Do you want to know the top 7 benefits of rice water for hair growth? If so, then you’re in the right place! Rice water is a natural treatment used for centuries to improve hair health and growth. It comprises vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants essential for healthy hair. This article will discuss the benefits of rice water and how to use it effectively for maximum results. We will also cover the potential side effects of rice water, so you can make an informed decision before using it yourself.
What is Rice Water?
Rice water is the liquid left behind after you cook rice or leave it to soak.
It contains all the nutrients and minerals found in rice, including vitamins B, C, and E.
Rice water also contains various antioxidants that can help protect your hair from damage.
History of Rice Water for Hair
Rice water has been used for centuries in Asia for hair care.
Many societies revered it for its hair benefits, that ancient Japanese geishas even used it to keep their hair healthy and strong.
The women of the Yao minority tribe in China also used rice water as part of their hair care routine. They credit it for their long, thick, and healthy hair.
History reveals that the Yao women could grow their hair up to six feet long!
The tradition of using rice water in hair care has continued into modern times. It is now gaining popularity worldwide as a natural way to improve hair health.
Let’s take a closer look at the top benefits of rice water for hair growth.
Top 7 Benefits of Rice Water for Hair
Rice water has many benefits for hair health. Here are the top seven advantages for hair growth:
1. Improves Hair Health and Growth
Rice water is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, essential for healthy hair.
Specifically, the following vitamins and minerals in rice are beneficial for hair:
- Amino Acids: rice is rich in amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Amino acids are essential for hair growth and health.
- B vitamins: rice water contains B vitamins like niacin, riboflavin, and thiamine. These vitamins are necessary for healthy hair growth. They help produce keratin, which is the main protein in hair.
- Vitamin C: rice water is also a good source of vitamin C. This vitamin is vital for collagen production and helps to keep hair strong.
- Ferulic Acid: it contains Ferulic Acid, an antioxidant that protects hair from damage.
- Mineral Salts: rice water contains minerals like magnesium, potassium, and calcium. These minerals are essential for healthy hair growth and help to keep hair follicles strong.
2. Protects Hair from Damage
Rice water is rich in inositol, a type of sugar that helps to protect hair from damage.
It helps improve elasticity and reduce the surface friction of hair, which can prevent damage and breakage.
The high starch levels in rice water help coat the hair shaft to add strength and prevent protein loss in hair.
It also contains a variety of antioxidants that can help protect your hair from damage from UV radiation, heat styling, and chemical treatments.
3. Boosts Shine and Lustre
Rice water can help to improve the shine and lustre of your hair.
The starch in rice water closes cuticles on the hair shaft, giving hair a smooth appearance and helping it reflect light.
It can reduce frizz and make your hair look shinier and healthier as it smooths down the cuticles.
4. Prevents and Reduces Hygral Fatigue
Hygral fatigue is a condition that occurs when you repeatedly expose your hair to water.
The excess water uptake can cause the hair shaft to swell, leading to breakage.
Rice water can help prevent and reduce hygral fatigue by forming a barrier on the hair shaft.
This barrier helps protect the hair from damage and prevent breakage.
5. Reduces Tangles and Knots
Rice water can help reduce tangles and knots in your hair.
The rice starch helps lubricate the hair shaft and make it smoother. It coats each strand of hair and helps to smooth down the cuticles.
This coating can help reduce friction, tangles and knots, making it easier to comb through your hair and style.
6. Balance the Scalp pH Levels
The pH of fermented rice water is close to that of the natural pH of the scalp.
This property makes it an effective rinse for balancing the pH levels of the scalp and hair.
The optimum hair pH is acidic, which regulates bacterial growth on the scalp.
If the scalp pH becomes too alkaline, it triggers microbial overgrowth and causes scalp infections.
A balanced scalp pH is essential for healthy hair growth as it helps regulate sebum production and prevent dryness, itchiness, and dandruff.
7. Readily Available and Affordable
Chances are you have rice in your pantry right now. And if you don’t, it’s readily available and affordable at any grocery store.
This accessibility makes rice water an easy and convenient way to improve the health of your hair.
Side Effects of Rice Water
Like any new hair treatment, there are always potential side effects.
The most common side effect of rice water include:
Potential Protein Overload
If you have low porosity hair, rice water can cause protein overload. This protein overload can lead to brittle, dry, and unhealthy-looking hair.
Because rice water contains a high level of starch, it can also lead to buildup if not used properly. Be sure to rinse your hair well after using rice water treatments, and use a clarifying shampoo from time to time to prevent buildup.
Some people may be allergic to rice. If you notice any redness, itchiness, or swelling after using rice water on your hair, discontinue use immediately and consult your doctor.
Fermented rice water can have an unpleasant smell. If the scent is too strong for you, add a few drops of essential oil to help mask the odour.
Plain Rice vs Fermented Rice Water
There are two main ways to make rice water for your hair: plain rice water and fermented rice water.
Plain rice water is made by soaking rice in water for 30 minutes and then straining the rice out. You can make fermented rice water by allowing the rice to soak in water for an extended period, typically 24 hours.
Both types of rice water have their unique benefits and drawbacks.
Plain Rice Water
Plain rice water is less concentrated and contains fewer nutrients than fermented rice water.
However, it is less likely to cause protein overload or buildup, making it a good choice for those with low porosity hair.
Fermented Rice Water
Fermented rice water is more concentrated and contains more nutrients than plain rice water.
However, it is more likely to cause protein overload or buildup, making it a good choice for those with high porosity hair.
It also has a lower pH level, which makes it more acidic and closer to the natural pH of the scalp. This pH level can help regulate sebum production and prevent scalp irritations.
No matter which type you choose, rinse your hair well after using it and follow up with a conditioner to prevent protein overload or buildup.
How to Make Rice Water for Hair Growth
Now that you know all about the benefits of rice water for hair growth, it’s time to learn how to make it!
The good news is that rice water is straightforward to make. The most important part is to use quality ingredients and clean water.
Here are two methods for making rice water:
Method One: Plain Rice Water
- 1 cup of rice
- filtered water
Fill a bowl with 2 cups of filtered water and add the rice. Allow the rice to soak for about 30 minutes.
Next, strain the rice water into an empty container.
Transfer the rice water into a spray bottle, and voila! Your rice water for hair is ready to use.
Method Two: Fermented Rice Water
- 1 cup of rice
- filtered water
- container or jar with a lid
Fill a bowl with 2 cups of filtered water and add the rice. Allow the rice to soak for about 30 minutes to an hour.
Pour the rice water into a clean container or jar and cover it with a lid. Allow the rice water to ferment for 24 hours.
After 24 hours, strain out the rice and store the fermented rice water in a clean container.
No matter which method you choose, you can store rice water in the fridge for up to one week. Be sure to shake it well before using it on your hair.
How to Use Rice Water for Hair Growth
Step 1: Prepare your Rice Water
Whether you’re using plain or fermented rice water, the first step is to prepare your rice water.
Soak the rice in filtered water for about 30 minutes if you want to use plain rice water.
If you’re using fermented rice water, soak the rice in filtered water for 30 minutes to an hour before fermenting for 24 hours.
Step 2: Shampoo your Hair
Start by shampooing your hair as you usually would. Be sure to use a sulphate-free shampoo to avoid stripping your hair of its natural oils.
Step 3: Apply the Rice Water
After shampooing, apply the rice water to your tresses. You can do this by pouring it into your hands and then massaging it into your scalp and down the length of your hair.
Or, you can pour it into a spray bottle and spritz it onto your hair.
If you have long hair, focus on applying rice water to your scalp and massage it for a few minutes. Then, work the rice water down the length of your strands.
Step 4: Leave the Rice Water in Your Hair
Once you’ve applied the rice water to your mane, leave it in for 20 minutes before rinsing it out.
Leaving rice water for longer can make your strands feel dry and brittle, so 20 minutes is the perfect amount of time to reap all the benefits.
Step 5: Rinse out the Rice Water
After 20 minutes, rinse out the rice water with cool water. Rinsing with cold water will help close the cuticle and seal in moisture.
Follow up with a conditioner to keep your hair hydrated and prevent protein overload.
Hair Treatments with Rice Water
While rice water is easy to make at home, a few rice water hair products on the market can help boost mane growth.
If you’re looking for a rice water hair treatment, here are a few of our favourites:
SheaMoisture strength + Color Care Conditioner Purple Rice Water
The key ingredients in this conditioner are purple rice water, wild orchid and sweet violet extract.
These ingredients work together to detangle, hydrate and add shine to your hair. Plus, the rice water helps to strengthen and protect your tresses from damage.
Briogeo, Don’t Despair, Repair! MegaStrength+ Rice Water Protein and Moisture Strengthening Hair Treatment
This hair treatment has the optimal balance of protein and moisture.
Its rice-derived water, protein, ferment, and oil help protect your tresses against future damage by strengthening the cuticle with vital protein.
Plus, it’s free of sulphates, silicones, parabens and artificial dyes.
How often should I use rice water on my hair?
You can use rice water once or twice a week. Excessive use of rice water can lead to protein overload, making your hair feel dry and brittle.
How long does rice water last in the fridge?
You can store rice water in the fridge for up to one week. Be sure to shake it well before using it on your hair.
How long should I leave rice water in my hair?
You should leave it in your hair for 20 minutes before rinsing it. Leaving rice water in your hair for longer can make your hair feel dry and brittle, so 20 minutes is the perfect amount of time to reap all the benefits.
Are there any side effects to using rice water for hair?
The most common side effect of rice water is protein overload. Protein overload can happen if you use it too often or leave it in your hair for too long. Protein overload can make your hair feel dry and brittle.
Another side effect of rice water is that it can cause skin irritation in some people.
Is fermented rice water better than plain rice water?
No scientific evidence supports the claim that fermented rice water is better than plain rice water.
However, some believe that fermented rice water is more effective because it contains more nutrients.
Plain rice water may be better if you have sensitive skin or low porosity.
Rice water has many benefits for hair growth. It can make your hair softer, shinier, and stronger. It is also a great way to prevent split ends and breakage. Rice water is effective on all hair types but works exceptionally well on damaged or dry hair.
It is an excellent option if you’re looking for a natural way to boost hair growth. Just be sure to use it correctly to avoid protein overload.
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