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The Benefits of Rice Water For Hair Care

by Toni Olukiran

2min read

It may sound strange, but many people of different hair types swear by washing their locs in rice water. So what’s the science behind this, and what are the benefits of rice water for your hair? Read on to find out. 

While many are used to having a straight-forward hair routine consisting of shampoos and conditioner, there are equally many out there turning to more holistic and natural products to maintain their hair. One of these methods — rice water — has people convinced it has stimulated significant hair growth, as well as making it thicker, stronger and shinier. It sounds too good to be true, given a bag of rice and some water is a fraction of the price we pay for restorative hair masques and conditioners typically, so does it work?

The history of rice water

Like a lot of popular beauty techniques (see gua shua and jade rollers), rice water rinsing is not new at all, but actually have origins in Eastern Asia, in this case specifically the Heian Period in Japan (794-1185 AD). The culture of beauty was important for women, specifically hair, and rice water was key to long, shiny and thick hair. 

The science of rice water

Trichologists and scientists have found that inositol, an ingredient found in rice water, penetrates damaged hair and repairs the strands as well as protect it from further damage. Rice water also contains amino acids, antioxidants, B vitamins and minerals that promote growth and strength. 

What are the benefits?

Though a lot of the evidence of rice water being beneficial is anecdotal, people report that:

  • It detangles the hair
  • Promotes growth quickly
  • Prevents breakage — particularly useful for coloured hair
  • Gives hair shine
  • Hair is fuller and thicker

How to wash hair with rice water

Simply wash your rice to remove any impurities, before leaving it to soak in more water for up to 24 hours. Strain the rice from the water (you can still use the rice, fyi) and pour over hair after shampooing and conditioning around once a week or so for the best results. 

Swear by rice water in your hair care routine? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. 

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Toni Olukiran
by Toni Olukiran

Toni is one of our lovely Content Marketing Assistants, and when she’s not writing posts about everything from Jamaican cooking to vegan champagne, she’s making a Spotify playlist (she was at 200, at her last count) or playing tennis in the park.

Read more from Toni


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