Everything You Need To Know About Rice Water for Hair


As much as I love splurging on the latest beauty products and treatments, it seems like the most effective ingredients are already hiding in the kitchen. The latest hair craze is no exception—people just can’t stop raving about the benefits of rice water rinses.

Photo: ©Shikhar Bhattarai / Stocksy; Design: Beautylish.com

The ritual of rinsing hair with rice water dates all the way back to the Heian period. The secret to Japanese court ladies’ beautiful, floor-length strands is believed to be rice water baths. Fast forward to today, you’ll find endless videos on TikTok and YouTube of folks swearing by weekly rice water treatments.

For starters, what is rice water?

Exactly what it sounds like—it’s the liquid left behind after soaking or boiling rice. Rice contains many vitamins and minerals—like amino acids, vitamins B & E, and antioxidants—which seep into the water, then your scalp and strands.

Benefits of rice water

While there are limited scientific studies to prove the benefits of rice water for hair, it’s anecdotally believed to help improve strength, shine, texture, and most importantly, growth.

Rice water side effects

As with all treatments, results and side effects can vary based on hair texture and type. Keep in mind that rice water is a heavy, high-protein starch, so combining it with other protein-rich products or overdoing it may cause buildup. This isn’t meant to be a daily ritual—instead try weekly or bi-weekly.

How to make rice water

Good news for my fellow DIY-ers, you can make this at home with just a couple of ingredients you likely already have—you guessed it: rice and water. Rinse about half a cup of uncooked rice and mix it in a bowl with about 2–3 cups of water. Let it sit for about 24 hours or boil until it gets cloudy, let it cool, then strain. Store your rice water in a spray bottle, mason jar, or anything tightly covered until you’re ready to use it. Try to use it within a week for optimal benefits.

If you prefer a ready-to-go treatment with an added boost, Beautylish recommends Briogeo Don’t Despair Repair Megastrength Rice Water Protein + Moisture Strengthening Treatment. Briogeo’s professional-strength treatment combines the benefits of rice-derived water with vitamin B, rosehip oil, and algae to deliver the optimal balance of protein and moisture. It deeply nourishes, fortifies, protects and supports healthy elasticity—an all-in-one weekly treatment.

How to use rice water

Start by shampooing, rinsing, and towel drying hair. Then, pour the rice water on your hair, and massage it into the scalp and strands. Leave it in for up to 20 minutes, then rinse with warm water, and style as usual. That’s it!