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Rice Water Hair Treatment 101


3 min read

Dec 18, 2020



With the ubiquitous presence of social media in our lives, those of us that live in the west have learned a lot about the beauty practices of women in other parts of the world. From K-Beauty to Ayurveda, we have awakened to practices that we would never have imagined, and the benefits, if not wholly magical are definitely present. The use of rice water as a hair treatment is one such practice that has made its way into our collective consciousness and since the pursuit of health and length when it comes to our hair is real and sometimes never-ending, many of us are excited if not skeptical about this new treatment. Is it for real? Does it work? Does it really smell as unpleasant as people say? Let’s find out.

Women in Japan, China and Southeast Asia have used rice water as a hair treatment for many centuries. But what is rice water exactly? Rice water is the starchy water left over after rice has been cooked or left to soak. Those who swear by its benefits say it makes hair shiny, smooth and helps to promote faster hair growth.

Benefits of Rice Water for Hair

Rice water may increase the strength and natural shine of hair. It is believed to contain many of the minerals and vitamins present in rice. A cursory internet search will reveal that the Yao women of Huangluo in China, are known for having hair that averages 6 feet long. These women typically begin getting grey hairs in their 80s and both facts are credited to their practice of rinsing their hair in rice water. Proponents of rice water say that it

  1. Makes hair stronger

  2. Makes hair smoother

  3. Increases the natural shine of hair

  4. Aids in detangling hair

  5. Helps hair grow longer

  6. Helps hair grow faster

Preparing Plain Rice Water

You may prepare your rice water by soaking or boiling your rice. You can use your rice water right away (once cooled if boiled) or you can let stand for up to two days for fermentation to occur.


Immerse a half cup of rice in water and gently rub grains between your fingers under the surface of the water to loosen debris. Rinse thoroughly until the water is clear. Soak rice for 30 minutes before straining to separate water from grains. Another way to make rice water is by boiling your rice. Simply add a half cup of rice and a cup of water to a pot and bring to a boil. Strain your water and allow it to cool before use.

Preparing Fermented Rice Water

To ferment rice water, leave the rice and water mixture to stand at room temperature for about 48 hours. Strain your mixture and collect your rice water for use. Fermented rice water does tend to be smelly so feel free to add a bit of orange peel or lemon zest to the mix while soaking to help minimize the odor. Additionally, essential oils may also be used to mask the odor.

Using your Rice Water

Rice water is typically used as a conditioning treatment. Shampoo your hair before pouring your rice water all over your hair and scalp. Massage into your hair and scalp for a minute before covering your hair with a shower cap for 20 minutes to half an hour before rinsing rice water from hair and styling your hair as usual.

Rinsing hair in rice water is a traditional beauty treatment popular in many regions in Asia.

Having gained attention online, this alternative beauty remedy is now popular across the world.

Many have found rice water to be a beneficial hair treatment that is safe to use at home.

Learn how to use Rice Water with Janelle Beauty’s Brilliant Shine Kit!


3 min read

Dec 18, 2020



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