Rice Water: Is it actually good for your hair? 

Soaking hair in rice water is an age-old hair and beauty ritual that has been used throughout Asia for centuries.

The starchy water is supposed to strengthen hair, encourage faster growth and leave your hair feeling smooth and silky. Thanks to the superpower of social media and the internet, Rice water has quickly become a viral sensation that many of us are wanting to know more about.

At Cliphair we wanted to know: Is this just another fad that will fade away as soon as the next technique comes along? Or is there actually scientific proof that rice water is good for your hair?

Were hoping so as a bag of rice is definitely a lot cheaper than a luxury hair treatment! We’ve done our research to provide you with the most accurate and honest information on this new craze, you can find all of our results in the blog below.

What is Rice water?

Rice water is the cloudy, starchy water that is left after cooking or soaking rice. To get this water quickly you can just soak some rice in water for 30 minutes then strain, keeping the water that the rice was soaked in.

There is no evidence that cooked rice water is more effective than uncooked rice water, so either will work. However, from our research it would seem that fermented rice water has the best effect so if you have the time, leave your rice to soak for 1-2 days for the best result. As the rice will soak up a lot of the water you may want to add more than if only soaking for an hour.

Lets get technical, Here’s the Sciencey part

Ingredients of Rice water (from plain white rice)

These are the ingredients found in rice water:

- Anti-Oxidants
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin E
- Pitera

Each of these ingredients provide valuable nutrients to the hair in different ways.

- Anti-Oxidants are essential for the survival of living things as they fight against unwanted harmful elements. There are lots of harmful things that come into contact with our hair from man made chemicals to environmental damage caused by wind/weather. Enriching your hair with Anti-Oxidants is a great way to protect your hair against this, this will make the hair stronger and less likely to break.

- Vitamin B and E found in food sources help the body to build immunity and fight off illness and strengthens the eyes and skin. There is scientific evidence that shows a link between deficiency in B vitamins and hair loss, so exposing the hair to this vitamin should increase hair growth.

- Pitera is a liquid made from fermented yeast (rice water) full of amino acids. This ingredient is used widely in skin care products all over the world as its proven to reduce wrinkles and dark spots. Used in the hair it is supposed to leave the hair smooth and shiny and enriched with natural nutrients.  

How do I use Rice Water on my hair? 

Its super easy to apply this treatment to your hair, we’ve listed the steps below!

Step 1. Wash your hair with your normal shampoo and rinse thoroughly.

Step 2. Pat your hair dry with a clean towel.

Step 3. Pour the room temperature rice water onto the hair, you can also fill a spray bottle and spray into the hair if you would prefer. Make sure the hair is completely saturated.

Step 4. Massage the Rice Water into the hair and scalp.

Step 5. Leave on the hair for 30-60 minutes allowing the rice water to penetrate the hair shaft. This is the perfect opportunity to catch up on your favourite box-set!

Step 6. Rinse the hair thoroughly with tepid water, you can add a final cool rinse at the end to lock in the shine.

Step 7. Its up to you if you would like to condition your hair after this process or leave it as it is. From our research most people do not condition the hair after.  

How often should I use Rice Water on my hair?

We suggest using Rice Water in the same way you would a strong conditioning treatment.

These types of hair treatments are not recommended for daily use but on more of a weekly or fortnightly basis. Especially if you are choosing not to condition your hair after this process, we would advise only doing the Rice water every other time you wash your hair so that your cuticles are still receiving the moisture it needs.

A downfall to using Rice Water rather than a standard conditioner or Specialised hair strengthening treatment is the smell. Obviously, Rice has not been formulated to have a attractive and enticing aroma like hair products so the smell can be a little unpleasant.

Once rinsed the smell does fade off but you can use a Moisture Spray or leave in conditioning cream after the treatment to disguise any unwanted leftover scent.  

Our Conclusion on the Rice Water theory

All in all we haven’t found any research to say that Rice Water is bad for your hair, and the scientific evidence suggests that there is truth in this new hair trend.

The ingredients found in Rice Water are widely used in other beauty products especially “Pitera” to prevent aging and smooth skin which would explain why it is used to smooth and add shine to the hair.

The other minerals are super useful in helping your hair maintain its strength, promoting hair growth and fight off signs of damage. We would recommend trying Rice Water as a Treatment every 2nd or 3rd wash of your hair.