Everything You Need to Know About Rice Water for Hair

Published on: 04/26/2022 10:21 am

Credit to: Celia Shatzman for prose.com

What is rice water?

“Rice water is the starchy water left over after rice is cooked or left to soak,” explains Gina Rivera, Celebrity Stylist & Founder of Phenix Salon Suites. It’s made by fermenting rice and straining the remains to create a hair potion.

What nutrients does rice water contain?

Fermented rice water for hair is proven to have very beneficial properties. It contains a rich source of antioxidants, including vitamin E and oryzanol. These nutrients, along with vitamin B and amino acids, help build strong and healthy hair, smooth to help control frizz, and promote hair shine. Fermented rice water is also a known source for vitamins A and C.

What are the benefits of rice water for hair? 

There are plenty of perks when it comes to rice water for hair. “For one, it will increase the amount of shine instantly,” Rauchut says. “You will also notice the amount of tangles will diminish. Most of us don’t realize when we lack vitamins A, B, and C, which can really improve your hair quality. Not to mention, a lot of us are deficient in this, which is unfortunately very common. Lastly, rice water helps keep the hair’s strength intact and decreases the amount of breakage.” 

Rice water for hair can also help protect and repair hair. “The amino acids in rice water are thought to aid hair regeneration,” Rivera says. “This combined with the vitamins B and E that are also present may promote hair strength. However, keep in mind that there needs to be additional scientific studies to have conclusive results on the benefits of using rice water.”

What hair types is rice water best for?

“Rice water can be used on all types of hair; however, it may work best for coarse or damaged hair that needs some additional care,” Rivera says. It’s especially beneficial for those who are concerned about breakage and dryness. “I like to introduce this homeopathic tradition to my girls who get highlights every six to eight weeks,” Rauchut says. “When receiving a service that is ‘lifting’ or opening the cuticle, often there is a chance you will need an increase in amino acids, which helps keep the structure of our hair intact.” 

What is the best way to use rice water for hair?

After you shampoo your hair, rinse with cool water and towel dry, suggests Holly Dear, owner House of Dear Hair Salon and House of Dear Clean Beauty collection. “Then apply rice water onto your scalp and hair and leave on for approximately 20 minutes and rinse again with cool water,” she says. “Do not leave on your hair for long and use it once a month.” 

To pay homage to its original use, Rauchut believes the best way to use rice water for hair is by rinsing your hair with rice water daily. “The Yao women would dip their hair into the rice water and use a comb to distribute it evenly,” she says. “Traditionally, rice water was used as a shampoo and then they would rinse in a nearby river. For at home in the modern day, I believe dipping your hair into the rice water and then rinsing with filtered water is the closest to the original intention of this cleansing treatment.”

How can you make your own rice water for hair?

First, be sure to wash the rice properly to remove any dirt or other impurities. Rauchut recommends adding water, then rubbing the rice in between your hands so as to extract the content of the rice. When the water becomes cloudy, sieve it into another pot.

“Rice water can be made by soaking rice and then straining the rice from the water so that you only have rice left,” Rivera says. “It can also be made by boiling rice using additional water so that rice water is left over. Again, strain rice from the water once the rice is cooked and use the remaining water once cooled on the hair.”

Are there any side effects to using rice water in hair?

Keep in mind you can always have too much of a good thing. “Using too much or leaving rice water on for too long can cause dryness and damage,” cautions Dear. 

It’s also important to be mindful of any allergies, particularly a gluten sensitivity. “Also, if not rinsed out properly, you may feel a little itchy or experience scalp buildup,” Rauchutsays. “Some may even feel they have a protein buildup. I suggest consulting a stylist familiar with this routine and make sure to rinse very thoroughly.” 

Which Prose products contain rice water?

You’ll find fermented rice water among the possible ingredients in Prose’s custom shampooconditioner, and leave-in conditioner. If your formula calls for smoothing, unwanted frizz control, and detangling, then you can bet rice water is included in your personalized products.