DIY Hair Care

Rice Water Hair Rinse – How to Make It and My Experience with It

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Using rice water as a hair rinse is not really a new thing. Apparently, during the Heian period (794 to 1185 CE), Japanese women had floor-length hair. And they used rice baths to keep it strong, healthy and beautiful.

Today, the Yao women from the Huangluo village in China successfully use rice water for hair growth and to keep their hair shiny and grey-free. They entered the Guinness Book of Records as “the world’s longest hair village”.

These women’s hair is extremely long (most of them have their hair longer than 1.4 meters). Just imagine how difficult it must be to nourish and maintain it.

But they swear by rice water as a perfect natural product that helps them to keep their hair long, healthy and glowing.

Using rice water for hair became a huge thing lately in the rest of the world as well. You can see it all over YouTube and social media – the glorifying reviews of how rice water transformed many girls’ hair.

I just had to try it out for myself and see if it really works.

Benefits of Rice Water for Hair

An infographic showing the benefits of rice water for hair

Rice water contains vitamin B8 (also called inositol or biotin), which is a carbohydrate that repairs damaged hair. Inositol actually stays in your hair even after you rinse off the rice water and it keeps protecting your hair from damages.

Rice water is also filled with antioxidants, minerals, amino acids and vitamin E. It encourages hair growth, makes the hair smooth, thick and strong, detangles it and adds shine.

So, rice water has a lot to offer to your hair. But, what we really want to use here is fermented rice water.

What is fermented rice water? Well, that is a rice water that has been left out of the fridge for a bit too long and is, for all intents and purposes, spoiled.

You know – something you open, sniff, realize it smells so bad your eyes water. And then you throw it away.

Except that this time – we will be pouring it through our hair.

At this moment, you’re probably asking yourself if I am crazy. And the answer is – kinda, but that’s not really the point right now. What matters is, even though this “fermented rice water for hair” sounds oh-so-off-putting, it actually works!

Fermented rice water contains a significantly higher amount of antioxidants. Fermentation enhances the benefits of rice water for your hair and brings the pH level of the rice water closer to that of your hair.

If you want to try out rice water rinse for your hair, follow the instructions down below. And always use organic rice – we don’t want any toxins and pesticides in our hair. Here’s the recipe:

How to Make Rice Water Hair Rinse

An infographic showing the recipe for rice water hair rinse

  • 1/2 cup rice
  • ¾ – 1 cup water

First, put the rice into a strainer and wash under running water. You only need to remove possible debris – don’t wash it for too long or you’ll wash off all the good stuff that rice contains, and that we want to keep in our rice water.

The ingredients for rice water - a jar half filled with rice and a glass of water

When your rice is clean, put it into a jar and cover with water. Put on the lid and leave your jar like that for 2 – 3 days, depending on the rice you’ve used and how hot the weather is. During that time, the rice water will ferment.

Rice soaking in water overnight

Then, strain the rice and keep the water. Do not pour the pure rice water onto your hair! You need to dilute it first, or it will be too strong and it can make your hair feel brittle to touch. (Apparently, too much protein for your hair can be counterproductive.)

So, fill the rest of the jar with water and shake. My jar usually gets filled with rice water to about 1/3, so I add around twice as much of plain water.

And here’s a cool little trick to neutralize the smell – add a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil! I like to use jasmine, sometimes lavender. But whatever you have on hand at the moment will work.

Shake everything well, and your rice water is ready for use.

How to Use Rice Water Rinse:

First wash and condition your hair as you normally would. When you rinse off the conditioner, soak the excess water from your hair with a towel. Then pour the rice water through your hair. Don’t worry if some of it ends up on your face – rice water is great for your skin as well!

Massage the rice water rinse into your hair and scalp for a few minutes. Let your hair soak in it for a while. Then just squeeze out the excess water and rinse it out of your hair. If you can, let your hair dry naturally. If not, blow dry and style it as usual.

My Review – What I’ve Noticed after Using Rice Water for My Hair

Finished rice water ready to be used as a hair rinse and the strained rice next to it

So, I’ve been using rice water for over two months now and here are some changes I’ve noticed in my hair:

First, if we are talking about the length, I didn’t notice some significant difference. My hair grew pretty much the same as it usually would, maybe just a little bit faster. It did, however, started to thicken a bit, especially around my temples and above my forehead.

Since I started using the rice water rinse, my hair became lighter and more flexible. It also got some extra volume. And I noticed it is much easier to style it now.

And then, there’s the fact that my hair simply looks, feels and seems healthier! Rice water definitely makes my hair stronger. It also adds shine and makes the hair more manageable.

The biggest drawback is that, when I use it too often, my hair does get a bit brittle to touch. Nothing major, and my hair still looks great. But from now on, I will probably be using rice water sparingly, maybe once or twice a month.

I hope you got inspired to try rice water hair rinse for yourself. If you did, or if you have any questions, let me know in the comments…


(1) Comment

  1. Naman Bhutani says:

    Thanks for sharing this article , I also wrote on this topic like you and this is best article on this topic .

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