Rice water for hair growth and volume

Rice water for hair growth and volume

Rice water is notorious for some controversial uses, some for beauty and others for health. 

Some well-known uses include;

  • Skin lightening (to lighten the skin or reduce dark patches)
  • Anti wrinkle treatment
  • Dry skin
  • Damaged hair
  • Digestive upsets
  • Eczema, acne, rashes, and inflammation

Rice water for your hair

All you need to better your hair is a ‘tumbler of rice’, says Stylecraze. Soak the rice in water to release the nutrients into the water. Use the water as the ‘rinse’ for your hair. 

They have used this method for years in Asia. Some women swear by its properties that make hair sleek and shiny. It is also believed to help your hair grow. Many believe that it is the secret behind Asian women’s long hair. 

The two best things about the solution:

  • It’s affordable.
  • It can be done in the comfort of your home.

The water presents as milky water because of the starch residue left behind after straining your rice. The homemade hair treatment is rich in minerals and vitamins – it even passes as a healthy drink! The taste is not sweet or pleasant, though. Some describe the taste as murky, or dirty. It can also leave a dry residue in your mouth.

It benefits the skin too!

As an added bonus, it also tightens your skin while nourishing your hair. Asia’s best-kept secret enhances blood circulation, aids skin cell growth and keeps you looking young and rejuvenated.

The history of rice water

The Red Yao tribe in a Chinese village called Huangluo is known as the land Rapunzels. Rice water has been used for ages to wash and nourish the hair of women in the village. Guinness Book of World Records gave the ‘world’s longest hair village’ certification.

It was also used to wash the beautiful long hair of women in the Japanese Imperial Court 800 AD. These traditions have since passed on to different generations by word of mouth.  

What makes rice water good for hair?

Studies show that the water contains inositol – a carbohydrate that repairs damaged hair. When you rinse it from your hair, the inositol stays in your hair as a protective shield.

Rice water contains amino acids. These acids strengthen your hair roots, increase hair volume and keep your hair shiny and smooth. The hair treatment is 100% natural with no side effects.   

Plain rice water vs fermented rice water

Rice water has a few variations. Plain and fermented are best known. 

Plain’s pH is higher than the pH in your hair. pH levels in the water used on your hair come down because of fermentation. It helps to close the cuticles and protect your hair. 

Fermenting enhances the existing vitamins and nutrient levels that nourish hair follicles. It promotes healthy hair growth and the condition of your hair. This specific kind forms a substance called pitera. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids and organic acids. Pitera promotes cell regeneration which keeps your hair and skin healthy. 

The fermented water is acidic. The pH level of your hair is restored and balanced when rinsing your hair. The fermentation of the water adds to the benefits. Plain or fermented, it really rejuvenates your hair on different levels. The choice is yours!


You can prepare it in two basic, common ways. The methods are home-friendly and effective. 

Dilute the concentrated liquid to use as a face wash or hair rinse. 

The liquid is a great conditioner. Put it into a mug with a few drops of rosemary, lavender or chamomile essential oil. Pour the rice water on your hair after using shampoo it. Gently massage it into your hair and scalp for five to 20 minutes. 

Rinse the hair thoroughly.

Use at least once a week.


Fermented rice water is made by soaking half a cup of rice in two cups of water and kept aside for 15 to 30 minutes. The rice is then strained, and the extracted water is transferred to a jar and left out at room temperature for a day or two. 

The liquid will have a sour smell coming from the jar. The jar can be moved to the jar at this point. It is highly potent and should not be used directly.

Fermented rice water, olive oil and mustard are three ingredients for a hair mask. The paste is applied to your scalp and left on for 20 minutes. The hair mask is rinsed off, and use a mild shampoo.

Please test it out first.

It has been working for many people. But, if you are unsure, do a strand test first. 

Always consult a medical professional before making any dietary and lifestyle changes. Give The Medical Society a call and set up a consultation. The Medical Society is passionate about proper health and nutrition for both children and adults. The Medical Society covers you and your family for whatever unforeseen illnesses may come your way, offering affordable healthcare for adults.

Starting from R89 a month, members receive unlimited nurse-room visits, as well as dietary advice from professionals.


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