Rice Water For Hair Growth: Does It Really Work?

Last Updated on November 1, 2020 by Janie Wilson

Rice Water For Hair Growth

Many women ask this question on hair care forums about the use of rice water for hair growth. They want to know whether this is a hoax or it has some benefits. Today in this post I intend to tackle this question and try to give you a satisfactory answer.
rice water for hair growthTo begin with, in China, Japan and Southeast Asia, women have been using rice water for hair treatment for centuries. But does rice water have any scientifically proven positive effects on beauty?
Rice water is the starchy water that remains after cooking or soaking rice. It has been a traditional belief that rice water softens and shines hair and help it grow faster.
In this post, as I said, I am going to discuss the beauty benefits of hair treatments with rice water. I will also try to examine whether scientific research supports the claimed results.

Using rice water for hair

rice water for strengthening hairRice water can increase the shine of the hair, make it stronger and disentangle it. Rice grains contain 75-80% starch. Rice water is the starchy water that remains after the rice has been soaked or boiled.
Rice water is believed to contain many of the vitamins and minerals found in rice. These include:
  • Amino acids
  • B Vitamins
  • vitamin E
  • Minerals
  • Antioxidants


According to researchers, women of the Heian period (794-1185 AD) in Japan had long hair. And they kept their hair nice and healthy by bathing in rice water.
A modern counterpart to this story can be found in China. The women of Yao, who live in a village called Huangluo in China, are famous for their hair, which is on an average 1.80 m long.
Apart from their incredible length, the Yao women’s hair retains its colour longer. And they do not start to grey until they are 80 years old.
The Yao women attribute the length and color of their hair to the fact that they bathe it in rice water.
In recent years, many hair stylists, beauty consultants and product developers have adopted this tradition. Today, the trend of using rice water for hair growth is rising.

Advantages of rice water

The advocates of using rice water for hair believe this:
  • It disentangles the hair
  • It makes the hair softer
  • It increases the brightness of hair
  • It makes the hair stronger
  • It helps hair to grow long and healthy

What research says about rice water for hair growth

As the use of rice water for hair becomes more and more popular, anecdotal evidence of its benefits is accumulating. But are these claims scientifically proven?
A research paper published in 2010 suggests that they might be. The authors point out that rice water can lessen surface friction and increase hair elasticity. However, the study relies on historical examples to arrive at a conclusion.
Elsewhere, a research center in Japan has developed an imaging technique. They are doing this to make the strengthening effect of inositol on hair visible. Inositol is found in rice water and some researchers claim that it aids hair growth.
However, it is important to note that this article is published directly by a research center that may be guided by commercial interests.
Till date, the benefits of rice water for hair have not been proven. We can say that further research is needed to support the anecdotal evidence on the benefits of rice water for hair growth<span data-offset-key=”93p83-6-0″>.

How to make rice water

There are several ways to produce rice water, including:


Washing out the rice well is part of the soaking process. Soaking is the fastest way to produce water for the rice.
How to use this method :
  • take ½ cup of uncooked rice and put it in a bowl
  • rinse thoroughly
  • put the rice in a bowl with 2-3 cups of water
  • Soak for 30 minutes
  • filter the rice water in a clean bowl

Fermented rice water compared to normal rice water

Some proponents of rice water claim that fermented rice water has more advantages than normal rice water.
fermented rice water for hair growthAccording to a study conducted in 2012, fermented substances contain a higher amount of antioxidants. Antioxidants can combat damage to hair and skin cells. This is why they are the typical ingredients of cosmetics.
To ferment rice water, follow steps 1 to 4 of the soaking method. Before filtering, leave the rice water at room temperature for up to 2 days to allow it to ferment. Filter the rice water in a clean container before use.


Another way to make rice water is to boil the rice.
What you have to do is to cover ½ cup of rice with double the amount of water normally used for cooking. Boil the rice in boiling water and filter the rice water in a clean container before using it.

Wrapping up

It is often said that there is no scientific evidence of the benefits of using rice water for hair growth. So what’s the point of using it? We can only say that there are many things on earth that have no scientific basis. But that does not prove that they are useless! This is why we need more research on this subject before we can present conclusive evidence on this matter.
As we have already mentioned, the use of rice water to strengthen and beautify hair is not new. It dates back to the ancient past in China and Japan, when ladies were known for their amazingly shiny and long hair that reached down to the ground. Their secret obviously was rice water.
Inspired by this hair treatment, scientists and beauty lovers have tried to discover if rice water could really enhance the beauty and strength of hair. Studies have shown that inositol, a component of rice water, is able to penetrate damaged hair and repair it from the inside. It also protects the hair from future damage.
One of the best things about this beauty product is that it is so easy to make rice water and use it on your hair. And you can almost get this for free. All you need is rice and water. The most difficult part of this beauty treatment is to remember to take the rice water in the shower and apply it evenly on to the hair. I am sure you would not forget to do that if you get shiny and beautiful hair thanks to rice water.
Janie Wilson
Janie Wilson

Janie Wilson, a former fashion model and photographer, dedicated beauty expert and prolific writer on all topics related to fashion, beauty, hair and skin care. I started this website a few years ago when I felt that I have had enough of a hectic lifestyle and need to settle down. Presently, I live with my loving-and-caring husband in New York, but I travel around the world pretty often to derive inspiration for my fashion blog. Yes, let me admit that I am fairly obsessed with anything related to fashion and style. All things from fashion to grooming are things I study all the time whenever I get an opportunity, and my biggest joy in life is to help men and women look their best!