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Home arrow Beauty arrow Hair arrow Unlock the Secrets of Rice Water for Hair Growth

Unlock the Secrets of Rice Water for Hair Growth

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: March 25, 2023
7 min read 784 Views 0 Comments
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There are many online trends surrounding faster hair growth, with most of them being myths. The latest news revolves around rice water, but is it a new miracle for your hair? We provide the benefits of rice water and how this new ingredient could promote healthy hair growth.

rice water for hair growth

Hair growth differs for everyone, depending on their age, genetics, diet, and current hair care routine. There’s no such thing as speedy hair growth, but you can use certain ingredients to achieve healthy hair strands.

Rice water is considered the new magic ingredient. It involves cooking rice in plain water and using the starchy liquid that is left over. Many believe this liquid is supposed to strengthen your hair and replenish your scalp.

Incorporating rice water into your routine can have many benefits, but how does it work? Discover the pros of using rice water and a DIY guide for making it at home. 

Rice Water for Hair Growth: Benefits and Side Effects

A quick rice water rinse can do wonders for your hair. Since rice is naturally packed with nutrients like vitamin E and zinc, the leftover starchy liquid could act as a strengthening treatment. It’s important to remember that some advantages also come with some side effects, especially for those with sensitive hair follicles. 

Below are some benefits and side effects of using rice water for hair growth: 

#1 Benefits of rice water

Adding rice water to your hair care routine can make a huge difference. It acts as a gentle cleanser to remove bacteria and replenish your scalp over time. The amino acids in rice can enhance hair growth and prevent hair loss. 

Here are the top benefits of rice water: 

  • Better shine and appearance 
  • Reduces inflammation on the scalp
  • More hair volume 
  • Removes bacteria build-up 
  • Supports your hair follicles 
  • Repairs cuticle damage

#2 Side effects of rice water

Rice water, when used excessively on the hair, can have some negative effects. This is only true for those who use rice water as a treatment every day. If you suffer from a dry scalp or have seborrheic dermatitis (scaly patches on the scalp), it might be best to avoid this ingredient to prevent extra flakiness. 

Some potential side effects include: 

  • Dry, flaky, and itchy skin 
  • Red rash 
  • Infections in open wounds 
  • Could worsen seborrheic dermatitis
  • Protein overload, which stops other treatments from working

What Is Rice Water?

Rice water is the starchy liquid left from cooking rice in water. This starch is supposed to fuel hair growth and leave your hair shiny and smooth. It contains a range of important nutrients, like vitamin B and inositol, which prevent premature hair loss. 

It’s believed that rice water is a nutritional powerhouse. Vitamins A, C, and E can promote hair growth for all hair types. Research suggests that the antioxidants in vitamin E (tocotrienols) help to prevent oxidative stress in the scalp, leading to stronger hair strands in just a few months. 

On top of that, inositol (sugar alcohol) increases blood flow to your scalp. This improves hair elasticity to ensure hair strands don’t break or split over time. 

Some other important minerals include magnesium, zinc, and manganese. Magnesium has been proven to strengthen hair follicle production to aid hair growth and maintain a healthy scalp. Zinc, being an immune-boosting mineral, could reverse baldness from certain conditions.

How to Make Rice Water at Home: DIY Guide

Rice water is easy to make, especially if you want to store a large batch. All you need is plain rice and water to create this magic ingredient. Just make sure to choose high-quality rice if you want to keep your hair shiny and smooth. For people with long or thick hair, you can double each recipe to ensure you have enough rice water. 

There are 3 ways you can make rice water at home: 

#1 Soaked rice water recipe

Add ½ cup of uncooked rice to a bowl containing 3 cups of plain water. Leave the rice to soak for 30 minutes to an hour if you don’t have time to leave the mixture overnight. Next, strain the rice water and put the starchy liquid into another clean bowl, ensuring there isn’t any rice left. 

You can leave the rice water in an air-tight container and store it in your refrigerator for up to one week. 

#2 Boiled rice water recipe

This method involves cooking rice like you normally would for a meal. Except for this recipe, you need to use double the amount of water. One cup of rice usually needs 1½ cups of water, so use 3 cups instead. 

Once the rice has cooked, drain the starchy liquid into a bowl and wait for it to cool down before using it. This can also help thicken the mixture when using it as a rice water treatment at home. 

Seal the rice water in an air-tight container and keep it in your refrigerator until its next use. This recipe can last 5–7 days under the right storage conditions. 

#3 Fermented rice water recipe

For a fermented version, rinse a cup of rice with water and add it to 2 cups of distilled water. Let that sit for 20 minutes, and stir the mixture every 5 minutes to ensure everything is well-incorporated.

After 20 minutes, drain the water and put it in a clean spray bottle. Leave this to ferment overnight if you want to use it as a strengthening conditioner or hair mask. Some people also leave it for 2–3 days to amplify the fermentation process. 

It’s believed that fermented rice water can last up to a month if you store it in a sealed container and leave it in your refrigerator, away from sunlight. 

How to Do a Rice Water Hair Rinse?

Shampoo your hair like normal, and then wash it out. Pour rice water onto your hair and gently massage the liquid into your scalp and ends. Leave this treatment on for 20–30 minutes before thoroughly washing it out. 

Rice water is best as a conditioning treatment due to its nourishing properties. You need to apply it after washing your hair with shampoo, as it needs to penetrate clean hair. The average wait time is 20 minutes, but you can leave it in for longer if your hair is damaged. 

You can also put rice water on dry hair and leave that on as a mask for 2–3 hours. Simply coat your hair with the mixture and then tie your hair into a bun. Make sure to rinse your hair properly in the shower to avoid leaving bits of starch on the scalp, as this might promote bacterial overgrowth. 

For those who have low-porosity hair, test rice water on a small patch of your hair to see how it feels. Don’t use this treatment if your hair strands become too dry. It’s important to remember that home remedies don’t work for everyone. 

Rice Water for Hair: Before and After

Rice water is a popular treatment that can stimulate hair growth, with people all around the world using this magic ingredient. If you don’t truly believe how rice water works, it’s worth looking at some outstanding results. 

Below are some before and after pictures of people who have used rice water for their hair: 

How to Choose the Best Rice for Rice Water?

You can use any type of rice to make rice water, but most people prefer wild rice because it contains more nutrients. Always choose organic options and make sure to clean the rice thoroughly beforehand. 

It doesn’t matter what rice you choose, as long as it’s organic. This ensures your fermented rice water is full of important minerals. Wild rice, being one of the healthiest options, contains vitamin K, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, and thiamin. 

Vitamin K has been proven to regenerate hair strands. It can aid hair growth by preventing the build-up of calcium on your scalp. Alongside this vitamin, phosphorus is beneficial for those who currently have a scalp condition since it aims to slow down hair loss. 

Choosing the correct rice is critical, but you also have to monitor your diet carefully. The foods you eat play a huge role in hair health. Follow a balanced diet that contains hair-friendly foods like smoked salmon, eggs, spinach, and avocado


How long should you leave rice water in your hair?

You can leave rice water in your hair for up to 20 minutes and then wash it out thoroughly with lukewarm or cold water. A lower temperature can help tighten your hair follicles and prevent dirt build-up. Some people leave it on their hair overnight, but this isn’t recommended for those who have a sensitive scalp.

How often can you use rice water on your hair?

The ideal usage is once or twice a week for rice water. Giving your hair time to breathe ensures you’re not blocking sebum oil production or the natural cleansing process. If you’ve never used rice water before, start applying it as a treatment once a week.

Does rice water make your hair thicker?

Yes, rice water can create the appearance of thicker hair, but its main function is to foster hair growth. This is because rice water contains larger proteins, which leave a thick coating on your natural hair strands.

A Word From a Trichologist

To achieve stronger hair strands, wash your hair with a nourishing shampoo and then apply rice water as a strengthening treatment. A rice water protein mixture helps the amino acids in rice to protect dyed hair, boost collagen production, and protect your locks from heat damage.

Fermented rice water is the best recipe to make at home. The fermentation process doubles the number of amino acids, proteins, and vitamins.

Just make sure you’re only doing rice water treatments 1–2 times a week. Going overboard with this ingredient could dry out your hair and worsen any damage. Certified hair practitioners recommend that you use starchy water moderately.


Rice water is a magic ingredient that can help strengthen hair growth. It won’t directly make your hair grow faster, but it could replenish your scalp and encourage hair follicles to produce healthier strands. Use this hair treatment once or twice a week, and always wash it out thoroughly.

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: March 25, 2023
7 min read 784 Views 0 Comments

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