Hair Care

Use Rice Water for Hair Growth and See How It Works!

The #ricewaterchallenge has women buzzed about this ancient hair care routine. Mainly because it turns out that rice water has all the benefits of modern-day hair treatments.

Written by Manal Yahya

On Jan 15, 2024 – 7 minutes read

Use Rice Water For Hair Growth And See How It Works

I was yesterday-years old when I learned about the effectiveness of using rice water for hair growth. No wonder why #ricewaterchallenge is trending on the internet, particularly on TikTok.

Though Asian women have used it for centuries, in the West, rice water recently rose to fame after Kim Kardashian’s secret for her luscious and long hair was out —rice water! To know more about what happens when you start spraying rice water to your hair, keep reading!

Rice Water: Your New Haircare DIY Concoction!

Dating back to the Heian Period in Japan when court ladies used rice water(1) while washing hair, rice water has been a constant beauty staple among Asian women.

Rice water for hair growth

Known as Yu-Su-Ru, rice water is now globally utilized by many women of all ages. Who knew such an easily accessible and cost-effective remedy to transform your dull hair into such lustrous locks was hiding in your cabinet!

Rice Water for Hair Growth: What are the Benefits?

Washing hair with rice water has several benefits. Although studies on the effects of rice water on hair are limited, women who have been using it for years vouch for its effectiveness.

Rice water is loaded with vitamins, trace minerals (vitamins B and C, zinc, magnesium, etc.), and amino acids. Due to its high nutritional value(2) and richness in antioxidants, rice water is believed to nourish the scalp to create a healthy environment for hair growth. Its key ingredient inositol helps repair and arm your hair (3). From enhancing the texture of hair to giving a more pronounced flow of locks, the benefits of using rice water for hair growth are many.

hair conditioning

Rice water boosts scalp health

Rice water is loaded with vitamins(4), amino acids, and minerals. It infuses scalp skin with its goodness. This in turn improves your scalp health. Ultimately, it nourishes hair roots and helps promote hair growth.

Rice water increases shine

Rice water improves the appearance of hair providing healthier hair with increased shine and smoothness. When hair becomes soft, it becomes easy to detangle as well.

Rice water strengthens hair strands

Rice water contains high levels of starch, which coats the hair shaft like protein and adds strength.

Rice water helps in hair growth

Although you won’t get lightening-quick hair growth, rice water does after all create a healthy environment for healthy hair growth. In a 2022 study (5), red pigmented rice was shown to exhibit high potential as a hair growth promoter.

But relying on rice water alone for natural hair growth may not be effective. If you are suffering from significant hair loss, get medical help.

Rice water soothes scalp irritation

According to a study in 2002 (6), the starch in rice water was found to heal damaged and irritated skin in individuals. It can potentially calm the inflammation in the scalp with some added emollients for nourishment. But be careful to not overdo it.

Rice water makes hair smooth and manageable

Rice water is believed to increase elasticity and strengthen and improve the condition of hair cuticles. In addition, the antioxidants in rice water nourish hair follicles and repair damaged cells. All of these help in its easy management.

How To Make Rice Water for Hair Growth?

There are three ways to prepare rice water to promote hair growth.

How to make rice water for hair?

What you will need:

  • ½ cup of uncooked rice
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 bowls
  • 1 container with a lid
  • Strainer
  • Funnel
  • Spray bottle

#1. Soak the rice

  1. Pour uncooked rice into a strainer and rinse well.
  2. Transfer the rice to a bowl and add 2 cups of water.
  3. Allow the rice to soak for about 30 minutes or up to 24 hours at room temperature.
  4. Strain out the rice and pour the rice water into a clean bowl.
  5. Funnel rice water into a spray bottle
  6. Refrigerate until ready to use (for a week)

#2. Preparing rice water by boiling

  1. Pour uncooked rice in a strainer and rinse well.
  2. Boil 2 cups of water
  3. Once boiled, pour the rice into the water and boil until the water is cloudy.
  4. Allow the water to cool.
  5. Strain out the water and place it in a bowl.
  6. Funnel into a spray bottle
  7. Refrigerate until ready to use (for a week)

#3. How to ferment rice water for hair growth?

  1. Pour uncooked rice in a strainer and rinse well.
  2. Place the rinsed rice in a bowl of water.
  3. Allow it to soak for about 30 minutes.
  4. After 30 minutes, strain the rice.
  5. Pour the rice water into a glass container and store it for 24 hours at room temperature.
  6. After 24 hours, move the container into the fridge.
  7. Leave in the refrigerator for 3 days.
  8. After 3 days, funnel the rice water into a spray bottle.
  9. Add 2 cups of warm water to the spray bottle.
  10. Shake well before spraying onto your hair.

How To Use Rice Water for Hair Growth?

Now that you know how to make rice water in three different ways, let’s look at some rice water hair treatments method. You can either use it as a rinse or create your own shampoo or conditioner with it. You can also use it as a nourishing treatment for healthier hair. Although soaking water is the fastest method, its users find that fermented rice water works better than plain rice water.

how long does it take for rice water to grow your hair

Post-Shampoo Rinse with Rice Water

To use rice water as a rinse like Japanese and Chinese women who have knee-length hair or floor-length hair, you can use it as a post-shampoo rinse. After shampooing your hair, massage rice water well onto your hair and scalp. Allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Once you are done, rinse well and then use your regular conditioner afterward if you want. But it is not exactly necessary to use as rice water can replace a commercial conditioner.

Once you start using it, notice how your hair reacts to it. If you find your hair or scalp over-drying after using it twice a week, cut the frequency down to once a week. Then, you can increase usage slowly. Also, add conditioner before using it to retain moisture.

Rice Water Shampoo/Conditioner

Another method is using rice water to create your own shampoo or conditioner. This is highly recommended to those with dry hair that cannot afford to apply rice water directly on the scalp. You can make a rice water shampoo by blending rice water with your shampoo, conditioner, or even oils for further lubrication and hydration after using rice water. Anyone can try this method.

While using rice water on hair, don’t rinse off immediately. To maximize absorption of its beneficial nutrients, allow it to sit on hair for an extended period of time. The ideal time to leave it on is 20 minutes. When you are using it after shampooing, you may not be able to leave it on for more than 10 minutes. This is why applying it as a nourishing treatment is considered the best method to use rice water for hair growth.

After you wash, shampoo, and condition your hair, either pour the rice water through the scalp or spray it directly to the scalp. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes. While you are at it, massage your scalp well to maximize penetration. This will also help you experience its anti-inflammatory properties for the scalp and hair roots. After 30 minutes, rinse your hair thoroughly. If your hair gets crunchy after rinsing, adjust the time length next time. After this nourishing rice water hair treatment, be sure to follow up with a hydrating conditioner as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long should you use rice water to see results?

It is important to understand that using this hack for your hair is not in any way a quick fix or an overnight treatment. You have to use it consistently for about 3 months to see a noticeable change.

2. How often can you use rice water on your hair?

Using it once or twice a week on average is recommended. As it is highly concentrated in starch, do not use it more than twice a week to prevent dry hair.

3. Is it safe to use rice water for hair?

Rice water is generally safe to use on all hair types and textures. But those with dry scalp must limit its use.

4. Are there any side effects?

The chance of rice water reacting adversely is pretty low. But as with any new treatment, it is safer to consult a dermatologist first to ensure the safety of rice water hair treatments for you. Especially if you have any pre-existing scalp conditions. Also, look out for hair or scalp dryness.

5. How should a person with a dry scalp use rice water?

It is highly recommended for those with dry scalp to deep condition their hair and scalp in conjunction with the use of rice water for hair. Some say it’s better to not use rice water directly on the dry scalp. This is why creating a shampoo with it is suggested.

Final Thoughts

Rice is one of the most popular food grains anyone can make use of. It offers a potent pack of healthy and nourishing properties for the hair. With all of the benefits of rice water for the hair we discovered, if you haven’t started using it yet, let this be the final push for you to start using rice water for hair growth. Considering how easy it is to make, you can prepare it today itself and start treating your hair!

  1. Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute. (2018). Rice water: A traditional ingredient with anti-aging efficiency. (Online). Available at
  2. Biotech Connection. (2016). Rice water helps in Hair Growth, Research confirms. (Online). Available at
  3. Meduri, Teja Sri, et al. "Formulation and evaluation of fermented rice water herbal shampoo." Journal of Drug Delivery and Therapeutics 11.4-S (2021): 127-130.
  4. World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science. (n.d). A formulation of face pack and hair products of rice water for the skin and hair problem. (Online). Available at
  5. Thitipramote, Natthawut, et al. "Health Benefits and Safety of Red Pigmented Rice (Oryza sativa L.): In Vitro, Cellular, and In Vivo Activities for Hair Growth Promoting Treatment." Cosmetics 9.6 (2022): 111.
  6. De Paepe, Kristien, et al. "Effect of rice starch as a bath additive on the barrier function of healthy but SLS-damaged skin and skin of atopic patients." Acta dermato-venereologica 82.3 (2002): 184-186.

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Manal is a lifestyle influencer who has spent years delving into the world of beauty, fashion, and wellness- a pro when it comes to anything woman.

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