Can Rice Water Make Your Hair Thicker?

Dr. Janet Zand

March 25, 2022

Lately there’s been a lot of buzz about rice water.

People are using rice water — literally the water that’s leftover after soaking rice — in their hair. They say it makes their hair thicker, stronger, and makes it grow faster, too.

But does this beauty trick really work?

What it does for hair

Rice water contains a sugar called inositol, which can help damaged hair and repair it from the inside out. It even protects hair from future damage by strengthening hair strands and sealing split ends.

Rice water also has carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins that are great for your scalp and keep your hair follicles more healthy. And both of those things are important for growing healthy hair.

As for actually making hair grow faster, the answer is less clear. It’s possible that rice water can lengthen the growth phase of hair. However, we need more research to really know for sure.

Still, the benefits make rice water worth trying. So what’s the best way to use it on your hair?

How to use it

All you need is 1 cup of rice and water. Here’s what to do:

1. Rinse the rice quickly under the faucet, just to remove any dirt or impurities.

2. Mix the rinsed rice in a bowl with 1 cup of water. Keep mixing until the water is very cloudy.

3. Strain the rice and save the water. (At this point you can also cook the rice — because why waste it?)

4. Put the rice water in a container and cover it. Let the rice water sit at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours, to let it mildly ferment. (Studies show that fermented substances have more antioxidants.) Just don’t let it sit for more than 24 hours, or it can go bad.

5. Refrigerate the rice water until you’re ready to use it.

When you want to use it, put the rice water into a bottle or spray bottle. Next, shampoo your hair as usual. Then put a generous amount of rice water on your hair, coating your scalp. Comb it through and let it sit for 10-20 minutes. (Think of it as a hair mask or conditioning treatment.)

Finally, rinse your hair thoroughly. And that’s it!

You can do this treatment once per week. Don’t do it too often or you’ll start to see residue build up on your hair, which will make it look dull. (If your hair does get dull, you can always do an apple cider vinegar rinse.)

Note: If your hair is very fragile, you may need to ease into trying rice water. Try a rice water treatment once a month, and see how your hair handles it. If your hair is looking and feeling better, then you can increase it to twice a month.

So try these tips out, and let me know how it goes!

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