Rice water: The DIY secret to healthy hair growth

Rice water is the new haircare trend sweeping the internet, but it actually stems from an ancient practice. Here’s how it works.

Rice water is having a moment in the beauty sphere. Formulated into toners, cleansers and shampoos,this ingredient is excellent for the skinand hair and for those who love a self-care DIY, you can even make it at home.

Benefits of rice water for the hair

This DIY treatment is actually centuries old and has been traced back to countries like Japan, India - where it was an Ayurvedic treatment for hair, skin conditions and stomach ailments - as well as in China and the Huangluo Yao Village, where the women are known for their impossibly long hair. Most importantly, Cardi B swears by it.

There aren’t many studies on the benefits of rice water for hair. Limited literature contributes rice water’s benefits to optimum pH levels, anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. Not to mention rice itself is packed with vitamins, amino acids and trace minerals like zinc and magnesium, all of which help promote hair shine, strength and growth.

The starch in rice water also works well to coat the hair shaft, preventing damage and reducing overall frizz.

How to use rice water on the hair

Rice water treatments are beneficial for all hair types and act the same way as a protein mask. As such, you should use rice water at the same rate as a protein treatment - about once a week.

To make DIY rice water, you really only need two things - rice and water - Some people choose to add in some drops of essential oils for the smell. If you tend to suffer from a sensitive scalp, then it would be best to avoid that step.

There are three ways to make rice water.

Basic rice water

To make the most basic rice water, take your rice and rinse it thoroughly. Then, place your rice in a bowl and add water at a 1:2 ratio. Let this mixture sit for up to 24 hours before using the water on your hair.

Boiled rice water

Boling rice water is much the same as making the basic version. First, rinse the rice to clean it. Afterwards, instead of soaking the rice, put it in a pot with water and boil it until it becomes cloudy. The heat used in this method helps extract nutrients from the rice at a faster rate.

Fermented rice water

Fermented rice water takes a little longer to make. First, rinse your rice thoroughly to wash it. Then, place your rice and an airtight jar and fill it with water; this is also when you’d want to apply any essential oils. Close the jar and let the rice water ferment at room temperature. Fermenting could take anywhere from 72 hours to a week; you’ll notice when the concoction is ready as the water will be full of bubbles.

Before using the fermented rice water, place it in the fridge for 24 hours to stop the fermentation process.

There are just as many ways to use rice water as there are to make it. Your DIY hair potion can be used as a pre-shampoo cleanse, a protein mask, co-wash, or even a rinse treatment. If you don’t use all of it, your rice water can be stored in the fridge for up to one week.

Beauty hack: rice water could be the haircare tip you've been missing out on Beauty hack: rice water could be the haircare tip you've been missing out on