years, and are backed up with numerous studies. According to the International Journal of Science, extracts from rice water are effective in maintaining the hair health. Another proven benefit is its ability to improve the hair’s elasticity and reduce surface friction, as in this study published in Journal of Cosmetic Chemists.
Inositol is the key nutrient found in rice water, which strengthens and repairs the hair and increases hair elasticity, helping create a more defined curl pattern. Inositol stays inside the hair shaft, even after rinsing, offering continuing hair protection.
Rice Water Rinse
Most people do a rice water rinse, using the creamy, cloudy rice water to repeatedly rinse through the hair. Often using fermented rice water, which is more potent, and two bowls. One to pour the rice water on your hair, the other to catch the rice water so you can repeat as necessary. If you choose to do it this way, make sure to follow up with a good conditioner.
If you leave the rinse in your hair for any period of time, longer than just rinsing it through, you need to follow up with a deep conditioner for at least 20-30 minutes. There are 3 ways: boil, soak and ferment, I boil my rice. There are potential side effects if you ferment due to potential bacteria. But it’s meant to be the most potent of the three method, and gives the most dramatic, or noticeable, results. If you choose to ferment your rice, I wouldn’t recommend adding it to any deep conditioner.
My Modified Rice Water Rinse
I do things a little differently. The first time I did the rice water rinse and left it on my hair for 30 minutes, I didn’t deep condition for long enough afterwards, and my hair felt quite dry. Now I add a dollop of one of my favourite deep conditioners, Hairfinity’s Strengthening Amino Mask, and leave the modified mask on my hair for 45 minutes – 1 hour with my Curl Maven Heat Cap.