Why Rice Water For Hair Growth is Going Viral on Social Media and Shower Routines
Have you ever cooked a pot of rice and seen how it can turn the water a cloudy white color? Turns out – it’s way more valuable than you might’ve thought and you don’t need to run to the store for the latest new hair product. Rice water is the starchy water left over after you leave the rice to soak, and women in China, Japan, and across Southeast Asia have turned to rice water for hair treatment as a natural remedy for centuries. Now, the beauty community has caught onto the trend and has made rice water for hair growth a viral sensation on social media. If you’re eager to know how rice water can help you achieve longer, smoother, and shinier hair, keep reading!
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Why is Rice Water for Hair Growth Trending?
According to historians, Japanese women exclusively used rice water baths to achieve and maintain their healthy, floor-length hair. Even today, the Yao women in Huangluo, China credit their long hair to their dedication to rice water. Amazingly enough, they also credit rice water with the fact that they do not start getting gray hair until they reach at least 80-years-old (1).
Once discovering the treatment, scientists looked more into rice water and how exactly it strengthened the hair. Studies showed that rice water contains inositol, which can penetrate damaged hair and repair it from the inside out. It can even protect the hair from any future damage (2).
More recently, beauty enthusiasts have caught onto this tradition and have turned rice water for hair growth into a massive online trend. Beauty influencers have also contributed to the trend, as they’ve spread the message about rice water’s impressive benefits on platforms such as TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram. Other than advocating for rice water soaks, some beauty enthusiasts have also replaced their conditioner with rice water entirely.
Overall, the main benefits that are commonly cited by beauty creators online include:
- Detangling the hair
- Making the hair smoother
- Increasing shine
- Allowing hair to grow stronger
- Stimulates hair growth
- Reduce surface friction
- Increase hair elasticity
- Repairs damaged hair and split ends
- Repairs bleached hair
- Deeply conditions the hair to make it more manageable
How Using Rice Water for Hair Can Help You
Not ready to replace your conditioner but want to use rice water? We got you covered. You won’t need to change your entire shower schedule, all you’ll need to do is use the rice water after you’re done shampooing and conditioning up to as many times as you please. Typically, once a week or a few times a week is recommended. If you’re looking to make rice water, there are a few foolproof ways to do it. Let’s break them down:
Soaking your rice is the quickest way to make rice water. It doesn’t matter which type of white rice you have on hand, it can be white, jasmine, basmati, or anything else you have on hand. To start soaking your rice, take a ½ cup of uncooked rice, rinse it thoroughly, place the place in a bowl with 2-3 cups of water, and leave it to soak for 30 minutes. Then, you can strain the rice water into a clean bowl to use.
2. Fermented Rice Water
Some people who actively use rice water claim that fermented rice water has more benefits than plain rice water, as it’s believed to have a higher number of antioxidants. Antioxidants are great for preventing free radical damage to the hair and skin cells. To ferment your rice water, cover and leave your rice water to soak at room temperature for up to 24 hours before straining into a clean bowl.
This way is pretty self-explanatory as all you have to do is cook your rice in boiling water and strain the rice water when you’re done. Super simple! However, it’s important to remember that we’re using the rice water for its pure benefits, so don’t add in any extra ingredients like salt or oil.
As a bonus tip, it helps to fill a small container, like a small spray bottle or travel-size shampoo bottle with the rice water. This way, you can control how you apply the rice water to your hair instead of just dumping a bowl over your head in the shower. You can even keep the bottle in the fridge for up to a week to use for later on.
More Rice Water Benefits
Besides being great for your hair, rice water is thought to contain a plethora of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals including:
- Amino acids
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E
Plus, rice water even has incredible skin benefits. It has been used over centuries as an inexpensive, natural, and effective skin-replenishing product for cleansing, toning, lightening hyperpigmentation, increasing collagen production to prevent wrinkling, and reducing the appearance of sun and age spots. It has also been said to smooth the skin texture, even out the skin tone, firm the skin, tighten the skin, reduce the appearance of pore size, and give the skin a dewy glow. It is also a go-to for treating acne scars, reducing redness, clearing blemishes, and soothing the inflammation of eczema. A 2002 study even found that the starch in rice water helped heal damaged skin for those with dermatitis.
To apply rice water on your face, soak a cotton ball in the rice water and apply both in the morning and before bed. Letting your face dry naturally and going to bed with freshly applied rice water is said to have out of this world benefits (3). Otherwise, a lot of commercial products on the market, including soaps, toners, body scrubs, sunscreens, and topical creams, now contain rice water.
Although there is still research that needs to be done in this area, many cultures in Asia swear by rice’s health and longevity benefits and drink rice water as a result. Rice water is said to provide a boost in energy, aid with gastrointestinal issues like bloating and constipation, and prevent dehydration.
Written by Selena Ponton