Rice Water, does it really work?

Updated: Feb 7

Why use Rice Water

Using Rice water to grow lovely strong hair is an age-old Japanese tradition that seems to have been picked up by the masses in recent years. Rice water is full of amino acids, vitamin B & E, minerals and antioxidants bringing benefits that make your hair smoother, stronger, grow longer and less tangled (link). After learning this, I was keen to try it out!

My experience

I recall watching a video online and the vlogger was applying the rice water and explaining that she could feel the difference as she was applying the rice water – in my mind I was like “girl stop lying”. However, during my first application I instantly noticed that my hair felt stronger whilst I was applying the rice water and I felt myself getting excited at what this meant for my edges! Then I noticed that my curls seems to be softening up…which is strange considering that I have the most coily, can’t run your fingers through hair.

When I finished the application and rinse process and began styling my hair, I found that my entire curl pattern had changed – my hair was somehow less densely packed and lighter… My boyfriend was even able to run his hands through my hair without getting stuck in my roots!

Not only did my curl pattern and overall texture from roots to ends improve , but my hair has grown too. My advice, don’t sleep on this treatment! Make it part of your hair-regime and take that TWA to MSA!

My application process:

1) Prepare rice water (instructions below)

2) Wash hair

3) Separate it hair into to small sections

4) Apply the rice water to my scalp and then work it into my hair

5) I usually let that sit for 20 minutes with a cap on and carry on with my usual weekly hair removal process

6) After 20 minutes, I rinse out the rice water

7) Follow up with a deep conditioner for 30 minutes (optional)

I use a deep conditioner afterwards, because rice water is very high in protein and my low pro hair needs some love and affection after being exposed to all that protein (read my article on hair porosity). I also only use rice water on alternative weeks to avoid protein overload, but it is now and will always remain a part of my hair regime.

How do you make rice water?

There are 2 methods for making rice water for your hair:

Option 1)

  • Scoop a cup of clean rice into a container and add a cup of water

  • Leave the rice to sit in a dark and dry place for up to 24 hours to ferment

  • Strain the rice and put the liquid into a spray bottle and you’re good to go!

Option 2)

  • Add a cup and a half of clean rice to a boiling pot of water and allow the rice to cook

  • Strain the rice and put that “gloopy” liquid in a spray bottle

Whist both options yield the same result, I prefer option 2, firstly because I’m not organised enough to make that rice water 24hr ahead of wash day, and also because the rice doesn’t need to be thrown after the rice water is extracted. I usually end up turning that leftover rice into rice pudding (but watch those calories) or adding it in with my dinner!


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