Rice Water for Hair: Benefits and Side Effects in 2020

Rice Water for Hair: Benefits and Side Effects in 2020
July 30, 2020 Ellis James

Is rice water good for your hair?

Have you been hearing more and more about how using rice water could benefit your hair? Are you curious if these claims are accurate and wondering if you should start using rice water on your hair? Eastern societies have long touted how effective rice water can be for growing and strengthening hair. And, while there haven’t been any scientific studies that have proven this claim, rice water continues to gain popularity due to the positive experiences many have had when using it.

So, is rice water good for your hair? What does rice water do for your hair? What are the side effects of rice water on hair? Read through our article to find out the answers to these questions and many more to help you decide if you want to add rice water to your haircare routine.

MyKirei By Kao Shampoo with Japanese Tsubaki & Rice Water for Hair, Sustainable Bottle, 10.1 Ounces

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What Happens When You Put Rice Water on Your Hair?

Side Effects of Rice Water on Hair

Curious to find out what happens when you use rice water in your hair? Keep reading to find out some of the benefits of rice water for hair as well as possible bad effects of rice water on your hair.


Benefits of Rice Water for Your Hair

While there haven’t been scientific studies done on the benefits of using rice water, individuals of rice water have shared many benefits they experienced when adding it to their haircare routine. Rice water is rich in nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, potassium, fiber, and manganese. These nutrients can have a positive effect on your hair and its appearance.

Rice water can help strengthen hair, reduce frizz, improve the overall texture of hair, moisturize hair, and may even help repair damaged cells. Rice water is also very rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are believed to help cleanse the scalp of toxins. Many believe that this can help prevent hair loss or premature graying.

If you want to experience these potential benefits of using rice water, be sure to follow the recommendations from experts on how it should be used. We’ll share some of these recommendations below.


Is rice water good for your hair?

Rice water has been shown to help improve the look and feel of hair for many users. It can help eliminate split ends, reduce frizziness, and rehydrate hair.

Medical News Today shares that some have found a correlation between using rice water and noticing a decrease in friction and an increase in the elasticity of their hair. Rice water also contains inositol, which is believed to strengthen hair.

MyKirei By Kao Conditioner with Japanese Tsubaki & Rice Water for Hair, Sustainable Bottle, 10.1 Ounces

What does rice water do for your hair?

Everyone’s hair is different, so it is likely that your experiences with using a rice water hair treatment will vary from what other people have shared. Some of the possible benefits you may experience include stronger hair, softer hair, more elastic hair, and an overall improvement in the way your hair looks. Some people even believe that washing hair with rice water can help your hair grow, but this has yet to be scientifically proven.

Interested in reading more about how rice water could benefit your hair? Healthline details some of the benefits one user experienced when she used rice water in her hair.


Can rice water damage your hair?

You will want to be cautious using rice water, especially with certain hair types. If you have fine hair, it is possible the using rice water may dry them out too much and make them brittle. If you have low-porosity hair, using rice water may damage your hair and dry it out too quickly due to proteins building up on the hair.

Also, if you have a dry scalp using rice water too much can make your hair too dry, and cause problems. If you do have a dry scalp and try rice water, you will want to make sure you add something back to your hair to rehydrate it after your rice water treatment.


Can you leave rice water in your hair?

Experts recommend using a 15- to 30-minute treatment when you use rice water.

This is all the time the rice water needs to deliver its benefits to your hair.


Can rice water reverse gray hair?

There aren’t any scientific studies that support rice water reversing gray hair, but many speculate that it could have a positive effect on hair color and at lease prevent future graying. The nutrients in rice water are rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants can work to draw the toxins out of your scalp, which could decrease the chances of your hair turning gray in the future.


Can I leave rice water in my hair overnight?

No, you shouldn’t leave rice water in your hair overnight. It only takes a 15- to 30-minute treatment for you to experience the benefits of using rice water. After the rice water is rinsed from your hair, the nutrients will stay in your hair and continue to work.


Can I apply rice water to my hair every day?

If you’ve been wondering, “Can I apply rice water to my hair every day,” it is important to note that experts recommend not over using rice water. It could end up damaging your hair or drying it out. Most experts recommend using it only a few times a week.


Is boiled rice water good for hair?

Yes, boiling rice water is one of the suggested methods for preparing a rice hair treatment. You can experience many of the benefits shared above, such as stronger, smoother, and shinier hair, when you use boiled rice water.


How do you boil rice water for your hair?

Making boiled rice water is simple. Place one cup of water with ½ cup rice in a pot on the stove and bring it to a boil. Strain the water out and place it in a clean container. When you are ready to treat your hair, you will want to dilute the boiled rice water. The amount of oil in your hair will impact how diluted you want it to be, but many people recommend starting with 1 part rice water solution to 10 parts clean water.


Can rice water be used as a leave-in conditioner?

You want to let rice water set in your hair, but you don’t want to leave it in for too long, so you’ll still want to rinse it out. It is recommended to let rice water sit on your hair and scalp for no more than 30 minutes.


Is rice water a protein treatment?

Yes, rice water is a protein treatment for your hair because of the amino acids found in it.

The amino acids can help make your hair smoother and shinier, detangle your hair, and strengthen your hair.


Can you use rice water for hair growth?

Some people have speculated that the amino acids, vitamins B, C, and E in a rice water treatment can help hair grow, but there have not been any scientific studies completed to prove these claims.

However, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence from users about the benefits of using rice water. It can help make your hair healthier, which could stimulate growth. Rice water also helps moisturize hair, increases the volume of hair, repairs split ends, and improves the texture of hair.

If you’re interested in hearing more about the potential benefits of rice water on hair growth, check out this video on her experiences using rice water:


How long does it take for rice water to grow your hair?

Since there haven’t been any scientific studies on rice water for hair loss and the fact that everyone’s hair is different, there is not definitive answer to this question. However, if the rice water is going to help your hair, you shouldn’t expect to see results right away. It will likely take at least a month, if not more, before you begin to notice a change.


Washing Hair with Rice Water

If you’re planning to use rice water on your hair, there are a few different steps you’ll want to take:

  • Wash your hair with your normal shampoo and rinse all of the shampoo out of your hair
  • Pour the rice water onto your hair and rub it into your hair and scalp
  • Allow the treatment to sit for between 15 and 30 minutes
  • Using warm water, rinse the rice water out of your hair.

Many people recommend adding a teaspoon of amla, shikakai, or another natural clarified to your rice water before using it. This can help prevent the rice water from building up in your hair after multiple uses.


How to Make Rice Water for Natural Hair

There are a few different ways to make rice water. You may want to experiment with which method produces the best results for you.

Soaking Method:

  • Rinse 1 cup of rice
  • Put it in a bowl with 2 to 3 cups of water
  • Let it soak for around 30 minutes
  • Strain the rice water into a clean container

Boiling Method:

  • Bring 1 cup of water and ½ cup of rice to a boil on the stove
  • Strain the water out into a clean container
  • Before using the rice water, dilute it. Different hair types may need to use different dilution ratio
  • You can start with 1 part rice water solution mixed with 10 parts clean water and see how it works on your hair

Fermentation Method:

  • Put 1 cup of rice in a bowl with 2 to 3 cups of water
  • Let it soak for 30 minutes then strain the rice water into a clean jar
  • Leave the jar out on your counter for 24 hours
  • Place the jar in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days
  • Mix the fermented rice water with 1 to 2 cups of warm water in a spray bottle and use it to spray your hair


Washing hair with fermented rice can help rebalance the pH levels of rice water. Gives the water more antioxidants than the other methods.

Mixing essential oils into fermented rice water can help decrease its potent smell. Essential oils can also help if you have a damaged or itchy scalp. Some essential oils you can try adding to your fermented rice water include geranium, rosemary, and lavender.

If you’re interested in trying fermented rice water, take a few minutes to watch this video below. User ShAnLiTho shares her experiences with using fermented rice water and her recommendations for how long you’ll want to leave the rice water sitting in the fridge.


Products with Rice Water

Don’t have time to try DIY-ing your own rice water recipe?

Why not try some products with rice water incorporated in their formula that work?

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:


MyKirei by Kao Nourishing Conditioner

MyKirei By Kao Conditioner with Japanese Tsubaki & Rice Water for Hair, Sustainable Bottle, 10.1 Ounces

View on Amazon


This conditioner is made using rice water and Japanese Tsubaki extract.

Its nourishing formula is designed to rehydrate hair while making it stronger, softer, and smoother.


Uhuru Naturals Fermented Rice Water DEEP Conditioner

Uhuru Naturals Fermented Rice Water DEEP Conditioner (4oz) Brand Name: Uhuru Naturals

View on Amazon


Formulated with rice water, this conditioner can help improve the look and feel of your hair.

You’ll notice softer, stronger, and more vibrant hair when you add this product to your routine.


Mimosu Rice Water for Hair Growth Tea Bags

Rice Water for Hair Growth DIY Tea Bags, Natural Deep Conditioner & Detangler, Nourished Organic Rice Protein to Help Regrowth & Repair Damaged Hair, Curly Girl Method Fermented Rice Water Hair Growth

View on Amazon


This product is designed to help you easily make your own rice water or fermented rice water at home.

Each tea bag is filled with rice power. All you need to do is place the tea bag in a container of water and let it soak.

The rice in each bag is organic and enriched to ensure it contains plenty of vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin E, and other beneficial proteins and minerals.


Closing Thoughts

Well, that was a lot of information about rice water! We hope you’ve gained the knowledge you need to decide if you are ready to give rice water a try in your hair. There are definitely some great benefits you may experience if you do.

Check out more posts on our blog:


What are your thoughts on the side effects of rice water on hair?

Comments (12)

  1. Nicola 6 months ago

    This is so interesting, id never heard of using rice water before. Great post x

  2. Aimsy 6 months ago

    I have never heard of using rice water for a hair treatment before. This post was so interesting!
    Thanks for sharing!

    Aimsy xoxo
    Aimsy’s Antics

  3. Giulia 6 months ago

    Never heard of this before! And I was super excited about trying it until I read that it’s possible it can dry out fine hair. Sigh. But otherwise, I totally would!

    • It’s an interesting natural ingredient for sure, but unfortunately not forgiving for everyone!

  4. Sophie Wentworth 6 months ago

    I’ve never heard of this method before so I was really interested in this. I was wondering if it would be good for hair growth too knowing how the vitamins found in rice can also help hair. I was really interested in trying this until I got to the bit about the dry scalp. Mine is very dry and sensitive so this all sounds a bit risky for me! x


    • Probably best to avoid this if that’s already the case of your scalp, you’re right! Happy to shed some light on rice water, Sophie!

  5. Lovely 5 months ago

    This is my first time to know about the rice water for hair, thanks for sharing!



  6. Tiziana Olbrich 5 months ago

    Wow I never heard about using rice water for the hair, but it sounds amazing!
    Thanks for sharing

    have a great day,


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