When it comes to showering, you probably think you have everything figured out: rinse, lather, repeat. But as it turns out, making a small tweak to your hair routine, like adding a rice-water rinse, can add a lot of benefits. The tradition of rinsing your hair with rice water originates in Asia but is recently gaining widespread popularity thanks to social media – namely, TikTok. In this special beauty ritual, the water left behind from rinsing rice is used as a soak for your hair.
If you’re new to the practice of using rice water for hair, keep reading to learn more.
Benefits of Rice Water For Hair Growth
Putting rice water on your hair for growth is fairly easy. The idea is that after shampooing, you pour rice water over your head and let it sit for two to three minutes. Then, you rinse the rice water out. It leaves your hair looking shinier and feeling stronger, and some people even say that rice water is good for hair growth. Because of the recent spike in popularity, the hashtag for #RiceWater on TikTok has gotten over 711.5 million views.
This isn’t another one of those beauty trends that is better left untried — the water left over from rice is actually loaded with nutrients that pack beauty benefits, including the ability to soothe and hydrate dry skin. That’s why you’ll see the ingredient listed in a few of your favorite hair and skin-care products. This includes the MyKirei by KAO Shampoo ($20), Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Rice Water Protein + Moisture Strengthening Hair Treatment ($44), and Inala Reset Rinse ($30).
How to Make Rice Water For Hair
Though there are a handful of products on the market formulated with rice water, you can DIY it. All you need is the following items:
- White rice
- Two bowls
Once you have all of your materials, you can begin the following steps:
Step 1: To start, simply place your uncooked white rice in a strainer and rinse it under running water — just like you do before cooking it to eat.
Step 2: Then, place the rinsed rice in a bowl with two cups of water. To extract the most nutrients from the rice, leave it to sit for 24 hours on the counter.
Step 3: The next day, strain the rice from the bowl and just like that — you have your hair-straightening liquid.
Step 4: To apply it to your head, you can either use a spray bottle, like the Alpree Hair Spray Bottle Continuous Water Mister ($10), or dip your hair directly into the bowl.
Side Effects of Rice Water on Hair
Giving your hair a rice water soak can be great for increasing shine and boosting strength, but there are some side effects that you should be aware of. This hack isn’t suitable for all hair types and you should take into consideration your hair porosity, aka your hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture, before trying it. Rice water can cause protein overload, where your hair absorbs too much protein, causing it to become dry, brittle, and more prone to breakage. Additionally, a rice water rinse can also exacerbate dry skin on the scalp.
To learn more about incorporating rice water into your hair routine, watch the tutorials ahead.
— Additional reporting by Allie Merriam