If you want to see an immediate difference in your hair’s health, try using rice water for natural hair. Rice water has been traditionally used for hundreds of years in China and Japan. In fact, the Yao women of China are credited with having the longest hair in the world. With lengths of over six feet, their hair looks strong, thick, and shiny.
Using a DIY concoction like rice water is almost always beneficial to hair, but getting started can be a challenge. Making rice water at home takes special preparation, but it will be easy to do once you learn how.
In this post, you’ll find out about the benefits of rice water and how to make it at home to improve the health of your natural hair. You’ll know all about this amazing rice water hair rinse by the time you finish reading.
Rice Water Benefits for Hair
Rice water is surprisingly helpful to hair because it contains an impressive array of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids. If you’re suffering from alopecia or thinning, rice water can be a real game changer. Here’s a breakdown of the nutrients, and how they benefit your hair:
- Amino acids. These nutrients are the building blocks of protein. Rice water contains 16% protein, making it an effective DIY protein treatment. Use it to strengthen your hair, and add sheen by smoothing the cuticle.
- Inositol. This nutrient is found in rice water and acts to increase hair elasticity, making the hair more strong and flexible. This flexibility helps to create a more defined curl pattern.
- Selenium. This mineral destroys Malassezia, the yeast responsible for dandruff. Killing off the yeast can help hair to grow healthy and thick.
- Magnesium. If you have hard water, you probably have calcium buildup on your scalp and hair. This film can smother hair follicles and leave hair hard and brittle. Magnesium will help to dissolve the calcium and uncover hair follicles so that your hair can grow.
- Folic acid. Also known as vitamin B9, folic acid helps to thicken and strengthen hair. You can get it by eating fruits and veggies, but using rice water will allow your hair and scalp to absorb it topically.
- Thiamine. As you probably know, stress is a significant cause of hair loss and maintaining a stressful lifestyle can lead to thinning. Thiamine is also known as vitamin B1, and it can help reverse hair loss by relieving stress. This vitamin will give your hair shine and bounce.
- Niacin. This nutrient is also called vitamin B3. It can transform dull and weak hair by improving blood circulation, repairing follicle cells, and reducing scalp inflammation. Applying it directly to the scalp will help to stimulate hair follicles.
- Vitamin K. As you age, your skull can become more calcified. This calcification can affect the hair follicles and cause hair loss. Vitamin K works to lift calcium buildup so that the follicle can push keratin out and grow hair.
- Pitera Yeast. Pitera is a unique yeast found in fermented rice water. It works like an anti-aging elixir for the skin and hair by helping to regenerate cells and rejuvenate the scalp. Fermented rice water is more effective than plain rice water, and it doesn’t take much more effort, so it is well worth the extra time.
Rice water for Hair Growth
Rice water is chock-full of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, and it is used by the Yao women of China to achieve long hair. Use this hair rinse, along with a healthy diet and careful hair regimen to grow longer and thicker hair.
Rice water restores the pH balance of your hair and creates the perfect environment for growing hair when applied at the root. It will moisturize the hair, heal the scalp, and add manageability.
Want to wash your hair with rice water instead of shampoo? Try washing hair with cooked rice water if you’re following a no-poo regimen. Rice water contains saponins that work like mild cleansers. It will provide nutrients, soften the curls and stimulate growth while cleansing the scalp.
Rice water will also help you to retain growth by smoothing the cuticles and lessening surface friction. Less friction means that strands won’t become tangled and weak as they rub against each other. Rice water helps them to slide apart easier.
Can I leave rice water in my hair? Most people use a rice water hair rinse, but you might be wondering about trying a rice water leave-in conditioner.
Rice water penetrates the hair shaft and keeps repairing damage long after you use it, but you can also do a leave-in conditioner by diluting it with distilled water. You’ll probably want to use the unfermented version for your rice water hair spray, as fermented rice water can smell sour.
How Do I Use Rice Water in My Hair?
By now you’re probably wondering how to make rice water. There are many ways to prepare it, so you’ll want to test different methods. You can either boil the rice or use a no-boil method. You’ll need to decide whether to ferment afterward.
Fermented rice water is probably the most potent because it contains the unique pitera yeast that is valuable for stimulating hair growth. But if you’re using it as a leave-in, you may want a less sour version. You’ll find both recipes below.
Use any rice for the rice water rinse, but be sure to choose organic. Conventional rice has too many toxins, so always pick an organic version of brown, white, jasmine, basmati, or whichever you prefer.
There are no exact measurements for the rice water hair rinse. However, you’ll want to add more water than you’d typically use to cook rice. Keep in mind that the less water you use, the more potent your rinse will be.
For extra benefits, use distilled water. This particular water is softer than plain water, and you may find you prefer it for healing treatments. Follow the recipe below.
Rice Water Hair Rinse
- Approx. ½ Cup Rice
- 2-3 Cups Distilled or Plain Water
- Large Pyrex Cup
- Applicator or Spray Bottle
- Clean the rice in water until the water is clear. Discard water.
- Place water and rice in a saucepan and let it come to a boil.
- Remove the saucepan from heat and strain rice water into Pyrex cup.
- Pour the rinse into an applicator bottle after cooling or proceed with fermenting instructions.
- Leave the rice water to sit in a warm room for 12-24 hours. A sour smell will form as the water ferments.
- Pour the water into a saucepan and re-boil.
- Pour it back into the Pyrex cup and let it cool slightly.
- Pour the rice water into an applicator or spray bottle for use.
If you’d prefer to use a no-boil method, the sequence is almost the same. Just place the rice and water in a container and swirl it with a spoon instead of letting it boil. Let it sit for 30-45 minutes, and then it will be ready to strain and use. Or, consider fermenting from this point to make a more potent recipe.
How to Use Rice Water
Follow these instructions to get the most use out of your rice water:
- Shampoo your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo.
- Apply a moisturizing conditioner.
- Use an applicator or spray bottle to saturate the hair and scalp in the rice water.
- Place a plastic cap over your hair and leave for 30-60 minutes.
- Rinse your hair, and style as usual.
Ready to try rice water? Use rice water for relaxed hair or natural curls. It will repair damaged hair strands and give them more shine and bounce. Do the rice water rinse once per week for longer, thicker hair. You may even see a big difference the very first day you use it.
Have you tried rice water for natural hair, and if so, what were the results?